Being back in Ottawa has felt a little unlike the transition back to "normal" that I thought it would be after living in the chaos of Montreal for a little more than three years. More than anything else, this - the return of familiar places, friends you can call up on a whim after work, fresh clean air, and gorgeous bike paths and scenic views - feels like an extended summer vacation. And I have been spending much of it doing all of the above, and the rest of it with books, and magazines, and longreads, with the windows thrown wide open, or on the porch, balancing a lemonade in one hand and a book in the other. Not to mention working - I've been doing a lot of that, too.
One thing I never really did much of in Montreal was read. Before we left Ottawa, I always seemed to have a stack of books sitting around somewhere, a pile of RSS feeds multiplying when no one was looking, and short (but not too short), amazing stories all around me. But in Montreal, I got busy. Throwing myself into a new life, with a new language, no friends, no familiarity was all the stimulation that my poor brain could handle. I had no time to keep up with blogs, search for great online reads, or time for books.
But now I'm home, as it were. Where our library system is uppercase-letters AMAZING, my under-used pocket account is desperate for my attention, and the stack of things to read on my iPad and my nightstand are filling up almost as quickly as I can empty them.
What I've been reading lately is good. There is so much great writing out there, and - just like music - you need to spend the time to seek it out. It's worth it. The list below is some of my favourites from the past few weeks, and 'read and loved' is going to become a regular feature here. Reading something good? Tell me about it in the comments!
This was such an interesting piece, particularly about the state of nutritional studies (which we all hear about) and their validity (or invalidity as sometimes is the case). Food (why we eat and what we eat) are some of my favourite reading subjects, and this article was a fascinating reminder not to believe everything you hear about what to eat or when to eat it.
In truth, I discovered this piece late last year, but I have been going back to it over and over ever since, wishing there were more of Marina Keegan's writing for me to read. She had a way with words that just made you want to read more.
Less literary genius and more genius collaborative art project, Miranda July's latest project puts emails (loosely themed) from recognizable names in your own inbox. The perfect amount of light-reading for a Monday, and my favourite bulk emails so far this summer (if you don't count my addiction to The Next Draft, which is a wonderfully indulgent daily for news junkies like me)
A twenty-five year old journalist leaves her mark in so many ways before she dies, too early, to cancer. Her slab city stories are fascinating.