Saturday, December 29, 2007

Working Out West

When I'm deep into writing a chapter of my thesis, I can work anywhere I can spread out my notes (of which there are insane amounts: scattered on looseleaf pads, in the margins of books, in notebooks and even once on a cocktail napkin). And I sometimes prefer to be holed up at a desk that doesn't look out at much, so my computer screen is the main thing in my sight line.

But when I'm doing grunt work - researching, trying to find examples to back up my theories, basically playing connect-the-dots with lines of thought that shouldn't ordinarily be coming anywhere near each other, I need inspiration. I need space. So this is why where I am at the moment, perched on a rock overlooking the stormy Pacific Ocean, is the best possible place to be.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

2007 in Cities

A great list this year (2005, 2006.) Same criteria: at least one night, minus the two cities I spent the most time in (London & Toronto). I pledge to do my best to make 2008 as good or better (would you be shocked otherwise?). New passport = lots of empty pages.

Cairo, Egypt
Bilbao, Spain
Montreux, Switzerland
Paris, France
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Budapest, Hungary
Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Split, Croatia
Hvar, Croatia
Vancouver, BC
Victoria, BC

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve 2007

This is where I sat for most of today. In fact, this is where I'll be sitting for the next two days as well. Devouring my holiday reading and only moving to devour leftover turkey and Christmas cookies.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Reading 2007

While I've had to drag thesis work with me on my holiday (the quiet of my place on the west coast is too good to pass up as a working opportunity) I have also assembled my holiday fiction experience. I wanted to go for all paperbacks because much of my vacation will be taking place in Hawaii this year and I tend to treat books badly when I'm there. Sand, ocean, using them as daiquiri's a tough life.

American Pastoral by Philip Roth
I've never read Roth. I find this hugely embarrassing. A friend whose opinion I value says that it's his favourite Roth. So I'm giving it a very tardy go.

Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino
Out, which I read on my trip through the Balkans this autumn, blew my mind. I had been hoping that Grotesque was going to come out in paperback before the holidays, but no such luck. I just couldn't wait any longer, so bought the hardcover and will try to keep the sand out of it.

What Is The What by Dave Eggers
I keep hearing great, great things about this novel. After the Auster, it will be the next tome I'm going to sink my teeth into.

Leviathan by Paul Auster
One of the Austers that I haven't read. I started it on the plane yesterday - so far, so good.

The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
It's been awhile since I've read any Atwood (not since Oryx and Crake came out). I had the hankering for some feminist Torontonian writing and the paperback has been kicking around my shelves for some time.