Fact: It’s hard to concentrate on anything in July. Factor in new challenges on the job (woot!) and French classes at the university, and suddenly I seem to have very little time to focus on books…. So little time that I discovered this a couple days ago, and didn’t have time to blog about it.

(Had I had time to blog about it, I think I might have mumbled about the selections being kind of pretentious…. And how most Lost clues can be found through Wikipedia rather than reading all things Catch 22 related…. Then I would have said something about how I love Sawyer and don’t you love the idea of a beautiful man lying stranded on a beach somewhere reading you novels? Even if they are pretentious? And then I would have rolled my eyes at myself and wondered if I had just made a sexist comment. I may have decided yes, but then I may have shrugged and gotten on with it.)

Myth: My hometown is an eight hour drive from Edmonton. In fact, it is closer to nine hours. Eleven if you stop in Calgary to visit old friends and make cooing sounds at and take pictures of their adorable, brilliant child.

How do you get through nine hours of hardcore driving, you ask? Well, first of all, you take time out to explore the gorgeous, gorgeous mountains.

Then, you make sure to pack yourself snacks. I suggest wine gums, because you’ll never eat the whole bag in one sitting. Also, Tim Hortons iced cappuccinos with a shot of hazelnut. Also, music:
  1. Breathe, Sia (do not follow this link if you do not want the end of Six Feet Under ruined for you)
  2. Take Me Home Country Roads, John Denver
  3. Yesterday’s Gone, Bernard Fanning
  4. Everyday is a Winding Road, Sheryl Crow
  5. Tears Dry on Their Own, Amy Winehouse
  6. Foux du fafa, Flight of the Conchords
  7. Going Home, MoZella
  8. Les Champs-Elysees, Joe Dassin
  9. Dreams, The Cranberries
  10. If You Were Gay, The Avenue Q Broadway Soundtrack (because singing showtunes keep you awake)
  11. If I Ever Leave This World Alive, Flogging Molly

Fact: When iTunes makes suggestions as to what I should by, based on my past purchases, it offers up the Macarena. Yes, you did read that correctly. The Macarena. Ah, Grade 9.

Other news….
  • Next book club book is The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.
  • I saw a man reading a J.D. Robb book on a bench along Rice Howard Way and I had to keep moving so as not to stare at him. (J.D. Robb is a pseudonym for Nora Roberts, who clearly writes romance novels. I know this because Nora Roberts was my favourite romance writer throughout high school and university. In her J.D. Robb science fiction form, she is my mom’s favourite writer.)
  • A clown said something creepy to me that I will not put in words here. His makeup was melting off his face, too. Keep children away from clowns.
  • I do not understand why no performer in the Street Performers Festival is willing to wear shorts that leave anything to the imagination.

Meanwhile, I’m still reading Jennifer Weiner’s latest. Have I ever mentioned she reminds me of a younger, snarkier Judy Blume? Maybe I haven’t because she never really has before…. In Certain Girls (by the way, for all my bragging, the British cover makes no sense, and the North American hardcover art is approximately ten times more appropriate for the story), Weiner flips back and forth between mother and daughter, chapter to chapter.

Joy, 13, is trying to make sense of her mother’s decade-old over-sexed fictionalized account of how she got pregnant, dumped her boyfriend, and somehow lived happily ever after. From snippets of said not-so-fictionalized account, one can see parts of Weiner’s Good in Bed (the prequel to Certain Girls). However, it’s way more over-the-top and the reader can totally see why it brings bile to young Joy’s throat. (It raises a good question -- would Danielle Steele’s daughter want to read the sex lives her mom imagines?)

Joy is trying to figure out where she fits in in this world, and whether anyone wanted her at all. Unbeknownst to her, her mother is struggling with whether or not to have another child. Having another child would mean hiring a surrogate and tons of other drama -- definitely the kind of stuff that will send Joy’s fragile world into a heightened tailspin.

Good summer reading, friends. Good summer reading.

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