Books: What I’ve Been Reading

Winter¬†in Canada. It sucks. I have complained¬†so much about it (and I just can’t stop). It puts such a damper on my mood and motivation. I’ve tried to embrace it in the past, but, really, it just doesn’t work for me. I’ve been coping with the cold, dark days by watching a lot of television (I’m sort of completely sick of television now, too) and by reading more books¬†(rather than just my usual stack of magazines and list of blogs).

In addition to about a dozen academic books (for a fun-for-me project that I might share one day), I’ve read¬†the following…

gone-girl-book-cover-med

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

the-rosie-project-graeme-simsion

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

rosie effect

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

I’d recommend all three books. Gone Girl was a slow start for me, but once I got into it, I couldn’t stop reading it. It was amazing. The Rosie Project and Rose Effect were both amusing and interesting. Because¬†one of the main characters is a professor, I could relate.

I’ve also been reading a whole bunch of money and tax books. Here are some¬†of them:

White-Cabana-booksI think Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s books have been the most relevant,¬†useful, and¬†informative.

Design: Office Desks

It was one year ago today that I had my PhD defense (an oral exam, an examination of my research). It was a full, intense, and very special day. Even though the day flew by incredibly fast, I hope I remember the feelings I had that day for many years to come.

Considering the countless hours I spent at my desk during graduate school, I thought today’s celebratory post¬†could focus on some absolutely stunning offices and desks.

white-office

I love the chandelier (via My Luscious Life). 

timthumb

I love the big window (via TaloSanomat). 

asuntomessut_jyvaskyla_6_preview

I love the desk and copper accents (via Avotakka).

51bd6e1cd9127e2677001df1._w.540_s.fit_

I love the black and white art (via Apartment Therapy).

pns1-550x890

I love the old desk (via Paper & Stitch).

d406925c0e2f6a41b4978833a9b7cf59

I love the sleek lamp and desk (via Pinterest).

desk_window_emmas_designblogg_53393228e087c3392ed45f5b

I love the twin desk area (via Emmas Blogg).

Aren’t these spaces lovely? Tell me that I’m not the only one who loves office design!

Books: My July Reading List

I¬†was never the reader in my family. I only started to really enjoy books when I was about 16. Since then, I’ve read a decent amount of books for pleasure, but most of¬†the books that I have read¬†in my adult life have really been all school and research related. I try to keep a few for-pleasure books in my rotation, but I don’t get through them as fast as I’d like. One of the things I wanted to do on my Floridian vacation was to read. And so that’s what I did.

Florida-White-Cabana-12

The Orenda by Joseph Boyden: This isn’t the type of book I’d naturally reach for, but a friend was telling me about it before I left, so when I saw it at the library (yes, that’s right, I go to the library when I’m in Florida), I thought I’d give it a try. After reading the first 10-20 pages, I didn’t actually think I was going to make it to the end, but then I really got into it, and I’m so glad I did. This award-winning Canadian novel is¬†beautifully¬†written. The historical narrative is set in the early 17th century, and depicts the struggle and conflict of native life in Canada.

The Jane Austin Marriage Manual by Kim Izzo: This one falls into the enjoyable chick lit category. It was a quick and mostly entertaining read. As the title suggests, it was a very Jane Austin type of story.

The Body Book by Cameron Diaz: This book can basically be summarized by the following statement:¬†the “secret”¬†to a healthy¬†life¬†is to eat healthy and exercise regularly. Obviously this is not really a surprise, right? There’s nothing really new or thought-provoking in this book, but¬†it’s¬†well-organized and an easy read.

Florida-White-Cabana-8Everyday is for the Thief by Teju Cole: A student I met earlier this year mentioned Teju Cole, and so I thought it was about time I focus on his writing. The reader follows the main character from NYC to Lagos, Nigeria. In this original work of fiction, the main character (who remains nameless) tries to make sense of the fraud he witnesses and the changes he has observed in his home country of Nigeria.

Thrive by Arianna Huffington: Do you remember the world pre-Huffington Post? I barely do! HuffPost is¬†the¬†go-to hot spot for news and¬†information. It was interesting to read Arianna’s stories and her approach to work and life (balance, people, balance!). She has some valuable pieces of advice¬†to help us thrive in achieving our goals.

Marry Smart: Advice for Finding The One by Susan Patton: This book was written by the author of that article advising women to find a husband while they’re young¬†before it’s too late. Ugh. The¬†book was ridiculous and¬†condescending. I really just hated it. The¬†writing was less than stellar, but I won’t even get started on that. If it wasn’t such a¬†quick and amusing (as in, how did this actually get published?) read, I would have stopped reading after page one.

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding: A great girly beach read. Who doesn’t feel a connection to Bridget Jones? I won’t spill the beans, but in this story, Bridget has aged, has kids, and learns all about social media.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova: I really enjoyed this book. Although the story is more sad than light-hearted, I liked the character development and the way the characters interacted with one another. They felt real. The main character, Alice, is a professor who is dealing with early onset Alzheimer’s. I saw myself in her at some points.

Get Smarter: Life and Business Lessons by Seymour Schulich:¬†The author is¬†the Schulich. If you’re in Canada and you attended a post-secondary institution, you¬†may have taken classes in a Schulich building. Schulich. Is. Everywhere. I¬†enjoyed Schulich’s¬†perspectives on business, philanthropy, and relationship building.

I also read Good Boss, Bad Boss¬†by Robert I. Sutton¬†(many worthwhile points)¬†and¬†a stack of amazing magazines (House & Home, Southern Living, Dwell, Martha Stewart,¬†Air Canada’s En Route, etc.). Beach time is the perfect time to get lost in texts!

I’ve¬†now got¬†two books on the go: Italo Calvino‘s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler and¬†Jennifer Weiner‘s Then Came You. Both are enjoyable so far!

And that’s about all I’ve been reading. It’s¬†been an eclectic mix of¬†texts this month!

Marketplace: Chapters-Indigo Spring Collection

Chapters-Indigo is one of those stores that is continually improving. Each season brings new home decor, fashion, beauty, and food and entertaining items, not to mention a variety of new and interesting books. I know I’m not alone when I say that spending an afternoon at Chapters-Indigo is really relaxing. If only I had more time, I would read every one of those best-selling books!

Anyway, I headed to Toronto’s Eaton Centre a couple of weeks ago to attend Chapters-Indigo spring kick-off. I snapped some photos of some of the things that caught my eye.

Mugs…why am I such a sucker for a good typographic mug? I’ve got most of the ones featured in these photos (I spoil myself regularly, it seems):

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-Mugs

The fashion/style department is the largest I’ve seen it, what with the jewelry, scarves, totes, clutches, and watches. The items are super cute.

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-Fashion

Chapters-Indigo has partnered with Etsy and has featured collections from 8 Etsy designers. Way to support artists, Indigo!

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-Etsy

I was surprised to see the¬†Nest¬†thermostat in the electronics department. Then again, I shouldn’t have been that surprised considering what a hot product it is for the design conscious customer.

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-Electronics-Notebooks

The selection of gourmet food and home decor items seems to be expanding. I loved the little jars of salt (reminds me of the jars I picked up in France earlier this year).

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-food & decorAnd some books…of course…wouldn’t be a bookstore without a great selection of books!

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-books

Photos by Jordana.