Unwanted book

31 01 2016

Man: I got this book for Christmas and I don’t want to read. Do you guys want it?

[Man hands me the book]

Me: Uh… a donation? Sure?

Rich: We can use it when we run out of toilet paper. Or better yet, we can use it in place of toilet paper right now!





Death of a Salesman

30 01 2016

Everyone considers this to be a classic play, and that is depressing as hell, which basically sold it for me. Maybe because I was prepared for depression, I wasn’t really all that depressed by it. Sure, the ending is devastating on different levels and I’m a fan of Miller’s criticism of the American dream, but some of the scenes seem to run too long and too repetitive. Still a decent read though.

I thought I’d take a picture of me in normal clothes for once. (Much to the relief of many, I’m sure)

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Business Affairs

12 01 2016

I technically read this last year but I’ve been terrible at posting pictures, so here it finally is. And if you’re wondering, yes, there are men with hard-ons in this library book. It’s great.

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Joke no more

7 01 2016

Patron: I’m returning these books but I noticed that this one wasn’t on the checkout receipt.

Me: Oh, okay. [in a highly, highly joking voice] It’s because you’re a thief! Haha.

Patron: That’s a mean thing to say.

Me: I was joking, I didn’t mean it.

Patron: If I was a thief, I wouldn’t be bringing this book back.

Me: Well, yeah, exactly.

[I check the book in]

Me: Okay. It’s fine.

Patron: What you said was actually really insulting.

Me: It was a joke! I was kidding!

Patron leaves in disgust while I consider never joking at work ever again.





The 4th Annual Aaron Book Awards

1 01 2016

Ah, it’s that time again already? A whole year’s gone by so quickly? Jeez. I don’t know what to say. Except that my mother is cleaning my bathroom right now because I haven’t cleaned it in a while and it annoys me because I specifically told her not to wash my bathroom because she uses gross chemicals. Note to self: clean bathroom more often next year.

At the end of last year, I wanted to try and even out the different genres of material I was reading, since I found that I read very few plays and much more novels and YA books. For the most part, it worked quite well, though I found that sometimes the order got messed up whenever a book abruptly came in for me that I had request a while back and then I’d have to put down whatever I was reading in favour of it). I read or attempted to read total of 41 books, which is up from last year (although I did count a number of picture books that took all of a minute to read).

And now… let’s begin!

Best Non-fiction Book

Winner: No Logo — Naomi Klein

An infuriating and depressing look at the state of the world. I don’t remember feeling so angry while reading something in a really long time. And the saddest thing is, sweatshops and brands still have a ton of power except these days, no one cares anymore.

Nominees:
No Logo — Naomi Klein
Library Architecture + Design
— Manuela Roth
The Ethical Slut — Dossie Easton
Business Affairs

Best Play

Winner: King Lear — William Shakespeare

I feel like it’s unfair to have Shakespeare in this category and I almost decided not to include him simply because, well, he’s Shakespeare. But I realized Dickens, Rushdie, L.M. Montgomery are all still competing against modern authors, so it didn’t seem fair to only exclude Shakespeare.

I do feel like I have to give big props to Christopher Durang for writing two brilliant and hilarious plays. Laughing Wild would’ve won if not for the Bard.

Baby with the Bathwater — Christopher Durang
Laughing Wild
— Christopher Durang
King Lear — William Shakespeare
Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde — Moisés Kaufman
The Comedy of Errors — William Shakespeare

Best Graphic Novel

Winner: Maus — Art Spiegelman

No contest here.

American Born Chinese — Gene Yuen
Shirtlifter — Steve MacIsaac
Fun Home — Alison Bechdel
The Book of Boy Trouble
Maus — Art Spiegelman

Best Children’s Book

Winner: Anne of Green Gables — L.M. Montgomery

Surprised? I am too. Not to say that Anne of Green Gables is bad, but the best kid’s book I read this year? Yeah. I guess so.

Cat Champions — Rob Laidlaw
Swallows and Amazons — Arthur Ransome
What Will Fat Cat Sit On? –Jan Thomas
Anne of Green Gables — L.M. Montgomery
How to Speak Cat — Sarah Whitehead
Cats Meow — Pam Scheunemann
A Christmas Carol — Charles Dickens
A Castle Full of Cats — Ruth Sanderson
The Wind in the Willows — Kenneth Grahame

Best Gay/Queer Book

Winner: Business Affairs

It certainly is the gayest.

Also, I’m not sure about having this category or not.

The Geography of Pluto — Christopher DiRaddo
Fun Home — Alison Bechdel
Shirtlifter — Steve MacIsaac
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe — Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Business Affairs

Best Memoir/Autobiography

Winner: Shaking It Rough — Andreas Schroeder

Yes, I know I’m biased because Andreas used to be my teacher. But also, this is a really good book with some great writing. And also I’m biased.

Tiger Mother Son of a Bitch (Only to be stated here because I attempted to read it and gave up because it was godawful)
Yes Please — Amy Poehler
Fun Home — Alison Bechdel
Shaking It Rough — Andreas Schroeder
Maus — Art Spiegelman

Best YA Novel

Winner: The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen — Susin Neilsen

I’m a sucker for sadness. And Canadian authors!

American Born Chinese — Gene Yuen
The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen — Susin Neilsen
Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story — David Levithan
The Porcupine of Truth — Bill Konigsberg
How I Live Now — Meg Rosoff
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe — Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Another Day — David Levithan

Best Fiction book/Novel

Winner: The Road — Cormac McCarthy

I almost chose The Bone Clocks but then I saw that I had rated The Road five stars and The Bone Clocks only four. It’s hard to pick The Road when it was one the first books I read last year and I don’t remember it as well as The Bone Clocks, which I read more recently. But like David Mitchell, I love McCarthy’s writing style. Also his bleakness is always appreciated.

The Road — Cormac McCarthy
The Bone Clocks — David Mitchell
Midnight’s Children — Salman Rushdie
Tenth of December — George Saunders
Slade House — David Mitchell
The Geography of Pluto — Christopher DiRaddo

Best Book of 2015

Winner: Maus — Art Spiegelman

Apparently I’ve chosen memoirs several years in a row now. It just goes to show you what a unique and impacting kind of experience it is to read them (ie. everyone should read more!).

Congrats to all the winners and hope to read some fantastic stuff this year!

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The Comedy of Errors

31 12 2015

After the devastation of Maus, I needed to read something lighter and more cheerful. The next genre on my reading list was Classic. I was about to pick a book when I realized that I always pick a book for Classic while Shakespeare’s plays continue to be unread. So I chose The Comedy of Errors because, well, I wanted a comedy. Sure, it might not have been the easiest read because if the language, but nonetheless it was enjoyable and clever.

Also, check out my new shirt from one of my favourite books! :)

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Maus

29 12 2015

Man, I’m really behind on these pics. I finished Maus quite a while back, and god was it ever a sad read. I wasn’t expecting to constantly feel sad every time another character died–which was often, by the way. This is essential reading for all those interested in graphic novels.

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