Tuesday, March 24, 2015

In Which I am Busy

Hi poor deserted blog.   I have been swamped with my real job lately as is per usual this time of year and I feel like I have been abandoning everything else.

Here is what I have been reading

Jacqueline Winspear ( although guys SERIOUSLY SERIOUSLY SERIOUSLY she throws us all for a loop in the most recent Maisie! Holy Cow! )

I read a book called The Bookseller which I liked better in theory than on page.

I also read (Finally) The Postmistress.

I also read some cute romances

The Beast Takes a Bride by Teresa Medeiros

The Scoundrel and the Debutante by Julia London ( from Sourcebooks, review copy)

The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl (from Random House, review copy)

The Duke's Disaster by Grace Burrows ( review copy from SourceBooks)

I read The Crimson Cord by Jill Eileen Smith (YAY FOR RAHAB)

And I am still working through the Molly Murphys by Rhys Bowen (most of them for the second time )

I also read Frog Music by Emma Donoghue and it was exceptional. I read it in one sitting on a plane.  I love her stuff---novels and short stories--- so this comes highly recommended

In theatre, Melanie and I went to see Harper Regan at Canstage starring Molly Parker and neither of us were impressed with some of the directorial choices ---though we both thought the acting was fabulous.

I also attended a friend's fabulous, Disney-infused wedding at the Palais Royale.

A REAL Toronto landmark.

And around the web?

I wrote my first ever editorial letter to my home paper 

In film, I saw the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel  and it was tres cute.  And while in Newfoundland last week, a colleague and I saw Cinderella! I die, Horatio!

On the plane over here to British Columbia ( where I currently am for work, nestled in the heart of the beautiful Okanagan Valley), I watched most of the adorable faith-based Hallmark series Signed, Sealed, Delivered.  Guys, this guy is MY guy.  This guy, Oliver!  SIGH! It's just too adorable and quirky and to die FOR~   I love this show.  It is an homage to the power of the past and lasting beuaty of the printed word.  Everty letter sent is sent in an act of faith. Great guest stars ( Valerie Harper! Carol Burnett) and a subtle Christian sensibility that is never a bludgeon over the head. Highly thematic and emotional resonant.  I love it

observe: rachel's ideal man. he dances, quotes Shakespeare, loves the word "eschew" , sings in the church choir.  is a complete and utter gentleman. 

Over on Edgy Inspirational Romance, I was able to provide you with a glimpse of some of my favourite movies featuring writers as lead characters!  Becoming Jane! Bright Star! Little Women!

Melanie and I are off to see this on Saturday 

Keep you posted.

Also, if you have not had the opportunity to fall in love with the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on netflix, I highly recommend.

Instagram pics appropriated from recent Rachel events:

on the top of Signal Hill in snowy St John's
summerhill winery here in kelowna, BC

sunny downtown St. John's Newfoundland and JellyBean rows of houses. one of my favourite cities in the world. 

my darling friend's gorgeous reception at Toronto's historical Palais Royale 

summer hill winery in the Okanagan Valley, BC

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Theatre, Books, Out and About in Toronto!

<all pics from my instagram
I have been a busy little bunny of late so I am just going to smooosh a bunch of stuff into one blog post, alright?

Though it's been ridiculously cold, my city has been customarily gorgeous ( note. I knew from the time I was ten years old I wanted to move here and I am so happy that I am going on 15 years as a Torontonian!)

Once: guys, this show doesn’t have a plot. I was more than disappointed at the tepid storyline and writing.  I had not seen the film so I went in with no expectations.  The music was fab and the performances ---including the fact that the all-Canadian cast played several instruments a piece on stage--- was wonderful. But the story itself was lacking. Even my friend who is a fan of the film was disenchanted.
the chandelier at the Ed Mirvish 

Blithe Spirit : this was a LOT better.  I love the dapper, shiny Noel Coward touch taking romance and infusing it with problem after layered problem with high class witticisms.  This production starred Charles Edwards (from Downton Abbey) and Angela Lansbury in her Tony award winning ( and now Olivier nominated) role.  It was a great time and punctuated by title cards in each scene change accompanied by the dulcet Christine Ebersole.  I was very impressed.  Having been kinda meh about Once and Robin Hood, I was happy to enjoy the theatre!

My friend and I are off to see Molly Parker in Harper Regan tomorrow night at the Bluma Appel and hopefully it will keep the ball rolling.

Out and about in Toronto:
I had a close friend visiting and we crammed some awesome stuff into a short time:
AGO  we visited the Lodz Ghetto collection of Henryk Ross  --- this was unbelievable and is well worth it (included with gen admission ) showing here til May

Aquarium: honestly, I had not yet been to the Ripley's Aquarium and I made my friend Sonja go to Sharks after Dark with me.  This place is remarkable. Please go! Great for tourists because its near Union and in walking distance of CN Tower, the Round House, ACC, Rogers Centre, etc.,--- all that you Torontonian visitors enjoy


Blithe Spirit!

Mount Pleasant:   Now that the weather is nice and I can be outside for more than ten minutes without getting frostbite,  I have taken to epically walking about Toronto as is my norm.  I had not actually ever explored Mount Pleasant Cemetery and was delighted to ramble about Saturday and see the resting places of the Eatons, Westons, Masseys and even Sir Frederic Banting and William Lyon Mackenzie King. It is an opulent piece of history.

Also, the King Edward--- just because -- they make amazing manhattans! Sonja and I hit it up 
king eddy 

the Massey monument at Mt. Pleasant 


 A Touch of Stardust Kate Alcott has the best plots but there is dissonance between her voice and the time periods she writes in.  This could have had a lot more spark.

I have been re-reading my way through the Molly Murphyseries by Rhys Bowen. I started this series when the first released during my University years and they are just as shiny and brilliant. I love the characters. I love Molly's voice. I even love stupid frustrating Daniel and wonderful Jacob Singer and SID AND GUS 
So far, I have made it through (again ) the first six

Invisible by Ginny Yttrup
Listening Valley by D E Stevenson

I am also caught up on the Sebastian St Cyr series by CS Harris.   Why Kings Confess and Who Buries the Dead were in my reading the past few weeks.   Hero is the best! I wish there was more hero. In Who Buries the Dead, Jane Austen plays an integral part and Hero and Sebastian even name a cat Mr. Darcy.  There is also murder an intrigue and a fascinating historical layer that digs deeper into the past than even the Regency. A great series which will appeal to detective fiction fans, historical fiction fans and also romance fans!