Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 Book to Film Challenge


Do you like to read the book before the film comes out? I know I do! Year after year we a huge number of adaptations hitting the big screen and there are so many to enjoy it's hard to keep track of them all. This year, I've picked 12 titles with adaptations in the works, and will be reading one a month throughout the year and will share my thoughts on it over at my YouTube channel. See me talk about these 12 selections here. I've picked titles from a variety of genres and time periods and have included both fiction and non-fiction.

I enjoy diving into books without knowing too mcuh about them, but I have included just a smidge of information about the titles that may not be as widely known. For each title I've noted the anticipated release date for the film adaptation. The majority of the titles are scheduled for this year or next year, with a few yet to be determined. Release dates are always subject to change, but my reading schedule is firmly set.

Feel free to play along, or set your own Book to Film Challenge for the year!

2015 Book to Film Challenge


January 2015: Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Book is available via Public Domain *
Anticipated film release date: 2015, specific date TBC

February 2015: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
Non-fiction book on the historical events that inspired the book Moby Dick
Anticipated film release date: December 11, 2015 (REVISED)

March 2015: Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Book is available via Public Domain *
Anticipated film release date: May 1, 2015

April 2015: The Martian by Andy Weir
Science Fiction/Survivalist
Anticipated film release date: November 25, 2015

May 2015: Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
Irish drama set in the 1950's
Anticipated film release date: 2015, specific date TBC

June 2015: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Book is available via Public Domain *
Anticipated film release date: April 15, 2016 (REVISED)

July 2015: The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
Lesbian cult classic/pulp novel
Anticipated film release date: 2015, specific date TBC

August 2015: Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang
Science fiction novella available within the anthology "Stories of Your Life and Others"
Anticipated film release date: 2016

September 2015: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Film name is Victor Frankenstein
Book is available via Public Domain *
Anticipated film release date: October 2, 2015

October 2015: Your Voice in My Head by Emma Forrest
Non-fiction memoir
Anticipated film release date: Currently in development

November 2015: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Young adult fantasy novel about annual water horse races
Film is currently in development, release date TBC

December 2015: The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson
Story is available via Public Domain * in the book "Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Anderson"
Film is currently in pre-production, release date TBC

* Toronto Public Library Public Domain Database (no account/login required)

Love Books? Feel free to friend me on GoodReads.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

2014: My Year in Books


2014 Reading Wrap Up and Reflection

Books Read: 65
63 Fiction, 2 Non-Fiction

I went into 2014 with no reading goals. After several rough reading years, this felt like the right thing to do. In fact, I was so dedicated to it I actually created what I called "The Un-Plan", which was a plan...not to plan anything. As odd as it sounds, it really worked and it was exactly what I needed. I needed to follow my reading heart, wherever it was going to take me.

With that in mind, let's looks at some of the highlights of the year.



Shannon Reads "Those Books" Exploration

The biggest bookish thing for me in 2014 was embarking on the Shannon Reads "Those Books" Exploration. I compiled a list of 400+ titles from 5 different book lists to cover what I call "Those Books". Books that everyone seems to have read (or says they do), from classic books to zeitgeist books, books that are influential, books that are highly referenced, and books whose themes pop up in pop culture all the time. I started the exploration in May, and read seven of "Those Books" throughout the year. I have absolutely loved this exploration, it has sparked a deeper interest in books and has me engaged in reading on a whole new level.

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway was the first book I read for the "Those Books" Exploration, and it will always hold a special place in my heart for starting me on this journey. Another impactful read was Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald which took me ages to finish, but through it I was able to discover 99 New-to-Me Words as well as be able to Get Through a Reading Block. My favourites reads were A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews (also my favourite of the year as a whole), The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town by Stephen Leacock. The only title I didn't enjoy was Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James, although I am glad I finally did read it.



Favourite Books

There were many books that I loved in 2014, for all different reasons. A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Teows is hands-down my favourite of the year, it's a Canadian novel and it has that Canadian way of sneaking into your heart when you aren't looking. I hesitate to do a run of the mill description because that doesn't feel like it does the book justice, so instead I will say it's insightful, curious, painful and sensitive. I loved it. When I finished reading it, I just held the book and stared into space. I didn't want to jump into another book, but rather sit and stay with this one.

Another of my faves is another Canadian pick: Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston. It is set in New York and follows a young actress who is performing in A Midsummer's Night's Dream, and has a hidden world where where fairies are real. Theatre, fairies, ... I didn't need to know anymore than that to be hooked. It's a YA title, and I flew through it, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

For the first time I decided to read a spooky book in October, and for this I chose The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Unfortunately I didn't finish reading it in October (it was too scary to read at night!), but I did end up loving it. It was thematically deeper than I expected and was expertly written. I took down a lot of quotes while reading it it, and "Insist on your cup of stars." is one that sticks with me. I imagine this will be delightful book to re-read. Quite a surpirze from a book that was made into what I consider the scariest films of all time.



Book to Film and TV Adaptations

It's no secret that I'm a fan of reading adaptations. I've known and shared this for years. I also know that I love reading book to film adaptations before the film happen, and preferably before trailer or casting information is out so I can visualize the characters without being influenced. But this year I also realized that for book to TV adaptations, I would rather watch the show first and then read the book. This was a huge revelation, and the reasoning came down to the fact that I like to think about all the possibilities of what could happen in the show and if I have read the book that mystery is gone (unless they make changes). Knowing this is a huge relief too, because it takes the pressure off trying to finish any books before series come out AND it lets me enjoy reading the book afterwards, which I did several times this year.

Book to Film titles I enjoyed reading this year including Labor Day by Joyce Maynard and The Maze Runner by James Dasher , which I have been trying to read this one for years. On the Book to TV side of things, I quite enjoyed reading The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson (A Walt Longmire Mystery #1), which is connected to the TV series Longmire which I only just found and fell in love with this year. I also appreciated reading Hemlock Grove: or, The Wise Wolf by Brian McGreevy, which the Netflix series Hemlock Grove was based on. It's a bit of a confusing read, even though I had watched the first season which this follows, but I did find some fascinating character insights which is what I like in this kind of read.


Favourite Author Alert

I remember watching a YouTube Book Tag at some point this year that was about favourite authors. I felt completely stumped with not being able to think of any authors that I add as a favourite, beyond the same list I would have come up with 20 years ago. I really wasn't thinking about books in terms of authors at all (sorry, writers!). And then I read Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. And then The Graveyard book by Neil Gaiman. And I loved them both dearly and I just want to give him a hug. I think it's safe to say Neil Gaiman is likely now one of my favourite authors. The worlds he creates are so fantastic, and the characters so wondrous. I fell in love with those books, hard.



Harlequin Faves

Given that 17 of the 65 books I read in 2014 were Harlequins, I think it's only fair to share the ones I loved this year. I've been very lightly continuing my Harlequin exploration of trying out at least one book from each of their lines. This year I managed to dive into both Harlequin KISS and Superromance. I LOVE the KISS title I read, The Dance Off by Ally Blake, it was very flirty and fun and had a proactive female protagonist! What a thought. And, it has a dance studio setting which seriously, why hasn't anyone else thought of that for romance novels? The Superromance I read was That Wild Cowboy by Lenora Worth, and I really enjoyed it. The difference with the Superromance line is that that they are longer stories. That actually wasn't the draw, it was the female TV producer wrangling in a cowboy to be on a reality TV series that was the pull. Although I did enjoy this one, it felt clear that it was the story I enjoyed not the fact it was a longer book.

My absolute favourite Harlequin of the year was a Harlequin Historical called To Tempt a Viking by Michelle Willingham and it was in second of the Forbidden Vikings miniseries. I was literally waiting for this one to be released so I could read it. The characters were introduced in the previous book in the miniseries, and I knew I wanted to find out where their story would go. I now always keep my eye out for what Michelle Willingham is writing, and hope there will be more viking ones in the future!



Habit Changes and A-ha's

One of the big changes I made this year was to reading a lot less YA (Young Adult) novels. I still have a few series I'm enjoying, and I'll admit I've even started a new series or two, but generally I was feeling like I wasn't enjoying YA as much. Although they are often enjoyable light reads, all too often I could easily predict what would happen ages before it did. I'm not pulling the plug entirely, but I find I enjoy it more if I sprinkle it throughout the year as opposed to have it be the bread and butter of my reading.

Other big changes include actively decided not to finish reading a book for the first time, ever. That was huge for me. Plus, I've realized that reading any super-hyped books, trendy, or brand spanking new releases that everyone seems to be talking about, doesn't serve me well. The few times I've tried to jump on this train, I haven't enjoyed the books. As much as I love being in the know, the fact that this has fell flat for me time and again lets me know it is time to let it go.

Another big realization was that I don't read a lot of science fiction, which I consider to be one of my favourite genres. I think I do, and I often love it when I read it, but I don't read a lot of it. In all of 2014 the only science fiction title I read was Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke. I had some issues with it (mostly gender stuff, and given when it was written it's not surprizing), but otherwise it was a fascinating read and had a true science fiction heart to it. I really want to add scifi back to the mix of what I'm regularly reading.



YouTube

This year I've also being sharing my reading and thoughts on books over at YouTube. As much as I love the idea about writing about books, I find I'm much more of a talker about them than a writer about them. Throughout 2014 I shared 50 book and reading related vlogs. Youtube, or "BookTube" as bookish folks call it, has a thriving community of people that love books and it's wonderful to connect with like minded folks from around the world about the awesomeness of books. I started the Shannon Reads "Those Books" Exploration on YouTube and have reviewed all of the books I've read for the exploration over at my YouTube channel, which is the most consistent thing I've been able to do all year! Speaking of, if you'd rather hear me chat though what my year was like, I did just that here:


Overall I'm very happy with how 2014 went in terms of reading. There were so many amazing books that I enjoyed, I became more directed in my reading choices and have read more than I have in many years prior. This feels absolutely wonderful.

If you want to keep up to date with what I'm reading and how I feel about the books I read, please swing by my YouTube channel or friend me on GoodReads.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Time Capsule: January 2015




Welcome to 2015! New year, and I'm returning to doing time capsules because I love doing time capsules! I did a few last year, but would love to keep this practice up throughout 2015 as it gives such a sense of time and is a great way to share. Whether it's something on my mind, a book on my nightstand or sight and sound transmitting through the airwaves, this is what I'm engaged with this month. Feel free to play along!


1. What are you reading?
I'm reading a few things at the moment: Black Beauty by Anna Sewell for the 2015 Book to Film Challenge (more details to follow!) and The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I'm also reading Christopher's Diary: Secrets of Foxworth by VC Andrews (in name only, as it's a recent book) which is supposed to be Flowers in the Attic from Christopher's perspective, but so far it's actually more of a reaction to someone reading his diary. I'm a fair way in and still waiting for it to quite get to the point of the Attic.


2. What are you watching?
So many new shows are starting, but the only one I've caught so far is Galavant which is a period musical comedy. And it's just that. A forlorn/disgraced fighter type, an oddly goofy king, a potential quest for love and vengeance and of course... a jester. I'm finding it oddly entertaining. On a totally different note, I'm re-watching Broadchurch Season 1 to get revved up for the Season 2 premiere which airs on January 11, 2015. After watching Gracepoint the two shows and their characters kind of merged in my brain and I need to get them separated from each other.


3. What are you listening to?
I've been loving all the sales at the Google Play store and got a bunch of stuff. I've been particularly taken with the Hozier album even though I didn't take to the big song Take Me To Church right away, but after seeing him perform on The Voice I was very impressed and then watching the video I saw the song from a completely different level (you can see him discuss the song and video here). The rest of the album is great too, moody and dark but not exclusively so. One of my favourites is Someone New which has a beautiful sweetness to it. I definitely want to listen to more Canadian music this year, and I was inspired to buy Shawn Mendes EP after seeing him on TV for the New Years Eve celebration and he was really good (and I love the video for Life of the Party). I'm also enjoying Gordon Lightfoot's Gord's Gold best of collection. Because seriously... I know and love a lot of the songs, so why not enjoy more?


4. What are you playing?
This is a new category to the time capsule, as I can feel that gaming will be a nice break for me these days and I want to make good use of my PS4. I'm currently playing Destiny, although I still barely have any understanding of the game beyond shoot stuff (getting better at), follow ghost's instructions, and when in doubt go to town to get a quest-type-thing. Although I'm not totally new to gaming, it's my first console game since the Sonic the Hedgehog days and it's my first first person shooter ever. I die...a lot. Aiming is hard. I like to punch things, that's much simpler and you can get much closer. Thank goodness I made a tank character. I'm also loving the game The Unfinished Swan...it starts off all white and you throw paint to reveal the world and navigate through. Loving it!

5. What are you loving?
I'm loving being cozy warm when it's cold outside! We've had it mild a lot of this winter so far, but it feels that like ship has sailed.



6. What are you creating?
I'm still working on my cabled afghan (which I would love to finish) and I'm also working on my vision cards for 2015.

7. What's are you thinking about?
Words are on my mind a lot. What words mean, defining them, collecting them to define them. I bought a word a day calendar, but so far those words have either been ones I already know or words I don't think I'll ever use. I have to keep my ear to the ground for words that are somewhere in between.

8. What are you looking forward to?
I'm looking forward to 2015! I have a feeling it's going to be an awesome year.

9. What's the theme of today, today?
The theme is catching up and getting current! I'm really hoping to tie a bow on the last of my 2014-things to feel fulling in this year.


Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Shannon Reads "Those Books" Exploration


I started the Shannon Reads "Those Books" Exploration in May 2014. I was inspired to expand my reading horizons and comfort zone by diving into what I call "Those Books". They are those books that everyone seems to have read (or says they do), from classic books or zeitgeist books, books that are influential, books that are highly referenced, books that well loved and books whose themes appear again and again in pop culture.

I created the "Those Books" list from compiling the following 5 lists: Modern Library 100 Best Novels, The 100 Favorite Novels of Librarians List, Book Riots Zero to Well Read List, 25 Classic Canadian Novels and BBC The Big Read.

Oddly, I'm not committing to a deadline or even to finish reading all of the books (It's 404 titles!). My goal here is to enjoy books, to expand my reading horizons, to understand literature better and hopefully understand the world better. If I had any goal-within-a-goal for this exploration, it would be to read all Canadian titles. I would also like to try at least one book by any author that has multiple books on the list. But this is about reading enjoyment, so I'm not going to get too strict. I want to enjoy the process and see where this journey takes me.

I am reviewing of all the books that I read from this list over on my YouTube channel, or click through the link on the title of the book below.

An Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain +
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle +
Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durell
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll *
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
The Ambassadors by Henry James
American Pastoral by Philip Roth *
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison *
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery *
Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara
Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer *
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Atlas Strugged by Ayn Rand
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Bad Girls by Jacqueline Wilson
The Beach by Alex Garland
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver *
Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen
Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace
A Bend in the River by V.S. Naipaul
Beowulf by Anonymous
The BFG by Roald Dahl
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Paterson
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers +
Call of the Wild by Jack London
Candide by Voltaire
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
Casino Royale by Ian Fleming *
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl *
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Chesapeake by James Michener
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Christy by Catherine Marshall
The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel *
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett *
The Complete Stories of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor by Flannery O’Connor
A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown +
A Dance to the Music of Time (Series) by Anthony Powell
Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
The Dare Game by Jacqueline Wilson +
Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen
Deliverance by James Dickey
The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
The Diviners by Margaret Laurence
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Double Act by Jacqueline Wilson
The Double Hook by Sheila Watson
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin
Dune by Frank Herbert *
Dustbin Baby by Jacqueline Wilson
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Emma by Jane Austen
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card *
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Fifth Business by Robertson Davies *
The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett +
Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James *
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Finnegans Wake by James Jones
Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews *
Follow the River by James Alexander Thom
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy *
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg
From Here to Eternity by James Jones
Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin *
Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers +
George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl
Giants in the Earth / Verdens Grøde by Ole Edvart Rølvaag *
The Ginger Man by J.P. Donleavy
Girls in Love by Jacqueline Wilson *
Girls in Tears by Jacqueline Wilson +
Girls Out Late by Jacqueline Wilson +
The Giver by Lois Lowry *
Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
The God of Small Things by Suzanna Arundhati Roy
The Godfather by Mario Puzo *
The Golden Bowl by Henry James
The Golden Dog by William Kirby
The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing *
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
Goosebumps by R. L. Stine *
Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Green Grass Running Water by Thomas King
The Green Mile by Stephen King
Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett +
Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling *
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling +
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling +
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling +
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams *
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Hogfather by Terry Pratchett +
Holes by Louis Sachar *
The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle +
A House for Mr Biswas by V.S. Naipaul
House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
Howard’s End by E.M. Forster
Howl by Allen Ginsberg
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins *
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
I, Claudius by Robert Graves +
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
if on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino
The Iliad by Homer
The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson
In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje
The Inferno by Dante *
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Ironweed by William Kennedy +
It by Stephen King
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer *
Katherine by Anya Seton aka Ann Seton Chase
Kim by Rudyard Kipling
Kristen Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Light in August by William Faulkner
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis *
The Little Prince / Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Lola Rose by Jacqueline Wilson
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore
Lost Horizon by James Hilton
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Loving by Henry Green
Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton +
Magician by Raymond E. Feist *
The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington +
The Magus by John Fowles
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Man and Boy by Tony Parsons *
Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian *
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Matilda by Roald Dahl
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett +
Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Misery by Stephen King
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley *
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
Mort by Terry Pratchett +
The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie +
My Ántonia by Willa Cather
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Native Son by Richard Wright
Night Watch by Terry Pratchett +
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod
Nostromo by Joseph Conrad
Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman *
The Odyssey by Homer
Oedipus the King by Sophocles
Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
The Once and Future King by T.H. White
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon *
The Outlander / Le Survenant by Germaine Guèvremont
Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
Papillon by Henri Charrière
Parade’s End by Ford Madox Ford
A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler
Perfume by Patrick Süskind
Persuasion by Jane Austen
The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver +
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett *
Point Blanc by Anthony Horowitz +
Point Counter Point by Aldous Huxley
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Jones
Possession by A.S. Byatt
The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
A Prayer fof Owen Meany by John Irving
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot *
Rabbit, Run by John Updike *
The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell
Ragtime by Emily Doctorow
The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence *
Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett +
Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier
River God by Wilbur Smith *
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor +
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
Roughing It in the Bush: or Life in Canada by Susanna Moodie
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally
Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend *
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Secrets by Jacqueline Wilson
The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
Shōgun by James Clavell +
Silas Marner by George Eliot
The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz +
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Sleepovers by Jacqueline Wilson
Small Gods by Terry Pratchett +
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
Soul Music by Terry Pratchett +
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
The Stand by Stephen King
Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz *
The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson *
The Studs Lonigan Trilogy by James T. Farrell
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
The Suitcase Kid by Jacqueline Wilson
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon *
Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town by Stephen Leacock
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome *
Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust *
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
The Gospels
The Pentateuch
Their Eyes Were Watching by Zora Neale Hurston
They Used to Play on Grass by Terry Venables and Gordon Williams
Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett +
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe *
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
The Thirty-nine Steps by John Buchan
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
Time and Again by Jack Finney *
The Tin Flute / Bonheur D’Occasion by Gabrielle Roy
Tisha by Robert Specht
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell
A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
The Truth by Terry Pratchett +
The Twits by Roald Dahl
Two Solitudes by Hugh Maclennan
U.S.A.(trilogy) by John Dos Passos
Ulysses by James Jones
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Under the Net by Iris Murdoch
Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Vicky Angel by Jacqueline Wilson
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Volkswagen Blues by Jacques Poulin
Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee
The Wapshot Chronicle by John Cheever
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
Watchmen by Alan Moore
Watership Down by Richard Adams
The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler
Who Has Seen the Wind by W.O. Mitchell
Wide Sargasson Sea by Jean Rhys
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett +
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence +
The World According to Garp by John Irving
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett +
Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm

* indicates first book in a series
+ indicates book is in a series, but is not the first book

All books read from this list are reviewed over at my YouTube channel. Also check out Tumblr for the Shannon Reads "Those Books" Exploration.

Feel free to friend me on GoodReads. Happy Reading!

Monday, January 05, 2015

Winter TV 2015 ~ Where to Watch TV Shows Online in Canada


Welcome to 2015! A new year means a new listing for where to watch TV online, Winter style.

We have a lot of new and returning shows to look forward to this winter. I am particularly excited for new shows like Marvel's Agent Carter, Empire, Schitt's Creek, 12 Monkeys, Ascension and the The Book of Negros miniseries. There are also returning shows like Broadchurch Season 2, 19-2 Season 2, Fixer Upper Season 2, Bitten Season 2 (wow, that's a lot of second seasons!) and Glee's final season. We'll also have more reality TV including The Voice Season 8 and the epicness of Survivor which will enter it's 30th season.

If you want to hear more about the shows I'm excited for, check out my vlogs for New Shows Starting in January and Returning Shows Starting in January over at my YouTube channel. I do these previews monthly, so be sure the check back of TV Musings Playlist for more videos throughout the year.

This listing is shows that began as of January 2015 or have continued through the Fall of 2014. If there is an earlier show you are looking for, feel free to check the Fall 2014 TV Listing or Summer 2014 TV Listing. Online viewing has been pretty consistent recently of having only the most recent episode available online for 1 week after broadcast, with exceptions for Canadian series (or co-pros) like Haven, Lost Girl, and House of Bryan: In the Sticks which often have the full season (or series) available.

This list will be updated as new shows become available at their legitimate Canadian Broadcasters websites including CBC, CTV and CTV2, Global, CityTV, Space, Showcase, Slice, HGTV Canada, Food Network, Lifetime Canada, Discovery and History.

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Can't find what you are looking for? Try the individual Canadian TV broadcasters websites video pages:

Sadly, there are always a handful of shows that are not available to watch online, such as Outlander which is one of my new faves, and if history repeats itself Supernatural, The Originals and The Walking Dead all fall into this category. The Biggest Loser S16 Glory Days is another one that's not online, having switched from CityTY to CTS. For these shows, you often have the option to buy via iTunes or at the Google Play Store. The big pay off there is: no commercials!

For online-only viewers, shows often are available for 1 week starting the day after they air, unless you have a cable subscription and can log into the TV station website. The exception to the rule is Canadian shows on specialty channels, which often have the entire season/series available online. Keep an eye on the shows you enjoy and plan your viewing accordingly :)
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* A few online viewing options do not have a specific page for watching a singular show, but rather a video player for watching any of their offerings. In those cases I've put the link to the broadcasters website, as opposed to the show. Then either select the show if it's displayed prominently, or click their video library, select your show, the season and then the episode.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 6 Archive & Reflection

Images Source: TrekCore

My rewatch of Season 6 was dramatically different than any other season, as it spanned a year and a half to watch it. Various reasons come into play here, and I almost didn't come back to this project and thought it would be better to either stop watching it, or stop sharing that I was watching it. And I couldn't. I just couldn't. To not finish felt possible, but to keep watching and not share? That's just not the Shannon way. It took a bit to get back into the groove of it, but I did hit my stride again, after decided to change how I'm sharing the experience. I don't know why sharing it is so important to me, but it is. So here we are.

I usually do pretty comprehensive summaries of the seasons, looking at different themes, additions or changes to the cast, and fun geeky insights. Given that I watched a third in the Spring of 2013, another third in Fall of 2013 and the final third here at the end of 2014 it's challenging to see it from that perspective. I'm still going to try my hand at that, but it might be a little less precise than usual even if I still put a lot of heart into it.


Bad joke, I know. There aren't too many jokes in the sixth season as it's quite a dark one filled with abductions, holodeck programs going awry and a few ominous 2-parters. It does have several of my favourites though, including the story behind Picard artificial heart in 6.15 Tapestry, time stopping in spherical pockets in 6.25 Timescape and the great baryon sweep episode of 6.18 Starship Mine. The one lighthearted one I can think of is 6.07 Rascals where Picard, Ro, Keiko and Guinan are transported into kids, and has the fabulous scene of a kid-version of Picard demanding to see his Dad "Now, now, now, now, NOW!"

The six season also includes some of my favourite of the series, including scary ones including 6.05 Schisms where aliens are abducting crew members through a subspace rift and experiment on them, but it doesn't come to light until the affected crew members recreating it on the holodeck. I still find that one scary. We also get to see the fascinating imagery of Data's dreams in 6.16 Birthright, Part I. But of my all time favourite Trek episodes is in season six, and it isn't an easy watch, it's the one where Picard is captured and tortured by Cardassins in 6.11 Chain of Command, Part II. Or "There are FOUR stars" as I tend to call it.



We also have some great Riker episodes this season including 6.21 Frame of Mind where it starts with him in a play about someone whose sanity is challenged, and then he appears to be in that position on an alien planet. It's so scary! And it's such a brilliant performance by Jonathan Frakes, I think my fave of his of the series. I also really enjoyed watching 6.24 Second Chances, where a second Riker appears 8 years after a transporter malfunction. It has some not great same-actor-1-shot moments, but I enjoyed the themes it explored much more on this rewatch than I have previously. It's a fascinating concept: how would you react to meeting your double?


There also were a few doozies this season, including a coalescent being pretending to be a dog in 6.13 Aquiel, Beverly pulling together scientists to hear our a Ferengi on his metaphasic shielding technique in 6.22 Suspicions and a clone version of the legendary Klingon Kahless appearing in 6.23 Rightful Heir.



As always, there are some wild character moments and guest stars throughout the season. It's quite a season for Troi, she's overtaken and has the life drawn from her in 6.03 Man of the People, switches to standard Starfleet uniform at the request of the relief captain in 6.10 Chain of Command, Part I and goes undercover as a Romulan in 6.14 Face of the Enemy. One of the biggest oh-my's of the season for me was when Picard has a romantic relationship on the ship in 6.19 Lessons.

Guest stars are abundant in season 6, and we even two Trek crossovers! Scotty from The Original Series appears 6.04 Relics and Bashir from Deep Space Nine comes aboard in 6.16 Birthright, Part I. For reoccurring guest stars, we get to see Barclay (rightfully) fearful of transporter in 6.02 Realm of Fear and then helps out with a pesky Moriarty 6.12 Ship in a Bottle. Q stops by to help out a coming-of-age Q in 6.06 True Q and messes with Picard in 6.15 Tapestry. We end off the season with an appearance from Data's brother Lore in 6.26 Descent.



As with the past few seasons, we end on a cliffhanger with 6.26 Descent. I remember this one clearly so it's not too tense to go from one season to the next, but I'm very much looking forward to diving into the seventh and final season. Until there, here's text and image listing of my archive for the sixth season.

Archive of Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Six Posts
6.01 Time's Arrow, Part II
6.02 Realm of Fear
6.03 Man of the People
6.04 Relics
6.05 Schisms
6.06 True Q
6.07 Rascals
6.08 A Fistful of Datas
6.09 The Quality of Life
6.10 Chain of Command, Part I
6.11 Chain of Command, Part II
6.12 Ship in a Bottle
6.13 Aquiel
6.14 Face of the Enemy
6.15 Tapestry
6.16 Birthright, Part I
6.17 Birthright, Part II
6.18 Starship Mine
6.19 Lessons
6.20 The Chase
6.21 Frame of Mind
6.22 Suspicions
6.23 Rightful Heir
6.24 Second Chances
6.25 Timescape
6.26 Descent

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 6 in Pictures

















Images Source: TrekCore