Chick lit by Liane Moriarty

If you like to read about bitchy women, you'll love Australian author Liane Moriarty's new book, Big Little Lies. Even if you don't like to read about bitchy women there are lots of other things to appeal to you in this story such as, love, adultery, murder, mystery, domestic abuse and the complicated job of raising children in today's world. And there's a scene in the book where one of the characters describes erotic asphyxiation that prompted me to think about what the accusers of Jian Ghomeshi might have experienced.…

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What would Steve Jobs say?

Arianna Huffington made an interesting comment on Real Time With Bill Maher this week that echoed something I had been giving a lot of thought to lately. All the hype around the launch of the iWatch left her wondering what Steve Jobs would have thought about Apple's latest release of something "we didn't know we needed". In an earlier blog posting (Feeling uninspired, take a nap) I championed the merits of down-time. Experience has proven that we get our best ideas and think more creatively during periods of idleness or…

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Simone de Beauvoir is tough to assess

Attempting to review a book by Simone de Beauvoir means I must be either supremely stupid or incredibly naïve. I guess I'm a bit of both. Another reason for my caution is a throw-back to my high school English Literature classes when our excruciatingly boring teacher would attempt to wake us up by asking, "And what do you think Shakespeare meant by that?". I always think it's somewhat arrogant to presume to know what any author meant unless you ask him specifically. Two years ago I read a thoroughly enjoyable…

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Everyday life can be a mystery

The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins was a gift from a friend. Murder/mysteries are not a genre I read often but this one was captivating and I can see why it's a current best-seller. Rachel has been dumped by her husband Tom in favour of a prettier model and adding agony to insult, her replacement, Anna produced the baby with Tom that Rachel craved but did not conceive. Rachel is not successful in rebuilding her life. Moving in with a single female acquaintance from university, her drinking problem…

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Celebrating freedom for elephants

Ever since I was a young child growing up in the fifties, I've always hated circuses, and the main reason is the treatment of the animals. From a young age I instinctively knew that seeing lions, tigers and other wild animals being caged in small pens and forced to perform undignified circus acts to entertain humans was just wrong. At that time I didn't even know about bull hooks, chains and beatings, but my heart broke for those beautiful creatures living such miserable lives. I still have a similar reaction…

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Boomer’s family deals with parents’ legacy

Plum Johnson, author of They Left Us Everything is a Baby Boomer raised in Oakville, Ontario. In 1952, her British veteran father and southern American mother landed in the village when it was little more than a farming community with a few stores and a tiny population. Her family bought a nineteenth century twenty-three-room lakefront home with eight bedrooms for a few thousand dollars. They were only the third family to occupy the house which had originally been built as a summer cottage and where her parents lived for the next…

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