Superfluous Matter
Books - The Short Novels of John Steinbeck

My mom took note of my enjoyment of The Grapes of Wrath and for Christmas picked up this collection of Steinbeck's short novels for me. It includes "Torilla Flat," "The Moon Is Down," "The Red Pony," "Of Mice And Men," "Cannery Row" and "The Pearl."

None of the novels are big, but together they make for a rather large book. With some hesitation about the weight I brought it on my recent canoe trip. There was more rain than expected so I'm glad I brought a big book because it was just long enough to last the duration.

All of the novels were fantastic, but I particularly enjoyed "The Moon Is Down" for its biting and original satire of war and "Cannery Row" for its heartwarming and seemingly disconnected set of stories concerning the inhabitants of a fairly destitute neighbourhood in California. "The Pearl" was also great for its more myth-like structure.

Steinbeck is a fantastic author and I'm so glad my mom picked this collection up for me because I'm not sure I would have got to all of the novels on my own.

Books - The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

Although a short book, this one took me a while to finish as I was reading it while getting ready for my canoe trip and hosting Patrick and Toni and Kiera before Sue's wedding. I managed to finish it before leaving but it remains a bit muddled in my mind. Regardless, I definitely enjoyed the book as I've enjoyed all of Vonnegut's work. His blend of science fiction and social commentary is fantastic and I love how his stories always seem to just snap into place at the end. Like he plans them or something.

Canoe Arctic

I'm back from my canoe trip on the Thelon River in the Northwest Territories. It was fantastic!! The weather was challenging at times and at other times the bugs were insane but overall the experience was truly amazing. The tundra is unlike anywhere I've been before and I saw lots of really cool plants and animals. My group and I paddled over 210 kilometres including many sets of rapids and a single big portage. All seven other people on the trip were fun and interesting and our guide Alex was brilliant.

I'll be starting a trip journal with lots of photos soon, but I probably won't be done before the end of August.

2013-06 | 2013-08