Ok, so this post is a month late, but I have a good excuse: new baby.
The past two summers, we have gone strawberry picking at a local farm. We like this one because it is easy to get to and they don’t use any chemical sprays on the berries. That second point was particularly important last summer when our daughter was 1.5 years old. She tried to eat the majority of the berries that she picked, so we didn’t worry about the berries’ safety. Strawberry picking is a fun activity to do as a family and works well with young children. Read more…
My wife is all about reading non-fiction these days, but I love me a good fantasy novel. Even a newborn could not prevent me from (gradually) indulging in a new trilogy called The Kingkiller Chronicle, which came highly recommended by friends (despite the terrible cover).
Briefly, here’s why the series is notable:
- The main character is your classic bard. He sings, sneaks, bluffs, and dabbles in the arcane. Not your typical orc-slashing protagonist.
- It’s written as an auto-biography, with the story gradually catching up to the current time.
- There are few characters. Contrast with other fantasy series where the characters could fill a phonebook.
- The author had a plan and is actually sticking to it: 3 days of storytelling, 1 book per day. No filler material to perpetuate the storyline.
There’s a small catch: only the first two books are out so far. The final book, tentatively titled “Doors of Stone”, probably won’t be out until 2015.
Fortunately for you, dear reader, I’ve figured out exactly what will happen, thanks in part to clues left behind by the author in the books.
As mentioned in Reading Non-Fiction, my goal is to share what motivated me to read the books and some thoughts that came from said reading.
This was a fun read for several reasons, but I mostly enjoyed it because we live in the same city as the authors and it made me feel very connected to the story being shared. Since reading the book, I have been encouraged to check out local mentions, like the UBC Farm, and pleasantly surprised at some items that are found locally (e.g. honey). Eating locally seems easy for some items that I like (especially fruit because of our closeness to the Okanagan!) and challenging for others. Community gardens are something I’ve never tried, but it makes me happy that the City of Vancouver supports growing local produce. I have tried urban gardening for the past 3 years with some success and plan to continue.
We love board games. Sadly, it’s hard to find solid two player games. Many games include two player “special rules”, but they rarely work well; the real gems are usually designed expressly for two players. Even then, a good two player game might be a terrible couples game, at least in our experience.