My husband and I had booked a week off from work to get some things done around the house. With most of our domestic duties checked off of the list we decided to visit the new aquarium in town. The admission is rather pricey but compared to a round-trip transatlantic excursion...well, that sort of thinking can justify all sorts of trouble, can't it. The aquarium is located near the base of the CN Tower and near the train station so we left the car at home and felt righteous as we whizzed past everyone stuck in commuter hell.
Straight away our senses were hit with fantastic colour, mesmerizing music, and thousands of small fish reflecting the light streaming into their massive tank. Once further along, the dim lighting assures your gaze will head straight for the next tank full of exotic marine life and man-made coral. At one point we were in a tunnel with fish swimming all around us; a slow moving conveyor makes it easy to simply stand there in amazement and gawk. It took us over three hours to soak in the sights of everything from jellyfish to sharks to stingrays...
After a late lunch at a pub we browsed for a bit at Chapters, a chain bookshop. Always lovely but so frustrating with endless shelves full of mainstream contemporary fiction. The October edition of the BBC History magazine looked excellent with less than usual articles on medieval warfare and politics so I bought a copy for the train ride home. The thirty percent chance of rain turned out to be one hundred and the skies darkened to black as we made our way back to Union Station. Without an umbrella we were resigned to a soaking but then we passed a shop full of warm lighting, gorgeous shelves...and books! Books hot off of the press from Britain! The rain no longer mattered, my damp sweater barely registered.
With fifteen minutes until closing time all that I could manage was a quick whip around but it was enough to know that this is my new 'happy place'. I made a vow to the bookstore gods that from this day forward I would not leave Ben McNally Books without having purchased at least two books to do my bit to help it stay in business (see top photo - putting my money where my mouth is).
And another thing. I am thoroughly enjoying The Readers podcast featuring Simon Savidge and as of late, our friend, Thomas, from My Porch. My iPod comes to bed with me for those times when I wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall back to sleep for all of the useless wondering that goes on in my head. It's so much more entertaining to listen to Thomas, or Gavin, and Simon talk about books. Simon's enthusiasm for Kate Atkinson's Life After Life intrigued me enough to sign it out from the library and I loved it! The only trouble is that I gave up taking notes with the plentiful vignettes that are Ursula's life and have no idea where to begin sharing my thoughts on the story. The only thing I can offer is to sit back and enjoy the sheer brilliance of a book in which you will have absolutely no idea what happens next!
So there it is. Apologies for copping out on a review but I must now get straight on to another library book before my due date lapses and then it's on to my Beryl Bainbridge book. Another new author for me thanks to a mention from Simon S! Has anyone read it...or her?