Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Stroke of Inspiration / II

In the second edition of the Stroke of Inspiration: a light rom-com novel, a racy Vatican drama, a podcast about dying, and a mysterious documentary.

Attachments: A Novel by Rainbow Rowell is written from the perspective of Lincoln, a guy in his 20's whose job is to read the emails of employees at a newspaper. In true rom-com fashion he falls in love with one of the author's of those emails, Beth, just by reading her emails. I know, I know, roll your eyes. But it's actually a cute, quick read, that's somehow better than it sounds.

This show is my guilty pleasure.

The Borgias (2011-2013/2 seasons) is a historical fiction TV series by ShowTime that follows the Borgias (billed as "the original crime family") on their journey to the top of the Roman Catholic church, and their impact (sort of historically accurate) on history. I'm a sucker for period dramas, and this is one of the juiciest, raciest ones I've ever seen. 

Watch it if nothing else than to see Jeremy Irons nail it, for the beautiful opening credits, and for the historical costumes and sets.

Rich, citrusy, seafood heaven.

If I had to make a list of documentaries that I will never forget, the cinematography and content of which have stayed with me to today, Into Eternity (2010) is at the top of that list.

I almost think it's better if you go into it not knowing what it's about. But here are some hints: I first heard of it in a philosophy of communications class. And it will change the way you think about energy sources forever. 

When I finished listening to the "How Dying Works" podcast by Stuff You Should Know I was

a) blown away that we don't learn this stuff in school and

b) determined to make everyone I know listen to it.

Because everyone dies, and doesn't it make sense that we should know how it works? And how to be around dying people? Did you know there are stages of dying? That touch is your last sense to leave you? I had no idea. This podcast rocked my world.


  1. Definitely adding that doc to my list & I think your book rec will be perfect beach reading for me later this month :)

    On another, more morbid note, when I was in the midst of Six Feet Under I got to thinking a lot about death. I read 'The 5 People You Meet in Heaven" among other books on the topic and had many a late night conversations with my soulmate/bff around the entire thing. It's really crazy how no one really talks about it when it's something everyone experiences & eventually, does. This book ( ) has been on my reading list forever but I just haven't got around to it.

    1. Comments like these prove to me that we would certainly be friends in 'real life' :)

      I have a healthy interest in death, I think (probably why I love Six Feet Under so much). I haven't read either of those books, but I've just sent samples of them to my Kindle account so they're next up on my list.

      I think it is completely bonkers that no one talks about death, and if you do you are considered 'morbid'. It wasn't always like this, though: I once took a funerary art class that exposed the world of Victorian death culture to me and it was fascinating. Did you know there were mourning shops in Victorian England dedicated to selling everything you needed to give your loved ones a proper send off - including the different types of mourning clothing you would wear, even years after that person died? The advertising for those shops is, unsurprisingly, quite bizarre.

      If you want some more death-related listening material from a Canadian perspective, CBC's White Coat Black Art podcast often does episodes relating to death, like palliative care in Canada, defining a 'good death', and even some controversial ones about doctor assisted suicide in Canada.

      On another note...

      Attachments is a great beach read (which beach are you going to? lucky lady!). I thought it was particularly interesting because 'beach reads' aren't normally told through the perspective of a man!

    2. Funny - as I was writing my original comment I was thinking that we need to be real life friends someday.

      I haven't really delved into podcasts yet although perhaps 2014 is the year to do so. When I do, I'll be sure to check out your recommendations.

      (And the beach is in Mexico - Tulum to be exact - for Joe's sister's wedding.


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