a peek inside the fishbowl

07 Jul, 2009


Posted by andrea tomkins in: Memes/blog awards etc

I am typing this in the comfort of my bed, where I have just collapsed in a big heap after a long day of writing, rain, writing, and more rain.

I spent much of the morning fighting traffic to get to a pirate ship … but more about that later. I have a SavvyMom piece coming out about it and don’t want to scoop myself. :)

It’s time to relax. I am about to hunker down with some juicy historical fiction, but I was just wondering, what are you reading right now?

Care to flip to where you left off and share a line?


“Bonaparte’s handwriting is as impassioned as his words, which are ardent and tender.” (from Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe by Sandra Gulland.) :)

Perfect summer reading! Now your turn.


— Posted from my iPhone

18 Responses to "Reading"

1 | porter

July 7th, 2009 at 10:37 pm


I haven’t been able to get into anything so far this summer! It’s been ages since I’ve read anything which is unlike me, I always have a book on the go for my evening soak in the tub. Nothing is sparking my interest.

2 | Ryan

July 8th, 2009 at 3:48 am


A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. It’s a monster – 1500 pages – but such a finely written story, it so nice because it’s so god and it just goes and goes, like that perfect book that never ends. The writing is woven together with the finesse of a silversmith working with filigree, such nice stuff. I had avoided it before to my detriment, but would recommend this to anyone now.

Also, Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn is a great light, quick read. Done in letters, which is always a fun way to read, and terrific fun for language lovers.

Enjoy your book!

3 | The Veg Next Door

July 8th, 2009 at 5:51 am


The Observations by Jane Harris (one of my fave authors). I just finished A Respectable Trade by Phillipa Gregory. I’ve been using the public library lately and b/c there’s a due date I’ve been reading at a fast pace. Less time on the computer, more time buried in my book.

4 | lizzy

July 8th, 2009 at 5:55 am


I am hooked on vampires right now, after reading Twilight. I am currently reading book three of the Night World Series written by L.J. Smith.

5 | lacoop

July 8th, 2009 at 6:03 am


Valis, by Philip K Dick (lent to me by my son, who has a growing collection of books). Totally bizarre book. The main character is called “Horselover Fat”. Here is the last paragraph I read last night: “This loneliness, this anguish of the bereaved Mind, is felt by every constituent of the universe. All it’s constituents are alive. Thus the ancient Greek thinkers were hylozoists.” Umm…light summer reading.

6 | April

July 8th, 2009 at 6:51 am


Water For Elephants, by Sara Gruen. I’m not that far into it yet but so far it seems to be a fairly easy read – GREAT for summer! It’s descriptions are vivid and it does a good job of making you feel you are part of a travelling circus. It’s interesting – and reminds me in a lot of ways of Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides only not as complex or quite as compelling – thus far anyhow….)

7 | julie

July 8th, 2009 at 7:13 am


I needed to see what all the buzz was about, so I’ve started Twilight. But my fave book so far this summer has been Eric Bogosian’s Perforated Heart.

8 | Hellcat13

July 8th, 2009 at 7:20 am


Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt.

Pretty self-explanatory from the title. I think everyone who has ever experienced road rage should read it; it’s very interesting and quite enlightening. I already find myself a little bit calmer behind the wheel.

From the section on parking and its effects on traffic density: “The more time one spends looking for parking, of course, the greater chance one has to get in a crash, which then creates even more congestion. Interestingly, parking itself, according to some studies, is responsible for almost one-fifth of all urban traffic collisions.”

9 | Mark

July 8th, 2009 at 7:28 am


“Come, Dick. Come and see. Come, come. Come and see. Come and see Spot. Look, Spot. Oh, look. Look and see. Oh, see.”

I’m having trouble getting past page 9. I keep dozing off.

10 | Caroline

July 8th, 2009 at 10:13 am


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. Absolutely extraordinary!!!

11 | Tara

July 8th, 2009 at 10:27 am


Penguin Classics Deluxe Portable Dorothy Parker – this lady was a great writer. Very witty! The only problem is it is a rather large book – not suitable for toting around in your purse! ;)

12 | Jen

July 8th, 2009 at 2:49 pm


I can’t believe it! I’m reading ‘The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.’ by Sandra Gulland. What are the odds? Our local library was giving away free books and this was one of them. I am really enjoying it so far.

13 | Krista

July 8th, 2009 at 3:44 pm


Contact by Carl Sagan. It’s been on the bookshelf for years and I’m finally reading it. Fabulous!

14 | Loukia

July 8th, 2009 at 9:28 pm


I just finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and it was awesome – loved it, and didn’t want it to end.

15 | andrea

July 9th, 2009 at 9:48 am


My library request list just got a little longer. :)

Jen: This is the second in the series. My MIL loaned it to me. I can’t put down. It is perfect summer reading.

Krista: Mark is re-reading Contact right now. I read it awhile back. I loved it. MUCH better than the movie!

16 | Sharon

July 9th, 2009 at 4:23 pm


I’m too lazy to go up to my bed and get my book that I am reading for Class, Which is Toni Morrison’s Beloved…but I will give you a line out 2 of my of my most favorite reads of the last year.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

“It was the first kiss of her life to which her nature had really responded. It was a flaming torch that kindled desire. ”

Daisy Miller: A study
By Henry James
“Do, then, let me give you a row.” He said to the young girl
It’s quite lovely, the way you say that!”Said Daisy
“It will be more lovely to do it.”

17 | Lynn

July 9th, 2009 at 6:42 pm


Hey, Hellcat13, I’m reading that same Traffic book! I adore traffic, seriously. Being a traffic pattern engineer is my DREAM job. The book is a bit dry, though. I have to read it in small spurts.

In between I’m reading Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stout. LOVE IT. I can already tell I’m going to be buying a copy for every reader on my Christmas list.

18 | Andrea M.

July 16th, 2009 at 2:20 pm


I’m reading “Tapestry of War” by Sandra Gwyn. It’s sort of a sequel to her earlier “The Private Capital.” It’s about Canadians and WWI and a lot of it is set in Ottawa. The first chapter is set at Blue Sea Lake. It is so beautifully written and so interesting. Knowing this was Gwyn’s last book (she died in 2000), I treasure it all the more.

I also echo Sharon’s recommendation above of “Daisy Miller,” by Henry James. Unlike some of his other works, it’s not that long — just over sixty pages.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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