How to Wear Fashionable and Protective Eyewear

Ray-Ban Round Double Bridge $235

Most people buy sunglasses because they look good and keep the sun from blinding them while they sit by the pool or sip beers on a patio. But, little did we know, there are a lot more benefits to wearing sunglasses than just the “chic” factor.

Besides the obvious benefit of helping you see on a sunny day, sunglasses help protect you from permanent eye damage. “Sunglasses are important because they filter out UV and visible light,” says Dr. Janet Prystowsky. Both UV rays and visible light in the blue spectrum are what can cause permanent eye damage. “Sunglasses can also help minimize photodamage to the skin around your eyes.” Photodamage, the deterioration of sun-exposed skin, can cause wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancer.

Dr. Prystowsky’s moral of the story: anytime you should be wearing sunscreen, you should also be wearing sunglasses.

What to look for

With so many eyewear options out there, it’s hard to know what exactly to look for when shopping for sunglasses. According to Dr. Prystowsky, there are two major factors to keep in mind the next time you’re looking to purchase some new shades.

  1. Look for sunglasses that say they block 99-100% of UV rays
  2. Those that claim absorption up to 400nm

Make sure your sunglasses come with UV protection, because not all sunglasses do! When trying on different sizes and shapes, keep in mind that wrap around shades or wide temples will offer additional protection around the periphery as well. You can find proper protective sunglasses online or in many sports stores or sunglasses shops. Don’t let the prices fool you! Just because the price tag is high, doesn’t mean your shades will be doing you any favours. You can find a good inexpensive pair of sunglasses for under $15!

Having trouble finding some fashionable and protective sunglasses? Here are a few to help!

Quay Australia Paradiso 52mm Cat Eye Sunglasses $69

Tom Ford Sean Sunglasses $525

Summer Wines Under $20

If there is anything better than a good bottle of wine, it’s certainly a good bottle of wine that doesn’t break the bank. You certainly don’t need to be utilitarian toward the nectar to leave LCBO with a few bottles in hand and money left in your pocket for cheese, charcuterie, and other goods for an afternoon in a park or a balcony. Here is a list of wines we’re drinking this summer under $20 not just because we’re on budget but also because we know what’s good for us.

Anselmi San Vincenzo — $16.95

Made with Garganega grapes, those familiar with Soave will find that Anselmi San Vincenzo is a good alternative with distinct aromas of lavender and tropical fruits. The dry white wine has a touch of sweetness that goes well with light meals and it’s surprisingly great with raw dishes, like sushi or ceviché.

Roscato Rosso Igt Provincia Di Pavia — $14.95

I had a chance to try Roscato Rosso at iYellow Wine Cave the other day and, though I’m not usually a fan of sweeter wines, it won me over completely with its ruby color, berry flavors, and tantalizing bubbles, which it gets from a secondary fermentation process. It’s best chilled and, though I haven’t tried this myself yet, I imagine its fruity notes will be a fantastic addition to an afternoon sangria.

Clos de Beauregard Vieilles Vignes Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 2015 — $16.95

This extra dry bottle is nothing short of a great muscadet. It has a unique minerality and saltiness in addition to notes of apples that earned it 75th place in the 2016 Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Buys, which may seem like a small thing until one considers how many bottles of wine are produced in the world each year (something like 31 billion). If you want to expand your white wine palette, this is the place to start.

Kuhlmann-Platz Riesling 2014 — $16.95

This Alsatian riesling is from Cave Vinicole de Hunawihr, a cooperative dating back to 1958, which has since earned a fine reputation for its quality. This particular bottle has notes of honey and fresh fruits, which would be perfect to drink in an afternoon while waiting for things to happen or slouching toward the dinner table.

Château Lamartine Prestige du Malbec 2013 — $19.95

Cahor is a lesser known region in France — it was ravaged by frost and politics alike, which left its economy and reputation in the ditch for a while — but its history dates back to the Ancient Romans. Its wines are known as black wine for their inky color and depth. This particular bottle is a good representation of Cahor’s malbec wines. It is tannic and smoky but also layered with black fruits. This rich wine was also wood aged, which gives it an extra layer of depth.

Non-Beach Summer Reading Guide

One of the things I am not very fond of is a summer reading guide. This is mostly due to the fact that it usually tries to instill in the reader’s mind an image of a picnic on a beach on a balmy day — though it gets no where near balmy until mid-September —,when the long afternoon seems never too full, the parasols always at the right angle, the reader’s life somehow so used to the beach that nothing, not even the shitting gulls or the barely noticeable bikinis, is a distraction and everything is a welcome enhancement of an already perfectly fulfilling experience of reading.

Not that I don’t appreciate the fact that certain seasons call for certain readings. But summer readings should by no means be necessarily easy or conducive to a desperate recreation of a rote image of summer. So I made a list to counterbalance — or to at least spit in the face of —  ‘X number of Books You NEED to Bring to the Beach’ lists. It consists of books coming out this summer, books that talk about traveling, books dealing with the season, and others that are just plain damn good.

Cover of Arundhati Roy’s ‘The Ministry of Utmost Happiness’

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy  Twenty years she made us wait, and now it is here: Arundhati Roy, the acclaimed author of The God of Small Things, returns this June with The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. The many stories that make up the novel take us from New Delhi to Central India and the Valley of Kahsmir, from the point of view of an owl to the mind of numerous and varied characters.

The Dinner Party by Joshua Ferris — The opening sentences of the title story of Joshua Ferris’s first collection of short stories reads, “On occasion, the two women went to lunch and she came home offended by some pettiness. And he would say, “Why do this to yourself?” He wanted to keep her from being hurt. He also wanted his wife and her friend to drift apart so that he never had to sit through another dinner party with the friend and her husband.” Discord and discontent in coupledom are rampant in Ferris’s stories, which is one of the reasons why his stories are often laugh-out-loud funny. You feel a little bad after laughing, though, which is a good time to take a sip on a summer beer. I should also mention that you can read a few of the eleven stories in the New Yorker if you don’t feel like buying the book.

Gaslight by Joachim Kalka — The 19th century is continually fascinates us and is, we continually find out, never that far away. Joachim Kalka’s essays on the century’s literary minds, serial killers, mad scientists, and more are thought provoking in their relevance to our contemporary zeitgeist. I’ve been looking very much forward to reading Kalka’s first work to be translated into English, and it hits the stands today (though whether it will be easily available in Toronto is another matter).

Cover of Jillian Tamaki’s ‘Boundless’

Boundless by Jillian Tamaki — I first came across Jillian Tamaki’s work on the subway around the time, two or three years ago, when New York City’s MTA started beautifying a number of trains with MTA-inspired posters depicting everyday commute. The details caught my eye. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Tamaki is a renowned illustrator with two successful graphic novels — This One Summer and Supermutant Magic Academy — under her belt. Now she has another book out, Boundless, which deals with the virtual and IRL lives of women (You can read an excerpt of it here). This one’s on the top of my list (the one in my head, not this particular one on page).

Mother Land by Paul Theroux — Domestic tyranny, pettiness, and misery abound in Paul Theroux’s somewhat autobiographical novel about a family of eight — seven children, a mother — in Massachusetts. Other than the more than slightly recognizable tyrannical matriarch, Theroux’s prose is always something to look forward to.

Cover of Darcy O’Brien’s ‘A Way of Life, Like Any Other’

A Way of Life, Like Any Other by Darcy O’Brien — If there is a California novel that I love more than any other, this is it. Darcy O’Brien’s 1977 novel is concerned with a son of famous Hollywood stars whose fame has set. There are green grasses, pools, avocados, ranches, and everything one imagines when one talks about California. But there is much more to this wonderful novel than pretty pictures. You can read Seamus Heaney’s introduction to NYRB’s reprint here.

A High Wind In Jamaica by Richard Hughes — Hurricanes, feral children, and pirates make for a great read on a stormy day. And Richard Hughes’s prose makes it even better. I am reluctant to recommend this one because I secretly want to keep it all to myself.

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan — The final installment in Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich series came out just a few days ago and, with well-timed — well-timed relative to latent backlashes against Hollywood’s yellowface — announcements of Asian actors (Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, etc.) who will be playing starring roles in the movie rendition of Crazy Rich Asians, remains highly visible in any number of bookstores around the city. Usually this isn’t a good sign. But with Kwan’s highly successful and often hilarious books, it is a cherry on top. You can walk in to the bookstore, spot it within ten steps, and leave to read it soon after.

Cover of Catherine Lacey’s ‘The Answers’

The Answers by Catherine Lacey  — No sophomore curses for Catherine Lacey as The Answers, the Mississippi-born author’s second novel, is one of the most highly anticipated and praised novels of the year. Mary, the protagonist, suffers from a number of nameless illnesses and is cured, so to speak, via Pneuma Adaptive Kinesthesia. Which, if the name doesn’t give it away, is very expensive; Mary answers a high-paying Craigslist job. If you liked Lacey’s Nobody Is Ever Missing, run to the bookstore today, because today is its publication date.

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Novella’s Summer Sangria Recipes

The sun is shining, the temperature has reached above 20 degrees celsius, and patio season has officially arrived! You know what that means? Sangria. Nothing quite goes hand in hand like patios and sangria. In case they aren’t already, sangria recipes need to be a part of your summer entertaining, immediately. With that said, I have officially dubbed the summer of 2017 the Summer of Sangria! So, for the days you want to indulge in a refreshing batch of the famous Spanish beverage without venturing to a patio, here are two simple sangria recipes to make at home!

Red Wine Sangria

Wine takes the center stage when it comes to sangria; it is the livelihood of the drink. To make a more traditional Spanish red sangria, choose a medium-bodied red wine that is dry and slightly fruity, like a merlot. If you want to make it truly authentic, use a real Spanish red wine like Tempranillo, Garnacha, or other Rioja wines. Just a reminder, the wine doesn’t have to be fancy and expensive to make good sangria!

  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 1/4 cup of cherry brandy (you could also use rum)
  • 1/4 cup of orange liqueur (Cointreau)
  • 1 orange
  • Handfuls of raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries
  • 200 ml of orange juice or 1-3 tbsp of sugar or simple syrup (optional, depending on the desired level of sweetness)

Slice the orange and add berries to a pitcher. Add booze and wine and give everything a good stir. It’s sangria, don’t over think it! Tuck the pitcher into the fridge and leave for at least two hours to let all the flavours steep together and allow the contents to chill.

Instead of adding carbonation to the actual sangria pitcher, this sangria will more enjoyable if bubbles are added to top off your glass. The best way to serve sangria is over ice and topped with club soda, lemon or lime soda, or even sparkling water. Now relax and enjoy!

White Wine Sangria

Don’t fret! If you’re not a red wine person, you can still enjoy a variation of the Spanish favourite. In Spain it is also known as “sangria blanca.” Similar to the red, when choosing a white wine for sangria, you want to pick something that is dry, crisp, and unoaked. Sangria is supposed to gain sweetness from fruit or a touch of sugar, so picking a drier wine is always best. Pick something like a Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, dry Riesling, or a Portuguese wine like a Vinho Verde.

  • 1 bottle of white wine
  • 1/4 cup of triple sec
  • 1/4 peach schnapps
  • 1 orange
  • Handfuls of pineapple slices and strawberries
  • 170ml of pineapple juice or 1-3 tbsp of sugar or simple syrup (optional, depending on the desired level of sweetness)

Just like the red, mix everything together, let it stand in the fridge for as long as you can (at least a couple of hours), and serve over ice and dilute with bubbles of your choice!

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Novella’s June Art Guide

Ahmad Moualla’s People and Power. Image source.

As we move into another summer, this time a big one for Canada, we remember to think outside of the box — to delve deeper and consider perspectives outside of our own. Our picks for art exhibitions in the month of June bring you everything from Queer intersectionality to examining Canada’s honest history and considerations on what art can do for nations at war. We ask this month that you take some time from work, from planning vacations, and reading magazines to consider, to think, to engage.


The newest exhibition at the Aga Khan Gallery combines music, paintings, and multimedia installations by prominent Syrian artists. Much like a symphony, the exhibition is divided into movements, each unique but linked by overarching themes on the presence and purpose of art in conflict. Together, these artists explore the difficulties in preserving their heritage and culture, and fortitude in the face of war. Artists showing include Ahmad Moualla, Malek Jandali, and Kevork Mourad.

Find more information here.

THE BILL BURNS SHOW: PART 3 (May 27th — June 24th)

Prominent Canadian artist Bill Burns shows the third and final part in his series on truth and the art trade at MKG127 this month. In the show, Burns accompanies his watercolour paintings with goat’s milk and Gregorian Chant. Sounds intriguing, if a little confusing? Burns will also be reading from his new book on June 17th to help give insight into his career and perspective.

Find more information here.

CONTESTED LANDS: CANADA AT 150 (May 28th — June 30th)

As we grow closer to the Canada 150 celebrations, celebratory Canadian propaganda is cropping up everywhere, boasting being a nice, multicultural, and inclusive nation. While Canada certainly has its good points, this exhibition at the MLC Gallery at Ryerson is looking at those silenced and ignored in the Canadian Confederation. The exhibition uses art and artifacts from the Ryerson Special Collection and MLC Research Archives to highlight the achievements of and horrors faced by Indigenous peoples and Canadian women.

Find more information here.


Just in time for Pride, the John B. Aird Gallery brings us an LGBTQ+ focused exhibition. Unlike many of the Pride parties, however, the real focus of this show is on intersectionality. Artists from across Ontario will show their works that engage with LGBTQ social issues and intersect with issues of race, class, religion, ability, and sexual and mental health. The purpose of the exhibition is to spark conversation and action that will build toward equality and diversity.

Find more information here.


English artist Clara Bacou comes to the Robert Kananaj Gallery with an exploration of the boundaries between the real and virtual, the physical and digital. Bacou uses light projection to display her digital art in a 3D way, the exhibition itself representing her own questions on the way we present ourselves online versus the people we are in the real world. If you’ve ever embellished any truths about yourself to seem more desirable on a dating app, this is probably an exhibition you should see.

Find more information here.

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