On Becoming a Reader of Books

I know many adults who enjoy YA literature, but today I'm looking at the opposite effect -- that moment when a young person discovers real grown-up lit! Do you remember when you left your kid books behind and started reading novels for adults? I'm pretty sure the summer I turned 14 is when it happened for me. I can't recall much of my early independent reading, but I do remember this dorky French series at my school library about a little elf-type guy called Oui-Oui. Even then, I knew it wasn't any good, but we had mandatory library time and it was what was on offer. Outside of school, I discovered my first Nancy Drew book, The Mystery of the 99 Steps. It had it all -- a feisty female main … [Read more...]

The Best of 2016: Beauty among the ruins

If I was the type of person who looks for signs of the apocalypse, 2016 might have blown my mind. As it was, I had to turn off the world from time to time in order to salvage my sanity. The first big shocker was Prince's death. Yes, I know … [Read more...]

Tiny Pleasures, Beautiful Routines

When was the last time a book changed your life, or at least your perception of it? Last month I found myself deep into two books that took me to places I hadn't visited in a long time. I struggled to put my finger on what it was that I had been missing and that was revealed to me in these books. The best I can do is this: I was reminded of what it was like to live in a not-connected world. I wasn't sure what to expect when my turn came up on the library waitlist for Patti Smith's M Train. To be frank, I didn't think it would be … [Read more...]

Must Read Memoirs for Foodies

Memoirs are like autobiographies for obsessives. Authors focus in on one tiny part of their lives and, in the process, transmit something of their journey, and hopefully their passions, to the reader. Memoirs really blew up a few years ago and much to my delight because they're my favourite things to read. And when you love food as much as I do, the fact that there's even such a thing as a food memoir is a gift from heaven. Tell me about your life? Yes please. Tell me about your life AND what you ate … [Read more...]

Reading On Writing

Writing a review of a book about writing is one way to face your insecurities. It doesn't help that I've often heard that this particular book, Stephen King's On Writing, is the BEST ever produced on the topic. So I'll try not to be overly long and I promise to ruthlessly eradicate any superfluous adverbs I have the misfortune … [Read more...]

Classic Books by Classy Dames

On Sunday morning as I was lolling in bed feeling half asleep and not at my best (the cliché "I can't party like I used to" had revealed its poignant truth), an interview on CBC Radio with Rebecca Solnit clicked my brain to the "ON" position. In the interview, she said that empathy isn't an emotion, it's an act of the imagination. She explained that stories are what help us to become empathetic … [Read more...]