what I read in July 2019

The 22 Day Revolution by Marco Borges (A decent introduction to plant-based eating, although his tone can be off-putting.)
The Cat-nappers – aka Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen by P. G. Wodehouse (I laughed. A lot.)
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (Audiobook. Too long, but the narration by Blair Brown was excellent.)
Food 52: Genius Desserts by Kristen Miglore (Many excellent-sounding desserts.)
Getting Things Done by David Allen (And I thought I was serious about lists. Some interesting organisational ideas to consider, but his vocab veered into management-speak at times.)
Girl Squads by Sam Maggs (Some of the language was trying a bit too hard to be hip for younger readers, but really great info on groups of women who have been outstanding in their respective fields throughout the centuries.)
Happier Now by Nataly Kogan (Audiobook. It was okay.)
The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (Audiobook, read by Stephen Fry. I didn’t expect to enjoy it, but I did. Mostly.)
The Homemade Vegan Pantry by Miyoko Schinner (Think I’ll ask for this one for Christmas.)
The Inner City Mother Goose by Eve Merriam (Delightful and depressing at the same time.)
More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth (Audiobook. I’m not the target demographic for this, but her personal story of life and work success should be inspirational for younger women.)
Most of What Follows Is True by Michael Crummey (A meditation on the role of truth in fiction. Enjoyably thought-provoking.)
My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse (A bit of a hodge-podge of stories, but it’s Wodehouse, so who cares.)
Nora Murphy’s Country House Style by Nora Murphy (Lovely photographs, but physically too big. Unwieldy to handle.)
Remodelista: The Organized Home by Julie Carlson (Mostly a book of things to buy.)
Scandinavian Style at Home by Thames & Hudson (Too much boring text and not enough pretty pictures.)
Seamless Knit Sweaters in 2 Weeks by Marie Greene (I’ve long been a proponent of seamless knitting so this was nice.)
Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg (Audiobook. Highly recommended.)

so many questions

From a magazine that shall remain unnamed, may I present the absolute worst intro to a recipe section:


  1. Man berries? Seriously? That has to be intentional, right? If so, why? I do not want to contemplate what recipes I can whip up from man berries.
  2. Manly recipes? What are manly recipes? Are there womanly recipes? What makes a particular recipe manly? (The answer, based on the recipes that follow: meat and booze.)
  3. Maybe it’s time I snuck my boyfriend or husband into the meals? How on earth did this clumsily constructed first sentence make it past an editor?
  4. If I find it difficult to convince my boyfriend or husband to eat more fruit, shouldn’t that be his problem? If he’s over the age of, say, three, isn’t it a tad insulting to trick him into eating something?
  5. Speaking of insulting, what’s with the assumption that my boyfriend or husband isn’t handling or at least sharing the cooking duties? Maybe instead of thinking up ways to sneak things into meals, it’s time to quit thinking of men as clueless infants who not only don’t know and don’t care about basic nutrition, but have to be bribed into eating produce by burying it in bacon and beer?

what I read in June 2019

Celebrate by Pippa Middleton (I expected this to be a bit of celebrity fluff, but it’s a hefty book with lots of game, decorating and recipe ideas.)
The Collected Stories of Winnie-the-Pooh: Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by AA Milne (Audiobook with full cast dramatisation featuring Judi Dench and Stephen Fry. LOVED it.)
Every Little Piece of Me by Amy Jones (The evolution of a friendship between two young women who’ve been chewed up and spit out by society’s love of fame and infamy. Definitely recommend it.)
Ghost Stories and Legends of PEI by Julie V Watson (Entertaining.)
The Gown by Jennifer Robson (A bit sweet for my taste. I’d have cut out the modern-day granddaughter parts and kept the focus on the women from the fifties, who were much more compelling.)
Let Me Feed You by Rosie Daykin (Entertaining commentary and beautifully styled.)
Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett (Audiobook, but I only listened to two hours of ten total because the narrator’s delivery was unbearable. I’ve seen so many reviews about how funny this book is, but I never so much as cracked a smile. Is it supposed to be funny because the main character is a taxidermist? Someday, maybe I’ll consider reading the paper version to see if it’s any better.)
Normal People by Sally Rooney (I’ve learned to be wary of the wildly praised books and this one proves the point yet again. It was okay. The characters were okay. I got bored sometimes. Maybe I’m too old for it?)
Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie (Audiobook. Lots of fun.)
Simple Organizing Wisdom by Good Housekeeping (Put things where they belong. If they don’t belong anywhere, figure out where they should belong.)
Striped Crochet Blankets by Haafner Linssen (More than meets all my striped crochet blanket needs, which are, admittedly, small.)
Towards Zero by Agatha Christie (Audiobook.  Christie’s pure comfort reading/listening.)
Uncomplicated by Claire Tansey (Fine.)
Wild Mittens, Unruly Socks by Lumi Karmitsa (I admire, but do not share, her dedication to rendering wild animals in wool.)
Winter Knits from Scandinavia by Jenny Alderbrant (If only I had more hands to wear more mittens.)
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (Audiobook. More than twenty-three hours long, but I was completely captivated the entire time.)


what I read in May 2019

Abridged Classics by John Atkinson (Amusing cartoon summaries of famous novels.)
The Ask by Sam Lipsyte (Audiobook. Enjoyable.)
At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (Audiobook. Okay.)
Branding for Bloggers by Zach Heller (One long ad for the author’s blogging course.)
The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen (Comprehensive.)
Create the Style You Crave on a Budget You Can Afford by Desha Peacock (Spoiler: get things at thrift shops, garage sales and from other people’s garbage.)
The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted by Elizabeth Berg (Audiobook.  I’d hoped it was non-fiction, but it’s a collection of short stories. They’re okay.)
Doug Knockwood, Mi’kmaw Elder by Doug Knockwood (Quite the life story.)
Feel Free by Zadie Smith (Audiobook. Some really interesting essays, some not so much.)
Follow Your North Star by Martha Beck (Audiobook. A good introduction to thinking about what you want in life.)
The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King (The author is lucky Mister Rogers is an interesting enough subject for readers to put up with his weak, repetitive writing.)
Head-to-Toe Winter Knits by Monica Russel (I had no idea boot cuffs were so in demand.)
Mittens from Around Norway by Nina Granlund Saether (Gorgeous.)
The Old Man and the Gun by David Grann (Three true crime stories, each crazier than the last. Really fascinating.)
Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin (Not as interesting as her other books, but good tips if you’ve somehow never heard decluttering tips before.)
A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie (BBC Radio Full Cast Dramatisation. Good fun.)
Reproduction by Ian Williams (I described this on Twitter as being like reading a dream and I stand by that description. Experimental.)
Small Space Living by Roberta Sandenbergh (This lady is a hard-core minimalist and I admire her, but I couldn’t do it.)
The Year of the Introvert by Michaela Chung (365 days of lame “advice”.)


what I read in April 2019

Aspects of the Novel by EM Forster (Snore.)
Bakeland: Nordic Treats Inspired by Nature by Marit Hovland (I would like to live inside of and eat everything in this book.)
The Clean Plate by Gwyneth Paltrow (A catalogue of Gwyneth-cavorting-on-the-beach shots with a few recipes scattered throughout.)
Educated by Tara Westover (Hands down, the most gripping book of the month. A fascinating read.)
Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan (Some decent recipes.)
Fifty Shades of Kale by Drew Ramsey MD and Jennifer Iserloh (A weird piggybacking on the softcore porn theme, except with kale.  I like kale, but not in that way.)
The Flavour Matrix by James Briscione (An extremely scientific way of approaching cooking. Not for me.)
The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin (Super interesting. I’m a questioner.)
French Vintage Décor by Jamie Lundstrom (Turns out my taste isn’t very French.)
The Fundy Vault by Linda Moore (First heard of it because of the local connection, but it read like a clunky first draft.)
George Hunter’s Canada by The National Film Board of Canada Collection (Short, but good.)
Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis  (Her honesty about issues like child-care and cosmetic surgery are commendable, but all of her advice seems geared to women with life circumstances identical to her own.)
The Library Book by Susan Orlean (I almost gave up on this one a few times, but persisted because of all the glowing reviews. It was okay.)
The Little Library Cookbook by Kate Young (I wasn’t interested in many of the recipes, but I always like book suggestions.)
Meaty by Samantha Irby (I preferred We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, but she’s a live wire and fun to read/listen to.)
Oversize Fashion Knits by Frechverlag GmbH (Knits for young women half my size. I would look like I was wearing all my other clothes underneath the oversize fashion knits.)
The Power of Pulses by Dan Jason, Hilary Malone and Alison Malone Eathorne (Good info on growing and cooking with beans and legumes. Will probably buy this one for reference.)
Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki (Meant for those with bigger business dreams than me, but still fairly entertaining. A shame the audiobook narrator pronounces it ‘entreprenyooor’.)
Slow: Simple Living for a Frantic World by Brooke McAlary (The same advice one sees in all books of this genre: Declutter. Appreciate the small things. Be mindful.)
Small Victories by Anne Lamott (I’m not religious at all, but I like Anne Lamott. I think we’d get along.)