what I read in June 2022

Bare Minimum Dinners by Jenna Helwig
2021

I wholeheartedly support the philosophy of just doing enough cooking to get by – god, I am so sick of preparing meals every single day for 30 years – but most of the recipes were very meaty.

The Best Cast Iron Baking Book by Roxanne Wyss and Kathy Moore
2021

At least one of those godforsaken meals I prepare every single godforsaken day is cooked in one of my grandmother’s cast iron pans so this was right up my street.

Body Harmony by Nicole Berrie
2022

If you, like the author, are heavily into juicing, food combining rules, and sitting on the table with your bare feet beside the bowl of salad you’re tossing, then this book is for you.

Charles Dowding’s Skills for Growing
2022

A really enjoyable, informative book on vegetable growing. I love his spirit of experimentation.

Cookies: The New Classics by Jesse Szewczyk
2021

Some interesting ideas, but I think I prefer the old classics.

Down to Earth by Lauren Liess
2019

Decorating for rich people with homes that are already extraordinary.

Dusty Answer by Rosamond Lehmann
1927

Young Judith Earle grows up next to a country house occupied by five cousins slightly older than her and longs to fit in with them. The complicated relationships among them all continue into their twenties, with immature, naïve Judith learning hard life lessons along the way.

I wasn’t sure about this one at first, but it grew on me. It’s surprisingly modern for a book written almost a hundred years ago.

Flea Market Garden Style by Caroline McKenzie
2022

Books like this always confuse me. Are there really people who decorate their yards with mirrors and rugs and pillows and such? Do they carry them in and out of the house every day or they do they leave everything outside to be ruined within a week?

From Burnout to Balance by Patricia Bannan
2022

Filled with such groundbreaking advice as: eat lots of vegetables, get enough sleep, find a kind of movement you enjoy and do it, etc.

Get Messy Art by Caylee Grey
2021

I expected this to be about lightening up on expectations for artmaking in general, but it’s about creating art journals, which is fine, but not a particular interest of mine.

Knit Like a Latvian…Accessories by Ieva Ozoliņa
2021

Not many patterns I’d make, but I love the colourwork charts. Really lovely work.

Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace by Kate Summerscale
2012

True story: In the mid-19th century, Isabella Robinson was trapped in a marriage to a philandering, money-grubbing, uncaring arsehole and made the mistake of confessing to her journal her lust for the other men in her life. Mr Robinson snooped through the journal while she was ill, became outraged, and took her to divorce court with the journal as a very public Exhibit A.

Depressing and infuriating, but it’s my pick for most fascinating of the month, for sure.


what I read in May 2022

Baking with Dorie by Dorie Greenspan
2021

Dorie’s bakes are more complicated and less healthy than I care for, but it was nice to flip through.

Big Book of Baby Knits by Marie Claire
2021

I prefer my knitting patterns to be for circular needles and these are not. Cute babies, though.

Earth to Table Bakes by Bettina Schormann and Erin Schiestel
2021

Another book of fairly involved recipes geared toward people who like spending time in the kitchen, so, not me then.

Floating in the Deep End by Patti Davis
2021

More personal and focused on the emotional side of caregiving compared to many other books about dementia. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking for insight into the caregiving experience.

Knitted Gifts for All Seasons by Wendy Bernard
2021

Ah, Wendy Bernard always produces such good work. Lots of really nice patterns here.

Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s by Joanne Koenig Coste
2003

A few parts are a bit dated, but overall it had a lot of good, practical information and ideas.

Lord Peter Views the Body by Dorothy L Sayers
1928

An entertaining selection of Lord Peter Wimsey short stories. Good for reading before bed.

The Tortoise and the Hare by Elizabeth Jenkins
1954

My favourite read of the month, by far. Imogen Gresham is initially unconcerned about her husband Evelyn’s growing relationship with their neighbour, Blanche, since Blanche is (gasp) 50 years old and not particularly physically attractive. Imogen’s denial persists until it’s too late and while part of me kept wanting to shake her to wake up and smell the coffee, another part of me thought Evelyn a pompous ass and no great loss, frankly. Really enjoyable.


June already

It’s been a challenging year so far, thanks to issues that aren’t mine to discuss in a place like this, and every time I think of the blog, I sigh and think ‘maybe tomorrow’. It’s hard to know what to write when I have both a lot and nothing to say, and I haven’t even been able to drum up any enthusiasm for posting photos or book reviews or ridiculous memes. Maybe a giant bouquet of lilacs can bust me out of this funk?


what I read in April 2022

305 Lost Buildings of Canada by Alex Bozikovic and Raymond Biesinger

I love the idea of preserving these lost buildings in print, but it would have been much better with photographs of the buildings, where possible, and more detailed illustrations, where no photos are available.

The Art of Circular Yokes by Kerry Bogert

My favourite method of sweater construction. Some very nice patterns.

Best East Coast Jams, Pickles, Preserves and Breads by Alice Burdick

I don’t make a whole lot of any of these things, but maybe I should. A nice collection.

Helen McNicoll: A Canadian Impressionist by Natalie Luckyj

A great introduction to an incredible artist. Now I need to learn more about her.

Hello, Habits by Fumio Sasaki

A boring, self-indulgent rehash of other people’s research on habits. I’ve probably read a dozen other books on habits that are more useful than this one.

High Vibe Home by Kirsten Yadouga

Declutter. That’s pretty much it.

Lazy Baking by Jessica Elliott Dennison

I am lazy and I like baking so I thought I’d love this book, but I didn’t. Just didn’t suit my tastes.

Nature Crafts by Yukinobu Fujino

Bizarre and impractical “leaf designs” from six Japanese floral designers. I actually laughed out loud at how weird some of these designs are.

The Obesity Code by Jason Fung

He asserts that high insulin levels are the cause of obesity and the way to lower them is a low carb diet and intermittent fasting. I skimmed a fair bit because I just don’t buy that more meat is the answer.

One Tin Bakes Easy by Edd Kimber

Now this baking book I liked a lot. One worth buying.

Pattern Motifs by Graham Leslie McCallum

A great resource.

Rag Rug Techniques for Beginners by Elspeth Jackson

An interesting variety of techniques for using fabric, but nothing that interests me, other than rug hooking.

The Rug Hooker’s Bible by Gene Shepherd

Some good information, but a strangely amateur production.

Strong Poison by Dorothy L Sayers

Another Lord Peter Wimsey book. I enjoy these well-plotted mysteries, but wish Sayers had realised her use of slang and unconventional punctuation would make certain passages hard to decipher for future readers.

When Someone You Know Has Dementia by June Andrews

A lot of really good, practical information and advice.


my mourning dove friend

I went bustling out onto the deck this morning to give a little pep talk to my lettuce and spinach seedlings and came face to face with this beauty:

The mourning doves are usually pretty skittish, but this lovely lady (I’m pretty sure she’s a lady, but I could be wrong) let me get within touching distance. Not that I did.

Look at that colouring! Gorgeous.