Summer Reading List

21.6.15


Tonight at bedtime I got a little too excited telling Lenny about the reading incentive programs they used to have at the Toronto Public Library when I was growing up. You'd get a piece of paper stamped every time you read a book. That was the big incentive. What? I remember it being so exciting. Reading was the reward, I guess. It got me to thinking about what I want to put on my reading list this Summer. Here's where I'm at so far...


1. Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht - Before we knew who Aliza Licht was, we were all following @DKNYPRGirl on Twitter. I'm looking forward to Licht's insights into Social Media.

2. Yes Please by Amy Poehler - What's weird is that I haven't read this yet.

3. #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso - I'm not sure about this one, to be honest. I can't decide if I'm going to find her annoying or inspiring. I guess the only way to find out is to read the book. And I'm curious enough to do that, so bonus points for that, Amoruso.

4. Believer by David Axelrod - I think I might be in love with David Axelrod, so it would be kind of rude if I didn't read his book this Summer, right?

5. Picnic in Provence by Elizabeth Bard - It's a memoir with recipes. I think that qualifies as delightful Summer reading, don't you? It sounds vaguely escapist, which is just what the doctor ordered sometimes, especially if you find yourself on the beach or poolside.

6. Serve It Forth by MFK Fisher - Last year one of my Summer reads was Provence 1970, written by Fisher's nephew Luke Barr. I loved every page of that book. Barr really brought the people it was about alive. Julia Child, James Beard and most especially, Fisher. I've been excited to dive into her work ever since.

7. The Gastronomical Me by MFK Fisher - Because I have a feeling one isn't going to be enough. And I want to be MFK Fisher when I grow up.

8. A Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain - Because I've read all the other books he's written. Damn it, Tony! Write a new book!

9. Saint Louis Armstrong Beach by Brenda Woods - This is Young Adult Fiction, but after reading my friend Tanya Gough's wonderful YA novel Root Bound, I'm more open to that than I used to be. I imagine it will be a quick, compelling read, with a New Orleans backdrop. Who knows? Maybe in a couple of years it will be something that Lenny and I can read together (I know we'll be reading Root Bound)!

10. Norman Granz: The Man Who Used Jazz For Justice by Tad Hershorn - I love Hershorn's writing and Granz is a personal hero. I can't wait to dig into this!

11. Can You Hear Me Now? by Michael Eric Dyson - It's been a good 5 years since I've read any Dyson and this seems like the right place to get my fill this Summer. He's got a way with words, this man.

12. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris - Because this is the only Sedaris I haven't read yet and I need to rectify that as soon as possible. I saw him speak recently with my friend Sarah and it was such a delight. He's so special. And weird. I just love him. Sedaris is the only author other than Wodehouse who's ever made me fall into hysterical fits of giggles on public transit. That's some sort of a litmus test, as far as I'm concerned.

Lenny is doing remarkably well learning how to read in JK and she wants to do more of it. So, we'll be keeping up our routine of board books that she can read by herself and Curious George and Pete the Cat books that we can read together. I think she's ready to put some big kid chapter books into rotation too.  It's so hard to know where to start!


1. The Hotel Cat by Esther Averill - while it's true we've already read this to her at least twice, it's still my all time favourite and the fact that she loves it too means we're going to read it over and over again. That's just how it's going to be.

2. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White - because I think maybe it's OK if she breaks her heart a little bit? Maybe? I'm still on the fence about this one. Not sure I can handle having my heart broken like this again. But it's so good! Decisions, decisions.

3. The BFG - by Roald Dahl - I think this is a good place to start with Dahl? I think? And Sophie is such a fun character and the BFG is so muddled up and loveable. It's definitely gateway Dahl, and that's what I'm looking for.

4. The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary - Speaking of gateway...she's already seen the movie and loves little Ralph. I, of course, was obsessed with all things Beverly Clearly as a girl, so I'm super excited to get Len started this Summer first Ralph...then...

5. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary - RAMONA! I don't need to say anything more than that, do I? (Well, that's not true. I will say that if I can't find the cover art seen above I'll be pissed. That's the only Ramona I care to know, visually anyway).

6. Ribsy by Beverly Cleary - My kid loves dogs. This will be an easy sell. And it's a great book. Henry Huggins is such fun. Ahhhh! I can't wait!

Any tips? What do you think is missing from my list? What are you planning on reading this Summer?


BlissDom Canada + ME + a chance to win!

30.5.15


Hey, guys! Exciting work stuff to announce! I've recently taken on the role of Director, Communications at BlissDom Canada. In it’s 6th year, BlissDom Canada is the premier conference for social media, blogging, PR and influencers in Canada. BlissDom Canada provides professional development, empowerment and opportunities for networking for those working (and living) in the social media space.  I attended the conference the month before I left my full time job and went freelance back in 2012 and it was a revelation. I made connections, I made friends and I learned a lot. I'm excited to be going back to the conference this year in a professional capacity and I'm really excited to be a part of the social media conversation in Canada on this level!

The announcement from the BlissDom Canada Newsletter kind of makes me blush.


This year, BlissDom Canada is really upping the ante with a new location (Blue Mountain Resort!) an incredible opening keynote speaker already announced (Sara Critchfield of Upworthy fame!) and lots more announcements to come.

Another exciting development is the introduction of the Success Stories Series. You can read all about it here. If you've attended BlissDom Canada in the past, this is your chance to share your success stories with us for your chance to WIN your ticket to the conference this October. Say, what?!? Too good to pass up, is what I say. I hope you go for it!

I'll be sharing some BlissDom Canada updates here periodically, but your best way to stay in the loop is to make sure you follow the conference on Facebook and Twitter. I can't wait till October!


Saturday Zen

30.5.15


David Hockney, A Lawn Being Sprinkled, 1967

Summer is coming!!!

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