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Showing posts from 2013

Baking with a smile in mind

When I grow up I want to be a baker! These are the words that Rosie Daykin always knew would come true ever since she was a young girl. Even her brief foray into interior decorating didn’t deter her from her bigger passion – baking. And that dream did come true when she started her bakery and cafĂ© in 2007, in Vancouver’s west side, on 4321 Dunbar Street.
If you are lucky to be living in Vancouver you can start your day with delicious scones or muffins from Butter’s Tea Room. But if you are a million miles away, you still can restore the nostalgia of fine homemade baked goods right in your own home with Rosie’s new book, Butter Baked Goods.
In the book, Rosie’s husband Paul speaks of his beloved wife in words that can be summed up in a song by Guy Clark called The Cape. “Life is just a leap of faith, spread your arms, hold your arms, and always trust your cape.”Rosie doesn’t know if this says she is “bold, or fearless, or just plain nuts” but so far she feels “the cape is holding”. She …

Whiskey: Instant Expert by John Lamond #SukasaReads Review

When one is starting out exploring the world of whiskey one inevitably turns to authors like Michael Jackson, Charles MacLean, Dave Broom, Robin Tucek. Of course, any list of whisky experts is incomplete without Master of Malt John Lamond.

While the internet, smart phones and being connected 24/7 makes navigating the whiskey world easier, there is still nothing like the experience of reading a real book. This is where Lamond's book, Whiskey, published under Princeton Architectural Press' "Instant Expert" series is a terrific addition (represented in Canada by Raincoast Books).

Measuring 4.71" x 6.61" and at 144 pages, Whiskey: Instant Expert fits into the palm of one's hand but it isn't meant to be an exhaustive database of whiskeys and reviews available around the world -- there are simply too many combinations and expressions. However, it provides insight for those looking to learn a lot quickly, from the very basic to the esoteric:

Whisky vs. whi…

Happy City by Charles Montgomery

Charles Montgomery’s Happy City will revolutionize the way we think about urban life.
Here’s the conundrum: After decades of unchecked spawl, more people than ever are moving back to the city. Dense urban living has been prescribed as the panacea for the environmental and resource crisis of our time. But is it better or worse for our happiness? Are subways, sidewalks, and tower dwelling an improvement on car-dependence?
And so in his new book Happy City, the award-winning journalist aims to get to the bottom of this and understand the perfect balance between urban design and happiness. And what exactly is happiness? What are its needs? “We need to walk, just like birds need to fly. We need to be around other people. We need beauty. We need contact with nature. And most of all, we need not to be excluded. We need to feel some sort of equality.”
A city could be friendly to people or friendly to cars, but it can’t be both.
“A city is a means to a way of life. It can be a reflection of al…

Giada's Feel Good Food

As far as celebrity chefs go, Giada De Laurentiis, holds the title beautifully. She's earned an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lifestyle Host. Her popular daytime cooking show Everyday Italian feature quick, healthy, satisfying Italian dishes. In her new book, Giada's Feel Good Food, published by Random House, she shares her healthy recipes and secrets. 

Wherever she goes, fans ask Giada the same question: How can she cook and eat all of that delicious food she cooks on television, and still look so fabulous? Finally, Giada is letting everyone in on her secrets, sharing the delicious, easy recipes she uses to maximize energy and remain fit. 

With a calorie count and nutritional analysis for each recipe, you'll be able to keep track of your daily intake. The recipes in the book are categorized into the following categories (ensuring you get your fix of every delicious indulgence -- but in a healthy way): 

breakfast - juices and smoothies - lunch - snacks - dinner - dessert 

Giada i…

The Orenda

“What happened in the past can’t stay in the past for the same reason that the future is always just a breath away. Now is what’s important, Aataentsic says. Orenda can’t be lost, just misplaced. The past and the future are present.”Recently chosen as CBC’s #CanadaReads2014 contender, The Orenda touches upon our complicated understanding of history – one that highly esteems native culture while juxtaposing it against the survival instincts and sometimes violent tactics they had to employ while dealing with daily challenges of life in the forest (including the arrival of the foreign man).
The story that focuses primarily on three main characters: Christophe (The Crow) a Francophone Jesuit missionary; Bird, the leader and warrior of the Wendats (Huron) community; and Snow Falls, a young Iroquois teen born Haudenosaunee, but captured by the Wendats during a raid. This trinity of viewpoints juxtaposes against a trinity of moral relativism, moral ambiguity and the line blurring between some…

Thinking In New Boxes

For years we have been told, “Think outside the box”. According to Luc De Brabandere and Alan Iny, strategic consultants at The Boston Consulting Group, there is one fundamental flaw in thinking in this manner: It is difficult! So, in their new book Thinking In New Boxes, the duo teach you five essential steps to spark the next big idea.
“You can’t even think without boxes, so don’t even try.”
You need to use a range of existing mental models to simplify things. Your mind relies on pre-existing categories that it has already created. (Consider that German psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer has argued extensively on how heuristics play a role in decision making).
Brabandere and Iny suggest that boxes are sketches, your mind’s way of simplifying, naming, and framing things, so that you can determine how best to respond to them. But, thinking outside the box is not enough!
There are three fundamental problems with Thinking Outside the box:
1.It is hard to get out of a box
2.It is tricky to determ…

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan

The Governer General's 2013 English Literary Awards - The Winners

FICTION:The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton 

The Lion Seeker Kenneth Bonert
The Orenda Joseph Boyden
A Beautiful Truth Colin McAdam | Fiction 
The Hungry Ghosts Shyam Selvadurai | Fiction

POETRY: North End Love Songs, Katherena Vermette

Where the Sun Shines Best, Austin Clarke
The Polymers, Adam Dickinson
Big Down Little Whisper, Don Domanski 
Birds, Metal, Stones & Rain, Russell Thornton

DRAMA:Fault Lines: Three Plays, Nicolas Billon

Blood: A Scientific Romance, Meg Braem
The Swearing Jar, Kate Hewlett
Frenchtown, Lawrence Jeffery
Shakespeare's Nigga, Joseph Jomo Pierre

NON-FICTION:Journey with No Maps: Life of P.K. Page, Sandra Djwa

The Juggler's Children: A Journey into Family, Legend and the Genes that Bind Us, Carolyn Abraham

The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty, Nina MunkThe Memory of Water, Allen Smutylo Projection: Encounters with My Runaway Mother, Priscila Uppal

CHILDREN'S TEXT:The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, Teresa Tot…