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Pickle Me This

November 30, 2016

Books of the Year (and on the radio too!)

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49thShelf’s Books of the Year list came out on Monday, and I’m thrilled with it. It turns out that 2016 has not been a total disaster—maybe the books will save us after all? And I was on CBC Ontario Morning today talking about some of the picks that would also make great holiday gifts. You can listen to the podcast here; I come on at 37.30. 

July 3, 2016

Summer Starts

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There is no better way to travel then on trains, where the leg room is ample and there is so much time to read. When we booked this weekend away, the train journey itself was the destination, but we had to arrive somewhere, so we chose Ottawa, where we have best cousin-friends and even other friends, and cousin-friends who were kind enough to offer us a place to stay. And it was Canada Day Weekend, so what better place to be…even if the place we mean to be specifically on Canada Day is our cousin’s beautiful backyard across the river in Gatineau. And it really was amazing.

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As we’d hoped, the train journey was a pleasure. I had more time to read than I’ve had in weeks. I finished Rich and Pretty, by Rumaan Alam, which I liked so much and will be writing about, and started Signal to Noise, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, which was lovely and so much fun. They also had my favourite kind of tea on sale (Sloane Tea’s Heavenly Cream) and so all was right with the world.

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It was such a nice weekend—the children had children to play with and I got to spend time with some of my favourite people. We had an excellent time with our cousins, and met up with my dear friends Rebecca who took us to the Museum of  Nature, and last night I got to visit with my 49thShelf comrades who I’ve been working so happily with for years but have only ever hung out with a handful of times. Apart from one traumatic episode of carsickness (not mine) and the night the children took turns waking up every twenty minutes, it was a perfect long long weekend. I also learned that it is possible to eat my limit in cheetos and potato chips, which I had never suspected. Also that it is probably inadvisable to start drinking before noon.

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We came home today, another good trip, this time with me reading Nathan Whitlock’s Congratulations on Everything, which I am really enjoying, I also started reading the graphic novel of A Wrinkle in Time with Harriet, which we will continue this week. And we arrived home to find that our marigolds have finally bloomed, third generation. We planted them a couple of months back in our community planter, and have been waiting for the flowers to emerge. (Sadly, our lupines didn’t make it.) Summer is finally here proper, what with school out, and even 49thShelf’s Fall Fiction Preview being up (which is my main project for June), and my work days shift with the children being home. I’ve also decided to write a draft of a novel this summer, which is only going to make a tricky situation trickier, but who doesn’t like tricks? We shall see. We will do our best. And there will also be ice cream and holidays and barbecues and sand between our toes, and splash pads and ferry rides and picnics and pools and flowers. It will all go by so fast.

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November 12, 2014

Toronto International Book Fair

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I’m excited to be attending the Toronto International Book Fair this weekend, an event that is packed with all the very best of bookish things. On Saturday and Sunday, I will be helping to work 49th Shelf’s booth (where we’ll be giving out kisses of the chocolate kind, and giving you great ways to get involved with our site and win prizes) and also hosting events by authors Catherine Gildiner and Lesley-Ann Scorgie. It’s going to be excellent. Do come and say hi!

April 8, 2014

Things Have Been Busy at 49th Shelf

I-love-Canadian-Books_largeIf you check out the 49thShelf blog regularly, none of this will be news to you, but if not, you’ll probably want to know about what’s been going down there lately because it’s good. March marked 3 years since I started out on the site as editor, and I commemorated the occasion with this amazing retrospective of my favourite posts from way back. Yesterday, we featured a wonderful excerpt from Katherine Govier’s new Mother Goose book, a reflection on the nursery rhymes she’s known all her life and read with her mother. (I will be writing about the book here very soon!). The excellent Ms. Kiley Turner has been putting together The Recommend Series this past while, and it’s full of great books and reasons to read them.

I wrote a post about memorable houses from CanLit. For International Women’s Day, I interviewed Rosemary McCarney, CEO of Plan Canada and author of new book, Every Day is Malala Day. And other cool interviews include one with author/librarian Ken Setterington for Freedom to Read Week about how censorship is complicated, and another with Nick Cutter, who may or may not be Craig Davidson, and who is author of the totally disgusting, excellent novel The Troop.

Mitzi Bytes

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