Carol and Rachelle's Excellent Summer Adventures

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One of our pet peeves is a poorly upkept blog…. Oops, we did it again. We haven’t written a blog post since March, but we’ve got great excuses. We’re happy to report that a busy spring left little time for blogging, as we helped clients self-publish a couple of novels and a memoir. Work also continued on some great books that will be coming out later this fall.

Then, with the arrival of summer and the promise of warmer weather and longer days, came a broken wrist (Carol) and a neck injury (Rachelle). Appointments with cast clinics, orthopedic surgeons, RMTs, and physiotherapists meant a slowed work pace, a cutback on keyboarding and desk time, and yes, a neglected blog.

On the plus side, our collective sore bones meant extra time to take in fun local events like the Parksville sand sculpting competition, Vancouver’s Meowfest, and the Coombs Country Rodeo, and they didn’t stop us from doing some great hikes in the Arrowsmith, Squamish, and Pemberton areas. And, of course, it left us a lot of time for reading. So, without further kvetching, here are a few of our favourite books from this past summer:

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (Rachelle)

A big fan of Backman’s Beartown, I was excited to read A Man Called Ove, and it didn’t disappoint. A funny read about the quintessential grumpy old man next door, this is also a heartwarming book about loss, redemption, and reconnection. Filled with Backman’s classic, underlinable insights and observations about humanity that I’ve come to love, this is one of those books you won’t forget.

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (Rachelle)

I love dystopian YA fiction, especially by Canadian authors. This book has seen blockbuster sales and an awards sweep, and it’s being developed into a TV series. I can see why. The story of Indigenous people who are hunted for their bone marrow in a world in ruins as a result of our over-consumption and neglect is both riveting and timely. If you’re a fan of the Hunger Games, Divergent, or Chaos Walking series, you’ll definitely want to pick this one up.

Calypso by David Sedaris (Carol)

I’ve loved every word written by David Sedaris and his latest is no exception. These deeply personal and hilarious stories primarily take place at his beach house on the Carolina coast, where along with his long-time partner Hugh, he plays host to his eccentric siblings and 90-year-old father. With Sedaris’s trademark inner musings and observations, Calypso allows you to take a little vacation from yourself.

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick (Carol)

I picked this book up off my 16-year-old daughter’s bookshelf. My expectations weren’t super high – how much could Anna Kendrick have to say, really? What a surprise! It turns out the quirky movie choices this young actress makes are for a reason – she really is that quirky. Pretty much an unstoppable force who’s already lived a larger life than most people three times her age, she lets the “crazies” out of her head to share her wry observations and ordinary stories with candour. A great read; recommended for all women, 16 years to 90+.

David Tanis Market Cooking: Recipes and Revelations, Ingredient by Ingredient (Carol)

I’m slipping this one in because once in a while a cookbook comes along that’s so good you read it like a novel – cover to cover. Simple recipes celebrating the bounty of local, fresh market fruits and vegetables with bold flavours and straightforward summer preparations. The writing is engaging and the design and photography are perfect. I’ve had this book on loan from the library all summer; time to go to the bookstore and pick up my own copy so I can start planning next season’s garden!

On a closing note, we promise (again) to get back on the blog. So, stay tuned for posts on the Vancouver Writers’ Festival, libraries, children’s books, and more.