The Path to Wild Food by Sandra Walker (7)

I am always interested in wild food. And this book did not disappoint. I also learned a lot of different things I could make with these foods. What a bonus!

This books takes a refreshing and practical approach to wild food. It is an ethical field guide and recipe books that promotes respect for the natural world and the cultures that use it effectively.

the book is written by an accomplished ethno-botanist and educator. The book rekindles an interest in natural foods including taking advantage of natural’s pharmacy for medicinal plant use.

While reading this book, the reader learns about the variety of plants around them and what to do with them once they have harvested them. I learned that there is so much that can be done! What a bonus!  We no longer have to waste these wild foods. They are actually really good for us and something that we should all consume.

However, the author also warns us that some wild fruits and veggies are poisonous and should not be consumed under any circumstances. This is great advice too and advice that we should heed.

I love books that push the boundaries of cooking and consuming food. Food can be so healthy and wonderful. May we all find the rhythm in these natural fruits and veggies.

This book is for the gardener as well as for the person who likes to experiment with foods of all kinds.


Posted in Author from Saskatchewan, Wild food | Leave a comment

Autumn Light by Pico Iyer (6)

Last month, I was at my local library and picked up this unique book from the new book shelf. It is another one of these books that I will read and re-read for a long time. Wow!!!  I have had quite a start to this year’s Canadian Book Review Challenge!

This book is lyrical, rooted and intimate. The story shows us a Japan we have seldom seen before where the transparent and the mysterious are held in a delicate balance.

Returning to his long time home in Japan after a sudden death, Pico Lyer picks up the steadying patters of his everyday rites such as going to the post office, watching the maples begin to blaze, engaging in furious games of Ping-Pong every evening, and much more.

As he does so, he starts to unfold a meditation on changelessness that anyone can relate to. Parents age, children scatter, and he and his wife turn to whatever can sustain them as everything falls away around them. It is probably something that empty nesters feel at the beginning when their kids move away from home for the first time.

After is first year in Japan, almost thirty years ago, Iyer gave s a springtime romance for the ages, The Lady and the Monk. Now have a life later, he shows us a more seasoned place and observer looking for what lasts in a life that feels even more fragile.

This is a story that I truly loved. And I fell for the title immediately. I’m glad that I allow the privilege of succumbing to the temptation of reading a book whole title really resonates with the depth of my being.

Posted in Japan, Publisher that has distribution in Canada | Leave a comment

All We Knew But Couldn’t Say by Joanne Vannicola (5)

This is a story that is start and honest filled with determination. It is a compelling narrative about hardship, survival and resilience.  After reading this story, I was convinced that we all can overcome any challenges from our past. It is quite a bit like the previous few books that I reviewed so far this year for the 13th Canadian Book Review Challenge.

Joanne Vannicola grew up in a violent home with a physically abusive father and a mother who had no sexual boundaries.

After being pressured to leave home at fourteen, and after fifteen years of estrangement, Joanne learns that her mother is dying. Compelled to reconnect in any way she can, she visits with her, unearthing a trove of devastating secrets.

Joanne relates her journey from child performer to Emmy Award-winning actor, from hiding in the closet to embracing her own sexuality, from conflicted daughter and sibling to independent woman.

This book is a testament to survival, love, and the belief that it is possible to love the broken, and to love fully, even with a broken heart.

I love stories like this.  May we all heal from all the difficulties that we face in childhood. It can be hard to forgive our parents for all of their indiscretions while we were growing up. But forgiving can be the most freeing thing that we do for ourselves.


Posted in Author from Toronto, LGBTQ2+ Rights | Leave a comment

Heroes in My Head by Judy Rebick (4)

This is a courageous, moving, and powerful memoir from one of Canada’s best-known feminists. It is an incredible untold story of Judy Rebick’s struggle with depression and Dissociative Identity Disorder. It is very raw, honest, and yet inspiring. It shows the reader that regardless of our challenges, we can all transcend our problematic backgrounds, one moment and one breath at a time.

In this riveting memoir, Judy Rebick tells the story the eleven personalities she developed in order to help her cope with and survive childhood abuse.

In this book, Rebick chronicles her struggle with depression in the 1980s when she became a high-profile spokesperson for the pro-choice movement during the fight to legalize abortion.

It was in the 1990s when she took on her biggest challenge as a public figure by becoming the president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women. It is here that her memories began to surface and become too persistent to ignore.

Rebick reveals her moment of discovery, meeting the eleven personalities, uncovering her repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse, and then communicating with each personality in therapy and on the page in a journal–all of this while she was leading high-profile struggles against a Conservative government.

This book is a fascinating, hearth breaking, but ultimately empowering story.  With courage and honesty, Rebick lays bare the public and private battles that have shaped her life.

I loved this book, despite the fact that I felt very sad as I read it. It is a book that inspired all of us to do something about our past and to move past it and not get too stuck in its quagmire.



Posted in Author from Toronto | Tagged | Leave a comment

Blissfully Blended Bullshit by Rebecca Eckler (3)

This book is about the uncomfortable truth of blending families. It is a book that will make you laugh and smile, but it will also make you take a seat back.

In this book, Rebecca Eckler is on a soul-baring journey of blending families, navigating the laugh-out-loud moments and heartbreaking realities with her unapologetic honesty.

This book is a witty, engaging, and candid chronmicle of a modern family’s journey as they blend households.

The reader will follow Ecker as her partner and his two children move in with her and her daughter. Then thanks to a reverse vasectomy, they add a baby to the mix.

Readers will go along for the ride in this poignant, often hilarious tale, as everyone attempts to navigate their new roles. The children, the in-laws, the exes, the ex-in-laws, and even the dog!

The story is lighthearted and intimate. This is an indispensable story about a family determined to make blended look great, and the juicy truth of what it’s really like behind closed doors in which is rapidly becoming a typical family make-up.

I knew that blended families were complicated. But this takes it to a whole new level.

I loved the book and the nuances in it!


Posted in Author from Ontario, Blended Families | Leave a comment

A trail Called Home by Paul O’Hara (2)

This is a unique nonfiction book about tree stories from the Golden Horseshoe. I knew very little about the Golden Horseshoe.  I know so much more now. How wonderful!

The book is inspiring, grounded and eloquent. It is a wonderful guide to this trail.

Trees define so much of Canadian life, but many people particularly in the Golden Horseshoe area of Ontario, don’t know that much about them. Granted it is harder in the Golden Horseshoe. There are more trees which are native in this area than anywhere else in Canada.

The great storytellers of the landscape are the trees which are looking glasses into the past. They speak of biology, ecology, and geology, as well as natural and human history. Through a greater understanding of trees, we can become more rooted in the land beneath our feet and our place in it.

I have always loved trees in my life. I had no idea that the trees in the Golden Horseshoe had so much history. And I had no idea that they could tell so many stories.

This book is for the nature lover in all of us. It is another one of these books that the reader will want to read and re-read.

I love the photographs of the trees. They really bring the beauty of the trees to the reader.

I loved this book, and will be re-reading it in time.


Posted in Author from Hamilton, Golden Horseshoe | Leave a comment

The Clothesline Swing by Ahmad Danny Ramadan (1)

This is a beautiful, cultural story which gives a rare insight into the world of gay men and women which have to remain hidden in the middle east. It is a novel that will make you think and reflect. It is deep and honest as well as raw.

This story tells the epic account of two lovers anchored to the memory of a dying Syria.

Hakawati is a storyteller who relays remembered fables to keep life going for a dying partner. Each night he weaves stories of his childhood in Damascus, of the cruelty he has endured for his sexuality, of leaving home, of war, of his fated meeting with his lover, and how he lived his life in hiding because of his sexuality.

This is an intimate story of secrets between two people who are very close together and who aren’t able to live without each other, despite all the difficulties of living in Syria at the time the story is told.

The story is written in poetic form. It is a story that lingers with you much like a gin and tonic on a warm summer day. It is a story that needed to be told and it is a story that I will be reading and re-reading over the years. What a great way to kick off the 13th Canadian Book Review Challenge.

I just love Canadian authors. After reading well over 1,000 titles and reviewing them over the past decade or so, I have come to appreciate that Canadian writers are some of the best in the world!

Posted in Author from Vancouver, Gay relationships | Leave a comment