|bookish| my summer reading list


Books seem to call my name wherever I go. If you and I were to walk down a street and spot a bookstore, there’s no doubt that I’ll veer toward it. I love discovering new books, new authors, and (like many bibliophiles) I have a truly impressive collection of “to be read” books.

One of my most beloved tributes to the changing seasons is to shop my book shelves and make a list of the books that I’d like to read in the season ahead. This, along with folding up my sweaters and stowing them away, is one of my favourite ways to get into that summer spirit.

Some of these books, I’ve already read. Others, I’ve started before but have yet to finish. Others still are new additions to the collection that I can’t wait to start. These are the books that have been screaming at me from my shelves (and my Overdrive wait list!).

It’s a mix bag of fiction and non-fiction. Summer is a time of adventure, lazy late-nights on the porch avoiding sleep, swimming, hikes, and wandering. The books I’ve chosen capture some of those summer feels.

My summer reading list speaks to nature, adventure, the human heart, inspiration, and a touch of magic. Somehow, they’re mainly blue which makes my inner bibliophile pretty happy.

Here they are on Goodreads if you love lists as much as I do:

I’m sure other books will find their way into the TBR pile as I go, but what a lovely feeling to have a curated pile of books.

What’s on your TBR list this summer?

|the house diaries| The last room

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This is the only room in our house that has remained completely as it was. But for the new electrical and heat vent, the last room stood as it had for the last family who lived here–the family that was here for nearly 125 years. Nevertheless, the peeling, yellowed layers of wallpaper from decades past clung to the walls of the last room while we tore away at its fellows throughout the rest of the house. The carpet, harried from years of abuse, laid limply while we repaired floors, ripped away vinyl, sanded and sealed hardwood where we found it.

Our house looks like a home, except for that last room. The scary room. The door stays closed. A few remaining boxes of things-relics of the move-gather dust in corners. On a few occasions, Pekoe has decided to use the carpet in the last room as an alternate washroom. I don’t blame her. I can understand the confusion. I put a fly strip in there before the summer, and months later, thick with all number of flying insects, it only added to the…ambience….

Facebook reminded me that our 2nd house anniversary (housiversary?) crept by a couple weeks ago, and perhaps in a gesture of observance, we peeled away the remaining wallpaper and started to fix the cracked plaster in the last room. This labour-intensive process involves many buckets of plaster, sanding, and stabilizing any of the wall that has fallen away from  its lath.

This past weekend, I was away at yoga teacher training for the whole weekend. When I came home, my partner and his father and primed the walls and applied a first coat of paint. While the trim, floor, lighting fixture and finishing touches are upcoming, it’s already a lot less scary.

2017-01-31 11.02.17 1.jpgIt’s a sunny January day, and from the warmth of my home I can almost picture it being early spring. Now that we’ve done a first pass on everything inside the house, the outbuildings, deck, and gardens are going to take our attention.

And then what? As most homeowners will tell you, you loop back around to those projects that you shelved. A bathroom reno upstairs is in the cards. 90% of our home is missing quarter-round.

Mainly, I can’t wait to get rid of the carpet.

The inspiration board_A kingdom of books


“I had found my religion: nothing seemed more important to me than a book. I saw the library as a temple.”
Jean-Paul Sartre

If I had my way, every room in my house would have a wrap-around bookshelf complete with ladders and singing tea cups. I’ll settle for a couple beautiful bookshelves.

Even when I was living in a full-scale reno–drywall dust flying, power tools strewn on every surface–one of the first things I managed to do was unpack a box of books. A house without books is missing a heartbeat. Even if it meant wiping off a thick layer of construction dust, or moving them from surface from surface, I refused to lose ground on the book front.

Now that we’re starting to finish the house, room by room, I’m thrilled that I am on the road to building our first official built-in bookshelf. I’m trying not to nerd out too much, but I’ve started a Pinterest board, and am already planning how to organize my little library. Dewy deciminal maybe…?

Ever since our furnace people built a couple vents up to the second floor through our living room, I’ve been ready to seal it up and hammer some shelves 0nto it. The fact that the bookshelf must mask the vents means that it will definitely have a built-in, structural element to it, though that still leaves us with a wide-open playing field.

Since the bookshelf is in the living room, I’m hoping to build a bench into it. It can be a mini reading nook, or somewhere that someone can perch themselves on when I have a few people over. I picture us eating hors d’oeuvres and reading Kafka aphorisms to one and other.

Otherwise, I love the look of raw wood and so I’m hoping to find a way to work that into the design. As always, the more I can use re-purposed and recycled materials, the better.