June 2018 Favourites

It’s July! Already. The UK has been having some of the most spectacular weather I’ve experienced in my 7 years here. It’s been hot and sunny every day now for weeks, and it’s set to continue. It’s definitely one I will remember, for many reasons (more details on that at some point soon). I’ve decided that I want my summer 2018 mantra to be explore — new places, new things to cook, new books, etc. — but explore according to the principles of the slow movement (“slowing down life’s pace”): focusing on the present, less technology, more quality time with friends and family. Here are a few favourites.

◌  Saveur‘s summer guide to berries.

◌ Devoured the podcast Septic, which takes a new look at a terribly sad tragedy that happened in Virginia in 2015.

◌ Lots of great salad tips from Dinner, A Love Story.

This book absolutely floored me. A beautiful, heartbreaking, punched-in-the-stomach kind of novel.

◌ Other books I’ve enjoyed: Sunburn and Homegoing.

◌  Gin popsicles? Yes, please.

This home, a converted bus, is stunning (via swissmiss).

◌ Very cool underwater museum.

◌ My sister got me onto Wild Wild Country and now I want to do nothing else but discuss it. If you have a Netflix subscription I highly recommend it. Be prepared for one of the most bizarre, engrossing stories of your life.




May 2018 Favourites

It’s June (how?!) and I haven’t posted a favourites list for a while now. Here’s to a sunny and happy next few months.

10 ways to turn yogurt into dessert.

◌ Am I a Londoner? After many years of resolutely saying I’m not….. I think I kinda am now. And it took (sort of) moving away to realize it.

◌ Reading: Unexpectedly loved Song of Achilles. Janesville was very good. Currently devouring Preparation for the Next Life – a possible contender, so far, for my favourite book of the first half of 2018.

◌ Good read on the (many) downsides of  the gig economy.

◌ Enjoying Bobby Kennedy for President and Doctor Foster in Netflix viewing.

◌ The latest season of the Undisclosed podcast, their first about a woman, Pam Lanier, was extremely well done and definitely worth a listen.


hamp heath
Hampstead Heath on an amazing long weekend in London

March 2018 Favourites

It’s nearly April and to be honest I’m welcoming it. March was a very busy month of work, conference, and family visits. I have a couple of weeks away from work now (some vacation, some working from home) and I am so ready for a bit of a break.

◌ My sister gave me Seven Fallen Feathers for Christmas but I just read it this past month. Wow, just wow: this is a book that every Canadian should read.

◌ Currently reading this and really liking it.

◌ Phoebe Judge, of Criminal fame, has started a new podcast. Drop what you’re doing and listen to episode 2 immediately.

◌ Ingredients for face care that are already in your kitchen.

◌ One of my favourite podcasts, CBC’s Someone Knows Something, recommended Missing and Murdered: Finding Cleo, and it’s proving to be heartbreaking and eye-opening. Sidenote: I think CBC is doing some of the best investigative journalism around at the moment.

◌ In shock at Netflix’s The Confession Tapes. Another must-watch.

◌ I’m not even secretly tired of this. Never liked this trend!


February 2018 Favourites

A week without my laptop has meant a slight delay in my February favourites. A short list for a short month.

◌ In Netflix viewing, Dirty Money and Seeing Allred are both must-watches. I watched the first episode of Flint Town on the train and if it is anything to go by, it looks to be crucial (though harrowing) viewing as well.

◌ Bill Gates trying to guess how much groceries cost. Oh dear.

◌ Worth reading: Audre Lorde on fear.

◌ Two excellent post-2010 (the year austerity was introduced as a dominant ideological policy-making/governance paradigm) books on Britain: one fiction, Home Fire and one non-fiction, The Good Immigrant. These two books represent some of the best written accounts (that I have read) of what it’s like to live in England in 2018.

Get Out was creepy. But enjoyable.

This is old, but too lovely/on point not to share.


January 2018 Favourites

Happy February, everyone. Here’s a list of some internet/life highlights from the past two months.

◌ Emily St John Mandel’s year in reading (2017).

◌ Nachos (in my top 10 favourite foods!) 15 ways.

Books out in the first half of 2018.

◌ TV: Enjoyed Alias Grace, season 2 of The Crown, & I’m currently watching and liking McMafia.

◌ Inspiring: what did you learn in 2017?

◌ Barkskins and Everybody’s Fool got me out of my fiction slump.

◌ I haven’t made anything from Sweet yet, but I’d better double check before I do…

◌ 20 ides for winter salads.

◌ H. & I really enjoyed The Post and Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.


November 2017 Favourites

Where has 2017 gone? Happy December! I’m counting down the days until my Christmas holidays — cannot wait. It has been a very busy and exhausting semester. Here are my favourites for this month.

◌ H. & I are a bit behind on Blue Planet 2, but it’s extraordinary. So good it seems CGI’ed.

Someone Knows Something  released a third season. I’m not exaggerating when I say David Ridgen is, I think, the best podcasting journalist I’ve heard. Season 2 blew me away, and season 3 is very good as well.

◌ The best books of 2017 according to the Globe and Mail and New York Times. I’ve read so few.

◌ We bought tickets to Labour of Love ages ago and finally the weekend came around. Tamsin Grieg and Martin Freeman were fantastic, particularly Grieg. We laughed a lot.

◌ Currently reading and enjoying Springsteen’s Born to Run.

Detectorists is back. We love this quiet, modest show.

◌ I’ve had many nights this past month where I have barely known my own name, let alone had the brain capacity to engage with anything cerebral. Teaching 5 hours of university classes a day will do that to you. I’ve found the perfect Netflix show for this: Highway thru Hell. I love it. It’s about the tow trick industry in BC and Alberta.

◌ November favourites in 20112012201320152016

This month’s quote, because the world is kind of chaotic right now:

The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

October 2017 Favourites

I’m a few days late with this. This fall just keeps getting busier and busier, with no prospect of easing up until Christmas vacation. Here are few of my favourite things this month…

◌ Beg, borrow or steal someone’s Netflix account to watch The Keepers. This series absolutely floored me. It’s very, very difficult subject matter but so well done and so important to watch.

Kay’s fudge.

Five books to make you less stupid about the (American) civil war.

◌ I’ve read some highly readable and recommended books on extremely heavy and difficult topics lately. Jon Krakauer’s Missoula and Lori Shenher’s That Lonely Section of Hell are not perfect books by any means, but they both shed a lot of light on processes that are generally kept hidden.

◌ Something a bit less serious: the art of the dinner party.

◌ The podcast Dirty John completely engrossed me. Storytelling at its best.

◌ Love Frances McDormand.

It’s impossible to watch this without a smile on your face.

September 2017 Favourites

Happy October! (a few days late) A few links for this month.

TIFF highlights.

NYT‘s most famous comment explained. I remember reading about this when it first appeared! Love it.

Books coming out this month.

◌ Really like this, on the difference between pleasure and happiness.

◌ Highlights of fall TV, according to the Atlantic.

◌ Speaking of which: I’m one month back into commuting life, so I’ve been consuming more TV than usual. H & I loved Ozark. We’re also halfway through season 3 of Narcos — recommended. Finally, HBO’s Big Little Lies was fantastic.

◌ Loved Michael Crummey’s The Wreckage.

◌ I’ve always wanted to visit Winnipeg, and this makes me want to visit even more.

Thames by night


Summer 2017 Favourites

It’s back-to-school time and summer is coming to a close. I love fall, but am already missing the more relaxed pace of summer. Just a few links this time, as I haven’t been online much the past couple of weeks. Happy September, everyone.

◌ First things first. I read some great books this summer: The North Water, Shadow of Doubt, The Best Kind of People, The Memento.

Africa’s only female safari team. Awesome. I have been to Chobe and can attest to how amazing it is. This makes it even more so.

◌ I watched Deepwater Horizon last week and am still thinking about it.

50 best ethical beauty products, from Sali Hughes.

◌ We’re on episode 5 of Ozark (on Netflix) and are really enjoying it!

The best 500 pubs in London?

◌ Getting political and real life now: stop exploiting academics.

◌ It’s that time of year again: books coming in the second half of 2017.

◌ These might be cocktails for summer, but I’m going to carry on making them — or modified versions, without NS produce, sniff sniff — into fall.

My beautiful fur-niece!


June 2017 Favourites

Happy July, and happy belated 150th birthday to Canada! A lot has happened since my last favourites post: I turned 30, finished my first semester as a full-time lecturer, spent a week in Toronto. Now it’s summer and I am really looking forward to a slightly less chaotic two months. 🙂

One of the best pieces on Canada’s 150.

◌ The best and worst ramen in London.

◌ Recommended reading: Another Day in the Death of AmericaThe SelloutMy Life on the RoadThe Break.

◌ Diving for sea cucumbers in Alaska.

Is coffee actually good for you? (via Goop)

20 salad recipes  — just what you need when it’s above 25 in sticky London.

◌ Virginia Woolf’s novels mapped.

◌ Enjoyed Bruce Springsteen and Stella McCartney on Desert Island Discs.

◌ Summer is the time for dips.

◌ Goop’s summer reads.

Hawdraw Force waterfall, Yorkshire, May