I just finished reading On the Edge – Edward St. Aubyn’s novel about the New Age movement which is

coming out from Picador next month.  Set mainly at the Esalen institute in Big Sur this is lighter fare than

the Patrick Melrose novels.  Relentlessly insightful and comical, the cast of spiritual seekers would  be

quite at home in a P.G. Wodehouse novel.





Twice a year we host open houses in our Vancouver and Toronto showrooms, and invite accounts

to come in and check out new books. I’m officially in charge of the kids section of the Vancouver

showroom, which means, I’ve spent the last little while tidying it up, and setting up a display of

Christmas books (Christmas!).

Check out my handy work:



Hello and happy Friday.  We have survived the Winter catalogue mailing and

the weekend looms.  See if you can guess what my plans are:

I'm Reading

What are you doing this weekend?

What ever it is, I hope it is a good one.


You know when you work hard to make money and decide not to spend it on frivolous things,
like fancy shoes, and you’re so proud of yourself for being responsible for once in your life
that at the end of the month you look at your bank account to admire the stack of cash you’ve
saved and there’s $2.95 in it and you look around your house and see no evidence of excessive
spending, only your pants do feel a little tighter and you go to your fridge to ponder
the disappearance of your cash while you munch on the leftovers you have from that popular
little restaurant you went to last night and then it dawns on you…ah yes, you’ve eaten all
your money.

These are first-world problems, but mostly these are Toronto-world problems, and now there’s
a solution! Amy Rosen, award-winning journalist and cookbook author has compiled recipes
from Toronto’s best and most newsworthy restaurants so you can (attempt to) cook them
in your own kitchen. Same delicious taste, minus the tip. Check it out this September!

Toronto Cooks
100 Signature Recipes from the City’s Best Restaurants by Rosen, Amy (09/30/14)
9781927958162 | Figure 1 Publishing | RAI Cloth | Price: $37.95

- Tamara

In many ways fall is the beginning of a new year.  Students head back to

school, (at least in most provinces,) and in the book business we eagerly

await the fall releases while getting ready for the winter season.  This fall marks a new beginning

for Munro’s Books in Victoria as founder Jim Munro retired September 1st.   Jim gave me

my first job in the book business.  I worked in the original location, a much smaller store with a

more bohemian atmosphere – one which very much suited the late 70′s.  Since that time I have spent

many hours at Munro’s as a sales rep and publicist while shepherding around authors such as

Farley Mowat,  Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Jean Chretien, David Suzuki and of course

Allan Fotheringham who deemed Munro’s  “the most magnificent bookstore in Canada.”  That was

after they moved from the bohemian location and renovated an old bank!  Jim gave a lot of people their

start and welcomed innumerable authors and customers into his store over his 51 years as a bookseller.

To ensure that tradition continues he has passed the store on to four long-time

employees:  Jessica Walker, Carol Mentha, Ian Cochrane and Sarah Fry.  It’s both a happy

ending and new chapter for us all.


So we’ve all been talking about the changing of seasons around here, and at the Ampersand offices

that means catalogue mailing. I love that mailing time means that all my accounts will be

receiving packages full of pages of exciting new books, but I loathe papercuts. And let me tell you,

there’s no way you can work on mailing out 700 kits of catalogues without getting any papercuts.


Happy Friday!

Even though I don’t want summer to be over, that crispness in the air

has arrived, along with the low mists over the blueberry fields I pass on

my way to work.  There are crunchy leaves in the parking lot and, sadly,

I know in my heart that it is farewell to summer and on to fall.  That said,

fall means I can start cooking heartier foods, comfort foods, some wonderful

soups, stews, curries and casseroles.  Plus, some of the fall book releases are out

now (hooray Louise Penny!) so the to-be-read pile will be getting taller but with more

time indoors due to the almost guaranteed rain to come,

there will be even more time for reading.  I haven’t gone to school for a long time now

but somehow September feels like the new year for me; a fresh start, time

to get to projects that have been put off and maybe even time to buy new clothes and shoes.

Hope you had a fabulous summer and that you will have a wonderful fall.

Happy New Year and have a great weekend!


Hi guys!

What’s awesome about our lines is…well everything. That’s why even
future politicians are happy to embrace them. Check out 19 year old
Morgan Baskin, rockin’ a Wendy Tancock streetcar tee!

- Tamara

And I couldn’t be happier. Say goodbye to grotesque humidity, and hello to six months of gentle, overcast

skies interrupted by the occasional week-long monsoon. I’m looking forward to layering up, enjoying

moist sea-breezes, and having beaches and bike lanes to myself (people are VERY fair-weather

outdoorsy around here). What could be more pleasant than waking up

at 2am to hear the ever-increasing drumming of sheet rain on the rooftop,

while knowing that you still have at least four more hours of sleep?

And let’s not forgot the blasts of colour that appear on those sunny, crisp days in October.

Fall is the best!


I hope everyone is enjoying the last long weekend of the summer (sobbing)!

I just wanted us all to remember that Labour Day has a long and important history, and make a quick reading suggestion for you, based on an interesting fact I dug up somewhere recently:

Between 1880 and 1882, 17,000 labourers were brought from China to build the Canadian
Pacific Railway’s passage through the Rockies. 4,000 died during the building of
this section.

For an excellent exploration of Chinese Canadians working on the railways, check out David H.T. Wong’s Escape to Gold Mountain.

Escape to Gold Mountain
A Graphic History of the Chinese in North America
by Wong, David H.T. (10/01/12)
9781551524764 | Arsenal Pulp Press | UTP
Paperback | Price: $19.95



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