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The big day is finally here and I am looking forward

to the little trick or treaters to come knocking on my

door this evening.  We get some not-so-little trick or

treaters too but I figure if they’re brave enough to dress

up they deserve some candy.  We have two distinct bowls

to hold the candy (and two types of candy – may contain

nuts and nut-free).  One of the bowls is a black bowl with

half an arm clad in a purple sleeve and holding a wand

attached to it.

When someone takes candy from it a voice intones “Go0d choice”

or “Your future looks sweet” and other not too scary sentences

as the arm waves the wand over the bowl.  The other isn’t

technically a bowl but a replica of a skull with an opening cranium

and eye sockets that light up with red lights.  When someone

takes candy from the scull, it says “Happy Hallowe’en!” in a

scary voice.  I have to make sure I don’t offer it to very small

children as it could be quite frightening.

After the trick or treating is done for the evening, we join our

neighbours on the corner and one of the dads sets off fireworks

(we all chip in some money so we get quite a nice display).

The adults chat and imbibe and the kids run around working off

all the sugar they’ve consumed.  Luckily our street is a dead-end

and we don’t really get any traffic so it is fairly safe to stand

in the street, watch fireworks and hang out.

Hope you have a happy (and safe) Hallowe’en



PS In case you’re wondering, one of my favourite books around

Hallowe’en time is:

Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance

Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance

9780811854528  $8.50

Chronicle Books/Raincoast

Happy Halloween my friends! One more sleep and we can get our spooky on!

Check out our staff’s Halloween picks:

October Staff Picks_Page_1

October Staff Picks_Page_2

And just FYI I’d pick Hogwarts. No wait, Neverland. Or no, Narnia. Yeah, definitely


Which Door

And finally, let’s start thinking about how we can make this happen:

Trick or Treat

Have a great Halloween!

- Tamara

So after a week where everyone at the office got a cold, I tried to get back on the bike (literally)

since it’s Bike-to-Work-Week here in Vancouver.

I hit my first hill and that was it. Click the image to find out how I felt.

cat sleep

Good thing 3/4′s of my ride to work is downhill. Coasting is useful sometimes!


Tree of the Year - pk


Having spent a lot of the weekend raking and piling leaves on the boulevard

I have been contemplating trees this week.  In my neighbourhood increasing

demand for housing in the city results in subdivided lots with trees coming down

to make way for more homes.  I do miss those trees!

Yesterday  I read a  BBC feature  story about a Tree of the Year contest.

Experts at the British Woodland Trust and other nature groups have drawn up a shortlist of 10 trees.

A public vote determines the winner.   Voters are asked to consider the cultural and ecological value.

This year finalists include 7 oaks, two yews and an apple tree – Newton’s apple tree to be exact.

One of the oaks is 800 years old and believed to have sheltered Robin Hood.

Check out all the finalists in the link below.  And ponder their beauty and history

while you are raking or walking through the fall leaves.



So I live in an apartment. Which means no trick-or-treaters. Very sad, I know.

But because I like to be prepared, I always buy some Halloween candy

JUST IN CASE. You know, just in case I want to eat some Halloween candy.

(I do)


Happy Friday!

First, here’s something to make you smile:

Second, I just found out that an author liked my review of his book on Goodreads!

That’s a new experience for me and it was quite exciting.  The book was The Baklava Club by Jason Goodwin

and it was the fifth of a series of books set in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire featuring Yashim, a

eunuch who happens to be a very good investigator.  I think I may have posted about him before but he’s

well worth mentioning again and well worth reading about.  The stories are good, you get a lot of historical

detail and Yashim likes to cook so you get some tasty looking ideas for what you might want to eat this


Check out the books:

The Janissary Tree

1.The Janissary Tree  9780312426132


The Snake Stone

2.The Snake Stone   9780312428020


The Bellini Card

3.The Bellini Card   9780312429355

An Evil Eye

4.An Evil Eye   9781250002433

The Baklava Club

5.The Baklave Club   9780374294373  HC

(coming in paperback in June 2015)

Have a great weekend!


Hi guys!

Once I worked at a Polish bakery and one of my coworkers picked up a small white bun and said,
“This is potato bread, made from God’s greatest creation: the potato.” Before she said this, I
was under the impression that God’s greatest creation was the chicken wing. But then I thought
about what food I’d most likely have on a desert island, and the answer was obvious: potato chips.
It was a eureka moment, we’ve all had one.

So I beg you to watch this video on how to make homemade potato chips by the woman who brings
the crunchiest, most delicious salt and vinegar potato chip into my life every Friday after
work, Miss. Vickie herself.

Check out more info on her new book!

Miss Vickie


- Tamara

I just got my copy of  Molly Watson’s Greens + Grains published by Chronicle Books.

It’s full of inspiring recipes

with great colour photos.  You can use a lot of kale, chard

and collards in these dishes and combine them with grains in every recipe.

Watson’s advice is honest – she likes some grains a lot more than others.

Her advice for cooking millet  -  “add  plenty of butter and cheese.”

Meat and seafood recipes are also included

plus many of the meals can be cooked in one pot.  Hurray!





It’s Vancouver International Writer’s Festival time! It starts tomorrow!

There are so many authors! I’m overwhelmed and forced to use exclamation


No but seriously, it’s a pretty excellent week, and I’m going to try to

check out at least a few events, plus the opening reception is always a

great place to catch up with publishing biz people. Also, once I’m down

on Granville Island, I obviously need to go somewhere to eat, and I’m

leaning pretty heavily towards either Edible Canada or you know, maybe

just a dozen of Lee’s Donuts!


Happy Friday!  Today’s fashion lesson, add a scarf!

A few years ago I was in a high-end charity consignment store in  San Francisco.

The woman volunteering that day was friendly and warm and we got to talking about scarves.

She told me a story of when she was in Paris and her husband was at a conference so she was at loose ends.

She wanted to do some window shopping but the skies opened and down came the deluge.

She took refuge in the Hermes store, knowing she couldn’t afford to buy anything but she said

the sales lady was so wonderful, she spent half an hour teaching her all different ways to tie a

scarf to maximize its use.

The sales lady knew she wasn’t going to get a sale but she just wanted to share some good wardrobe knowledge.

Needless to say, I ended up buying a scarf from the storyteller after she shared with me what she had learned

at Hermes.

You don’t need to go to Paris or even San Francisco because Chronicle has the perfect book to meet all of

your scarf needs.

To quote the author “A scarf is the last flourish, the exclamation point to the daily narrative of getting dressed,

and it has the ability to truly make an outfit.”

50 Ways to Wear a Scarf

50 Ways to Wear a Scarf  978-1-4521-2597-8   $18.95

Chronicle Books (Raincoast)

Have a great weekend.


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