After a glorious summer and fall we had a bit of a rainy day here on Vancouver Island.  With  a shorter greyer

day one feels a definite lack of vitamin D – commonly known as the sunshine vitamin.

But not to worry – just grab a couple of tins of sardines and  Barbara-jo McIntosh’s Tin Fish Gourmet

from Arsenal Pulp Press.  There are 8 recipes for sardines from Curry Sardines on Toast to

Golden Pappardelle with Sardines, Fennel and Saffron. 100 grams ( about eight fish) provide forty percent

of the recommended daily allowance of calcium and 100 percent of vitamin D necessary for its absorption.

So go ahead and soak up your sardines!





I don’t even really know how to begin this post. Last week Jim Deva died.

Jim was co-owner of Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium, an LGBTQ

bookstore here in Vancouver. But Jim was more than that. He was the

guy who fought Canada Customs all the way to the Supreme Court. Twice.

On top of that, he was incredibly kind, and beloved in his community.

I’ve only been selling to Little Sister’s for two years, but in that time I’d

come to know him a little, and hugely enjoyed our sales appointments.

His death has left a hole for many people, and I wish his loved ones all

the best at this difficult time. To find out more about the incredible

history of Little Sister’s, check out their Wikipedia page.


Happy Friday!  Yesterday was the first full day of autumn and

here in Vancouver it came in with rain and wind.  No doubt at all

that summer is well and truly over.  Last night I was lying in bed

listening to the storm and thinking how  wonderful it is to be able to hear the

rain and wind and be all cozy and cuddled up with the cats.  My thoughts strayed

to what I should be reading next and I had a look around the room.  I like to have a

selection of books available in just in case I don’t feel like reading one or another of them

but I came to the realization that maybe my selection was a bit too big.  I have piles of books

on my dresser, two or three piles on the bedroom floor and more piles in what we call the library.

That brought to mind something I saw online recently – see if you can relate:

To Be Read Pile

I hope you have a great weekend that includes making your to-be-read pile a bit smaller.


Hi guys!

We had our monthly office Eats ‘n Tweets this week and it was delicious! Karen slaved away and made

us a chicken arugula salad with toasted almonds and a red berry fruit salad…which was so

delicious that it has been on my mind ever since it entered my mouth. The recipes come from,

FROM A POLISH COUNTRY HOUSE KITCHEN by Anne Applebaum and Danielle Crittenden (Raincoast Books).

Check out more pics on our Facebook Page!



I divide my reading week like this: nonfiction books that require concentration on weekends, and fiction

on weekdays. When I am particularly busy, I read spy thrillers. I don’t have any real interest in espionage,

but spy thrillers have a proud tradition of luscious descriptions of people eating and drinking.

People remember Ian Fleming’s James Bond mostly for the sex and violence, but

I enjoy them for the fantastic descriptions of meals and the inhuman appetites for

alcohol exhibited by many of the characters. Literary fiction,

somewhat like real life, is mostly concerned with moral and intellectual issues, so

when I am stressed I prefer to read about people gorging themselves.

One of the joys of my job is that I’ve been introduced to the spy fiction of Olen

Steinhauer. Although he is more

in line with Le Carre or Graham Greene than Ian Fleming, his latest book, ALL THE OLD KNIVES

(coming Oct. 3rd) takes place mostly over the course of a single dinner, and so

nicely ticks all the boxes for my tastes in spy thrillers.




http://     What’s your enneagram?

I just received a sample of  Inner Spaces – Paul Vincent Wiseman & the Wiseman Group

published by Gibbs Smith. It is a stunning book showcasing the commissions of this  San Francisco

interior design firm which specializes in creating residences which reflect the personality and aspirations

of their clients.   The styles range from a Cotswold-inspired cottage ; an Italianate Villa;

apartments in New York and Chicago; to Maui modernism.  Frank Gehry writes the foreword and  explains

how Wiseman’s attention to site and context reflects the thoughtful interaction with the architecture of the building.

In the preface Wiseman thanks among others his enneagram therapist which piqued my curiosity.

Check out this quiz to find your personal enneagram and check out the book – you won’t be disappointed!

Well it’s official everyone. Summer is over.

My face:

I mean, that’s the official date, but I think we all knew fall was here when

pumpkin spice started taking over our lives. Did you get a chance to read

this piece a few weeks ago? I like a good PSL as much as the next girl, but

August 25th is TOO EARLY for that business!


I am not your typical reader of graphic novels but

I have enjoyed quite a few of them now and have just started

and am really  liking The Sculptor by Scott McCloud  (First Second).


The Sculptor

Scott McCloud wrote the classic books

Understanding Comics and Making Comics but

this book is different.  It is about a man who makes a deal with

Death so he can sculpt anything in his imagination.  Of course there

is a downside, it is Death after all.  The downside is the sculptor only

has 200 days to live.   Dun dun dun….

You’ll have to read the book for yourself to find out what happens.

Have a great weekend!




Hi guys!

Well we did it! The Toronto team finally took the plunge and followed the Vancouver office in doing a

group mail out. We were warned of blood, sweat, and tears, (well at least a few paper cuts). Oddly, there

was none of that, not even one paper cut. Actually, a word of advice to the Western office: just take her

easy. Paper cuts are not necessary. Same with running shoes, we didn’t need them either. I have an

inkling that the West’s mail out is a heck of a lot more intense than the East’s. We just put on the

Lionel Richie Songza playlist and packed up some catalogues. It went swimmingly. Except when we ran

out of envelopes. But that was quickly resolved.

So now it’s a week later and this is what our office still looks like:



Since we keep losing reps to various colds and sales meetings, I can’t figure out if the mail party is done or

if we should keep the office looking like this.

Anyone? Hello? Bueller?

- Tamara

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.





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