Tag Archives: book recommendations

Forty Years With the Force

Poster for Return of The Jedi by Matt Ferguson
image © Matt Ferguson

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, so this post will feature all things Star Wars for all ages, whether you’re new or seasoned fans! The franchise is galaxy-spanning, so I’m not going to be able to recommend everything, but if I miss a favourite of yours, chime in in the comments!

Also, expect to see minor spoilers, though I will try to avoid major ones.

We’ll start things off with the original trilogy featuring Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, which you can borrow individually or as a trilogy set.

Follow it up with the prequel trilogy (or don’t, if you hate them, although I personally enjoy them) in The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith for insight into Luke’s origins and why and how he came to be the Jedi’s new hope.

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From Page to Screen: Cookbook Edition

We’ve all heard of books being adapted into Netflix series or blockbuster franchises, but what about cookbook authors who make the leap from page to screen? The media landscape for foodies is rich and varied. More and more, food writers are being asked to extend their skills to media production. I wanted to share some of the books and authors who have meant something to me in my life because of both the quality of their writing and their charismatic presence on my computer or television screen. 

Claire Saffitz 

Cover image for the cookbook Dessert Person.

After the fallout at Bon Appetite magazine and YouTube channel regarding allegations of inequitable practices and unfair treatment of racialized staff, Claire Saffitz made the move to her own YouTube channel, penned Dessert Person. Her new cookbook of the same name arrived shortly after. Dessert Person videos are somehow both calming, leisurely strolls through a recipe and, at the same time, bely an immense need to achieve perfection at all costs. Saffitz is methodical, analytical, and measures every ingredient to several decimal points (I’m mostly kidding). 

The great thing about her recipes is that she embodies something Julia Child would have loved, which is scientific workability, or the ability to reproduce anything she makes in your kitchen at home. She includes a lot of detail, specific descriptions of how things should look, and alternative methods if you don’t have the time or equipment to make it her way. Saffitz is in no hurry with her baking, which over the years I have found is a good mindset for baking. If you’re in a hurry for your dessert to be done, the dessert doesn’t care. It simply deflates, overcooks, undercooks, doesn’t combine properly, or the carrots in your carrot muffins turn green. Don’t get me started. Don’t be in a hurry. Let your ingredients and recipe set the pace for you. Your baking will turn out better for it. 

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One e-Read Canada: Tatouine

The Cover of Tatouine by Jean-Christophe Réhel

Do you enjoy reading e-books? Yes? That’s the only response I’ll accept 😛 A no just means you haven’t tried it yet or did in the days of the abysmally difficult-to-use Adobe Digital Editions. These days e-books are amazingly easy to use on just about any device, and if you’ve got a Kobo, they can be downloaded directly to your reader without going through extra software. You owe it to yourself/your gas budget/your eyes/your reading addiction1 to try out an e-book. And with One eRead Canada happening, you have no excuse not to try one! Throughout the month of April, Tatouine by Jean-Christophe Réhel is available through Overdrive to everyone who wants to download and read it without waiting. Additionally, the campaign has two national events around the book. An English discussion with the translators on the 19th and a French interview with the author on the 25th.

Tatouine is a poignant and often humorous novel about an unnamed protagonist in his thirties navigating life with cystic fibrosis. Despite the challenges that come with his illness, including bouncing between dead-end jobs and losing his apartment, he remains upbeat and uses humour and daydreams to cope with his day-to-day struggles. These dreams often revolve around escaping to the fictional planet “Tatouine,” similar to but distinct from Tatooine, due to his love of the Star Wars Franchise. On this planet, he’ll make sand angles and play Mario games all day. This is a novel that is not shy to reference real-world media. The protagonist even names his new basement apartment in Repentigny “Dagoba.” And despite its dinginess, the move has an upside – a friendship with the new landlord.

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