Books On My Night Stand


I love books, that's no secret! Often, when I hear about books I'd like to read, I put them on hold at the library and they usually trickle in at a reasonable pace.

But sometimes they pile up, as they've done now. If only I could steal away to a deserted cabin in the woods – with good lighting – and spend a few days disconnected from the world and surrounded by books.

Spatopia by Amy Rosen

I got this book for a little writing inspiration. I had the pleasure of meeting Amy on a press trip last year, and she's hysterically funny and an excellent writer.

She's the acting food editor at Chatelaine, the former food editor at House & Home, and a very successful freelance writer. Check out this long list of awards on her website. Wow.

­ Discover Italy by Lonely Planet

My wonderful friend Caralyn gave me this book after learning that I wanted to go to Italy for my tenth wedding anniversary this summer.

Sadly, it looks like that might not pan out, but at least I can plan my dream trip so I'll be ready to jump into action when the time comes. For now, just keeping this book by my bed makes Italy feel a little bit closer.

­ The Sunshine Coast Trail, 3rd Edition by Eagle Walz

Eagle Walz is one of those people who leaves his mark on your heart. He's a gentle and passionate wilderness crusader and, through the Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society (an organization he founded), has saved countless acres of old growth trees by building the 180-kilometre-long Sunshine Coast Trail.

­ A Dream of Giants: The Story of the Sunshine Coast Trail by Emma Levez Larocque

This is a beautiful and inspiring picture book that "tells the fascinating story of the land the Sunshine Coast Trail passes through, as well as that of the people who have worked to protect the giants of our forests for future generations."

­ Us: Transforming Ourselves and the Relationships That Matter Most by Lisa Oz

From left to right: Brian Mullins, Catherine Roscoe Barr, Lisa Oz, and Corin Mullins.

I got to meet Lisa Oz, co-author of You: The Owner's Manual along with her husband Dr Mehmet Oz, at a press conference following her keynote address at CHFA West (the annual Canadian Health Food Association conference), where she was promoting her new book, which I got a signed copy of.

Her appearance was sponsored by Holy Crap Cereal, a local company started by husband and wife team Corin and Brian Mullins (who appeared on CBC's TV show Dragon's Den with their gluten-free, vegan, and certified organic cereal).

­ Contents May Have Shifted by Pam Houston

I haven't dug into this one yet and can't remember who recommended it but it sounds like a good story and I like the cover. Here's a snippet from the publisher's synopsis:

"Stuck in a dead-end relationship, this fearless narrator leaves her metaphorical baggage behind and finds a comfort zone in the air, feeling safest with one plane ticket in her hand and another in her underwear drawer."

­ The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

This is another one I haven't started reading yet but it sounded totally up my alley – I love self-help stuff. It's written in the form of a 12-week guide and activity book. Here's a snippet from the publisher's synopsis:

"The Artist's Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. An international bestseller, millions of readers have found it to be an invaluable guide to living the artist's life."

­ Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move With Confidence by Eric Goodman and Peter Park

This is a book that absolutely everyone should read. Here's what the publisher says: "Foundation training shifts the focus from the front of your body to the back. By strengthening the full posterior chain and correcting poor movement patterns, you will maximize power, flexibility, and endurance and say goodbye to back pain."

The video above is co-author Eric Goodman talking about Foundation Training and the video below is co-author Peter Park (Lance Armstrong's strength and conditioning coach) showing four awesome core exercises.

­ Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr

I test drove this book at the library and loved it so much that I bought it. Kris Carr is one heck of an inspiring woman! Here's what Carr's website says about the book:

"Crazy Sexy Diet comes on the heels of Kris Carr’s best-selling cancer survival guidebooks and her acclaimed TLC documentary. Infused with her signature sass, wit and advice-from-the-trenches style, Crazy Sexy Diet is a beautifully illustrated resource that puts you on the fast track to vibrant health, happiness and a great ass!

"Along with help from her posse of experts, Carr lays out the fundamentals of her Crazy Sexy Diet: a low-glycemic, vegetarian program that emphasizes balancing the pH of the body with lush whole and raw foods, nourishing organic green drinks, and scrumptious smoothies. Plus, she shares the steps of her own twenty-one-day cleanse, and simple but delectable sample recipes."

­ The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer by Gretchen Reynolds

This is another book that everyone should read. I have this out from the library but have already ordered my own copy because it's so darn good. Seriously, who doesn't want to know how they can exercise better, train smarter and live long? And in only 20 minutes? Awesome!

Here's a snippet from the publisher's synopsis:

"With the latest findings about the mental and physical benefits of exercise, personal stories from scientists and laypeople alike, as well as researched-based prescriptions for readers, Gretchen Reynolds shows what kind of exercise – and how much – is necessary to stay healthy, get fit, and attain a smaller jeans size.

"Inspired by Reynolds's wildly popular 'Phys Ed' column for The New York Times, this book explains how exercise affects the body in distinct ways and provides the tools readers need to achieve their fitness goals, whether that's a faster 5K or staying trim."

­ Weeknights With Giada by Giada De Laurentiis

This is a great cookbook and I have a long list of recipes I'd like to try from it. I've already made one, the Mediterranean halibut sandwiches, and they were divine.

Stay tuned for the recipe, it will be up on the recipe blog I contribute to at, called What I Made For Dinner, late next week.