Those Days

eruth  belcanto

Oh those days. The ones when I did nothing but half sleep and half nurse on our couch with a new baby nestled in one arm and a book in the other.  There were always movies playing in the background, everything courtesy of our Shaw Branch library in Toronto, the little one we loved across the street from the Metro and the Shopper’s. That my friends was a big morning out. Unless I was exceptionally daring and stopped on the way at my favourite coffee place. Looking back now, I’m not sure why I didn’t do that more. But we were alone a lot, it was just the three of us, William, Scott and I during that  year off and we didn’t get to know many people. Scott worked in the front office on his thesis, the same room where my dear friend Elizabeth Ruth wrote her gorgeous novel, Ten Good Seconds of Silence. That’s another story; how we got that apartment a few years after taking a writing course she taught at George Brown. She liked my story and with a wonderful group of women we formed a writing group and became friends.

William’s first  year was quiet and safe and slow, the three of us  wrapped up together in that most perfect apartment (our first that was in a house, at street level which meant our first mailbox!).  I could and should write stories about the other people (and cats and birds) who lived in our building.

During that year I remember reading and loving Sarah Water’s Fingersmith, Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, The Mermaid’s Chair by Sue Monk Kidd. I discovered Lisa Moore and Heather O’Neill!  I wish I’d kept a diary of my reading then (I do now), it’s getting hard to remember.

When Rory was born we were in Waterloo and I remember breezing through the Shopaholic series and loving Jools Oliver’s book Minus Nine to One. I also remember on a particularly tired night (things are so different with a newborn and a toddler) lying on the couch in our newly rented house (not pretty) and opening up a book called Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, and falling in love so deeply from the very first line. And that was where this post was supposed to begin.
























Bookshop Beginnings

It’s tough to start something new, or in this case, start over. I still remember the first post I wrote on the old blog, about two children under five who are now eleven and nine. But I’m not going to talk about them so much, because things change and they simply don’t want me to and really that’s not why I’m here.

I’m here to tell you about everything amazing I’ve read since then.

Here’s a new one from Christmas and it’s the one I want to start with.


I blame this gorgeous book, Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores by New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein for getting me here. It is the prettiest book I own. Look here to see what I’m talking about, so many perfect postcard paintings of beautiful bookshops from around the world. I want to own and run one, just one, maybe the one in Portugal which may have inspired the staircases in Harry Potter. But instead I will work on this blog and see it as a bookshop not in selling but in collecting books and words and stories and hopefully community. Scott also said he’d build a little library for our front yard this spring so that’s almost the same and I’m sure Ann Patchett and Emma Straub (my bookstore-owning heroes) would totally agree.

So let’s go from here.