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Formac Idle No More

Hi Everyone,

I didn’t get too much reading done this weekend, so unfortunately I can’t update you on any of those exciting

books I mentioned last time. BUT, I can update you to let you know that I’m now the rep for Ottawa

and Quebec! If you’re out there, look for me around bookfair time.


I’ve been enjoying Mark’s What I’m Reading posts so much that I decided, ”Hey, I ought to do my own!”

This weekend, I was faced with the difficult decision of what to read next, and to my surprise, found
myself grabbing an ARC of SWAY by Kat Spears. This YA contemporary book, about a boy who can get
just about anything you want (for a price), finds himself having to get a girl. For someone else. Sounds
like a fun, if cheesy, premise (She’s All That, anyone?) – like a lighthearted romance, a look at a bad boy
and his growing feelings for a nice girl. Sure, this book does deal with a romance, but it is so much more.


Sway by Kat Spears
HC | September 16th, 2014 |  
Raincoast/Macmillan – St. Martin’s Griffin | 9781250051431

SWAY is actually a darkly funny story about a high school boy named Jesse Alderman (also known as
“Sway”, much to his chagrin). Jesse is not your usual protagonist. He’s blunt and crude and a bit of a
jerk; he deals drugs; and when football star Ken pays him to get a girl named Bridget to date him, he ends
up going through with the deception. He lies to her and feeds Ken information so that he can finally win
Bridget over. But this time around, Jesse starts feeling things again – for this girl he’s handed over to
someone else for money, for her kid brother Peter with cerebral palsy who is starting to hang around
him (and doesn’t know when to shut-up), and for his business partners who might just consider him a
friend. This is a book about Jesse’s relationships – the one with his father, with his dead mother, with the
people he’s known for years and those he’s just met.

I was pleasantly surprised with this book and couldn’t put it down! So if you’re looking for a dark, honest
YA contemporary story, look no further. I know I’ll be looking forward to more from Kat Spears.

~ Vanessa

Wow, that was an AMAZING weekend, you guys!

I Anne-with-an-E’d it up, ate my own weight in seafood, and had the most wonderful time.

Pics or it didn’t happen!



Happy Friday.  My summer reading is in full swing and

I need more hours in the day or the ability to function well

with little or no sleep to keep up the momentum.

Reading is great any time of the year but

I seem to require more reading in the summer time

to keep me happy.  As you know, I am crazy about mysteries

and sometimes I get to read books that I don’t sell.  Andrea Davies,

owner of Hager Books in Vancouver gave me a book called

The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall

The Case of the Missing Servant

It is the first in a series about Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator,

and is a fun, informative and funny mystery.  The story is set in

contemporary Delhi, there is a marvelous cast of characters

(Vish nicknames his associates and others – meet Handbrake,

Facecream and Flush) and lots and lots about food.

Vish’s wife wants him to lose some weight but he just can’t resist all

the fabulous food available to him at his favourite roadside stands or

cafes. (Luckily for me a handy index of Indian terms has been provided

so I can decode everyday Indian words and phrases that

I’m not familiar with.)

Vish uses investigation techniques that predate Sherlock Holmes;

indeed he bitterly resents any comparisons bewteen himself and the famous

detective.  This is the first in a series and Vish is hired to investigate a

servant girl who has gone missing.

His normal routine is doing background checks for prospective mates in arranged

marriages so this is a change of pace.   The story is sharply written and

I found myself laughing out loud more than a few times.  The book

doesn’t sugar coat the way things are and are done  in India

and one gets a picture of some of the good and not

so good qualities about Indian life while being entertained by an engaging

story.  I’m looking forward to the other books in the series.

Speaking of not sleeping:


Not sleeping because of a good book

Have a great weekend.



Hi guys!

Guess where I will be on August 9th? Where I usually am on a Saturday…the
mall. Only this time there will be a special occasion to visit the Eaton Centre.
What could be more special than the endless search for the perfect pair of flats/
skirt/necklace/lipstick/book, you ask? This:

Grumpy Cat

Oh yes, Grumpy Cat herself will be at Indigo on August 9th at 3 pm to promote
her book The Grumpy Guide to Life. If you’re in need of a dose of wit, wisdom, and
indifference, then come out and see our favourite feline be fantastic(ly grumpy)!

Yours miserably,


Now that I’m back in the office and my travels are slowing a bit, I’m going to take some time to share with you

all some of the great content that is piling up on my desk and that I’m Reading Now or I Will Be Reading Shortly.

I’m Reading Now

You may recall that a few posts ago I was reading CLEARING THE PLAINS from James Daschuk

and the University of Regina Press. Thankfully I found some time to finish it, and I have to say that it definitely deserves all of that award attention – it’s great

historical writing with crucial relevance to today. And thankfully for all of you, it’s coming in paperback on August 1st!

clearing the plains

I’m also planning on getting into SHOWA: A HISTORY OF JAPAN 1939-1944 by Shigeru Mizuki and

Drawn & Quarterly. I read the previous volume covering the years 1926-1939 a few months ago. It’s a semi-fictionalized, autobiographical story of the author’s

life growing up during the Depression and World War II. The book has two halves – the larger political story of Japan, and the author’s own life as a young man.

The political and military narrative is drawn in a realistic or photographic style, while the author’s narrative is drawn in a more traditional cartoon style that

exaggerates the  physical attributes and facial expressions of all the characters. Although jarring at first, I eventually felt that this juxtaposition helps the

reader empathize with Shigeru Mizuki and to feel some of his own alienation from larger events. I’m looking forward to more, and

lucky me, there is a third volume coming this Fall!

showa 2

On a much lighter note, I’m also reading a copy of THE KING’S DRAGON by Scott Chantler and Kids Can Press that found it’s way to my desk. It’s part four of a graphical novel fantasy series about Three Thieves (which is also the series name). It’s sort of like The Legend of Zelda meets The Fugitive meets George R. R. Martin’s The Hedge Knight (part of the ubiquitous Game of Throne series). So if that doesn’t interest you, I seriously don’t know what else could.

Although now that I think about it, when we heard about the book at sales conference I think they said “if the previous books were The Fugitive, this is US Marshals…” which is pretty rad. It’s also got a cool almost-Frank Frazetta Conan the Barbarian thing happening on the cover.

king's dragon

Will Be Reading Shortly

Finally, we have advances in the office of a book called OUR ICE IS VANISHING / SIKUVUT NUNGULIQTUQ: A HISTORY OF INUIT, NEWCOMERS, AND CLIMATE CHANGE from Shelley Wright and McGill-Queens University Press. I’m looking forward to learning some new things.

That’s it for me this week – I’ll be brightening your day again next Wednesday!


Yesterday was our July Eats ‘n’ Tweets, where one of us in the Toronto office cooks a meal
from one of our cookbooks for everyone! Deciding that I wanted to make something healthy
and quick (cause who likes slaving away hours in the kitchen?!), I took home the Crazy Sexy Kitchen
cookbook (Hay House, Raincoast Books).


I made some super easy-to-make pita pizzas using mini whole wheat pita bread, a homemade
marinara sauce, spinach, yellow peppers, and some mozzarella (the cookbook suggests fake
cheese, but since none of us in Toronto are vegan and we all have a love of cheese, I just
used the real deal!). As a salad, a deliciously simple spinach and strawberry salad with
roasted walnuts and a balsamic vinaigrette was on the menu.

Want to see how it turned out? Check out the pics on our Facebook page!

~ Vanessa

Greetings from Halifax!

I’m here for the Atlantic Bookfair, which is put on by the Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association. It’s my first time heading this far east in the summer and I’m excited! I’m also really looking forward to thanking all the lovely booksellers who voted for me for Rep of the Year. I’ve been here since Friday, and working diligently all weekend, but what I’m really excited about (besides the food. You had to know I was excited about the food!) is my upcoming trip to PEI! YOU GUYS I AM GOING TO GREEN GABLES! Maybe Lisa from Woozles and I will become bosom friends? Maybe I’ll walk the White Way of Delight? Or go rowing in the Lake of Shining Waters? Anything could happen!!


Welcome to Friday.  I look forward to the weekends

because I love to cook and weekends give me more time

so I don’t have to do the quick recipes to get food on the table.

There is one recipe that I would make any night of the week though:

Everyday Green Beans from  quick & easy chinese by Nancie McDermott.

It elevates beans from every day to extraordinary.  Here’s the recipe:


Everyday Green Beans   (serves 4)

1 pound green beans

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon chopped garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup water or chicken stock

*To prepare the green beans, trim away the ends and pull

off any strings.  Chop the beans crosswise into 3-inch lengths.

*Heat a wok or a large, deep skillet over high heat.

Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan.  Add the garlic and salt

and toss until fragrant, about 15 seconds.

*Scatter in the green beans and toss well until they are shiny

and starting to brighten to a vivid green.  Add the water,

pouring it in around the sides of the pan, and toss well.

Cook, tossing now and then, until the green beans are

tender but still firm and the pan is almost dry.

*Transfer to a serving plate and serve hot, warm, or at

room temperature.


9780811859301  Chronicle Books / Raincoast

Happy cooking and have a great weekend.




Hi Blog Friends!

I thought I’d share this video of Louise Penny’s Convocation Speech at Bishop’s University.


- Tamara


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