New year, new books to read! This month, we're turning our attention to the latest offerings that will help keep our resolutions on the right path.
THE AGE OF LIGHT (Fiction)
This year, my goal is to devote more attention to debut authors. To that end, Whitney Scharer's seductive and searing semifictional tale of the life of Lee Miller, 1920s model–turned-photographer-turned–Second World War correspondent for Vogue and muse/lover of artist Man Ray, is first on my list, and it's an amazing read. In Scharer's skilful hands, the blend of what's fact and fiction is seamless and reveals the brave, unconventional and daring Miller as—despite all her illustrious hyphenates—a heartbreakingly human woman whose extraordinary life is worth commemorating. Lee Miller—and Whitney Scharer—are my new idols. —Suzanne Moutis
The Age of Light (Little, Brown and Co.) by Whitney Scharer, $23.
KINDA VEGAN (Cookbook)
To be honest, restrictive diets aren't my thing. But with increased awareness of how food production impacts climate change (which is an in-our-lifetime threat), I'm seeking out new ways to add vegetable-based meals to my repertoire that are tasty and easy to pull together. It's a resolution I aim to keep this year, so I'll be relying on a few vegan and vegetarian cookbooks to help me through. I can't wait to make the Easy Black Bean Burgers and the Eggplant Puttanesca from this pick, out in January. —Alexandra Donaldson
Kinda Vegan (Adams Media) by Adams Media, $26.
GOOD AND MAD (Nonfiction)
Let's face it: As women, we live in a world that doesn't take our anger seriously and has taught us to suppress our rage. I know that I, for one, can bottle things up. So when I picked up the latest from Rebecca Traister—author of All the Single Ladies, writer for New York magazine and contributing editor at Elle—I was inspired by her sharp insights in this exploration of the power of women's anger and its ability to effect change and alter the course of history. Good and Mad will fire you up, leaving you educated and resolved to put your rage to good use in 2019. I'll be recommending it to everyone I know. —Amanda Etty
Good and Mad (Simon & Schuster) by Rebecca Traister, $36.
THE MARTHA MANUAL (Nonfiction)
My New Year's resolution takes
the cake (literally): Be more like Martha Stewart. I want to be tidier, better organized, able to fix anything, remove any stain, grow a great garden, mend my clothes, tackle my home handiwork, host a killer party and cook the perfect feast—with, of course, a perfectly frosted cake to finish it all off. Luckily, I've laid my hands on an expert how-to for everything listed above—The Martha Manual: How to Do (Almost) Anything. A tell-all tome for budding homemakers and aspiring do-it-yourselfers, this will be my key to being the queen of doing it all. —Sara Cation
The Martha Manual (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Martha Stewart, $50.
FROM OUR TEST KITCHEN
QUICK 400-CALORIE FAVOURITES (Cookbook)
Every day at Canadian Living, most of the staff has lunch together at our large meeting table. In fact, the two most-asked questions around the office are "What are you having for lunch today?" and "Is it lunchtime yet?" Of course, a lot of our culinary inspiration comes courtesy of the mouthwatering food that our Test Kitchen creates. So when we were talking about our 2019 goals, naturally the topic of eating came up. In a stroke of genius, we decided we would each…um…take a page, if you will, from the Test Kitchen's latest cookbook, Quick 400-Calorie Favourites (on sale Jan. 19) and devote one day a week to making a 400-calorie lunch with one of the recipes. With all the yummy dishes to choose from, we see a delicious year ahead!
Quick 400-Calorie Favourites (Juniper Publishing) canadianliving.com/books, $20.
OUR FAVOURITE BOOKS ABOUT LOVE
- Pride and Prejudice (Harper Perennial) by Jane Austen, $12.50.
- The Course of Honour (Arrow) by Lindsey Davis, $40.
- Outlander (Doubleday Canada) by Diana Gabaldon, $45.
- Venetia (HQN Books) by Georgette Heyer, $7.
- The History of Love (WW Norton) by Nicole Krauss, $22.
- Love Story (Bantam) by Erich Segal, $10.
- Romeo and Juliet (Simon & Schuster) by William Shakespeare, $13.
OUR STAFF REVIEWERS
Sara Cation has wept her way through a litany of literary heartbreaks, from The Little Prince to A Little Life, but she's buoyed by the likes of Shteyngart and Safran Foer. She reads anything set in North Korea or India but never touches self-help or romances.
Alexandra Donaldson loves reading literary fiction, essay collections, dark humour, Canadian authors and magical realism. This, and the fact that she's one of our resident fashion editors, makes her the closest thing we have to Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
Amanda Etty has an affinity for nail-biting thrillers and smart, funny books written by smart, funny women. She's always on the hunt for her next favourite novel, although she's currently working her way through a stack of parenting books (toddlers, right?).
Suzanne Moutis almost always has her nose in a book, be it Golden Age mystery, Second World War history or Hollywood tell-all. She unapologetically loves Regency romances and young adult fiction but flatly refuses to read anything that will make her cry.