The Baltimore House

Friday, 30 December 2011

A friend recommended that I visit The Baltimore House, a new space that the Hamilton Spectator called "part cafĂ©, part reading spot, part music venue, and eventual night club." I'm so glad that I immediately took her advice. After one quick visit, I already know that The Baltimore House, which is located on King William on top of one of my favourite new restaurants in the city, The Flavour of Himalaya, will become one of my go-to places when I'm looking for somewhere to work, blog, or read. How can you not love a place that names its sandwiches after one of your favourite poets, Edgar Allen Poe? It doesn't hurt that the antique furniture and minimal lighting creates the perfect atmosphere for snapping photos. I would definitely recommend The Baltimore House to anyone in Hamilton who is looking for a mature place with plenty of character. I'm so happy that there is finally a coffee culture beginning to thrive in Hamilton.

Holiday Round-Up

Thursday, 29 December 2011

It's December 29th and I'm only just starting to emerge from the food and drink coma brought on by the holidays. I hope everyone was lucky enough to have a few days full of good food, relaxation, and family like I did. I wasn't only spoiled through food and drink, but also way too many gifts, including a new Kobo Touch from my sister, which has hurled me into the world of e-Reading.

The best part of the holidays so far has been a few well-needed days off. The last few months have been hectic at work, and I've been looking forward to some time away. Last night Jordan was out, so I took some time to start navigating my Kobo and watch Finding Farley, a documentary I've been trying to watch for quite a while. The film, which is about a family's adventure travelling from coast to coast to visit Farley Mowat, has given me the crazy idea that I should try to read each of Farley's books in 2012. It's ambitious, but I've put The People of the Deer on hold at the library. It's worth a try.

I'm not one for resolutions, but I paid off my student loan last week as a Christmas gift to myself, which has my mind reeling with possibilities of travel and upgrading to a larger apartment in 2012. I'm hoping that a little bit of financial freedom will bring me a step closer to a home office and stepping away from the daily commute. Cheers to 2012!

For the bookish folks on your list …

Wednesday, 7 December 2011
The tree is up, I've watched a few snippets of It's a Wonderful Life, and I've been humming along to holiday tunes for the past few weeks; however, I'm far from ready for the holidays. A few stocking stuffers aside, I've barely bought any gifts, let alone provided Jordan (the better half) with any useful ideas for me. My own disorganization has prompted this post, in hopes that it will spark a few ideas for people with book lovers on their lists.

1. Vintage Books

This list isn't in chronological order; however, personally, vintage books take the top spot on my list. (Are you taking notes, Jordan?)

Not only are vintage books wonderful, tactile artifacts from the past, they're also the perfect gift to personalize. I'm not talking about taking a Sharpie to the inside cover; rather, I mean the act of choosing the perfect vintage book for the person on your list. Because I work in educational publishing for children, and picture books are a love of mine, vintage picture books are one of my favourite relics to buy and receive. I also find myself drooling over vintage cookbooks in used bookstores and at antique shows, wishing I had a vintage-cookbook-loving foodie on my shopping list.

The best part about gifting vintage books is you can often find the perfect gift sitting in a stack for only a few dollars or even cents.

2. Tree of Codes

I wasn't going to list any specific books here because, as book lovers, we all have such unique tastes; however, Tree of Codes by Jonathon Safron Foer is so unlike anything else that exists that any book lover will truly appreciate it. I don't think I can describe this book any better than I did in the first post I ever wrote on Not My Typewriter:

"Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer is so delicate that I can barely turn a page without worrying one might tear. It is one of those books that almost seems too beautiful to read. Foer, who wrote possibly the best book I read in 2010, Eating Animals, has extracted his own story, using the text of his favourite book, Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz. Tree of Codes is an art project, utilizing die-cutting techniques to literally carve a new book in to an old one. Aesthetically, it is breathtaking, and I can’t wait to (very carefully) read it."


3. Postcards from Penguin

Quick thinking isn't always one of my strongest skills, especially when it comes to shopping, so I passed up on this collection of postcards at Pottery Barn (of all places) a few weeks ago, simply because I couldn't think of what I could do with 100 Penguin postcards. I've been regretting that decision ever since, hoping that my shopping partner (my sister) somehow found a way to sneak back and buy them for me while I was in a fitting room or taking a bathroom break.

I keep thinking of places around my apartment where a few of them would look perfect in tiny frames, and they could also be my inspiration for a postcard-writing revival. If I find this wrapped under my Christmas tree, I'll be on the lookout for some bookish penpals.

Advent Book Blog

Sunday, 4 December 2011

In 2009, the Advent Book Blog launched, fuelling me to begin my own challenge on my now almost defunct personal blog. Just as I've failed at maintaining my personal blog, I very much failed at my challenge to write a one-sentence book review every day in December 2009. Despite this personal failure, I still look forward to the relaunch of the Advent Book Blog every December, which always prompts me to add at least one or two new titles to my Christmas list. I'm so thrilled that it's December and the Advent Book Blog's mini reviews are pouring into my Google reader, but I'm even more thrilled to have contributed a review this year. Check out my mini review of the Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary. I don't think I need to write a post about my favourite book of 2011. It's pretty obvious!
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