What I'm looking for . . .
When it comes to fiction or memoir, I’m looking for a voice that is arresting from the first page, as in Catherine Gildiner’s Coming Ashore. A strong story is important too, and though I generally don’t acquire genre fiction (romance, sci-fi, mystery, etc.), some genre flair can be a welcome addition, as in Alexandra Grigorescu’s Cauchemar. With Crissy Calhoun, I edit the Pop Classics series, and I also work on pop culture books outside the series, especially music books (Joni Mitchell, Nowhere with You). I am always looking for books on health, social issues and the environment, and especially love when those things intersect (The Urban Cycling Survival Guide, Born to Walk). While I don't acquire problem-oriented self-help, I am a sucker for books about self-improvement: let's call this category being awesomer.
What I read (and loved) recently . . .
I’m often drawn into practical memoirs, and found Dan Harris's 10% Happier to be the perfect example — it’s insightful, critical and funny, not to mention genuinely useful. That blend of the personal and the expository shows up in other recent favourites like Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me, Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist and anything by Rebecca Solnit. Recent fiction highlights have been The Goldfinch, All My Puny Sorrows, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, Vanessa and Her Sister, Carry On, and Station Eleven.
What I do outside of work . . .
I have a lot of labour-intensive hobbies (gardening, preserving, soap-making), and dedicate much of my time and sweat to yoga, triathlon training, and ultimate frisbee. I also love me some Netflix and listen to a ton of CBC Radio, NPR and podcasts in general. I travel and lounge in lakes as much as possible.