Day 39: Book Recommendations

Last night I finished the first book I’d read a while and then we watched 1917. I’m not usually into period pieces or wartime moves but it kept me in suspense the whole time. I started another book in bed before falling asleep. I think an escape from reality was just what I needed yesterday.

A couple of months ago I was wandering aimlessly at Chapters (remember doing that?) and surprised myself at how many books I’d actually read. I took photos of all the covers to make a blog post with recommendations. I guess I didn’t really find the time until waking up at 5:30 this morning saying, today’s the day!

You’ll notice a theme, lots of thriller/suspense, almost no self-help. Reading for me is a distraction from the outside world and I love a good story involving some type of crime or murder. Idk why, I just do.

This post isn’t sponsored, I bought my own Kindle and most of these books. A few in the list below were advance reader copies from the publisher via PR or Netgalley. All books are linked on Amazon and can be found in my reading list here.

I love reading on the Kindle. Until I got an e-reader, it had been ages since I’d read a whole book. I love traditional books but with Kindle, you have almost any book at your fingertips, you can read in the sun, in the dark, in water, or highlight things to look back on later.

I also quite enjoy Audible, especially when the book is read by the author. A great feature of both Audible and Kindle is you can preview the book before you buy it, this has really come in handy with recommendations and the discovery process of finding your next read. Kindle is also cheaper than hardcover or paperback and you don’t have to wait for shipping.

Here are some books I’ve enjoyed reading over the past two years. My last post with summer books to read was in 2016, where did the time go!

My Top Picks to Read Right Now

Jessica Simpson‘s memoir ‘Open Book‘ is one of the best books I’ve read recently. I listened to it over an 8-hour drive to visit my dad in February. It was 4 hours each way and I loved listening, it’s real, honest, and so relatable. The Audiobook is read by her and I highly recommend.

I finished The Swap yesterday and I recommend pre-ordering it for June 23rd. It’s a suspenseful modern thriller about sex, friendship, social media, and fertility. I received an advance publisher copy via NetGalley, good read!

Woman On The Edge by Samantha Bailey is a great read, I couldn’t put it down. A page-turning thriller with a story that’s so well written. I received it from Simon Schuster and then got to meet the author at a luncheon. So good I’d almost read it again.

When Life Gives You Lululemons is a sequel to The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger. A light, funny and drama-filled read, it’s from the perspective of Emily Charlton on her new adventure. Good summer read.

Feel Good Light Listening

When You Find Out The World Is Against You is a collection of personal stories from Oxford’s life. The book is read by the author and documents her life, parenting, and is filled with references to being Canadian. I listened to it at the cottage this month on walks or while doing things around the house. A good distraction from life right now.

At first, I wasn’t into The Year of Magical Thinking but I was in a book club so I stuck with it. As I made my way through it, it really grew on me and I’ve since gone back to listen to the stories. It’s relaxing, comforting, and a really good book to give you perspective on life and death.

I worked with Anne T. Donahue at The Keg before I moved to Australia in 2004. I have always been a fan of her and the way she writes. Her book Nobody Cares is a collection of personal essays about life in your twenties and thirties, she talks about failure, feminism, body image, alcoholism, and growing up in our hometown. The audiobook is read by her!

I have gone back to The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck over and over. I’m not into self-help books that tell me how to live my life, this is not one of those. It will help you shift your perspective and think about that really matters to you, in YOUR life. I’m glad I purchased it on Audible because it’s a good kick in the ass when you need to get back on track.

Mystery & Thriller

My favourite genre to read are books that involve a couple, best friends, or family that have some type of twist and there’s always a murder. For some reason these books give me so much joy, I can’t stop reading them. This list is in no particular order, my most favs are bold.

Glad I finally put this list together, I’ve been meaning to do it for months. If you have any recommendations I’m all ears, feel free to share.

It’s still freezing outside but I’m feeling better today.

Giving Thanks All Year Round

Giving Thanks All Year Round

This weekend has been so nice. I spent most of Saturday sleeping and watching Netflix. I started This Is Us, no wonder it’s a top-rated show, it’s amazing. The storytelling, the acting, the realness. I only cried a couple times. I highly recommend it. I binged all 18 episodes over 2.5 days. I tweeted my love for the show and one of the lead actors, MiloVentimiglia, who plays Jack, liked my tweet and I fangirled a bit.

I also started a new book, The Party,  given to me this week by The Book Cupid, aka Jen Kirsch. So far it’s good. Killed 100 pages of it on the dock in the sun.

This time of year always gets me inspired. I make lists of my winter plans and what I want to focus on over the colder hibernation months. I love the energy a change of season brings. 

This week I’m working on some stuff with 1188 and speaking at a conference in Collingwood. On Friday my sister and I are going to a haunted house.


I’m thankful for a relaxing couple days at the cottage. Warm air. Cool nights by the fire. Eating snacks in the afternoon. Naps. Quiet time alone to write at my computer. Makin lists. New sketchbook. Netflix. Hot coffee. BUtter tarts with vanilla Kawartha ice cream. Layered outfits. Scarf season. Long drives on country roads. Family & friends. Fresh running water. Morning sunshine. Yoga classes in my schedule. My iPhone. And so many other little things every single day. I’m grateful all year round. launches w/ Margaret Atwood + Elisabeth Moss Reading Handmaid’s Tale

casiestewart, audible canada, train, montreal, margaret atwood, handmaids tale

Last week was full of adventure! On Wednesday morning I was at Union Station for the launch announcement of where Margaret Atwood spoke and Elisabeth Moss read from Handmaid’s Tale.

My fav moment was when Atwood was talking about Handmaid’s Tale and said ‘there’ll be no makeup in the dystopian future, WORST!‘. I didn’t expect that from her, she’s the best! I showed up just before it started and jumped into one of the last media seats. I love the opportunity to do this stuff! I took the UP Train from Bloor (near my house) and was there in about 10min.

Audible is an Amazon company (love Amazon!) and their Canadian programming includes 100 new titles from Canadian authors in (Eng & Fr), original programs, lectures, and comedy.

There’s a whole bunch of books on Audible read by celebrities including Samuel L. Jackson reading Adam Mansbach’s “Go the F— to Sleep”, Anne Hathaway reading L. Frank Baum’s ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, Naomi Watts  reading ‘Summer‘ by Edith Wharton, Kim Basinger reading ‘The Awakening’ by Kate Chopin, and Dustin Hoffman reading ‘Being There‘ by Jerzy Kosinski.

I love that you can listen to familiar voices. Don Katz, CEO of Audible, said they hope to be the largest employer of actors in Hollywood.  That’s a lofty goal but possible I reckon. Maybe I’ll read one someday!

Later in the day a bunch of media peeps boarded a branded Audible train to Montreal. They hooked us up with Audible swag and iPod Touches charged, and loaded with books. After about an hour on the train, I went into the last car, behind us to find a full-on charcuterie spread w/ full bar, candy, popcorn, coffee, shrimp, and more. It was fantastic! The fanciest train ride of my life!

I grabbed my computer and sat back there for a while. A special edition of The Handmaid’s Tale read by Claire Danes is free for a month and I listened to 12 chapters on the train!

Ontario is so beautiful, taking the train is pretty rad. There’s wifi, food, drinks, and great views.

audible_blog3, le labo, montreal
We stayed at the Queen Elizabeth Montreal and they have Le Labo! My fav is Santal 33. I asked for extra lotion! ??

Sign up for your first 30 daysmembership here, exchange any book you don’t like, and access 24/7 Customer Service. Listen to Claire Danes read The Handmaid’s Tale here.  

Thank you for taking me on this adventure. I can’t believe Gracie, Daniel, Julio and I didn’t get a photo together!

I absolutely love my Kindle and am looking forward adding  Audible to my reading routine.



Long Live Summer Chill Vibes

Sat out on my patio w/ some wine thinking about the last few months. It’s been nice to spend the last two weekends in the city but most my summer weekends were at the cottage. I’ve mentioned a whole bunch this year how I’ve been working hard to maintain balance. With social media and the life I’ve created surrounding it, it’s hard to keep balance. I’ve actually had to learn and discover what balance means for me.

Part of that has been yoga, reading more books, and getting to bed earlier. At the start of August Sean, and I spent a glorious 11 days at the cottage. We had a few nice days and it rained for 5 days in a row. It didn’t even bother me because I watched 2 entire seasons (Ozark + OITNB5) and read three whole books (How to Murder Your Life, The Killing Circle,  The Currency of Love). Each was a different story that took me to another place or made me think about my own life in a new way.

I’m looking forward to September, the change of seasons always brings a new energy, change of pace. Autumn is great for layering outfits. I ordered a few great items online that should *hopefully* all arrive in time for TIFF.

Next week is going to be really busy with the film festival and Toronto Fashion Week. I’ve got tickets to a couple films and fashion shows along with a few gifting lounges. I will be documenting EVERYTHING. I live for/love this time of year. It’s a chance to see heaps of colleagues, friends, and media related people I don’t see in my day-to-day stuff the rest of the year.


Shoutout to Jacob’s Creek winery from Australia. They sent over a few of these little cans of Moscato. It’s delicious. Balance is a healthy mix of yoga/wine, ok? ??

The cans launched this year at the LCBO and are $4.95 each. So great, so cute.

In other news, I painted our patio tables gold with Kyrlon a la Tiffany Pratt and they look amazing!

I’ve got the cans chilling at the office before a backyard hang w/ my BFFs later. I’ve also packed a sweet picnic setup from Netflix and Panago is hooking us up with PIZZA. Follow on my IG Stories here! 

5 Books to Read This Summer & The New RECO App

5 Books to Read This Summer & The New RECO App

When I was a kid my summers were spent playing outside or at the library. Each year mum had us join the Summer Reading Club where we would read a bunch of books, play with the other kids, talk about books, and at the end of the summer, a Teddy Bear Picnic. ??? I have such fond memories of reading but over the last few years I hadn’t read many book, this year I set a goal to read more.

A couple months ago I got an ereader a couple months ago and since then I’ve read 10 books. More than I’ve read in five years! Here’s my top 5 summer reads that will leave you wanting more. Download the new RECO app from Chapters Indigo and read reviews of all the books I’ve recently read. Reco is about inspiring your friends to read great books more often, so on that note, here’s my fav five I’ve read recently.

5 Books to Read This Summer

This list is a mix of light summer reading and suspense drama. I like to switch it up! I love books that take me on an adventure and leave me thinking about the characters when I’m going about my day. Safe to say I loved each one!

  1. She’s Not There by Joy FieldingThis is my most recent read.  Darling daughter Samantha (2) is kidnapped from their hotel room in Mexico while Caroline Shipley and her husband are celebrating their 10 year anniversary. This book is a suspenseful thriller and has a few twists as the story unfolds. I couldn’t wait to finish this one,  was left wondering what would happen next every single time I put it down. 
  2. You by Carolyn KepnesI was sent a copy of this from Simon & Shuster and it was SO GOOD. A twisted tale of love and murder with Joe and Beck. I loved the modern language and social media references. I had a few WTF moments, some laughs, and the rest of the time I was biting my lip with suspense while turning the page. Follow this up with Hidden Bodies by same author, amazing book that was a little more creepy. I read them in the wrong order but they were both great. 
  3. The Girls by Emma ClineI read this because it was on all the summer reading lists and it lives up to the hype. Evie Boyd is only a teenager when she meets Suzanne and starts hanging around the cult like crew of misfits in a rundown compound. It’s the summer of 1969 and a seemingly sweet girl starts her summer all innocent and by the end there’s sex, drugs, and murder mystery she can’t seem to escape. 
  4. Sweetbitter by Stephanie DanlerIf you’ve ever worked in a restaurant you’ll instantly connect with this book. Tess moves to NYC with big dreams and wide eyes for a new more exciting life. After getting a job as a ‘backwaiter’ she begins to experience food, wine, partying, and all kinds of of experiences that shape her life.  There’s a bit of romance, a love triangle, and no shortage of ups and downs. 
  5. Dark Places by Gillian FlynnThis is the story of Libby Day who was only seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas.” There’s a cult following of the murder and Libby discovers the Kill Club, who hopes to find evidence that will clear her brother Ben from the murder conviction. It’s a dark twisted thriller that’s incredibly well written. This book has been made into a movie w/ Charlize Theron but I’ve not seen it, reviews are meh! Same author as Gone Girl which, if you haven’t read, i’ll reco you do that too. 

Runners up to this list include Sweetbitter by Stepahie Danler, The Nest by Cynthia D’aprix Sweeney, Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave, and Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple.

The RECO App

This app is designed to give you recommendations from people you know an allows you to follow authors and other influencers on book choices. The app is easy to use and nicely designed, simple interface FTW. Reco is the first stand-alone digital experience from Indigo since they founded Kobo in 2009

Things to note:

Connect & Share: Share your fav books easily, write quick recos, make lists peole can follow

Discover: Find great books based on your interest, subscribe to curated lists from experts, personalization reminds me of Apple Music a bit with the topic selections,

Capture: Keep track of books you wanna read or have finished, make purchases from Indigo and Kobo in Canada, and iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo in the US and internationally.

Discuss: Discuss great books w/ your friends, connect w/ people who have common interests

Reco is available in Canada and the USA on any iOS device (iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad) from the Apple Store. Download it here.  Read my recos on the app here.

Read anything great lately? Love to know your recos in the app.

I’m sitting here wondering WHAT DO I READ NEXT?!