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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. 

Audible.ca 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 audible.ca 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 Audible.ca 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.