Here’s a list of my current favourite things – with a heavy focus on entertainment this month!


The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza: especially if you’re interested in the writing/magazine world, and the young-protegee-tries-to-step-over-the-boss theme

The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford: a psychological thriller – did Dana murder her friend during a blackout?

A Better Man by Leah MacLaren: this one’s original – in order to negotiate a better divorce settlement, Nick Wakefield plays the role of the perfect husband…but then realizes he wants to keep his family. Is he too late?

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion: a sequel to the bestselling The Rose Project, I found this one almost as enjoyable

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley: this one is a classic, recommended by a friend. I found the start pretty slow, but I was glad I stuck with it because it got much better. A favourite passage:

“Had I faced all the facts? It seemed like I had, but actually, you never know, just by remembering, how many facts there were to have faced. Your own endurance might be a pleasant fiction allowed you by others who’ve really faced the facts.”

Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan: it’s light, but I loved it. Polly leaves the big city after her relationship and business fail, and ends up in a small seaside village. She distracts herself from loneliness by baking bread…can you see where this is going? The author has written many books with titles that include “Cupcake Cafe”, “Chocolate Shop” and “Sweetshop”…so be prepared to have your mouth water.


Aloha: I love Rachel McAdams, Emma Stone and Bradley Cooper, so they really couldn’t go wrong here. Some of the satellite-into-space plot lost me, but I was definitely pulled into the relationships. You also can’t beat Hawaii for a setting. (I don’t even forward through the opening credits of Hawaii 5-0 because I love to see the shots of the scenery. Okay, and maybe Alex O’Laughlin, too. But now I’m just getting off topic).

Selma: While I would like to see more about the final years of Martin Luther King, Jr., this movie, as the title indicates, focuses on the time period of the march from Selma to Montgomery. Very entertaining, while at the same time a learning experience. Decide for yourself how unjust the Oscar snub was.

McFarland: While I didn’t watch this film (a true story with Kevin Costner playing a high school Cross Country coach) with my kids, I’d definitely consider it a family movie to watch with tweens and teens. (I’m not sure all of the subject matter would have held my nine-year-old’s attention). 

Spy: We saw this one in theatres, and I can see why it topped the box office. Melissa McCarthy has a great comedic role, and surprisingly so does typical action hero Jason Statham. 


The Yell Jar: A few weeks ago we instituted a “Yell Jar” (actually a mug that one of the girls painted), and established a fine of 25 cents for every infraction. I’m telling you – it works! The first week a few quarters went in, but there has been a huge improvement in our home in terms of raised voices. Sometimes it was girls fighting, sometimes it was just one of us (including me) using volume instead of going directly to speak to someone, but either way we’ve all made a concentrated effort and I’m pleased with the results! As I said on Facebook, I don’t want to be “that mom” – the one who’s always yelling at her kids (especially since they’re pretty darn good kids to begin with). This has really helped, not because the quarters mean that much to me, but the cause certainly does!


With my birthday tomorrow and some Chapters shopping planned soon (thanks to some generous gift cards from students), I hope to have lots to share with you in the August edition of Kate’s Favourite Things!

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