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Category: Home & Garden

22 Rep Picks to Read this Spring

by Brooke
Animals & Nature + Biography & Memoir + Fiction + Food & Drink + Graphica + Home & Garden + Humour + Kids + Picture Books + Psychology & Self-Help + Travel + YA Fiction / February 20, 2017

A new year means new books and we've got all of the recommendations you could possibly need! Kick the year off right with these hand-picked selections for the early spring season!

Dani Farmer

This Is That
by Chris Kelly, Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring
"Sometimes this great country of ours seems a little too good to be true. You, being Canadian, already know the wonders of Flin Flon’s tropical beaches and how to portage the Rideau Canal (with or without a protective toque) but there may be people in your life that don’t. Thankfully, the This is That: Travel Guide to Canada is both hilarious and faux-informative. You’ve heard the show on CBC, now let it guide you through our magnificent nation!"
The River
by Marc Martin
"Ever since I was a child, I’ve dreamed of sailing down a long and winding river, watching the jungles or forests or cities pass me by as I make my way to a faraway sea. I don’t know how, but Marc Martin managed to bring my childish imagining to reality. I only wish I could fall into its lush pages for real!"

Ali Hewitt

Unf*ck Your Habitat
by Rachel Hoffman
"You have until January to make room on your bookshelf for the only housekeeping and organizational book that acknowledges that you might not even remember what your bookshelf looks like under all that stuff you’ve piled on it. Or possibly even where your bookshelf is."
by Adam Rex, illustrated by Scott Campbell
"In this charming epistolary picture book, you and Gazelle will both fall in love with lovelorn Ox. A winner for sure!"


Judy Parker

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
by Kathleen Rooney
"We Canadians are lucky enough to have an afforable trade paper edition of Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk. Lillian is a one of a kind character — an 85 year old Manhattanite who worked in the “Mad Men” era of advertising and who is walking across the rundown Manhattan of 1984. In one novel (and one walk) the reader gets a glimpse into a life that traversed the century and into the city that shaped her.”
by Stephanie Garber
"The promise of a new fantasy novel with an original magical world, an intense and unbreakable sisterly bond and a mesmerizing romance hooked me immediately. Rights have been sold in over 25 countries, film rights were pre-empted and the early reads and reviews are spectacular. Caraval has all the hallmarks of being a sensation!"

Lorna MacDonald

Letters to a Young Muslim
by Saif Ghobash
"This is a highly readable manifesto for young Muslims written as informal letters by Saif Ghobash, the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Russia. Ghobash explores what it means to be a Muslim in today’s changing world; he seeks to make sense of the violent nature of extreme Islam and separate it from the moderate Islam embraced by the majority of Muslims today. How can moderate Muslims unite and find a voice that is true to Islam while actively and productively engaging in the modern world?"
The Edge of Everything
by Jeff Giles
"In this sci-fi fantasy debut, the first of a new series, 17 year old Zoe, reeling from her father’s sudden death and her neighbour’s mysterious disappearance, is brutally attacked and then rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter called 'X.' X is from a hell called the Lowlands and has been sent to capture the soul of Zoe’s evil attacker. As Zoe and X learn more about their different worlds, they begin to question the past and their fate. Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings) found this novel, 'Gripping, utterly original, beautifully written.' Now that is an endorsement!"


Saffron Beckwith

Terms and Conditions
by Robert Sikoryak
"Wow! What an entirely crazy and brilliant concept. Sikoryak makes one of the most boring documents on the planet unputdownable."
The Night I Followed the Dog (new in trade paper)
by Nina Laden
"I loved this book when it first came out and 20 years later it is more awesome than ever!"

Ryan Muscat

An Atlas of Countries that Don't Exist
by Nick Middleton
"The Principality of Sealand was declared in 1967 on an unused air defence platform in the North Sea, about 12 kilometres off the coast of England. It has a population of 27, issues stamps, coins, licence plates, passports, has a national anthem, has been invaded, and fields a football team. It is not a real country. Find out about Sealand and dozens of other non-existent countries with no diplomatic recognition in An Atlas of Countries That Don’t Exist. The book is a beautifully illustrated and fascinating compendium of weird and wonderful places, and is a perfect gift for friends and family from Christiania to Moreset to Circassia."
Noisy Night
by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Brian Biggs
"Have you ever wondered who’s making the noises you hear coming from the apartments above you? Mac Barnett, the king of the children’s picture book, has the answers in Noisy Night: sheep, opera singers, babies, and others. This fun book, beautifully illustrated in split-level spreads by Brian Biggs, is a fantastic read-along picture book for little kids."

Jenny Enriquez

The World's Best Spicy Food (2nd edition)
by Lonely Planet
"Embark on a culinary journey and explore spicy food from all over the world — then make them at home with the 100 recipes included! Because who doesn’t love food and travel? This book seamlessly combines the best of both worlds and is perfect for foodies and those afflicted with wanderlust."
The Bone Witch
by Rin Chupeco
"The first book is a new YA dark fantasy series from Rin Chupeco! You’ll find lots of necromancy, magic, and witches within these pages. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Sara Raasch, and Garth Nix’s The Old Kingdom series."

Laurie Martella

The Forgetting Time (new in trade paper)
by Sharon Guskin
"The Forgetting Time is not a book that can easily be forgotten. It stays with you. It haunts you with thoughts of the after-life. I found myself so engaged with this mother’s quest to do whatever she could to help her son, who did not fully belong to her alone. Chilling. Compelling. Read it!"
by Mary Sullivan
"Frankie will charm you. Through few words, and speech bubbles, much is expressed about building a new friendship, and learning to share.”
Cheryl Fraser

Bites on a Board
by Anni Daulter
"A perfect book to show you how to impress your guests with creative food served on unique cutting boards."
C is for Canada
by Trish Madson, illustrated by David M. Miles
"A great book for little ones to learn about Canada on our 150th birthday. A perfect addition to a Canadian’s list."
Karen Stacey

Birds of Prey
by Pete Dunne with Kevin T. Karlson
"Stunning photography, well documented and invaluable information — Birds of Prey is a superb book for all book lovers and any popular nature collection. This is much more than an identification guide. It discusses raptor ecology, behavior, conservation, and more. Another great addition to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s valued collection in the field of ornithology."
by Sarah Cohen-Scali
"A must read for 14+ and adults. Originally published in France, the subject matter is WW2 Germany and the Lebensborn project, creating and defining a 'pure race.' Unlike The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, our young protagonist is not an innocent; he has been bred and trained to be the prototype of the 'exceptional people' — pure evil. The wonder of this novel and its extraordinary writing is it allows you to understand and grow to love him against all your instincts to despise him. A disturbing, thoughtful and important book for anyone interested in history, fine writing and the wish to understand a perspective other than our own. Compulsive reading, impeccably researched and utterly disturbing."
Morgen Young

In the Great Green Room
by Amy Gary
"Like so many parents before me, I read Goodnight Moon to my son daily, and still have most of it committed to memory. How amazing it is to find out that Margaret Wise Brown was so vivacious, creative and ground-breaking! 70 years after its original publication, we finally get to learn the details of this force to be reckoned with."
Mosquitoes Can't Bite Ninjas
by Jordan P. Novak
"A hilarious debut that captures the playfulness of childhood and the aggravation of mosquitoes! I have been looking for the secret to beating those little pests, and I finally have it! A perfect way to distract and retract from those annoying little bugs that buzz in all our ears."

Meet the Scott Brothers from W Network’s Property Brothers!

by Alisha
Events + Home & Garden / August 08, 2016

The stars of W Network's Property Brothers are coming home! Maple Ridge twins Jonathan and Drew Scott are back in town for two events this August. Don't miss your chance to meet the twins as they greet fans and sign copies of their bestselling book Dream Home

Upcoming Events
Chapters Metrotown • Friday, August 19 at 6PM
Click here for details.

Black Bond Books • Sunday, August 21 at 2PM
Click here for details.

Dream Home

Dream Home
The Property Brothers' Ultimate Guide to Finding & Fixing Your Perfect House
Jonathan Scott and Drew Scott
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
9780455715677 • $42.00 cl

"It's about time these guys published a book! In Dream Home, Drew and Jonathan Scott prove to be an authority on all things related to the home space. It's very informative, easy to navigate, and answers all the questions for those looking to fix or find their perfect home. Drew and Jonathan's personalities shine throughout, giving the guide a fun energy while also providing relatable advice and solutions for the homeowner."—Rachael Ray

Click here to read an excerpt!

Petit Collage is coming to Raincoast!

by Danielle
Design & Typography + Environment + Gift & Stationery + Home & Garden / July 18, 2013


July 18, 2013

is now the exclusive Canadian distributor for Petit Collage, a leading lifestyle brand for modern families, based in San Francisco. Petit Collage encompasses over 200 eco-friendly products ranging from toys and games to wall décor and mobiles.

Petit Collage’s founder, Lorena Siminovich, is a noted designer, illustrator, author, and entrepreneur, who has been featured in Dwell magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. Petit Collage products are sold in over 500 stores worldwide including Barneys NY, Anthropologie, Pottery Barn Kids, and select Canadian boutique baby stores.

“Lorena’s design sense is hugely appealing to Raincoast, and her commitment to quality, sustainability, and fair trading practices truly resonates. Petit Collage both complements our existing client base and provides us with ample opportunity to stretch ourselves in a changing
retail market,” says Paddy Laidley, Executive Vice-President of Sales & Marketing for Raincoast. “Petit Collage is a perfect fit for Canada and Raincoast is highly motivated to expand their presence here.”

"We are very excited to partner with Raincoast Books,” says Siminovich. “We have long admired the quality of their lines and the breadth of their coverage in Canada. With their amazing sales force, we look forward to being introduced to new stores we weren't able to reach ourselves, while providing our existing customers a much faster turnaround and better customer service."

Raincoast will showcase the Fall 13 Petit Collage collection at the Toronto Gift Show August 11- 14, 2013.

For more information please visit: www.petitcollage.com


About Petit Collage
Started in 2006, Petit Collage is all about good design. Artist and founder Lorena Siminovich approaches all she does including authoring and illustrating over 20 children’s books with this philosophy. With her team of designers, she creates modern wall décor and home accessories influenced by midcentury design. The studio, located in an artistic hub of San Francisco, is an incubator of new ideas, art, and illustration where creating great design and pushing the envelope on new formats is the norm. Playfulness imbues every format Petit Collage touches from mobiles and mirrors to dolls, decals and more. Striving to handcraft their goods in a sustainable way using the best-quality, most forest-friendly materials available is equally important.

Feel Better Little Buddy - Spoons edition

by Matt
Animals & Nature + Events + Fashion & Textiles + Health & Wellness + Home & Garden + Humour + Podcasts + Vancouver / March 21, 2011


Just after we picked Spoons up from emergency in the morning. Not sure how he did it, but broke two bones in his paw. Ouch. I think I'll submit this to Chronicle Books' "Feel Better Little Buddy", 2nd ed

Here he is just after getting home

Here he is getting used to his cast...doing his favorite thing (beside eating and defending his territory)

Cast comes off in 4-5 weeks. Healing time is a little longer than normal because he is 11 years old in May. 60 years old in human years. I hope my whiskers look as good!

From Seed to Skillet

by Dan
Food & Drink + Home & Garden / September 20, 2010

Seed to Skillet Cover

Urban farmer and landscape designer Jimmy Williams oversees his growing grounds, plants edible gardens for clients, and dispenses cultivation and cooking tips, plus vegetable, herb, and fruit seedlings, at 3 farmers' markets in LA. He grows and sells heirloom tomatoes from seeds that have been passed down from his great-great-grandmother, a South Carolina native from a traditional Gullah community whose members were descendants of Caribbean slaves.
In his new book From Seed to Skillet, written with co-author Susan Heeger, Jimmy pays homage to his family history in an inspiring step-by-step manual for designing and planting a backyard vegetable garden and growing your own food. Home gardeners can learn how easy it is to plan a garden, design and construct growing beds, tend the crop without using harmful chemicals, harvest gorgeous vegetables, and cook a delicious feast using Jimmy's favorite family recipes!
From Seed to Skillet is available in November.

I’m Dreaming Of A Green Christmas

by Danielle
Environment + Home & Garden / November 06, 2009

Since there’s over a month and a half before Christmas, try your hands at making these beautiful crafts from I’M DREAMING OF A GREEN CHRISTMAS by Anna Getty. It’ll make any guest you have green with envy…get it ‘green’? This book is totally environmentally conscious! It also has great recipes too. I’ll post some soon!!

image Pinecone and Nut Wreath

To Anna, a pinecone and nut wreath is a gift direct from nature. It looks just as beautiful on an outside door as it does hanging in the house or in the garden. In the dining room, place these wreaths on the table with candelabras in the center for a striking visual effect.


* Pinecones of varying sizes and shapes (you will use anywhere from 25 to 100 pinecones, depending on the size of the wreath)
* Old towel
* Baking sheets
* Used aluminum foil
* 1 roll of light-gauge florist wire
* Wire cutters
* Wire wreath frame (For best results, use a size 2 or 3 wire base.You also can use a wire hanger, but the wreath will not look as full.)
* 20 to 30 nuts in their shell, such aswalnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, and chestnuts
* Nontoxic-glue gun
* Gloves (garden or rubber) (optional; if the pinecones are prickly, gloves make handling easier)
* 24-inch/61-cm piece of used ribbon or raffia (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 200°F/90°C.
2. Wash the pinecones. Fill the kitchen sink or bathtub with 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) of lukewarm water. Place the pinecones in the water and swoosh them around to remove any dirt or bugs. Drain the water, rinse the pinecones, and dry them with an old towel.
3. Line the baking sheets with the used aluminum foil, arrange the pinecones on the sheets, and bake for 30 minutes. (Baking the pinecones dries them out, removes the resin—and makes your home smell extra Christmasy!) Note: wash and bake the pinecones only if you’re using pinecones you collected outside. Skip this step for pinecones purchased at a florist shop. Be sure to ask the florist if they have been cleaned.
4. Cut as many 7- to 8-inch (17- to 20-cm) pieces of light-gauge florist wire as you have pinecones. Fold the wire pieces in half.
5. Wrap a folded wire piece around the first pinecone and twist the loose ends tight around the pinecone to make sure the wire is secure. Repeat with the remaining wire pieces and pinecones.
6. Starting with the larger pinecones, and working from the inside of the wreath frame out and the bottom to the top, attach each pinecone’s wire securely to the bottom wire of the wreath frame. Wire the second pinecone snugly next to the first, and repeat with each successive cone, keeping the pinecones snug against one another.
7. Once the wreath is as full as you want it, take the nuts and glue them to the pinecones. Make sure you find secure grooves in the wreath where you can easily attach the nuts.

Note: Wreath frames are available in any craft store around the holidays (see Resources). Prewashed pine cones are avai;able at your local florist.

Take the ribbon or raffia and make a bow. Cut one 6-inch (15-cm) piece of florist wire and loop it through the back of the bow. Twist the loop of florist wire around a pinecone near the top of the wreath. Cut the ends of the bow to the desired length.

image Newspaper Stocking

These stockings are sturdy enough to hold a few holiday items, but don’t fill them with too much stuff! Remember, the whole point is not to buy too much stuff anyway.


* Four sheets of Christmas-themed newspaper (ads, articles, or any festive images) or used wrapping paper
* Scissors
* Needle and thread
* Glue
* Beads, small bells, faux fur, cashmere or fabric scraps, vintage buttons, recycled glass pieces, seashells, decorative images cut from holiday
cards or magazines


1. Fold the four sheets of newspaper into 8 layers (8 layers will make a sturdy stocking) that are still at least 12 by 10 inches (30.5 by 25 cm) in size. With the scissors, cut a stocking shape out of the paper in your desired size. (You can always place a cloth stocking on the newspaper and trace around it to create the shape.)
2. Using the needle and thread, hand stitch the outer edges of the stocking together,  leaving the top open.
3. Glue on any extra holiday images to decorate the stocking
4. Layer the remaining four pieces of scrap newspaper and cut them into strips 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide by 4 inches (10 cm) long. Stack them and create a loop.
5. Sew or staple the loop to the inner top edge of the stocking, to hang it.
6. Glue whatever trimmings you’ve gathered to the top of the stocking (be sure to cover the stitches or staples from the loop). Add bells and other embellishments.


By Anna Getty
Foreword by Zem Joaquin
Photographs by Ron Hamad

Anna Getty is a leading green living expert. She works with the Organic Center, Global Green, NRDC, and Seventh Generation, among others, and is the author of the upcoming Easy Green Organic. Anna lives in Los Angeles.

Ron Hamad is an acclaimed photographer and director who lives in Los Angeles.

Zem Joaquin is ecofabulous.com’s founder and editor-in-chief. She lives in San Francisco.

DIY Wallpaper Headboard

by Siobhan
Craft + Home & Garden / September 15, 2009


Etsy's The Storque blog has posted a fun DIY project from the book WALLPAPER PROJECTS: 50 Craft and Design Ideas for Your Home, from Accents to Art: Make your own wallpaper headboard!

Ambitious? Yes. Awesome? Oh, yeah.

Go here for the tutorial - and a book giveaway!

Spring Cleaning Made Simple

by Siobhan
Health & Wellness + Home & Garden + Spirituality / April 17, 2009

Have you started on your Spring cleaning yet? Yeah, me neither.

Something that might get you (and me!) motivated is SECRETS OF SIMPLICTY: Learn to Live Better With Less by Mary Carlomagno. Mary recently talked to Oprah about how to declutter and simplify where and how you live: you can watch a clip from the show here.

This past weekend, Real Simple magazine also posted a glowing review of the book on their site--much to the shock of the reviewer herself!

I have to conclude by saying that I've never read a book on organization and simple living from cover-to-cover in my life--ever. That alone is why even I am shocked to be sitting her this morning writing this review! I'm eager to get started on lots of organization projects now thanks to this book. Bravo to the author, Ms. Carlomagno, great work!

Maybe I'll start my own Spring cleaning this weekend! or maybe I'll just start by reading the book! That's the first step, right? smile

DIY Contest Winner!

by Siobhan
Contests + Home & Garden / April 09, 2009

imageCongratulations to Britta in Vancouver, the lucky winner of our DIY Contest!

The 8 DIY books from Oxmoor House are on their way to you now! Best of luck with your all your renovations and projects around the house!

Thank you to everyone who entered. We're bound to have more giveaways soon, so stay tuned!


Click here for more info on DIY, gardening, cooking titles from Oxmoor House.

Ready for your Spring home renovation projects? Enter our contest!

by Siobhan
Contests + Home & Garden / March 31, 2009

imageJust a quick reminder that today is the last day to enter our DIY book giveaway. Enter for a chance to win 8 great books from Oxmoor House!


Patio and Stone: A Sunset Design Guide

Backyards: A Sunset Design Guide

Kitchens: A Sunset Design Guide

Bathrooms: A Sunset Design Guide

Wiring: Sunset You Can Build

Trimwork: Sunset You Can Build

Sunset: Tiling

Sunset: Built-Ins

Click here to read more about the books and to enter the contest.

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