Sunday, 25 August 2019

Tea and treats on a cool, breezy Sunday...

These past few days, it’s definitely felt like autumn is in the air, as the mornings are cool and the evenings are, too.  I love this time of year, with school soon starting (I go back to work tomorrow, so school is starting for me sooner than most!) and the cooler weather tangible in the air.  But it’s also bittersweet, as we say goodbye to summer holidays and trips to the beach. Alas, there will be plenty more warm days, just no more holidays until Christmas. And speaking of Christmas, I recently went to the McMichael Gallery in Kleinburg, which was fabulous.  They had a very extensive Maud Lewis Exhibit, among others, and in the gift shop, I purchased a Maud Lewis Edition Country Christmas Loose Black Tea Blend, which I am trying for the first time this morning. While it’s not Christmas yet, I thought it might be a nice tea to pair with my slice of freshly baked Date Bread, and of course, a delicious Date Bar from City Café.  I fell easily back into the habit of making soup and preparing lunches for the coming work week, and going back to work a week before the students return is a good way to ease back into the routine.  
I read just one book last week, as I was busy trying to squeeze every last moment of enjoyment out of my last week of “freedom”, but it was a good one, and one I knew absolutely nothing about.  I must have read a review of this book and put it on hold from the library, then promptly forgot about it, because when I picked it up and began reading, I didn’t even realize it was from the Young Adult collection.  Keep This to Yourself by Canadian author Tom Ryan is told from the point of view of eighteen-year-old Mac, resident of the picturesque coastal town of Camera Cove, a young man who is planning to head off to university in the fall.  While this should be an inspiring and exciting time for him, he is unable to enjoy the last summer of his childhood because tragedy looms over him. One year earlier, his best friend Connor was murdered, the last of four victims killer by the Catalog Killer, a serial killer assumed to be a drifter who has since left the area, but who remains at large.  Mac connects with his group of friends after graduation, and while everyone else seems excited and filled with anticipation about their future, Mac is unable to get over his loss and move on. When he discovers a note from Connor written on the day he died, Mac is filled with a newfound energy and focuses on finding out who killed his friend. He tries to engage his friends in this search, but is shut down again and again, and told to look to the future, not remain stuck in the past.  He meets Quill, the cousin of one of the victims, and finds both an ally and a love interest. Together they attempt to dig deeper and gather information through various, often pretty creative, means. What Mac discovers in the end is both shocking and chilling, and leads to a satisfying conclusion. This novel was great! It managed to be both riveting and well-written, a real page-turner that ticked all the boxes: it was a murder mystery, by a Canadian author, with diverse characters.  It was also about friendship and small-town life, and it had a love story that was central to the main plot. It’s a shame that the content is too mature for my elementary school, but I will definitely recommend it to the librarians at the high schools in my school board. I would recommend this to readers from high school age on to adulthood.
That’s all for today.  Get outside and enjoy the fabulous weather on this last Sunday of August!
Bye for now…
Julie

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