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Abecedaries for Grown-Ups
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Abecedaries for Grown-Ups

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tagged: abc books
A, Z, and everything in between.
Foodshed

Foodshed

An Edible Alberta Alphabet
edition:eBook

In this intimate guide to Alberta's sustainable food scene, writer, poet, professional chef, and food advocate Dee Hobsbawn-Smith profiles more than seventy-five of the province's growers and producers. Learn the A to Z's of each producer, from Asparagus growers to Zizania cultivators, and enjoy the twenty-six original recipes, one for each type of produce.

The book also examines the ground that farmers stand on: government involvement, sustainability and the environment, animal welfare, farm lab …

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Birds, Bees and Educated Fleas

Birds, Bees and Educated Fleas

An A-Z Guide to the Sexual Predilections of Animals from Aardvarks to Zebras
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook
tagged :

An amusing A to Z of the courtship and mating habits of animals—including Homo sapiens

 

"Birds do it, bees do it, Even educated fleas do it." So wrote Cole Porter in his famous song from 1928, "Let's Do It, Let's Fall In Love." To which Bruce Montague, author of this enlightening and amusing collection, silently replied, "Yes, but how do they do it?" From well-hung South American drakes to shy camels arranging secret love trysts, female chameleons whose skin darkens when they're no longer in th …

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Alphabetique, 26 Characteristic Fictions

Alphabetique, 26 Characteristic Fictions

The Lives of the Letters
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
tagged : literary, literacy

Take the sumptuousness of Molly Peacock's own #1 bestselling The Paper Garden, the extraordinary creative variety of The Bedside Book of Birds, and the cat-nip-for-language-geeks appeal of Eats, Shoots and Leaves, and wrap it around tales rich with wisdom and humanity, and you get Alphabetique: the most gorgeous gift book of the season. 
      Molly Peacock has written a new classic, a book of magical tales inspired by the lives of the letters of the alphabet.
     Alphabetique, or Tales from th …

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The End of the Alphabet

The End of the Alphabet

edition:Paperback
tagged :

Ambrose Zephyr and his wife Zappora Ashkenazi (“Zipper”) have achieved a happy and balanced life together. She is the yin to his yang. He is the only man she has loved without adjustment. The two live contentedly in a narrow London terrace full of books.

That contentment is thrown into turmoil on or about Ambrose’s fiftieth birthday, when they receive the news that he has contracted a mysterious illness that will most certainly lead to his death within the month. In panicked delirium, from …

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Excerpt

This story is unlikely.

Were it otherwise, or at the least more wished for, it would have begun on a Sunday morning. Early, as that was his best time of the day, and in April, that odd time between a thin winter and a plump spring.

He would have closed the door of his house and stood on his front step, eyeing the predawn sky. He would have given the neighbourhood stray a shove from its perch on his window ledge. The scruffy cat would have hissed and bolted across the narrow road to the park across the way. He would have hissed back, proud he had at last defeated the mangy beast, and set off. As he had every Sunday morning as far back as he could remember.

As he walked up the road, the woman from number eighteen would be retrieving the morning paper from her doorstep. The cool morning would have meant she had remembered to throw on a dressing gown. They would have traded pleasant, awkward good-mornings. He knew her to be the mother of two energetic children whose names he could never recall. She knew he worked in some sort of creative field. After a moment or two of searching for common ground, he would have asked after her children’s artwork. He and his wife had no children of their own.

Farther on, he would have seen the elderly man and his tiny dog that lived at number twelve, about to begin their morning walk around the park. The pair would be waiting to say hello. The man would have tipped his cap and launched directly into an eccentric opinion about something. The tiny dog would have begun yapping at the neighbourhood stray.

He would have worried about disagreeing with the old fellow and causing offence, or starting a discussion on a topic he knew nothing about, or the soundness of his own opinion. He would have forced an agreeing laugh, wished his neighbour a good day and eyed the dog with suspicion.

He would have made his way to Kensington High Street and grumbled about the winter that had passed. He would have wished he had taken his wife to Italy. But that would have been expensive or difficult or meant a bad time at the office. He would have sighed to himself, then smiled as the London sky inched from black to grey to yellow to blue.

He would have turned in at Kensington Gardens, up past the palace and on to Broad Walk. Here he would have been happiest. He would have paused near the Round Pond, looked towards the east and the swans, and squinted in his way to watch a girl of perhaps nine or ten, her hair dark and fine and in need of a trim or a ribbon, reading a book beyond her years. He would have closed his eyes in the warmth of a sun just clearing the budding treetops.

He would have checked his watch, counted his minutes and the day’s schedule in his head, and turned for home. He would have retraced his route down the Walk, past the palace, along the High Street, into his road, past number twelve and number eighteen and the cat now back on the window ledge, and through his front door.

His wife would have begun to stir in her sleep. Five minutes more, she would have mumbled, just loud enough for him to hear as he made her tea. As usual, a tepid cup with too much milk.

Ambrose Zephyr would have been content that it was Sunday and that spring had come again to that part of London and that there was no need to go to the office. He would have read a draft of his wife’s latest magazine column and (as gentle readers are obliged) made one or two enthusiastic comments.

He would have wondered about the days ahead of him and, as was his habit, dreamed of doing something else. And there it would have ended.

But that is not this story.

––

On or about his fiftieth birthday, Ambrose Zephyr failed his annual medical exam. An illness of inexplicable origin with neither known nor ­foreseeable cure was discovered. It would kill him within the month. Give or take a day.

It was suggested he might want to make arrangements concerning his remaining time.

––

Ambrose Zephyr lived with his wife – content, quiet, with few extravagances – in a narrow Victorian terrace full of books.

He owned two bespoke suits, one of which he had been married in. The other – a three-piece linen number with lapelled waistcoat – he wore whenever and wherever he travelled: on business, on the underground, on his Sunday walk. A pocket square, discreetly puffed, always in place. He collected French-cuffed shirts as others might collect souvenir spoons or back issues of National Geographic. He rarely wore ties but liked them as challenges in graphic design. His footwear was predominantly Italian, loaferish and bought in the sales on Oxford Street. His watches – of which there were many – were a range of silly colours and eccentric shapes.

When cornered, he claimed to read Joyce, Ford and Conrad. Rereads of Fleming and Wodehouse were a more accurate library. His opinion of Miss Elizabeth Bennett was not favourable (though he liked Mr B and held a wary respect for Darcy). Wuthering Heights, according to Ambrose, was the dullest book ever written.

He had not read a newspaper in some time.

Everything Ambrose Zephyr knew about cuisine he learned from his wife. He was allowed in the kitchen, but under no circumstance was he to touch anything. He was a courageous eater, save Brussels sprouts and clams. His knowledge of wine was vague and best defined as Napa good, Australian better, French better still. Kir royale was his drink of occasion. For an Englishman, he made a poor cup of tea.

He believed women to be quantifiably wiser than men. He was neither a breast nor a leg nor an ass man; hair could be any length, any colour. Ambrose preferred the complete puzzle to a bit here, a piece there.

He stood when someone entered the room. He walked to the street side. Opened his wife’s door first. He could be trusted.

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abecedarium

abecedarium

edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged : canadian, history

would you believe me when i make consorts of alphabet runaways & stayathomes i have rounded up where they wandered all over the page Dennis Cooley masterfully extends the genre of the abecedary to explore his curiosity of the limitlessness of human communication. With linguistic wit and complexity, his poetry carries the reader through the historical developments of the alphabet. He pries open letters and words to play with both their immediate meaning and the possibilities within the words them …

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Rose Murray's A-Z Vegetable Cookbook

Rose Murray's A-Z Vegetable Cookbook

From asparagus to zucchini and everything in between, 250+ delicious and simple recipes
by Rose Murray
illustrated by Eila Hopper Ross
edition:Hardcover

Here's a must-have for all home cooks and food lovers! The 250+ recipes in this collection show the incredible range of tasty vegetables available from Canada's farmers' fields, gardens, markets, and stores. There are delicious vegetable mains, like Curried Harvest Vegetables with Lentils and Portobello Burgers, and enjoyable sides, like Kale Chips, Shredded Sprouts Sautéed with Pancetta, Beet and Stilton Salad, and Fiddleheads Sautéed with Morels.

A household name on the Canadian food scene fo …

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