Our Community Member Series: Meet Vanessa
Community is more important than ever as we continue to figure out how to not just survive, but thrive together.
Many of us are craving deeper bonds of friendship and togetherness with like-minded souls. So, to help keep our connection to books and people alive, we’re turning the spotlight on real-life Brookies once again — some of the amazing people who form the backbone of our community. You may see them hosting virtual book club events or popping into our virtual weekly Thursday 6:30 pm pulse check-ins.
Read on for a peek into their interests, views on self-care, and of course, books!
Continuing With Part Four of our Series, Meet Brookie and Host Vanessa!
Vanessa is a fashionista, writer, book & art lover, brunch connoisseur, dancer, Bohogi (bohemian and yogi fusion), and Gemini vegetarian. She moved to Hamilton from Toronto, lured by a quaint cottage on the water and a scenic view of the escarpment, and adores really good food, signature cocktails, and the unbridled laughter of great company.
- What drew you to BooknBrunch?
In BooknBrunch’s earliest form, Zuzana had started an intimate book club that traveled through downtown Toronto trying new restaurants. Though I admit I was not a book club person, she persuaded me to attend. I remember it fondly, a lavish farm-to-table brunch at Soho House for In Defense of Food by Michael Pollen. I was wowed by the event and it challenged my perception of what a book club could be. There was so much love in planning, hosting, and bringing the community together; every Brookie expressed their happiness for being able to take part in that experience. From that day forward, I became a book club convert and an ambassador.
- If you could pick one author to share a meal with, who would it be and where would you go?
I would share a meal with Paul Coehlo and we would sit at a clandestine tapas bar in Seville sampling the chef’s plates and the bartenders’ wine recommendations. In this dream scenario, I would become progressively fluent in Spanish (as the Rioja flows).
- What’s your desert-island book pick – which book can you read and re-read over and over?
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett is one of my favourite novels.
- Do you have a self-care routine? What does it look like?
Self-care for me means relishing and appreciating tranquillity. I have been focused on my health and vitality – trying to drink my eight glasses of water with lemon or ginger, going on nature walks, practicing yoga, and meditating. Creativity is a source of joy and inspiration for me. I read for at least an hour every day and I have been writing poetry. My bedtime routine is quite elaborate with all the potions, tonics, and serums; on Sunday, I slather my face with an Umbrian Clay Mask. All the little things add up.
- What is your favourite BooknBrunch event that you’ve attended? What made it special?
As a Brookie hostess, I have had a lot of fun hosting my #WineDown series. Too many to count! The author’s Q&As with Natalie Jenner and Roselle Lim were highlights; both were gracious, engaging, and funny in sharing intimate parts of their writing journey to publishing. My session for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins-Reid was a Halloween theme and the Brookies were feeling particularly uninhibited that evening. Even though it was virtual, it felt energetic, social, and everyone was laughing for most of the session.
- The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix (March)
- Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (April)
Keisha Paterson is a lifetime writer of sticky-note poetry who enjoys comfort foods, self-care holidays, and Hawaiian dance. A prolific wanderer, she loves to discover and take home old orphaned books and eclectic records. She is an office manager, private yoga instructor, and freelance editor in Toronto.
Favourite Book: Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now by Maya Angelou
Favourite brunch spot: Sisters and Co.