An unusually nourishing memoir.

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How much do I love The Measure of My Powers by Jackie Kai Ellis?

Everything about it is beautiful and delicious: elegant sentences, honest and vulnerable stories, measured chapters, nuanced quotes, nourishing recipes.

Her stories are clear and exquisite: she writes so openly about her depression, and it’s breathtaking. She writes about love, learning how to bake cookies, feeling isolated in her own family, feeding her grandmother soup before she died, eating an apricot in Italy and awakening to life, a simple and transcendent picnic in Provence, and how all of this led her to open a successful bakery in Vancouver.

The book is a tasting menu of stories that turn into sovereignty.

Some of the pages are gently coloured, like a selection of macarons from Paris. This surprising and delightful design detail made me savour the reading even more kinesthetically; the subtle colour adds sensuality to her writing.

Gorgeous narrative photography separates the chapters. I lingered on each photo, which at first glance looked like standard food photography, the kind you’d see in a premium cookbook. But as I read each chapter, my understanding layered upon itself like millefeuille, and the photos became more than mere illustrations.

The author is also the photographer. Ellis is an artist, and she tells her story with a careful eye. She uses words, images, design, pace, and recipes with precision and integrity. 

This book is an inspiration.

Treat yourself: skip the ebook, and buy the paper version to experience all it has to offer.

In love and beauty,

  Sarah Selecky


Photo credit (top): Lum3n on Unsplash.

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How to find sweetness in the shadow.
Write something new; stop trying to be original.

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