Book Review

Bruce’s Book Club December

Posted by Bruce on December 01, 2018
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Hey Brucesters!

Its that time of month again! Book Club time!

My latest book club choice! #jodipicoult #thetenthcircle This read will last two weeks as there will be two books chosen to wrap up our Jodi Picoult tribute!


Inspiration Point part 2

Posted by Bruce on April 01, 2018
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Hey Brucesters!

Before I get started this week. I wanted to first wish everyone a Happy Easter!

And now As promised part two of Inspiration Point, my blog on Ruth Mead Author and Finance Exec who has inspired many in her field and beyond. I wanted to spend a bit more time on her best selling book, though to be clear it’s not Ruth’s main focus currently as she now runs her very own business venture in Financial Consulting and Planning.

In fact, Ruth has managed to transition herself into a seasoned leader of the ilk she once sat alongside for over two decades! Head of her own Wealth Management Practice and mentor to other Consultants; she puts into full force the power of all her past international experience in business coupled with the operational swiss-like efficiency capability borne from her years as UK’s award winning Executive Assistant and Chief of Staff. The combination and effect of all this has catapulted her success to the almost “unheard of” category leaving many pondering her “secret sauce”

In Ruth Mead’s international bestseller Jewel in the LEADER’s Crown, Ruth shares her over two decades of experience working with some of the highest-ranking leaders of global industry. This includes FTSE 100 & Fortune 500 corporations in the UK, Europe, Middle East and North America including some global businesses you may know quite well: PepsiCo, McDonald’s, O2 plc, Canadian Tire, and BMO Financial Group.
What Ruth offers in her book is an up close and professional look at what she describes as lessons from her own highs and lows that helped Ruth discern the secret of her success. The catalyst being politicians, members of royalty, and executives the world over. If your goal is this type of success, these would be most definitely the people to pay attention to.
“It’s often hard to detect the many layers of unspoken traits.” she explains. Ruth asks how and why the finest gems sparkle. “It’s that “aha” moment as you break down the science behind the workings of magnificence”. Ruth adds.
In a world where being successful, even for a glimpse of a moment is more difficult then ever before, Ruth’s book seems to be the bright light of inspiration to those who may find themselves business bruised.
You’ll find a treasure trove of tools from practical tips to prepare you for those unwanted negative surprises in your day. This read just may be the guide to living your best life. There is no doubt Ruth is one of the most positive women I’ve spoken to in years. She’s open, strong, commands a room I’ve no doubt, and yet with all her ability and talent, surprisingly gracious and approachable. Here’s a quote from one of her previous UK “bosses”, a “Sir” no less! which I found most impressive.

“….there has been little attention paid to the role of the executive assistant in lifting organizational performance. Jewel in the LEADER’s CROWN rectifies this omission….”
Sir David Varney, Former Permanent Secretary HM Treasury, London UK

Not a bad resume I’d say! Certainly this book is a gift worth taking a look at.

The executive assistant role and how it can be the stepping stone to some of business greater achievements seems to be the silver lining here. Anyone looking to climb their own personal business or personal mountain should check out this jewel.

“…to this profession, I gave my lifetime – it gave me, the time of my life. ~Ruth Mead

Perhaps a further clue to figuring out her own fine personal brand, she says:

“Be the Picasso of your art, the Ferrari of your field.
Be the exclusive, Hermes Birkin of your industry and
As distinctive as Christian Louboutin red soles”!

…and those very fabulous red soles have become her signature and claim to fame – perhaps it’s no wonder she was first in line to meet their maker during his visit to Toronto’s Holt Renfrew!

And that my friends is simply, Ruth Mead!


Edited by: Mary Ellen Monk


Bruce’s Book Club

Posted by Bruce on June 08, 2016
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Okay B.I.T.C’s it’s time for another Bruce Club book choice… (say that 10 times) for June. What better way to get a hump day humping but to get your read on. I finished the Story of Charlottes Web the biography on E.B White. It was a wonderful read and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. If you have yet to pick it up, go for it. It’s a perfect summer read.
That aside, it is time to announce my latest read!!! I’m pretty excited about this one because it was actually a gift from some new friends of mine. I’m not often in the habit of making new friends; I’m not sure why but probably because most people end up being a lot of work and my plate is already too full for anymore bullshit.

Anyway it was my birthday and James (my new pal) brought me a card and this book “Dandy in the Underground” by Sebastian Horsley. First I was surprised because strangers typically don’t go out of their way to get gifts for people and second strangers don’t usually go out of their way to buy gifts for people. It made my day because for the most part my birthday went all but unnoticed as it usually does. Other than my 40th where I planned the whole thing myself.

I did get some tea from another good buddy of mine, Erik from David’s Tea! I love David’s Tea. There is a great tea that I love and I can’t remember the name of it right now. I’ll get back to you on that. Erik of course is of “Wine with Erik” right here on Bruce in the City!

Anyway! I’m super excited about this book because it came from friends (Jules and James). I’m sure they are like, “It’s about bloody time he starts reading it” since I got it in March. I am the slowest reader on the planet so forgive me.

By the way, great seeing you guys last night. The wings were great and the drinks were fabulous!









Dandy in the Underground by Sebastian Horsley


Edited by Mary Ellen Monk

Bruce’s Book Club! The Casual Vacancy by J.K Rowling

Posted by Bruce on April 05, 2013
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DSC04075Hello again! Well my blog my rules! I have decided to give you my take on the book I just finished and announce the next book, now instead of waiting until Tuesday!
Hey life is short why waste a whole week!??

OK so 19 minutes by Jodi Picoult. What did I think? Do I recommend this book? I gotta tell ya, you know it. As soon as I began reading this novel I was hooked. How could one not be entranced from it’s opening page, a hand written note of distress.
The characters were compelling, devastating and yet hopeful.
I saw myself in the agony that is childhood bullying.
19 minutes ended up being one of my favourite books so far that I have chosen in my book club!
I have to thank the reader who recommended it to me because it was like you could read what was inside of me.
Thank you.
19 min by Jodi Picoult
5 kisses out of 5

An author that needs no introduction. Has become one of the most successful authors of any age. She defies reason and turns it into magic!
Her “Harry Potter” series took the world by storm and changed the face of children’s literature for generations to come.
She is simply “J.K Rowling”
I hope you will join me for the next chapter of her outstanding written word, “The Casual Vacancy” A NOVEL ABOUT A SMALL TOWN…. WHEN BARRY FAIRBROTHER DIES in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an acient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war.

J.K Rowling her first novel for adults.

I do hope you will enjoy my book club choice for April and May!!!



Extra extra read all about it!

Posted by Bruce on February 26, 2013
Book Review, Bruce's Book Club / No Comments

Well I gotta tell you, I loved my last book club read! “The cross in the closet” was fantastic.  There were moments when, as I read, I wasn’t sure I liked what Tim was doing but as he led me through the days and months of his journey, I was continually drawn into his story.  It’s not everyday we get a chance to walk in someone else’s shoes. I wish I was understood more. I’m sure everyone has a story or two about how someone made you feel less than.

I’m told by people that I am too sensitive, without ever asking why I am that way.  What makes a person sensitive or fearful or rough and insensitive.  It’s life baby. How many times have you been knocked down? Cause and effect! You can’t escape it. You can only pick yourself up, brush yourself off and start all over again.

I can’t imagine being one of those people that get to go to work and do their job and not be judge by their lifestyle.  Believe me in a city as wonderful as Toronto, the stereo types are alarming.  I have actually heard things like “Is he gay? Oh then hire him he will be fabulous and funny and make us all laugh all the time.” Like we are all the character “Jack” from that hit T.V show “Will and Grace”or “Asians only want to be helped by other Asians.”or “If you talk to a Pakistani person and bobble your head they will respond favourably to you and buy more.” This list could go on and on. I still hear from passing cars, right in the heart of this great city, people shouting faggot.  I’m always amazed at how they know who the person is sleeping with. Are there physic bullies out there?

The book! It certainly brings up allot to think about. Allot to ponder and to even inspire change. Not just from the perpetrator but also from the victim. Life can suck but living continually as the victim is also a bad place to start a new day.

What can you do if you feel wounded by life?  I wish I had the answer for you here in black and white but for me, I try to live my life with passion, integrity and love. Believe me most days I fail miserably and some of my own prejudices come creeping out but I keep trying. I keep moving forward. I forgive myself for my weakness’s and I keep on reading.

“The Cross in the Closet” by Timothy Michael Kurek

5 kisses out of 5

OK OK!!!! Moving on and moving up!

It’s time “finally” for my next “Bruce’s Book Club” book!

Nineteen Minutes by Jodie Picault

In Sterling, New Hampshire, 17-year-old high school student Peter Houghton has endured years of verbal and physical abuse at the hands of classmates. His best friend, Josie Cormier, succumbed to peer pressure and now hangs out with the popular crowd that often instigates the harassment. One final incident of bullying sends Peter over the edge and leads him to commit an act of violence that forever changes the lives of Sterling’s residents.

One of my fabulous and dedicated reader’s (Mary-Ellen) brought this book to my attention many months ago. It is this March’s book club choice! I am excited to say, On your mark! Get set! Read!!!!



Posted by Bruce on October 03, 2012
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I’m not quite done!!!!

I’m reading like a mad man!

I will be finished Rebecca by next Tuesday.

Just in time to announce the next book!



Stunning! Fabulous! And Rested!

Posted by Bruce on September 04, 2012
Announcements, Book Review, Bruce's Book Club / No Comments

Wow is August over already? I just want to say welcome back and I am so pumped about being back in your box’s. My August was crazy, insane and taking the month off, though I missed you, was a really fabulous break.

For starters, “Unemployed in the City” has now become a nightmare of the past! As you may recall, last October I was let go for “Business Reasons” a couple of days after Thanksgiving! Cruel right?  I was completely devastated.  The way it happened still points my eyebrows to the center of my forehead.  I can tell you one thing.  I have learned more about myself in this past year than in my entire lifetime, after facing my professional carnage.

I am proud to say, we made it.  My partner and I along with his aging mother found a way to make ends meet.  Thank the maker I am brilliant with money.  Budget! Budget! Budget! Amazingly strange life is.  As I make my way into my new career the happenings of October 2011 are now a retreating nightmare.

In other news, I went to see the folks at their weekend getaway this summer and to my delight “Christmas in July!”  Everything and everyone decorated in Christmas trim and it was 100 degrees out! I truly love this story because even though it is a silly little event. At a silly little resort, it reminds us just how a couple of silly little persons can make a shift in the world.

It started a few short years ago on a hot day in July in a trailer resort in Peter-borough. One aging man decided to dress up like Santa Clause and make his way through the park on his tractor and hand out treats to the kids frolicking around there trailers. Moms and Dads looked on in child like surprise as they recognized this loved colleague of the park. Everyone thought this was a wonderful idea and from that year on this quaint little camp ground played host to  Christmas in July! I will tell you this. This year the event was large enough to get the attention of the local television station. There were over a dozen floats created by the families in the park and gifts for all the kids that were in attendance for the arrival of Saint Nick himself!  It really did end up on television for all to see! Apparently I was spotted in the crowd! I loved it!  For a moment I was a kid again. No worry, no stress just allot of people sharing allot of good. Good for that silly aging man and apparently my one silly Uncle of mine that was the first to add his hand crafted float to the front of what would become the parks annual  “Santa Clause Parade!” That’s a fabulous tale!

Over that relaxing weekend I was able to complete my first “book club” book “Will You Take Me As I Am” Joni Mitchell’s Blue Period and it was a very intriguing read. Overall it was a well written work by Michelle Mercer.  I have always had great respect for Joni Mitchell as a songwriter.  The pictures and moods she paints are completely inspirational and transcending and I did gain a deeper understanding of Joni as an artist as well as a person.  It inspired me to dig deeper when it comes to my own artistic abilities. To trust my own instincts and take risk from to time to time. Life is too damn short to live it vicariously through others.

Will You Take me As I Am

Joni Mitchell’s Blue Period

by: Michelle Mercer

4 kisses out of 5

A little something more before I sign off for this week:

I have been asked on many occasions from readers “How do I make money from writing my blog?” The easy answer is “I don’t!” It never was the point for me. I love writing. Probably as much as singing or dancing but had never nurtured this passion.  I do have many poems and consider myself more of a poet then a writer but I love to write and share my thoughts with you. I suppose to many literary peoples, I may not be considered a writer at all and that’s fine with me. I am comfortable bestowing on myself my own title “The Great Rambler” and there I will sit. I know one thing, I will never lack for something to say and I just know that’s why you adore me the way you do.

Before I go any further I have some readers I have to say hello to. Tom! Mary-Ellen! Stephanie! Ron! and my buddy at Carlton Cards, I wish her all the best with her new adventures. Keep reading and posting your comments!

Last but certainly not least as promised, since it is the first Tuesday of the month it is time for me to announce the latest book for my “Ever Growing in Popularity” book club!


by: Daphne Du Maurier

Daphne Du Maurier (1907-89)

Daphne was born in London England. Her Father was a famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and Grand Daughter of George du Maurier an author and artist.  From an early age Daphne was fascinated by imaginary words and even created a male alter ego of herself. Hmmm very Lady Gaga, No?

She began writing stories and articles in 1928, and in 1931 her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published.  Maybe we can take a look at that novel sometime in 2013!

It was her novel Rebecca that launched her literary career into orbit and made her one the most popular authors of her day.

So without further adieu, I highly recommend to you, “Rebecca”

I hope you are all feeling Stunning! Fabulous! and Rested!

Until next week!

Je T’aime

Life With Tea

Posted by Bruce on May 13, 2012
Book Review, Coffee Shops, Tea House Chatter / 2 Comments

Sometimes I just love getting up on a day I have nothing to do and I hop on the TTC and head somewhere. Anywhere. No plan. I just go and see where I end up.  It’s amazing how much you miss in the city you live in so sometimes I let my curiosity get the best of me and spend hours just being lost in my city. I highly recommend it. Don’t tell anyone. Just roam around your city. It’s amazing the time you will have on your own.

So I’m out and I come across a really great book sale at East York Town Center.  Sipping my mineral water, I take a trip around the table.  I started in foods of the world and ended up at self help for erectile dysfunction.  I was just about to give up when a noticed a perfectly square book called “teany” (a book about tea and New York)by non other than Moby. Curious. I take a peak and decide I’d give this baby a whirl. It was perfect timing as I had to head into Oshawa to visit an old friend I hadn’t seen in years and this read would be my companion along the way.

The last book I read was “Dracula” so it was time. I have to admit this book is more of the perfect coffee table, tea house, train ridin, bus tourin kinda read. It’s no novel. Moby opened a tea house in New York and this is it’s companion. Really cute and has some interesting historical facts about New York. I gotta get my butt back there for a jaunt around.

As I pull into the Oshawa train station, I was pretty excited about meeting up with my long time buddy, who had just spent the last two years of her life in the pit of Hell, fighting her way back from illness. She was diagnosed with Cancer and my watch stood still when I found out. We sat together in the food court in the Oshawa Center and we sipped our tea’s and for the first time I heard her story of survival and triumph over her illness.

I watched her go from laughter to tears and back to laughter as she told me everything she could recall of her journey. She told me once you go through something like that you are never the same. You look at the world and your life and everyone in it from a different set of eyes when you get of real taste of mortality.  Her story was inspiring and as scary as the melting snow caps and I had mentioned that she should write a book.

As I  shared some thoughts with her and we discuss both sides of life the good and the bad. One thing was clearer than ever. Neither time, illness, disappointment or success could ever be more important than friendship and family.

The sad thing was, that in hearing about her journey, it was amazing how little some of those around her really grasped and appreciated what she went through and what a true miracle it is that she is still here.  Maybe it is the way they cope, who am I to judge but I understood that she even has family members who are not speaking with her. I wanted to just reach out and slap them. As her eyes filled with tears and she said “Isn’t it enough that I beat cancer but now I have to beat the way my —— are treating me?”

I didn’t know what to say.  Imagine going through such a scary possibility to come out the other side to have those closest to you kick you in the ass again. I can’t imagine! I held her hands and said you will get through this. The mood lightened slightly when I said “Girl you have the name of your book!” I told her and she laughed her head off. I do hope she uses it. It will be a million seller.

Isn’t it amazing what life gets lived, with tea? Think of everything you have experienced. Tea is not far behind. As we finished up ours, I grabbed my teany book and slipped it into my travel bag. “Let’s do lunch!” I said. Time flew and after lunch it was time for me to be off. She waited at the bus stopped with me and I had hoped she would follow me back to Toronto.

As I curled up on the train that was preparing to take me home, I thought. “Life with Tea. If it were only so simple.  All the best my dear friend. I’ll always be in your corner.” From the overhead speakers “Stand clear of the doors. The doors are now closing. Our next station stop…..”



419 West King Street, #1135
Oshawa, ON L1J2K5

Tel: (905) 438-9838

3 kisses out of 5 (they were super slow)

teany the book

4 kisses out of 5

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