With summer right around the bend, LEARN wants to first and foremost wish you the kind of summer rest that involves forgetting the Dewey Decimal System and replacing lesson plans with pool floats. Say goodbye to students who think photosynthesis involves a light show, colleagues who bring their existential dread to lunch, and blackboards that hold the chalk dust memories of a thousand pop quizzes. Those emails about permission slips for the bake sale? Gone. Meetings about the strategic importance of hallway bulletin boards? Poof! This time is for margaritas, not margins.

This year, on our 9th annual glorious issue of Summertime Reads, we’re expanding our recommendations beyond the bookshelf. Think podcasts that will have you laughing so hard you snort sunscreen, music that will turn your backyard into Coachella (minus the overpriced everything), magazines that are more beach-friendly than a hermit crab, and maybe even an audiobook for that inevitable sunburn-induced coma. We hope you find our picks as delightful as that first popsicle of the season. Look forward to reconnecting in the 2024-2025 school year, but until then, dear educators, channel your inner sloth and just be!

The Little Book of Tourists in Iceland by Alda Sigmundsdóttir

As you may guess from the title of my chosen book, I have big travel plans this summer. The cheeky subtitle “Tips, Tricks, and What the Icelanders Really Think of You” drew me in. Sections headings like, “How to P*** Off a Local” and “Bizarre Tourist Stories” suggest it will be an informative and entertaining read.

Dianne Conrod

Mon coup de cœur de l’été est L’érable et la perdrix: L’histoire culinaire du Québec à travers ses aliments d’Élisabeth Cardin et Michel Lambert. On y raconte l’histoire du Québec du point de vue des aliments qu’on y mange et des influences que chacun des peuples qui l’habitent ont eu sur notre façon de les préparer. Histoire, science, sociologie poésie et recettes: c’est un livre à déguster avec les yeux, le cœur et le ventre.

Marc-Albert Paquette

I plan to listen to the AI in Ed Miniseries on the Edtech Podcast this summer. This miniseries explores AI’s ongoing impacts on education, highlighting opportunities and challenges educators and students may face.

Stacy Anne Allen


My favourite educational podcast is Ologies by Alie Ward. The host Alie has a contagious curiosity for all things and brings in experts to talk about the topics they are most passionate about. The episode that drew me in was “Dendrology (TREES) with Casey Clapp” – I highly recommend that you start listening here! P.S. There is a kid-friendly version of the podcast called Smologies!

Leanna Di Fulvio

The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks by Joshua M. Bernstein 

Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto by Aaron Franklin 

The National LP: First Two Pages of Frankenstein 

Yes, yes… three things you ask, well this summer I plan on combining my pleasures! Hours of meat-smoking, while sipping on some oldies while listening to my latest LPs. Nothing says summer louder than doing stuff that you’ve put off for way too long during workdays, to clearing the schedule, disconnecting and reconnecting to our ❤️ s.

Chris Colley

This summer I want to enjoy theUnder the Influence’ with Terry O’Reilly podcast. The home page describes, “fascinating (and humorous) stories that connect the dots between pop culture, marketing and human nature”. Perhaps a deep dive into those themes can translate to better reaching our clientele with LEARN. Happy Summer!

Craig Bullett

The History of Stand-Up: From Mark Twain to Dave Chappelle by Wayne Federman

The first book on my summer reading list is about stand-up comedy. I have been going to a lot of comedy shows in Montreal lately, and have become very interested in its history. I look forward to reading this book, learning a thing or two and having some good laughs!

Marlee Rozansky

My Own Words by Ruth Ginsburg

with authorized biographers Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams

Who was Ruth Bader Ginsburg and how did she influence gender equality? Born in 1933, RBG was the second woman to serve on the US Supreme Court – but not without a struggle! My summer will be spent reading about this woman’s fascinating life. Enjoy your summer read!

Elizabeth Alloul

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Buried Giant, by Nobel Prize-winning British writer Kazuo Ishiguro, follows an elderly Briton couple, Axl and Beatrice, living in a fictional post-Arthurian England in which no-one is able to retain long-term memories. I am not sure why, but I just adored this novel last year and am looking to repeat the experience with another by the same author over the summer. Something about fiction that evokes the spirit of a place, reaches into dark unfamiliar histories, helps us reflect on own “collective amnesia” and shows such a command of the language. If in doubt, start maybe with his classic book The Remains of the Day.

Paul Rombough

Chernobyl created and written by Craig Mazin, directed by Johan Renck

If the development of nuclear energy is of interest to you, I strongly suggest you watch the mini-series called Chernobyl. It relates to the nuclear accident that happened in April 1986 and its consequences that are still felt today! It is what has helped the world population understand that powerful energy and its possible destructive aspects. Enjoy this on a rainy day!

Natalie Dahlstedt

A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries 2003-2020 by David Sedaris

Travel from 2003 to 2020 through the humorous and often grumpy, quirky observations and reflections of David Sedaris as he travels the world for readings, book signings and living. It can be read one diary entry at a time or in bunches. Not recommended for children.

Thomas Stenzel

Led Zeppelin LP

This summer you can find me outdoors relaxing on the deck with some classic tunes flowing from this album by Led Zeppelin. Dust off some of your old vinyls and join me! Thank you to Rob for the inspiration all the way from New York!

Shelley Armstrong

Math Therapy Podcast by The Math Guru Vanessa Vakharia

This podcast explores math trauma and why people have math phobia. With that exploration, she interviews a variety of people to help make math more accessible in a fun way and eye opening way.

Melissa Price

Stories from Mexico/Historias De Mexico by Genevieve Barlow & William N. Stivers

This summer, I’m excited to continue reading a unique book that presents stories from Mexico in both English and Spanish. Each story is printed in both languages on facing pages, allowing readers to easily check their understanding by referring to the opposite page instead of searching in a dictionary. After a year of Spanish classes and using Duolingo to support my learning, I look forward to expanding my Spanish vocabulary and learning more about Mexico’s rich culture by finishing this book.

Lexie Tucker

The Double Life of Benson Yu by Kevin Chong

I made it a personal goal to read all of the 2023 Giller Prize finalist nominated books, in 2024. Have I done it? Not yet. But, I’m getting through them, and my recommendation for you is my first novel: The Double Life of Benson Yu by Kevin Chong. This isn’t an easy, light book, in spite of the length. It takes place in 1980’s Chinatown (Vancouver presumably) and focuses on the upbringing of young Benny, who, parentless, lives with his ailing grandmother.

Trigger warning: the themes are dark and the backstory darker. But I really enjoyed the writing and wholeheartedly recommend.

Kristine Thibeault

My Father Knew the Secret: Growing Up with Bob Proctor By Brian Proctor

Brian Proctor’s book is an inspiring summer read for personal development enthusiasts, especially fans of Bob Proctor. If you’re passionate about personal development and admire the work of Bob Proctor, a leading figure in the field, you’ll love this book written by his son. Through real-life stories, insights, and valuable lessons from his father, Brian offers practical exercises and thought-provoking questions. It’s a motivational journey you’ll find hard to put down.

Carolina Toteda

En As-tu Vraiment Besoin? De Pierre-Yves McSween

This summer I plan on rereading En As-tu Vraiment Besoin? This bestseller comes down to one simple question: Do you really need it? The author, Pierre-Yves McSween, applies this simple question to all of the decisions that impact our spending. I particularly enjoyed it because I’ve been tending towards voluntary simplicity, and this book acts as a wonderful mirror to our life choices and their consequences. It has been translated to English as well (Do You Really Need It?). Also, in concordance with the book’s main message, McSween recommends that you borrow it from a library or a friend instead of purchasing it, because you don’t *really* need to have your own copy!

Carolyn Buteau


Broomgate: A Curling Scandal

When you think about the sport of curling, you might not think of drama. However, this podcast is full of it! Whether you are an avid curling nut (like me) or a newbie, you will be riveted by this 6 episode podcast about the broom scandal of 2015.

Kerry Cule