Another summer escape is the cottage – whether you are heading up to yours or simply dreaming of owning one (especially now), we have helpful books on keeping your cottage looking great, or fiction that will help you dream of that day.
- Castles and Cottages: River Retreats of the Thousand Islands by George Fisher – “Whether you are a lifelong Thousand Islands resident, a summers-only visitor or a lucky St. Lawrence River cruise ship passenger, you are bound to recognize many of the grand summer homes and modern American castles featured in this full color keepsake collection. While photographing Sentinels in the Stream, renowned photographer George Fischer became captivated by the many extraordinary dwellings that rise from the islands and shorelines of this popular vacation region. The Thousand Islands abound in historic and architecturally unique buildings, as well as idyllic cottage retreats. With fascinating insight and gorgeous color photographs, Castles and Cottages reveals the remarkable story of each.”
- At the Cottage by Charles Gordon – “Whatever you call it, every Canadian summer home needs at least one copy of Charles Gordon's wry, affectionate, and very funny study of our national obsession with that special summer place.”
- Country Walks: Cottage Country by Anne Craik – “Veteran hiker Anne Craik takes on 26 topnotch trails in 15 different regions of the southern Canadian Shield, from Georgian Bay to the Rideau Valley, and as far north as Algonquin Park. All skill levels.”
- Barefoot at the Lake: a Boyhood Summer in Cottage Country by Bruce Fogle – “Every year, from the end of June to the end of August, Bruce and his family go to their cedar-clad cottage on the blue, wide lake. At first, this summer of 1954 seems like any other: floating in the row boat with Grace from next door, jumping off the diving raft, eating peach pie, exploring with Angus the dog, watching the seagulls, frogs and herons and catching crayfish. But just when he realizes life is perfect, everything starts to change. He's ten, the family dynamics are shifting, and over the summer both the harshness of the adult world and the patterns of the natural world reveal themselves. By the time the weather turns he will be a different child, and will have chosen his own path to understanding the wilderness that waits behind their wooden homes. Funny, subtle and true, Barefoot at the Lake transports us to a long, hot, poignant summer.”
- A Timeless Place: the Ontario Cottage by Julia D. Harrison – “As Julia Harrison's first summer of living in Ontario approached, she became aware of the culture of the cottage. Friends talked of nothing but languid afternoons on the dock, but Harrison marveled at the investment of money and labour that the idyllic escapes demanded. Curious about the rich and passionate meaning these places seemed to hold, she studied cottagers in the Haliburton region over the course of seven years. Thoughtfully and engagingly written, A Timeless Place considers the family cottage as a place where memories are treasured, national identity is celebrated, spiritual balance is restored, and a few dark secrets are kept.”
- The Cottage Bible by Gerry L Mackie and Laura E. Taylor – “The Cottage Bible is the most important reference for a cottage owner. The expert guidance is essential for any vacation home, especially one near water with unique challenges. There is year-round advice on maintenance, buying a cottage, repairing burst pipes, and how to keep a lake healthy. The authors share their wisdom in a colorful easy-to-use kit of troubleshooting, how-to guidance, and problem-solving tips.”
- Cottage Essentials: the Everything Guide for your Cottage, Cabin or Camp by Wayne Lennox – “An essential addition to any cottage. Getting away to fish, swim, or just sit back with a tall drink and a good book is an enduring summer tradition. But for cottagers, docks and decks must be maintained, plumbing repaired and cabins and outhouses built. Cottage Essentials focuses on the practical topics -- building a deck, cutting firewood, keeping out pests, first aid, fishing and hospitality. Complete with plans and diagrams, Cottage Essentials shows readers how to maintain and enjoy their vacation property. Topics covered include: First Aid, dealing with bears and other wildlife Chainsaws and tree felling Firewood, wood fires, wood-heating appliances Operation and maintenance of oil lamps Tools and how to build and maintain a deck, dock, woodshed and outhouse Basic plumbing Activities for children Closing-up for the season Glossary of common construction terms Cottage Essentials is a valuable reference chock full of ideas, tips and techniques, even recipes.”
- Camp and Cottage Cookbook by Tonya Hughes – “Camp and Cottage Cookbook is the perfect companion for all your outdoor and cabin cooking needs! This book contains the essential information you will need to provide your family and friends with the fun, tasty, and easy-to-make meals they know and love while enjoying their home away from home. In addition to many quick and easy recipes that cover all the food groups and every meal of your day, this handy campground and cottage cooking guide includes: step-by-step instructions on how to make delicious foods that are nutritionally sound; tips on how to preserve your meats; advice on maximizing your cooler space; and lists of the best tools to bring on your trip! This book is a must-have for campers, cottage-goers, and outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. Put it on your list!”
- Cottages by Brian Coleman – “Cottages travels from coast to coast, sharing delightful examples from the Catskills of New York to Georgia's Tybee Island to Southern California and beyond. The popularity of cottage homes has continued to thrive; cottages share charming details that capture the imagination and creativity of their owners, from a built-in window seat to a front porch swing to an outdoor shower for washing sandy feet after a stroll on the beach. Whether it's a rustic mountain retreat, a sunny southern California casita or a simple seaside fishing shack, cottages are whimsical, welcoming and irresistible.”
- The Summer Cottage by Viola Shipman – “Adie Lou Kruger's ex never understood her affection for what her parents called their Cozy Cottage, the charming, ramshackle summer home--complete with its own set of rules for relaxing--that she's inherited on Lake Michigan. But despite the fact she's facing a broken marriage and empty nest, and middle age is looming in the distance, memories of happy childhoods on the beach give her reason for hope. She's determined not to let her husband's affair with a grad student reduce her to a cliché, or to waste one more minute in a career she doesn't love, so it becomes clear what Adie Lou must do: rebuild her life and restore her cottage shingle by shingle, on her terms. But converting the beloved, weather-beaten structure into a bed-and-breakfast isn't quite the efficient home-reno experience she's seen on TV. Pushback from Saugatuck's contentious preservation society, costly surprises and demanding guests were not part of the plan. But as the cottage comes back to life, Adie Lou does, too, finding support in unexpected places and a new love story on the horizon. One cottage rule at a time, Adie Lou reclaims her own strength, history and joy by rediscovering the magic in every sunset and sandcastle.”
- Lakeside Cottage by Susan Wiggs – “If you trust your heart, you'll always know who you are... Each summer, Kate Livingston returns to her family's lakeside cottage, a place of simple living and happy times--a place where she hopes her son, Aaron, can blossom. But her quiet life gets a bit more interesting with the arrival of a mysterious new neighbor, JD Harris. JD has a good reason for being secretive. In a moment of sheer bravery, the Washington, D.C., paramedic prevented a terrible tragedy--and became a national hero. He's hardly able to remember who he was before the media frenzy...until he escapes to this lovely, remote part of the Northwest. Now Kate and Aaron have rekindled the joy of small pleasures and peace, something JD thought he'd never have again. But how long will his blissful anonymity last before reality comes banging at his door?”
- The Forgotten Cottage by Helen Phifer – “Annie Graham has fought her demons, and is ready to leave them behind. Her new cottage seems like the new start she's craved: quiet and quaint, it's empty of the memories which have haunted her for so long. But before long, the ghosts of a forgotten tragedy stir within Annie's new home. Someone – or something – is coming for her. And this time, she might not get the chance to run...”
Enjoy your retreat to the cottage, whether it’s actual or fictional.