Mary Berg of Mary’s Kitchen Crush shares three favourite short story collections by Canadian women

Mary Berg is the Ontario home cook who was a winner of TV’s MasterChef Canada and is currently host of Mary’s Kitchen Crush. Berg is also the author of her debut cookbook, 2019’s Kitchen Party. 

Berg is an avid reader and loves short stories: “I’ve always found short stories to be such an interesting way to gather information and learn about whatever the author’s trying to tell us.”

She spoke with Shelagh Rogers about three of her favourite short story collections by Canadian women authors: Shut Up You’re Pretty by Tea Mutonji, Guest Book: Ghost Stories by Leanne Shapton and Even that Wildest Hope by Seyward Goodhand.

Shut Up You’re Pretty is a book by Téa Mutonji. (Arsenal Pulp Press, Sandro Pehar)

“The short stories here definitely read more like a novel, especially in comparison to a lot of the other short story collections I read, which are usually not linked by a protagonist or a narrator. 

“You kind of jump forward in time from the protagonist Loli. She’s this very young girl, a new immigrant to Scarborough. You’re just watching this person get dropped into the middle of cold Canadian winter, figuring out their life and trying to find a space for them.

The short stories here definitely read more like a novel, especially in comparison to a lot of the other short story collections I read, which are usually not linked by a protagonist or a narrator.

“The writing of that first story of that very young protagonist was really fascinating to me because it sounded young. It didn’t sound like an adult woman was writing it. But it also still kept the distance that is kept throughout the short story collection. 

But it’s almost like you and the narrator Loli are standing on one side of a fogged piece of glass. You’re looking at her life. And it’s very pragmatically told. Horrible things are happening and beautiful things happen but it’s all told very pragmatically and very matter of fact and very these are the things that happened.

Which to me makes me love the character more because it makes me dig in and figure out why they’re being like that and why they present their life in such a way.

The Next Chapter17:00Téa Mutonji on Shut Up You’re Pretty

Téa Mutonji talks to Shelagh Rogers about her Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize nominated novel, Shut Up You’re Pretty. 17:00

Guest Book is a book by Leanne Shapton. (Robbie Lawrence/Penguin Random House Canada)

“I was trying to read it at nighttime and I had to pull the covers up and tuck my legs up — because it’s eerie and spooky.  The haunted nature of it is so much more beautiful than any scary movie or anything I’ve ever read before. It was really something. 

The first story in the collection showcases really someone just watching people walk through street lights and the street lights, in my mind, kind of act similar to how a short

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People are going mad for Stacey Solomon’s favourite Lazy Susans to organise everything from make-up to kitchen cupboards

WHETHER you follow Stacey Solomon for her relatable parenting methods or ingenious organising tips, one thing’s for certain, you too would have fallen in love with the Lazy Susan for all your storage needs.

We first saw the star, 30, show how she uses the turntable to perfectly contain canned goods in her pantry, but she isn’t the only one praising the cheap and irresistible hack.

Stacey Solomon, 30, is a fan of the Lazy Susan and uses it to store her canned goods

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Stacey Solomon, 30, is a fan of the Lazy Susan and uses it to store her canned goodsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
She showed off her clever hack earlier this year and admitted to loving it

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She showed off her clever hack earlier this year and admitted to loving itCredit: Instagram

Popular organising duo from The Home Edit, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, are also fans of the the rotating tray – which was originally designed to serve or store food.

In their hit Netflix show Get Organised With The Home Edit, the pair transform the houses of everyone from the regular working mum to Hollywood stars, and regularly use the clever storage system to restore order in panties, fridges, wardrobes and cabinets

Since it’s inception, the typically wooden item has increased in popularity, and now with cheap and versatile acrylic versions in various sizes and styles, it’s not hard to see why us regular folk have become obsessed.

One woman followed the likes of organising Queen Stacy and picked up a couple of Lazy Susans from Ikea.

The popular duo from The Home Edit also use them to store pantry items and admit it saves space and keeps things organised

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The popular duo from The Home Edit also use them to store pantry items and admit it saves space and keeps things organisedCredit: The Home Edit
Joanna Teplin (L) and Clea Shearer (R) share their organised wizardry on the popular Netflix show Get Organised With The Home Edit
Joanna Teplin (L) and Clea Shearer (R) share their organised wizardry on the popular Netflix show Get Organised With The Home Edit
They also use the acrylic rotating stands in bedrooms, bathrooms and other areas of the home

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They also use the acrylic rotating stands in bedrooms, bathrooms and other areas of the homeCredit: The Home Edit

Detailing on Facebook how she keeps her pantry organised, she wrote: “Recently did my quarterly pantry stocktake and did a bit of organising.”

Adding: “I find Lady Susans/Turntables are great to keep pantry stock on to utilise space and make it easy to reach for things at the back – an alternative to pullout drawers.”

But it’s not just pantries where they save on space, as one woman, named Lorenza Stewart-Young, 33, uses a three-tier number to keep her collection of skincare in order.

One woman raved about how much she loves using her Ikea Lazy Susan in her pantry

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One woman raved about how much she loves using her Ikea Lazy Susan in her pantryCredit: Mums Who Organise
She used one to store her canned goods and admits they're a good way to utilise space

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She used one to store her canned goods and admits they’re a good way to utilise spaceCredit: Mums Who Organise
She also keep containers on them which allows her to easily grab and go with ease

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She also keep containers on them which allows her to easily grab and go with easeCredit: Mums Who Organise

Sharing a snap of her enviable dresser in the Caroline Hirons Skincare Freaks Facebook group, she wrote: “Can someone please explain to me how I functioned as a human being and skincare freak before this organiser….?”

And added: “I don’t think anything costing 20 squids has brought

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