How to Beat The Heat

August 20, 2021 | Reagan

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As someone who prefers cold weather, I wanted to put together a cheerful blog on ways to beat the heat this summer. The books may be a bit kooky but like a nice beach read, you're sure to delight in their pages! Here you'll find out what to wear, eat and do on those stinking hot days of summer. 

What to Eat on a Hot Day

A chilled margarita, a light salad and a delicious frozen treat is my personal recommendation for a fantastic meal on a hot day. On those extra hot days don't forget to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Enjoy these titles dedicated to deliciously cool beverages and foods. 


Slushed! More Than 150 Frozen, Boozy Treats for the Coolest Happy Hour Ever by Jessie Cross

"Who says iced blocks are just for kids? In the sweltering summer heat, you need a quick way to cool down and keep the party going. Here, in this refreshingly spirited volume, you'll find a frosty collection of more than 150 booze-infused frozen desserts."

Eat Cool

Eat Cool: Good Food for Hot Days by Vanessa Seder

"A stylish and modern guide to eating well while beating the heat, Eat Cool gives readers easy recipes and smart tips for delicious and satisfying meals that won't chain the cook to the stove on a hot day. Vanessa Seder, recipe developer, chef, and working mom, has come to rescue summertime cooks with 100+ dishes you won't hate to cook when it's already hot as blazes. Inspired recipes focus on low- and no-heat techniques, make-ahead dishes served cold or at room temperature, smart seasonal ingredients to keep your body cool, and vibrant pairings of flavors, textures, and colors."

Aguas Frescas and Paletas

Aguas Frescas and Paletas: Refreshing Mexican Drinks and Frozen Treats, Traditional and Reimagined by Ericka Sanchez

"It wouldn’t be summer in Mexico without aguas frescas and paletas—fresh-made Mexican drinks and popsicles in a variety of fruity and flowery flavors. Now you can bring the refreshing, authentic tastes of Mexico to your own backyard! Ericka Sanchez of the popular culinary website Nibbles & Feasts delivers 40 easy recipes for anyone who loves traditional Mexican fare."

Drinking Water

Drinking Water: A History by James Salzman 

The author, a professor at Duke University and an environmental policy expert shows how drinking water highlights the most pressing issues of our time, from globalization and social justice to terrorism and climate change, and how humans have been wrestling with these problems for centuries. When we turn on the tap or twist open a tall plastic bottle, we might not give a second thought to where our drinking water comes from. But how it gets from the ground to the glass is far more complex than we might think. With concerns over pollution and new technologies like fracking, is it safe to drink tap water? Should we feel guilty buying bottled water? Is the water we drink vulnerable to terrorist attacks? With springs running dry and reservoirs emptying, where is our water going to come from in the future? This book shows just how complex a simple glass of water can be.


Ever wondered about how we keep our food and beverages cool? Here's a bonus read about how the refrigerator changed the world!


Chilled: How Refrigeration Changed the World, And Might Do So Again by Tom Jackson 

"The refrigerator may seem mundane nowadays, but it is one of the wonders of twentieth-century science--lifesaver, food preserver, social liberator. Part historical narrative, part scientific decoder, Chilled looks at early efforts to harness the cold at the ice pits of Persia (Iranians still call their fridges the "ice pit") and ice harvests on the Regents Canal. As people learned more about what cold actually was, scientists invented machines for producing it on demand. The discovery of refrigeration and its applications features a cast of characters that includes the Ice King of Boston, Galileo, Francis Bacon, an expert on gnomes, a magician who chilled a cathedral, a Renaissance duke addicted to iced eggnog, and a Bavarian nobleman from New England." 


What to Wear on a Hot Day

Airy fabrics and flowy hemlines are a must-have in my summer wardrobe. Don't forget to don your hat and shades for a stylish and practical way to keep you safe from the sun. For those not stuck carrying around a diaper bag or some kind of truck like me, throw an umbrella under your arm for a smart way to keep you shaded.

Cool Shades

Cool Shades: The History and Meaning of Sunglasses by Vanessa Brown

"Cool Shades provides the first in-depth exploration of the enduring appeal of sunglasses in visual culture, both historically and today. Ubiquitous in fashion, advertising, film and graphic design, sunglasses are the ultimate signifier of 'cool' in mass culture; a powerful attribute pervading much fashion and pop cultural imagery which has received little scholarly attention until now. Accessible and highly engaging, this book offers an original history of how sunglasses became a fashion accessory in the early twentieth century, and addresses the complex variety of meanings they have the power to articulate, through associations with vision, light, glamour, darkness, fashion, speed and technology in the context of modernity. Cool Shades will be of great interest to students of fashion, design, visual and material culture, cultural studies and sociology, as well as general readers fascinated by this iconic fashion staple"

Fifty Hats That Changed The World

Fifty Hats That Changed The World by Robert Anderson

"Fifty Hats That Changed the World lists the top 50 hats and headwear that have made a substantial impact in the world of fashion and design today. From Monomakh's Cap, an early fifteenth century Russian crown to Franc Fernandez's modern-day 2010 Helmet Headpiece, the book explores the designs that have turned heads over the years and the impact they've had on the fashion and design world."

The Umbrella Unfurled

The Umbrella Unfurled: Its Remarkable Life and Times by Nigel Rodgers

"Universally recognisable, the umbrella and its older, prettier sister the parasol have made their mark. Politics, religion, war and fashion have all been influenced by this modest contraption. With a beautiful collection of images, The Umbrella Unfurled follows its hero to Ancient Egypt, where at first it was for the Pharaoh's use only."

Parasols, an outdoor wedding must-have. Photo by the author.

What to Do on a Hot Day

There is nothing I love more than sitting in the shade of my backyard reading a good book with a cold beer on a summer day. As much as possible I like to support local Toronto businesses. And what better way to support local than trying new breweries? I recently discovered the JustBeer Toronto's Brewery map and it's proven delightfully helpful for tasting new, crafty beers. 

JustBeer Toronto Breweries


Books and movies to give you chills

Set out your lawn chair and chill out with these great titles that are sure to give you goosebumps! Even better, all of these recommendations have multiple formats. You can read the book, listen to the audiobook, or watch the movie to see these cool stories come to life. Maybe you're lucky enough to have cozy patio furniture and an outdoor television? A stretch of grass at your local park, garden or beach will do nicely as well. 

The Revenant

The Revenant by Michael Punke

"The year is 1823, and the trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Hugh Glass is among the company's finest men, an experienced frontiersman and an expert tracker. But when a scouting mission puts him face-to-face with a grizzly bear, he is viciously mauled and not expected to survive. Two company men are dispatched to stay behind and tend to Glass before he dies. When the men abandon him instead, Glass is driven to survive by one desire: revenge."

The Terror

The Terror by Dan Simmons

"The men on board HMS Terror have every expectation of triumph. As part of the 1845 Franklin Expedition, the first steam-powered vessels ever to search for the legendary Northwest Passage, they are as scientifically supported an enterprise as has ever set forth. As they enter a second summer in the Arctic Circle without a thaw, though, they are stranded in a nightmarish landscape of encroaching ice and darkness. Endlessly cold, with diminishing rations, 126 men fight to survive with poisonous food, a dwindling supply of coal, and ships buckling in the grip of crushing ice. But their real enemy is far more terrifying. There is something out there in the frigid darkness: an unseen predator stalking their ship, a monstrous terror constantly clawing to get in."

Cold Mountain

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

"One of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory, Charles Frazier's "Cold Mountain" is a masterpiece that is at once an enthralling adventure, a stirring love story, and a luminous evocation of a vanished American in all its savagery, solitude, and splendor. Sorely wounded and fatally disillusioned in the fighting at Petersburg, Inman, a Confederate soldier, decides to walk back to his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains and to Ada, the woman he loved there years before. His trek across the disintegrating South brings him into intimate and sometimes lethal converse with slaves and marauders, bounty hunters and witches, both helpful and malign. At the same time, Ada is trying to revive her father's derelict farm and learn to survive in a world where the old certainties have been swept away. As it interweaves their stories, "Cold mountain" asserts itself as an authentic American Odyssey."

The Shining

The Shining by Stephen King

"Jack Torrance's new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he'll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote . . . and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old."


I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the City of Toronto has great resources for how to beat the heat as well. Do you have any ways to beat the heat not mentioned here? Comment below and help your fellow Torontonians stay cool!