Lana Del Rey’s latest disc,
has the mysterious crooner doing what she does best: smoulder. Songs that follow the ardent
title track of the album continue to riff on Del Rey’s long-standing love of epic cinematic soundtracks, beat poetry and all that beguiling— and unabashed—bad girl lust she’s built up through
the years. Author Julie Murphy’s latest protagonist, Willowdean (Will), is far from a beauty queen and, frankly, doesn’t care to be one. In Murphy’s novel, DUMPLIN’, Will battles the stigma of being an oversized teen who tries to maintain a spirited self-esteem. Clarity kicks in and she delivers the type of speech that Oprah would clap for: “All my life I’ve had a body worth commenting on and if living in my skin has taught me anything, it’s that if it’s not your body, it’s not yours to comment on.” Amen. One of Toronto’s most historic hotels, THE OMNI KING EDWARD HOTEL has been a celebrity hideaway since it opened its doors in 1903. Aside from the handful of royal family members who’ve dropped in, the luxe hotel, which recently underwent a $40-million renovation, is packed with all-star anecdotes. Among the newly restored marble pillars and crown mouldings is where Richard Burton famously proposed to Elizabeth Taylor. The Beatles also had a moment in the now-renovated lobby: So many fans came to see them, the fab four had to escape out the back door. Heads of state—including Trudeau and Mulroney—have also met over delicious meals (the high tea is one of Toronto’s finest luxuries). An empirical palette of silver, black and regal red (best seen in the 1,800-square-foot Royal Suite, which goes for $3,000 per night) has changed the hotel’s decor, but the impeccable service remains untouched. —E.I.