Summer puts us in mind of retreat-retreat from noise, heat, and stress to something simpler, quieter, more beautiful. If your backyard, balcony, or favourite park is where you’ll be escaping to, tuck The Selby Is In Your Place in your bag, and you’ll be careening through dozens of different worlds without leaving the city.

The book compiles the best of Todd Selby’s intimate photo shoots of people’s spaces-be they homes, studios, or the legendary Explorer’s Club. Selby has been photographing people’s dwellings and workspaces for years for his blog, The Selby, which has long been a go-to for longing and inspiration. In the book, Selby introduces the subjects with paragraphs capturing what he loves about them and their space-the book feels overwhelmingly personal, as Selby’s anecdotes bring to life the stories behind the animal heads, pet bunnies, priceless art, prosthetic limbs, and zombie babies. His trademark doodles and hand-scribbled notes accompany the images, and at the beginning of the book is a sheet of stickers, capturing Selby’s watery interpretations of cars, cowboy boots, hamsters, giraffes, spacesuits, hot legs, and tomatoes on the vine.

Toronto’s loveliest gathered at Parts and Labour to celebrate the iconic photographer. Hosted by Holt Renfrew, we all eagerly tried to decode which man was Todd Selby, based on the cartoon squiggle. Apparently, no one had done their homework or ‘google image’. I overheard people guessing Jeff Stober, nope – he owns the Drake Hotel, Thomas Neary, nope – he’s a party promoter, Jason MacIsaac – nope, he’s the owner of Ministry of the Interior. Basically, any man over thirty with artistic glasses and messy hair was being confused for Selby. Finally, we were introduced to the guest of honour….and unlike anything you’d find at Holt Renfrew, he was wearing an oversized baby blue t-shirt with kittens clamouring from shoulder to belly. We should have guessed that….

The Selby Is In Your Place provides escape, inspiration, and in the words of subject and SDTC girlcrush Lesley Arfin, “There’s hope in these pages.”

The Selby Is In Your Place, $35