Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

December 2016, In My Bookbag

In which I discuss some of the skinny volumes which have kept me company while on the move, while heavier volumes (like Connie Willis’ Crosstalk and Steven King’s 11/22/1963) stayed home.

Warsan Shire’s chapbook is my skinniest book of the year. I finished reading it on a single commute, but rather than read another volume […]

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November 2016, In My Reading Log

In the wake of my IFOA reading list and the literary prizelists of the season, my November reading felt relatively whimsical. Without duedates attached to the majority of my reading, it was a pleasure to slip into volumes which had sat untouched in recent weeks.

Each of these three volumes covers, in one way or another, […]

In My Notebook, November 2016 (IFOA and near-year-end musings)

Back in the summer, I was planning my reading list for this year’s International Festival of Authors in Toronto. It always seems like it will be possible to read all the books which are calling to me from the schedule of events and list of participants.

And maybe it would be, were it not for the […]

Tracey Lindberg’s Birdie (2016)

Even when Bernice is liked, she’s not necessarily liked for the person she is, but for the person someone believes her to be.  This is largely why she leaves herself, why she learns to fly.

“I wonder how fascinated she’d be if she knew that I’d been fucked before I was eleven, Bernice thinks. That I smoked […]

Michael Smith’s Real Food, Real Good (2016)

This volume is a fantastic introduction to Chef Michael Smith’s oeuvre. The volume opens with “The Real Food Pledge”, and although this is the first of his books I’ve read, I could speak this pledge right along with him: it’s as though he’s speaking directly from our kitchen. So you would think this a terrific […]

November 2016, In My Bookbag

In which I discuss some of the skinny volumes which have kept me company while on the move, while heavier volumes (like Steven Price’s By Gaslight and Ami McKay’s The Witches of New York) stayed home.

The Selected Poetry of Ryszard Kapuściński is the first in the International Translation Series from Biblioasis.

It’s translated from […]

Riel Nason’s All the Things We Leave Behind (2016)

The title of her second novel might well have been a discarded option for her debut; Riel Nason is back in familiar territory: the intersection between memory and identity, the line between mysticism and madness, and sibling bonds in a coming-of-age tale.

Goose Lane, 2016

Now it is 1977 and readers are introduced to Violet, […]

Riel Nason’s The Town that Drowned (2011)

Nothing really happens. Here, the “main event is simply a view of the water”. So Ruby’s story should not be a page-turner. But, in fact, The Town that Drowned is a coming-of-age story with a curious momentum.

No single element is responsible: character and voice, setting and structure, all work in concert in this debut, […]

Jonathan Safran Foer’s Here I Am (2016)

In interview with Mark Medley in September, Jonathan Safran Foer discusses his new book, Here I Am, in such a way that it’s clear it feels distinct from his other writing for him.

Hamish Hamilton – PRH, 2016

Many of the attendees are carrying copies of his earlier books, Everything is Illuminated and Extremely […]

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XI (RIPXI): Summary 2016

As usual, it’s hard to believe the two months are finished already. Thanks to Carl for hosting once more. It’s always great fun! Here’s a recap of my RIP-ing.

Peril of the Short Story:

Two tales in MOONSHOT, edited by Hope Nicholson for AH Comics (Alternative History): “The Qallupiluk: Forgiven” which was originally published in Ajjiit: […]