Steven Galloway’s new novel The Confabulist reminds me that I have yet to read his other works. Earlier this year, I started reading The Cellist of Sarajevo (because it was chosen as Toronto’s One Book for 2014) and I have Ascension and Finnie Walsh at hand too, but The Confabulist is about magic and that intrigues me.
It reminds me of hot July afternoons spent with Robertson Davies’ Deptford trilogy as a teenager (the magic was my favourite part). And, on the subject of magic in Canlit, has anyone read Michael Redhill’s Saving Houdini or Marty Chan’s Erich Weisz Chronicles?
I’ve read some of Aislinn Hunter’s poems in the past, but I’m keen on the idea of her second novel, which will be published this autumn, The World Before Us (her first was Stay), so I’ve gathered some more stories and poems with that in mind. Peepshow with Views of the Interior is particularly irresistible and I can’t stop recommending it, but it is The Possible Past (isn’t that a great title?) which is in my stacks right now.
In other poetry reading, I thoroughly enjoyed the second volume of Mary Oliver’s Collected Poems and it inspired me to pull some earlier collections to peruse. I felt very adventurous choosing the second volume of collected poems and leaving the first volume on the shelf, but perhaps too adventurous, for I still feel the need to fill the gap.
Perhaps there’s a clue here, as to why I can’t seem to finish reading so many of the series I’ve started over the years? I’ve just started rereading Robert Rotenberg’s Old City Hall, intending to catch up with the series. But I have Brad Smith, Walter Mosley, and the graphic novel Morning Glories tempting me to begin new series instead.
Rethinking and reconsidering my fondness for May Sarton took me back to the first of her journals that I read: Journal of a Solitude. I’m not sure if this will amount to a reread, but I am enjoying it on occasional evenings. Does it make you anxious, when you have let a favourite author’s works sit for a spell, that perhaps you won’t enjoy them as much when you return?
Esi Edugyan’s new book, a slim volume of non-fiction, Dreaming of Elsewhere, urged me to pull her first novel (before Half-Blood Blues) off the shelf: The Second Life of Samuel Tyne. I like collecting the New Face of Fiction titles, so I have had this on my shelf since its publication but this isn’t the first time I’ve pulled it off the shelf and then lost track of my intentions.
Behind on my Terry Fallis reading, I haven’t decided whether to continue where The Best Laid Plans finished off, or whether to jump ahead to the stand alone, No Relation. Another novel with a writer both on and behind the page is Shani Mootoo’s Moving Forward Sideways like a Crab. And because I so adored Cereus Blooms at Night, I am especially anxious to read this one. But because I love reading on a theme, I’ve pulled Michael Chabon’s The Wonder Boys and Francine Prose’s Blue Angel (which would be a reread) off the shelf as well.
I like reading first novels (most recently, Arjun Basu’s Waiting for the Man), but Krista Foss’ Smoke River would have caught my attention anyway. Not only does it combine themes that I am interested in (aboriginal land rights, social justice, family conflicts) but it’s got a quote from Lisa Moore (one of my MRE authors) on the cover.
Since my Seriously, Kidlit project, I have made a point of incorporating some children’s books and YA in each reading month. Soon I’ll have more to say about that, but this month I am planning to read Alice Childress’ A Hero Ain’t Nuthin’ but a Sandwich amongst others. I’m curious to see how the story compares to Ellenn Hopkins’ books about addiction.
Having recently finished Divergent, you’d think I’d be keen to read on in that series, but I really do seem to be better at beginning things than finishing them (and maybe reading it after The Hunger Games was not the best timing: what do you think?).
What books are pulling your attention into the stacks these days? Have you read any of these, or are they in your stacks too?