It begins with something extraordinary.
“Almost a decade earlier, a man with a .45-70 Marlin hunting rifle walked through the front doors of Avalon Hills prep school. He didn’t know that he was about to become a living symbol of the age of white men shooting into crowds.”
House of Anansi. 2016
Readers are […]
Sometimes I buy books for the stories on their pages; sometimes I buy them for the stories between the pages.
My copy of Porcupines and China Dolls was purchased second-hand at the Trinity College booksale more than ten years ago.
Because of a handful of folded sheets tucked inside the back cover (although, yes, I was […]
Rockstar or not, Nicola Harwood’s Flight Instructions for the Commitment Impaired is a bold and absorbing memoir. At times her style is plain and functional, at other times it is poetic and intricate – even captivating, her voice consistently displayed centre-stage.
Caitlin Press, 2016
“No such thing as one true love, just the one sent hurtling against […]
Sometimes, it’s clear who the bad guys are. Sometimes they’re clearly drawn, not only unsavoury, but also unprincipled.
Like the misogynists who people the Signy Shepherd series by Susan Philpott, in which women are rescued from life-threatening situations by other women working a type of Underground Railroad, called The Line. (Blown Red, 2015 and Dark Territory, […]
What Jane Ozkowski captures beautifully in Watching Traffic is the very sensation embodied in the debut novel’s title: Emily is overwhelmed by motion even while in a state of stillness.
Groundwood Books, 2016
It’s the summer after high-school gradulation, and Emily is working at a catering company, making egg-salad sandwiches and butter tarts, so that other people […]
All published in the season which would make them eligible for this year’s Giller Prize, the kaleidoscope of covers for 2016 is now available on Pinterest, a text-based collection here.
They had me at list-making, but also there are prizes, for lucky list-makers (rules, here). The images link to the publisher’s […]
Massacre, killer, murder: when these words appear on a novel’s first page, readers are fore-warned.
And, yet, the first third of Sara Taylor’s Boring Girls (2015) is a coming-of-age story.
“It was becoming more and more apparent that I had been right all along. No one could truly understand me, unless they got me.” Despite the ominous introductory pages, […]
Jill Sexsmith’s Somewhere a Long and Happy Life Probably Awaits You (ARP Books, 2016)
“Tulip stopped at the doorway. She had grown up with the whir of a mitre saw in the background, always cutting her thoughts and sentences and songs in half. Still, the sound of the blade tearing through wood […]
This debut collection is filled with sensory detail. From brisket and chicken soup to gefilte fish and borscht.
From paint-by-number clowns to lacy pillow-slips. From red-striped deck chairs to weathered shutters.
Inanna Publications, 2016
Whether it’s Debussy or lyrics from “Oklahoma”, the details matter. But Aspects of Nature is actually preoccupied with broad and expansive themes.