Favourites 2018-02-24T17:30:14+00:00

But It’s So Hard to Choose Favourites

My reader’s heart and mind holds different stories dearest

What I hold dear is consistent. But dearest? That’s another matter. On any given day, a favourite could change. Perhaps I am craving lyrical prose. Or spare and lean narrative. Maybe I ache to see injustice exposed. Or have someone witness an everyday miracle, like a bloom or an insect. Some days, it is the ink and the lettering on a page. Other days, the steady pace of unillustrated pages.

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Some of the stand-out reads and favourites from my 2017.

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Many of my favourites are rooted in nostalgia.
That’s complicated.

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Many of my favourites are as much about writing as they are about reading. You can search by tag for writing books as well. Here’s one to get you started.

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Recent Bookchat

About the pages that I’ve been turning

Autumn 2018: In My Reading Log

These are some summer reads which left an impression; now my stack and library card are humming and wriggling, with all the CanLit prizelist reading – including

Thomas King’s Coyote Stories

I was just mentioning Coyote stories a couple of months ago, in my Spring Quarterly round-up of short fiction. But these illustrated coyote stories are inviting

Quarterly Stories: Three Collections

In Susan Hill's Howard's End Is on the Landing, she quotes a friend who says "We read Margaret Drabble to feel the zeitgeist, our daughters read Helen Simpson."

In My Reading Log, December 2016

Once again, my idea of reading more non-fiction this year didn't materialize. During Non-Fiction November, so many people were actually reading books that I have been meaning to read

April 2016, In My Stacks

Having read through the first quarter of the reading year, how are your stacks? Reading projects Is the bedside stack turning over regularly? Are you struggling to

February 2016, In My Bookbag

My reading resolutions for this year revolve around a set of too-long-unread books. Many of which were too-long-unread because they are long and complicated. Like Marge Piercy's Gone

February 2016, In My Stacks

It's a bright sunny day, when I snap this photo. I'm even more optimistic when I think of a month's reading, when the sun shines. More hours with

A 2017 Favourite

Sometimes you know a book will make your list, even early in the reading year

The table of contents is simple but thrilling for me, the book’s five chapters all themes and topics of great interest: Books and Islands, Islands, Rock Paintings, Books, and Home.

If the other titles in the series (from National Geographic)  are even half of what this volume appears to be, even at first glance, I’m not about to cross off one book from my TBR, but about to add twenty-three to it.

Nonetheless, I’ve plucked this book from my TBR not, in this instance, for its bookishness, but for its Louise-Erdrich-ness. Because this year I am making good on my promise to myself to read and reread her books.

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“You know when you hear a piece of music once, you haven’t heard it properly, you want to hear it again. A well-made book will reward you in exactly the same way as music does, in that you will understand and love a piece. You’ll feel the cadence and depth of it and hear things in it all the time. If you pay it a little more attention, it will reward you, like all art. Like everything, actually.”

Ali Smith

“I am even a bit afraid of the way I read. It’s like mother was when Rowley was coming, eating all the crusts off the bread. She just couldn’t stop eating bread. She’d set a loaf on the table and start cutting all its sides off, then turn it over and carve its bottom off. Then she’d say ‘It’s really dreadful the way I’m eating bread,’ and her arm would come reluctantly out and she’d start carving little bits off the slopes, until the bread stood all naked and white. And after a while she’d say, ‘Oh, dear, I’d love another crust.’”

Jane Gardam