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 2020.

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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. Here’s one to get you started.

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Recent Bookchat

About Favourite pages that I’ve been turning

(For recent bookchat across all categories, visit Home)

Summer 2019, In My Notebook

This year I added another writer to my MRE list. In truth, he was one of the writers whose stories provoked that kind of MustReadEverything commitment early

August 2019, In My Bookbag

In which there is talk of the slim stories which have travelled with me within the city. While bulkier volumes stayed home. Like Robertson Davies' Murther and

A 2020 Favourite

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

More about This Favourite

“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
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