2023 is done-ish. Here are my picks!
Some of Them Will Carry Me
“This is a book of wonders, full of intricate beauty, and Giada Scodellaro is an extraordinary talent.” —Katie KitamuraGiada Scodellaro’s debut is a fiercely...More Info
I am obsessed with Scodellaro's pulsing, vivid writing. These stories feel like a realist fever dream sprinkled with David Lynch dust. It's become a customer favourite.
Accompanying song: My Love Mine All Mine - Mitzki
There Is No Blue
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: BOOKS TO READ IN FALL 2023THE GLOBE AND MAIL BEST 100 BOOKS OF 2023Martha Baillie’s richly layered response to her mother’s passing,...More Info
This is a glowing artefact of grief. Bailie recounts the death of 3 close family members, the loss of her sister to mental illness taking up the bulk of the book. She handles the details of their relationship with a measured mind and deep compassion and self-questioning, giving no easy answers for the more stigmatizing aspects of her sister's disorder. A must-read for anyone who loves anyone struggling.
Accompanying song: Born to be Blue - Chet Baker
des fleurs comme moi
Entre Shédiac, Moncton et Montréal, Xavier Gould cartographie l’éclatement identitaire qui caractérise son parcours d’artiste multidisciplinaire queer acadien·ne. Examinant son enfance, ses traumas, sa...More Info
I met Xenia at an art event a few days ago. They are an incredible wordsmith, and this Franglais collection plays beautifully on language, identity, place, and memory.
Accompanying song: Melancolie - Patrick Watson, Safia Nolin
We, the Others
Ungrateful, opportunistic, moochers, dangerous, incompatible with our values and our way of life? Every immigrant demographic has heard these descriptors at some point in...More Info
I talk about this book whenever I can. Drimonis intersperses her own family's history with the history of immigration in Canada beautifully. She makes the case for compassion towards migrants by reminding readers that, if one is not Indigenous, they have no first claim to this land.
I'm a Fan
"A fast, fizzing cherry bomb of a debut . . . I'm a Fan will stick with you for a very long time." —The...More Info
This is a chilling exploration of romantic obsession gone too far. Delicious and terrifying!
Accompanying song: I Love my Boyfriend - Princess Chelsea
The 2004 winner of the Yale Younger Poets competition: a powerful, confessional, erotic collection Finalist for the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry “Siken writes...More Info
To quote my colleague Jules, Richard Siken is the "King of Yearning". These poems are feverish and so very hungry. Each one is a gut punch.
One of the Globe and Mail's "Sixty-Two Books to Read This Fall" • Listed in CBC Books Fiction to Read in Fall 2023 "A...More Info
This is a short story collection about unhappy families. Get lost in the deranged fissures of suburban, domestic life.
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winning Colson Whitehead continues his Harlem saga in a powerful and hugely-entertaining novel that summons 1970s New York in all its...More Info
This is a juicy novel with juicy characters. Everything is vivid and funny and so rich, that you almost forget the critique on America, class, and consumerism. I have been told Zone 1 is also amazing.
Accompanying song: Who's Lovin' You - Jackson 5
I Could Live Here Forever
“Halperin’s radiant second novel walks the fine line between the longing for couplehood and the torture of codependency. . . . Let the rapturous...More Info
This novel is an excellent exploration of a sad character who is codependent on her addict boyfriend. Proceed with caution, you will be hurt.
Accompanying song: Beautiful Disaster (Live)
Lose Your Mother
In Lose Your Mother, Saidiya Hartman traces the history of the Atlantic slave trade by recounting a journey she took along a slave route in...More Info
I absolutely adore how Haartman avoids mowing any mines of sentimentality or oversimplified myth that permeate the question for African descendants in the Americas: Where did we come from? In this book, she explores the paradox of this question. Along the way, she reveals the exploitation of Black Americans' pain in Accra's pacifying tourist traps, as well as the privilege Black Americans do have globally. This promise of American freedom and comfort drives many African people to leave the lands that some Black Americans clamor to return to.
A hilarious slice of twentysomething life in the twenty-first centuryWelcome to the Girl Juice House, home of only the hottest gang in town. Benji...More Info
A fun and funny read. Not for those who are terribly afraid of clowns. Or maybe it will cure your fear, who knows.
Accompanying song: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
Hit Parade of Tears
A new collection of stories from the cult author of Terminal Boredom Izumi Suzuki had ideas about doing things differently, ideas that paid little...More Info
Vintage sci-fi stories for neurotic girlies (and maybe Larry David). So inventive and vivid, I absolutely loved every page.
Accompanying song: Hellbound - Dylyn