Which Books Are In Our Beach Bags This Summer
Whether we're heading to the cottage or a desert in Morocco, ALU staffers all have one thing in common this summer: we've all got a long list of books that we'll be taking along with us on our summer vacations. Read on to find out our top picks (we all had a hard time narrowing it down to just one title -- you're all lucky that this blog post wasn't way longer!).See more details below
Whether we're heading to the cottage or a desert in Morocco, ALU staffers all have one thing in common this summer: we've all got a long list of books that we'll be taking along with us on our summer vacations. Read on to find out our top picks (we all had a hard time narrowing it down to just one title -- you're all lucky that this blog post wasn't way longer!).
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I can’t wait to get dockside with Cordelia Strube’s latest, On the Shores of Darkness, There is Light (ECW Press). Eleven-year-old narrator Harriet and her Walden-esque aspirations to escape her dreary surroundings to Algonquin Park, à la painter Tom Thompson, are certainly something any urbanite can identify with – likewise anyone’s younger self who threatened to run away from home. But the story complicates when you also consider Irwin, Harriet’s sickly younger brother, who dotes on her as vociferously as she plans to leave him behind.
Add in their immature parents and a cast of bizarre characters who share their Shangrila apartment complex, and Strube’s precocious, heartbreaking Harriet is one voice I refuse to miss out on this summer.
I'm looking forward to reading Gold by Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada George Elliott Clarke, published by Gaspereau Press in Spring 2016. Gold is the fourth in the series of Clarke's "colouring" books, after Blue, Black, and Red. Clarke's latest collection promises to be as beautiful as it is political, containing sensual lyrics, measured eulogies, political tributes, and contemplations about good governance. The book is also physically stunning, printed off set on laid paper, bound in paper, enfolded in a golden off set-printed jacket, and typeset in Laurentian.
Monsters are my jam, which is why I've been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Nathan Adler's Wrist (Kegedonce Press), a novel about the Wendigo. You might remember the Wendigo from Stephen King's Pet Sematary or the film Ravenous. It's got a decidedly bad wrap for inspiring violence, greed and cannibalism. Adler turns this history on it's head, making the Wendigo his main character - one that is determined to protect his family and way of life from the real monsters, Western Oil Prospectors. (Just kidding, they are also vampires!). With a solid mystery at its core, and a healthy dose of literary gore, Wrist is my pick for sizzling summer read, especially if you are headed to the North woods.
Between patio afternoons and games of beach volleyball, short stories are my literature of choice for the busy summer season. I want something I can read and enjoy for the half hour I’m laying out in the sun yet still be thinking about as I’m walking to the ice cream truck for a twist cone. This summer that pick is Chad Pelley’s Four-Letter Words (Breakwater Books). His previous two books—Away From Everywhere (which was just made into a film starring Jason Priestly!) and Every Little Thing—were at times emotionally tough books to read but I found them thoroughly satisfying. That’s why I’m really excited for Four-Letter Words: to get the same Chad Pelley gut-wrenching human experience in tighter, smaller doses then go take a dip in the lake.
This summer, I am excited to read Alice Burdick's Book of Short Sentences, a poetry collection. In the past, I never read much poetry, but I was electrified when I went to Mansfield Press' launch for their spring titles at the Monarch Tavern here in Toronto. All of the readings were fabulous, and I believe I became a poetry convert that night! Along with the other poets in Mansfield's spring line-up, I had the opportunity to hear Alice read from this collection, and was quite moved by her poems. I never realized how short sentances could be so moving. So, I'm very much looking forward to getting my poetry start with this title—and, I have to say, it'll be nice to read some short sentences this summer!
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