How Do We Summer? ALU Staffers Share Their Reads
You could probably guess that each one of our preferred summer pastimes involve reading – but what? When it comes to reading interests, ALU staffers are as varied as the independent Canadian publishers we rep. Check out what we'll be bringing to the coffee shop/beach/cottage/airport/dog park/all-inclusive this summer...looks like our vacation interests are different, too.See more details below
You could probably guess that each one of our preferred summer pastimes involve reading – but what? When it comes to reading interests, ALU staffers are as varied as the independent Canadian publishers we rep. Check out what we'll be bringing to the coffee shop/beach/cottage/airport/dog park/all-inclusive this summer...looks like our vacation interests are different, too.
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I'm looking forward to reading Sugar Ride by Yvonne Blomer (Palimpsest Press) this summer so that I may explore Southeast Asia vicariously through travel memoir, reflect on the love of cycling, and learn about the challenges of living with type 1 diabetes. As an avid cyclist, occasional traveller, and with some genetic susceptibilities in my family, these topics are all of interest. I'm keen also on the poetic sensibility of Blomer's writing, and on the love story entwined in this book.
I can hardly wait to read my summer pick, Elaine Dewar's The Handover (Biblioasis)! A number of LPG staff have worked for either RH or M&S, so we are all eager to hear the tale. For myself, I worked at M&S from 2006-2010, and also minuted quite a number of board meetings while I was there. It was certainly an interesting time for me, and I’m fascinated to read about what the author has gleaned in her research. This is a major book for people in the publishing industry, and I do wonder how it will be received by those outside the industry as well.
Neal McLeod is an award-winning Cree writer from the James Smith First Nation in Saskatchewan. In addition to a backlist of several other titles, McLeod's Cree-language project 100 Days of Cree is both a book and an on-going social media project through which he discusses a new Cree word every day on Facebook. This summer, as part of my personal work to read as many Indigenous writers as possible, I'm looking forward to reading McLeod's new novel, Neechie Hustle, published by Kegedonce Press, a satirical look at the Indian Act, set on the fictitious Broken Elbow First Nation.
Partly borne of Patrick DeWitt's The Sisters Brothers and partly of the video game Red Dead Redemption, I have a never-ending quest to find engaging, literary, more-than-just shoot-'em-up westerns. My desert yearnings have been slaked with Dominique Scali's In Search of New Babylon, translated by Donald W. Wilson (Talonbooks). The intersecting lives of a fugitive, a Reverend, a former innkeeper, and a prospector with big dreams trying to scratch out a living in the unforgiving, unconquered West are just about everything I could have hoped for in what the publisher calls a "post-Cormac McCarthy Western." I'll be reading this in the Toronto humidity, imagining the dry plains of New Mexico.
Skeet Love by Craig Francis Power (Breakwater Books) isn't your conventional beach read — just look at the awesome cover — but sex, drugs, and conspiracy theories set in a near-future Toronto is just the story to whisk me away as I bask in the sun. Skeet Love promises to get real weird, and what could be better for a fun summer read?
Personally, I like my beach reading to be light, easily put down for a dip and then picked back up again. Almost Summer's cool teen drama is just the thing. The first instalment in Sophie Bedard's 4-part graphic novel series drops this month, with a new book coming every few months from publisher Pow Pow Press. It follows a group of 4 friends though their last year of High School, as they come up against typical pressures: Grades, crushes, underaged drinking, and the future looming large.
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You could choose any one or all of these books and read along with us this summer – in fact, we strongly encourage you tell us for our own bragging rights around ALU HQ – but stay tuned tomorrow for an even bigger chance to read together this summer. We can say that it rhymes with Cook Slug (but that's the only, so-tough-to-decipher clue you'll get from us).
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