Christen's resolution: Whenever possible, I buy books from independents, and love seeing new ones opening around the city, such as Flying Books, knife | fork | book,and Queen Books, in Toronto. In 2018 I'd like to take better advantage when traveling to seek out local independents in those destinations too. I'm looking forward to reading Jorge Carrión's manifesto and love letter Bookshops, a collection of essays featuring the Strand and Gotham Book Mart in New York City, City Lights Bookshop and Green Apple Books in San Francisco, and everything in between. I'm keen on appreciating bookshops as cultural and intellectual spaces, learning more about challenges they face, and sharing enthusiasm for how they transform readers' lives everywhere.
To read: Bookshops by Jorge Carrión, translated by Peter Bush (Biblioasis)
Tan's resolution: While I did not get to attend any festivals as last year's resolution (I missed two or three in-store festivals by a day while I was traveling) I did visit seven new bookstores in 2017, and shopped them all.
In 2018, I resolve to make 40 selections for my 50 Book Pledge of independently published, Canadian-authored books.
To read: VII by Thom (Pow Pow Press)
Lauren's resolution: Read one book from each All Lit Up publisher.
To read: I didn't get to Spirit of a Hundred Thousand Dead Animals by Jim Nason (Signature Editions) in 2017, so I'm hoping one of the first books on the 2018 pile will be this novel from Tightrope Books publisher Jim Nason. This book promises to be the kind of tear-jerker to start my year off right: unfinished business after accidental death, homelessness, aging, regret, and animals are all going to coalesce into something potent to keep a kleenex box close at hand.
Julia's resolution: To complete the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 reading challenge, which includes reading a book in translation, a book recommended by a librarian or indie bookseller, a banned book and a book you can read in a day.
To read: Blank by M. NourbeSe Philip (BookThug). The styling of the title of the book means that while it is generally read as “Blank,” it can also be read as “Black.” This is a book of previously out-of-print essays and poems, along with new works, by a writer who covers such intersecting topics as racism, Black diaspora, art, sexism, capitalism, and other unflinching truths about how blankness and Blackness “constitute the axis around which [Philip] exist[s] as a writer in Canada."
The juxtaposition of older and newer works in this book offer a theme of recurrence, showing how the same issues have been present over the last 25 years. Blank exists as a way to highlight what has been hidden; from the publisher: "Her imperative becomes to make us see what has gone unseen by writing memory upon the margin of history, in the shadow of empire and at the frontier of silence.”
I can’t wait to carve out a generous span of free time (perhaps to read this dense, rich book in a day as part of my reading challenge?) to dig into this book.
Mandy's resolution: I tend to fail at strict resolutions - though I did read more short fiction in 2017 so there's that - but I do want to challenge myself with new reading habits. This year my plan is to strive for more genre diversity so that my reading pile includes way more non-fic.
To read: Kit Dobson's Malled (Wolsak and Wynn) is on my list of non-fiction to read this year. The book explores our culture of consumerism, specifically by considering the role of shopping malls - how malls are both shaped by their location and how they help shape the space around them. It might give me a new outlook on all the malls I've ever avoided.
Barb's resolution: I failed miserably at my New Years resolution last year (DON’T READ THE COMMENTS – by May I was reading all the comments again, a too short reprieve), so I’ve chosen something a little easier to accomplish this year: I’m going to read a book out of every province this year, with the preference that BOTH book and publisher be from that province. This is definitely doable and I’m looking forward to putting a big checkmark by this resolution at the end of the year.
To read: One book I’ve been meaning to read is Pedal by Chelsea Rooney (Caitlin Press). I was so interested to read this, I begged an early copy from the press for my ereader, which went kablooie shortly thereafter. So this year I will get my hands on a physical copy and read it.
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