Summer Reads: ALU Edition

July 5, 2018

Equally sizzling to this summer heat are six staff book picks for reading into the sunset (at the park, by the lake, in the backyard, etc.). Check out what we're pairing with our sunscreen this summer!

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Lauren's Pick

 

Watermark by Jennifer Farquhar (Latitude 46)

If I can't get to cottage country myself this summer, I'd like to soothe my Northern Ontario wanderlust with Watermark, the debut novel from teacher-by-day Jennifer Farquhar. I can't wait to follow the dark adventure that is main character Mina McInnis returning to her old home on remote Mikinaak Island after 20 years away, trying to make sense of the tragedy that broke her family apart. With hints that there may be some otherworldliness in this book, I'm excited to virtually visit the shores of Lake Huron – I just hope it doesn't disturb me enough to avoid swimming if I do find myself lakeside.

 

 

 

 

Will's Pick

 

Ten-Headed Alien by David James Brock (Wolsak and Wynn)

When David James Brock's debut collection Everyone is Co2 came out, I wrote "Seldom have I read, in recent memory, a collection of poetry that is so willing to have fun." And I still stand by that point three years later: David James Brock the poet—and the dude, mind—is fun. He is also a master of distilled imagery, of absurdism, of subverting one's expectations of language and thus subverting expectations of CanLit. So to see him take those sensibilities beyond the visions of small-town Ontario and into the speculative, into literal extraterrestrial space is super exciting. We don't see enough speculative poetry and to see it from someone whose poetic voice I love so much—to see a poet push themselves like Brock said he has is super-exciting prospect for me so I'm stoked to finally read this book that I've been anticipating without even realizing it ever since Everyone is Co2 came out.

 

 

Barb's Pick

 

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The Flower Can Always be Changing by Shawna Lemay (Palimpsest Press)

It's been a very hectic year so far at LPG, but summer has finally arrived and I am here for it. Shawna Lemay's The Flower Can Always be Changing is at the top of my TBR list. Lemay's writing is lovely, intelligent and peaceful, and her previous book of essays, Calm Things made such a mark on me, I can't wait to read this. This summer is all about de-stressing and Lemay's work does the trick for me. Also, I'm hoping she's fit a sponge-cake in there somewhere :) Happy summer reading to all!

 

 

 

 

Mandy's Pick

 

The Femme Playlist by Catherine Hernandez (Playwrights Canada Press)

A drama-free summer, I think not! I'm looking forward to getting my dose from the two-play collection The Femme Playlist by writer-actor powerhouse Catherine Hernandez. The collection explores in its titular play what it's like living as a queer woman of colour touching on topics like body shaming, sexuality, and motherhood, and ends with an around-the-campfire guide to healing for women of colour in its second play I Cannot Lie to the Stars That Made Me

 

 

 

 

Tan's Pick

 

This Book Betrays My Brother by Kagiso Lesego Molope (Mawenzi House)

I've been waiting to get my hands on This Book Betrays My Brother since it was announced. It will be an intense read, as so many of the best YA books are these days: the main character has witnessed her beloved brother commit rape, a crime that is rampant in South Africa. How will she live with it? Who will she tell? Naledi is a "character that you not only root for, but are desperate to defend" (Quill & Quire). These are complex characters within an issue-driven storyline: if you're waiting for The Hate You Give to hit the big screen, pick this book up in the meantime. 

 

 

 

Christen's Pick

 

Cobra Clutch by A.J. Devlin (NeWest Press)

I'm looking forward to entering the fictional criminal underworld of Vancouver among pro wrestlers and private eyes in A.J. Devlin's mystery, Cobra Clutch. This debut novel promises fast-paced action, raucous humour, and gritty realism. Former wrestler "Hammerhead" Jed Ounstead thinks he's retiring to the less dangerous world of his father's detective agency, but finds himself dragged back into the fold of questionable characters and violence both in and outside the ring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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