Staff Picks: What We're Reading in 2022
The new year is here, and while it's feeling a lot like a flashback to 2020 chaos right now, we can always rely on a fresh new season of books to keep our spirits afloat. Here are just some of the reads that our All Lit Up staff are living for right now.See more details below
The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour
by Dawn Dumont (Freehand Books)
I've got a lot of heavy reading planned for 2022, so to balance it out, I'm starting the year on a bit of a lighter note with Dawn Dumont's Prairie Chicken Dance Tour. A less-than-expert and unlikely group of Indigenous dancers is brought together to embark on a 15-day tour, lead by retired cowboy John Greyeyes. This road trip takes a comedic turn into madcap adventure with foibles guaranteed at every pit-stop along the way. There are too few books out there that promise a good laugh and this one has all of them.
Yume by Sifton Tracey Anipare (Dundurn Press)
Starting off the year on parental leave, I'm hoping to sit down with my TBR pile (I hear I'll have loads of free time) beginning with Sifton Tracey Anipare's debut Yume. This is a book that promises to be "a captivating fantasy novel about demons, dreams, and a young woman teaching English in Japan," wrapped up in an eye-catching package. And though I haven't historically been a fantasy reader, Yume looks like the kind of propulsive supernatural novel to expand my reading tastes.
The Annual Migration of Clouds
by Premee Mohamed (ECW Press)
I've been reading a lot of climate fiction short stories lately, so I picked up The Annual Migration of Clouds. I'm fascinated by the conflict between personal dreams versus duty to one's community, especially in a post-apocalypse world where community is vital to survival. It also caught my attention because the cover is gorgeous.
Tenure by Kieran Ega (NeWest Press)
Being a sucker for a good mystery and an academic in a former life, I will be kicking off my 2022 reading year with Tenure by Keiran Egan. In a mash-up of crime and campus genres, Tenure sees a seasoned mafioso take on the hallowed halls of Academia in an effort to repay a life-debt - and what he finds is an environment that is vicious and corrupt beyond anything he has ever encountered in the drug business! With just the right amounts of comedy and crime, I expect Tenure to be a fun read, sure to cure me of any lingering academic nostalgia.
Crippled by Paul David Power (Breakwater Books)
In 2022 I want to get back to reading more plays. Crippled is a 2021 Governor General's Literary Award finalist for drama. It has everything I look for in a play: humour and lived experience, big themes, and sharp writing. I can't wait to read it.
Letters to Singapore by Kelly Kaur (Stonehouse Publishing; Forthcoming, May 2022)
Growing up in a first-generation South-Asian Canadian family, I’ve always heard the multiple hints of “oh let me find you someone” at every wedding, family event, and yes, even funerals. Though my family respects my decision to seek a partner on my own and be career oriented first, not everyone is as fortunate.
In Kaur’s debut novel, she recounts her experience of how she negotiated coming to Canada for college instead of choosing the traditional route of having an arranged marriage at an early age. As someone who has also forgone the option of having an arranged marriage, seeing how others opted out of this commitment is intriguing.
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