Happy Valentine's Day! We don't need 11 Reasons to Date a Bookworm or even Bookish Valentines for Our Literary Love because we've gathered together a collection of festively coloured books that, along with a box of chocolates, would made a perfect gift this Valentine's Day!
The stories in Animal depict people on the brink of major life change. Often at a crossroads they are oblivious to, Leggat’s characters seem to be captured in a cinematic slo-mo, teetering on the edge of something unknown, heroically resisting the ever-present pull of Fate.
It matters little whether the characters take action or refuse to act; life acts for them. The reader is left to wonder: When does “meaning” cease to have meaning? Like travelling a mountain highway at night, what’s just around the next bend is never known.
The stories in Animal never fail to deliver potent surprises.
In the stories of Mad Hope, Journey Prize winner Heather Birrell finds the heart of her characters and lets them lead us into worlds both recognizable and alarming.
A science teacher and former doctor is forced to re-examine the role he played in Ceauşescu’s Romania after a student makes a shocking request; a tragic plane crash becomes the basis for a meditation on motherhood and its discontents; women in an online chat group share (and overshare) their anxieties and personal histories; and a chance encounter in a waiting room tests the ties that bind us.
Louise Aubert leaves Mathieu Lord when he joins the Stalinist party. Fifteen years later, she writes a letter in which she dares express her vision of their common history, marked by authoritarianism, mental cruelty and the absence of sharing in the name of love.
In the story that follows this letter, Louise recalls each sequence of her break with Mathieu and exposes the duplicity of the intellectual avant-garde. She also describes how she re-entered society freed from censorship and how she finds the inner strength to speak the truth.
A small flat sits unoccupied above Henry’s café. When a woman comes to rent the room, Henry’s world begins an unusual transformation. As they grow closer the city itself is affected, changed, and slowly dismantled. Unsure if he is a victim of his own senility, the chaos inches closer and Henry suspects it may have something to do with the woman upstairs and the stranger she is hiding from.
Whether considering the Skeena River or the foibles of an onscreen diva, Zoë Landale creates vivid and unforgettable poetry. Shot through with bright colour and sharp natural imagery, this is not a calm, contemplative collection. Indeed, Landale punctuates her own poetic musings with a director’s cut, a counterpoint of sly, often acerbic observations on her own lines. A fascinating and intricate work, Einstein’s Cat is a collection that is sure to reward repeat readings.
Every summer Maria and her husband, Bob, went to their little house in the Italian village of Supino, and every year it was a new adventure. Only in Supino would you find a pizzeria in a sheep pasture, a seafood restaurant hidden in the woods, or an electrical cord draped from one balcony to the next so neighbours could share power.
Written with humour and heart, Summers in Supino is Maria Coletta McLean’s memoir of these summers with Bob, as she becomes accustomed to the town her father grew up in and the peculiarities of the people who live there. And as Maria comes to understand her connection to this wonderful place, Bob proposes they open a coffee bar on the piazza. Full of wonderfully vivid stories of Italy, Summers in Supino also explores loss, grief, and the restorative power of community.
Edited from the original post, published on the LPG blog
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