Things Not to Do

By (author): Jessica Westhead

Jessica Westhead’s follow-up to And Also Sharks, a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of 2011 and Finalist for the 2012 Danuta Gleed Literary Award.

Things Not to Do is a collection of stories that seeks to examine—through humour, wit, empathy, and honesty—the dark side of ordinary people. We know them; sometimes we are them. A man attends a gathering on the coattails of his new, zealously empowering friend. A woman helps her husband build an escape room to free him from working for a hated boss. A veteran wedding DJ imparts wisdom, and more besides, to a new recruit. The father of a teen pop sensation gathers with his fans in the wake of a controversy. The actions of these characters, for good or ill—and there is light in their lives, as often as there is dark—stem from the same place, and Westhead cuts right to the heart of that place. They aren’t scheming supervillains; they’re folks trying to make the most of what they think they have—even if that sometimes means stepping on someone who doesn’t deserve it.


Jessica Westhead

Jessica Westhead is the author of the novels Pulpy & Midge (Coach House Books) and Worry (HarperCollins Canada), and the critically acclaimed short story collections And Also Sharks and Things Not to Do (Cormorant Books). And Also Sharks was a Globe & Mail Top 100 Book, one of Kobo’s Best Ebooks of 2011, and a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Short Fiction Prize, and Worry was included on CBC Books’ Best Canadian Fiction of 2019 and the CBC Canada Reads Longlist. Jessica lives in Toronto with her family.​


“I remember the first time I attended a reading by Jessica Westhead. Socks were knocked off, heads were laughed off, and guts were busted. She was that good. With the brilliant Things Not To Do, she’s back plumbing the depths of our neuroses and uncovering wise truths about the weird world around us. I’m in awe of Jessica and a huge fan of her work.”
– Neil Smith, author of Boo


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223 Pages
7.625in * 5.125in * 0.61in


October 14, 2017


Cormorant Books



Book Subjects:

FICTION / Literary

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