Fall Preview 2018: Staff Picks

It’s about to rain more than fall colours and pumpkin spice: fall books season is almost upon us and we’re here for it. Check out what books we’re putting to the top of our lists!


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Lauren’s Pick

by Marusya Bociurkiw (Caitlin Press)
September 2018
I love cooking, food memoir, and fraught family dynamics, so I’m so excited to pick up Marusya Bociurkiw’s Food Was Her Country (Caitlin Press) this Fall. A follow-up to her debut Comfort Food for Breakups, Bociurkiw’s book promises to be nothing short of radical: a queer woman commenting on history, memory, and food and memoir writing itself. Immigrant families can be generous with tradition until you use it “wrong”, and I can’t wait to read her incisive – and delicious – vignettes that peel back the layers of her and her Ukrainian mother’s relationship.

Will’s Pick

Refuse: CanLit in Ruins
edited by Hannah McGregor, Julie Rak & Erin Wunker (Book*hug)
November 2018
Undoubtedly there is some incredible work being put out by Canadian writers at the moment, but at what cost? And is it worth it when it feels like every other week there’s some catastrophic dumpster fire that leaves the institution of CanLit reeling? That’s what I hope this book explores: the things that are maybe spoken about in hushed whispers behind closed doors but need to be made explicit; the uncomfortable realities of publishing and literature in this country that maybe a lot of people know about but say and do nothing about—the realities that a lot of people outside of Canadian literature actually know nothing about. Not to get all cynical, but we’re on the precipice of a vital time in CanLit and hopefully this title (and all of the work that lead up to its publication) can be a catalyst for inciting some much-needed change both in Canadian literature and Canadian society at large.

Tan’s Pick

The Death Scene Artist
 by Andrew Wilmot (Wolsak and Wynn)
October 2018
The book I am waiting on this Fall isn’t just any novel: It’s my dear friend Andrew’s first novel! This books will be a momentous read for that reason alone. But The Death Scene Artist just happens to be in my favourite literary genre: Body Horror. So, you’d be right to assume that it’s weird in parts. It promises a lot of skin, and a lot of lies. Shepherded into this world by Buckrider Books, the home of some other weird and wonderful titles, The Death Scene Artist is a perfectly polished nightmare. If you decide to slip between it’s pages, allow yourself to be enveloped by M______’s tragic tale, you’ll never look at costumes the same way again. 

Mandy’s Pick

Nobody Cares
by Anne T. Donahue (ECW Press)
September 2018
I’m charged up to read Anne T. Donahue’s undoubtedly funny personal essay collection about the many ways in which being a woman in your twenties (been there) and thirties (doing that) is going to kick your butt, make you more awesome, and maybe help you let go of what everyone else thinks. I’m hoping for the same razor-sharp wit and candid observations I get from Donahue’s popular newsletter That’s What She Said, and I have a feeling I won’t be disappointed.   

Barb’s Pick

The Luminous Sea
 by Melissa Barbeau (Breakwater Books)
August 2018
I am looking forward to The Luminous Sea, by Melissa Barbeau. While the cover alone is enough to grab me (so beautiful!) I love all things “magical realism” and this sounds terrific. I see hints of The Shape of Water in the description so I am keen to explore this one, especially with the Newfoundland background setting.

Christen’s Pick

Port of Being
by Shazia Hafiz Ramji (Invisible Publishing)
October 2018
Port of Being by Shazia Hafiz Ramji is on my must-read list for fall. Shazia won the 2017 Robert Kroetch Award for Innovative Poetry, and I am glad for having the opportunity to meet her while visiting Anvil Press. Shazia’s debut collection examines communication, migration, and identity, through modern technologies. Styles move from lyric to prose, probing the human and non-human, exploring the city, virtuality, reflexivity, and the ways in which we watch ourselves.