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Long Reads to Fill Even Longer Summer Days
We can’t lie…we like BIG BOOKS! After all, what’s better than a hefty page-turner on a hot summer day turned long summer night spent reading until the wee hours of the morning? Check out some of these recommended reads that clock in around 400+ pages — all stories you’ll be happy to spend some extra time with!
Songs for the Cold of Heart by Eric Dupont, translated by Peter McCambridge (Baraka Books/QC Fiction)If quarantine has left you yearning for a bit of travel, Songs for the Cold of Heart is the perfect pick, delivering a whopper of a yarn that’ll take you from 1919 Riviére-du-Loup to Nagasaki, Berlin, Rome and beyond. Along the way you’ll meet Québec’s own Margaret Thatcher, have dinner at the Goebbels, discover a grandma with a tenacious spirit and more. Clocking in at just over 600 pages, this tall tale is one you won’t soon forget…
Song of Batocheby Maia Caron (Ronsdale Press)Wilderness, madness, obsession, betrayal and the limits of faith and reason — Song of Batoche runs the gamut of all great things required from a compelling long read. As witnessed through the eyes the rebellious Josette Lavoie, this is the fictionalized retelling of historical characters Lois Riel and Gabriel Dumont during the 1885 North-West Resistance. A fast-paced page-turner full of memorable characters, all with their own secrets to be revealed.
Aubrey McKee by Alex Pugsley (Biblioasis)This coming-of-age story set in 1970’s and 80’s Halifax follows Aubrey McKee and his band of oddball friends as they try to make sense of themselves growing up in their small-town-with-old-money world. There is a familiarity here that takes us from basement rec rooms to railroad tracks. From secret pot stashes and punk music to a contrasting mix of characters including rich kid drug dealers and tennis brats. Grab this one if you’re looking a laugh and a bit of small-town nostalgia.
Like Rum Drunk Angels by Tyler Enfield (Goose Lane Editions)Francis Blackstone is a gunslinger with a heart of gold who at 14-years-old finds himself infatuated with the Mayor’s daughter. What better way to win her favour than robbing a Manhattan Company Bank? Francis soon finds himself in cahoots with dangerous outlaw Bob Temple, and together, the two become known as the Blackstone Temple Gang, wreaking havoc in search of treasure, redemption, and of course — unrequited love. An American Western with a twist of absurdity and a hint of magical realism that’ll having you galloping alongside this quirky band of rebels.
Exile Blues by Douglas Gary Freeman (Baraka Books)As a black kid growing up in the ’50s, Prez wanted to be just like Malcom or Martin — a soul man fighting back against the powers he grew up with that said black lives didn’t matter. Top of his class at Howard University in D.C., Prez is scouted to do field work on Civil Rights in the divided city of Chicago, where tensions with police soon lead to major conflict. This coming-of-age story passionately explores the roots of oppression and the fight for freedom and equal rights.
Dirty Birds by Morgan Murray (Breakwater Books)Amidst a crumbling economy and the end of the Obama era, Milton, Ontario (not to be confused with the place!) is ready for a change. Leaving his flat, isolated home in the Saskatchewan Prairies and his parent’s basement behind, he sets out for the thriving city of Montréal in search of fame, fortune, love…and Leonard Cohen…We’re giving you the jump on this long read–it’s brand new and will be available on July 8th. Mark your calendars and let us know if you want a reminder!