Writers' Trust Summer Reads 2018 chosen by Canadian writers

2018 Summer Reading List

Whether you are north of the Arctic Circle under the midnight sun or on one of the Lake Erie Islands at our country’s southernmost reach, the Canadian summer provides plenty of light to illuminate the pages of a good book at every latitude. The Writers’ Trust asked 28 Canadian writers with newly published works to revisit their shelves, bedside tables, and hastily jotted “BOOKS TO READ” memos on their phones for their most-anticipated summer reads. Here, we have compiled their 111 recommendations to add to your own list. This summer, choose your own adventure: travel the Silk Road by bicycle, jailbreak with a bearded 11-year-old in 1940s Quebec, or flip the calendar and get chilly in wintertime Winnipeg. Turn men into swine, become an apiarist, climb a mountain. May you swim through these worlds and surface from their pages when the sun finally sets, imagination refreshed, prior notions scorched, and thirst for a good story quenched.


Arif Anwar

Tyrell Johnson The Wolves of Winter

There are a number of books on my TBR list that I'm looking forward to this summer:


Warlight
by Michael Ondaatje: His latest novel, set in post-WW2 England, sounds subtle and mysterious.


Wolves of Winter
by Tyrell Johnson: A post-apocalyptic debut from a talented young writer.


The Bone Mother
by David Demchuk: I've had my eyes on this intriguing horror novel set in Eastern Europe ever since it was nominated for the Giller Prize last year.


Outline
by Rachel Cusk: It's long overdue for me to start reading Rachel Cusk's acclaimed trilogy.


The Marrow Thieves
by Cherie Dimaline: I don't normally read YA but I've heard too many accolades for this book to resist.


Arif Anwar’s debut novel The Storm was published by HarperCollins Canada in March.


Katherine Ashenburg

Women Talking Miriam Toews

Although I only read it a few weeks ago, I’m going to reread Warlight by Michael Ondaatje. My first reading left me enchanted, occasionally bewildered, and curious to understand it better. With its glorious period flavour, recondite knowledge, and sometimes mysterious twists and turns, it’s a novel only Ondaatje could have written—richly deserving of at least another reading.

It has been interesting since Philip Roth’s death to read some critics celebrating his genius and others lamenting his misogyny. As a young and no doubt unenlightened woman, I thought his early works Goodbye, Columbus and Portnoy’s Complaint were brilliantly funny. I wonder how they would strike me today. But before I start rereading, I’m finally going to read what many consider his masterpiece—American Pastoral.

Elizabeth Hay is one of my favourite novelists, and I’m looking forward to All Things Consoled: A Daughter’s Memoir. It tells the hard story many of us have to live when our aged, failing parents become our children, with all the anger, sorrow, and love that it involves. Knowing Hay’s work, I’m looking forward to pellucid prose, a steady eye for moral complexities and, as the title suggests, consolation.

Miriam Toews’ new novel, Women Talking, sounds like her characteristic mixture of catastrophe, dread, wit and hard-won understanding. The women of a traditional Mennonite community spend two days in a hayloft deliberating a fearful choice they must make—a choice that echoes some of the most contemporary conversations we’re having today about women. Sure to be one of the most talked-about novels of the year.

I’m very keen to read the first translation of The Odyssey by a woman, Emily Wilson. The excerpts I’ve read are racy and colloquial, as befits the world’s first great adventure story. And Wilson will surely bring a new lens to illuminate the wily Odysseus.

And for something a little lighter, a mystery called Full Disclosure by Canada’s former Chief Justice, Beverley McLachlin. When I interviewed her for a magazine article two years ago, she said modestly that when she couldn’t sleep she worked on a mystery “just for myself.” Apparently, the novel was in its third printing within weeks of its publication. I have to see for myself what those middle-of-the-night jottings have become.

Katherine Ashenburg’s debut novel Sofie & Cecilia was published by Knopf Canada in March.


Sharon Bala

Sodom Road Exit Amber Dawn

One morning last week, I woke up to find a light dusting of snow on my deck. Here in St. John’s, it’s the annual May snowfall, and not a gopher, that signals summer’s ETA. Sunny skies and hammock weather should be here in six weeks and here are the books I’m planning to tuck into then:

Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present by Robyn Maynard. Heritage Minutes and new ten dollar bills notwithstanding, I am terribly ignorant about Canadian history. Maynard’s national bestseller is a start.

Sodom Road Exit by Amber Dawn. I’m newly fascinated with authors who subvert the conventions of genre fiction and Dawn’s supernatural erotic thriller sounds delicious. Plus: haunted rollercoasters. What more do you want from a beach read?

The Honey Farm by Harriet Alida Lye. Speaking of thrillers, this one is about dark secrets, an artists’ residency, and BEES! Artist colony, bee colony, colony collapse… get it? I have high hopes for this novel.

Trust No Aunty by Maria Qamar. An illustrated survival guide for Desi girls, this sidesplitting debut by one of my favourite new artists is like nothing you’ve ever seen. I would put the book on my coffee table if I wasn’t afraid of visitors making off with it.

Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez. I devoured David Chariandy’s Brother and Carrianne Leung’s That Time I Loved You and can’t wait to round out the trilogy with Hernandez’s critically acclaimed novel.

The Luminous Sea by Melissa Barbeau. A group of marine biologists hauls up a creature they’ve never seen before off the coast of Newfoundland. Is it a fish? A mermaid? A product of climate change and evolution or something ancient? I can’t wait for Barbeau’s debut to hit shelves in July.

Gender Failure by Rae Spoon and Ivan Coyote. This is a two-for-one deal: dual coming-of-age narratives, interspersed with illustrations, photographs, and verse. I couldn’t wait for summer and am already reading this book. It is poignant, tender, and witty: the perfect memoir.

Sharon Bala’s debut novel The Boat People was published by McClelland & Stewart in January.


Amber Dawn

Prison Industrial Complex Explores Mercedes Eng

I love summer for its early sunrise, which gives me a chance to read in bed each morning before starting my day. Short stories and poetry are perfect for early morning reading. Currently, I’m admiring and reflecting on the determination of each of the women characters featured in Bad Endings, the Vancouver Book Award-winning short story collection by Carleigh Baker. Cued up on my bedside table are Carrianne Leung’s newest short story collection That Time I Loved You and Mercedes Eng’s poetry collection Prison Industrial Complex Explodes.

 



 

Amber Dawn’s novel Sodom Road Exit was published by Arsenal Pulp Press in March.


Hadley Dyer

Becca Fair and Foul Deirdre Baker

One of my most anticipated reads of the summer is the middle grade novel Becca Fair and Foul by Deirdre Baker, sequel to Becca at Sea. Like the first story, it's a gentle seaside adventure that takes place at Becca's grandmother's rustic cottage on an idyllic island. I can't wait to go back. I'll also be reading and rereading a lot of newish picture books, such as On the Other Side of the Garden, written by Jairo Buitrago, translated by Guatemalan-born, Toronto-based Elisa Amado, and illustrated by Rafael Yockteng. It also takes place at a grandmother's house, where the surrounding nature helps a city girl copes with her parents’ separation. And for those days when I don't need to read myself out of the city's heat and humidity, there's Walking in the City With Jane, a semi-fictionalized, illustrated biography of Jane Jacobs, a.k.a. "the mother of urban design," written by Susan Hughes, illustrated by Valérie Boivin. I know many people like to tackle big, fat novels in the summertime, but for me, there's nothing like sitting with a pile of picture books or short stories on the deck and telling myself "just one more" until it's too dark to read.

Hadley Dyer’s YA novel Here So Far Away was published by HarperCollins in March.


Will Ferguson

Free Magic Secrets Revealed Mark Leiren-Young

Among my stack of books this summer, I plan on reading—or rather re-reading—two of my favorites. Free Magic Secrets Revealed by Mark Leiren-Young (a past Leacock winner) is the hilarious, true story of young would-be theatre impresarios who try to stage a rock-and-roll magic extravaganza far beyond their capabilities. It's highly entertaining, oddly endearing, and very, very funny. Buying Cigarettes for the Dog by Stuart Ross, meanwhile, is a near pitch-perfect collection. The stories are wholly original, strange, sad, funny, poignant, and at times unsettling. (“Remember Teeth” remains one of the creepiest tales I've read.) Both books are polished gems. Both deserve to be better known and more widely read.

Will Ferguson’s novel The Shoe on the Roof was published by Simon & Schuster in October.


Erin Frances Fisher

Little Fish Casey Plett

Lately, most of my reading has been research, so I’m looking forward to a summer of books. A few from my to-read pile:

Foe by Iain Reid

The Case of the Missing Men by Kris Bertin and Alexander Forbes

Little Fish by Casey Plett

Liminal by Jordan Tannahill

Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller

Find You in the Dark by Nathan Ripley

Double Dutch by Laura Trunkey


Erin Frances Fisher’s collection of short fiction and a novella That Tiny Life was published by House of Anansi Press in March.


Kim Fu

I've Been Meaning To Tell You David Chariandy

My quintessential summer reads as we usually define it—juicy page-turners best read on a patio—are Sarah Waters’ historical lesbian romances and Edith Wharton’s comedies of manners. This summer, I’m looking forward to reading David Chariandy’s book-length letter to his daughter I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You, Emma Healey’s new poetry collection Stereoblind, and the novels That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam and The Changeling by Victor LaValle.









Kim Fu’s novel The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore was published by HarperCollins in February.


Bill Gaston

The Dark and Other Love Stories Deborah Willis

I’d love to recommend two superb collections and one remarkable memoir. One of my favourite writers, Denis Johnson, died earlier this year, but not before he finished The Largesse of the Sea Maiden, a book of stories rich with the humour, the heart, and the oblique vision for which Johnson was known. I’m thinking it’s his best book. But The Dark and Other Love Stories by Deborah Willis also deserves a place in everyone's bag of essential collections—it’s rare to encounter writing this well-wrought while also so entertaining. Finally, BC writer Carol Matthews has produced a unique and truly spell-binding memoir, Minerva’s Owl: The Bereavement Phase of My Marriage, about grieving, or what she reveals to be a surprising second honeymoon, after the death of her husband. This book about loss, the opposite of grim, is a rich delight. Matthews writes with the intimacy and humour of a best friend and wisdom falls from her pen like shared intimacies. Not a beach book but a hearth book, and every hearth should have it.

Bill Gaston’s memoir Just Let Me Look at You: On Fatherhood was published by Hamish Hamilton in May.


Rachel Giese

Heart Berries Terese Marie Mailhot

Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead

Hard to Do: The Surprising, Feminist History of Breaking Up by Kelli María Korducki

Circe by Madeline Miller

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You: A Letter to My Daughter by David Chariandy

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee





Rachel Giese’s book Boys: What It Means to Become a Man was published by Patrick Crean Editions in May.


Kate Harris

Auguries Clea Roberts

Why be responsible this summer when you can be reading? Unless you see reading, like me, as the greatest of summer responsibilities right up there with long bike rides, campfires, and stargazing. I’m excited to spend my days with:

Auguries by Clea Roberts. I can’t get enough of these precise, horizonless poems about love and place and loss. 

Inside the Sky: A Meditation on Flight by William Langewiesche. What’s summer for if not soaring on thermals?

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje. Because every sentence he pens is worth reading at least four times over.

All the Broken Things by Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer. From its premise to its prose, this novel mesmerized me at first sight. With superhuman restraint, I’ve been saving it for a summer deep dive.

The Oblivion Seekers by Isabelle Eberhardt. The fact that a critic described this book as “one of the strangest human documents that a woman has given to the world,” as reported by Maggie Nelson in her equally strange and beguiling book Bluets is reason enough to want to read it.

Kate Harris’ travel memoir Lands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Road was published by Knopf Canada in January.


Daniel Heath Justice

Jonny Appleseed Joshua WhiteheadMainstream CanLit looks rather flaccid alongside the fierce work from Indigenous and other writers from the literary margins right now, and nowhere is that more evident than in Joshua Whitehead’s prismatic debut novel, Jonny Appleseed. It’s an unapologetically sexy and emotionally rich Indigiqueer extravaganza of belonging, kinship, and embodiment, and is one of the most compelling reads of the year. Outside of Indigenous lit, and in tandem with Whitehead’s fine novel, is Amber Dawn’s hot and haunting Ontario-based Sodom Road Exit, which bears longing, grief, and possibility together in tenuous balance—both just out from Arsenal Pulp, which is in no-bullshit, full-throttle mode this year, even more than usual. In fantasy, Echoes of Understorey just came out; the second book the Titan’s Forest series by Australian Thoraiya Dyer, its predecessor was astounding in its imaginative scope and social insight, and I’m keen to explore more of this world of giant trees, living gods, and the people who struggle to survive them both. On the academic side I’ve only just read the introduction of Sharia Compliant: A User’s Guide to Hacking Islamic Law by Rumee Ahmed, and already it’s a must-read—challenging, generous, and generative, it’s a model of what intellectually robust and community-engaged scholarship can be, and a book this world really needs right now.

Daniel Heath Justice’s book Why Indigenous Literatures Matter was published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press in March.


Patrick Lane

Tay John Howard O'Hagan

I have three books in mind for reading. They range over three-quarters a century. The first, Tay John by Howard O’Hagan, was published in 1939 and, after a year or so, was forgotten. It was not until the late sixties when Gary Geddes rediscovered this lost masterpiece and brought it back to our attention. I chose it to read because I knew Howard O’Hagan well. He was a friend and Tay John, his one and only novel, was set up the North Thompson River in central British Columbia, a river and a world I knew intimately from working there half a century ago. I have read O’Hagan’s novel several times over the years and each time I did I was reminded of the roots of our Canadian Literature. And what great books there are in our past. Tay John is the three-part story of a mythic Shuswap Indigenous man, Tay John, the child of a rape who grows up to be a legendary leader of his people. It is beautifully written, one of our great early Canadian masterpieces. The second book I chose was published last year: The Dark and Other Love Stories by Deborah Willis, a collection of 13 short stories, each one a search among the lives of women for what love means, what love is. It is written with all the delightful gifts this young master showed in her first two celebrated collections. I found its clarity both strange and moving. She is one of the best young writers we have today. And the third book is one I am looking forward to being published soon: Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, the story of a boy who moves from slavery to being a free man. I have loved her writing since I first saw it in a class at the University of Victoria. I taught her poetry there for a year but her heart, her immaculate skill, and her desire was to write novels and that is what she has done. Her new book comes out in September, not quite summer reading, but a book that will both amaze and astonish us all.

Patrick Lane’s novel Deep River Night was published by McClelland & Stewart in February.


Jeff Latosik

My Year of Rest and Relaxation Ottessa Mosheegh

Lots of great stuff coming up in 2018. Just a few titles I'm eagerly awaiting:

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

Blackbird, Bye Bye
by Moniza Alvi

Washington Black
by Esi Edugyan

Southern Tongues Leave Us

Shining
by Mark Wagenaar

How To Avoid Huge Ships
by Julie Bruck

Midday at the Super-Kamiokande
by Matthew Tierney



Jeff Latosik’s collection of poetry Dreampad was published by McClelland & Stewart in March.


Rachel Lebowitz

Go, Went, Gone Jenny ErpenbeckI am currently a third of the way through Cynthia Flood's latest short story collection, What Can You Do?, which I'm finding to be quite strong thus far. I am also looking forward to picking up I've Been Meaning to Tell You: A Letter to My Daughter by David Chariandy, especially as his novel Brother is very powerful. Moving further afield (but just located on my bookshelves), I'm looking forward to reading Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck, a German author, which focuses on African refugees in Europe. As well, I'm hoping to finally finish books whose scenes I still remember, even though I put them down years ago: The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald and Baltasar and Blimunda by José Saramago. Both of these books take a fair bit of concentration because of their prose style, so I have to be able to fully focus. Fortunately, I have the summer off from my day job, so it should be doable. Lastly, I'd like to curl up with A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. This is another book that I've had for years but have never finished. Ulrich is a careful and methodical historian but also a great storyteller: a too-rare combination!

Rachel Lebowitz’s book The Year of No Summer was published by Biblioasis in March.


Carrianne Leung

An Ocean of Minutes Thea Lim

I have so many books on my "to-read" pile this summer. They include: Heroes in My Head: A Memoir by Judy Rebick, The Boat People by Sharon Bala, The Water Beetles by Michael Kaan, and the collection of short stories Things Are Good Now by Djamila Ibrahim. I am also looking forward to the summer releases like I've Been Meaning to Tell You: A Letter to My Daughter by David Chariandy and An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim, her debut novel.









Carrianne Leung’s collection of short fiction That Time I Loved You was published by HarperCollins in March.


Jen Neale

That Tiny Life Frances Fisher

Summertime always makes me want to dig into short fiction collections so I can ingest stories between naps at the beach. I can’t wait to finally pick up Bad Endings by Carleigh Baker and That Tiny Life by Erin Frances Fisher. When it’s time to settle into something longer, I plan to pick up Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot.













Jen Neale’s novel Land Mammals and Sea Creatures was published by ECW Press in May.


Jan Redford

Shrewed Elizabeth Renzetti

Difficult though it is, I’ll pare my list of about 40 must-read books down to seven. I love memoirs, (especially when the narrator overcomes massive obstacles, including and especially oneself) so here’s my list:

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

The Art of Vanishing: A Memoir of Wanderlust
by Laura Smith

Feeding My Mother: Comfort and Laughter in the Kitchen as My Mom Lives with Memory Loss
by Jann Arden

The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts
by Tessa Fontaine

Lands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Road
by Kate Harris

Shrewed: 
A Wry and Closely Observed Look at the Lives of Women and Girls by Elizabeth Renzetti (How can you resist a book with a first chapter called “The Voice in Your Head is an Asshole”?)

Jan Redford’s memoir End of the Rope: Mountains, Marriage, and Motherhood was published by Random House Canada in April.


Elizabeth Renzetti

Dear Current Occupant Chelene Knight

I have to start out by giving thanks to four books I've loved recently: Dear Current Occupant by Chelene Knight, The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu, Things to Do When It's Raining by Marissa Stapley, and Sofie & Cecilia by Katherine Ashenburg. The first is a memoir and the other three are novels, but they're all united by inventive storytelling and the fact that I couldn't put them down. Now my to-be-read stack is teetering with books I'm dying to get to in the next little while, written by authors I love: I've Been Meaning to Tell You: A Letter to My Daughter by David Chariandy, The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer, Chicken by Lynn Crosbie, and The Life Lucy Knew by Karma Brown.


Elizabeth Renzetti’s collection of essays Shrewed: A Wry and Closely Observed Look at the Lives of Women and Girls was published by House of Anansi Press in March.


Judi Rever

Mad Blood Stirring Daemon FairlessWhen I was in Africa and the Middle East working as a journalist, I struggled to tell the stories of victims of war. Their stories were devastating and personal; they shaped the way I view the world today. Now, as the mother of two daughters living in Montréal, I’m often worried about the risk of violence in schools, on the street, and in the private realm. I worry about my daughters’ future relationships with boys and men. Whether organized or random, violence remains unfathomable yet it’s part of the human condition, in particular the male condition. This is why a new book on the male impulse toward violence is so important. I’m now reading Mad Blood Stirring: The Inner Lives of Violent Men, a fascinating and frightening examination of why some men resort to, and even crave, violence. Author Daemon Fairless sets out to explore and narrate his own dangerous desires and those of other men.  Eschewing a singular explanation for violent or dominant behaviour, he creates complex portraits of men who admit feeling excited when committing such acts. Fairless, a journalist who has studied neuroscience, is a deft storyteller and carefully weaves in the fragility and fear at the core of their experiences. The book’s tension revolves around whether these men, in recognizing their dark urges, can ultimately dampen them. 

Also on my reading list is Patriots, Traitors and Empires: The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom by Stephen Gowans. I’ve heard the author speak in Montréal and was riveted by his take on the history of US military aggression on the Korean peninsula. The book explores the resistance to Japanese and US imperialism, and challenges the western rhetoric on North Korea. I’m eager to read it.

Judi Rever’s book In Praise of Blood: The Crimes of the Rwandan Patriotic Front was published by Random House Canada in March.


Naben Ruthnum

Foe Iain Reid

I'm most looking forward to Foe by Iain Reid in the coming months. Reid has a way of taking conventional scenes or the trappings of thrillers that we may have encountered before and making them freshly suspenseful or meaningful. I think he does it by fixating on intensely personal doubt, on the human inability to know what's coming next in our own lives, or to truly know ourselves and the people we're most intimate
with.

I'm also going to slowly make my way through the last six volumes of A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell, which I think I'll be rereading for the rest of my life. I love these books. 


Naben Ruthnum’s debut novel Find You in the Dark, written under the pen name Nathan Ripley, was published by Simon & Schuster in March.


Kerri Sakamoto

Obasan Joy KogawaI have one book to recommend to readers this summer, and it's one I've suggested many times before. Obasan by Joy Kogawa resonates as much today as it did back in 1981 when it was first published. It tells the story of the internment of Japanese Canadians during World War II, giving eloquent and urgent voice to the silence – both of the victims and the perpetrating government. It is that rare literary document that galvanized a movement toward justice and touched a nation's conscience. It is the foundational work upon which my own books, and that of other writers, rest.





Kerri Sakamoto’s novel The Floating City was published by Knopf Canada in April.


Julian Samuel

Blank M. NourbeSe PhilipThis summer I am planning to read Blank: Interviews and Essays by M. NourbeSe Philip as well as Warlight by Michael Ondaatje.



















Julian Samuel’s novel Radius Islamicus was published by Guernica Editions in February.


Sarah Selecky

Things Not To Do Jessica WestheadI’m really excited to read The Amateurs by Liz Harmer — I’ve heard great things already, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit, Things Not to Do by Jessica Westhead, The Book of Dust series by Philip Pullman, and Lee Maracle’s My Conversations with Canadians are all on my “to-read” list. I’m dying to finally read The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery and The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben— I’ve heard that both are mind-blowing. And most delightfully, I’m looking forward to Little Bird Stories Volume 8, which comes out this August with Invisible Publishing. Michelle Winters is the judge this year, and I can’t wait to see what stories she picks for the anthology.

Sarah Selecky’s debut novel Radiant Shimmering Light was published by HarperAvenue in May.


Jillian Tamaki

Sabrina Nick DrnasoSomnambulance by Fiona Smyth. I'm sincerely grateful for this book from Koyama Press, which collects much of Fiona Smyth's work over the last 35 years for the first time. The ephemerality of pre-digital indie comics—xeroxed mini-books with a tiny print run, sold for a few dollars—was part of their beauty and charm, but gosh it's nice to just sit down with a big book of the stuff. A master of the form, beloved teacher, and ardent supporter of Toronto's art scene, Smyth's comics are florid, sexual, visceral. Reading them is like walking through a puzzling dream.

Sabrina by Nick Drnaso. Drnaso's first graphic novel, Beverly, was so assured and clear that it was difficult believing it was his debut. That book was dark, domestic, funny, and disturbing, all rendered in a clinical line with just enough weird drawing choices to be interesting. All of which I love—this looks like more of the same.

Made in India by Meera Sodha. A fun thing to do that also makes you feel very smart is to get cookbooks out of the library and give them a test drive before you buy them. I've been cooking with this one for a few weeks now. It seems like a good, patient intro to Indian cooking—in addition to being delicious, the dals and curries seem pretty bombproof. Don't forget to buy fresh spices if you haven't used them in a while.

Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales by Angela Carter. This book of collected fairy tales is thick and squat and sprinkled with simple illustrations. It feels good to hold. The stories—of women young, old, rich, poor, lucky, unfortunate, wise, and unwise—are drawn from around the world. It reminds me of a Grimm's Fairy Tales collection I had as a kid. I'm going to keep it on my bed stand for a while; the stories are short, ironically perfect for my 21st century shortened attention span.

Jillian Tamaki’s picture book They Say Blue was published by Groundwood Books in March.


Timothy Taylor

End of the Rope Jan RedfordThree books to recommend very highly. Two I’ve read: On the Up by Shilo Jones and the climbing memoir End of the Rope: Mountains, Marriage, and Motherhood by Jan Redford. Jones is writing about crime and corruption in Vancouver politics and real estate dealings. It’s gritty and fantastic. Big characters and bold plot moves. Jan’s book brings the high stakes world of rock climbing terrifyingly to life, but in beautiful and heart-felt prose. One book I haven’t read but can’t wait to is Floating City by Kerri Sakamoto. Kerri is just one of my fav people in Canadian letters, as a writer and a person. I’m waiting to buy it until I’m in Toronto next so I can get an autograph.



Timothy Taylor’s novel The Rule of Stephens was published by Doubleday in February.


Dania Tomlinson

Little Beast Julie Demers
Every morning before my daughter wakes up, before we must join the rush and chaos of preparing for work and daycare, I start my day with a cup of coffee and an hour all to myself to read. This is what gets me out of bed in the morning. No matter what stage my writing project might be in, I never ease up on my reading. The brilliant words and stories of others feed and nourish me. Here is what I have on the menu for the summer: 
 
This Accident of Being Lost: Songs and Stories by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Glory
by Gillian Wigmore 

The Boat People
by Sharon Bala

Sodom Road Exit
by Amber Dawn 

Scarborough
by Catherine Hernandez

Little Beast
by Julie Demers 
 


Dania Tomlinson’s debut novel Our Animal Hearts was published by Anchor in May.
 

Doug Williams

Ojibway Heritage Basil JohnstonThe books I would recommend: the works of Basil Johnston, particularly Ojibway Heritage published in 1976 and the works of Donald B. Smith, particularly Sacred Feathers: The Reverend Peter Jones (Kahkewaquonaby) and the Mississauga Indians—the story of a local Mississauga convert. Care and caution though should be taken when reading Western written history because it leans towards bias, to hegemony.










Doug Williams’s book Michi Saagiig Nishhaabeg: The History of Curve Lake First Nation was published by ARP Books in May.

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