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2016 Atlantic Books Awards Shortlists
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2016 Atlantic Books Awards Shortlists

By 49thShelf
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The Atlantic Book Awards Society is pleased to announce the full shortlist for the thirteen different book prizes comprising the 2016 Atlantic Book Awards. The 36 books up for awards represent a wide range of books from Atlantic Canada—everything from history to kids’ books. The full shortlist is available at
What Is Government Good At?

What Is Government Good At?

A Canadian Answer
also available: Hardcover Paperback Paperback
tagged : canadian
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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Book Award for Non-fiction sponsored by the Brennan family
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Electric Affinities


Icon of pure idea. Screwed into a sphere of permanence skin-thin, fragile as eggshell, yet suffused with even light – a Platonic corona identical to the thinking mind’s delicate glow. Say, above Henry’s bulbous cartoon head, his second brain, its single hair ablaze. Naked, it suggests a folksy quality, forever swinging its gaze on unexpected corners of the past – corners lit with the warm steady fire of your affection – there was always one above your father as you watched him work in basement or garage (anywhere a bare bulb swings: the genius of the place) – a galvanic presence overseeing these Rembrandt-amber scenes, his hands tarred with grease, the small tools kept separate and clean.

At the store – selecting the shade – Arctic Pearl, Creamed Cumulus, Snow-Glare, inscribed in tiny script round their poll – the wattage, frosted or clear – the delicious sensation of walking out as if you’d just bought bags of nothing, cartons of air. Nestled inside those egg-safe packets you coddle home the power to see your rooms with the light of still life. Screw a few in just for fun, put the rest in a bowl: a bowl of glass pears. Jars of sun. Tiny amphitheatres filled to the brim with a thousand matinees. Installation’s easy – the global sign for “a dim bulb,” – how many to construe those exaggerated threads? Inside the candy-spun shell, tungsten filaments, twin antennae yearn incandescent in a vacuum. Your idea of home’s within this soft white circuitry, synapsing back and forth. You catch its essence waking some morning to find a light left on – see it up all night worrying, keeping watch while you slept -- a conscience, consciousness. (You feel guilty.)

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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Westminster Books Award for Poetry
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