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My Favourite Books of 2018 (SO FAR)
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My Favourite Books of 2018 (SO FAR)

By kerryclare
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These are my favourite Canadian books of 2018—expect more titles to be added as the year goes on. Canadian books are pretty wonderful.
Something for Everyone

Something for Everyone

edition:eBook
also available: Paperback

Nominated, Scotiabank Giller Prize
Finalist, Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award
Finalist, Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction
Internationally celebrated as one of literature’s most gifted stylists, Lisa Moore returns with her third story collection, a soaring chorus of voices, dreams, loves, and lives. Taking us from the Fjord of Eternity to the streets of St. John’s and the swamps of Orlando, these stories show us the timeless, the tragic, and the miraculous hidden in the underbelly …

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Excerpt

Orlando, Florida. I’m here with a conference of twenty thousand librarians from all over North America, two weeks after the Pulse massacre. It’s very early; I’m jogging around two big, olive-coloured ponds and not a breath of wind, an empty eight-lane highway between the ponds and I’m on the median.

A lizard skitters over the curb and across the highway. It goes in fast-forward but there are glitches. Stops. Goes, stops. Darts. A jellied quivering. The long thin body is still, but the legs. You can’t even see the legs in the bald light. Just a blur of motion.

There are squiggles of fluorescent spray-paint here and there on the sidewalk in pink, orange, and lime. They’re construction directives, targets for jackhammers, indicating the location of water or sewage pipes beneath the concrete, positions for embedded spigots, underground tunnels for workers and who knows what else — bog people, muskets, cannonballs, arrowheads. I took two planes to get here.

Orlando was retrieved from the swamp by a wily entrepreneur who set up dummy companies to purchase the land cheap. A hundred thousand people work in the theme parks here, vomiting in their oversized cartoon-costume heads because you aren’t allowed to vomit in a theme park. It’s hot in those cartoon heads. You aren’t even allowed to die of heat prostration.

People who die on the parks’ premises are secreted away, whisked from the grounds in unmarked cars and why not? Why not have a zone that death can’t in infiltrate? It costs fabulously to squeeze into these crowds, to belong.

Of course you offer life without death.

You offer furry animals that speak.

When I’m coming around the second pond the sprayers come on and shuffle out sheets of recollected water, the sign says. Water that I don’t want to touch my bare skin because who knows.

It’s not true that the wily entrepreneur is cryogenically preserved. That’s an urban legend. People say just his head in a murky aquarium: mouth open, the lower lip looking grey and nibbled, deteriorating despite the formaldehyde, like he’s developed a cold sore, and a five o’clock shadow, because hair still grows in death. Sometimes the head burps and a wobbling bubble escapes a corner of the mouth. A fold-encrusted eyelid utters. But that is just the underwater air infiltration.

This place is where the GoFundMe stage-four cancer children come to fulfill a bucket list. The parks around here specialize in reconstituting hearts — break ’em, put ’em back together. The white beluga in the aquarium will do it for you, all by itself. Defibrillate your soul. The ghostly mammal emerges from the murk, tail dragging because of a low-grade fugue.

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Shrewed

Shrewed

A Wry and Closely Observed Look at the Lives of Women and Girls
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback

Why are there so few women in politics? Why is public space, whether it’s the street or social media, still so inhospitable to women? What does Carrie Fisher have to do with Mary Wollstonecraft? And why is a wedding ceremony Satan’s playground?

These are some of the questions that bestselling author and acclaimed journalist Elizabeth Renzetti examines in her new collection of essays. Drawing upon Renzetti’s decades of reporting on feminist issues, Shrewed is a book about feminism’s crossr …

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Notes for the Everlost

Notes for the Everlost

A Field Guide to Grief
edition:Paperback

Part memoir, part handbook for the heartbroken, this powerful, unsparing account of losing a premature baby will speak to all who have been bereaved and are grieving, and offers inspiration on moving forward, gently integrating the loss into life.

Inglis’s story is a springboard that can help other bereaved parents—and anyone who has experienced wrenching loss—reflect on emotional survival in the first year; dealing with family, friends, and bystanders post-loss; the unique survivors’ gui …

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Motherish

Motherish

edition:eBook

The women who populate Laura Rock Gaughan’s debut collection, Motherish, veer from playful to distraught, reckless to restrained, anchored to unmoored. Gambling grandmas, athletes and organists, pregnant bus passengers and punitive bank tellers are pushed to the brink by Gaughan’s distinctively precise prose, while they grapple with what it means to mother and be mothered. With various perspectives, Gaughan creates box after box—and actual chicken coops—for her characters to explode from …

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Lady Franklin of Russell Square

Lady Franklin of Russell Square

edition:Paperback

Spring, 1847, and Lady Franklin is back in London expecting to greet her hero husband, polar explorer Sir John Franklin, upon his triumphant return from the Northwest Passage. But as weeks turn to months, she reluctantly grows into her public role as Franklin's steadfast wife, the "Penelope of England." In this novel that imagines a rich interior life of one of Victorian England's most intriguing women, the boundaries of friendship, propriety, and love are bound to collide.

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Margaret Laurence and Jack McClelland, Letters

Margaret Laurence and Jack McClelland, Letters

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged : canadian, letters

Margaret Laurence and Jack McClelland—one of Canada’s most beloved writers and one of Canada’s most significant publishers—enjoyed an unusual rapport. In this collection of annotated letters, readers gain rare insight into the private side of these literary icons. Their correspondence reveals a professional relationship that evolved into deep friendship over a period of enormous cultural change. Both were committed to the idea of Canadian writing; in a very real sense, their mutual and s …

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Dear Evelyn

Dear Evelyn

edition:Paperback

WINNER OF THE 2018 ROGERS WRITERS' TRUST FICTION PRIZE

A 2018 KIRKUS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

A GLOBE AND MAIL BEST BOOK OF 2018

A TORONTO STAR TOP TEN BOOK OF THE YEAR

A WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FAVOURITE BOOK OF THE YEAR

A QUILL & QUIRE BEST BOOK OF 2018

Born between the wars on a working-class London street, Harry Miles wins a scholarship and a chance to escape his station, but discovers instead that poetry is what offers him real direction. While searching for more of it he meets Evelyn Hill on the st …

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