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Books Worth a Look

By 49thShelf
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On Twitter, author Zoe Whittall started a thread asking, "What are the Canadian books you love but might be ten years old now or maybe didn’t receive as much press as you thought they deserved?" Such a great idea! We decided to collect suggestions here. Check out the thread at https://49thshelf.com/Lists/Members/2020-31/Books-Worth-a-Look
The Tracey Fragments

The Tracey Fragments

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

Naked under a tattered shower curtain, fifteen-year old Tracey Berkowitz has been sitting in the back of a bus for two days, looking for her brother, Sonny, who thinks he is a dog. Tracey's stories begin to twist and intertwine truth with lies, absorbing the reader into the games and delusions she uses to escape her despair.

The Tracey Fragments is a raw, moving account that immerses the reader into the labyrinth of a troubled, adolescent psyche, full of twists and turns, fear and uncertainty, tr …

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When I Was Young and In My Prime

When I Was Young and In My Prime

edition:Paperback
tagged : literary

2006 TRILLIUM BOOK AWARD NOMINEE & NATIONAL BESTSELLER
"A deeply humane, deeply human book."
- Michael Crummey
"Moving, funny, full of hard truths."
- Jim Bartley, The Globe and Mail

What's left of us when we're gone? In When I Was Young and In My Prime, a young woman watches her grandparents begin to decline. As she sorts through the couple's belongings, she reflects on the untold stories and unsung bonds that make up our lives. Meanwhile, modern urban life places strains on her own marriage and …

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Excerpt

Terrible to say, but there's a glamour in decay. All the sugars rising to the surface. Even the making of wine is a kind of controlled decomposition.

The last days have an atmosphere in which everything stands out, back-lit, finite. Photographers call it magic hour. As if death, closer now, closer every day, radiates a kind of pre-storm light.

And then that pre-storm light lasts for a spell after death--for the living. Basic things take on new definition, demand attention, but resist naming.

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Wipe Under a Love

edition:Paperback
tagged :

Margaret Christakos' fourth poetry collection playfully filters the refrains of domestic experience through an ever-shifting procedural sieve, rendering a series of ground-out texts which lift the vernacular to the plane of exuberant bliss. A woman's kaleidoscopic self-image emerges where memory and culture double back on each other amidst the practical realities of needing to leave the scene of mothering in order to write at all. The lover within the mother is invited throughout to speak and de …

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Dream Pool Essays

Dream Pool Essays

edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian

Lifted from an ancient Chinese astronomical text, the title Dream Pool Essays hints at Gil McElroy’s interest in cosmology: always a construct made visible between the elements of chaos.

These poems constitute an active multiple streaming of sources usually considered quite disparate: the physical sciences, particularly astronomy, theoretical cosmology, and quantum physics; the literary arts insofar as they are concerned with re-imagining the world?the imago mundi of Charles Olson, the transfor …

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Sweet Affliction

Sweet Affliction

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

A pregnancy test is taken at a wedding, a bad diagnosis leads a patient to a surprising outlook, and a civic holiday becomes a dystopian nightmare. By turns caustic, tender, and creepily hilarious, Sweet Affliction reveals the frailties, perversions, and resilience of Anna Leventhal’s cast of city-dwellers. Shiftless youths, a compulsive collector of cigarette butts, and a dying pet rat populate fifteen sharply-observed and darkly funny stories that suck at the marrow of modern life.

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Nobody Cries at Bingo

Nobody Cries at Bingo

edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged : humorous

Author and narrator Dawn Dumont paints a picture which goes beyond many cultural stereotypes. She talks about drinking and bingo and the toughness needed to deal with bullying by the other natives and also by her white peers. Readers see reserves in both Manitoba and Saskatchewan from the native point of view. There is a sense of how distanced these are, both literally and figuratively, from non-natives; yet, at the same time Dumont reveals how close-knit many families are, and she shows her rea …

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