My Father's Tears and Other Stories by John Updike I picked up in an airport in Australia in December. I had finished what other novels/magazines I had brought and managed to quickly justify the double or triple cover price (Australian books are expensive!!!). I teared up often and was moved not only by the stories but also thinking of the great loss to our world now that John Updike has passed away. He is one of my favorite writers by far, and I cherish this collection as much as any of his other work. Highly recommended.
Mourning Diary by Roland Barthes is sitting on the windowsill above my bed. I pick it up and thumb to the ear marked pages every few nights. Its stunning and simple and sad.
Summertime by J.M Coetzee and Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee both bring me closer to the end of discovering every incredible word this man has written. I love all his books. ALL OF THEM.
Air Guitar by Dave Hickey was a recommendation and truly inspired me. My copy is folded all to hell and insights like this, " Bad taste is real taste, of course, and good taste is the residue of someone else's privilege", gave me pins and needles of excitement.
True Stories by Helen Garner was a gift from a fellow bookworm in Australia. I absolutely adored it and felt silly for having never picked up important novels from her past like this: Monkey Grip (novel)
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan I saw in the hands of many subway riders in NYC over the holiday season. So I picked it up a few weeks ago and couldn't tear myself away until the last page was turned. Really an exciting and smartly written book.
Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire and The Nobody by Jeff Lemire I read in preparation for CANADA READS. I was defending Essex County, a novel of collected works that was shortlisted for the event and would highly recommend and defend (on national radio) anything Mr. Lemire writes/draws. Gorgeous, haunting, cinematic stories that are captivating from start to finish.
Versed by Rae Armantrout is a book of remarkable poetry. I don't read a lot of poetry, but this collection and some of her older work that I have no read, is really mind bending. Loved it.
Unless by Carol Shields * and the other Canada Reads short list: Canada Reads
One quick book reading/documenting note:
I don't include every book I've read on this list, and I also don't include the books I didn't like. There is some part of me that wants to protect those authors and works from my critique because it seems unnecessary to influence anyone to not read something that I didn't completely love. Reading is so subjective and I haven't felt it was necessary to bring that critical voice to this book club! If I read something that really bugs me, I'll be sure to let you all know. And for the books I don't mention, its only because I've loaned them out or forgotten I've read them, or didn't think it was pertinent or interesting to note!
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