Happy Holidays! Looking for the perfect book to indulge in this holiday season? Our winter reading list is filled with cozy, wintry, and holiday-themed books to keep you entertained all season long!
People You Know, Places You’ve Been by Hana Shafi
The latest poetry and artwork collection from Hana Shafi examines the everyday connections we make to the people and places we encounter. Despite the infinite variations of our lives, every urban dweller has sparred with a neighbour they disliked, seen beautiful strangers on public transit, told secrets to their hairdresser. We interact with these supporting characters on a daily basis—and often we are them for others.
Vixen by Sandra Ridley
Griffin Poetry Prize finalist Sandra Ridley offers a breathtaking, harrowing immersion in cruelty behind different veils: the medieval hunt, ecological collapse, and intimate partner violence. Vixen propels us to examine the nature of empathy, what it means to be a compassionate witness, and what happens when brutality is so ever-present that we become numb. This is a beautiful, difficult, wild tapestry of defiance and survival.
Fanny and the Mystery in the Grieving Forest by Rune Christiansen, translated by Kari Dickson
Fanny, a 17-year-old high school senior, has lost both her parents in a car accident. Granted permission to live independently in the family home located on the outskirts of a small Norwegian town, she passes the days performing her unchanging routine: going to school, maintaining the house, chopping and stacking wood, and keeping the weeds at bay. As Fanny grieves and attempts to come to terms with the sad circumstances of her life, a fairy tale-like world full of new possibilities begins to emerge around her.
Heating the Outdoors by Marie-Andrée Gill
In these micropoems, writing and love are acts of decolonial resilience. Rooted in Nitassinan, the territory and ancestral home of the Ilnu Nation, they echo the Ilnu oral tradition in Gill’s interrogation and reclamation of the language, land, and interpersonal intimacies distorted by imperialism. They navigate her interior landscape—of heartbreak, humour, and, ultimately, unrelenting light—amidst the boreal geography.
In Memory of Memory by Maria Stepanova, translated by Sasha Dugdale
Following the death of her aunt, the narrator of In Memory of Memory is left to sift through an apartment full of faded photographs, old postcards, letters, diaries, and heaps of souvenirs: a withered repository of a century of life in Russia. Carefully reassembled with calm, steady hands, these shards tell the story of how a seemingly ordinary Jewish family somehow managed to survive the myriad persecutions and repressions of the last century.
Polar Vortex by Shani Mootoo
Priya and Alexandra have moved from the city to a picturesque Countryside town. What Alex doesn’t know is that, in moving, Priya is running from her past—from a fraught relationship with an old friend, Prakash, who pursued her for many years, both online and off. Time has passed, however, and Priya, confident that her ties to Prakash have been successfully severed, decides it’s once more safe to establish an online presence. In no time, Prakash finds Priya and contacts her. Impulsively, inexplicably, Priya invites him to visit her and Alex in the country, without ever having come clean with Alex about their relationship—or its tumultuous end. Prakash’s reentry into Priya’s life reveals cracks in her and Alex’s relationship and brings into question Priya’s true intentions.
Because Venus Crossed an Alpine Violet on the Day that I Was Born by Mona Høvring, translated by Kari Dickson and Rachel Rankin
In a hotel, high up in a mountain village, two sisters aim to reconnect after distant years that contrast their close, almost twin-like upbringing. Martha has just been discharged from a sanatorium after a mental breakdown. Ella agrees to keep her company in the hope that the clean winter air will provide clarity—and a way back to their childhood connection.
Letters to Amelia by Lindsay Zier-Vogel
Grace Porter is reeling from grief after her partner of seven years unexpectedly leaves. Amidst her heartache, the thirty-year-old library tech is tasked with reading newly discovered letters that Amelia Earhart wrote to her lover, Gene Vidal. She becomes captivated by the famous pilot who disappeared in 1937. Letter by letter, Grace understands more about Amelia while piecing her own life back together.
We All Need to Eat by Alexis Leslie
We All Need to Eat is a collection of linked stories from award-winning author Alex Leslie that revolves around Soma, a young Queer woman in Vancouver. Through thoughtful and probing narratives, each story chronicles a sea change in Soma’s life. Lyrical, gritty, and atmospheric, Soma’s stories refuse to shy away from the contradictions inherent to human experience, exploring one young person’s journey through mourning, escapism, and the search for nourishment.
Agatha by Anne Catherine Bomann, translated by Caroline Waight
A psychiatrist is counting down toward his upcoming retirement. He lives alone in his childhood home and has neither friends nor family. Often, he resorts to drawing bird caricatures of his patients instead of taking notes. His social life consists of brief conversations with his meticulous secretary, Madame Surrugue, who has reigned over the clinic for more than thirty years. The two of them have no relationship outside the office, where everything runs smoothly and uneventfully. Until one day, that is, when a young German woman called Agatha arrives and demands to see the doctor, and he soon realizes that underneath her fragile exterior is a strong and fascinating woman. The doctor and Agatha embark upon a course of therapy together, a process that forces the doctor to confront his fear of true intimacy outside the clinic. But is it too late to reconsider your existence as a seventy-one-year-old?