This week’s reading list series is brought to you by a transliterated proverb. Maybe you know it: “Good things come in pairs.” What better pair than Book*hug authors and staff members? (A rhetorical question, but we’ll wait.) We talked to both groups about their favourite titles from Book*hug Press: the old and the new; the short and the epic. Today, we’re shining a light on four Book*hug authors and their recommended reading, all of which, as part of our Holiday Sale, is 25% off in our online shop until December 23rd. If you’re still looking for a book—or books—for that special someone, all of these come with built-in seals of approval.
Shannon Bramer, author of Trapsongs and Precious Energy, recommends Fanny and the Mystery in the Grieving Forest by Rune Christiansen, translated by Kari Dickson. Shannon says, “This is a novel full of magical and unpredictable images and moments. Reading it felt like being in a small boat on a wild, turbulent sea. The story of Fanny’s life following the death of her parents is so wrenching and beautiful; the book evokes the power of grief and love so tenderly and vividly I was engulfed by it.”
Tanis MacDonald, author of Mobile, recommends Nought by Julie Joosten. Tanis says, “Near the end of her numinous poetry collection, Nought, Julie Joosten writes that the poems grew from fascination with her “brain’s endless plasticity.” That same neuroplasticity speaks through the poems that re-wire and modify comprehension about the philosophy and practice of love. The love poems to endlessly shifting subjects in this collection are not for naught; they contemplate what nothing might be and why we need it, and bonus! The book contains my favourite quotation from Simone Weil. There’s a knot here that I never want to untie but keep tracing its loops and whorls like a fingerprint. Fiercely intelligent and revolutionarily gentle, Nought—like Lisa Robertson’s work—is a book to return to over and again until you too can sing its ‘clarion song/of girls epic/-ing.’”
Hasan Namir, author of War/Torn and the forthcoming Umbilical Cord, recommends Coconut Dreams by Derek Mascarenhas. Hasan says, “A brilliant collection of stories of the Pinto family that immigrated to Canada. I loved the different perspectives from the narrators; the characters are well-developed and Mascarenhas’ writing style is rich and incredible.”
Aaron Tucker, author of Irresponsible Mediums and the forthcoming Catalogue d’oiseaux, recommends I Can’t Get You Out of My Mind by Marianne Apostolides. Aaron says, “This novel grapples with the greater implications of artificial intelligence and our increasing symbiosis with our Internet-enabled devices with equal parts philosophy and realism. It is a work of big ideas while never losing its grounding to the beating heart of its protagonist and her struggles to reorient herself as she enters a new phase of motherhood.”