20 pages into Arvida–Samuel Archibald’s Giller nominated book of short stories–I knew it wasn’t for me. It wasn’t that Archibald was a bad writer; clearly he’s talented. It wasn’t that his ideas weren’t interesting; one of them was about a group of retired Montreal Canadiens playing against local hockey players who never made it to the NHL. That shit is my jam. […]Read more "Week 9: Arvida by Samuel Archibald"
When was the last time you bought a book based on the publisher? When was the last time you even visited a publisher’s website? How many publishers can you even name? Do they even make a difference to you at all? Or do you follow your favorite houses like your favourite sports teams? Let’s take […]Read more "Does the Publisher Matter When You’re Buying a Book?"
Outline is the first of five Giller-nominated books I’m reviewing before the winner is crowned on November 10th. In it, a woman writer goes to Athens in the height of summer to teach a writing course. Though her own circumstances remain indistinct, she becomes the audience to a chain of narratives, as the people she meets […]Read more "Week 8: Outline by Rachel Cusk"
Meet Asterios Polyp: middle-aged, meagerly successful architect and teacher, aesthete and womanizer, whose life is wholly upended when his New York City apartment goes up in flames. In a tenacious daze, he leaves the city and relocates to a small town in the American heartland. But what is this “escape” really about? Modernism — the […]Read more "Week 7: Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli"
My annual celebration of the publishing industry’s bastard child, the novella. Throughout the month I’ll be reading as many as I can in the hopes of finding a few forgotten gems. Please come along and do the same. Short stories and novels get enough press these days. It’s time to give the middle child some attention. […]Read more "Novellas in November"
I say I’m going to do it every year (*cough*andneverdo*cough*), but I”m actually going to read all five shortlisted books for the Giller this year. Given that there are exactly five weeks between the release of the shortlist and the announcement of the winner, it seems like the sort of thing this blog was created […]Read more "Just For Fun: Predicting the 2015 Giller Shortlist (w/ Results)"