I want to know what everyone has been reading! I’ve been mostly sticking to my plan of not buying a zillion books, but diiiiiid buy a few books this past week. In my defence I did read 3/4 of them right away. Go me!
SCUM Manifesto by Valerie Solanas – This is an interesting little book from the famous woman who shot Andy Warhol. Solanas began self-publishing her manifesto in the 60’s, and while I don’t agree with everything she says (she basically wants to eliminate men from the planet) her voice is unique and some of the ideas made sense. The introduction is written by Michelle Tea and it was excellent. There is also a brief biography of Solanas at the end that sums up her lifes events in a few short pages. It always makes me feel pretty sad to see someone’s entire lifespan summarized in such a short number of sentences, but at least she has some notable accolades, even if an attempted murder was one of her most memorable.
The Grownup by Gillian Flynn – I love the presentation of this tiny hardcover book, possibly even more than the contents. I bought it for the cover at the ghastly price of $13, then finished it in about 20 minutes while I ate a side of hashbrowns on the ferry. I thought about returning it for refund, but liked the cover too much. I’m a victim of good design, what can I say. The actual story is SHORT. Too short. In typical Flynn fashion, it starts out bold (the opening line is literally a statement about hand jobs) and plays with the manipulative nature of human beings. It’s spooky, it’s twisted, it’s hard to predict the ending… but that’s all I’m going to say. Wish it was longer and more developed; maybe not hundreds of pages but it would have made a good novella. It was written at the request of George R. R. Martin for inclusion in a collection of short stories he put out which is neat, but hey George! Quit all these side projects and finish Winds of Winter already! >:\
Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent by Liz Howard – BOOM this poetry collection is incredible. Any other words I use will not serve it justice. Her mastery of language is evident enough in the powerful title, which is what grabbed me by the guts at the bookstore. Can’t describe it, just get your hands on a copy. It was a finalist for the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Award and the writer is a Native woman from Northern Ontario.
The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood – I received this review copy from Penguin Random House and right away loved the cover design. Great colours. I also really enjoyed reading new Atwood after gobbling up so much of the rest of her lengthy catalogue over the last couple of years. It’s neat to see how her writing style has evolved over time to what I would consider to be pretty modern, utilizing current language and subject matter. Was it as sophisticated as Handmaid’s Tale? Not really, but I think to an extent Atwood knows her audience and is able to tailor her words in such a way to tell a great story while using a style people can grasp. I felt that Heart Goes Last was very graspable and accessible. The story was intricate and engaging, and I liked the sheer wackiness of the imagery; Elvis sex bots in Vegas and a former sex worker dressed as Marilyn Monroe who had sexually imprinted on a blue knitted teddy bear? It sounds insane, but in the context of this multi-part novel it made perfect sense. I adore Atwood’s ability to create dystopian universes that are simultaneously plausible and mind-bogglingly bizarre. Atwood has been able to cross so many genre lines that she has firmly lodged herself at the top of my favourite authors list and I don’t see her being knocked out of it anytime soon.
Girl in the Woods by Aspen Matis: I haven’t read this one yet but I’m really looking forward to it. It sounds a lot like Wild, but with slightly different circumstances and I’m excited to hear Aspen’s voice.