The Week in Books #70

4/12 ✅

The week in books! This week was really stressful due to a family emergency so I didn’t get much reading done, but I finished another one from this stack and snuck in a quick one that I was excited about and didn’t want to put at the end of the (getting out of control) queue.

1. Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles. This took some time to get into but the writing is really great. It takes place over the course of one day, Valentine’s Day, at the Hazel restaurant and features a cast of inter-connected characters that all find themselves in the dining room at the same time. Much of the book is the telling of backstories leading the characters to their appearance at the Hazel, and eventually everything implodes all at once. Dragged a little in some places but overall I was really into it.

A fierce blizzard is threatening to tear a strip off the city, while inside The Hazel restaurant a storm system of sex, betrayal, addiction, and hurt is breaking overhead. Iris, a young hostess, is forced to pull a double despite resolving to avoid the charming chef and his wealthy restaurateur wife. Just tables over, Damian, a hungover and self-loathing server, is trying to navigate a potential punch-up with a pair of lit customers who remain oblivious to the rising temperature in the dining room. Meanwhile Olive, a young woman far from her northern home, watches it all unfurl from the fast and frozen street.

Through rolling blackouts, we glimpse the truth behind the shroud of scathing lies and unrelenting abuse, and discover that resilience proves most enduring in the dead of this winter’s tale.

House of Anansi Press

2. The Deep by Rivers Solomon. This book has an incredibly cool concept: sea creatures dwelling in the deep ocean have evolved from the African men and women thrown overboard from slave ships travelling to America. The whole story has a very dreamy quality and ends very quickly. I loved the ideas and characters, though if I’m going to be really picky I wish it was longer and even more developed because it totally could easily have become a pretty epic series. Very cool story.

Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.

Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.

Yetu will learn more than she ever expected about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.

Simon and Schuster

Kind of a big book haul this week… I know, I know, they are just piling up on the to read pile at this point, but I’m obsessed and can’t stop. I got five new books from Indigo on sale (along with 20% off and free shipping, see my post from last week for tricks to save you money from Indigo); The Final Revival of Opal and Nev, The Last Story of Mina Lee, Akata Witch, Of Women and Salt, and Afterland.

For the first time in over a month I left the island to go to Nanaimo for an appointment and made a trip to VV to drop off a bunch of donations. Pro-tip; making a donation of items when you arrive at the store gets you a 20% off coupon so you should never have to pay full price at Value Village. Plus it helps keep your stuff from getting out of control; if you want to bring home something new you need to purge something out! It was a great day for books and I found tons of good ones, including some I had just bought new, of course. I scored some I’ve been wanting for awhile as well: The Bird King, The Circle, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl (I’ve listened to the audio already), Lord of the Flies (already read but this edition is way nice), The Hidden Keys, Listen to the Squawking Chicken, Dear Girls, Allah is Not Obliged, Heart Berries, and The Boat People.

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