Novel reads

More read recently. Or more accurately, finished lately.

13. Architects of Memory by Karen Osbourne (Tor/Macmillan, 2020) I gave a slog of a go to a few months ago and it didn’t click. Returning it was a quick read. It’s complex with many players in a world where there are freeborn and indentured and the system is tilted in the favour of guess who? A critical examination of war and who benefits.

14. These Days #8, edited by Jeff Blackman (Horsebroke Press, Jan 2021) is the second issue I got as a mail surprise. Each issue of the zine reminds me of unarmed with authors indexed at the back, illustrations and off-mainstream writing.

15. No Parking by Valentine Wheeler (Ninestar, 2020). I’ve found my new favourite novelist. This story in small town America over a parking lot dispute is low stakes and has older protagonists with adult children. Like Vivian Shaw characters exist in a supportive community that has their backs.

16. Give Away by Valentine Wheeler (Ninestar, 2020) is a shorter novella in the same town with overlapping characters. I do hope there’s another book happening here. Cute moment when the daughter says, so you finally admit you’re queer. He’s like, What?What?

Sometimes everyone around notices but the bi person. The relationships and conversations feel genuine.

17. Aftermath of scenes of a woman convalescing by Amanada Earl (above/ground, 2019) is a chapbook about health problems in language-y ways and more straight spoken vignettes. Both work to capture the feeling of incapacity.

18. Deerness by Al Rempel (The Alfred Gustav Press, 2020) is superb. It is a reading experience which changes breathing and impels reading aloud. It can’t be excerpted piecemeal. It’s how it adds up and guides perception. I loved each poem. As I did with his book from 6 years ago.