The Best Books I Read Last Year

 

Ru

A novel by Kim Thúy

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This was a gorgeous read. It felt like a feather cradled in a warm, gentle wind. An excellent pick for those interested in reading about the history Vietnam and immigration from a highly personal and poetic point of view. 

I borrowed this book from the public library and ended up taking lots of cell pics of the pages. Some sentences are just too eloquent to part with. 

 

Alice Munro’s Best

Short Stories by Alice Munro

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This collection is the definitive guide to Alice Munro. Her prose is beautiful and subtle. She’s a pioneer of my favourite literary genre, the “Southern Ontario Gothic.” The Southern Ontario Gothic is the Canlit twist on the “Southern Gothic,” a genre epitomized by the work of Flannery O’Connor and Eudora Welty. 

Although she’s a nobel laureate and widely known as “Canada’s Chekov,” Munro is not for everyone. Much to my surprise, I found out on multiple first dates last year that not everyone enjoys reading what one past suitor astutely called “boring minutia and sh*t.” 

 

The Shadow of the Wind

A Novel by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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This gothic is set in Barcelona in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. It centers around young Daniel, the son of an antiquarian bookseller. It’s a richly told tale of mystery, murder and star-crossed love. 

 

To Kill a Mockingbird

A Novel by Harper Lee

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I never read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school and had it on my literary bucket list for the longest time. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am so glad I finally got the chance to read it. 

 

Racing Hummingbirds

Poetry by Jeanann Verlee 

I don’t think I can do this book justice. It’s perfect. Instead, here is my favourite poem from the collection, performed by Verlee (the Goddess): 

Photo by Marshall Goff

Heads or Tails

Comics by Lilli Carré

This book is a collection of graphic shorts that are visually piquant and surreal. Carré’s vignettes are guaranteed to whet your appetite and leave you creatively inspired and emotionally invigorated. 

 

The Encyclopedia of Early Earth

A Graphic Novel by Isabel Greenberg

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Isabel Greenberg’s graphic novel is an epic tale of adventure, whimsy and wanderlust. It's full of striking contrast both visually in Greenberg’s ink-and-wash illustrations as well as narratively in how the cultures, characters and mythologies differ.