It’s that time again! And it has indeed been an eventful month in the area of books.
I’ve been scanning through as many articles as I possibly can on the Publisher’s Weekly website, because I’m quite the book article addict (especially the book deals). It’s probably my favourite publishing-related resource. Most notably of all, I’ve read that:
- Sherrilyn Kenyon, best known for her Dark Hunter series, has sold a trilogy called The Founding Mothers to Linda Quinton at Tor/Forge.
- Bob Dylan deserves his Nobel Prize. Apparently. Liz Thomson makes the case (because we’ve all been thinking about it).
- Some of the most anticipated upcoming kids ‘and YA books hit the shelves very soon!
- There are a number of design options that indie authors should think about to produce professional-looking books, according to Joel Friedlander.
- Some intriguing new self-published titles are also hitting the shelves.
While all these authors are ruling the world, we editors are staking our own claim in the publishing biz by reading more precious, precious books!
I haven’t really been reading much of anything as of late, but I’ve slowly been progressing through Sarah Lindsay’s Debt to the Bone-Eating Snotflower, published by Copper Canyon press. I absolutely adore Copper Canyon’s poets and collections, and this poetry collection in particular is no exception.
I’m currently up to a poem called Milk-Stone, which originally appeared in issue two of Cave Wall. Sarah Linday’s mastery of language is simplistic yet very elegant, honest yet secretive; qualities that I love. Here’s an excerpt of Milk-Stone:
The space our town fills is a thin one
between the haunted hill and the sea.
We climb the slope when we must, especially
women seeking help with our bodies’
tides of too much, too little.
Under thornbushes, beside tilted rocks,
we scratch the uneven dirt, where
scraps of scratched pottery work their way out
like splinters of bone from a broken arm,
and sometimes we find ourselves milk-stones…
Just judging by this poem, I’ll definitely be finishing Debt to the Bone-Eating Snotflower soon– whether it be curled up in bed, or on a twenty-minute bus ride. Each line is a treasure chest waiting to be opened; for its meaning and purpose to be discovered.
If you’re new to poetry, this honest and raw book is for you.
This month I’m reading a few books at the same time, because I’ve been trying to cram as many young adult books into my repertoire as possible.
The first is Jackaby, the first book in William Ritter’s series about a paranormal investigator and his assistant in a fictional New England town in 1892. Jackaby- a Sherlockian detective with the ability to see supernatural beings- and his discerning and courageous assistant, Abigail Rook, solve complicated mysteries that span realms real and ghostly.
I’ve also been listening to the audio book of Trenton Lee Stewart’s Mysterious Benedict Society during my commute in the morning, which has been a wonderful, quirky adventure into a magical world of absurd characters and plucky children. The book follows four children who are uncommonly clever and have a yearning toward truth, who take on evil villain Ledroptha Curtain and his henchman in their plot to take control of the populace with subliminal messaging technology. I’ve loved listening to this book because Stewart has created an incredible world for his characters, and because his writing is full of the kind of light-hearted whimsy that makes authors like Roald Dahl eternally appealing to both children and adults.
Someday I’ll actually write about poetry for this column, but until then I highly recommend reading both of these young adult series if you’re looking to be transported away from dreary autumn weather into worlds with a bit more magic in them.
In my Women in Literature class, we are reading Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Morrison’s novel serves as a commentary on the drastic and traumatic effects of slavery in America, citing its broken families, lost hope, and broken humanity. The novel follows one family as they confront the pain and sorrow of their broken pasts, while balancing their fear of remembering with their life in the present. Throughout the story, the reader ponders whether the Beloved is a tale of a haunting, or a haunting tale that mimics that un-selfed nature of slavery.
Beloved twists and tumbles, circling in on itself like a hedged maze until the reader reaches the centre, finally finding rhyme and reason and a conclusion to the heart-wrenching clues and tragedies Morrison has cleverly sprinkled throughout the novel. This book is a must-read; not only is it accurate historically, but Toni Morrison crafts her writing so beautifully and so strategically, there is power and beauty in her words.