Some of My Favourite Reads of 2013    

I’ve been writing this blog week-in and week-out for a year. I typically write and post on Sundays, usually my day off from fiction writing. I know, I know. What kind of day off is that? Not much of one is my quick response. But let me take a minute to explain. The energy I use to write a blog comes from a different, more rational part of my brain. Yes, I know its hard to believe that the words me and rational fit in a sentence I’ve uttered. The blog allows me to get my thoughts down about something I’m thinking, or worrying, about in a coherent way (mostly). In the blog I’m writing about real situations. I want to express myself in a way that helps me make sense of what I see and experience. And hopefully it gives you some insight into who I am.

Conversely, with fiction I have to place myself in another world, my character’s world. When things go smoothly I’m writing down what I hear and see. It’s not about me. It’s about them. When it doesn’t happen this way, I do a lot of sitting and waiting, staring into space. Sitting isn’t the easiest thing in the world for me to do. And patience is not something I have a lot of either. It barely shows, I know, but trust me on this one. Stop laughing.

In the blog you’ve read about my inner thoughts, gripes, and insecurities. You’ve seen me get in a huff about something that has happened in our country or halfway across the world. I’m sure you’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve got an opinion about everything. And you’d be right on that front.

So in that vein I thought I’d use the last blog of the year to share some of my opinions of my 2013 favourite reads. 

Here they are in no particular order:

Alice Munroe Lives of Girls and Women (linked short stories)

Gabor Mate When the Body Says No (non-fiction)

Will Ferguson 419 (novel)

David Adams Richards Incidents in the Life of Marcus Paul (novel)

Alice Munroe Dear Life (short stories)

Richard Wagamese Indian Horse (novel)

Jane Silcott Everything Rustles (essays)

Alistair MacLeod Island (short stories)

Jess Walter Beautiful Ruins (novel)

Thomas Highway Kiss of the Fur Queen (novel)

Ania Szado Studio St. Ex (novel)

Adam Johnson The Orphan Master’s Son (novel)

Sue Oakey Baker Finding Jim (memoir)

Lisa Moore Caught (novel)

Mohsin Hamid The Reluctant Fundamentalist (novel)

Shaena Lambert Oh, My Darling (short stories)

Margery Williams The Velveteen Rabbit (children’s book)

Ruth Ozeki A Tale of the Time Being (novel)

Genni Gunn Tracks (memoir)

John Berger To the Wedding (novel)

E.R. Brown Almost Criminal (novel)

In the new year, I’m looking forward to reading: Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda, Michael Winter’s Minister Without Portfolio, Wayne Grady’s Emancipation Day, and George Packer’s The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America to name a few.

Reading is my escape, my entertainment, and my classroom. My hope is that reading great works of art will help me learn the craft by example. I’m secretly wishing that some of the greatness will rub off on me one day. And if it doesn’t, I haven’t wasted time. I’ve enjoyed the ride.

Happy reading in 2014.

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