Winter Reading List (so many books to read) and a bonus recommendation.

One of my critique partners taught me a new word this summer. That word was Tsundoku. Japanese for (roughly) the pile(s) of unread books that build up around your house, it pretty much describes my life.

On the plus side, I love having a big to-read pile, because I feel lost and confused when I’m between books and don’t know what to read next. It’s an icky, unsettled feeling, and I don’t like it. On the down side, I also like my house to be zen-like in terms of clutter and cleanliness…which just doesn’t work when you have two cats, a husband and thirteen-year-old daughter who love Lego, and you yourself collect books as if it were the apocalypse and your life depended on building a wall of novels to hold back the zombie hordes.

Lots of shelving has provided a partial compromise in most of the house…but hasn’t done a thing for the literary Leaning Tower of Pisa accumulating on my bedside table. I guess I’ll just have to read some of them!

Here are a few of the titles I plan to jump into this season:

The Bone Mother by David Demchuk. I picked this up at CANCON after attending a panel called The Horrible Renaissance, where David, along with DongWon Song, Regina Hansen, and Christian Baines, spoke about recent trends in the horror genre.
Here there are Monsters, by Amelinda Bérubé . This was another CANCON purchase, made sweeter by having a chance to talk with Amelinda herself. I haven’t met many other women (let alone moms) who write creepy YA horror.
This was a total impulse buy. I was at Chapters to buy the book below for Little Person’s enriched novel study and got lured in by the back cover blurb.
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline. Let’s just say I am super happy with the direction Little Person’s English teacher is going with her enriched novel studies. For grade 7 she read Lord of the Flies, by William Golding (always one of my favorites) and Nation by Terry Pratchett (if you haven’t read this book, please please do), and this year she’s branching into the growing genre of Indigenous Horror. (For an interesting discussion of Indigenous Horror, check out Alicia Elliot’s great CBC article from Oct 17, 2019: https://www.cbc.ca/arts/the-rise-of-indigenous-horror-how-a-fictional-genre-is-confronting-a-monstrous-reality-1.5323428)
I am looking forward to reading this myself, once Little Person’s finished the related assignments.
Path of the Thunderbird by Sara Miller and Pat Toole. We purchased this while we were visiting the Grand Canyon – I wanted to read some Middle Grade fiction, and it was super-cool to find something with a setting and landmarks we knew.

Bonus Book Recommendation! It’s not fiction, but honestly, anyone who likes disaster movies will like this book.

Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon by Michael P. Ghiglieri and Thomas M. Myers

We read this cover to cover while we were traveling, trail-running, and hiking our way around Arizona, and I highly recommend it for anyone who plans to visit the Grand Canyon. The main take-away? Most deaths in the canyon stem from avoidable human error; overconfidence, risk-taking, ignorance, and just plain stupidity. Long story short, you (or your guide/hiking partner/scout leader) are never as prepared as you think you are, and please, DON’T BE THAT PERSON.

This book provides the perfect marriage of intimate case-studies, statistical information, and analysis. The tone is easy and at times even humorous, without ever detracting from the seriousness of the often deadly incidents they recount. I was left alternately shaking my head, laughing, or fuming with rage at the sheer negligence that contributed to some of the deaths discussed.

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