Five books for the week
December 17th-23rd, 2023
This is easily the latest I’ve sent my now weekly reading missive. Today marks the ninth (9th!) consecutive week when I’ve written about the five books I’ve selected to focus on during the week ahead and shared my reasons, my rhymes, as well as my reading updates.
It’s a funny time of year. I have a really heavy workload and a packed schedule outside of the office, too. I basically treated my home as a hotel this weekend, showing up here to sleep and do little else before packing up and heading out somewhere else. As a result, this is going to be quick.
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What I finished reading last week:
And the Birds Rained Down by Jocelyne Saucier - This work that is translated from French by Rhonda Mullins. It’s an ambient, quiet read that details a great story about a group of people living completely off the grid. It was one of those books that kept my interest while also expanding my ideas about the needs and experiences of the characters. It was made into a movie in 2019 and I’d like to watch that in the near future.
The Adversary by Michael Crummey - This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and I enjoyed it immensely. Once I had started it, I felt like I wasn’t getting enough time to read the pages so I bought the audiobook as well and got through it by alternating between them. Both are great options and they also compliment each other very well.
I’ve switched things up a little from last week, removing some books, adding others in their places. Here’s what I’ll be reading this week:
Carnival by Rawi Hage - I was low-key obsessed with this book this year after I borrowed a copy from the library and found an inscription from Rawi Hage inside! I reached out to my favourite librarian to find out how and when it happened and it appears that it was a surprise to everyone. I made no secret of the fact that I loved reading Stray Dogs back in 2022 when it was on the Giller shortlist and I’ve been meaning to read more of his work ever since then. I kept this book with me for the maximum number of renewals of my first loan back in the spring and I picked it up again when I was at the library on a random visit a couple of weeks ago.
Burr by Brooke Lockyer - I’d planned to read Burr earlier this year because I was interested on my own and then the recommendations from writers and readers I really respect started rolling in. I just know I’m going to love this book and it may be the enjoyable sidekick I need to push through the last few days of the year.
Once Upon An Effing Time by Buffy Cram - Described as “A quirky, thrilling, darkly-funny page-turner that explores the fuzzy lines between sanity and insanity, magic and reality, love and duty.” This one made an appearance on my list a few weeks ago, but was then displaced to make room for other titles. Back on there now!
We Have Never Lived on Earth by Kasia Van Schaik - This collection of stories first came on my radar when Susan Sanford Blades included a Q&A with the authour in her newsletter (subscribe here!) back in February. It came up again this fall when it landed on the Giller Prize longlist. When I’m really swamped juggling things vying for my attention, I sometimes find solace in stories or essays to help me keep reading while also feeling like I’m getting somewhere. I deliberately chose this collection because it was once I’ve been wanting to read for a while.
Sunshine Nails by Mai Nguyen - I read much of this light and funny family story last week and even almost thought I’d finish it up before the new week began. Not quite, but it’ll be my first priority during the new one.
What will you be reading this week?