Reading in 2020: A pandemic year’s bookshelf

Writing about some of the books I’ve read over the past twelve months feels a bit strange, as 2020 has seemed like two different years: the one that began on January 1 and the one that began in mid-March, when the world awoke to the reality of COVID-19 and nothing was the same again. Steeped in isolation by pandemic distancing protocols, we’ve all had much more time to read while pondering so many unsettling questions.…

Continue Reading Reading in 2020: A pandemic year’s bookshelf

Reading 2019: A catholicity of interests

  NEW WESTMINSTER—The last time I posted a blog about my previous year’s reading (2016), the list was comprised of eleven books written by men. All but four of the authors were white, and the top two have since been “cancelled.” (The first, already in hot water for profiting from dubious claims to Indigenous ancestry, was Joseph Boyden; the second, two years before publishing a self-exculpatory essay by serial sex abuser Jian Gomeshi in The New York Review…

Continue Reading Reading 2019: A catholicity of interests

2016: A Year of Good Reads

According to some of my fellow writers, novelists should never read fiction while their own work is in progress. In the midst of writing a magnum opus, the argument goes, one should not be unduly influenced or distracted by another novelist’s style or method; to do so would risk derailing one’s own creative process by engaging in some form of subconscious mimicry. I would say that’s true while the writing itself is in progress. But between drafts? A different…

Continue Reading 2016: A Year of Good Reads