It’s the time of year for ‘best of’ lists and present ideas, so PRISM is joining in. We’ve reviewed a lot of books over the past year, and here are some of our favourites. So if you need some great gift ideas, or something to heavily drop hints about, take a look!
Status Update by Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang
Status Update is a poetic response to Facebook status updates. And while this doesn’t seem like the most likely source of inspiration, reviewer Claire Matthews said that “If the collection’s conception doesn’t already stun you, then Tsiang’s poetic range and language will.” Status Update was also nominated for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Here’s the rest of Claire’s review, and you can purchase Status Update here.
Running the Whale’s Back: Stories of Faith and Doubt from Atlantic Canada
Ed. Andrew Atkinson and Mark Harris
If you want a good collection of short fiction, look no further. Featuring nineteen stories by authors such as Michael Crummey, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Alistair MacLeod, and Kathleen Winter, this collection focuses on Atlantic Canada. Matt Snell’s interview is right here, and you can purchase it from Goose Lane books here.
Leaving Howe Island by Sadiqa de Meijer
Our reviewer Claire Matthews called the poems in this collection “a journey into memory, wrought with intensity and freshness.” Leaving Howe Island was also nominated for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. You can read the full review here, and buy it from Oolichan Books right here.
Between by Angie Abdou
Between is a novel that examines privilege, mental illness through Vero and Ligaya’s relationship, women from two very different backgrounds. PRISM reviewer Kim McCullough said that “Between is a challenging, enjoyable read that exposes secret prejudices, judgments and privilege that usually remain hidden, or at least masked, in today’s society.” Read the rest of Kim’s review and buy Between here.
Winter’s Skin by Tom Wayman
Robert Colman reviewed Wayman’s Winter’s Skin, “a response to poems, phrases and images in Neruda’s posthumous volume Winter Garden.” Winter’s Skin was also shortlisted for the 2014 Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry. Read the review here and buy it here.
Keri Korteling said that Doretta Lau’s collection of stories “punches well above its weight.” Though it is a slim book of twelve stories they are as “quick as a jab.” The collection was long listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and the title story, “How does a single blade of grass thank the sun?” was a finalist for the Journey Prize. Read Keri’s full review and purchase it here.
Birds, Metals, Stones and Rain and The Hundred Lives by Russell Thornton
In and interview for PRISM, 2014 Governor General’s Award Finalist Christopher Levenson talks with 2013 Finalist Russell Thornton about his two collections of poetry, Birds, Metals, Stones and Rain and his recently released The Hundred Lives. Birds, Metals, Stones and Rain was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (2014), Raymond Souster Award (2014) and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. (2013). Read the conversation here and you can buy The Hundred Lives here and Birds, Metals, Stones and Rain here.
And a few other recommendations: former PRISM editor Jordan Abel’s collection The Place of Scraps, which won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award.
And check out PRISM contributor Kayla Czaga’s impressive debut collection of poetry, For Your Safety Please Hold On.
Happy holidays and happy reading!