Sexuality

‘Gloriously, stubbornly, interestingly themselves’

In intriguing, complex layers a historical novel portrays queer lives during Europe’s witchomania. It’s a keeper, especially if you’re “of the camp that believes that metacommentary is captivating.” —Jessica Poon reviews Curiosities, by Anne Fleming (Toronto: Knopf Canada, 2024) $35.00 / 9781039004979

Cruising, laughing, dying (and Liberace)

Reissued story collection features a “confident gay voice, full of quips and sharply off-kilter but richly descriptive comments that stay on the literary side of arch.” —Drew Rowsome reviews Channel Surfing in the Sea of Happiness, by Guy Babineau (Toronto: Cormorant Books, 2024) $24.95 / 9781770867499

A ‘fine calibration of absurdity and reality’

“Sentence by sentence, Lacroix is helping to keep literature weird, just the way it should be. Weird is good; this book is weird; this book is good.” —Jessica Poon reviews How It Works Out, by Myriam Lacroix (Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2024) $32.00 / 9780385698405

Dealbreakers and other heartaches

Pervaded with sadness, a novelist’s sobering debut story collection examines the disappointments of romantic relationships. —Candace Fertile reviews Death by a Thousand Cuts: Stories, by Shashi Bhat (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2024) $24.95 / 9780771095115

The agony, the Ecstasy, the ‘90s

A “zippy marvel of truth bombs,” the novel captures the yearning of adolescence “with hyper-specificity, on-point sonic references, and zero condescension.” —Jessica Poon reviews Sugar Kids, by Taslim Burkowicz (Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2024) $24.00 / 9781773636757

Pop cultural analytics

In which “two astute chroniclers of pop culture … explore the fun and the monstrosity of our everyday entertainments.” —Carellin Brooks reviews You’re Gonna Love This, by Dina Del Bucchia (Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2024) $19.95 / 9781772016123 and Jump Scare, by Daniel Zomparelli  (Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2024) $19.95 / 9781772016109

‘Fresh and new and age-old all at once’

Delightful debut YA novel “speaks … to all readers who care about becoming adult in a positive, life-embracing, world-loving way.” —Alison Acheson reviews Crash Landing, by Li Charmaine Anne (Toronto: Annick Press, 2024) $18.99 / 9781773218427

Fighting for equal status

“Why would a woman become a soldier, specifically a male soldier?” Phyllis Reeve reviews Sisters in Arms: Female Warriors from Antiquity to the New Millennium by Julie Wheelwright (Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2020) $32.50 / 9781472838001

‘A shuffling of expectations’

Romance novel stands out for its approachable characters and inclusion of real-world problems. —Myshara Herbert-McMyn reviews The Predictable Heartbreaks of Imogen Finch, by Jacqueline Firkins (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2023) $18.00 / 9781250836526

Magic from a movie

“The topics covered in this book cover many issues: portraying girls as full individuals and the theory that anything is possible, sexual awakenings, political activism, and advocating for safe abortions.” Valerie Green reviews The Time of my Life: Dirty Dancing by Andrea Warner (Toronto: ECW Press, April 2024) $19.95 / 9781770417410

On ‘what could be versus what is’

What’s new since 1894? Debut poetry volume an engrossing, trenchant update on “the love that dare not speak its name.” —Brett Josef Grubisic reviews Deviant, by Patrick Grace (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2024) $19.99 / 9781772127416

Hangovers and inertia in Hong Kong

Compared to ickily comical masturbation scenes, “the sexiest parts of the book are the casually strewn about descriptions of delicious food.” —Jessica Poon reviews Batshit Seven, by Sheung-King (Toronto: Penguin Canada, 2024) $24.95 / 9780735245303

Rage + sin = freedom

Exceptional essays “elicit gasps, induce chills.” —Brett Josef Grubisic reviews Dinner on Monster Island: Essays, by Tania De Rozario (Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2024) $17.99 / 9780063299665

Responding to disaster, sexual identity

“Woven into this account is a backstory about the doctor’s evolving career as a brilliant pathologist, his not always successful private life, and his painfully slow coming out as a gay man.” Howard MacDonald Stewart reviews Fifteen Thousand Pieces – A Medical Examiner’s journey through disaster by Gina Leola Woolsey (Hamilton: Guernica Editions Inc., 2023) $25.00 ISBN 9781771838115

Singing ‘bout revolution

A “lively musical and political education” for readers young and old. —Ron Verzuh reviews Rise Up and Sing!: Power, Protest and Activism in Music, by Andrea Warner (illustrated by Louise Reimer) (Vancouver: Greystone Kids, 2023) $26.95 / 9781771648981

A ‘soap opera in the best way possible’

WWII-set debut novel, a love triangle where the “tension is deliciously gravid.” —Jessica Poon reviews The Cure for Drowning, by Loghan Paylor (Toronto: Random House Canada, 2024) $24.95 / 9781039006454

Challenging ‘what the white man want’

Memoirist’s debut novel traces one man’s life-altering experiences in northern BC. —Theo Dombrowski reviews A Season in Chezgh’un, by Darrel J. McLeod
(Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2023) $24.95 / 9781771623629

Desperately seeking Azy

Sophomore novel features a “brash anti-hero moving through an eerie, gothic landscape.” —Bill Paul reviews The Father of Rain, by Martin West (Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2023) $22.95 / 9781772142105

An ‘interesting’ Best

Praise in a minor key for this year’s ‘best of’ in short fiction.
Jessica Poon reviews Best Canadian Stories 2024 by Lisa Moore (editor)
(Windsor: Biblioasis, 2023) $23.95 / 9781771965668

Self-knowledge and lashings of eroticism

An ‘excellent gift for anyone kinky in your life.’
Carellin Brooks reviews Transland: Consent, Kink & Pleasure
by Mx. Sly (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2023) $24.95 / 9781551529318

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