My (nondefinitive) Top 5 Of 2010

I have a hard time making year end lists as there are too many open ends. I find myself thinking: "What about that book I didn't read?" Or "This book was great but it's from 1987 -- does that count?."

Obviously these thoughts were overridden by the need to spread my opinion and taste-make on the internet:

NOX by Anne Carson

Authors occasionally find you. Anne Carson found me and, lucky for me, she also put out a book this year. NOX is an epitaph for Carson's departed brother. I am convinced that it is a Graphic Novel; told through scraps, letters, Greek definitions - to say that Carson is language-obsessed would be an understatement- drawings and collage.

I hope that one day we see Anne Carson in the store, and get to say: WELCOME!

How Should A Person Be? by Sheila Heti

I've ranted about this book enough this year, I won't say much more. Just that it holds true months later and I think the same will be said years down the road when revisited. It's funny how little attention HSAPB? received, especially south of the border. This is bold writing and it should be celebrated. We were tremendously lucky to have Sheila and Leanne launch their books here (I had to exclude Native Trees Of Canada as a co-worker wanted to put it on her list!) at the Librairie.

EDEN by Pablo Holmberg. One of the many fine titles from the Drawn & Quarterly 2010 list. I root for this underdog. These are single-page life-affirming vignettes, odd, beautifully-rendered and heartwarming. I deem it light existential reading. More please!

Occasionally I forget what an amazingly cool company I work for. Then I crack open a book like this and say to myself: "Damn!".

PICTURE THIS by Lynda Barry

I love Lynda's ongoing disregard for preciousness and her exploration of doing for doing's sake. What other artist takes you so deeply into their processes and discoveries? She shows you her own vices, needs, appreciations -- all the while offering ways to cope with the daemons and the darkness.

AND can you believe it? She is coming to our fair city on January 15th! We have tickets, so buy them here at the store, or online here. This is seriously not to be missed.

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