Summer Reads: Chantale P

I am a seasonal reader - my reading habits and tastes change seasonally, yearly.
Autumn reading was crisp and bite-sized. 
Winter reading was voracious, as if books could provide warmth. 
Spring reading was languid and fleeting. 

This summer's reading will be inquisitive and piercing, heart-burning and out-of-this-world.

Chantale P's Summer Reading - 2018

Shit is Real, Aisha Franz
For Selma, the heartbroken millennial cool cat at the center of the story. She's trying to find her way through the halls of mirrors and neighbourly portals surrounding her in a futuristic unknown (Berlin-like) city.

Sabrina, Nick Drasno
For a silhouetted portrayal of loss, trauma, fear and its out-stretched reach.


The New World: Comics from Mauretania, Chris Reynolds
For stories that are just a bit off, every-so slightly - so minutely that it's barely perceptible - just so that they become overcast with knowing strangeness.

A Western World, Michael Deforge
For Deforge! For his chromatic, shape-shifting, porous comics about being a body in a westernly desiring world.

My Year of Rest & Relaxation, Ottessa Moshfegh
For a darkly humourous journey through existential ennui and prescription pills in the year 2000.

Brother in Ice, Alicia Kopf
For a novel about polar exploration, told through the form of research notes, diary entries and travelogue. A hybrid, fragmentary novel? I'm in!

Confessions of the Fox, Jordy Rosenberg
For an immersive story about eighteenth century pickpocket and jailbreaker Jack Sheppard. It’s both historical, based on a true figure, and theatrically speculative and political, imagining Sheppard as an anarchist trans man.

Convenience Store Woman, Sayaka Murata
For an account of a woman who rejects capitalist cultural expectations requiring her to desire more than she has. A woman works at a convenience store, and loves it. She is satisfied. But nobody around her understands how and why.

Kudos, Rachel Cusk
To complete the walking-talking-listening-retelling trilogy that Cusk so gloriously started years ago. About how stories make the lives of those who tell them and those who hear them.

Some TrickHelen DeWitt
For a collection of shorts starring savants, weirdos, and artists. For readers of DFW and Deforge - those who want to read brilliance and comedy with clear-vision precision on the bureaucracies of life.


A Handbook of Disappointed Fate, Anne Boyer
For smooth, lyric essays from the author of Garments Against Women. I turn to her to ask unthinkable questions with impossible answers.

Red Colored Elegy, Seiichi Hayashi
To revisit the quiet, sparse, lazy days of the couple at the center of this classic manga recently re-issued by D+Q.


Mirror Shoulder Signal: a novel, Dorthe Nors
For a story on learning to drive at the age of 40, but more urgently, it is about feeling and understanding that the world isn't always cut to accommodate the shape of oneself. 

Wait, Blink, Gunnhild Oyehaug
For a Norwegian bird's-eye view of three women living separate lives and how they begin to converge through an affair, an unplanned motherhood, an ambitious artistic project.

Meaty, Samatha Irby
For the laughs! So many happy, belly, blurt laughs.

Calypso, David Sedaris
For additional trustworthy laughs! After reading Theft by Finding earlier this year, admiring every diary entry and every page, I felt very home in Sedaris' wry essay story-telling.

Border Districts, Gerald Mernane
Stream System, Gerald Mernane

For two new mysterious books from the inscrutable Australian author of The Plains. A review of Border Districts perfectly captures the appeal of Mernane for me: "Relentlessly introspective but dependably playful."

Junk, Tommy Pico
For Pico's ability to deliver an epic poem with oomph, guts, tristesse, and lust.

Break.up, Joanna Walsh
For e-romancers, a novel about an affair (and break up) mostly conducted in cyberspace.

Maman Apprivoisée, Geneviève Elverum 
For new heart pounding work from Geneviève Castrée, written while terminally sick after the birth of her daughter. They are a collection of graceful poems in French and English passed forward from the now-deceased artist.

Vies Parallèles, O. Schrauwen
For a collection of short stories that propel readers into futures with sophisticated and perilous tech. We follow different versions of the artist into alternative realities brimming with acid riso tones digital chrome highlights.

The Mushroom Fan Club, Elise Gravel
To serve as a guide for our wild-intrepid-family-summer mushroom hunting.

Be Still, life, Ohara Hale
For the gentle reminder to take sweet simple pauses with the kids.

And of course, there are forthcoming books, that I'm oh-so eagerly anticipating:

The Cost of Living, Deborah Levy (Aug 2018)

Things I Don't Want To Know, Deborah Levy (Aug 2018)

Women Talking: A Novel, Miriam Toews (Aug 2018)

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