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  • Writer's pictureLori Callan

What I’m reading now

Updated: Jul 12, 2020

Some of my recent favourite reads:

1. A Marker to Measure Drift, by Alexander Maksik

I've been buying copies of this one to gift to absolutely everyone I know. I have read and re-read it at least 4 times in the last couple of years in the interests of improving my own ability to employ language sparely....making each word count. Maksik's simple, yet profound use of language matches his character's extreme want. Add in Santorini, and for me, this novel is irresistible. It will stay with you for a very long time.

2. Man Gone Down, by Michael Thomas

A fascinating "quest" novel about the plight of the African American male in big city, U.S.A. This is a unique, tender, funny piece about a topic that just won't seem to go away. Thomas successfully portrays both the tiny subtle ways and the larger ways in which racism impacts all of us.

3. The Dark Flood Rises, by Margaret Drabble

Drabble's sister, A.S. Byatt may get more critical attention, but I find Drabble's work more compelling. A wonderful story about aging, acceptance, death, and how one woman chooses to face up to the challenge.

4. On Writing, by Stephen King

This is my favourite "how to" manual. Filled with lots of technical writing advice, personal anecdotes (King wrote this not long after he'd almost been killed by a driver as he was enjoying his daily stroll), and peppered with Stephen King's hilarious humour's a fabulous resource for any writer. Nothing pretentious about this one. Simply excellent advice. And who can argue with success?

5. Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D.

Like everyone, I am currently imprisoned in my home due to pandemic. This marvellous compilation of essays and stories embraces, explains and takes the reader along on a spirited ride with the Wild Woman Archetype. The perfect "freedom" antidote for this difficult time in history.

6. Lives of the Saints, by Nino Ricci

This first novel (1st of a trilogy) was a Governor General's Award winner for the author. I still prefer his later work, including Origin of Species (he won a Governor General's for this one too) and Sleep.

7. The Millstone, by Margaret Drabble

Back to an old favourite. This novel, about a single mother who chooses to keep and raise her baby alone takes place in London and was written in 1965 when the protagonist's decision would have been considered almost unthinkable. Margaret Drabble was ahead of her time...and as she has aged so have her characters with her...I'm working through all of her novels as I'm a huge fan. Drabble's special talent is in her ability to link her characters and their stories with the current social milieu and concerns.

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