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Pickle Me This

September 23, 2014

Excellent Things

the-bookshopI have been hearing rumours for some time that Penelope Fitzgerald’s novels were to be issued with covers by my very favourite illustrator in the universe, Julie Morstad, and these rumours seem to have manifested into reality. I am so excited. Each of the covers is so intriguing and delightful, and I may have to end up owning every single one of them. Elsewhere, I adored the essay “Love Song to My Belly” in Brain, Child Magazine by Goldberry Long, who is the best writing teacher I have ever had. And closer to home, I got to see Caitlin Moran at the Toronto Reference Library last night, and she was wonderful, plus everyone I know was there, and I got to pick up a copy of her novel, How to Build a Girl, which I’m reading now and keeps making me guffaw, which makes everyone around me uncomfortable.

And a strange thing: I spent the weekend rereading the wonderful Chez L’Arab  by Mireille Silcoff for a review I’m writing for CNQ. I read it first a month ago, followed by Joan Thomas’s The Opening Sky. And found it odd that both books referenced the same zen koan, “No Water, No Moon.” So that was weird. But it gets even weirder, because upon rereading Silcoff’s collection, I was reminded that a character in the story not only reads the paragraph, but then goes on to encounter it in a podcast shortly after, the koan an uncanny echo in the story just as it was in my own experience. The connections between books and the wider world are so unfathomable.

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