Jaime Forsythe's Top 11 Books of 2011

Coast writer since 2006

Algoma (Invisible) By Dani Couture

This debut novel is best devoured next to a woodstove in a snowstorm, as it conjures chilly, lovely images of loss, wilderness, weather and a chain of siblings christened after a fleet of ships.

And Also Sharks (Cormorant Books) By Jessica Westhead

The Antagonist (House of Anansi) By Lynn Coady

Blue Nights (Knopf) By Joan Didion

Bossypants (Little, Brown & Co.) By Tina Fey

Folk (McLelland & Stewart) By Jacob McArthur Mooney

From the 1999 Swissair crash in St. Margaret's Bay to Toronto's suburban sprawl, Mooney is a tour guide with a magnifying glass, investigating notions of community from a host of compelling angles.

The Id Kid (Signal Editions/Vehicule Press) By Linda Besner

Methodist Hatchet (House of Anansi) By Ken Babstock

Outskirts (Brick) By Sue Goyette

Goyette asks us to consider our relationships to one another, to our environment, and to language in this piercing, big-hearted collection. The sky has fallen, but the poet is in.

The Odious Child (Nightwood Editions) By Carolyn Black

Characters experiment with modern dating, have unsmiling babies, find their heads detaching from their bodies and negotiate physical pain and illness. These short stories are gutsy, elegant, dark and funny.

Snaps (Conundrum) By Rebecca Kraatz

Kraatz's eye for the perfectly placed detail lights up these poetic vignettes of life in the 1940s. Her drawings transport the reader to an imaginative world full of style, heartbreak and humour.

Has a diabetic cat and can identify any type of sashimi with her bare eyes.

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