I remained undaunted by every dense, dreary summer reading goal I set for myself until the summer I decided to read Gravity's Rainbow and gave up after four pages; try checking out some slightly shorter recent and upcoming Canadian releases instead.
Local writer Anne Emery's Children in the Morning (ECW) is a Halifax murder mystery seen through the eyes of a child with second sight. Tim Bowling's The Annotated Bee and Me (Gaspereau) is a collection of poetry devised around his great-aunt's memoirs of life in a beekeeping family, looking at family, bees, literature and salmon fishing. Kathleen Winter's Annabel (Anansi) is the story of a hermaphrodite child raised as a boy in coastal Labrador, struggling with identity and haunted by a female alter-ego as he grows up. Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall's Ghosted (Random House) is a dark journey through Toronto's underbelly by a man who ghost-writes suicide notes.
If, like many Haligonian students, you're participating in the Canadian rite of passage of treeplanting this summer, Josh Massey's We Will Be Trees (Conundrum) is a treeplanter's narrative featuring the standard cast of raggedy planting characters.
Make the most of patio season by cooking up some Atlantic Seafood (Nimbus) from chef Michael Howell of Wolfville's Tempest Restaurant, with an emphasis on local and sustainable seafood choices for our region, complete with delicious colour photographs.
For some graphic relief, check out Dave Lapp's Children of the Atom (Conundrum), collecting Lapp's strips from Vancouver alt-weekly The Georgia Straight, written in an often-strange voice and looking at philosophy, play, love and goldfish.