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My 2016 in Books

some-2016-reading_cf

It has been a tough year for many communities around the world: politically, environmentally, economically, socially. I have had despairing moments this year, too, but crises are often accompanied by victories, and we can look upon certain things with joy and pride this year as well: for one thing, it appears that more and more people have begun to participate, individually and collectively, in conversations and actions the focus of which is the betterment of our world. This can only be a good thing.

A healthy reading life enhances a person’s sympathetic capacities, increases one’s understanding and engagement with the world, and helps keep one’s wits sharp. What better way to become a contributor to one’s neighbourhood and, by extension, world? So, while I do have a full-time career and spend many “off” hours engaged in community-building activities, cooking and homemaking, and some exercise (admittedly I could use more), I also make time for reading. Or, rather, I mostly read and begrudgingly make time for other things, which I admit are important.

My reading life developed further in a couple of ways this year: I joined Goodreads, and I co-started a Bahá’í book club with a few friends who wish to support one another in our independent studies of the Faith (we are currently reading The World Order of Baha’u’llah by Shoghi Effendi). In my work, I had the great privilege of editing two plays, proofreading a number of books, and designing a selection of covers and interiors, including Farrant’s The Days and Tremblay’s Yours Forever, Marie-Lou.

As has been my practise for the last few years, I tracked my reading this year. In 2014 I set some criteria, and I abide by them still: I counted books only, not newspaper or blog articles, periodicals, or other documents; I did count novel-length fan works, but not shorter fanfictions; I did not count books I only skimmed or didn’t finish; and I made a distinction between “work-related” books (which I read for work-related purposes) and books I discovered “via work” (books published by the company I work for and which I read for pleasure).

Below is my record for 2016 in the form of a table. This year, I read 9 works of non-fiction, 16 plays, 3 collections of poetry, and 36 works of fiction (mostly literary fiction, and mostly CanLit, but also some YA and some short stories – more short stories than I would have guessed). This year also marked the first time I’ve read a cookbook through from start to finish. I reached 64 books in total. (When I get older / losing my mind / many years from now / will you still be sending me a valentine? / …)

# Title Author Publisher, Year Subject Category Why did I read this? How did I get it?
1 Writing the Okanagan
George Bowering Talonbooks, 2015 Fiction (Short Stories) & Poetry Work-related
2 The X-Files: Ruins
Kevin J. Anderson HarperCollins, 1996 (ebook 2009) Fiction (Novel) Prior to the #XFilesRevival I pledged to read all six original tie-in novels.
3 When Everything Feels Like the Movies
Raziel Reid Arsenal Pulp Press, 2014 Fiction (YA Novel) Discovered through publisher promotion; borrowed from library
4 Library of Souls
Ransom Riggs Quirk Books, 2015 Fiction (YA Novel) 3rd in trilogy
5 Sextet
Morris Panych Talonbooks, 2016 Drama Work-related
6 Pedal
Chelsea Rooney Caitlin Press, 2014 Fiction (Novel) Discovered through publisher promotion; borrowed from library
7 Forever Yours, Marie-Lou
Michel Tremblay; translated by Bill Glassco and John Van Burek Talonbooks, 1971 Drama Via work
8 Injun
Jordan Abel Talonbooks, 2016 Poetry Work-related
9 The Oh She Glows Cookbook
Angela Liddon Penguin Canada, 2013 Non-fiction (Cookbook) Bought with gift card received for Christmas
10 Dead White Writer on the Floor
Drew Hayden Taylor Talonbooks, 2011 Drama  Via work
11 Gut: The Inside Story of our Body’s Most Underrated Organ
Guilia Enders Greystone Books, 2014 Non-Fiction (Health and Science) Discovered through publicity & bookstore browsing; borrowed from V.W.
12 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows Dial Press, 2009 Fiction (Novel) Recommended by S.V., bought second-hand
13 The Days: Forecasts, Warnings, Advice
M.A.C. Farrant Talonbooks, 2016 Fiction (Short Stories) Work-related
14 The Night Stages
Jane Urquhart McClelland and Stewart, 2015 Fiction (Novel) Ayyám-i-Há gift from R.W. (suggested by me)
15 Five Little Bitches
Theresa McWhirtier Anvil Press, 2012 Fiction (Novel) Via work
16 The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant
Michel Tremblay; translated by Sheila Fischman Talonbooks, 1981 Fiction (Novel) Via work
17 For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again
Michel Tremblay; translated by Linda Gaboriau Talonbooks, 1998 Drama Via work
18 Inside the Seed
Jason Rothery Talonbooks, 2016 Drama Work-related
19 A Line in the Sand
Guillermon Verdecchia and Marcus Youssef Talonbooks, 1996 Drama Work-related
20 The World Before Us
Aislinn Hunter Doubleday Canada, 2014 Fiction (Novel) Attracted to the cover, bought second-hand
21 The Commons
Stephen Collis Talonbooks, 2008 Poetry Via work
22 Espresso
Lucia Frangione Talonbooks, 2004 Drama Via work
23 The World of Jeeves
P.G. Wodehouse Arrow, 2004 Fiction (Short Stories) Part of wedding gift from M.B. in 2011
24 Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid
Evelyn Lau Harper Perennial, 1989 (ebook 2011) Non-Fiction (Memoir) Read excerpts as a youth; reread
25 Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life
Jenna Woginrich Storey, 2010 Non-Fiction (Memoir) Discount bin at Book Warehouse
26 The Bicycle Eater
Larry Tremblay; translated by Sheila Fischman Talonbooks, 2005 Fiction (Novel)  Via work
27 Yes Please
Amy Poehler Dey St., 2014 Non-Fiction (Memoir) Gift from V.J.F.
28 The Watershed
Annabel Soutar Talonbooks, 2016 Drama Via work
29 Go Figure
Rejéan Ducharme; translated by Will Browning Talonbooks, 2003 Fiction (Novel) Via work
30 City of Glass: Douglas Coupland’s Vancouver
Douglas Coupland Douglas & MacIntyre, 2003 Non-Fiction (Memoir and Travel) Thought I should read some Coupland, found this at Sally Ann
31 The X-Files: Antibodies
Kevin J. Anderson HarperCollins, 1997 (ebook 2008) Fiction (Novel) Prior to the #XFilesRevival I pledged to read all six original tie-in novels. (I still have one to go.)
32 A Fine Balance
Rohinton Mistry McClelland and Stewart, 1997 Fiction (Novel) A CanLit classic I had meant to read for years
33 Carry On
Rainbow Rowell St. Martin’s, 2015 Fiction (YA Novel) Recommended by S.D.; borrowed from library (ebook)
34 Running on Fumes
Christian Guay-Poliquin; translated by Jacob Homel Talonbooks, 2016 Fiction (Novel) Work-related
35 The Man Who Loved Books Too Much
Allison Hoover Bartlett Penguin, 2010 Non-Fiction (Journalism / memoir) Won in contest on The Word Blog in 2012
36 U Girl
Meredith Quartermain Talonbooks, 2016 Fiction (Novel) Work-related
37 One Good Story, That One
Thomas King HarperPerennial, 1993 Fiction (Short Stories) Borrowed from A-M.M.
38 Price Paid: The Fight for First Nations Survival
Bev Sellars Talonbooks, 2016 Non-Fiction (Law and History) Work-related
39 Ana Historic
Daphne Marlatt Anansi, 1997 Fiction (Novel) Had wanted to read Marlatt’s only novel; found it in the mobile library at West 16th and Oak
40 Concord Floral
Jordan Tannahil Playwrights Canada Press, 2016 Drama Recommended and lent by V.W.
41 Salt-Water Moon
David French Talonbooks, 1998 Drama Attended the Plan Z Theatre production (Vancouver)
42 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Parts 1 & 2)
J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany Little, Brown, 2016 Drama #8 in series
43 The Miniaturist
Jessie Burton Ecco Press, 2014 Fiction (Novel) Was attracted to the cover art; borrowed from V.W.
44 Yours Forever, Marie-Lou
Michel Tremblay; translated by Linda Gaboriau Talonbooks, 2016 Drama Work-related
45 Reading Sveva
Daphne Marlatt Talonbooks, 2016 Poetry Work-related
46 The City of Ember
Jeanne DuPrau Random House, 2003 Fiction (YA Novel) Recommended by A.D.P.; borrowed from library
47 The People of Sparks
Jeanne DuPrau Yearling, 2004 Fiction (YA Novel) #2 in series
48 Persuasion
Jane Austen Vintage Classics, 2014 (orig. 1818) Fiction (Novel) Had wanted to read for years; bought new
49 Nymph
Fransesca Lia Block Talonbooks, 2015 Fiction (Short Stories) Kobo discount; also had enjoyed Weetzie Bat in 2003/2004
50 In a Blue Moon
Lucia Frangione Talonbooks, 2016 Drama Work-related
51 Eleven
Paul Hanley FriesenPress, 2014 Non-Fiction (Environmental and World Issues) Reviewed for subTerrain Magazine (Winter 2016-17 issue)
52 The Envelope
Vittorio Rossi Talonbooks, 2016 Drama Work-related
53 Irish Ghost Stories
David Marcus (editor) Bloomsbury, 2000 Fiction (Short Stories) VPL used book sale, 2014
54 The Namesake
Jhumpa Lahiri Mariner Books, 2004 Fiction (Novel) Recommended and lent by V.W.
55 You Will Remember Me
François Archambault; translated by Bobby Theodore Talonbooks, 2016 Drama Work-related
56 The Prophet of Yonwood
Jeanne DuPrau Yearling, 2006 Fiction (YA Novel) #4 in series
57 Crees in the Caribbean
Drew Hayden Taylor Talonbooks, 2016 Drama Work-related; also saw the play’s premiere in Saskatoon in 2015
58 Tying the Threads
Anne Rose, Autopilot, Cassatt, Kayla, K.J., LA, LauraJo, Mary S., Sängerin, Shayenne, and Sheri; edited by Cassatt and Shayenne koffeeklub.net, 1999 Fanfiction Related: watched all of Star Trek: Voyager this fall, got hooked
59 Plain Sailing
Missyhissy3 fanfiction.net, 2014 Fanfiction See above
60 Middlemarch
George Eliot Riverside Editions, 1956 (orig. 1871) Fiction (Novel) Began a decade ago for my fourth-year Victorian Studies seminar, finally finished
61 If on a winter’s night a traveler
Italo Calvino Harcourt, 1981 Fiction (Experimental novel) On the syllabus for my Experimental Fiction course a decade ago, finally read it
62 Next Year, For Sure
Zoey Leigh Peterson Doubleday Canada, 2017 Fiction (Novel) A.R.C.s given out at Giller Light Bash, Vancouver
63 Guano
Louis Carmain (translated by Rhonda Mullins) Coach House, 2015 Fiction (Novella) Publisher publicity (Coach House Books e-newsletter & catalogue)
64 The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern Anchor Canada, 2012 Fiction (Novel) Bookstore browsing; borrowed from B.W.

My favourites included Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveler, which I began years ago and then finally began again – in the spirit of the novel itself, one could argue? The City of Ember was another favourite, and I highly recommend it to junior youth (ages 10 to 14) for its wonderful world-building, relatable characters, and messages of hope, fortitude, perserverance, community building, and unity building. Ana Historic by Daphne Marlatt; One Good Story, That One by Thomas King; and U Girl by Meredith Quartermain were my favourite CanLit selections, although I will also say that Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance slayed me emotionally, and one of the bravest on the list is Chelsea Rooney’s Pedal, an unsettling but quite sympathetic novel.
If you only take away one or two recommendations from this list, though, I highly recommend Price Paid: The Fight for First Nations Survival by Bev Sellars and Eleven by Paul Hanley. These are the kind of books that will help change the world.

Also see my 2014 and 2015 lists, if you are short on book recs and share my tastes.

Happy new year! If you are seeing 2016 as a graveyard of buried hopes, then may 2017 be for you bright and magical.

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Chloe_speech_SandS-2015

Me, speechifying like it’s nobody’s business (Photo by Zach Miloff)

—   V I C T O R Y   A T   L A S T   —

A speech on the occasion of the wedding of Samuel and Safiya, November 28, 2015, to be delivered with tenor Churchillian bombast, and given in recompense for Samuel’s unforgetable speech at my own wedding five years prior

* * *

To find Samuel a wife. This was our charge. This was the battle.

One score and eleven years ago Samuel’s parents brought forth in this nation a new boy, conceived in hope, and eventually dedicated to the cause of spiritual and social advancement and the true liberty of mankind …  and also, a bit later, dedicated to the hope of marriage.

The first step on the way to victory is to recognize the enemy. In this case, the enemy was a life of bachelorhood: abstinence from home-cooked meals; abstinence from in-law-related obligations; and, of course, standard-issue abstinence.

You ask, what was our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs! Victory in spite of all potential embarrassment! Victory, however long and hard the road! For without victory there could never be the hope of adorable, cappuccino-coloured progeny.

He had nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. He had before him an ordeal of the most strenuous kind. He had before him years of struggle and long-suffering. He faced the most daunting of tasks: to seek out and investigate the character of one who could be his match, his intimate helpmeet.

What were our tactics? We would see him off on outings with young ladies. He would date in North America, he would date in China, he would date in Africa, he would date in India, and he would date online. He would go on dating to the bitter end. Or would it be the sweet end? And he would never surrender.

We were all in this together – you and I, families, friends –  rallying around the noble cause of pairing this guy off, sending our warrior into the loving arms of eventual matrimony. We took up our task with buoyancy and hope. We knew in our lion hearts that this cause would not be suffered to fail among men. Through thick and thin, we have stood by him: ever the suitor – but ever to be the groom?

“Always the wedding crasher, never the bridegroom,” or so it has been said, just now.

I, among his comrades-in-arms, have done what I could to stand by him – mostly over the phone, since, despite our apparently undying friendship, we have never in fact lived in the same place. Living far apart from your BFF can be difficult –  but it may have been a mercy to those around us, considering that when we did get together we insisted on doing such things as: challenging everyone in sight to Scrabble tournaments; pretending that the somewhat dry gatherings we attended were actually taxidermy conventions, and then trying to hold in our giggles; calling up acquaintances to ask them ludicrous questions that purported to have something to do with their fields of expertise; and, of course, hosting our own preemptive funerals.

My spiritual brother was not always the paragon of manhood you see before you today. I first came to know this now decorated hero [point to wedding ring] as a small, blonde –  nay, see-thru-haired – boy at a summer camp. Camp, in particular ROBSI (the Rideau-Ottawa Baha’i Schools Initiative), became our primary stomping ground, and we were royals in our day. Our campfire skits were the cleverest, our noodle fights the noodliest, and our spice-eating contests the most hilarious. One fateful year, we were at last put together as a counsellor team, only to be split up later that summer, after the camp directors received complaints from campers in other groups that our group was having too much fun and it wasn’t fair.

On other occasions, we would be found drawing faces on pieces of fruit, writing and illustrating comics that mysteriously didn’t seem to be funny to many other people, and of course, having excellent ‘girl talks.’ Wherever we were in the world, messages would be exchanged. Had I ventured into that vault, this speech would have been many hours long. I will only say that one of my favourite emails from Sam came when he was in Macau, near China, doing volunteer work, and I was starting my undergrad in Peterborough, Ontario. The email, which warmed my heart to no end, simply said, “Could you come here for a sec?”

In later years – the globe-trotting, single years – my memories of Samuel comprise long hours of preparation for this or that trip abroad: staying up all night, packing up his literal baggage, unpacking his proverbial baggage, mending his clothes, and exchanging all the music we could download from one another in the space of about ten hours. Ship-shape in the barracks, and then ship out.

So you see that I have had my share of valour on this battlefield. It has been my honour to have Samuel for so many years monopolize my time, belittle my cities of residence, malign my friends, make fun of my family, and on early mornings sic his dogs on me as a wake-up call. And it is my hope that we will once again into the fray. That is to say, I hope we will make time again for some of our creative projects, for example, now that his all-consuming wife search is over.

The battle was not always dignified, but it was always honourable! Tens of tens have been left in the dust of the unrelenting juggernaut that was Samuel Benoit, bachelor. The statistics speak for themselves: one out of all Baha’i women in eastern Ontario and western Quebec have now fallen victim to his crusade. I first learned of Safiya – or “Amusement Park Girl” as I would come to catalogue her – over the phone, after a discouraging encounter about which the bridegroom may one day tell you. Suffice to say, rather early on in their acquaintanceship, all seemed lost. And yet, victory is sweetest when one has known defeat.

But God is not heedless to the sighings of the soul. When we desire something good, Good will side with us. When we pray ardently and truly seek some outlet for the realization of our hopes, sooner or later the occasion will present itself. And later is better than never.

Never have so few owed so much to so many. Today is a day for the annals of history. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty, and so bear ourselves that, if this union is to last for a thousand years or more, through all the worlds of God, we will still say, “This was one of Samuel’s finest hours!”

Where there is unity, there is always victory. God bless you all. This is your victory! It is the victory of the cause of unity between two families. Everyone, mother or father, sister or brother, niece or nephew, friend or frenemy, has done their best. Everyone has tried. Neither the long years, nor the false alarms, nor the rocky starts in any way weakened the unbending resolve of Samuel Benoit in his efforts to find a delightsome wife, and find one he has: a wife beautiful and sweet, one who has already begun to temper him, and – best of all – one who makes him look tall in photographs. Here’s to you, Safiya! [Raise drink in toast. Others should join in.]

Let us now, at the last, unfurl the standard of victory in the name of these two beloved friends! [Unfurl the standard!]

Bannerfinal-CJF

The new Benoit coat-of-arms. (Photo by Samuel)

And if you’re thinking, Samuel, What on earth am I going to do with that giant flag? I do not want to keep it, then I say unto you, “too bad,” and I suggest that you might find uses for it someday – say, for example, as a baby blanket.

Thank you for indulging me this evening. Please continue with your merry-making (for a minute or two, after which we will hear from the illustrious groom).

* * *

With thanks for some of their words
, which I brazenly lifted, 
to, most especially,
 Winston Churchill, and to Martin Luther King Jr., 
Gandhi, Teddy Roosevelt, 
Publilius Syrus, Malcolm Forbes, 
Sun Tzu, Abraham Lincoln, and to Bahíyyih Khánum (the latter being 
the only words I took entirely seriously)



—   APPENDIX A  —

SandS_reception

The happy groom and bride at their recent reception (Photo by Melody R.)

BannerIP1-CJF

The coat of arms, in progress (1)

BannerIP2-CJF

The coat of arms, in progress (2)

Chloe_podium_SandS-2015

Me and my derpy face, speechifying. Now with 100% more coats-of-arms! (Photo by Zachary Miloff)



—   APPENDIX B  —

See the inspiration for the coat of arms here. (It was inspired by a historical coat of arms of the de Benoit family.)

Also, I submit the below photograph into evidence. The photograph shows a scrap piece of paper on which, in perhaps early 2012 (more than three years before Samuel’s wedding), I wrote down the idea for this speech.

Evidence_AppendixB

Evidence that I had planned this speech years before the wedding. (When you get a good idea, write it down! Keep it for as long as it takes!)

My 2015 in Books

Well folks, I didn’t even get to 50 this year. AND I’m a bit late publishing my list. But it’s about quality, not quantity, right?

But I enjoyed the many books I did read, and I began a number of larger works I hope to finish in 2016. My favourites of the past year – difficult as it was to choose favourites – are in red text in the list below.

Happy new year!

# Title Author Publisher, Year Subject Category Why did I read this? How did I get it?
1 Meeting the Other Crowd: The Fairy Stories of Hidden Ireland
Eddie Lenihan with Carolyn Eve Green Tarcher-Penguin, 2004 Non-Fiction (Short Stories) VPL second-hand book sale
2 The Heart Laid Bare
Michel Tremblay Talonbooks, 2002 Fiction (Novel) for work (ebook production)
3 MaddAddam
Margaret Atwood Vintage Canada, 2014 Fiction (Novel) finale of series
4 The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Neil Gaiman William Morrow, 2013 Fiction (Novel) found in mobile library near Heather and 16th, Vancouver
5 Mambo Italiano
Steve Galluccio Talonbooks, 2004 Fiction (Drama) for work (research)
6 Hidden Bounties: Memories of Pioneering on the Magdalen Archipelago
Larry Rowdon Nine Pines, 1994 Non-Fiction (Memoir) intended to read for many years
7 Birth of a Bookworm
Michel Tremblay (trans. Sheila Fischman) Talonbooks, 2003 Non-Fiction (Memoir) via work (ebook production)
8 The Trouble with Brunch: Work, Class, and the Pursuit of Leisure
Shawn Micalleff Coach House, 2014 Non-Fiction (Essay) press, reviews, publicity
9 What’s True, Darling
M.A.C. Farrant Polestar, 1997  Fiction (Short Stories)  gift from GTM in 2013
10 The St. Leonard Chronicles [manuscript]
Steve Galluccio Talonbooks, 2015 Fiction (Drama) for work (copy-editing)
11 Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell
Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham Vintage, 2015 Fiction (Mystery) series fan
12 Pastoral
André Alexis Coach House, 2014 Fiction (Novella) publisher catalogue
13 Get Me Out of Here
Sachiko Murakami Talon, 2015 Poetry for work (proofreading)
14 The Hatch
Colin Browne Talon, 2015 Poetry for work (proofreading)
15 Fifteen Dogs
André Alexis Coach House, 2015 Fiction (Novel) gift from HW
16 Dead Metaphor: Three Plays
George F. Walker Talonbooks, 2015 Drama for work (proofreading)
17 Shadow Scale
Rachel Hartman Pengun Random House Doubleday Canada, 2014 Fiction (YA) second in a series, first of which won Sunburst Award
18 Fairy Ring
Martine Desjardins Talon, 2001 Fiction (epistolary novel) via work
19 The Miner’s Son and the Farmer’s Daughter: The Story of D.H. Lawrence and Jessie Chambers
P.K. Ridgway unpublished playscript Non-Fiction (Drama) attended a rehearsal, wanted to read the ending
20 Holy Cow
David Duchovny FSG, 2015 Fiction (Novel) tweets & general publicity
21 in event of moon disaster
arbitrarily Archive of Our Own, 2013 Novella-length Fan-Fiction (Mad Men) browsing a shipper tag
22 The Divine
Michel Marc Bouchard Talon, 2015 Fiction (Drama) for work (proofreading)
23 That Summer
David French Talon, 2000 Fiction (Drama) for work (ebook production)
24 The X-Files: Goblins
Charles Grant HarperCollins, 1994 Fiction (Mystery) got excited about the #XFilesRevival, pledged to read the original tie-in novels
25 Cosmophilia
Rahat Kurd Talon, 2015 Poetry for work (proofreading)
26 The X-Files: Whirlwind
Charles Grant HarperCollins, 1995 Fiction (Mystery) got excited about the #XFilesRevival, pledged to read the original tie-in novels
27 The X-Files: Ground Zero
Kevin J. Anderson HarperCollins, 1995 Fiction (Mystery) got excited about the #XFilesRevival, pledged to read the original tie-in novels
28 Winners and Losers
Marcus Youssef and James Long Talonbooks, 2015 Non-Fiction (Drama) for work (ebook production)
29 Monkey Beach
Eden Robinson Vintage Canada, 2001 Fiction (Novel) intended to read for years; finally got around to it
30 Takeover in Tehran: The Inside Story of the 1979 U.S. Embassy Capture
Massoumeh Ebtekar (as told to Fred A. Reed) Talon, 2000 Non-Fiction (Memoir) for work (ebook production)
31 Rom Com
Dina Del Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli Talon, 2015 Poetry for work (typesetting)
32 Darcy’s Story: Pride and Prejudice told from a whole new perspective
Janet Aylmer Harper, 2006 Fiction (Novel) bought as gift for CS
33 Sila: The Arctic Cycle
Chantal Bilodeau Talon, 2015 Fiction (Drama) for work (proofreading)
34 Mend the Living
Maylis de Kerangal, translated by Jessica Moore manuscript [forthcoming from Talon, 2016] Fiction (Novel) for work (cover design)
35 In a World Created by a Drunken God
Drew Hayden Taylor Talon, 2006 Fiction (Drama) for work (cover redesign)
36 Cerulean Blue
Drew Hayden Taylor Talon, 2015 Fiction (Drama) for work (ebook production)
37 Moss Park and Tough!: The Bobby and Tina Plays
George F. Walker Talon, 2015 Fiction (Drama) for work (proofreading)
38 Jabber
Marcus Youssef Talon, 2015 Fiction (Drama) for work (ebook QC)
39 Men Explain Things to Me
Rebecca Solnit Haymarket Books / Dispatch Books, 2014 Non-fiction (Essays) publicity through Consortium Book Sales and Distribution
40 Prophet’s Daughter: The Life and Legacy of Bahíyyih Khánum, Outstanding Heroine of the Bahá’í Faith
Janet Khan Bahá’í Publishing, 2005 Non-fiction (History/Religious Studies) Bahá’í community & personal study
41 The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary Simon Winchester Harper Perennial, 1998 Non-fiction (History) Enjoyed other work by the same author
42 Sugar Blues
 William Dufty  Warner Books, 1976  Non-fiction (Wellness)  Re-read
43 Practical Magic
 Alice Hoffman  Putnam, 1995  Fiction (Novel) I have a soft spot for the movie, and I’d never read Hoffman, so I figured I’d give her a try.
44 A Credit to Your Race
Truman Green Anvil, 2011 Fiction (Novel/YA) Free book!
45 Her Son’s Hero
Vicki Essex Harlequin, 2011 Fiction (Romance) Recommended by SD
46 Hild
Nicola Griffith FSG, 2013 Fiction (Historical novel) Bookstore browsing

 

I finished this book months ago but couldn’t post about it until now owing to a photo-uploading problem. My apologies to anyone who even remembers, at this point, that I once pledged to read all six X-Files tie-in novels by January 2016.

This was the best one so far. By that, I mean I had trouble identifying ways to make fun of it. Thus, it could also be said to be the worst so far. My review is going to be mostly screenshots, so the book can speak for itself. Kind of.

Ground Zero comes from a different author, and this one seems to trust the reader to know what the X-Files are, while still managing to remind the reader, gently, about a few of the nuances in the show that might have slipped their minds. Thank you, Kevin J. Anderson.

Here we have the Skin-man’s first  appearance in the series, a very apropos one:  

Highlights from this book:

  • The word “supercomputer” is used five times in the first chapter, so that’s fun.
  • Mulder’s hair is described as “fluffy.” (!)
  • Scully apparently went to Berkeley for her first year of college and nearly became an activist. Did we know this before? Anderson is playing fast and loose with canon fodder.
  • Mulder’s “long-standing revulsion of fire” surfaces for a moment. Remember how Mulder hates fire? Well he does.

  

 

Chapter Twenty-Four is a major highlight, all of it. In it, Mulder and Scully get ready for a trip and travel together, and we see much of it; it doesn’t get edited down as it normally would on the show. If you are into the X-Files primarily because of the relationship between these two characters, you should certainly read this chapter of this book. 

Teaser:  
Aww,  he knows her favourite.

Fun thing: Mulder owns Hawaiian shirts! Proof:  

Imagine, if you will, the adorable situation implied by this syntax:  Moose and squirrel, buckled into one seat together.

Asbestos mention! So ’90s:  

It seems that one more tie-in novel has been released just this month or last, I presume to prime the pump for the release of the new season of the X-Files in January – which was my original finish line. So if we add this new one to the list, there are seven in total – and I have only read three yet. I might not make the goal. We’ll see.

Let’s end with Wisecracker!Mulder:  

    clarion call
    United Kingdom, 1743
    Osiming, NY

    Saskatoon, SK
    Rawlco Radio

    Portland, OR
    best hikes
    walking bridges

    Vancouver, BC
    event listings
    all-you-can-eat sushi
    Zawa restaurant menu
    Joey on Broadway
    Winking Judge
    Dunbar
    Trutch Street
    Fan Expo 2016
    X-Files publicity event?
    Quest Food Exchange

    YouTube
    Toy Story honest trailer
    Inside Out showtimes
    Kimmy Schmidt
    Good Wife season 4 episode guide
    Elsbeth Tascioni Indian restaurant lunch scene
    Safety Not Guaranteed
    McCarthyism

    no-sugar-added cupcake icing