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SKQ Reads: Winter 2013

Well, the year is coming to a close. I’ve now had two of my Kobo readers balk under the pressure of my lifestyle. I’ve now resorted to just reading on my computer (ugh) or, whenever possible, heading to the bookstore to pick up the real thing. I don’t know what the new year will bring for me (Kobo 3.0?) but for now lets look back at a great year of reading!

I decided to list my five favourite reads although I could have easily made a top 10. Criteria was a sloppy combination: length of time it took me to read it + how many tears I shed + how many people I hysterically begged to pick it up + amount of underlining/highlighting/page folding I did.

Also of note, I did not limit my choices to books released this year. It’s my list and I can do that if I want to.

1. The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner

I was so captivated there was no choice but to finish it entirely in one long stretch of days. Passages so beautiful that I found myself re-reading them over and over again in amazement. I think it was in the Harpers Magazine review that they called it feminist and sexy. It’s true. An entirely fresh and inspiring heroine.

2. Light Years by James Salter

So many tears; on the tarmac, on the subway, tucked in my bus bunk. I will cherish this book forever. It is 40 years old and that made the discovery so much more powerful. It’s also a good reminder that I am sentimental and a romantic no matter how hard I try to resist those urges. I’ll cozy up with my tears any day, you can’t shame me!

3. Tenth of December by George Saunders

There aren’t very many writers with a body of work I love so completely.¬† But, I think this is my absolute favourite. I have total admiration/awe for a mind this strange and wonderful.

4. White Girls by Hilton Als

I don’t know exactly how to describe this book. Genius? Experimental? I thought things like, “Would the world change entirely if all students were made to read this?”. It challenged me, moved me and angered me. I’m buying many copies and sending them to the many book-loving people I know.

5. The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante

The last thing I read this year, so, I admit its fresh. Terribly beautiful and at times haunting/scary.

I read a heck of a lot this year and to those of you who click and read through my blog every few months, thank you.

To those of you who send us books, stories, letters, recipe books…how do we thank you? You show your love by sending the most important parts of yourselves to us and for that we are humbled and grateful.

Happy reading! Happy new year!