So many books, so little time…
My resolution this year is to try to organize my to-read list in such a way that I might actually read what I want. That is: 2017’s new Canadian fictions. In order to achieve this, I have tried to look into what has been published this winter or is coming up, and made a little wish list. Here it is!
Dragon Springs Road by Janie Chang (january)
I am drawn to this book for the very simple reason that the main character is Eurasian, like my baby son. Since my little guy was born, I have been more sensitive to anything related to mixed heritage. Previously, I never gave much thought about being a mixed couple. However, with our child, the multicultural aspect of our family became important, as in: how will he experience it? How do we introduce him to his multiple culture?
In 1908, Jialing is only seven years old when she is abandoned in the courtyard of a once-lavish estate outside Shanghai. Jialing is zazhong—Eurasian—and faces a lifetime of contempt from both Chinese and Europeans. Until now she’s led a secluded life behind courtyard walls, but without her mother’s protection, she can survive only if the estate’s new owners, the Yang family, agree to take her in.
Jialing finds allies in Anjuin, the eldest Yang daughter, and Fox, an animal spirit who has lived in the courtyard for centuries. But Jialing’s life as the Yangs’ bondservant changes unexpectedly when she befriends a young English girl who then mysteriously vanishes.
Murder, political intrigue, jealousy, forbidden love … Jialing confronts them all as she grows into womanhood during the tumultuous early years of the Chinese republic, always hopeful of finding her long-lost mother. Through every turn she is guided, both by Fox and by her own strength of spirit, away from the shadows of her past toward a very different fate, if she has the courage to accept it.
Little Heaven by Nick Cutter (january)
At this point, I don’t even feel like explaining why I’m planning to read Nick Cutter’s last horror book. I believe I reviewed them all, from The Troop to The Deep to The Acolyte. I devour them like a huge box of chocolate, as if my life depends on it, even if I feel kind of sick afterwards. Oh well.
From electrifying horror author Nick Cutter comes a haunting new novel, reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and Stephen King’s It, in which a trio of mismatched mercenaries is hired by a young woman for a deceptively simple task: check in on her nephew, who may have been taken against his will to a remote New Mexico backwoods settlement called Little Heaven. Shortly after they arrive, things begin to turn ominous. Stirrings in the woods and over the treetops—the brooding shape of a monolith known as the Black Rock casts its terrible pall. Paranoia and distrust grips the settlement. The escape routes are gradually cut off as events spiral towards madness. Hell—or the closest thing to it—invades Little Heaven. The remaining occupants are forced to take a stand and fight back, but whatever has cast its dark eye on Little Heaven is now marshaling its powers…and it wants them all.
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai (february)
I love the premise of this science-fiction book: Tom lives in an alternate 2016 similar to the one people pictured themselves in the 50’s. Oddly enough, Tom isn’t happy. He feels that he doesn’t fit in. Maybe he doesn’t realize his luck? Well, he gets the opportunity to get some perspective when he breaks the fabric of the universe (oops) and transforms it into our 2016.
You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we’d have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed . . . because it wasn’t necessary.
Except Tom just can’t seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that’s before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.
But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.