THE DAY-BREAKERS, HAIL THE INVISIBLE WATCHMAN, POGUEMAHONE, THE SINGING FOREST, A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE: Top Lists and Reviews!
The Day-Breakers by Michael Fraser (April 5, 2022) has been featured on the spring reading list by CBC Books as one of “50 great books to read this season.” The list was published online on May 11, 2022. You can read the full list here.
The Day-Breakers was also reviewed by Barb Carey in The Toronto Star. The review was published online on April 28, 2022. You can read the full review here.
“Michael Fraser brings history alive in his third collection, a stirring tribute to the Black soldiers who fought for the Union in the American Civil War, hundreds of whom were African Canadians. […] The language of the poems is terrific: a fresh, striking vernacular (glossary included) that’s both lyrical and gritty in its immediacy”
Get your copy of The Day-Breakers here!
Hail, the Invisible Watchman by Alexandra Oliver (April 5, 2022) was reviewed in the Los Angeles Review of Books! The review was published online on May 2, 2022. Read the full review here!
Maryann Corbett writes:
“They’re all here in her newest book, the formal and metrical pleasures that earned critical praise and prizes for Alexandra Oliver’s Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway and Let the Empire Down […] Hail, the Invisible Watchman is dark and tangled, even when it hooks the heartstrings and pulls.”
Alexandra Oliver was also interviewed by Sheryl MacKay on CBC North by Northwest! The interview was posted on May 1, 2022. You can listen to the interview here beginning at 4:20, with Alexandra reading at 12:30.
Get your copy of Hail, the Invisible Watchman here!
Poguemahone by Patrick McCabe (May 3, 2022) was reviewed by Sam Sacks in The Wall Street Journal. The review was published online on May 6, 2022. You can read the full review here.
Sam Sacks writes:
“Poguemahone [is] an immense, audacious novel […] a volcanic spray of vernacular, Gaelic-infused memory fragments and character sketches.”
Poguemahone was also reviewed by Ian Mond in the print edition of Locus Mag and featured as part of their list of “New Books: 3 May 2022.” on May 3, 2022. Check it out here!
Ian Mond writes:
“Poguemahone is a stunning novel, one of those exceedingly rare books that deserve to be described as a masterpiece.”
Poguemahone was reviewed by Keith Miller in Literary Review (UK). The review, “It Started with a Kiss” was published online on May 4, 2022. You can read the full piece here.
Keith Miller writes:
“I think McCabe is attempting something different from the finely tuned gothic chamber music of his earlier work: he’s aiming for a kind of polyphony. Characters aren’t quite sure who or even how many people they are at any given moment. […] the effect is one of alienation – not that the book isn’t a tremendous pleasure to read, albeit at times slightly uncomfortable. ‘Our national epic has yet to be written,’ all the young literary dudes opine in Ulysses. Poguemahone isn’t ‘about’ Ireland (though it is profoundly ‘about’ the Irish diaspora). But it is a particularly modern kind of epic.”
Patrick McCabe was also featured on Damian Barr’s Literary Salon Podcast on May 3, 2022. Lit Hub featured this podcast episode on May 4, 2022, and Poguemahone was listed on Book Riot as part of: “New Releases and More for May 3, 2022.”
Pick up your copy of Poguemahone here!
The Singing Forest by Judith McCormack was recently reviewed in The Miramichi Reader! The article was published online on May 5, 2022. You can read the full review here.
Reviewer Michael Greenstein writes:
“McCormack revives the secret, hovering between what’s buried and what’s above ground, what sings into a surreal blend. The forest whispers to silence the screams. The children are curious, the reader is curious, and McCormack cares.
“A page-turner with substance, where troubled family trees testify, find new growth, and branch out.”
The Singing Forest was also recently reviewed by the Historical Novel Society. The review was posted online on May 2, 2022. You can read the full review here.
Reviewer Shauna McIntyre writes:
“Filled with beautiful sentences like “Strands of DNA sliding down an ancestral ladder,” this novel is worth the effort it takes to wade through the stream-of-consciousness sections.”
Order your copy of The Singing Forest here!
A Factotum in the Book Trade by Marius Kociejowski (April 26, 2022) has been reviewed by Michael Dirda in The Washington Post. The article, “What bookstores and the literary life contribute to … life” was published online today, May 4, 2022. Check out the full article here.
“Kociejowski opens his enthralling memoir, A Factotum in the Book Trade, by observing that bookstores have begun to follow record stores into nonexistence. “With every shop that closes so, too, goes still more of the serendipity that feeds the human spirit.” While there may be “infinitely more choice” in buying from online dealers, “to be spoiled for choice extinguishes desire.” As he says, “I want dirt; I want chaos; I want, above all, mystery. I want to be able to step into a place and have the sense that there I’ll find a book, as yet unknown to me, which to some degree will change my life.”
An accomplished poet and beguiling essayist (try The Pebble Chance), Kociejowski has also enjoyed a long-standing career with various London antiquarian bookshops […] Over the years, Kociejowski came to be friends with poet and translator Christopher Middleton, travel writer Bruce Chatwin, “arguably the greatest prose stylist of his generation,” and the Spanish novelist Javier Marías, who as the reigning monarch of the joke Kingdom of Redonda, appointed him poet laureate in English of that tiny uninhabited island.”
Marius Kociejowski has been featured on the podcast by AbeBooks, Behind the Bookshelves, hosted by Richard Davies. In the episode, they discuss Kociejowski’s A Factotum in the Book Trade (April 26, 2022). The episode was published online on May 18, 2022. You can listen to the full episode here.
In the episode, Kociejowski says:
“The general secondhand bookshop is rapidly becoming a thing of the past […] Whereas I have always maintained that the soul of the trade is in bookshops. I think something happens in shops. Something magical.”
Get your copy of A Factotum in the Book Trade here!