July 10, 2009

my new favourite book

I've already ranted to anybody who would listen about the awesomeness that is Jessica Grant's novel Come, Thou Tortoise. I've tweeted about how every page just makes me want to hug it (ouch, pointy corners!) and I still haven't come close to describing how much I love this book.

I don't want to summarize the book or try and write a review (you can find some here and here), but I do think it is simply wonderful and you should go read it. It's funny and clever and touching. I cried on and off through the last twenty pages, not so much because it was sad but because it was so perfect and I was sad it was ending. It reminds me of how I felt after reading A Complicated Kindness, and I hope this book becomes as successful as that one because it really deserves it. I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't like it, to tell you the truth, and I'm not sure I'd want to be friends with someone who didn't.

I've also since finished reading Making Light of Tragedy, Grant's short-story collection which I've actually had for a while now. I picked it up at the McGill Book Fair after remembering a few writer friends of mine had strongly recommended it to me. It's also terrific: twenty-three short short stories every bit as surprising and hilarious as the novel.

Jessica Grant is also a member of the ever-more-astounding Burning Rock Collective (think Michael Winter, Lisa Moore, Libby Creelman). Does Canada have any other writing groups that have seen this kind of success? I'm curious. All I can think of right now is the Montreal Group (more a movement than a group, yes?) and that was a long time ago now.

The only bad thing about this book is its cover.


Jonathan Ball said...

i've had the grant book on my "to-read" pile for a few months, and this post has me shifting it to the "read next" pile.

Lesley said...

I can't wait to read that book! I've been wondering about other writing collectives too, but haven't come up with any comparable ones. I've always been intrigued by the idea of writing collectives and love everything I've read from the Burning Rock collective so far.

saleema said...

@Jonathan I can't wait for someone I know to read it! I'm glad you encouraged me to read the collection.

@Lesley I'm intrigued, too. Intrigued/inspired. Okay, step one: come up with an irresistible name. Maybe the rest will follow?

Hector Macdonald said...

What enthusiasm! Would you write about it on www.bookdrum.com? It's a great way to introduce others to your favourite books.

saleema said...

@Hector - Thanks! I'll definitely consider it. Good luck with Book Drum -- it looks like it's shaping up to be a great site.