12 Days of CanLit: Books for bookworms


Have you been avoiding your calendar, in denial about the shrinking number of shopping days before Christmas? The holiday season is upon us, and whether you're looking for gifts to set under a tree or around a menorah or just for some non-denominational seasonal giving (or reading!), we've got 12 days of book recommendations coming your way. With 12 different categories, we've got books for everyone from foodies to fiction addicts to sports buffs missing their beloved hockey this winter. On the eleventh day of CanLit, we bring you three books that celebrate the written word and the printed package they come in.

Seen Reading by Julie Wilson


Seen Reading is a blog-to-book, but don't let its origins prevent you from picking up this love letter to readers everywhere. "Literary voyeur" (and one-time CBC Book Club host) Julie Wilson spent years spotting people reading on the subway, trying to guess what passages they were reading and then writing a very short piece of fiction — "microfiction", Wilson calls it — about them. The result is a quirky, delightful and surprisingly moving tribute to those who can't go anywhere without a good book.

Wilson spoke about being a new writer with All in a Weekend this past spring.

Antigonick by Anne Carson


In Anne Carson's latest translation (of Sophocles' classic play Antigone), the text blocks were inked by hand and illustrations by Bianca Stone is interspersed throughout the text. The end result is a completely immersive reading experience and a perfect blend of words, pictures and paper. Lovers of poetry, Greek mythology and beautiful books will appreciate Carson's ability to turn her translations into works of art.

Eleanor Wachtel spoke with Anne Carson in September 2011.

The Emperor of Paris by C.S. Richardson


Richardson is a book designer by day, so it seems natural that he would write books as beautiful as those he designs. The Emperor of Paris is about a star-crossed couple, an illiterate baker and a book-loving art restorer. It's a love story (which handily involves a bookseller and a book of fairy tales), but it's also a love letter to beauty, art, Paris and food. If you do get this for a book-loving pal, do buy the hardcover: the end-papers alone are worth the cover price.

C. S. Richardson talked about his love of Paris and how it inspired this novel with Michael Enright on The Sunday Edition.

12 Days of CanLit