Friday June 20, 2014

Win the Ultimate Summer Books Package

Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Listen 8:35
For your chance to win all the books on Becky Toyne's summer reading list, just go to the Day 6 Facebook page and share your pick for the perfect summer book, then send us an email day6@cbc.ca to let us know that you have. Please include your mailing address. 

Becky Toyne's Summer Reading List

My summer reading list for Day 6 this year weighs in at more than 3,000 pages, which should keep you going for a month or several. What's that, you say? You've finished already? Well OK then, here are some more:
 
>>LOOKING FOR A LITERARY BUZZ BOOK?  
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Volume 1: A Death in the Family, Volume 2: A Man in Love, Volume 3: Boyhood Island  

Karl Ove Knausgaard's six-volume work of autobiographical fiction has taken the literary world by storm with its self-referential, confessional style, its attention to detail (LOTS of detail), and its audaciousness for being just so darn long. It also has that brooding Scandinavian something that readers can't get enough of these days. 



>>IF THAT SOUNDS GOOD, TRY THIS:
If any or all of these things sound appealing, I can't recommend Norwegian Per Petterson highly enough. Start with Petterson's Out Stealing Horses, a devastating novel about a family torn apart by tragedy, which won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Then try In the Wake, the story of a middle-aged Norwegian man in crisis (sound familiar?). In the Wake (2003) tells the story of a man whose father, mother and two brothers have been killed in a ferry accident - a tragedy that closely mirrors one that took place in the author's own life. 

>>LOOKING FOR BREVITY AND LEVITY?
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Lydia Davis writes VERY short stories, and has been called "the master of a literary form largely of her own invention." 

Read an excerpt here

>>IF THAT SOUNDS GOOD, TRY THIS:
George Saunders

Saunders is a "writer's writer" and a master of the short-story form (including, but not limited to, some that are very short indeed). Saunders' most recent collection, Tenth of December, got the "Should I Read It?" treatment in January 2013


>>LOOKING FOR A FRESH VOICE? 
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I was so profoundly moved by Roxane Gay's first novel, a story about a woman dealing with her time in captivity and her journey to reclaim herself after her release that I'm not sure I can compare it to anything else. 

Read an excerpt here

>>IF THAT SOUNDS GOOD, TRY THIS:
But ... Gay herself does have a second book coming out this summer, an essay collection entitled Bad Feminist, which I'll be adding to my own reading list as soon as it's released in August.



>>LOOKING FOR WHAT MIGHT BE THE BREAKOUT HIT OF THE SUMMER?
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Tom Rachman's second novel is a hugely entertaining read, spanning 30 years, multiple countries, and featuring a wild and colourful cast of characters. 

Read an excerpt here

>>IF THAT SOUNDS GOOD, TRY THIS: 

The author's debut novel, which is set at the office of an International Herald Tribune type newspaper in Rome, was a huge hit in 2010.



Perhaps not the most original further reading suggestion, but there must be somebody left who hasn't read The Goldfinch, and the two books have a similar broad appeal and even some similar characters too.


>>LOOKING FOR A CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED BOOK YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED?
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It's easy to think of Miriam Toews' beautiful All My Puny Sorrows as being a story about suicide, but it could equally be said to be a story about sisters.

Read an excerpt here

>>IF THAT SOUNDS GOOD, TRY THIS:

Released in 2009, the second novel by the author of The Time Traveler's Wife is also the story of sisters, specifically of two sets of twins. To say the relationships between the sisters is troubled would be an understatement; to say much more would be to give too much away... Also try Per Petterson, above.


>>LOOKING FOR A THRILLER?
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Every summer needs a psychological thriller to take to the beach. Like A.S.A. Harrison's The Silent Wife and Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl before it, Smith's The Farm hinges on the sinister betrayal (or not, as the case may be ...) of a spouse. 

Read an excerpt here

>>IF THAT SOUNDS GOOD, TRY THIS:
The Dinner and Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch

If you've already read Gillian Flynn and A.S.A. Harrison, two novels by Dutch writer Herman Koch might also appeal. In The Dinner - one of my summer reads picks last year - two sets of parents must decide what to do about their sons, and the reader must decide who to believe, if anyone at all. Meanwhile, in Summer House With Swimming Pool, which was released this month, it's the family doctor cast in the role of unreliable narrator, and whom we question whether we can trust.