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Quick Hits: Circus Acts, Prison Love, Middle Age, and More

In Quick Hits, we look through our stacks to bring you books that, when they were published, elicited a lot of reaction and praise. Our selections will include books published this year, last year, or any year. They will be from any genre. The best books are timeless, and they deserve to find readers whenever and wherever.

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Weekend, by Jane Eaton Hamilton 

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press

What It's About

Prize-winning writer Jane Eaton Hamilton's novel explores the complexities of contemporary queer love.

On her fiftieth birthday, crazy-in-love Ajax visits her mercurial lover Logan, who trails their tarnished reputation like a lapsed halo. Logan has secrets, but so does Ajax, and during their weekend getaway to Ontario's cottage country, some of these secrets will prove explosive.

In the next cottage, long-term couple Joe and Elliot are having their own challenges as the parents of a newborn baby girl. Joe isn't sure if Elliot loves her or even if Elliot wanted a baby at all. Can she make it through a weekend feeling as she does, let alone the rest of her life?

Jane Eaton Hamilton's ninth book is an intimate, sexy queer romance. Weekend is a bold and heartbreaking consideration of the true nature of love at the cusp of middle age—about trust, negotiation, …

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Lesley Buxton: "Are You Still Married?"

Book Cover Love Me True

Love is hearts and roses, but life is complicated, and to share a life with someone else requires a bond and commitment far stronger than any verse ever penned on a Valentine. In the new anthology Love Me True, edited by Fiona Tinwei Lam and Jane Silcott, 27 creative nonfiction writers and 16 poets explore how marriage and committed relationships have challenged, shaped, supported and changed them, delving deep into the mysteries of long-term bonds. 

Lesley Buxton's essay from the collection, "Are You Still Married?" is devastating, sad, glorious and beautiful, and we're so glad to be able to share it with you. 

Please note that Love Me True is on our giveaways page until February 18.

*****

“Are you still married?” the customer asks.

I look up from her bill and glance towards my section on the patio, hoping to find an excuse to leave. Nobody needs me. I’m stuck.

This customer and I share an unwanted and one-sided intimacy. For the last months of my sixteen-year-old daughter India’s life, this customer was our social worker. Her job was to navigate us through the medical system. She was neither exceptionally good at her job nor bad. This is the first time I’ve seen her since my daughter died ten months ago and I can’t remember her name.

Finally I say, “Yes, …

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Top Shelf Ep 5: Peeking Into Authors' Bookshelves

bookshelf

Julie Wilson's Shelf Exposure series is something special in Canadian book coverage, joining readers and authors in book love in a unique way.

In Shelf Exposure, Julie invites writers to take a closer look at their bookshelves and to present viewers with a short list of titles based on a theme of their choosing. Then they enter the lightning round, where Julie puts them on the spot with a list of random requests.

The result is an almost tangible book experience—rare in the online space. Perhaps because they're talking about other people's writing, not their own, authors seem entirely themselves. The depth of their attachment to their books is incredible to watch.

Every episode of Shelf Exposure—which is founded on a Skype discussion which Julie edits and formats into an audio-visual crackle of fun—produces a book the viewer never knew of or thought of getting. Every episode is a celebration of books, bookshelves, backlist, eclectic tastes, and the joy and brilliance of nerd-dom.

When I asked Julie about what she likes about Shelf Exposure, this is what she said:

"I genuinely love firing up my computer to find an author sitting in their home with a stack of books, ready to report on their findings. And the Lightning Round, in which writers are asked to simply fin …

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