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On Our Radar

"On Our Radar" features books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet.

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"...the pleasure and potency inherent in this lovely novel."

All That Belongs, by Dora Dueck

Reviewed in the Winnipeg Free Press, by Karen Chisvin

Most of the discoveries Catherine makes on her pilgrimage confirm what she has already known or always remembered... There is not a lot of excitement or poignancy in these discoveries, but that does not diminish the pleasure or potency inherent in this lovely novel. It is, after all, much more than a story about digging up and coming to terms with one’s past, and even more than a story about the lingering effects of trauma and pain, and grief and guilt.

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"Cities are spaces in which new and better worlds can be imagined."

Feminist City, by Leslie Kern

Reviewed in the Hamilton Review of Books by Sue Ferguson

This world isn’t built for women, literally. Our cities are designed and built in ways that perpetuate and accent women’s vulnerability and oppression. But cities are also spaces in which new and better worlds—feminist worlds that include racialized, disabled, Indigenous, queer and other marginalized communities—can be imagined and sometimes forged.

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"The personal space of intimacy becomes a political space of survival..."

Tonguebreaker,  by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Reviewed in ARC Poetry by Sanchari Sur:

Piepzna-Samarasinha’s collection is also a testimony to queer love, where making love is an act of healing and survival. In “Prayer Ghazal for Orlando,” survival lies in disconnection from reality through reconnection with her lover: “The day the shooting happened I turned off my phone and fucked my lover.” The speaker compares their “cunts” to the “dance floor” of the location of the shooting. The personal space of intimacy becomes a political space of survival where the lovers deal with trauma through a celebration of life. The speaker is “satiated and thigh sore,” and yet “dressed and wound / to find [her] body.” It is this finding of one’s self through the love of another that Piepzna-Samarasinha calls survival. 

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"An effective tale of intergenerational understanding."

On the Rocks, by Eric Walters

Reviewed in Kirkus Reviews

There’s a soft masculinity here, an old-school “gotta keep those feelings deep down inside” way of thinking that gives the book a steady and quiet pace. Those looking for screaming matches and flipped tables will be left disappointed, but there’s an effective maturity to the relationship built here that is the book’s big draw... A short and simple but nevertheless effective tale of intergenerational understanding.

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January 13, 2020

Books mentioned in this post

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All That Belongs

by Dora Dueck
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: literary, small town & rural, family life

Catherine, an archivist, has spent decades committed to conserving the pasts of others, only to find her own resurfacing on the eve of her retirement. Carefully, she mines the failing memories of her aging mother to revive a mysterious Uncle and relive the tragic downfall of her brother. Catherine remembers, and in the process, discovers darker fam …

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Feminist City

A Field Guide

by Leslie Kern
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook Audiobook Paperback
tagged: human geography, women's studies, city planning & urban development, urban

Leslie Kern wants your city to be feminist. An intrepid feminist geographer, Kern combines memoir, theory, pop culture, and geography in this collection of essays that invites the reader to think differently about city spaces and city life.

From the geography of rape culture to the politics of snow removal, the city is an ongoing site of gendered s …

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Tonguebreaker

by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
edition: Paperback
tagged: lgbt, asian american, canadian, women authors

Finalist, Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry

In their fourth collection of poetry, Lambda Literary Award-winning poet and writer Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha continues her excavation of working-class queer brown femme survivorhood and desire.

Tonguebreaker is about surviving the unsurvivable: living through hate crimes, the suicides of queer k …

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On the Rocks

by Eric Walters
edition: eBook
also available: Paperback
  • age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
tagged: multigenerational, drugs, alcohol, substance abuse, marine life

An inspiring story about the ups and downs of family.

Fourteen-year-old Dylan is sent to live with his estranged grandfather, Angus. Basically strangers, the two avoid each other as best they can. One day Dylan discovers a young orca stranded high up on the rocky beach. Dylan runs to tell his grandfather. There’s nothing that can be done, says Ang …

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