“On Our Radar” is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring 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.
“Morissette’s quietly witty novel is set in up to the moment Montreal and traces a year in the life of 27-year-old Thomas, a disaffected video game designer looking languidly and yearningly, but not without an undercurrent of genuine determination, to change career and personal directions. Against a blurred-around-the-edges backdrop of dodgy accommodations, fleeting and vague relationships, substance over-consumption (it’d be harsh to call it abuse because it seems so tinged with a kind of innocence), Thomas makes his way. The reader peeks over Thomas’ shoulder at email and Facebook chat clues as to how he progresses, professionally and emotionally.”
“Nakamura has created an iconic figure in the dauntless Momoko. She is a force of nature who strides through the rural Japanese landscape with no hesitation, doubt or fear. Bender’s illustrations are bigger than life and saturated with exuberant colour. There is detail and depth in the pictures that will hold a child’s attention for a long time.”
“The speaker attempts to piece together the lessons of childhood and parenthood. She hopelessly holds up the broken shards of that farm life and its secrets, as if she might find her way home at last. For the reader, it can be a disorienting experience to make sense of the college-like poems, with a bit of the pattern here, a familiar image there. Still, there’s a strange, frantic unity in Shin’s vision: ‘the years settle like formed-to-fit pieces, / culled and reshaped for my body.’ From this book’s bright slivers, we too can choose some treasure to fit into ourselves.”
From Scott McLemee’s review at Inside Higher Ed:”Before reading One Hour in Paris, I was fairly dubious about the recent proliferation of trigger warnings. But Freedman’s memoir makes the level of distress implied by “trigger” much clearer, and empathy trumps cynicism. Still, as a way to reduce PTSD, the warnings seem not much more than a palliative. What they really are, in the end, is a gesture of respect toward everyday suffering that otherwise goes unrecognized.
As for the trigger-warning-equipped syllabus, two brief points that should be obvious. First, the only real beneficiaries will be lackadaisical slackwits, providing them an excuse not to do the assigned reading. And second, it would tend to keep a book like One Hour in Paris out of the classroom. Reading and discussing it will make people extremely uncomfortable, which is, on the whole, a good thing.”
From Sarah Weinman’s “Crimewave” review at the National Post: “The suspects mount, the victim turns out to be rather loathsome and the trail alternates between hot and cold, though it’s something of a fait accompli that [Inspector] Jejeune, despite his reticence, will figure out who killed the ecologist. Burrows is the former editor of the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society Magazine, and he gives readers a charming glimpse into [birding] culture. (For instance, a flock of bitterns is called a “siege.”) While Jejeune may not be too enthusiastic about his profession, it’s easy to be enthusiastic about Burrows’ first mystery, and I’m looking forward to more fowl play in the future.”