We asked four well-read Calgarians to recommend a Calgary book published in 2019, and they delivered with some seriously ace picks to help you start your year off right with a great local read.
“Seventy-three years to the day after her grandfather escaped the German-occupied Netherlands to find freedom, Naomi K. Lewis returns and follows the same path. You think it’s going to be a story about World War II and how it affected one particular family, but this story will give power to any woman who doesn’t think she can do something because of self-perceived limitations.” —Robin van Eck, executive director of Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society, alexandrawriters.org
(Tiny Lights for Travellers was shortlisted for the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction.)
“Iconic Calgary writer Sharon Butala has gifted us with 20 books, and this title is one of the most memorable for the way in which it mines the often-neglected landscape of aging. Inspired by other literary masterpieces, this collection of stories gives an authentic voice to the experiences of women who have lived a long life and are now marginalized by the world around them.” —Rosemary Griebel, service design lead for readers for Calgary Public Library and the first Alberta author to be chosen for a Project Bookmark Canada commemoration, projectbookmarkcanada.ca
“These are whip smart, hyperaware, darkly funny poems that traverse isolation, Internet culture, grief, feminism and the unacceptable nature of loss from a writer I consider to be one of Calgary’s finest experimental poets.” —Karlene Nicolajsen, store manager and buyer for Shelf Life Books, shelflifebooks.ca
“As a joke, a friend messages Richard Kelly Kemick the audition call for the Badlands Passion Play in Drumheller. Kemick, a professed atheist, not only goes, he gets cast as Herod Antipas — and decides to write about it. I Am Herod is shrewd, sardonic, searching and one of the funniest books I read all year.” —Rita Sirignano, programming associate for Wordfest, wordfest.com