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4 Books Worth a Second Look

Blog post image that's a stack of books and glasses and text that reads 4 books worth a second look

Have you ever been reading at a bus stop or in a coffee shop, and a passerby stops in their tracks and gestures at your book with a quizzical expression? If so, then you’ve likely been seen reading a book with a title that garnered a second look.

How to Get Along with Women by Elizabeth De Mariaffi (Invisible Publishing): Longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, we can only hope that this title was erroneously shelved in Self Help sections across the country. We love to imagine unwitting readers receiving an education in power, identity, and sexuality — for better or for worse — from one of Canada’s savviest writers.

Swearing Is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language by Dr. Emma Byrne (House of Anansi Press): Could swearing actually be good for us? We say, heck, yeah! Hold on, let’s try that again. We say, sure as surely! What’s going on? Is there a parental feature on this computer? Ahh, that’s better! We say, F*CK, YEAH, IT IS! F*ck a d*ck, we had the f*cking all caps on. Sorry for yelling. Using historical case studies and fun factoids, Dr. Emma Byrne delves into the new science of bad language.

Eaten Back to Life by Jonah Campbell (Invisible Publishing) The Phillip K. Dick of chips, Jonah Campbell’s follow-up to 2012’s Food and Trembling is a collection of forty-four short essays that “careen between etymological digging, critical theory, food writing, and party- heavy travelogues laced with well-read swagger. And they’re funny.” Such titles include “Merry Effing Christmas, or, Giving Rum Another Chance, or, Rum Gives me Another Chance” and “On Bad Melons, Bullshit, and the Emergent Qualities of Wine” – and, with that, it’s clear we’re still under the influence of Swearing Is Good for You.

Ten-Headed Alien by David James Brock (Wolsak & Wynn): Called “a sophisticated monster [where] language is a junkyard drum set of evil sounds” (Linda Bessner), this poetry collection draws from sci-fi and poli-sci, prog rock and politics. Inside these pages, you’ll meet mythological creatures, bionic pigeons and, not to disappoint, a freaking ten-headed alien. We mean, freaking. F.r.e.a.k.i.n.g. (Ma, did you turn on the parental controls again?!)

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