I am what I post

Well look at me and this dead horse of a blog, reunited again.

I doubt this will be a grand, triumphant return to book blogging for me, but I had a yen to post about this book so I figured, “why not?”

The book is Radiant Shimmering Light by Sarah Selecky. Told through the journey of 40-something Lilian Quick, it’s a novel about the commodification and branding of spirituality, creativity, and ultimately, life itself.

As we watch Lilian form friendships and beliefs based on people who want to sell her a lifestyle, this book is by turns hilarious and uncomfortable. The surfing meditation gurus and calming candle makers who send her constant personal-touch emails are amusing, though her reaction to them is saddening. As someone who already has a hate/hate relationship with social media, it affirmed many of my long held thoughts on the falseness of these new types of lifestyles-for-sale. And, as someone who uses social media completely as a tool to market myself and organize my own creative endeavours, it also made me think about the ways in which I do that (which have sometimes made me feel squicky) and how the way I market myself can affect the people I market to.

While this book makes you think about the interwebs and its affect on you (and you can read plenty of reviews that talk about that), it wasn’t really saying anything new to me, so I think its real triumph is in the writing. It has one of the most unique satirical tones I think I’ve ever read. It feels uncomfortably personal and Lilian’s thoughts feel very stream of consciousness, though the writing is entirely grammatical. I find that often satire has a kind of…hyper real quality to it. This is satire completely based in reality, but Selecky is not a brash, biting Dorothy Parker, I think she falls into the Jane Austen camp. The type of book that feels light, but is able to comment on day-to-day realities in ways that are surprising, delightful, and depressing.

Despite the fact that I think the writing is new, fresh, and excellent, I would say I probably liked this book less than the majority of readers. The ending was not particularly satisfying to me. Lilian is still trying to find a way to make creativity, spirituality, business and the internet all work together in a way that isn’t icky, and I’m one of those curmudgeons that is not convinced that this is at all possible. But, if want you to be a successful creative type, finding some happy medium has got to be part of the plan, because that’s the way the world works. I get that. And clearly, so does Selecky.  I invite you to peruse her website and appearances on podcasts such as The Numinous Podcast (a podcast about “Intuition, Spirituality and the Mystery of Life” that is part of a paid program you can join to develop your intuition).

Question everything, do your research, form your own opinions and if you like, let me know what you think in the comments field.

– Curmudgeonly Tania

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Write Reads #55 Rodent by Lisa J. Lawrence

rodent

Oh, hi there.  How’ve you been? Us? Oh, you know, just on an extended hiatus, no big whoop. Did you miss us? Hopefully, there are still ears out there listening for our podcasts. We’re really sorry for the long delay, but, as they say, stuff happens. We won’t bore you with excuses. We’re just happy to finally have Old 55 up and ready for the listeners out there. We hope it will be worth the wait. This novel is certainly worth it.

Sorry that this podcast sounds like Tania is speaking in Massey Hall and Kirt is her guest on a call-in radio show. Much of the delay has involved trying to fix all of that. This is the final result, such as it is. Maybe it’ll be a new style that you dig. Who knows?

Much of the discussion at the end of the podcast is obviously lies. We did no such recap podcast in January and we did not announce our next book. We also didn’t get to do After Canada Reads 2018. Frankly, we’re not sure what’s happening with Write Reads at this point. We will be skyping with each other soon to discuss what’s next, though. We will let you know as soon as these things are decided. Whatever happens, we are always grateful for your support and encouragement.

Other books discussed in this podcast:

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And The Winner Is . . .

rodent

With all of the excitement around the imminent Giller Prize announcement we’re just going to cash in on the hype and announce our own winner for the poll we posted back in September. The clear choice for our ardent fans was Rodent by Edmonton author Lisa J. Lawrence.* So, go out and buy the book, read it, and then join us in early December for our long awaited 55th podcast. This podcast will mark our FIFTH ANNIVERSARY as book club podcasters changing the world of literature forever. It will also be Kirt’s first podcast from Halifax, and only the second time that he and Tania have not been in the same room for a recording. How will it turn out? Will the chemistry be the same? The only way you’ll know is if you listen to the friggin’ podcast.

*Marty Chan is also an Edmonton author who deserves your support so go out and buy his Demon Gate anyway. A great gift idea for your steampunk, atlternate history, demon hunting loving young adult.

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Write Reads #54 Every Blade of Grass by Thomas Wharton

every

This is the final Write Reads to be recorded on 84th Avenue in Edmonton, and it is the last podcast (for a while, at least) in which Tania and Kirt will be recording in the same room, city, or province. Kirt leaves Edmonton on a wonderful note, though, with this beautiful book by an Edmonton author. Please enjoy our discussion of this gem and even if you don’t give us a listen, do yourself a favour and go out and buy this book immediately. You won’t regret it. If you do regret it, let us know why and we’ll make fun of you.

Because of Kirt’s relocation to Halifax we’ll be missing the next couple of podcasts. Our next podcast should be posted in December and it will be our Kid’s Book pick. Vote for what that pick will be: The Ehrich Weisz Chronicles: Demon Gate by Marty Chan or Rodent by Lisa J. Lawrence.

CanLit Book News:

Other books mentioned in this podcast:

 

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Write Reads #53 Crying For The Moon by Mary Walsh

crying

Read the book? Haven’t read the book? Curious? On the fence? Just plain nosy? Listen to this podcast. Tell us how you feel about it. Or, don’t. It’s up to you. You will get to hear Tania make everybody uncomfortable with her feelings for Emily St. John Mandel. You’ll also get to hear Kirt sing some Taylor Swift. So, there’s that.

Next month will be Thomas Wharton’s Every Blade of Grass for our Indie Pick. Please join us.

Other books mentioned in this podcast:

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Write Reads #52 The River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay

riverofstars

So much could have gone wrong with Kirt’s Birthday Pick: Kirt is not a big fantasy fan. Tania isn’t crazy about historical fiction. The book is a massive 632 pages of time commitment during the summer months. Thankfully, none of this mattered. We both loved this book and we’d love to tell you why if you’d only listen to the podcast. Tania gets weepy instead of Kirt for a change.

The title we’ve chosen for our Humour podcast is Mary Walsh’s Crying for the Moon. Go read it and then join us for that discussion. Our Indie Pick for the following podcast is Every Blade of Grass by Thomas Wharton.

Other book bloggers (and a War and Peace readalong) mentioned:

Other books mentioned in the podcast:

 

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Write Reads #51 The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler

adk

Welcome back, gang! Here is our Canadian Literature Classic. We hope you enjoy our discussion. Do you lean more towards Tania’s reading of the novel or Kirt’s? If Duddy is the apprentice then who is his mentor? Let us know.

Join us next month for Kirt’s Birthday Pick, River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay. We’ve been assured that you don’t have to read Book #1 in the series, so go ahead and dive in.

CBC’s Indigenous Book Club Month

Tania on Instagram

Richler’s Take on Edmonton

Other books discussed in this podcast:

 

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