June is the month of my birth, so I get to choose which book we read for our July 7th podcast. One problem: Too many books! How does a Kirt choose just one of them?! Well, this Kirt has narrowed it down to four finalists, but he’s going to throw them out to all you readers and listeners out there and let you pick the winner in a democratic voting fashion. We will announce the final decision on the June 9th podcast for The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Lots of time to consider your choice carefully and then run out and buy the book, read it, and join in on our conversation about it. Maybe you’ll be so excited about our choice that you’ll even want to be a guest host for the podcast? If that is the case, we will greet you with open arms. We had a great deal of fun doing the Frog Music podcast with Laura, and we look forward to having many more guest hosts.
The choices are a pretty mixed bag, but that’s just how I roll:
- The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis – This book won a Leacock award (I always like a good laugh) and I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about it (and all of his books) since it came out. Tania has also added a Terry Fallis novel to her “Currently Reading” list at Goodreads, so this might be her choice.
- Killing Pilgrim by Alen Mattich – Zagreb Cowboy, Mattich’s first novel in the Marko della Torre series, was one of those iffy looking ARCs that turns out to be a real gem. It had brilliant action sequences, a brisk and highly entertaining plot, witty dialogue that captured the nuances of the various languages being spoken (that’s a thing for me, as you may know), and lots of interesting things about Yugoslavia that I didn’t know (did you know that Yugoslavia had an Italian community? I didn’t). This might make an interesting bookend to our discussion of The Widow Tree which took place at the beginning, rather than the end, of the Yugoslav experiment. The only caveat for this one is that you might have to read Zagreb Cowboy first. That’s really no great tragedy, though, as it is awesome.
- The Confabulist by Steven Galloway – Galloway’s wonderful tribute to Alistair MacLeod convinced me to finally get around to reading one of his novels. I’ve been meaning to since The Cellist of Sarajevo. The review of the novel at Kerry On Can Lit clinched it for me. The ideas that this novel explores and the mythology of Harry Houdini all sound like they come together to make a pretty cool story. We’ll make a historical fiction fan of Tania when all is said and done.
- Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese – All of Wagamese’s novels have been getting very high praise and, more importantly, Tania has recommended him to me. I am drawn to this one because it is a father/son story, I like the idea of the BC interior (Tania spent her formative years there), and I have always been interested in Ojibway culture (thanks to Jim Harrison). I also recommended that Canadians read his work in a previous post, so it would be a little hypocritical of me not to do so myself.
Let the voting begin!