Summer reads: Part 3


Part three of our Summer Reads series features the poetic and the political with three button-pushing books from Arbiter Ring Publishing in Winnipeg, ensuring this summer will be anything but dull.

Lyrics and Poems

Lyrics and Poems, 1997–2012
by John K. Samson

A collection of—you guessed it—lyrics and poems by Weakerthans frontman (as well as solo artist, poet, and publisher) John K. Samson, the master of melancholy. This collection gathers the Winnipegger’s finest writing from both his acclaimed career in indie music and his forays into poetry, where he finds a wistful, heartbreaking beauty in the banal.

Miriam Toews dubs him “the prairie poet voice of my generation” and Steven Galloway calls him “one of Canada’s finest living writers.”

Read it: Sitting on the dock in the morning, with your feet dangling in the lake.



People’s Citizenship Guide: A Response to Conservative Canada
by Esyllt Jones & Adele Perry

Jones and Perry take the Harper government to task for changing the official Canadian citizenship guide given to all recent immigrants. Harper’s revised version contains a focus on military history, the monarchy, and taking responsibility for one’s family, while all but ignoring Medicare, education, or our history of social justice movements. Jones and Perry retaliate with this collection of progressive, possibly more human perspectives on life in Canada.

Jason Kennedy’s press secretary called it “a catalogue of mouldy leftist myths” so you know it’s at least worth a read for the fired up dock talk you can have with your neighbours later.

Read it: Before your conservative old uncle gets down to the cottage.


Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Stories for the Edge of the World
by Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan
Short stories

Pirate queens, plucky spinsters, and sideshow performers populate these inventive re-imaginings of colonial North American myths, turning some of our more puritanical values upside down with heroines who question the traditions of patriarchy. These short stories span the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, telling tales of adventure set amidst shifting frontiers of power and possibility.

Read it: At bedtime of course!