Decoda’s Summer Reading: Christie Case

Join us every Friday in July and August and learn about the Decoda staff’s summer reading picks. Today Christie Case, Decoda’s Database Administrator, is sharing her summer reading picks.

This year, my summer reading started right on time as my hold list at the library is growing.

I just finished How to Pronounce Knife, by Souvankham Thammavongsa. This is a book of memorable and beautifully crafted short stories, for which Thammavongsa was awarded the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2020.

The characters and imagery will be with me for a long time. The stories feature Lao immigrants who have come to Canada. Thammavongsa describes how racism, white privilege and power imbalances affect her characters. These encounters never de-centre the protagonists or their lives, however, whose voices, personalities and experiences are brilliantly audible throughout.

I’m a few hours into an audio book of Termination Shock by Neal Stephenson, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini.

Termination Shock is speculative science fiction. It is set in the near future on a mostly recognizable version of planet Earth, which is reeling with the effects of climate change.

Like Stephenson’s other books, it has a remarkable scope. The characters are extraordinary without being unbelievable. Stephenson explores existential questions related to living in a world shaped by societies that prioritize a human-first perspective.

I’ve just started reading Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart. Stuart won the 2020 Booker Prize for this novel.

Set in Glasgow in the 1980s, this is the story of Shuggie’s relationships: with himself; the working-class world around him; and with his mother who suffers from addiction.

I’m two chapters in, and already looking for opportunities to sneak away from my real life so I can read more.

I hope you find many books that give you that same urge this summer! Happy Reading.

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