Ladies and Gentleman, the Bible! – Jonathan Goldstein: To tell you the truth, I was a little worried about this book. I love Wiretap and I had enjoyed listening to little snippets from the book on the show. I even went to Goldstein’s Jian Gomeshi interview at Blue Met and laughed a lot. But I was worried that the book would feel too gimmicky, that the jokes would be too predictable, that making fun of the bible was best handled via deadpan monologues on radio shows. But, no. The thing about this book is that it’s not just poking fun at the inherent silliness of religious stories, it’s also pointing out that they are good stories, that the characters are interesting and complex. And it’s funny; the jokes are good. So, yes, no disappointment here.
Holding Still For As Long As Possible – Zoe Whittall: I was looking forward to this book enough to splurge on the spendier hardcover version while visiting Toronto a few weeks ago. My mother accidentally ran the lawn mower over the telephone cable lines and we didn’t have phone or Internet for a portion of the weekend, which meant that I began reading almost immediately. The book is told from the perspective of three main characters and the story knit them together with enough foreshadowing to keep me tense as I approached the ending. I perhaps enjoyed the lead up more than the inevitable conclusion, but overall I loved the book and thought it was a great, solid follow up to “Bottle Rocket Hearts”. And as a former Torontonian, I loved seeing references to my hometown, ones I hadn’t seen in books before, like The Beaver or The Red Room.