I've read Tim Lilburn's Tourist to Ecstasy before, but I didn't have it in my collection. I do now.
Robert Bringhurst's Nine Visits to the Mythworld was described in a recent conversation as an important book. I look forward to reading it. Amazon wasn't able to obtain a copy of Bringhurst's new book, The Tree of Meaning: Thirteen Talks, which I had ordered as well. I've since learned from McNally Robinson that the book has gone into another printing, so I will get a copy eventually. I hear the book is very good.
Rachel Lebowitz's Hannus came as a pleasant surprise. I like to read books by both members of a poet couple and compare them, looking for similarities in style, influences, etc. It's a hobby of mine. My shelves contain books by Don McKay and Jan Zwicky, Lorna Crozier and Patrick Lane, David Seymour and Karen Solie, and now Rachel Lebowitz and Zachariah Wells, each couple's books shelved together, side by side. So I bought Lebowitz's book without really knowing what it's about. When I took the book out of the box, I read the back cover. This bit caught my attention:
Hannus is a creative biography of Ida Hannus, a Finnish-Canadian suffragist and socialist living in Vancouver and in the BC Finnish commune Sointula through the turn of the century to the Cold War. Approached from different angles, employing a collage of techniques, Hannus is a constantly shifting -- and consistently engaging -- narrative that raises questions about the reliability of history and biography.
Engaging, indeed. I grew up in the Finnish community of Rock Point. Needless to say, curiosity kicked right in and I started flipping through the book. Hannus contains lots of photos and newspaper clippings. I've been examining the faces in the photos, looking for any that might resemble my relatives or neighbours.
In other news, I finished writing my face-off poem. I've been reading The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins, a truly entertaining book. And I got a ukulele for Christmas. The cat hates the ukulele. Absolutely hates it.