There’s nothing better than spending an afternoon in the summer with a good book in your hands.
For those looking to read works by Vancouver authors or works about Vancouver, we selected five summer reads that are as entertaining as they are illuminating into the diverse voices and stories present in the 604 community.
Daaku is translated from the Punjabi word for outlaw, and in Ranj Dhaliwal’s novel about Indo-Canadian gangsters in western Canada, there are a lot of them. Wrestling with right and wrong in the powerful underworld of drug dealers and murderers, Daaku is a fast-paced gangster novel with a fresh perspective on a classic genre.
Vancouver Special is a collection of personal essays about Vancouver by local comic, Charles Demers. Originally published during the 2010 Winter Olympics, you can almost hear Charles speaking to you with his conversational literary style. The stylish design and visual photographs make this one of the best alternative guidebooks about the city in recent years.
The story of a superhero that is part cat and part bird, Angel Catbird will be Margaret Atwood’s first foray into graphic novels. Vancouver artist, Johnnie Christmas, will be tackling this three-volume series with Atwood at the writing helm. While the first volume is set for a September release, Angel Catbird is an end-of-the-summer read to look forward to.
For those fascinated about the era in time when Vancouver was the neon capital of the world, Vancouver Confidential by John Belshaw will be a fast-paced read. With essays that share stories from the skeletons in Vancouver’s closet, there are communist scares, dirty gangsters and bizarre murder trials that happened right here.
Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid
A critical and commercial success when it was first released in 1989, Evelyn Lau’s memoir was a national bestseller back in the day that went on to inspire the 1993 TV movie, The Diary of Evelyn Lau, starring Sandra Oh. Detailing Lau’s misadventures as a teenage runaway and spiral into drug addiction, Runaway is a gritty and raw work of writing that is not for the faint-hearted.
Everything Feels Like The Movies
Winner of the 2015 Governor General’s Award in children’s literature, When Everything Feels Like The Movies is written by Raziel Reid, a writer who contributed to Xtra Vancouver. Based on a horrific homophobic crime that happened in the US, When Everything Feels Like The Movies is a controversial read that does not hold anything back.
Let us know if we’ve left out something you’d like to share in the comments section.