Book of the month – Annabel by Kathleen Winter

It’s February – the month of LOVE!

I love books

I only say that because of Valentine’s Day, really. I am loving seeing all the pink and red displays in stores, particularly the UBC’s favourite spot – Chapters Indigo. We all want to buy every single thing in there.

We had a great month because we were being trendy and reading short stories! Alice Munro’s  collection entitled Dear Life, of course. Mary Anne is going to blog about that soon (she’s from the same town as Munro, which is awesome), but for now, let’s recap our little book club’s eventful month…

Isn’t BuzzFeed the best AND the worst? A perfect example if this article – 16 Books To Read Before They Hit Theaters This Year. Like, COME ON. As if I don’t already have a stack of books to read, like, yesterday. And now I have 16 more. Great.

Back to our annual reading challenges… Erin H. found this totally creative/hilarious version, which is basically just a bingo version of the reading challenges we already set. Love it.

OBVIOUSLY reading makes us smarter. But did you know reading fiction, in particular, makes you smarter? I did not. Apparently reading a novel has positive effects up to five days after you’ve finished said novel. Pretty cool stuff.

Our travel correspondent, Alyssa, made us green with envy when she sent us this list of 12 historic bars every book nerd needs to visit. While she’s off gallivanting and soaking up these charming mostly-European establishments, we’re mostly just sitting in our offices shivering our butts off and wondering at what time of day is it socially acceptable to start drinking hot toddies. Because winter in Ottawa both makes you freeze and drives you to drink.

The month of January is also when we share our annual favourites! For the UBC’s four favourite books, click here. Erin H. shared her favourites too, and so did I. Notice the common denominator? Yup – Erin H.’s first pick, Our Daily Bread.

And guess what? She picked this month’s book too – Canadian novel Annabel by Kathleen Winter. It’s the story of a hermaphrodite being born in Labrador in 1968, and how he was raised male despite his female shadow self, Annabel, living within him.

Published in 2010, it won the Thomas Head Raddall Award and was shortlisted for the Giller and the Governor General’s Award. It was also adapted for radio by the BBC and was selected for the 2014 Canada Reads. Pretty impressive, eh? We’re excited to dig in.

And that’s all for this month’s post. Before I sign off, I have to ask…

What were your favourite books in 2013?

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About Julia Kent

Julia is an outgoing and energetic writer and food blogger from Halifax. Five years ago, Julia started The Unputdownable Book Club and her food blog, The Domestic Blonde. A graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program, Julia currently works in Ottawa in public relations. As a former broadcast journalist and with a background in musical theatre, she is a natural presenter. In her free time, she recipe-tests, reads, runs, hosts a podcast called Young PR Pros, watches bad television and plays competitive soccer. She’s addicted to Canadian Living and Chapters Indigo. Her favourite books include A Thousand Splendid Suns, Pride & Prejudice and The Book of Negroes. Twitter: @kentjulia
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