Spring showers are out but the summer sunshine is in. Why don’t you explore the city with your favourite book? Here are five spots in Toronto where you can read and get some vitamin D.
The IFOA staff is recommending a range of titles to quench your literary thirst this summer. Enjoy!
Pastoral is the first installment in Andre Alexis’ quincunx (a five book series) which also includes Canada Reads 2017 winner Fifteen Dogs, and his most recent novel, The Hidden Keys.
Pastoral elegantly follows the personal meanderings of a young pastor, Father Christopher Pennant, and a recently engaged woman, Liz Denny, in the small town of Barrow as they struggle with their own doubts and questions about faith and love. Alexis beautifully reinvigorates the pastoral genre through his story about a modern-day Canadian town in the lush countryside, exploring how the land’s beauty and mystery affect the lives of the townsfolk who live there.
As always, Alexis’ unique insight into the human condition is startlingly evident as he takes readers on a gentle but compelling journey through the seemingly simple lives of his richly detailed characters. Pastoral is a perfect read for the summer season!
Even though we’re busy planning the 2016 festival, the IFOA staff still finds time to read. Read on to see what everyone’s enjoying right now!
Catherine Coreno, communications and marketing assistant:
The beach is my favourite aspect of summer, so I am making my way to the sand as often as possible, always with a book in hand. While taking a break from Elena Ferrante’s novels, my current beach reads include We’re All In This Together by Amy Jones and The Girls by Emma Cline.
Dean Keranovic, festival assistant:
As of now I’m reading Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, as well as Endymion by Dan Simmons. Once those are done I’ll move on to some other sci fi/fantasy novel/comic!
Eirini Moschaki, communications and marketing coordinator:
I love it when a story transports me to other times, traditions, and cultures. Orhan Pamuk’s My Name is Red is an intricate mystery that immerses you in the life of 16th century Istanbul miniaturists. Power, love, art, religion, and politics; this novel has it all!
Rebecca Hallquist, executive assistant:
I just finished reading Hisham Matar’s book The Return – just out – and it’s a bit of a heavier read but very important considering current events. This book discusses the repercussions of grief, loss and ultimately living history, which I just find so fascinating. At the heart of it all, this memoir is really about a son trying to comes to terms why his father has been absent from his life for some 20+ years. I like to use the (traditionally) more time I have in the summer to read for pleasure to better inform myself about topics that interest me (history, current affairs, environment, biographies) as well as for general enjoyment. Any sort of fantasy/historical fiction series I can get my hands on to read in the shade on a sunny day is pure bliss to me.
Risa de Rege, communications and marketing intern:
I usually end up tackling really long, heavy books over the summer – past endeavours include Les Miserables by Victor Hugo; We, The Drowned by Cartsen Jensen; and (most of) A Song of Ice and Fire. But right now I’m taking it easy with a book of Edwardian ghost stories I picked up at a local bookstore. I love history, and ghost stories, so I’m really enjoying reading stories that have entertained people for so long.
Zviko Mhakayakora, executive assistant, programming:
Right now I’m reading The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. I’ll be reading some books by NoViolet Bulawayo and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie too. I’m really into a mix of non-fiction and fiction right now.