51. XEclogue — Lisa Robertson
this week — 58.77
to date — 1,467.82
I haven’t finished In the Garden of Evil or whatever it is called but I’m just putting it on hiatus for a bit and I’m determined to get back to it and finish it but I just wanted to read something else for a bit. I’ve been told that I’m not allowed to bring it with me to Scandinavia. I went to Word today, formerly known as Word on the Street, formerly known as a thriving literary festival. Sad. Anyway, it wasn’t all a bust because I got to say hello to Rolf Maurer at the New Star table and catch Jen Sookfong Lee talk a bit about her craft and hear Elee Kraljii Gardiner read poems about figure skating and sex in hay bales and get Stephen Collis to sign my copy of his new book Once in Blockadia that I just picked up over at the Talonbooks table where I got to congratulate Kevin Williams for winning B.C. Publisher of the Year and run into the ineffable Jordan Abel and I wish that I would have brought my copy of Martin John along so that I could get Anakana Schofield to sign it and I’m sure that I left someone out but that’s more than enough name dropping for one run-on sentence so I went home and read the copy of XEclogue that I picked up for the steal of just $4 (thanks Rolf!).
But before I read poetry I ran over the Lions Gate bridge for the first time after thinking about how I’d wanted to do that for a few months and it was a really nice run with the change of scenery and the long hills up and down that were pretty great. I did have a bit of a freak out as I passed the lion statues at the foot of the bridge on the Stanley Park side and the ground dropped off on my right and my acrophobia kicked in rather strongly. Or was it gephyrophobia. I wonder if you can have gephyrophobia without acrophobia. It seems like they would go hand-in-hand. I run over the Burrard Bridge pretty regularly but I’ve never really noticed the traffic exhaust but going through the Stanley Park causeway and over the bridge I really noticed the vehicle exhaust. By the time I crossed the bridge and back again it was really starting to bother me or so I let myself believe, and I had a bit of a sore throat that may be merely coincidence.
16. Martin John — Anakana Schofield
17. IKMQ — Roger Farr
18. Transmitter and Receiver — Raoul Fernandes
this week — 52.17
to date — 236.98
I’m still not sure if I feel sorry for Martin John or not. The book was great, but I couldn’t come to a conclusion about how I feel about the protagonist, nor could I discern how Schofield wants me to feel about him — not that that really matters. It’s a great book that doesn’t need my endorsement, what with its Giller nomination and the volume of press it’s received. I met Roger soon after I started as the managing editor for The Capilano Review, and by proxy, CUE Books. Our chat that day in TCR’s office turned towards the latest firebombing of New Star Books (an occurrence that has been repeated a half dozen or so times since that conversation, unbelievably without any progress from the VPD). Roger made a joke that the bombing was due to his new manuscript. I still don’t know if he was joking. Regardless, I wanted to read IKMQ (not the manuscript in question; that’s still forthcoming I assume). If I had more ambition I’d like to do a textual analysis centred around the number 64 and its factors, which abound. IKMQ is a great little book, with not-so-subtle anarchistic themes throughout. I first heard Raoul read at a Real Vancouver Writers Series event and I’ve wanted to read his book ever since. I think it was a raffle prize at the event, but I’ve developed a bit of a reputation as the guy that buys RVWS raffle tickets but should just donate my money and not get my hopes up. I never win anything. Then I found a signed copy of Transmitter and Receiver at Russell Books in Victoria. Win!
I really don’t win anything at all ever. So I don’t really have my hopes up for the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon that I entered that’s coming up in May. I’ve no doubt I’ll finish, so I guess technically that means I’ll place, but win? The thought never even crossed my mind. I’m a member (sounds so prestigious) of Flying Blue so I’m often tempted by deals emailed to me from KLM and Air France. Then one day I received an email from Air France, one of the BMO Vancouver sponsors, inviting me to enter to win a “Platinum VIP” entry in the event, so I entered, and I won. I’m still not quite sure what that means, except that my entry fee is getting refunded and I get to crash some VIP tent at the finish line. Perhaps there will be beer. I did notice a distinct lack of beer sponsorship for the event. Seems like a miss to me. Sober February will be a distant memory by then, I’m sure.