Tanya Tagaq is probably better known as the Inuk throat singer who won the 2014 Polaris Prize for her album Animism. This is her first book and don’t be surprised if it takes home a few awards too. (Long-listed for the 2018 Giller Prize it did not make the short list unfortunately.) Like her music, Tagaq smashes together multiple genres, telling the story of a young girl growing up in Nunavut in the 1970s. I like this book a lot. I like how she weaves memoir and mythology with bit of poetry to tell the her story. I look forward to more lit from her.
Another week without any running as this nagging injury continues to nag. Worst of all, the weather this October has been nothing short of spectacular. In fact I think that the only day of rain the entire month so far was the day of the Victoria Marathon. With weather like this I’ve done all I can to take advantage and with this knee pain that does not seem to want to go away that means riding my bicycle as much as possible. So I commuted to and from the office every workday this week, plus rides around UBC and Stanley Park. I figure I’ve only got another couple rides before the weather turns. Daylight savings is right around the corner too which isn’t going to help on the long ride home in the evenings. While it’s been fun pedalling around, setting new segment PBs on Strava, and trying to maintain my fitness, I really long for a good run. I missed the Ghost Race this year (which ended today) and I had a couple fun races for fall that I was eying up. Fortunately, it seems, I didn’t pay the entry. But I did pay for the Fall Classic, and it looks like I’m going to be two-for-two tapping out of the half marathon. It’s coming up in just two weeks and I just don’t see it happening again this year. I’m sure I could finish but I’m not interested in prolonging another injury through the winter. That could change but I’m resigned to the notion that my next race is going to be the Icebreaker 8K in January, followed by the First Half when I’ll have another shot at a sub 90 half marathon. Any I’m okay with that. Mostly okay.
Another title from my pile of shorter works that took me a bit too long to read and then I forgot to write about it so here it is. Considered Jackson’s masterpiece, it was published a couple years before her death in 1965. I was surprised to find that it’s being made into a movie. Not surprised because Hollywood is out of ideas, but because it’s been out of ideas for a while and I wonder what’s taken so long. The story is unreliably narrated by Mary Katherine “Merricat” Blackwood, whom I thought for much of the book was a lot younger. A few years before the timeline of the book, the entire family is poisoned with only three surviving: Merricat, her sister Constance, and their uncle Julian. Constance was tied and acquitted, and the town believes she got away with murder, and generally hate them. Constance and Julian never leave the property. I liked this book quite a bit, with it’s gothic style, gloomy foreboding and curious ending. I haven’t added sugar to anything years. Don’t touch my salt.
With an extra long weekend I decided to overdo it a bit on Thursday with a bicycle commute from my office in Port Coquitlam through New West then Burnaby to the edge of Vancouver, then a sharp right turn north over the Iron Workers bridge into North Van and down to Lonsdale Quay to hop on a bus up to Grouse Mountain because I’ve done that ride up that hill once before and I’m never going to attempt that on a single speed bicycle again. Grouse Grind number three and my slowest yet, at 59 minutes and change. I could credit the 32 KM pedal to get there, but the time I actually pedalled all the way up Capilano Road and Nancy Greene Way I finished the Grind around five minutes quicker. Nine weeks to go before the Victoria Marathon and I’m having to remind myself that my first marathon I started training eight weeks out and then got sick and took all of week seven off and didn’t die. My head is further ahead than my body, or my head thinks my body is way behind. Or something. So I’m trying to trust the training plan that I made up based upon the plan I made up from the internet last time around plus some new stuff like going for long bike rides and walking up mountains. Trust is a funny thing.