Evocative story telling about the late 70s in Little Portugal, Toronto. De Sa captures the rapid (<1 year) and heart breaking transition in the life of a 12-year-old, from blissful innocence (well, not quite complete innocence because these are young boys), from simple adolescence to the knowledge that the world is a tough and gritty place with sinister characters. The nature of the time with rampant homophobia is described vividly. Thanks Steph, for this recommendation. De Sa’s previous book, Barnacle Love, has some back story but is not as good as Kicking The Sky.
Another book from the CBC list; also Whittall was at a Walrus Talks panel discussion at Blue Metropolis. This is a relationship book about 20-somethings that is not preoccupied by drugs. Notably, there is a central trans-gender character, and this characteristic is treated without emphasis, just as it should be.
A memoir by a book lover, a book binder (briefly) but mostly a book seller in Toronto. As a memoir, mostly filled with anecdotes but a wistful look at the era of second hand bookshops that is disappearing.