How often do I get to have a bookseller guest post on my blog? This is so cool! Booksellers and librarians are my own special kind of hero because they get to work in books, recommend these amazing reads to people and help guide minds into the love of storytelling!
Let me introduce to you Sarah L. Johnson. Not only is she a bookseller but she’s also an avid reader and a writer! She’s sharing with us today her top 5 books! I wanted to ask her what her favorite book was but I knew that wouldn’t be nice – especially since I can’t even answer that question. For me, it really depends on the day and what book is foremost in my memory! How about you? Do you have a favorite book? List it in the comments below!
Sarah L. Johnson’s Top 5 Books
What’s your favourite book? Such an unfair question, especially as a bookseller, so thank you Steena for not breaking me on that particular wheel. At any rate my tastes tend to stray outside the mainstream. I gravitate to odd, dark, genre bending fiction, and the work of interesting women. Narrowing it down to five is hard, but here they are.
- A Little Life – Hanya YanagiharaThe best book about love, friendship, and masculinity that I’ve ever read (and written by a woman). A book that wounded me so deeply I may never recover. I hesitate to recommend A Little Life, because if you connect with this story and these characters, they will haunt you for fucking ever.
- The Power – Naomi Alderman
How often does a book thrill you? I mean electrify, frighten, excite, and confuse you from the soles of your feet to the top of your head? Imagine a genetic mutation suddenly activated in every woman and girl, giving them the kind of physical primacy over men that men have always had over women? How would that change the world?
- Bad Feminist – Roxane Gay
Roxane Gay is a woman I want to be friends with. She’s witty, flawed, honest, and so incredibly smart I think I’d get smarter just being in her presence and paying attention. She’s the voice of social justice and intersectional feminism for real people, in the real world (although her Twitter is sublime). Plus, she likes Scrabble.
- Fun Home – Alison Bechdel
You spend your early childhood assuming most families are the same as yours. As you grow up you start to become aware that most kids don’t live in a house attached to a funeral home (or in my case, making caskets in the garage). From the creator of the acclaimed web comic Dykes to Watch Out For, Bechdel’s graphic memoir is at once personal and universal, hilarious and tragic, about a girl growing up in a strange home and attempting to reconcile her relationship with her troubled closeted father, with her own identity as a lesbian.
- Kushiel’s Dart – Jacqueline Carey
Damn. I mean DAMN. This book is smart, deep, and so so HOT. Political espionage, family drama, sex, murder, and magic, all set in a lushly drawn fantasy world modeled after Renaissance Europe. Phedre no Delaunay is a protagonist you will follow anywhere, and not just for the kink. I always wonder why this series isn’t more widely beloved, because once you’ve been pricked by Kushiel’s dart, I think you’ll agree that Game of Thrones can go soak its rapey head.
Favourite drink while I read
So much depends upon the light
coffee in the morning
and whiskey at night.
Oh hey, while you’re here let me tell you about my novel Infractus.
The Bourne Identity meets The Book of Revelation when a nameless Assassin teams up with the Archangel Michael to destroy an oppressive global regime. Infractus is an apocalyptic thriller that holds nothing sacred, venturing outside the mainstream with a literary take on the sci-fi/fantasy genre.
Sarah L. Johnson lives in Calgary with her noisy family and two slightly bewildered cats. She wrangles literary events at an indie bookstore for money, runs ultra marathons for fun, has a filthy mouth, and does daily battle with curly hair. Her short story collection Suicide Stitch was released in 2016 by EMP Publishing, and her first novel, Infractus, will be released in April 2018 by Coffin Hop Press.
Sarah is also the 2018 Writer in Residence for the Calgary based Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society