I'm not at all sure I can do any better than this year's erratic posting, but I'm not ready to part with your company entirely and I selfishly appreciate parking my reading lists here, knowing I'll otherwise forget what I've read.
As a gesture, though, to restitution or recompense for your patience, I'll direct your attention to the wonderful literary debut that Sara Baume made in 2015 with Spill Simmer Falter Wither (which subsequently garnered several prestigious awards). This is not your ordinary "man's best friend" book. Read these reviews if you need further enticement than my bald recommendation. All I have time to write is that this book is deeply affecting in its content, but it's also wonderful stylistically, structurally, and it's hard to separate those two, as in the very best writing. The narrative voice is quite extraordinary: a 57-year-old man, arguably disabled and whose life has been severely limited by his deceased father's paucity of spirit, speaks to the dog he has adopted from the local shelter. The plot involves a mystery and a road trip, but it primarily sets out the unlikely relationship that develops between these two wounded creatures as they move through a physical and social geography that doesn't spare them much kindness. . It's sad, yes. But oh, so beautiful. So spare and lyrical at once, and the countryside, and the deft sketching of people, village life. . . .
Let me know if you read it -- I'd love to chat about it. And consider also reading Eva Hornung's Dog Boy which I wrote about here and which #readswellwith Spill Simmer Falter Wither (I begin to think I should find myself a book club here in Vancouver . . . )