• Books and reading,  Bright Things

    Bright Things #19: Grimm’s Fairy Tales

    One of the themes of The Memory Collectors is our relationship to physical objects — the memories, emotions, and power they hold for us. Every week leading up to the book’s release, I’ll share the story of an object that’s special to me.

    If I had to choose a favourite childhood book, it would be this copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. It’s the only book I still own from when I was a kid. It has over 200 stories in it, and I know I read them all because I checked them off in the table of contents with a pencil crayon. I received it as a gift when I was about seven, and it was such a revelation to read the original versions of stories that I thought I knew.

    I remember vividly how I felt reading the Grimm’s version of Cinderella, especially the moments when her stepsisters cut off their own heels and toes in order to fit into the glass slipper. I am lucky to have had a lovely and idyllic childhood, so the idea that such brutal ambition existed in the world was shocking to me, but also terribly fascinating. I guess it should be no surprise that my own stories often go to dark places.

  • Books and reading,  Bright Things

    Bright Things #18: Bookshelves

    One of the themes of The Memory Collectors is our relationship to physical objects — the memories, emotions, and power they hold for us. Every week leading up to the book’s release, I’ll share the story of an object that’s special to me.

    When my husband and I got married, my father wanted to give us a gift that he’d made with his hands. Naturally, I asked for a bookshelf, imagining something small and simple. When he asked me to count and measure my husband’s graphic novels as well as my trade paperbacks, I remembered that simple isn’t really my dad’s style.

    These took him over a year to finish. Each individual shelf is a box, and the whole thing comes apart and can be reconfigured without actually removing the books. This isn’t even all of them, there’s a fourth in Shane’s office that didn’t fit in our bedroom. They are probably—no, definitely—the most beautiful pieces of furniture that we own. Bright things to hold more bright things.

    Next week I’ll talk about one of my favourite books on these shelves.