Things Not to Do
Jessica Westhead's follow-up to And Also Sharks, a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of 2011 and Finalist for the 2012 Danuta Gleed Literary Award.
Things Not to Do is a collection of stories that seeks to examine—through humour, wit, empathy, and honesty—the dark side of ordinary people. We know them; sometimes we are them. A man attends a gathering on the coattails of his new, zealously empowering friend. A woman helps her husband build an escape room to free him from working for a hated boss. A veteran wedding DJ imparts wisdom, and more besides, to a new recruit. The father of a teen pop sensation gathers with his fans in the wake of a controversy. The actions of these characters, for good or ill—and there is light in their lives, as often as there is dark—stem from the same place, and Westhead cuts right to the heart of that place. They aren't scheming supervillains; they're folks trying to make the most of what they think they have—even if that sometimes means stepping on someone who doesn't deserve it.