My Field Mission into the Land of Words on Paper

As I walked through the Indigo Chapters bookstore on Broadway and Granville, I immediately found a display on a table filled with life narrative novels as if they were waiting for me to look at them for the purpose of this post. Now as I glazed over the collection furiously writing themes and names on a piece of paper, it hit me. Only after moments of looking I was done, but I wasn’t really. In my pursuit I had only noted down select books in what seemed like a random order. I asked myself, “What made me choose to write down some of these books, and overlook the others?” I include this story because it allowed me to answer this question: What makes these so special? There are a couple reasons. For example, several books that I was most drawn to were those that had a portrait of a face. These images stir up emotion, and perhaps captivate me with an intimacy involved with the face to face-like interaction. The facial expression also plays a large part in this first look moment, whether they are content, or somber, it leaves an unknown entity that sparks curiosity. Also, two of these Narratives featured Justin Trudeau’s face front and center, and another Stephen Harper. These books being put out and advertised now is an absolute key marketing strategy with this upcoming election. If I had seen them another time out of the present context, they wouldn’t have caught my attention as they had now.

Other covers that I was drawn to had either striking images such as men in combat uniforms or others had artsy or animated imaginative covers that feature colourful patterns or bright words.

The book that I will now focus on is called, “That Lonely Section of Hell,” written by Lori Shenher. This narrative doesn’t particularly match the criteria that I described above for catching my attention as it doesn’t necessarily have captivating imagery, but the words popped out at me immediately. So the reason that I’ve chosen to elaborate on this book is because the title left me wanting to investigate further. Around the title it also says, “The botched investigation of a serial killer who almost got away.” How could I not be intrigued? As I opened the cover and read the back to realize that this is a local story of women going missing here in Vancouver, I found myself wanting more and more information. To see Vancouver in the eyes of an ex-detective sounds pretty great to me. This is also so interesting to me as it’s a local view into a little history of my newest home. So the entire idea of this narrative, the great ratings it’s received, and the quotes of praise found on the back of the cover, have me looking no further for my next read. I feel that many people here in Vancouver could also find themselves in my position as they come across this story.

Thanks for reading,

Tima Johnson

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