What Canadian Literature are you reading now? chapter 2
This topic was continued by What Canadian Literature are you reading now? chapter 3.
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The old thread was getting pretty long so I've started a new one.
I started reading The Lost Highway by David Adams Richards. I started it once a year or so ago, and couldn't get into it, so I've decided to give it a better effort this time. I loved his Mercy Among the Children, but early on, it feels the same but in a much lighter version.
I am starting The Handmaid's Tale which will be my first Canadian book on my new kindle. So far I really like it. It is a dystopian tale.
Ooh, I got Annabel for Christmas from my sister. So looking forward to it.
I just loved The Windflower it is one of my favourite reads from last year :)
@ 13 Heh! I'm a dreadful nightowl!! ;) I'm now reading a non-fiction account of the Klondike Gold Diggers:The Story of Striking it Rich in the Klondike.Perhaps a non -fiction does not qualify as Literature -but it seems to be fascinating reading, with quite a few pictures , and maps. I am very much enjoying it so far. Actually the time is 3 hours ahead of what it is in reality. Still, I suppose 1:07 am is kinda late:)
Just finished Gold Diggers: Striking it Rich in the Klondike - 4.5 stars. Highly recommended! Great read!
Just getting my nose into Motorcycles & Sweetgrass which was a finalist for the GG's 2010 award. Looks to be both a historical and contemporary look at first nation culture and people.Drew Hayden Taylor, the author, is 1st Nations himself. I think it will be an informative and fun read. The best kind!:)
>16 - I thought Motorcycles & Sweetgrass was mostly fun! Nice use of folklore, and great characters. Loved the raccoons. Taylor wrote for Beachcombers.
I will be on a Canadian Literature role as I attempt to complete the five Canada Reads books before the debates begin on Feb. 7th. First up, The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis, which I'm really having fun with so far.
I just finished Motorcycles & Sweetgrass and I loved it!! I still have to think about what I may write up about it -but I definitely feel it's a book more people should read -and one that many people would enjoy. It was definitely fun -but I think underlying that there is ability for non - natives to understand native culture in the here and now, as well as in the past, in a sympathetic way. I think because of that -and because it is fun- I see it as being more mainstream piece of CanLit that I think I might be able to share with friends and family and they would enjoy it. I've read that Drew Hayden Taylor has another book out soon - oh - I'll be purchasing it!
Of interest - Drew Taylor Hayden was born in 1962 - so he only worked on one episode of the Beachcombers when he was 18 or so. He was born and raised on a reserve in Ontario -but is actually of mixed background - causcasaion and native - so I think perhaps that helps him have insight into both cultures. I really recommend it highly!
#21 - yes definitely. In France it's considered a seventh art form and there are some very serious festivals and prizes dedicated to it. In my daughter's school, every level has at least one graphic novel as mandatory reading and there's a whole section dedicated to them in their read-o-drome, a space reserved for the pleasure of reading.
I just finished The Bone Cage. I liked it, but it's not one that I'll be raving about. And I'm not sure I'd defend it at Canada Reads, but it was still a good read.
I only have Best Laid Plans left for Canada Reads. Oh, and The Country Nurse, since my library didn't have the combined copy of Essex County. But since I've read the first 2/3, I feel like I've read it.
I've been listening to the CBC "Between the Covers" podcasts while jogging -- so I just finished "reading" Elizabeth Hay's Late Nights on Air this morning. I wasn't blown away by it.
I just finished reading The Birth House. Not sure what my next CanLit will be yet :)
climbingtree, I am one of the minority (around here anyway) that wasn't blown away by Late Nights on Air either. Way too much foreshadowing...by the time things actually happened, I'd stopped caring!
25,27: You will find yourself in good company here. I enjoyed hearing about the trip, and the discussion of books. The foreshadowing was far to heavy handed (YA bookesque type foreshadowing almost) and I didn't fall in love with any of the characters. I am glad I read it. I enjoyed some parts, and the descriptions of the environment. They would have done well to put it through another round of editing.
I listened to the book as a podcast, and I was worried for a while that I just wasn't enjoying the reading (Gwynyth Walsh, I think), but ultimately there was definitely an issue of character for me.
I'm reading my final Canada Reads book, Unless by Carol Shields. I first read it in 2003.
31 - I thought the ending really made the book!
I just read Essex County and really enjoyed it. Reading all the parts together was a much better experience. My silly library had Ghost Stories and Tales from the Farm as separate entities, but put all together, really good. Only after it was on Canada Reads did they get the collected edition.
Still trying to finish Best Laid Plans. It must not be a good week for me to read, since I am liking the book, but it seems to be taking forever to actually finish. It's good, but... I'm very tired at night and it's not compelling me to pick it up.
Could anyone recommend a History of Canada during WW1 with a focus on domestic politics and issues.
>35 Soupdragon - thank you for that recommendation - it gives me a starting point - I'm particularly interested in the issue of conscription and opposition to it.
On the topic of short stories, I read This Cake is for the Party by Sarah Selecky on a recent flight back from Halifax.
Both Selecky and MacLeod have been shortlisted for the Canada/Carribean region for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. I think Light Lifting is the better of the two, but they're both good collections.
>39 My apologies to Kim Edwards. I was reading about authors last night and somehow picked up the erroneous information that Kim Edwards is Canadian. I haven't found the source, so I am taking responsibility for mixing up information. I'll blame the lateness of the hour.
I just finished Timothy Taylor's The Blue Light Project and liked it. It follows a city after a mysterious hostage taker seizes a television studio during the taping of children's talent show. Some people find it a bit unfocused, but I think the multiple characters and intersecting storylines are the point. If you like Don DeLillo, you'll probably like this.
I highly recommend Cool Water by Dianne Warren - the characters are not only very well-developed but they will remain long after the book is closed.
VivienneR - don't worry in the slightest! All of us make mistakes - easy to do!
I've been curious about Lake of Dreams, so do let us know what you think!
Cecilturtle - great to know that Cool Water is so enjoyable - I've got it my TBR pile .
As for me - I'm about 100 pages into Stone Diary by Carol Shields, and thoroughly enjoying both the story and her beautiful prose.
Touchstone angst - sorry!
Thanks vancouverdeb, it was silly to even think that such a very American story could have been written by a Canadian. I enjoyed Lake of Dreams but kept feeling the main character was over-reacting and making too much out of very little. It dragged in some places. I believe it would have been a much better story if it had been kept tighter. I started speed-reading some passages. It was all tied up very neatly at the end - maybe too neatly.
I've got Dianne Warren's Cool Water on my wishlist and Stone Diaries by Carol Shields gathering dust waiting to be read. I am looking forward to both. Maybe I'll start Shields first - as soon as I've read my ER wins of course.
I finished up Mennonites Don't Dance by Darcie Friesen Hossack, which is CanLit as it was shortlisted for the 2011 Commonwealth Prize. Excellent volume of short stories and her debut book. Touchstones don't work of course, as it is not a popular books so far in LT. Sandra Birdsell was one of her Creative Writing teachers, and recommends the book.
I'm reading Night Wanderer by Drew Hayden Taylor. It's subtitled a Native Gothic, but has his trademark humor that was present in Motorcycles & Sweetgrass, and maybe even vampires.
Just finished Muriella Pent by Russell Smith on my flight home last night. Smith's satirical eye never sharper.
Let us know how The Sentimentalists works out as a read. I confess I hurried to purchase a copy , but it is gathering dust.
I will have to keep an eye open for After River it sounds interesting :)
It has been a while since I have read much CanLit although I did read An Educated Imagination by Nortrop Frye last month.
Shortly I will be starting The Cellist of Sarajevo. I meant to read this book last year but it just didn't happen so will be reading it this summer.
Our book club discussion of The Sentimentalists showed that we agreed on our reactions (this isn't typical):
--we were all frustrated by the writing style (although I was slightly more forgiving as I felt the vagueness matched the theme of the novel -- that we can't really know someone's past)
--we all wished there had been a little more action or dialogue
--we all found the transcript portion interesting in that it provided some explanation (but did the author have to go from one extreme in style to another to do this?)
--we were all glad to have read it but wouldn't recommend it to many people
Thanks for that input, Lynn. My Sentimentalists is gathering dust! ;)
I'm about 60 pages into Room. It's okay -but so far I have trouble with the way the 5year old speaks! I remember very well my two sons at that age -and they certainly were much more advanced speaking wise and both of them were fluent readers by the time they started kindergarten. I find Jack's speech to be uneven and not that belivable. Oh well... I'll try to overlook that.
I finished reading The Cellist of Sarajevo last night. A very powerful book but not a dark and depressing book as I expected. It is broken into many short sections from a few people's point of view. One is the story of a gentleman who has to travel across town avoiding the snipers to get water for his family. One of another man whose family made it out before the siege who is going across town to where he works in a bakery for bread. Another story is of a young woman who has been working as a sniper to try to shoot the men in the hills who keep shelling the town. The title comes from another story of a Cellist who after witnessing a bread line being attacked vows to play a certain song in the pit where the shell exploded, once a day for each person who died during the attack. In the end it is actually more a story of strength and how people retain their humanity in the most trying of circumstances. Because it switched between many short segments of their stories it avoided becoming too dark or difficult to read (I admit I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to tough reading). I put off reading this one last year but I needn't have. It is a lovely book and at times written quite poetically.
It's been a while since I've picked up a Canadian book. The latest is Salut, la Neige! by Évelyne Rozenberg, a very charming and moving love story.
I saw this book at Indigo and was intrigued. It looked too short to buy (I"m cheap like that), so I added it to my library list. I didn't realize she was Canadian. And then by further coincidence, the Coventry Cathedral was mentioned in the last book I read, The Little Book. And now you mention it here. The book gods are trying to tell me something.
Coventry is the cathedral in England that was bombed in WW2, right?
Coventry is a city in England that was bombed in WW2, known for its cathedral, yes.
I just finished Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel - I was surprised to see that people either loved it or hated it. Personally, I thought it was a tour de force with just so much to think about...
That's interesting. It was almost universally panned by the critics. You never know if you're seeing a case of tall poppy syndrome, or what.
Unless you read it, that is. ;)
I'm just about finished Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill.
#65 - it's a very creepy book about the Holocaust - a controversial topic at best. I think there are still a lot of taboos about the Holocaust and Martel wanted to break some of the silence around it. It definitely doesn't leave the reader indifferent...
I have to say that all these comments are making Beatrice and Virgil sound very interesting. Sounds like I'll either love or hate it.
I've just finished a series of short stories by Joyce Marshall Any Time At All and Other Stories. I think Marshall is one of those great kept secrets of Canadian literature. She isn't very prolific, but what she writes is both beautiful and haunting. She definitely merits recognition, both for her own writing and her work as Gabrielle Roy's translator - another powerful female Canadian voice.
I'm part way through Lullabies for Criminals by Heather O'Neill. So far and excellent book!
71: I saw that one on the early reviewers and was interested, but it had not clicked that it was by a Canadian author. Thanks for that! :)
I'm reading The Widows of Paradise Bay by Jill Sooley.
It's about a woman whose husband left her. She goes back home to Nfld where her mother has announced the husband as having died.
raidergirl3, keep us posted on that one! I'm not sure whether to add it to the TBR list or not......
Just finished The Garneau Block which is set in Edmonton and very funny. :)
I really liked The Widows of Paradise Bay. Delicate balance of humor and drama that Sooley nailed.
Right now I am reading Why I Hate Canadians. The style of writing reminds me somewhat of Farley Mowat, and I am enjoying this book quite a bit more more than I did How to be a Canadian.
I also recently finished Spin. Although set in the US it is written by a first time Canadian author. An aspiring writer shows up at a magazine interview drunk and figures that her writing career is over. Until they offer her a chance to go undercover in detox to spy on a celebrity. It was actually a fun, very light read.
What Canadian literature are you reading?
I'm just starting in on Ray Robertson's Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live.
After finishing the first draft of his last novel, David, Robertson went through an industrial-grade depression, after which he decided to write this book. It's a series of essays that asks what makes life worth living. I picked up a big chunk of my fall reading at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival today, but this is the one that shouts out, "read me now!"
Finished up The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje. Overall, quite a boring read. I wrote a review here http://www.librarything.com/profile_reviews.php?view=vancouverdeb. I don't mind slow moving books at all -but I like to come away from them with some new insight into life or a different way of looking at things. This book did neither.
I finished Why I hate Canadians and have a review up. Loved the book!! Hilarious, historical and political.
Just starting Touch by Alexi Zenter. It's a Giller contender. Looks great so far! 30 pages in.
I came across a good hardcover copy o f Vinyl Cafe Unplugged at the local thrift for 1.50$ :P
I have recently read Papa, parle-moi anglais comme maman by François-Xavier Simard - it was an honest attempt, but there were simply too many themes from linguistic duality to cultural diversity to family relationships, etc. in this 200 page-book: it difficult to see any trends or understand the author's point.
Sometimes I'm not sure how we define Canadian Literature, but I've just finished The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay and very much enjoyed it. She wrote The Birth House, which won several awards. I've written a review for The Virgin Cure.
I also recently finished Natural Order which I thought was a fabulous read about an elderly woman who looked back on her life , and the challenges she faced raising a gay son in the 50's, who died of Aids in the early 1980's. It's called Natural Order and is by Brian Francis, who was a contender for the Canada reads award some years ago. Once again, I did write a review for that one.
I'm currently reading Louis Riel which is a graphic novel of Louis Riel and the rebellion that went with it. My son's girlfriend has it as assigned reading for 4th year Canadian Studies at UBC. Louis Riel is also shortlisted for CBC Canada Reads this year.
I almost cannot read a book that's not written by a Canadian author;) I definitely have a soft spot for Canadians authors.
Guy Vanderhaeghe's latest, A Good Man. The sequence of events is a bit hard for me to follow because of changes from present to past tense, but the overall story is very absorbing. Now if only I hadn't loaned my mother The Englishman's Boy -- there are a few references to the events of that novel and I want to reread it afterward.
83 I left The Cat's Table to the very end of my Giller longlist reading (anxious that I'd be disappointed in it, as you were) but I had a great reading experience with it. I can see where it wouldn't be to every reader's taste though. At first I'd been thinking that if he wins tonight's Giller, that it was more about his being Michael Ondaatje than about it being a great book, but I've had to revise my thoughts on that now that I've actually read it: I do think it's very well-crafted indeed and I wouldn't be at all sorry to see it recognized. (Thots linked through here if you're curious.)
@92 It's unfair of me but I found the behaviour of the defender of this book on last year's Canada Reads panel was so offensive, that it's bled over onto my interest in reading Ami McKay's second novel. I know that's not fair, but you know how it is when you have so many books waiting to be read, tiny details like that feed into your choices even when you don't want them to?
I have both the Brian Francis and Chester Brown books in mind: thanks for the nudges in their directions.
#95 - I know exactly what you're saying--I don't know if I found her offensive, but she sure turned me off. Not Ami McKay's fault, but The Birth House slid to the bottom of Mnt TBR.
I found that Louis Riel by Chester Brown was really quite well done. It induced me to pop out to the book store and purchase John A The Man Who Made Us by Richard Gwyn. It's part one of a two part biography of Sir John A MacDonald -and also a lot of Canadian History. Once I get to that book, I plan to get Nation maker, the second part in biographical series by Richard Gwyn.
I have to tell you, Buried in Print, I was pretty " meh" about Cat's Table. I felt that the characters were not that well developed and I kept wondering - where is the plot? ;)
101 - I'm just at about page 250 of John A The Man Who Made Us. I am certainly learning a lot about Canadian history and politics during the 1800's - and also quite a bit about Sir John A. I definitely plan to read Nation maker , the second part of John A McDonald's biography by Richard Gwyn. I have a group read to participate in after I finish John A - so it will have to wait a bit. I'm really enjoying the book though. At times it can be a little dry -but very educational and worth the read.
I finished Moonlight Sketches by Gerard Collins, a collection of short stories from Newfoundland. I am the only member on LT with this book!
> 101, 102 - Just finished The Reinvention of Love and can recommend it. Humphreys researched the topic very well and said she used the words of her subjects wherever possible. It would have been an odd story if it had been a complete fiction, but the fact that it was about real people made it more interesting and entertaining. However, Coventry is still my favourite book by Helen Humphreys.
I finished off John A: The Man Who Made Us by Richard Gwyn. I really learned a lot about Canada's early history and John A MacDonald. The book was somewhat dry, but I plan to read the second volume of the biography ( really a lot of history and politics-) in January or February of 2012. It's called Nation Maker.
@105 You must feel awfully special, being the only person. You'll have to set an alert to find out when somebody joins you. Hehe.
#114 - I loved Good Bones when I read it last year. It seems to be out of print, so I'm on the look out for a nice used copy.
Yep, I'm definitely getting the "more about Anne's children" vibe in this one. They are pretty darn cute though ;) Especially Jem! His chapter (or the one of his I've read so far) was a hoot. "When I grow up I'm going to stay up all night, every night, and I'm going to get tattooed ALL OVER!"
Looking forward to Rilla of Ingleside. One of my co-workers recommended it as a good WW1 homefront book as well as a good entry in the Anne series.
Finished up Small Ceremonies. Carol Shields is like the original Seinfeld - it's all about nothing, but in her hands, it's wonderful. Since everyone's life is nothing (and everything) her view shines a light on your own version.
Now I'm reading The Staircase Letters: An Extraordinary Friendship at the End of Life, a collection of letters between Shields, Elma Gerwin, and Arthur Motyer as Shields and Gerwin both battle cancer.
I read Half-Blood Blues about a week ago and really liked it. I just bought a copy yesterday to give as a present.
I found the most delightful Christmas collection of stories at the second hand store - Christmas with Anne and other Holiday Stories by LM Montgomery. I was going to read one a day, or every now and then, but have almost half finished the book as I can't put it down.
The first story was the chapter from Anne of GG when Matthew bought the dress with puffed sleeves. Matthew, sob! The rest haven't been so famous, but full of Montgomery pathos and happy endings, with improbable coincidences. Just how I like my LM stories.
Awww Matthew! I've added Christmas with Anne to the TBR. Thanks! :)
Has anyone read Deborah Ellis' Cocalero series. I've just been introduced and am looking forward to reading them...
Uashat was great...especially the ending. I've posted a review.
Now, I have about 1/2 hour before the family arrives for Christmas and am about to start A Perfect Night to go to China by David Gilmour which won the GG award in 2005.
ETA: Really liked Perfect Night to to to China. Now, I'm about to start Strange Heaven by Lynn Coady
ETA: Seems like I'm on a CanLit kick. Have just started Etienne's Alphabet by James King.
I've delved into the Governor General Prizes recommendations at the library and picked up : Toxique ou l'incident dans l'autobus by Greg MacArthur as well as teen fiction book Pieces of me by Charlotte Gingras whose translator, Susan Ouriou, won the prize (I'll add a smug note that she's a friend of the family's so I can do some name dropping at those literary events... :-)
I'm reading 33, chemin de la Baleine by Myriam Beaudoin a young Quebecois author who recounts Quebec in the 50s through love letters. It is very delicate, with lots of delightful detail; the tale is told through an old woman today who has a young man read to her the letters she wrote to her now deceased husband. A very clever way to depict an epoch.
I finished up The Hero's Walk and the review can be found on the main page - 4 stars. Really a lovely but sad story, beautifully told.
I loved The Sisters Brothers. It was great fun and a great book to start off the year with.
Then, I finished The Tenderness of the Wolves, which isn't in fact Canadian, but the setting and history contained could fool a person! It would remind a person of Lost in the Barrens by Farley Mowatt, my only exposure, from grade 8 Language Arts class, to life in the north.
Next up, on 7 day loan from the library - Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan.
I've jumped on the The Sisters Brothers bandwagon - so glad I did! Reminds me a bit of E. Annie Proulx's Close Range, but with more humour.
I'm about 1/3 of the way through As Long as the Rivers Flow by James Bartleman. Excellent depiction of how residential school's hurt our First Nation's People. Bartleman is First Nations himself, and he tells a most interesting story.
#buriedinprint: I thought Etienne was an interesting narrator with a unique perspective on the world. I like the way the author used the narrative form to match the personality of his main character.
#vancouverdeb, that book is on my wish list.
I've just finished Irma Voth by Miriam Toews, which was really good. I'm now reading My White Planet by Mark Anthony Jarman -- very different.
I've got Happenstance by Carol Shields from the library, but I've got a question for someone who has read it already - do you read the husband's story first since it was published first, or do you read the wife's story first? They are in the same edition, but upsidedown, so you can read either from the 'cover', since it is the same front and back.
I notice also that the book A Fairly Conventional Woman was combined into Happenstance, although I often see it listed by itself on her list of novels.
I read Happenstance about 10 years ago and I'm not sure which order I read them . . . not sure it matters.
I finished As Long as the Rivers Flow and really found it to be a wonderful book. I wrote review which is on the main page. There are only two reviews so far, so mine should be easy to find.
I'm reading and very much enjoying Midnight at the Dragon Cafe by Judy Fong Bates. My sons girlfriend has read it at university and it's the story Chinese immigrants arriving in small town Ontario in the early 1960's. Interesting!
I'm almost finished The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway, a fabulous story. Now I'm wanting to read more about what brought about the war in Bosnia - the most recent one anyway.
vivienne - I remember feeling the same way after The Cellist of Sarajevo. How did I not know more about that war?
lynnB - Tide Road! You're the only other person I know who has read it. I liked it a lot as well. And since I live on PEI, I had that extra connection.
A Trick of the Light was very good. Some of the books got a little confusing, but this one was spot on.
155 & 157: The Cellist of Sarajevo is one of those books I just can't seem to get to, even though I own it. We really didn't hear that much about their war--it was just picking up steam when I was backpacking through Europe in the spring-summer of 1992, and I remember waiting for a pay phone at a train station in France and a woman backpacker in front of me in line slamming down the phone and turning to me almost hysterical, screaming "do you realize what's happening in Yugoslavia?! It's horrible!" That's as close to that war as I ever got, but I noticed a lack of news stories about it ever since.
>155 >157 >158 There is some background to the war in Samantha Power's A Problem from Hell, which won a Pulitzer Prize a few years back. Don't hesitate if you don't have any background in the topic, as it's very accessible and informative and the style of the narrative pulls you through the text.
>163 This is one of my favourites of her novels, and I have re-read it a couple of times. Just hearing you say that you're reading it makes me want to pick it up again.
>164 buriedinprint: Thanks for the tip. I'll watch out for Samantha Power's book.
Lynn - that 's an interesting, odd book, which I guess made it sort of fun. I hope you enjoy it.
My Mom gave me a book of poetry by Don Kerr: Wind Thrashing Your Heart, which I read on the flight from her place to mine.
I'm going through a phase where I'm mostly not reading Canlit, but I have been catching up on some issues of Quill & Quire that I've missed here and there, and have been adding tonnes of new titles to my TBR from it. So I doubt this phase will last much longer.
All my non-fiction at present is Canadian content: Flames Across the Border, by Pierre Berton; and Have Not Been the Same: The CanRock Renaissance 1985-1995, by Michael Barclay. I'm starting Canada Day celebrations two weeks early ;)
I'm about to start Luck by Joan Barfoot. This will be my first book by her.
Hi LynnB, I loved Alone in the Classroom. I recommended it to my book club for a summer read.
Just finished Eating Dirt by Charlotte Gill and thought it was fantastic. It was so well written and such a unique subject (tree planting).
#176 - I really want to read Eating Dirt! I've heard great things about it. Living in BC, "tree planers" are people you hear about .... it was one of those "oh, yeah, you're young, go plant trees" jobs (like, oh yeah, go work at McDonald's). But New Years I met a woman who had done it for a few years, and wow! Not a job most people could do. I'm not sure I'd wish that on anyone I love. Good to hear that Eating Dirt is recommended. I think I see my bro in law's Christmas present. And then he will pass it over to me. (I'm devious that way).
Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay for book club, and to kick off the Canadian Book Challenge.
It's okay, but I can't get a good read on the characters.
Started The Bishop's Man this afternoon. I borrowed it from my boyfriend's mum last year after she read it for her book club. I'm reading it now so that I can return it and borrow another book from her :P
My current bus book is a 1970s-era thriller called The Last Canadian, which the cover describes as "TERRIFYING!" I'd opt for the adjective "chilling", especially for the first couple of chapters.
Finished up Our Daily Bread by Lauren Davis. Review on the main page if interested. It was a 5 star read for me!
I loved Our Daily Bread by Davis. I am well into my goal to read the 2012 Giller nominees. So far, I loved Y, Our Daily Bread & Dr Brinkley's Tower. I found 419 to be a little odd and disjointed. And One Good Hustle was all right. I have Imposter Bride to read this weekend and then I have to wait for the others to come in from the library.
I have tried Golden Mean several times now but haven't gotten far. I am curious to see if I fare any better with The Sweet Girl.
Okay I retract my earlier statement about enjoying The Sweet Girl. I finished it today and was dissapointed considering I enjoyed the begining so much. Once I passed the half way mark, I found the story just never progressed. It became tedious aand pointless and if it hadn't been for the fact that it is a very short book, I don't think I would have even finished it. If you want to work your way through the Giller Longlist, I would leave this one for the end.
I can't wait until tomorrow ( Oct 1st ) when they announce the Giller Short List. I've got Y but had not read it yet. I have read Our Daily Bread, which I loved, and Inside (Borzoi Books) which I thought was just middling. I really did not like any of the characters - I felt that they were all self - absorbed narcissists . I also have Everybody Has Everything and Whirl Away from the library. I'm just going to wait until tomorrow to see the short list to decide what I might read next.
I like Michael Redhill and wonder why he's writing under a different name?
It was only announced this past summer with the third book that Redhill was the unknown author. I read an article (found through google.) He felt he had this mystery in him to write.
I am part way through Bobcat and Other Stories by Rebecca Lee. So far an excellent book of short stories. I kept looking at it at Chapters, and found it at the library! Yeah!
Finished up Bobcat and Other Stories a couple of days ago. Quite good - 3. 5 stars. I've begun another CanLit book, the touchstone does not work but it is here http://www.librarything.com/work/book/90667515 . It is called Mr Roger and Me and is translated from French in Quebec where the novel won a couple of awards. Very promising so far!
The Quebec book sounds good. I've heard about it and was hoping my local library might get it.
The touchstone works with the original title La Petite et le vieux, not the translation. I don't know how to fix that.
As an FYI, the Vancouver Writer's Festival began just this week and you can find plenty more Canadian lit writers just by clicking around their website (here: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/), and if you live in the area some of these events sound amazing. For those U.S. readers who live in the Pacific Northwest--especially Seattle--Vancouver isn't too far of a drive...
I finished up the Quebec book http://www.librarything.com/work/book/90667515. I thought that it was fabulous - perhaps one of my favourite reads this year. It was described as a mix of The History of Love and Lullabies for Little Criminals, and to a certain extent that was true. It was not as dark as Lullabies for Little Criminals and now I am just 50 pages into The History of Love,which I've had on my shelf for several years! It was both very touching and also humorous , in it's way. I really recommend it!
Thanks Deborah, I've added it to my Amazon wishlist to buy with my next order. It sounds wonderful. I'll also check The History of Love at the library. It will fit my Endless Europe Challenge even though I've already read a couple for Poland.
I'm reading Ru by Kim Thuy right now. It was picked by my book club for our November read back in June before there was any thought of it being on the Giller list. I'm enjoying it but finding the structure a little difficult to get used to. She will talk about life in Vietnam when she was a child for a while, then about Canada, then about the refugee camp in Thailand, then Canada, then Vietnam again but this time as an adult. I just know what one person in my book club is going to say about that.
202 Vivienne, I really loved http://www.librarything.com/work/book/90667515 or La Petite et le vieux. I'm nearly finished The History of Love. While I'm very much enjoying The History of Love, I find it less like Mr Roger and Me than Lullabies for Little Criminals. The History of Love is a bit confusing with it's narrative and jumping back and forth in time , I'll just warn you. But I'm very glad that I've read it ( well - I've got about 35 pages to go).
I must warn you that most of what happens in The History of Love happens in the US , rather than Poland, but still, things do happen in Poland and even Chile! :)
I finished Ru a few days ago and I liked it but not as much as The Imposter Bride or 419. Now I'm reading The Lake on the Mountain which is a mystery set in Toronto. The detective is a gay missing persons investigator who is a father. I had not read anything by Jeffrey Round before but judging by the first 80 pages of this book I'll be looking for more of his work.
I recently read Soucouyant, by David Chariandy, which was rather fabulous. Here are some of my comments (full comments at my thread, http://www.librarything.com/topic/141913#3658850):
"This is a thoughtfully written novel about the struggle between forgetting about trauma and moving on to a new life on one hand, and making the story of your trauma known, on the other. In Soucouyant, this theme is explored within the context of the immigrant, post-colonial experience.
After several years away from home, the unnamed narrator returns to the house where he grew up in Scarborough, Ontario, to care for his mother who is suffering from early onset dementia. Through their fragments of memories, he tries to piece together her early life in the Trinidad. The writing is powerful, and full of symbolism, which makes it a rewarding read for the careful reader. There is a lot going on in this short novel. "
Now I'm reading The Virgin Cure, which doesn't seem nearly as literary (I say that because this group is about Canadian "literature") .
Started Alistair MacLeod's No Great Mischief, longlisted for contention on the 2013 edition of Canada Reads. Having (briefly) taken Gaelic in university I am really enjoying how much it's incorporated into the narration.
>211: Nope, this is my first experience with MacLeod, but I anticipate adding the books you mentioned to the TBR list very soon!
I just finished reading The Factory Voice, a novel set in Fort William during World War II. I really enjoyed it with its descriptions of women working in an airplane factory. And apparently one of the main characters is based upon a real woman, Elsie MacGill, who was the first Canadian woman to earn a degree in aeronautical engineering.
Oh I'm reading The Beautiful Mystery too. Deep in the woods of Quebec with the wild blueberries and monks!
I'm reading A Good Man now. It was a Christmas gift last year but I put off reading it in part because Vanderhaeghe doesn't write many books so I wanted to have one on hold. I'm enjoying it very much.
Getting set to read 1982 by Jian Ghomeshi. It's on 7 day loan from the library, so it will have to be read quickly!
Raidergirl - I think I want to read that one, so please let us know what it's like.
217 - Vancouverdeb - Glad to hear you enjoyed The Purchase. It's coming up for me at the library any day now and people's opinions of it seem to be all over the map. It's always nice to hear that someone else enjoyed a book that you are about to read.
Just finished Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay. It's my first book by Kay and I was quite impressed even though I normally don't like fantasy.
Will probably finish Translation is a Love Affair, by Jacques Poulin, either tonight or tomorrow morning. It was a fast read, although it is probably meant to be savoured :P
I've read my first book of the Canada Reads finalists. Indian Horse is amazing. I think it will go far and perhaps even win.
232 - Well, I'm reading another of the finalists, Away by Jane Urquhart. I also think it's amazing, but I'm not sure if it's particularly suitable to Canada Reads.
I've read Soucouyant and found it sad but very interesting and enlightening. Thanks for the nudge, Joyce! I had been looking at in the bookstore and your review pushed me to purchase it and read it.
Lynn - I've had The Immaculate Conception in my hands several times, but I think next time I'm going to actually take it home with me.
I just finished listening to The Year of the Flood on audiobook. I highly recommend it for anyone who likes dystopian fiction. And I'm still tickled by the Saint Terry Fox and Saint David Suzuki mentions.
Now I'm on to the Booker-nominated The Romantic, by Barbara Gowdy. Only on page 40, but I think it's going to be a good one too.
243- ooo one of my very favourites!
I'm reading 419 which was not at all what I was expecting, but I'm enjoying the romp through my old town, Calgary.
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