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Louanne's Cross Canada Adventures

Canadian Fiction/Non-Fiction Reading Challenge

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1Louanne
Edited: Aug 25, 2011, 2:13pm Top

This sounds like a wonderful Canadian challenge. I haven't been reading as much Can Lit as I have in the past, so I look forward to revisiting our great Canadian landscape! I'm only posting my reading from 2010 to the present.

NEWFOUNDLAND/LABRADOR
READ The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston

NOVA SCOTIA
TBR Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald

NEW BRUNSWICK ???

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND ???

QUEBEC
READ Last Night In Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel
READ The Cruellest Month by Louise Penny

ONTARIO
READ The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
READ The Landing by John Ibbitson
READ The High Road by Terry Fallis
TBR Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden
TBR Clara Callan by Richard B. Wright

MANITOBA
TBR Children of the Day by Sandra Birdsell

SASKATCHEWAN
TBR Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott
TBR The Last Crossing by Guy Vanderhaeghe ???
TBR Waiting For Joe by Sandra Birdsell

ALBERTA
READ Mrs Mike by Benedict Freedman
TBR: The Last Crossing by Guy Vanderhaeghe ???

BRITISH COLUMBIA
READ The Woefield Poultry Collective by Susan Juby
TBR The Jade Peony
TBR After River

YUKON ???

N.W. TERRITORIES ???

NUNAVUT ???

2starfishian
Jan 9, 2010, 12:38am Top

Welcome, Louanne -- looks like you've picked some good books so far.

3RidgewayGirl
Jan 9, 2010, 11:47am Top

I look forward to seeing what you think of these books as you read them.

4Louanne
Jan 11, 2010, 1:31pm Top

Hi starfishian and RidgewayGirl. Thanks for the welcome. I should have read some of these books ages ago.

5mathgirl40
Jan 16, 2010, 7:07am Top

Welcome, Louanne! You have some good choices there.

6Louanne
Edited: Jan 6, 2011, 12:57pm Top



Mrs Mike by Benedict Freedman. For Alberta

I LOVED this novel! This is the coming of age story of a young woman from Boston who moves to Northern Alberta in the 1900s and marries a Mountie. I experienced a range of emotions during this book. I was in awe of the majesty and beauty of the Far North, and horrified at the ferocity and harsh nature of that same Northern climate. I was amazed at the strength and pioneering spirit of the people. I was enthralled at the details of the lives of the women, particularly the Native women of that region. I was also sad. Sad when the novel ended. But then most overjoyed to learn that a sequel exists.

This book came out in the 1940s, and I am so happy to have finally read it! It reminded me of Little House on the Prairie, Late Nights on Air, and Susanna Moodie's Roughing it in the Bush all rolled in to one!

7Louanne
May 28, 2010, 9:23pm Top

Who knew it would take me this long to get going on my Can Lit for this challenge? Anyway, finally....

I've also picked up Farley Mowat's Lost in the Barrens to read at a later date.

8RidgewayGirl
May 29, 2010, 2:22pm Top

Mrs. Mike is a delightful book. There's a book along similar lines called Tisha, but it's set in Alaska and therefore unsuitable for this challenge.

9Louanne
May 29, 2010, 9:03pm Top

Thanks for the recommendation RidgewayGirl. Tisha sounds like the perfect follow-up to the Mrs Mike series. Besides, the weather is so darn hot right now in Southern Ontario that books set in the frigid North suit me just fine!

Have you read the other Mrs Mike novels as well?

10starfishian
May 29, 2010, 9:52pm Top

I'm joining the bandwagon -- you've all loved Mr. Mike so much, I'm going to pick up a copy. I really liked Tisha, so Ridgewaygirl has sealed the deal!

11Louanne
May 30, 2010, 10:02pm Top

>10 starfishian: Another vote for Tisha! Have to look for that one soon.
It seems funny to me that I generally read a good bit of Canadian material, either by Canadian authors, or at least set in Canada. The moment I decided to do this challenge.....I'm reading Brits, Americans, etc etc. According to LT, the author(s) of Mrs Mike are NOT Canadian though.

My fave Canadian authors read in 2009:

Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson
The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan
Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb
Coventry by Helen Humphreys
Deafening by Frances Itani

Also liked in 2009:
Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay
Still Life by Louise Penny

Read prior to 2009, and wonderful:

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill (U.S. title: Someone knows my name)
The Birth House by Ami McKay
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Random Passage by Bernice Morgan
Lives of the Saints trilogy by Nino Ricci
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
Everything by Robertson Davies

12Louanne
Edited: Jan 6, 2011, 7:51am Top



The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston

I started reading this and although I was loving it, I had to set it aside due to lack of time. I plan to pick it up again very soon....

13Louanne
Edited: Jan 6, 2011, 12:55pm Top



The Landing by John Ibbitson. For Ontario

Winner - Governor General's Literary Awards- Children's Lit

This was a short little YA book about a teen who feels trapped by circumstances in Ontario cottage country (Muskoka) during the Depression. He plays the violin, and music is the joy that feeds his soul, as he and his family try to make ends meet catering to the needs of wealthy cottagers. A nice book to curl up with in a hammock on a summer afternoon.

14vancouverdeb
Nov 3, 2010, 5:40am Top

Just thought I would come and say hi! I just started the Cross Canada Reading Challenge about 2 months ago. I'm really enjoying it! We have a number of Canadian reads in common!I included some of my 2009 reads in my challenge.

15Bcteagirl
Nov 3, 2010, 11:42am Top

Which province are you reading The Landing for, and how did you enjoy it? :)

16Louanne
Nov 3, 2010, 12:37pm Top

>14 vancouverdeb: Hi vancouverdeb and
>15 Bcteagirl: Hi Bcteagirl

I had planned to properly update this thread/challenge after I added the pics yesterday. I am currently reading The Colony of Unrequited Dreams for Newfoundland. It is FANTASTIC!!!

The Landing by John Ibbitson is a YA novel I read during the summer. It fits the Ontario challenge, as it takes place in cottage country Muskoka during the Depression years. I'll probably end up with many Ontario books as I progress through this challenge.

Will have to find your threads for other suggestions.

17Louanne
Jan 6, 2011, 7:54am Top

Finally updating this thread! I am about to begin Unless by Carol Shields so I can finish it before Canada Reads begins. I also plan to get back to The Colony of Unrequited Dreams which I had to set aside due to lack of time.

18Bcteagirl
Jan 6, 2011, 12:27pm Top

Sounds like a good plan! I need to try again at starting The Birth House for Canada Reads. During the holidays for some reason I had no interest whatsoever in the book :P

19Louanne
Edited: Jan 6, 2011, 12:56pm Top



Last Night In Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel. For Quebec

Lovely and beautifully written debut novel created around flawed but realistic characters. Each character has a marked obsession, and the author skillfully weaves their stories together into a brilliant tale about compulsive travel, words and language, memories, love and family. It's about finding your place in the world. Or sadly, not finding it.

I had many fave passages, but this one using ice skating as a metaphor for life, stood out for me:

"...you can skate over the surface of the world for your entire life, visiting, leaving, without ever really falling through. But you can't do that, it isn't good enough. You have to be able to fall through. You have to be able to sink, to immerse yourself. You can't just skate over the surface and visit and leave."

As a Canadian, I found the following quote to be quite hilarious.
It's a comment about graffiti on a wall that says: "Montreal en francais: 101 ou 401." One character explains the graffiti to another, saying "Bill 101 was one of the laws that specifically restricts the use of the English language. The 401 was the highway out of the city." Speak French or get out.

20Louanne
Jan 6, 2011, 1:02pm Top

>18 Bcteagirl: Hi Janice! I read The Birth House some time ago, and then re-read it with my book club. It was a favourite! I'm happy to see it on the Canada Reads list. I've reserved The Best Laid Plans as well at the library, but I'm not sure about Essex County.

21Bcteagirl
Jan 6, 2011, 1:21pm Top

I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it! I picked up Last night in Montreal this summer when I was in Montreal, so hoping to get to that soon. So many books, so little time :p

22Louanne
Jan 7, 2011, 8:28am Top

>21 Bcteagirl: Last Night in Montreal was very good. The author was born in B.C. and lived in Montreal at one time, but now lives in the U.S. It's a fast read, but I found many lovely passages that I wanted to re-read...slowly. Hope you like it too.

23VivienneR
Jan 7, 2011, 8:48am Top

>19 Louanne:, 21, 22: I loved Last Night in Montreal. Beautiful writing; wonderful story. It's a reminder that behind every story is another one.

24Louanne
Jan 7, 2011, 10:13pm Top

>23 VivienneR: Hi VivienneR! Yes! The writing is superb. Another favourite passage of mine:

"His only part in the story: to observe and remember the chain of events. Not all of us will be cast in the greatest dramas; someone has to remember them. Or perhaps it's just this: memory is too unreliable to entrust a story to the hero alone. Someone else has to have observed the chain of events to lend credibility; if no one else remembers your story, how are you to prove that it was real?"

25Louanne
Edited: Jan 24, 2011, 10:16pm Top



3. The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston for Newfoundland

(Copied from my 50-book challenge thread)

I thoroughly enjoyed Colony of Unrequited Dreams. I loved the way Johnston brought alive the harsh beauty of Newfoundland, and the way he described Joe Smallwood's determination to make something of himself despite his humble beginnings. Johnston captures life in Newfoundland from the early 1900s through to Confederation: the fishing outposts, railway travel, politics, the newspaper industry - he covers it all! And no East Coast material would be complete without mentioning the unceasing generosity and kind hospitality of the people, and the powerful majestic landscape!

I found many meaningful quotes and passages, but one that I believe nicely sums up the main character was when Joe remarks, "It seemed to me that unless I did something that historians thought was worth recording, it would be as if I had never lived..."

26Bcteagirl
Jan 24, 2011, 10:40pm Top

That sounds like a great book to loose yourself in! :)

27thornton37814
Jan 25, 2011, 10:03am Top

I'm really glad to hear you enjoyed The Colony of Unrequited Dreams because it is the book I have in my stash for Newfoundland.

28Louanne
Jan 26, 2011, 10:23pm Top

>26 Bcteagirl: and >27 thornton37814: It was a very good read!

29MsMoto
Feb 1, 2011, 7:14pm Top

I'm always glad to see The Colony of Unrequited Dreams go down well, as it's one of my favourite books. When I went to Newfoundland, I had my Fodor's guide in one hand and it in the other. Any plans to read The Custodian of Paradise, Sheilagh Fielding's story?

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