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Happy Canada Day! What we're reading in July, 2010

Canadian Bookworms

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Jul 1, 2010, 12:12pm Top

Happy Canada Day everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying better weather the we are having right now in Victoria BC. Here it is cold and overcast, a good day to curl up with a book!

Right now I am reading ..... hummmmm , what am I reading.....

goes off to retrieve book from other room

The Secrets of a Fire King, a collection of short stories by Kim Edwards.

Jul 1, 2010, 12:51pm Top

Since hubby and I are reading The Knife Man together, I'm also starting my Early Reviewers book from APRIL, which just arrived: Home, Away by Jeff Gillenkirk

Edited: Jul 1, 2010, 2:44pm Top

I am 100 pages through the 700 page Canadian tome that is The way the crow flies set in an army base near London-Ontario.. so far I really like it!

I am also almost halfway through Galway Bay another large book. This book starts in Ireland in the years before the potato blight.. they are now in the second year of the blight and starting to consider moving to 'Ameri-Kay'... I have some Irish background so this is an interesting read for me... hard to read about how poorly the Irish were treated.

Jul 1, 2010, 3:55pm Top

To celebrate this chilly damp west coast Canada Day I'm reading a past Governor General's award winner: The Underpainter by Jane Urquhart. It was also nominated for the Orange Prize, so I'm reading it for the annual Orange July reading-fest.

Jul 1, 2010, 4:19pm Top

>5 Nickelini: - Joyce, The Underpainter looks good. I look forward to finding out what you think of it.

Jul 3, 2010, 4:34pm Top

I have finished Knitting Under the Influence, a dull chick lit book but which has an interesting focus on autism.
I've also read Ru by Vietnamese Canadian Kim Thuy. Through a series of poetic vignettes, she retraces her past and integration into Quebec.
I will now be starting the very voluminous Wolf Hall by Hilary Martel and hopefully learn something of English history.

Jul 4, 2010, 8:20am Top

I'm reading Intuition by Allegra Goodman

Jul 4, 2010, 3:27pm Top

Just finished reading My discovery of America by Farley Mowat. A hilarious book.. posted a review :)

Jul 5, 2010, 12:25pm Top

I just finished a great murder mystery, When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson. I've been reading a lot of myteries lately, and this is for sure my favourite.
Today I'm starting The Amazing Absorbing Boy by Rabindranath Maharaj.

Jul 7, 2010, 7:05am Top

I'm reading The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Jul 7, 2010, 12:53pm Top

I plan to pick up a copy of The Global Forest by Ontario scientist Diane Beresford-Kroeger. A Canadian biologist, previously interested in trees only as perches, recommended it.

Jul 7, 2010, 2:50pm Top

I'm reading Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, for a group read we're doing on The Green Dragon, very funny with lots of laugh-out-loud moments.

Next up will be my ER book The War Memoirs of HRH Wallis, The Duchess of Windsor, which is finally unpacked.

Jul 8, 2010, 7:04pm Top

I'm reading The Hypnotist by MJ Rose for Early Reviewers and am quite enjoying this art history mystery (although there are too many characters!)
I also picked up Les paupières by Japanese Yoko Ogawa - one of my favorite authors. I'm looking foward to this series of short stories.

Jul 9, 2010, 12:36pm Top

I've decided to read all those books that I think I've read but actually haven't. You know, those books that have been talked about so much (or have been made into so many film versions) that you think you know the story even though you haven't read it.

I'm currently reading The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. Unfortunately my primary and secondary school French classes didn't take, so I'm reading it in translation.

I'm also reading Othello as part of my introduction to poetry and plays course.

Jul 11, 2010, 12:47pm Top

I'm reading my latest Early Reviewers book, The News Where You Are by Catherine O'Flynn

Jul 11, 2010, 12:51pm Top

I'm using the new e-book service from my local library and chose Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. My reader now has a little clock next to the book - how cool is that? Only 19 more days left to read it....

Jul 11, 2010, 12:56pm Top

Do they delete the book after 19 days?

Jul 11, 2010, 7:44pm Top

Do they delete the book after 19 days?

With my library, I just can't access it after the "due" date. The file still appears, but it doesn't work. Depending on the rights attached to the book, sometimes I'm able to copy the book onto my computer, in which case I have it forever.

Jul 12, 2010, 8:50am Top

I'm starting Remainder by Tom McCarthy.

Jul 15, 2010, 11:08am Top

I'm reading Trespass by rose Tremain. Last night we really enjoyed the Swedish movie Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, dubbed in English so we didn't have to struggle with subtitles.

Jul 15, 2010, 11:15am Top

I just finished reading Paper Shadows by Wayson Choy. It's his haunting memoir about growing up in Vancouver's Chinatown, and it triggered some memories about my own Asian Canadian family (particularly my grandparents' generation). You can read my full review at www.the-reading-list.com

Jul 16, 2010, 6:55am Top

I've finished Negotiating with Giants by Peter D. Johnston and am currently reading The Black Tulip by Milt Bearden which a colleague gave me in 2004!

Jul 16, 2010, 10:43am Top

I have to had a lot of luck with books this month. I have almost finished The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn but have struggled with the language to start with and then find it annoying that every character is so gullible. To break up this book I decided to start Wolf Hall. Rarely do I not finish a book and I was really looking forward to this but in less than 100 pages I tossed it to the discard pile. The Historian has taken its place and I am really enjoying it. A copy of Missus just came from the library and I am very keen to start it as I have loved harp in the south and Poor Man's Orange earlier this year. I decided I need to wait until I am done with Huck Finn and his annoying friend Tom Sawyer first.

Jul 16, 2010, 12:18pm Top

I just finished Fault Lines by Canadian author Nancy Huston. I find it really interesting that although this book is about English speaking people (and German near the end), she wrote it in French and then translated it into English. Wish I could read both and do a comparison. Anyway, it was a compelling read and time well-spent.

Jul 16, 2010, 2:49pm Top

That sounds like an interesting book Nickelini! Might have to add that one to my wishlist :)

Jul 16, 2010, 4:26pm Top

Nickelini (message 26):
I love Nancy Huston's novels but I haven't got around to reading Fault Lines yet. An Adoration is written in the style of court case with each character giving evidence about a man and the events surrounding his death to the reader (who is standing in as the judge). It's a slightly surreal style and a compulsive read. Dolce Agonia is a the story of a group of friends that gather for a reunion dinner after years of being apart. All of them are keeping both old and new secrets from each other and "God" acts as narrator, breaking in occasionally to fill the reader in on what's not being said. Does Fault Lines have the same surreal story telling techniques, or is it more in the style of modern novel?

I just started reading A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif. It's a politcal and social satire about the assassination of a military dictator and I'm thoughly enjoying it so far. I'll be able to give a better discription of it as I get further into it.

Jul 16, 2010, 5:38pm Top

I don't know if I'd describe Fault Lines as "surreal," but it was different. It's told by four related narrators, each at the age of six years old. It goes in reverse chronological order, starting with the uber-obnoxious Sol, then his father back in the 1980s, his grandmother in the 1960s and finally his great-grandmother in WWII Germany. None of the six year olds actually sounds like a six year old--very advanced vocabularies and political ideas. This doesn't work for all readers, but I was okay with it. I'll definitely look out for those other novels.

Jul 17, 2010, 3:17pm Top

#25 - I am so relived you threw out Wolf Hall. I've made it halfway through because a friend recommended it, but I've seriously thought of returning it - while the writing is good, the story is just plain tedious. Maybe I'll just return it with a smile on my face and pretend I've read it...

#28-29: I love Huston too. Her ability to write in two languages makes me marvel and she has such an incredible repertoire. My favourite by far is Plainsong which I tout every chance I have.

Jul 17, 2010, 4:41pm Top

My favourite, so far, is Slow Emergencies. And, her The Mark of the Angel is one of the most disturbing books I've ever read.

Jul 17, 2010, 4:48pm Top

25/30: Heh. I got about 1/4 of the way into Wolf Hall and returned it. I thought there was something wrong with me because everyone else seemed to rave. Thanks for confirming that its not just me :)

28/29/30: I have a couple to Huston's books and will have to bump her up the list a little. They look good so I am not sure why I haven't read them yet.

As for what I am reading right now? Frontier Spirit: The Brave Women of the Klondike by Duncan. It fills the Yukon spot of my Canadian challenge quite nicely and is really enjoyable so far.

Jul 17, 2010, 5:15pm Top

Sounds like a good one Bucketyell! :)

Jul 17, 2010, 8:58pm Top

It is! It's a series of vignettes of different women who came to the Yukon with a different purpose in mind and it chronicles how they survived the harsh environment. Some are happy stories and some aren't quite so happy but all are well told and quite interesting. With your love of 'pioneer' tales, I think you might like it.

Jul 17, 2010, 9:15pm Top

Agreed, I think I will add it to my wishlist :)

Jul 19, 2010, 10:39pm Top

I am all curled with a cozy murder mystery Latte Trouble by Cleo Coyle - it's part of a long list of coffeehouse mysteries which are full of spunk and humour that make me laugh out loud.

I have also started Nadirs by Nobel Prize winner Herta Müller. I thought I'd have it read in a couple of days since it's a slim book. However this collection of stories is very difficult to read: very poetic and impressionistic; one must almost be "in the zone" to appreciate it - somewhat reminiscent of Virginia Woolf. I must admit... not my favourite style.

Jul 19, 2010, 10:57pm Top

I just finished The Wat the Crow Flies.. I have officially read as many books as I did last year! I must be on a roll. I will be starting Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace this evening. It is a short book set in New Brunswick.

Jul 20, 2010, 10:54am Top

I'm reading The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch

Jul 24, 2010, 10:53am Top

I've picked up a really cute little Canadian novel Le facteur émotif by Denis Thériault which speaks of a letter carrier who corresponds with a Guadeloupe girl in haïkus. Delightful!

Jul 24, 2010, 4:35pm Top

On to Oxygen, Annabel Lyon's first book.

Jul 25, 2010, 9:44am Top

I just finished Except the Dying -the first in the Inspector Murdoch mystery series by Maureen Jennings. I really liked it and am looking for the rest of the series. ( I watch the TV series). I am now reading Save the Deli by David Sax.

Jul 25, 2010, 10:52am Top

Just started The Other Side of the Bridge and so far I'm really enjoying it.

Jul 25, 2010, 11:47am Top

I quit Parrot and Olivier in America. Although I liked the 'voice', I found I just didn't care about the characters or their story.
I'm reading Doing Dangerously Well, a humorous satire set in the near future when a major dam in Nigeria bursts, killing millions, and more importantly, creating opportunity for corrupt politicians and an American corporation to profit hugely through claiming ownership of the Niger River and selling its water back to the people.
On deck, The Imperfectionists.

Edited: Jul 27, 2010, 8:38am Top

I enjoyed The War Memoirs of (HRH) Wallis, Duchess of Windsor tremendously. Now I'm reading The Uninvited by Tim Wynne-Jones, a YA mystery cottage-country story, perfect for a quick summer read.

I just got a job at a used bookstore, so I'm going to have a tough time restraining myself from the selection now available to me. Yesterday I came home with the rest of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next's series as well as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I can see I might need more bookcases!

Iudita, I loved The Other Side of the Bridge. Have you read Crow Lake yet? Mary Lawson has only written the two books, but I wish she'd write more, they're both so good.

Jul 28, 2010, 7:31pm Top

I've officially given up on Wolf Hall... I'm reading Permanent Obscurity an author giveaway, which I really enjoying for its abrasiveness - it took me a while to tune in the language, but now I'm hooked.

I'm also reading Trois femmes puissantes the latest Goncourt (prestigious French award), but I haven't really figured out the format yet (short stories, independent threads... ack, when does it all come together?)

I'm torn between reading and the Ottawa Chamber Music festival (is it rude to read while listening to a concert?) - couldn't be a better dilemma, however!

Jul 28, 2010, 9:06pm Top

I'm reading The Girls by Lori Lansens--my last Orange book for the Orange Prize July, and a Canadian one as well.

Cecil-I suspect it is indeed rude to read at a concert. You might get away with it though if you have a kindle and just kinda bury it in a bag in your lap.

Jul 29, 2010, 6:44am Top

I read at the movie theatre...but only thru the previews!

Jul 29, 2010, 10:46am Top

32/ 46: it is so refreshing to know when you are not the only one to give up on a book. My reading this month improved greatly when I gave up on Wolf Hall.

To round out the month I finished The Historian which was a very fun read. Then read The reluctant twitcher and Ivan Ilych. My early review copy of Chef just arrived in the mail yesterday so it is next. Ruth Park's Missus is going to have to wait till next month.

32: My wife thanks you for mentioning Frontier Spirit: The Brave Women of the Klondike. I just got it from the library for her. She just finished Great Pioneer women of the Outback by Susanna de Vries and has been looking for similar books since then.

Jul 29, 2010, 1:02pm Top

I am reading an early reviewers copy of Annabel set in Labrador, Canada.
I have also just started The Da Vinci Code since a friend gifted me with their hardcover version.

Jul 29, 2010, 1:42pm Top

fmgee: Did your wife read Sisters in the Wilderness by Charlotte Gray? It's the story of Susannah Moody and Catherine Parr Traill in Ontario. It won a Canadian book award and I enjoyed it (but was glad I wasn't a pioneer!)

Jul 30, 2010, 11:34am Top

51...I've got a copy of sisters in the Wilderness somewhere and I think I'll dig it out. thanks for the suggestion.
I've just picked up Greedy Little Eyes from the library and hope to dig into it today.

Edited: Jul 30, 2010, 2:35pm Top

I'm reading (and absolutely loving The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. I saw yesterday that it has just been longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker prize, along with two Canadian works - February by Lisa Moore and Room: a Novel by Emma Donohue. I've read neither of these two, has anyone else? Recommended?

Jul 30, 2010, 2:37pm Top

Nobody has read Room yet, as it has yet to be released in Canada. ARCs are available, but that's it.

Edited: Jul 30, 2010, 2:49pm Top

>54 ajsomerset: Right you are. I just checked online for availability for Room: A Novel at the Kindle store (as I'm living currently in Brazil that's the only access I have to recently published works in English) and they show it as being available from August 01. I guess that the Man Booker jury must have gotten their hands on some of those ARCs, eh? (Incidentally, February is for sale already in a Kindly edition.)

Jul 30, 2010, 3:01pm Top

Room: a Novel is available now from BookDepository for $17.56 CAN, including shipping.

Jul 30, 2010, 3:23pm Top

55: Yup, the publisher will submit ARCs for a prize if the pub date is close to the deadline. So sometimes you get books longlisted that aren't even released.

Jul 30, 2010, 3:31pm Top

Thanks for the heads up guys, just added that one to my growing wishlist as well :P

Jul 30, 2010, 7:20pm Top

#57 - in this case though the book is available in Britain (any coincidence that it's a British prize? I have no idea)

Jul 30, 2010, 7:32pm Top

I think it was only just released there. The only review I found of it is in an Irish paper. (Donoghue is an Irish citizen.)

Jul 30, 2010, 7:49pm Top

Oh, okay. Today was the first time I looked.

Jul 31, 2010, 4:35pm Top

Katylit - I finished The Other Side of the Bridge yesterday and I really really enjoyed it. I will definately read Crow Lake. Hope you are enjoying your new job. I work in a library and I always bring home way more than I can read. The good thing is that I can give them back when I'm done, otherwise I wouldn't know where I would put them all.

Jul 31, 2010, 10:54pm Top

#62, I so like your attitude about using the library! I'm with you...I see no reason to stuff my house with books, but I do buy books I've already read and loved, so I can re-read and share them.

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