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Canadian Author Challenge 2016 - General Thread

75 Books Challenge for 2016

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Edited: Oct 1, 2016, 3:56pm Top

By popular demand, we'll be having a Canadian Authors challenge in 2016, and as a proud bilingual Canadian from Montreal, Québec, I've taken it upon myself to organize it (my name is Ilana, for those of you who don't know me yet). You are welcome to participate whether you are a member of the 75ers or not and there is no obligation to read all the authors or participate every month; feel free to dip in and out as you wish and come share your experiences with us here and on the monthly threads anytime of year!

After polling opinions for a few days in October, I came up with what many agreed was a great list for our first edition of the CAC. We'll get a good sampling of coast-to-coast Canadian literature, from Canadians established since several generations as well as immigrant voices, with a near half and half break between men and women, and a majority of living authors. The list does lean toward for literary fiction, but I've tried to go for a variety of styles and individual voices. I also aimed to pair authors who have long made their mark with emerging new voices, and that at least one of the two authors selected for each month is more easily accessible in libraries around the globe (or so I hope).

Here is our list:

January: Robertson Davies, Kim Thúy - http://www.librarything.com/topic/211111

February: Helen Humphreys, Stephen Leacock - http://www.librarything.com/topic/218454

March: Farley Mowat, Anita Rau Badami - http://www.librarything.com/topic/219785

April: Margaret Atwood, Michael Crummey - http://www.librarything.com/topic/220798

May: Michel Tremblay, Emily St. John Mandel - http://www.librarything.com/topic/223043

June: Timothy Findley, Joseph Boyden - http://www.librarything.com/topic/223894

July: LM Montgomery, Pierre Berton - http://www.librarything.com/topic/226536#

August: Mordechai Richler, Gabrielle Roy - http://www.librarything.com/topic/227956

September: Miriam Toews, Dany Laferrière - http://www.librarything.com/topic/231351

October: Lawrence Hill, Jane Urquhart - http://www.librarything.com/topic/233937

November: Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Laurence

December: Alice Munro, Rawi Hage

Welcome to all!

Dec 27, 2015, 12:52pm Top

I'll be posting the January Davies/Thúy thread soon and will post the link here.

Have you picked your January titles yet?

Dec 27, 2015, 12:55pm Top

I'm looking forward to this. I am getting in the mood for Canadian literature by reading the short tale, Translation is a Love Affair, by Quebecois Jacques Poulin, who is not on the list, but who writes beautifully. This was a 2015 75ers Christmas Swap gift, and I am enjoying it very much.

Dec 27, 2015, 6:14pm Top

Thanks for setting this up, Ilana, and naming the authors. Lots of folks I haven't read yet!

Dec 27, 2015, 6:42pm Top

Ilana, thanks for taking on the inaugural Canadian Author Challenge! I will be stopping in now and then, participating when my concerted effort to read books on my shelves allows.

Edited: Dec 27, 2015, 8:33pm Top

>3 laytonwoman3rd: Hi Linda, glad you're still as eager as ever to participate in this challenge. It's strange to me that Jacques Poulin has come to represent Québecois writing for so many people in this group, because while he is known here, he is certainly not considered to be one of the major influences. I read one or two of his books when there was lots of buzz about him here a couple of years ago I think, and frankly disliked what I found (reading in the original French of course). For that reason I wasn't eager to include him among our selections this year, but if there is still demand for a CAC beyond 2016 and I continue assuming responsibility for it, I'll definitely consider adding him to the lineup since so many 75ers seem to appreciate him.

>4 ffortsa: My pleasure Judy. I'll be discovering lots of our local authors too thanks to this challenge!

>5 EBT1002: Of course you are welcome to drop by any time Ellen!

Edited: Dec 28, 2015, 8:02am Top

Hi Ilana! Thanks for all of your work to bring the inaugural CAC to fruition. I have read Ru by Kim Thuy and loved it , so I am at the ready with
Man ( no touchstone) by the same author for January.

Edited: Dec 28, 2015, 8:07am Top

>6 Smiler69: I promise not to let Poulin represent Quebecois writing for me...he is the first (to my knowledge) I have read, though, so I will treat him as a jumping off point. I note that Sheila Fischman, who translated Translation is a Love Affair has also translated Kim Thuy and Michel Tremblay from the 2016 CAC list.

Dec 28, 2015, 1:02pm Top

>7 vancouverdeb: Nice to see you here Debbie! I'm really looking to reading Ru and have another short story by her to read online, tough I doubt I'll be able to fit it in this month. So many people have had great things to say about her books and I have a feeling she will hit the right note with me too.

>8 laytonwoman3rd: Please don't let my opinion influence you Linda, because an awful lot of people really have been enjoying Jacques Poulin in these parts, and I only feel I must be missing something. I couldn't say why his stories rubbed me the wrong way, except maybe that sometimes Quebecois voices really don't speak to me, and he must be one of those. Interesting that the same translator has worked on those three authors. I guess Sheila Fischman is a busy woman!

Dec 28, 2015, 4:47pm Top

Hello, Ilana. I am new to this group (CAC). Because I am a rather slow reader and already committed to a few other challenges, I may not be able to follow this one as closely as I would like, but I will try. It's been many years since I've read Davies (read the Deptford Trilogy and another, I think, a long time ago), but I will try to get my hands on Ru from the library for January. Thanks for setting this up!

>8 laytonwoman3rd: - My French is nowhere near the level to be able to read literature, but I know that Sheila Fischman is a well-known translator. She has translated many, if not all, of the books by beloved Quebec writer Roch Carrier.

Dec 28, 2015, 8:01pm Top

Hi Ilana and All, I am new to all of this, but the challenge sounds wonderful, given the authors on the list I do know. I plan to start with Ru and go from there.

Dec 28, 2015, 8:08pm Top

I still have eight authors to find out of the twenty four but I am set fair for January with The Manticore and Ru on the agenda.

Dec 29, 2015, 12:57am Top

I don't know whether I'll really get to them, but I have The Manticore teed up and I have added Ru to my wish list. :-)

Dec 29, 2015, 8:54am Top

I put Ru on hold at the library yesterday.

>9 Smiler69: Well, a little influence is what I'm here for, you know? I enjoyed Translation is a Love Affair for the writing and the happy ending that is suggested, at least. But I think I know what you mean about the voice...it was very different from other North American writing, and yet not at all European.

Dec 29, 2015, 9:32am Top

Ru is waiting for me at the library. Think I will pick it up tomorrow after SOT so that I can begin reading it for the Readathon on Thursday.

Dec 29, 2015, 12:13pm Top

Serendipity, as I had already checked out Mãn (okay, so the touchstone doesn't work) by Kim Thúy, and then I found your CAC. Perfect! I have already read the first few pages, and it is lovely. Thanks for setting this up, Ilana!

Dec 29, 2015, 12:26pm Top

I have a copy of Ru on my Kindle, and I'll probably read it next week.

Dec 29, 2015, 12:50pm Top

I'm notoriously bad at keeping up with The Challenges - start strong but fall off along the way - too many distractions but I'm going to try the CAC this year. I just may not accomplish a book each month. Starting with January is Kim Thuy's Ru. Thanks for setting this up.

Dec 29, 2015, 1:51pm Top

I'm going to join on some of the reads but not all of them. Some are just not available to me. Some don't interest me. However, there are some that are already on my wish list!

Dec 29, 2015, 2:06pm Top

>10 jessibud2: Hi Shelley, and welcome to the CAC! I'm all too aware there are way too many challenges going in this group for anyone but a dedicated completist to attempt to tackle all the authors listed in any one of them. Personally, I try to use the challenges as a way to read more from my vast tbr collection, and so tend to choose authors I already have in the stacks, but I make exceptions once in a while to discover someone new to me. There are LOTS of new-to-me authors on the CAC, and I feel I should probably attempt to read them all, but even though I'm running this challenge, I don't think that's realistic considering all the books I want to get to this year, AND the fact that I like to break free from the planning fairly often and pick up something just for the heck of it!

All this to say that you are welcome to dip in and out as best suits you. I'm really looking forward to reading Ru, and glad you'll be joining me on that one.

>11 heathrel: Welcome Heather! It'll lovely to see what you pick up throughout the year. Be sure to share with us!

>12 PaulCranswick: Ah Dear Paul!!! You are incredible. Your dedication to following each challenge so closely makes me slightly anxious. I just can't imagine committing quite so firmly to quite so many books! But of course I am flattered that you are so interested in this challenge. I look forward to reading The Manticore and Ru with you in January. The former will be a reread for me, because I read it several years ago, intending to complete the trilogy within a reasonable timeframe and then never got to the third book, so I've reread Fifth Business this year (it does stand up to rereading very well!), and next The Manticore, and I will definitely get to World of Wonders in 2016, or else have to start all over again! :-)

Edited: Dec 29, 2015, 2:14pm Top

>13 EBT1002: I'll be happy if you manage those books Ellen, but will also completely understand if you don't. Feel free to read any of the authors on the challenge at anytime of year though, if that is helpful to you.

>14 laytonwoman3rd: Good news on Ru! Interesting comment on your experience of Jacques Poulin's voice. I guess I should give him another chance eventually and try to see if I can hit the right note with him, but as there are so many other authors calling to me, it might take a while. We ALL influence one another so much in this group! I never thought I would own quite as many books as I do now, with an even larger wishlist, but I guess it was all going to happen one way or another since I do come from a family of readers.

>15 Fourpawz2: Ah the readathon! It's a rather short book, as you might already know Charlotte, so you might manage to finish it before the New Year is in! I think I'll dip in and out of the readathon to see what people are reading, but I won't be able to dedicate whole days to it as I've done in the past, for one thing because there is Coco to take outside now, and artwork to do, and a boyfriend to at least take tea with. Too many distractions, as you can see; but I'll be there in spirit! :-)

Dec 29, 2015, 2:22pm Top

>16 Crazymamie: Mamie, lovely to see you here! I love when I pick up a book spontaneously and it just happens to fit into any given challenge. Have you read Thúy's other book, Ru, or will Mãn be your first? I hand-fed the touchstone for that one by the way...

>17 kidzdoc: Great to see you joining in Darryl!

>18 catarina1: I believe there is no "right" or "wrong" way of participating in the challenges. It's just a way to help expand reading choices, or should be. I don't have the makings of a completist, so it's easy enough for me to see it that way. I do try to stick to as many as the selections I've committed to in the year, but that's only because I'm eager to get to those particular books and they only end up being pushed back to the great unknown of the future otherwise. Join in or not as suit you; guilt-free!

>19 thornton37814: Wonderful to see we've managed to hit on a few authors already on your wishlist Lori. Please see my note above to catarina about joining in sporadically. It's all good!

Dec 29, 2015, 4:56pm Top

This will be my first by Thúy. So funny because it was in the "new additions to the library" display, which is why I picked it up. Sounded interesting, so I brought it home, and then ran across your challenge!! Fun! I need to learn how to do that touchstone manipulation thing!

Dec 29, 2015, 8:22pm Top

Hi, Ilana! Nice job setting this up. I am not sure I'll be able to read both authors, each month but I am going to try my best, to read at least one. I just requested The Manticore from the library. I LOVED Fifth Business.

Jan 1, 2016, 1:52pm Top

Thanks for setting this up, Ilana. I'll be stopping in from time to time, too.

Edited: Jan 1, 2016, 2:05pm Top

>23 Crazymamie: I love when nice coincidences like that happen. Serendipity! :-)

The hand-made touchstone thing involves going to the book's work page on LT, and then copying the series of numbers immediately following the word "work" in the www address. Between the square brackets, you add the number in front of the book title followed by two colons, like this:

[123456::Book Title]

Then just wait a few seconds for the touchstone system to recognize the title, which you should see appear on the right-hand side of the message box, as usual.

This is how I get "Anna Karenina", a notoriously useless touchstone (work #2340) to point to the actual original novel, and not some derivative work.
It's a bit of a drag, but I hate using touchstones that link to the wrong work; sort of defeats the purpose. Hope that helps!

>24 msf59: No obligation at all to read both authors, or even participate every month, Mark. There's such an abundance of challenges, and reading needs to be fun, first and foremost I think (informative can be good too, but to a point). We'll be happy to have you join in whenever suits you! :-)

>25 BLBera: You are welcome anytime, Beth!

Jan 1, 2016, 2:05pm Top

Hi Ilana,

I dropped by the library yesterday, hoping and expecting to grab a copy of Ru. Well, imagine my surprise when, after checking the catalogue, the librarian told me there were 154 people ahead of me!! The TPL (Toronto Public Library) system is massive so even though I forgot to ask, I am going to assume there are multiple copies in circulation. So, I am #155... Hopefully, because it is a relatively short book, I'll get the call before we run out of January! :-)

Jan 1, 2016, 2:16pm Top

>26 Smiler69: AHHH! Thanks for that, Ilana!

Jan 1, 2016, 2:18pm Top

>27 jessibud2: Wow, it certainly is a popular book, but then not so surprising considering the honours it's received. Please don't worry overmuch Shelley, there is no obligation to read or complete the authors in their "official" month. I've often read BAC and AAC books at other times in the year and enjoyed them just as much when I got to them. That's what counts, really. :-)

>28 Crazymamie: Very happy to help Mamie!

Jan 1, 2016, 5:57pm Top

I'm in - and will be trying for both authors each month, which may get tricky occasionally as I suspect a lot of them may not have audiobooks. First books are on order at the library!

Jan 1, 2016, 6:33pm Top

>27 jessibud2: wow , that is amazing, 154 people ahead of you for Ru! I'm not sure if anyone is waiting for Ru at my library. I was able to get Man right away at my library. 3 copies, all available.

Jan 1, 2016, 8:09pm Top

I have Ru waiting for me to pick up when the library opens again tomorrow. I was first in line. The work is apparently not nearly as popular in Seattle as it is in Toronto!

Jan 1, 2016, 9:54pm Top

>32 EBT1002: Our library doesn't have a copy, so it must not be popular in Tennessee at all.

Jan 1, 2016, 11:38pm Top

Jan 2, 2016, 7:08am Top

>33 thornton37814: - Just you wait..... ;-)

Jan 2, 2016, 8:25am Top

>32 EBT1002: Well, its a Canadian award winner after all! ;) My library has 12 English language copies and 4 of Ru are free. We have just 1 French copy of Ru and it's out . I find it interesting to see how many copies different libraries have and how many are out at a time.

Jan 3, 2016, 7:23am Top

For what it's worth, here is a link to one of the several book shows on CBC radio, listing some good Canadian reading of the past year:


Jan 3, 2016, 10:16am Top

I'm disappointed at how few of these authors are available from my library, but I'm starring the thread in case I accidentally find myself in a used bookstore someday.

Edited: Jan 3, 2016, 1:29pm Top

I am going to grab Deptford Trilogy off my book shelf as soon as I get home and start on it. However, this will be a busy month for me so it may take me awhile to work my way through it.

Jan 3, 2016, 1:35pm Top

>30 evilmoose: Welcome Megan. You are right in thinking many authors on this edition of the CAC aren't available on audio. This is the case for many Canadian authors generally I'm afraid. I like you, tend to look for audio versions first, as I manage to get through audiobooks much faster than even the shortest print books, and generally with equal pleasure if the narrator is good. When there are audiobooks to be found, I generally find them easiest to find at the local library, which is where I suggest you look first.

>31 vancouverdeb: >32 EBT1002: >33 thornton37814: >36 vancouverdeb: Not surprised to find such wild fluctuations according to region. I suspect there aren't many Québecois authors to be found in the great state of Tennessee in general. Not sure why that is though. ;-)

>37 jessibud2: Oooohhh! Writers & Company is such a great radio program. I keep promising myself I'll listen to more of their podcasts and then keep forgetting, but I'll get on it as they have a great back catalogue of amazing authors. Thanks for sharing the link!

>38 rosalita: Very sorry to hear you're having trouble finding Canadian authors at the library Julia. You might want to try sourcing affordable used copies online via Abe, Amazon & co for those authors you're most curious about.

Jan 3, 2016, 1:36pm Top

>39 benitastrnad: Enjoy Benita! I've read the first two books and greatly enjoyed them. Rereading The Manticore this month before finally moving on to the final book in the trilogy.

Edited: Jan 3, 2016, 1:37pm Top

The January thread is finally up!


(all threads will be linked to the first post for ease of location).

Jan 3, 2016, 10:42pm Top

>42 Smiler69: thank you, thank you, thank you Ilana! Great idea--if there's one thing I hate doing, it's searching for threads.

Jan 3, 2016, 11:40pm Top

>43 kac522: I hear you! Very nice of you to express such gratitude for what I feel is a logical step. But then that must be my publishing background coming to the forth.

Jan 4, 2016, 8:06pm Top

I'm starring this thread so I can check in on you guys from time to time. Don't think I had better commit to anything though, I'm sliding down my TBR mountain already. But I do enjoy quite a few of the C authors so I may have to join in now and then. I am after all French Canadian on my mothers side. My husband gets the biggest kick when we look at photos of my grandparents as young adults, their parents and aunts and uncles. They are tall, broad-shouldered, dark-haired with wide (intelligent?) foreheads. Big heads, basically, with lots of dark, wavy hair. I am not tall or broad-shouldered, though I like to believe I am intelligent. I was told that they were Indians from that region of Canada, (I want to say Lenape Indians, but I'm just not sure)which explained my tall, handsome Memere-(memay)- (great-grandmother) with the hawk nose, wide forehead with thick white hair sweeping back off it. I grew up hearing Canadian French spoken, particularly on Christmas and New year's which we spent at Memere's every year, but I didn't seem to pick up the language. Memere towered over the men who married into the family. My uncles, my mothers brothers, were tall, handsome, dark-haired guys also, but it seems the rest of us sort of ended up with my father's County Cork lineage, look wise. I would have liked to have had some of that thick dark hair and long legs that didn't end but my husband thinks I'm adorable so...Anyway, just a little trivia. I don't know enough about that side of the family. We all wish we had more information on the Joyal family. I just know she was my beloved Memere and she would rock me and sing to me in Canadian French, which is different than Parisian French. Enjoy reading, I love some of the authors, Margaret Atwood for one.

Jan 4, 2016, 9:51pm Top

>45 mmignano11: You have an interesting background. I had never heard of Lenape Indians which didn't sound Canadian so had to look them up. They were originally from Delaware but got disbursed through various regions https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenape. Some of them ended up in Ontario. Is that where your French Canadian family is from?

Jan 4, 2016, 11:45pm Top

>45 mmignano11: >46 Familyhistorian: Remembering the New Jersey history I learned in grammar school, NJ's first inhabitants were Lenni-Lenape, of the Algonquin tribe.

Jan 5, 2016, 12:39pm Top

I am going to hijack your thread for a minute. I know this is about Canada but, hey, it's close to Boston.

Librarything is giving away free passes to the American Library Association winter meeting. The conference will be held in Boston, MA starting this coming Friday, January 8, 2016 and ending on Monday, January, 11, 2016. The passes will get you into the exhibit hall.

Here is the link for the free passes to ALA Boston. They are courtesy of the LT Goddess Abby Blachley.

That's the link to use for free exhibit-only passes!

You have to have a lanyard and name tag to get into the exhibit hall. To do that you will take the printed out pass from the above link to the registration area. Go to the line that says Exhibits Only Passes. Once you get that name tag you can then go to the exhibit hall. The pass will be good for all three days of the conference. The passes will not get you in anywhere else but the exhibits. You can get a special pass if you are handicapped, otherwise wheeled apparatus' of any kind are not allowed on the exhibit hall floor.

The exhibit hall is a big wonderland of free, or very reduced price books, and all other things library. The publishers will be giving away ARC (Advance Reader's Copies) of books that will be published between January 2016 to June 2016. They will often sell books as well. Usually paperbacks will be $5.00 and hardbacks will be $10.00. If you are unsure if the books are free or not, just ask one of the sales reps in the booths. They will be happy to help you - but remember that the booths can get quit crowded and so the sales reps can't give you their undivided attention.

I would recommend that if you want to attend that you come on Saturday or Sunday, as those will be full days in the exhibit hall. There will be authors galore on those two days. There will be adult, YA, and children's authors. In the last few years it seems that there are more and more children's authors who will be signing books, but there will be plenty of both. Many of these authors will be new and unknown authors who the publishers want librarians to get to know and then push their books to the public. Often publishers will have free books that the authors will sign for you.

You will get a book that will guide you around the various exhibits in the hall. The exhibits are grouped by type so the book publishers will be in one area, the graphic novel publishers in another. Please take the time to visit the LT booth and talk with Tim and Abbey. They love to hear from LT members.

You can bring suitcases and check them at the bag check. You can't take rolling cases into the exhibit hall without a special pass. You can go in and out of the exhibit hall once you have the name tag, so you can use the suitcases to store your swag and books while you go back to the exhibit floor for more ARC's. (Ask Joe about how many trips he has made in the past to the bag check area!)

I will be around, but have a busy day lined up for Saturday, as I have committee meetings and have a big meeting scheduled for that day. If you want to get me, please e-mail me at this address. bstrnad@ua.edu I will be checking my e-mail while at the conference. You can also post to my profile page here on LT. I will check it when I can do so.

I would love to meetup with any LT members who will be in Boston. Coffee late in the afternoon is great as my feet and shoulders hurt by the end of the day on Sunday. I will also be free for lunch on Monday, but let me know via e-mail if you would like to meetup and I will be happy to do so.

Jan 23, 2016, 5:07pm Top

I'm starting to make reading plans for February. I'm guessing Helen Humphreys will be a popular choice among CAC participants. I will be reading her Frozen Thames, which people from this group strongly suggested I purchase, because it's such a lovely jewel of a book. I'm not sure how many of you plan on reading or discovering Stephen Leacock. I definitely want to, because seems I've missed out on great humour writing until now; February seems like a good month for a bit of levity, when so many of us go into serious winter blues mode. I've obtained The Penguin Book of Stephen Leacock—the 25th anniversary edition, which fittingly enough, includes an introduction by our January author, Robertson Davies. Seemed like a logical pick somehow.

Jan 23, 2016, 5:26pm Top

I am planning to read The Frozen Thames February CAC. I have it sitting around for a couple of months, so finally I will get around to reading it.

Jan 23, 2016, 6:15pm Top

>49 Smiler69: The Frozen Thames is a lovely little book, Ilana. When I read it a few years ago, I read a library copy but then just had to buy my own copy for the shelf. I'm going to try to read Stephen Leacock in February. He'll be a new author for me and I was able to get some free or very cheap kindle copies of a few of his books. I just need to choose which one.

Jan 23, 2016, 6:37pm Top

>50 vancouverdeb: I gather The Frozen Thames will be a popular title in February, Deborah. I'm really looking forward to it.

>51 Copperskye: Joanne, so many people had good things to say about The Frozen Thames among the 75ers that I was keen to read it before I had any idea what a little beauty it was. Now I have my own little hardcover of it, I really look forward to plunging into it's small and lovely pages. Glad I'll have at least one Stephen Leacock partner in February. I like that I'll be reading him in bits and pieces for a bit of a mood lift whenever needed. I'm also eager to continue reading Robertson Davies throughout the year. I've settled on Tempest-Tost as the next novel I want to read by him, and have also obtained A Celtic Temperament from OverDrive, which I'll also read in bits here and there. Seems I'm the first one to have listed that one on LT!

Jan 23, 2016, 8:31pm Top

Robertson Davies is my favorite author!

Feb 1, 2016, 12:32pm Top

Is the February thread up?

Feb 1, 2016, 12:47pm Top

>54 laytonwoman3rd: Oops! I knew there was something I was forgetting... will take care of it today and post here when the thread is up. Thanks for the reminder Linda!

Feb 1, 2016, 2:37pm Top

OK! I've just been reading a little Leacock...

Feb 1, 2016, 3:49pm Top

Just borrowed Fifth Business from my son. Maybe get it done in Feb?

Feb 1, 2016, 3:51pm Top

I need to post the author pics and bios still, but the February thread is up: http://www.librarything.com/topic/218454

>57 ccookie: Don't be shy to read and post about any of the chosen authors whenever is best suited to your needs and moods.

Feb 24, 2016, 6:04pm Top

Just in case interesting - I've just got hold of The Prison Book Club. Describing work in a Canadian prison, there's a chapter on Lawrence Hill's visit to the prison book group and the Dutch controversy.

Feb 24, 2016, 9:15pm Top

>59 charl08: Dutch controversy - what is the controversy?

Feb 25, 2016, 2:32am Top

Feb 25, 2016, 2:39am Top

>61 charl08: Thanks for that. I hadn't heard the controversy over The Book of Negroes before.

Feb 25, 2016, 12:38pm Top

>61 charl08: Very interesting article Charlotte, thanks for sharing it. I'm looking forward to finally reading The Book of Negroes in October, if I can wait that long.

Edited: Feb 25, 2016, 1:17pm Top

I thought the miniseries on tv was very well done. Not always the case but this time it was (for Book of Negroes

Feb 25, 2016, 3:21pm Top

I didn't know there was a miniseries....

Feb 25, 2016, 6:19pm Top

>65 charl08: - Here's a link to one article about it.


I don't know if it's available online or through something like Netflix or elsewhere. But it would be worthwhile to find out of it is of interest to you

Feb 25, 2016, 6:28pm Top

I'll wait to read the book first I think - thanks for the link. I know several people rave about the book so pretty sure I will want to watch as well.

Mar 1, 2016, 1:25pm Top

I'll put up this month's thread very soon and will posts link here. Thanks for your patience everyone!

Edited: Mar 2, 2016, 1:26pm Top

March: Farley Mowat, Anita Rau Badami - http://www.librarything.com/topic/219785

The thread is up! I've still got work to do as far as getting the author bios up, which I'll take care in the next day or two. Come and discuss away!

Edited: Apr 3, 2016, 3:10pm Top

Sorry for yet another delay. The April thread for Margaret Atwood and Michael Crummey is up: http://www.librarything.com/topic/220798

May 5, 2016, 2:56pm Top

MAY we have a new thread? (No pressure!)

May 5, 2016, 6:53pm Top

>71 laytonwoman3rd: Yes of course! I'm not doing my job as I should. Apologies. Taking care of the May thread RIGHT NOW!

May 5, 2016, 7:50pm Top

The May thread is up and fully functional; looking forward to reading you comments! http://www.librarything.com/topic/223043

May 29, 2016, 3:22pm Top

Still need to put in the photos and bios, but the June thread is UP! Rather proud that I got it up before the new month has begun, for once. Come and tell us what your plans are, or whether you've already read the featured authors and what your impressions are.


Jul 3, 2016, 4:10pm Top

I'm late again posting the monthly thread. What else is new? Have engagements to attend to today, but I will do so asap.

Jul 4, 2016, 3:44pm Top

The July thread is up! Come and tell us about your reading plans! http://www.librarything.com/topic/226536#

Jul 31, 2016, 4:10pm Top

Sep 2, 2016, 4:01pm Top

The September thread is now up: http://www.librarything.com/topic/231351. Come share your reading plans with us.

Oct 1, 2016, 3:56pm Top

Dec 13, 2016, 5:12pm Top


I planned to read one of each month’s selected authors, and though I was late with September's author, I did reach my goal.

January: Robertson Davies or Kim Thúy
..... Ru, Kim Thúy (3.5) - 1/29
February: Helen Humphreys or Stephen Leacock
..... Coventry, Helen Humphreys (4) - 2/16
..... The Lost Garden, Helen Humphreys (3.5) - 2/19
March: Farley Mowat or Anita Rau Badami
..... Tamarind Woman, Anita Rau Badami (3.5)- 3/30
April: Margaret Atwood or Michael Crummey
..... Galore, Michael Crummey (3.5) - 4/4
May: Michel Tremblay or Emily St. John Mandel
..... Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel (4) - 5/16
June: Timothy Findley or Joseph Boyden
..... The Orenda, Joseph Boyden (5) - 6/14
July: LM Montgomery or Pierre Berton
..... Anne of the Island, L.M. Montgomery (3.5) - 7/25
August: Mordechai Richler or Gabrielle Roy
..... The Tin Flute, Gabrielle Roy (3.5) - 8/28
September: Miriam Toews or Dany Laferrière
..... Irma Voth, Miriam Toews (3) - 12/6
October: Lawrence Hill or Jane Urquhart
..... Someone Knows My Name, Lawrence Hill (4.5) - 10/10
November: Michael Ondaatje or Margaret Laurence
..... The Stone Angel, Margaret Laurence (4) - 11/30
December: Alice Munro or Rawi Hage
..... Too Much Happiness, Alice Munro (3) - 12/4

3.73 average rating

Dec 18, 2016, 12:01am Top

>80 countrylife: What a great list! Thank you for posting it here.


Friends, I really don't know what to say about having dropped the ball as completely as I did. Too many personal challenges getting in the way of me being able to fulfill any kind of obligation. I'm really sorry if anyone felt let down, and I wholeheartedly applaud you if you've stuck to the challenge, or even read Canadian authors on your own. I was really excited about getting this challenge going, and I know it's made me want to include a lot more Canadian authors into my reading life, so it was very much worthwhile.

If anyone would like to take over and continue a second edition of the challenge for 2017, I'll be very happy to pass on the baton.

Dec 18, 2016, 12:31am Top

Dear All,

Canadian Author Challenge

It is quite appropriate that the Canadian Author Challenge stays in the group as it introduced some great new authors to many of us. It is also appropriate that the choices of author rest with a Canadian.

I personally think that Ilana's selection last year were wonderfully balanced and I have tried to persuade her to do the same again in 2017.

To help her out and seeing that I don't sleep much anyway I will help her with the administration of the monthly threads etc but all the selections, planning and creativity will be hers.

Back over to you, dear lady.

Dec 18, 2016, 12:48am Top

>82 PaulCranswick: You really are the best, Paul! In fact, you've just completely made my day! From tears to smiles!

CAC 2017

With the help of many potential participants last year, we came up with a very long list of possible authors, enough to last us several editions of the CAC, so I thought I might post a list of possibilities, and then anyone wanting to make suggestions will be welcome to do so before the final list is announced. Will post the list from my notes asap. Let us know if you think you'd like to participate next year—even if your level of participation ends up being a single book!

Dec 18, 2016, 12:59am Top

Well done Ilana and Paul and a huge thank you to you both for your efforts!

Dec 18, 2016, 7:57am Top

>Thanks to you both, Ilana and Paul! One of the goals I've set for myself for 2017 is to read from the books already in my house. As it happens, I do have quite a lot of Canadiana on the shelves. So, list away! I am sure to have at least a few and am looking forward to doing better next year than I did this year!

(Ilana, is Roch Carrier on your list? Hint, hint...)

Dec 18, 2016, 2:23pm Top

Thank you Ilana and Paul for continuing the CAC. I know that it is a significant time commitment and thank you for your efforts, past and future. I enjoyed the challenge and hope to continue in the coming year.

Dec 18, 2016, 2:58pm Top

Thanks, Ilana, for all of your work this past year on this endeavor. My reading and general attention fell way off this year (and we know the reason). I am promising myself to do better next year. So please continue. I welcome it. And all of those book are still on the TBR. And Paul, thank you for stepping in to lend a hand. You are so organized.

Dec 18, 2016, 8:59pm Top

I'm glad the Canadian Author Challenge will continue in 2017. I love learning about authors new to me. I acquainted myself with Miriam Toews, Lawrence Hill, Helen Humphreys and Kim Thuy, gave Farley Mowat a try, and revisited Margaret Atwood through the challenge in 2016. I may get to another Alice Munro (who work I already know I enjoy) this month. So thanks, Ilana, for setting it up and choosing the authors. I'll be back.

Edited: Dec 18, 2016, 10:51pm Top

Wonderful to see your enthusiastic responses! I guess considering I seem to be needing 10-14 hours of sleep or more on any given day, that doesn't leave me all that many waking hours to get things accomplished, especially when I'm not entirely functional those few hours that I'm NOT sleeping! One would think being retired from the world would mean I could take on this kind of task, but this year proved to be more challenging than most, and I think many of us feel that way about 2016! I've completely dropped my print or ebook reading for the past few months (thank goodness for audiobooks though!), and so have dropped any reading plans for the rest of the year. I DO plan to read more from my own shelves (like you Shelley) next year. However, I won't let that be my guiding principle when I make the first round of suggestions for our 2017 authors, but will rather base myself on which authors got the most requests, while also making sure less known but deserving authors also make the cut.

>85 jessibud2: Roch Carrier. Noted. ;-)

>86 Familyhistorian: I'm so grateful to Paul for stepping in and offering to run this thing! It's always been the case for me that I was fine at coming up with ideas, but useless at managing them! And as Paul admits he basically doesn't sleep, that leaves him time to tinker around and make LT that much better for us!

>87 catarina1: Ada, I know it's been tough lately. I've taken the whole election cycle and its results very hard as well. It's not an overstatement to say that when I broke down in the middle of the street on Nov. 9th in front of cars waiting at a red light, it was very much an act of public mourning. I felt like the planet was no longer safe for anyone to be on. But as I'm trying to find my balance in all this, I'm realizing that groups like this are more precious than ever, as they allow real connections about far healthier things than what is bound to be in the headlines. I'll be glad to have you along for the CAC in 2017!

>88 laytonwoman3rd: Linda, you've been one of our most dedicated participants, and I'm glad to see you're up for another, better and improved version of the CAC in 2017! The list is on its way.

Dec 19, 2016, 9:39am Top

>89 Smiler69:, >90 PaulCranswick: - Ilana, although Carrier is probably best known for his classic the Hockey Sweater, I would hardly think that would be an appropriate choice because of its brevity. But here is his full reading of it (10 minutes long), for the uninitiated. I adore listening to him read, in his heavy Quebecois accent, and the NFB (National Film Board) animation is perfect:


However, I do think that his Prayers of a Very Wise Child is a delight and might be a great intro to Carrier for those who haven't read him. Ilana, are you taking requests or suggestions for actual titles as well as authors?

Paul, I love your lists. I have read several of those authors and have others on my shelves. I can also think of a few others I don't see on these lists. If you or Ilana are seeking suggestions for titles, I can recommend some that I've read and enjoyed (though that would not necessarily help me as I seldom reread. But that's ok, I could always read a different title from a given author). Anyhow, just asking. You might want to also include Lawrence Hill in your final list (of Cdn borns)

Dec 19, 2016, 10:05am Top

>91 jessibud2: Shelley, thanks so much for that link - what a beautiful production. The animation was just as charming as the narration and the story. So great!

I have been just lurking, as I am not committing to any challenges next year. But I am happy to see that this one will continue. Thanks so much Ilana and Paul. I'll keep an eye out for the final selection and maybe pick one or two to join in sometime during next year.

Dec 19, 2016, 10:26am Top

>92 Crazymamie: - Glad you enjoyed it, Mamie. It's such a classic. I was born and grew up in Montreal although I have lived here in Toronto since 1980. That hockey rivalry is as old as the game, lol! And he nailed it perfectly. Carrier is also a national treasure. He wrote a lot of political stuff too, and his humour infuses much of his work. I remember the first book of his I read for a course I took a million years ago, called La Guerre, Yes Sir!. Pity I don't remember much of what I read, hehe... (it was a course, after all...) ;-)

Dec 19, 2016, 10:51am Top

Dec 19, 2016, 1:00pm Top

I'll chime in in favor of Rohinton Mistry and Esi Edugyan. I've been meaning to get to both of them for some time.

Edited: Dec 20, 2016, 12:10am Top

A few suggestions. I've recently discovered Donna Morrisey of Newfoundland and loved her book, Kit's Law. She has about 7 or so books out, the latest being The Fortunate Brother. With my left coast lean, I really love Wayson Choy.

Here is a list of 100 books that make you proud to be Canadian, for some suggestions - http://www.cbc.ca/books/books100.html

Linwood Barclay would make a fun choice! He's written humourous mysteries and now is trying to write more creepy books. And yes, Madeleine Thien, she has written at least three books , Simple Recipes, Dogs at the Perimeter and this years award winning Do Not Say We Have Nothing.

Great list, Paul. I'll come back and look a little more when I have time. Just throwing some authors out there. What about Zoe Whittall?

Dec 19, 2016, 5:30pm Top

I'd also add a vote for Bill Richardson

Dec 19, 2016, 6:43pm Top

As I mention below, I'll post the list of author suggestions we had last year this evening, as we had A LOT of names on it already. I'll of course add your current suggestions to the list.

>91 jessibud2: Shelley, I really need to post that list of suggestions we had last year, because we had loads and loads of great ones, which of course I couldn't all fit into the first year. This is why two authors per month is good—allows to fit more in! For now we only need to decide on the authors. Of course if you have suggestions for specific books that is fine and I'm sure will be helpful to those who don't know what books they should pick for any given author, but that part is left entirely up to the participants.

I'll watch the video you posted shortly.

>92 Crazymamie: Mamie, I think I'll be seriously cutting back on planned reading in 2017, and of course will try to fit in as many of the Canadians as possible, but I'm feeling the need to pick books according to my mood more than ever these days. As I mentioned before, even if you end up reading just one of the chosen authors, that makes you a participant to the CAC!

>94 raidergirl3: Thank you, I'll add those to the list, though I think two or more are already on the list I made up last year. I'll post it this evening.

>95 laytonwoman3rd: There's a very good chance Rohinton Mistry will make the final cut, since he got loads of requests last year and I very nearly included him then.

>96 vancouverdeb: Thanks for the suggestions Deb. I consulted that list of 'Proud to Be Canadian' books last year, and will do so again this year to help guide my final choices. There are certainly loads of books on that list I want to get to!

>97 jessibud2: Noted.

Dec 20, 2016, 12:03am Top

... so I've been working on the list for the last three hours practically nonstop, and it's not quite finished, besides which I have to check it for mistakes which won't happen tonight. I'll get it done for tomorrow. There are LOTS of great suggestions there. Many from the "Proud to be Canadian" list too.

Dec 20, 2016, 6:55pm Top

No worries, Ilana. I am sure it is a lot of work. Take your time! Take care.

Edited: Dec 29, 2016, 7:47pm Top

CAC2017 (still editing)

Canadian Author Challenge, 2nd Edition

Here are the authors who were suggested last year. I list them in by number of votes and notation order:

Michael Ondaatje (8) The English Patient
Alice Munro (7) Runaway
_*Guy Gavriel Kay (6+1) Tigana
_*Rohinton Mistry (6+1) A Fine Balance

*Robertson Davies (6) Fifth Business
*Margaret Atwood (6) The Handmaid’s Tale (more current than ever!)
*M.G. Vassanji (5+1) The Book of Secrets
*Alistair MacLeod (5+2) No Great Mischief
_*Louise Penny (5+1) Still Life
*Guy Vanderhaeghe (3+1) The Englishman’s Boy
_*Carol Shields (4+1) The Stone Diaries
*Giles Blunt (4) Forty Words for Sorrow
_*Anne Michaels (4+1) Fugitive Pieces
*Douglas Coupland (4) Generation X
_*Heather O’Neill (3+2) Lullabies for Little Criminals
*Elizabeth Hay (3) Late Nights On Air
*Ann-Marie MacDonald (3) Fall on Your Knees
Timothy Taylor (3) Stanley Park
_*Wayne Johnston (3+1) The Colony of Unrequited Dreams
Jacques Poulin (3) Volkswagen Blues
*Yann Martel (2) Life of Pi
*David Adam Richards (2) Mercy Among the Children
_Mavis Gallant (2+1) Paris Stories
*Thomas King (2) Green Grass, Running Water
Charles de Lint (2) Dreams Underfoot
*Wayson Choy (2) The Jade Peony
*David Bergen (2) The Time in Between
Stuart McLean (2) Vinyl Café
Louis Hemon (2) Maria Chapdelaine
André Alexis (2) Fifteen Dogs
Howard Norman (2) The Bird Artist (David Bowie’s Best)
*Terry Fallis (2) The Best Laid Plans
_*Anne Hébert (2+1) Kamouraska
*Lisa Moore (2) February
Brian Moore (1) The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne
_Gil Adamson (1+1) The Outlander
Dan Vyleta (1) Smoke: A Novel
Cathy Spencer (1) Road Kill
Malcolm Gladwell (1) The Tipping Point
Emily Carr (1) Kless Wyck
Denis Thériault (1) The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman
John Kenneth Galbraith (1) The Affluent Society
*Linden Macintyre (1) The Bishop’s Man
*Marie-Claire Blais (1) A Season in the Life of Emmanuel
Geraldine Mac Ewen (1) The T. E. Lawrence Poems
_Frances Itani (1+1) Deafening
Sinclair Ross (1) As for Me and My House
W.P. Kinsella (1) Shoeless Joe
Robert Kroetsch (1) The Studhorse Man
*Eden Robinson (1) Monkey Beach
Ken McGoogan (1) Fatal Passage: The Story of John Rae, the Arctic Hero Time Forgot
*Patrick de Witt (1) The Sisters Brothers
*Hugh MacLennan (1) Two Solitudes
_Maureen Jennings (1+1) Except the Dying
Réjean Ducharme (1) The Swallower Swallowed
Émile Nelligan (1) (Poetry)
*Ethel Wilson (1) Swamp Angel
John Valiant (1) The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival
Wade Davis (1) The Serpent and the Rainbow
*Eleanor Catton (1) The Luminaries
*Annabel Lyon (1) The Golden Mean
_*Esi Edugyan (1+2) Half-Blood Blues
_*Emma Donoghue (1+1) Room
*Austin Clarke (1) The Polished Hoe
Anthony De Sa (1) Barnacle Love
*Steven Galloway (1) The Cellist of Sarajevo
Clive Doucet (1) Notes From Exile: On Being Acadian
Antonine Maillet (1) Pélagie-la-Charrette
Josef Škvorecký (1) The Engineer of Human Souls
Bryan Perro (1) Amos Daragon: The Mask Wearer (YA)
Vincent Lam (1) Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures: Stories
Lori Lansens (1) The Girls
*Ruth Ozeki (1) A Tale for the Time Being
Tom Rachman (1) The Imperfectionists
Arthur Slade (1) The Hunchback Assignments (YA)
Richard B. Wright (1) Clara Callan
Audrey Schulman (1) The Cage
Chevy Stevens (1) Still Missing
Donna Milner (1) After River
*Mary Lawson (1) Crow Lake
*Andrew Pyper (1) Lost Girls
_Anne Carson (1) Autobiography of Red
_Madeleine Thien (2) Do Not Say We Have Nothing
_Roch Carrier (1) The Hockey Sweater
_ *Donna Morrisey (1) Kit's Law
_William Deverell (1) April Fool
_Myrna Dey (1) Extensions
_Mary Jane Maffini (1) Organize Your Corpses
_Michael Slade (1) Headhunter
_Priscila Uppal (1) The Divine Economy of Salvation
_Kelley Armstrong (1) Bitten

• * = Listed on 100 Novels that Make You Proud to be Canadian
• _ Suggestion added this month.
• The numbers in brackets indicate the number of nominations the books had gotten. Any current nomination will be added to the tally above.
• In bold were featured in 2016, but up for selection again.

Please keep in mind that when making the final selection of authors, we need to have a balance between very popular authors and lesser known ones who are worth discovering. Those authors I've indicated in bold are what are considered giants of Canadian Literature and as such might recur from year to year, especially when they have a large body of work. For instance, I'd like to keep Margaret Atwood in April, as Mark had that challenge over the years and decided to let me combine it into the CAC last year. Worth considering is that if we want to keep this challenge going, we have a much smaller pool of Canadian authors than American or British authors, for instance, so repeating some authors makes sense with that in mind. I'm open to you thoughts on the matter.

Please feel free to add any other names you'd like to see on this list. Of course, I could have included all the books on the "Proud to Be Canadian" list, but thought I'd let people call them up individually instead as I wasn't keen on writing up all 100 of them in one go.

I haven't taken the time to revise this list and there are likely mistakes in it. Let me know as you spot them and I will correct them. I've included the names of the books the authors are most known for; I don't know about you, but names don't mean very much to me, but when I see a book title associated to a name it helps me place the author more easily.


Here were out 2016 selections

January: Robertson Davies, Kim Thúy - http://www.librarything.com/topic/211111
February: Helen Humphreys, Stephen Leacock - http://www.librarything.com/topic/218454
March: Farley Mowat, Anita Rau Badami - http://www.librarything.com/topic/219785
April: Margaret Atwood, Michael Crummey - http://www.librarything.com/topic/220798
May: Michel Tremblay, Emily St. John Mandel - http://www.librarything.com/topic/223043
June: Timothy Findley, Joseph Boyden - http://www.librarything.com/topic/223894
July: LM Montgomery, Pierre Berton - http://www.librarything.com/topic/226536#
August: Mordechai Richler, Gabrielle Roy - http://www.librarything.com/topic/227956
September: Miriam Toews, Dany Laferrière - http://www.librarything.com/topic/231351
October: Lawrence Hill, Jane Urquhart - http://www.librarything.com/topic/233937
November: Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Laurence
December: Alice Munro, Rawi Hage


Dec 21, 2016, 10:19pm Top

Will be interested to see what format you go with in 2017, Ilana.
One author; two authors?

For AAC - Mark always springs the selections on us with his inimitable panache
For BAC - My approach is a little more consultative and I like to tease the selections out over a month
For ANZ - I believe that Kerry is about to come up with something different again.

Your way has proven to be ruminative and well-considered, if I may say so. I think that we are all happy for you to set the challenge in exactly the way you see fit, my dear.

Dec 26, 2016, 12:26am Top

I have been in touch with Ilana and she is still cogitating on choices for next year.

A couple of days of suggestions are in order to tip the balance for favourite writers!

My own shortlist of suggestions would be:

M.G. Vassanji
Guy Vanderhaeghe
Alistair McLeod
Wayne Johnston

Gil Adamson
Esi Edugyan
Anne Michaels
Carol Shields

Dec 26, 2016, 3:28am Top

Love the list. We do have 24 slots open Paul... just saying. We give readers plenty of options! ;-)

Dec 26, 2016, 5:44pm Top

I found the following Canadian authors on my shelves and I would love to have an excuse (nudge) to get to some of them:

William Deverell
Myrna Dey
Emma Donoghue
Maureen Jennings
Alistair MacLeod
Mary Jane Maffini
Heather O'Neill
Michael Slade
Priscila Uppal

I would also like to put in a shameless plug for my brother Paul Cavanagh.

Edited: Dec 28, 2016, 5:59pm Top

I really think that Guy Gavril Kay should be on the list. Partly because I have so many of his books to read.

Edited: Dec 28, 2016, 7:50pm Top

>105 Familyhistorian: I'll add those not already mention to the list, Meg, thanks for your input!

>106 benitastrnad: Benita, thanks for the recommendation. Very good odds of GGK being on the list for 2017 since he was among the most requested authors last year...


If anybody would like to have a say in the 2017 picks, now is the time to speak up and voice your opinions!

Dec 29, 2016, 12:55pm Top

I''ll put a plug in for Donna Morrisey. She has written quite a few books, one that I've read and loved Kit's Law. She has quite a few books. I suppose we should be careful that we chose authors who have more than one or two books, and that most people will be able to find a copy of the book.

Edited: Dec 29, 2016, 6:52pm Top

>108 vancouverdeb: Deborah, I've got Kit's Law on the wishlist—it got there because there's a Penguin Celebrations of it out there, which is how I discovered this book in the first place.

Last year I established a few guidelines to help me make appropriate selections and pairings. Namely, try to pair one very famous writer with a lesser known one, which is meant to help everyone have better odds of finding at least one of the two authors in their library that month, among other things. I also lobbied strongly for Québecois voices, and I'd like to make sure we have at least a few francophone writers. I try as much as possible to have at least as many women writers as males. To represents various part of our large landscape. To have a mix of genres, and not focus on literature only. There were other more subtle considerations as well I'm sure which escape me right now. I promise to put my best efforts into the final selection! :-)

eta: now adding names to the list higher up.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2016

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