Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

September 2014, In My Notebook (Giveaway too!)

Check out this giveaway opportunity for Philippa Gregory’s new novel about lady-in-waiting Margaret Pole’s unique view of King Henry VIII’s stratospheric rise to power in Tudor England.

Simon & Schuster, 2014

This corresponds with the lists in my notebook which detail the books in her series. The first that I read was (oh, horrorors!) actually the [...]

Debra Komar’s The Lynching of Peter Wheeler (2014)

Debra Komar creates a narrative which manages to straddle the line between scholarly analysis and page-turner, relying upon court records, newspapers, and other historical documentation to gather evidence surrounding the murder of 14-year-old Annie Kempton in Bear River, Nova Scotia in 1896.

Goose Lane Editions, 2014

“This book looks back so we can see [...]

Alexi Zentner’s The Lobster Kings (2014)

Like his first novel, Touch, The Lobster Kings showcases Alexi Zentner’s penchant for storytelling.

Knopf Canada, 2014

Readers who learn that this novel is a retelling of Shakespeare’s tragedy “King Lear” might expect the tale to distance readers, with the original story centuries old and memories of stilted readings in school or black-and-white films [...]

September 2014, In My Stacks

Have you got it marked in your calendar? Diversiverse runs September 14 to September 27, 2014. The sign-up post is here. It’s not too late!

Looking for some ideas?

I’ve enjoyed these recently: Tamai Kobayashi’s Prairie Ostrich (2014) , Shani Mootoo’s Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab (2014), Padma Viswanathan’s The Ever After of Ashwin Rao (2014), Richard Wagamese’s Medicine [...]

Miriam Toews’ All My Puny Sorrows (2014)

Excerpt from Reading Journal:

Knopf Canada, 2014

Last night I finished reading All My Puny Sorrows, and when I woke up this morning, I was weeping.

This doesn’t reveal how the book ended, because I read more than half of it last night, half-skimming the first half that I’d read on in other sittings. [...]

Tamai Kobayashi’s Prairie Ostrich (2014)

You might be tempted to call eight-year-old Egg Murakami enchanting or winsome. Even plucky or spirited.

Goose Lane Editions, 2014

Each of these terms does reflect Egg in some sense. But such descriptions suggest something young-Oprah-heroine-esque about her.

Egg’s character is too fully rounded to simply select the glossy, desirable qualities. (Rounded or ovalled? [...]

August 2014, In My Reading Log

Although I always have a small stack of books underway, I have carried to extremes this act of multi-booking this summer.

Yesterday I finished Michael Crummey’s new novel (Sweetland), Alison Wearing’s memoir (Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter), Jan Zwicky’s poetry collection, the second volume in the Fruits Basket manga series, and Gene Luen Yang’s graphic [...]

Shani Mootoo’s Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab (2014)

Shani Mootoo sidles up to her story.

Random House Canada, 2014

A novel like Padma Viswanathan’s The Ever After of Ashwin Rao is more openly preoccupied with questions of grief and loss.

One like Shyam Selvadurai’s The Hungry Ghosts explores family relationships and the passage of time in a familiar then/now rhythm.

In Moving [...]

Jonathan Bennett’s The Colonial Hotel (2014)

Readers might expect a retelling of the ancient Greek tale of Paris and Helen to be a bulky, wordy novel as useful for propping up a window on a hot summer day as for entertainment; but Jonatham Bennett’s contemporary version of the story is a slim, polished novel that one would need to lie flat to allow only [...]

August 2014, In My Notebook

I’ve been reading so fiercely this summer, that my notebook was sadly neglected, in favour of backs of envelopes, sticky-notes, and receipts.

It was actually back in June that I scribbled down this quote from Phyllis Theroux’s The Journal Keeper (2010), which I was inspired to pick up because I had been re-reading some of [...]