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

April 2016, In My Bookbag (Yoga)

What are you carting to-and-fro these days? Are you slipping something skinny into your bag?

Or has something big and bulky so claimed your reader’s affections that you are content to lug it around?

I tell myself that I would have a yoga practice already, if only I lived next to the ocean

I’ve been […]

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April 2016, In My Notebook

What series are you serious about these days? There are five volumes from five different series in my current stack: Angela Thirkell’s The Demon in the House, Kelley Armstrong’s Personal Demon, Sue Grafton’s B is for Burglar, L. Frank Baum’s Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz and Madeleine L’Engle’s Many Waters.

I’ve been gathering Angela […]

April 2016, In My Reading Log (Books on writing and Jhumpa Lahiri)

Much of my reading this year has been preoccupied with writing. I’ve been reading about how Laura Ingalls Wilder’s notebooks and autobiographical writing worked their way into fiction for young readers (Pioneer Girl). Robin Robertson edited Mortification, in which writers discuss work-related embarrassments, often unfolding as they were travelling for readings and public events. Even Angela Thirkell’s novel […]

April 2016, In My Stacks

Having read through the first quarter of the reading year, how are your stacks?

Reading projects

Is the bedside stack turning over regularly? Are you struggling to stick with projects that you were sure would fit perfectly into 2016?

Four books in this stack are from various TBR lists, some because they are older works by favourite […]

On the page, on the screen

Back in the days when you taped movies onto video cassettes, I was recording “Anna Karenina” to watch another time, when I turned on the television — thinking the film was over and the credits would be running past — and I could not unsee the last few seconds of the story on the screen.

I hadn’t […]

Sky Lee’s Disappearing Moon Café (1990)

“Do you remember, Big Sister, all those good times? In Cousin Chan’s abandoned house right in the middle of our neighbourhood, a dozen or so girls lying together, cooking together, working the fields, laughing and gissipping the entire day.”

The excerpt from this letter, from Fong Mei in March 1919, in her report […]

February 2016, In My Bookbag

My reading resolutions for this year revolve around a set of too-long-unread books. Many of which were too-long-unread because they are long and complicated. Like Marge Piercy’s Gone to Soldiers and Leslie Marmon Silko’s Gardens in the Dunes, which I have been leaving at home, while these slimmer volumes have been travelling with me.

Jeremy Love’s […]

February 2016, In My Notebook

In the ninth grade we read Winston Rawlings’ Where the Red Fern Grows.

It didn’t seem strange to read an animal story in school; I’d read the Thornton Burgess books and Allison Uttley tales growing up and this was just a longer version of Robert Lawson’s stories.

Some kids are still reading animal stories. The BIP […]

February 2016, In My Stacks

It’s a bright sunny day, when I snap this photo. I’m even more optimistic when I think of a month’s reading, when the sun shines. More hours with good reading light. And, in February. What could be better.

You can see the sheen of it in the image, the veil of sun in the room […]

December 2015, In My Reading Log

Three of these books were inspired by the conjunction between my own shelves and this year’s Random House Bingo, which has a CanLit theme.

The Tiger Claw filled my Nominated-for-the-Giller square, Evan Munday’s second October Schwartz for the Mystery-or-Thriller square, and Elaine Lui’s book about her relationship with her mother perfectly suits the celebrity-memoir square.

Have you […]