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

Margaret Millar’s How Like an Angel (1962)

Exploring in the back country of Santa Barbara County California, Margaret Millar discovered a group of abandoned buildings on top of a ridge of the Santa Ynez mountains. The view was incredible: the Pacific Ocean, the Santa Ynez valley, Lake Cachuma, and the San Rafael mountains, along with a main lodge, out-buildings, and a tower.

[…]

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Life on Mars, Again and Again

When you’ve looked up a book title, have you ever been tempted by the other books you’ve found with the same title as the book for which you were searching?

In adding Lori McNulty’s debut short story collection to my online TBR list, I discovered several other books with the same title, including Tracy K. Smith’s […]

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Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine (1984)

“Since writing Love Medicine, I have understood that I am writing one long book in which the main chapters are also books titled Tracks, Four Souls, The Bingo Palace, The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse and The Painted Drum. The characters appear and disappear in my consciousness – a lamentable, messy […]

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2017 Africa Reading Challenge

Even though Canada only has a land mass of 9.985 million km², reading works by Canadian writers comprises more than half of my reading.

Meanwhile, Africa has a land mass of 30.37 million km² and less than 1% of my reading has come from the pens of African writers this year.

Curious about that less-than-1%? It’s Téju Cole‘s Everyday is […]

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Mazo de la Roche’s Morning at Jalna (1960)

Although the last of the Jalna books written, Morning at Jalna is only the second in the sequence.

It is set while the civil war is raging in the southern United States, and readers are immediately informed that the Whiteoaks are sympathetic to the southerners.

In school, during the 1970s and the 1980s, I was […]

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Adding to My Indigenous Reading List

When I was musing on the possibilities for a reading list of indigenous authors, almost all of my favourites were fiction (just one memoir and some poetry snuck in). It just happened! But halfway through the reading year, I read the Summary Report of the Truth and Reconcilation Committee with my reading for the Tenth Annual Canadian Challenge, […]

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Mavis Gallant’s “A Day Like Any Other” (1953)

There is less than a year between Jane and Ernestine Kennedy, young sisters who “resemble little Renoirs”. They live with their mother, Mrs. Kennedy, who is so preoccupied with caring for their father, that the girls have a minder, Frau Stengel (their sixth).

Jane Wyman in “Das Herz Einer Mutti” 1951Click for source details

Frau […]

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Louise Erdrich’s Four Souls (2004)

As with Tracks, the primary voices in Four Souls are Fleur’s and Nanapush’s.

So, although it was published more than ten years later, I opted to read Four Souls next, to keep these characters fresher in mind and heart, hoping for a deeper understanding.

Two other women play significant roles in this story as well […]

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Mavis Gallant’s “Señor Pinedo”

Set in a Madrid pension, after the Spanish Civil War, “Señor Pinedo” has an ensemble cast. But, like many of the other tales in this colleciton, the story is told in the first person, from the perspective of a young woman who shares a wall with the Pinedo family.

Imagining the pension (Madrid)

They live […]

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Re-reading Emily: L.M. Montgomery, Again

Exploring a coffee shop near Riverdale Park last week, I started a conversation with a young woman reading at the communal table in the back, while I waited for Mr. BIP who was waiting for the coffees (he was enjoying the view across the park and greeting the four-legged companions waiting near the door).

Not […]

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