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

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 […]

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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 […]

December 2015, In My Bookbag

What I was not carrying in my bookbag this month: David Mitchell’s Ghostwritten, Shauna Singh Baldwin’s The Tiger Claw and the third volume in G.R.R. Martin’s Ice and Fire series.

These hefty volumes stayied at home, but these slimmer books were travelling this month. And there was more to-ing and fro-ing this month than usual: nice to have […]

The Next Chapter makes introductions

One of my great pleasures is listening to Shelagh Rogers’ “The Next Chapter”, via podcast on the CBC.

I particularly enjoy the interviews and discussions when I have already read the book being discussed (or I have read an earlier book by the author, but I have not yet read their latest), and many of […]

Confined: Margaret Atwood and Claudine Dumont

“If prison isn’t prison, the outside world has no meaning!” So says Aurora to Charmaine in Margaret Atwood’s new novel, The Heart Goes Last.

McClelland & Stewart, 2015 (Penguin Random House)

It dates back, the CanLit icon’s interest in imprisonment, a preoccupation with the idea of lives which are lived inside and lives which […]

November 2015, In My Notebook

A couple of summers ago, I reread all Beverly Cleary’s Ramona stories. My notebook from that summer would have listed all the later Ramona books I’d missed, along with some favourite quotes and scenes as I reread my favourites.

Oh, how I loved Ramona when I was eight years old. (Turns out she is nearly as […]

‘Tis the Season…for Mosquitoes

So, it’s past the middle of November, so I’m surprised to find myself surrounded by so many mosquitoes.

First in the fifth volume of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s series, On the Shores of Silver Lake.

Living so close to the land, the other residents are regularly brushing elbows (and paws and wings and other appendages) with the […]

Kyo Maclear’s The Good Little Book (2015)

I returned to picture books when a face-to-face bookclub read Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Books without pictures still outnumber the illustrated volumes in my stacks, but I am working to adjust the balance.

The Good Little Book, written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Marion Arbona, will suit booklovers of all ages, and likely […]

November 2015, In My Bookbag

Three of the books in my stack currently are heavy or over-sized (G.R..R. Martin: I’m looking at you), but there are several skinny options making an appearance in my bookbag this week.

First, Michel Chikawanine’s Child Soldier (written with Jessica Dee Humphreys and illustrated by Claudia Dávila); he begins by introducing himself and saying that […]