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

In My Stacks, May 2016

How much of your reading is non-fiction? Does it fluctuate, or are you committed to reading (or not reading) it?

When others were participating in non-fiction November last year, and actually reading a lot of the books that I’d been kinda-half-sorta thinking about reading, I realised that tending towards fiction had shifted into reading almost […]

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June 2015, In My Stacks

My progress through Gabrielle Roy‘s works has been slow but steady, and this month I requested one of the children’s books, which I held out for myself as a reward for finishing six of her novels.

My treat was to be Cliptail, but the only copy available in the public library was the French edition, […]

Roch Carrier’s The Hockey Sweater and Other Stories

It’s on the back of Canada’s five-dollar bill: the opening lines of Roch Carrier’s “The Hockey Sweater”.

1979; House of Anansi, 2012

That’s how central this story, only four pages long, is to Canadians.

A short story about hockey, a 10-year-old French-Canadian boy’s crowning disappointment, and the cultural tensions between anglophones and francophones: on […]

BHM: Octavia E. Butler

Beacon Press, 2003 (originally 1979)

Dana is bookish; when we meet her in the opening pages of Kindred, she is unpacking books after a move.

She is sorting the fiction into one of the bigger bookcases in the living room while Kevin finishes unpacking his office.

But when she goes to the library in […]

Beverly Cleary’s Ramona and Her Mother (1979)

Beverly Cleary’s Ramona and Her Mother (1979) Illus. Alan Tiegreen HarperTrophy, 2002

What makes Beverly Cleary’s stories work is that Ramona is more of a real girl than Pinocchio ever was a real boy.

She ticks like a seven-and-a-half-year-old girl ticks.

Here are some of my favourite quotes from my latest Ramona re-read.

On being […]

Margaret Laurence’s The Olden Days Coat (1979)

Margaret Laurence’s The Olden Days Coat (1979) Illus. Muriel Wood Tundra Books, 1998

Every time I read this book I think “surely this time I won’t cry”, but I always do. And it’s not because this is a sad story, but there is something so overwhelmingly touching about it, that I can’t help but sniffle […]

Persephone Reading Week, In Wartime (3)

Mathilde Wolff-Monckeberg’s On the Other Side: Letters to My Children: From Germany 1940-1946 Persephone No. 75 (2007) Trans. from the German and Edited by Ruth Evans Peter Owen, 1979

I added this one to my reading list for the same reason that Persephone added it to its publication list: to round out the story told […]