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

The Creative Life on the Page (Five Books)

Because I forgot my key one day, I had to wait in the neighbourhood library for Mister BIP to finish work, before I could go home. I suppose I could have waited in the subway station. But it was only a 20-minute walk. Of course I walked: wouldn’t you?

One of the books I brought […]


Quarterly Stories: Three Collections

In Susan Hill’s Howard’s End Is on the Landing, she quotes a friend who says “We read Margaret Drabble to feel the zeitgeist, our daughters read Helen Simpson.”

(Their daughters’ daughters might be reading Janine Alyson Young or Alex Leslie or Rivka Galchen or Eufemia Fantetti.)

In the first story in Hey Yeah Right Get […]


Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures (2016)

“There was virtually no aspect of twentieth-century defense technology that had not been touched by the hands and minds of female mathematicians.”

HarperCollins, 2016

That might not come up in math class at school, but it’s evident on every page of Hidden Figures.

“What I wanted was for them to have the […]


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, […]


May 2014, In My Reading Log

May tallies something like this: 24 books (including verse, graphic novels, and kidlit), 2 magazines, assorted stories, 2 cookbooks, and a picture book (Marilyn Nelson’s A Wreath for Emmett Till). (Surely I’m not the only person who has trouble keeping track now that there are notebooks and files to update?)

May’s first post was devoted […]


Quarterly Stories: Winter 2013

My last short story post was in Autumn 2013 and focussed on recently published collections (Rosemary Nixon’s Are You Ready to be Lucky? Elisabeth de Mariaffi’s How to Get Along with Women, and Shaena Lambert’s Oh, My Darling). 

Cormorant Books, 2000

In recent weeks I have been dabbling in some volumes on my shelves, so the short story reading has […]


The Serial Reader: Intelligent Romances?

Tom Doherty Associates (TOR), 2000

Catherine Asaro’s works are often recommended when this question is raised amongst readers. (Amidst all the debate and kurfufflery, ruffled readers’ feathers and bleeding hearts.)

When a Harvard PhD writes a series of books commonly reviewed (and awarded gold medals) in Romantic Times, that’s what you get.

And this […]


Three Tasty Reads

All year I’ve been dragging on my reading for the Foodie’s Reading Challenge. In the later part of the year I even started to wonder why I’d joined. And then I started reading for it. (Inspired by Dewey’s Read-a-Thon.)

This is why I join challenges; they seem to keep my priorities in place when I […]


Ken Wiwa’s In the Shadow of a Saint (2000)

Ken Wiwa’s In the Shadow of a Saint A Son’s Journey to Understand His Father’s Legacy Random House 2000 – Vintage, 2001.

As much as this book is about its author Ken Wiwa, as much as it is about his father Ken Saro-Wiwa, as much as it is about fathers and sons, as much as […]


Still Lovin’ This City

Toronto: An Illustrated History of Its First 12,000 Years Ed. Ronald F. Williamson James Lorimer & Company (2008)

Yes, that’s right: 12,000 years. So the city that you recognize from tramping the pavement these days doesn’t even get going until 2/3 of the way into the book. Which makes this particular Toronto book a great […]