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 Fold’s 2016 Reading List (Part Three)

The FOLD (The Festival of Literary Diversity) is an annual event, in Brampton (Ontario, Canada) dedicated to telling more stories, to having audiences connect with a wider variety of storytellers. You can check out their lineup of terrific writers and storytellers who were a part of the debut festival in May this year, here.

Earlier in […]


In the Wake: Books which Suit RIP X

In the past, I’ve made large stacks of creepy reading with the RIP challenges in mind, but I  have a habit of stacking up many lovely possibilities but then choosing different books altogether later on.

Perhaps this is partly because books can surprise you and take you in unexpected directions. Many of the books in […]


Marina Endicott’s Close to Hugh (2015)

Like Anne Tyler, the only plot that Marina Endicott has is the passage of time. The events in her novels are ordinary happenings, but there is a delicious sense of unspooling when one falls into one of her narratives.

Doubleday Canada, 2015

Close to Hugh is structured over a week’s time and each day is observed from a […]


Sarah Hall’s The Wolf Border (2015)

It’s an old term, ‘wolf border’, from the Finnish language: susiraja.

The boundary betweent the capital region and the rest of the country: everything which lies beyond the border is wilderness.

HarperCollins, 2015

Certainly Rachel does have to explain a lot about her scientific work with wolves beyond the border.

And it’s not only Londoners […]


Carrie Snyder’s Girl Runner (2014)

As a fan of Carrie Snyder’s The Juliet Stories, I was wriggling in my seat over the mere idea of Girl Runner. But then the anxiety crept in: there would be no Juliet, and perhaps much of the magic was hers. Just as the same river can’t be stepped in twice, an author cannot retell a favourite story.



Michael Crummey’s Sweetland (2014)

It begins in fog. With Matthew Sweetland hearing voices “so indistinct he thought they might be imaginary”.

Doubleday Canada, 2014

This scene from the past alerts readers that they should be concerned with the line between the real and the invented, and even more to the point, with how Sweetland views these states.

For readers […]


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 […]


“Runaway” Alice Munro

I am fond of specific Alice Munro collections: A Friend of My Youth because it was my first, Open Secrets because it was the impetus for a particularly good book club discussion some years ago, and Runaway.

McClelland & Stewart, 2004

Runaway because I have a memory of reading it in a cafe in Stratford the […]


Elise Juska’s The Blessings (2014)

As an only child, my fascination with large families in fiction stretches back to the Marches, the Moffats and the All-of-a-Kinds.

More recently, Jennifer Close’s The Smart One and Jami Attenberg’s The Middlesteins catapulted me into chaotic family-soaked gatherings (the latter was one of my favourite reads in 2013).

Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Book Group, 2014

Elise Juska’s novel differs […]


Miles Franklin Award Winner 1978: Tirra Lirra by the River

“Food and hot tea lift my spirits.” So says Nora Porteous, who has returned to her family home in Australia, a “wretched and slothful old woman”.

1978; Penguin Books, 1984

Well, some might think her so. Wretched. Slothful. Old. At least, she muses that it’s possible. But Nora works against that impression.

She aims to “talk and […]