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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Reasons to read Gary Barwin’s Yiddish for Pirates (2016)

For a love of birds with wings, especially parrots.

“But what did happen to Adam and Eve? Did they hollow out the Tree of Knowledge, make a canoe and then paddle east to Europe? Fnyeh. Not these Heyerdahls. But, if there ever were an Adam and Eve, who knows where they went? Maybe they were Indios—or […]

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The Ransom Riggs’ Trilogy

With a lengthy TBR, it’s sometimes difficult to finish reading a series: this year, with trilogies, I am exercising my completion muscles. Earlier this year, I went back and reread the initial volume of Margaret Drabble’s Thatcher trilogy and Judith Kerr’s Out of the Hitler Time trilogy, and then finished the other two volumes in each. Then […]

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Karen Molson’s The Company of Crows (2016)

It might seem to be, at first glance, a quintessential CanLit passage, a poetic description of the natural world.

Linda Leith Publishing, 2016

But the opening passage of The Company of Crows reveals more about Karen Molson’s debut novel, than one might think.

“Thin grey lines fan out across the earthscape like a gigantic, tattered spiderweb. […]

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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 […]

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In My Reading Log

At the beginning of March, I was determined to keep my nose in a stack of backlisted books. Books like these are the kind that to keep my focus on my own shelves in this reading year.

Chad Pelley’s Every Little Thing (2013) “Every day, every hour, really, it was a new name and a new […]

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Between Generations: Two Novels and a Memoir

Cristina Henriquez’s The Book of Unknown Americans (2014)

Bond Street Books – Random House, 2014

It’s risky, fragmenting narration into a large number of voices, but it’s the perfect format for a novel about the experiences of newcomers to the United States, who can have an astonishing variety of experiences.

Readers might expect to […]

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Quarterly Stories: Spring 2014

In collection reading, since Quarterly Stories: Winter 2013 I’ve read Susie Moloney’s Things Withered, the latest installment of the Alice Munro reading project, B.J. Novak’s One More Thing, and the most recent volume of Journey Prize stories. 

But mostly I’ve been dipping into single stories in recent months. Partly this was inspired by random samplings of the latest ReLit nominees (more on that project soon) […]

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Saving the Owls: Who Knew

Admittedly, I chose There’s an Owl in the Shower because I had read Jean Craighead George’s classic My Side of the Mountain.

I knew of her reputation for including ecological and environmental themes in the stories she has written for children.

But when I realized that it had been published in 1995, inhabiting that curious space […]

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Sara Levine’s Treasure Island!!! (2012)

A novel about a woman who becomes obsessed with a novel?

Europa Editions, 2011

Just the sort of story which is guaranteed to appeal to a voracious (even, at times, overly excitable) reader.

Even if the novel with which the main character is obsessed is Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, such a reader might […]

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