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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Louise Erdrich’s Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country (2003)

The table of contents is simple but thrilling for me, the book’s five chapters all themes and topics of great interest: Books and Islands, Islands, Rock Paintings, Books, and Home.

If the other titles in the series (from National Geographic)  are even half of what this volume appears to be, even at first glance, I’m […]

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 […]

The intersection between pictures and stories

From my discovery of Neil Bantock’s Griffin and Sabine books, I have sought out books that play with form. (Even earlier, I fell hard for Anastasia Krupnik’s To-Do lists which appeared as handwritten notes on lined paper in Lois Lowry’s books.)

Recently, Kim Belair’s and Ariadne MacGillivray’s Pure Steele (2013) struck my fancy. Each of its pages […]

Blanche Howard’s The Ice Maiden (2015)

Please welcome back ReaderWoman, who has bookchatted here before, as part of the House of Anansi 45 reading celebration of indie presses and bookshops. (You can search for her posts using the tag GuestPost.)

She has been reading (among other good things, which you can discover here) Blanche Howard’s posthumously published The Ice Maiden (available […]

Neil Smith’s Boo (2015)

There are “ways of making people into ghosts”. So Atticus say, to Jem in To Kill a Mockingbird, about Boo (Arthur) Radley.

Alfred A. Knopf, 2015

Neil Smith turned Oliver Dalrymple into a ghost in Boo. And, then, he named him Boo and gave him a Casper the Friendly Ghost wrist watch.

Whether or not Arthur […]

Joseph Luzzi’s In a Dark Wood (2015)

Phyllis Rose took a year to read Proust and wrote her “memoir in real time”. More recently, Rebecca Mead revisited Middlemarch and she, too, wrote a memoir which examined her own life in that context. In Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, Nina Sankovitch plunged into the classic Russian’s work as part of coping with her sister’s […]

January 2015, In My Reading Log

Ater a year of new-new-new, January has been filled with the familiar, the known. It’s not been about making new-shiny-library-residing friends, but about becoming better acquainted with long-time residents of my own bookshelves, remembering what drew particular authors onto my MRE (MustReadEverything) list and particular books onto my shelves. Have you made any read-o-lutions this […]

Rebecca Mead’s My Life in Middlemarch (2014)

Within pages, the bookish will find a niche to inhabit in Rebecca Mead’s book, in much the same way that the author has inhabited the pages of Middlemarch.

Bond Street Books – Doubleday, 2014

Perhaps not in exactly the same way, for as the author posits, that particularly profound experience might be rooted for […]

Being a Good Girl

The word ‘goodish’ entered my vocabulary thanks to an observation that Carol Shields makes of two female friends in The Republic of Love. (General increased usage of -ish also ensued.)

“They love the word ‘goodish,’ as in goodish sunsets, goodish travel bargains, goodish men.”

The title and cover of Suzanne Sutherland’s When We Were Good brought that to […]