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

Deni Ellis Béchard’s Into the Sun (2016)

Have you ever missed your stop on public transit because of a book?

House of Anansi, 2016

Into the Sun is so gripping, from the start, that I travelled four stops past my own stop, before I even realized that I had missed it. (Then, I was so surprised, even disbelieving that I’d travelled so far […]

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The Fold’s 2016 Reading List (Part One)

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 […]

Kate Taylor’s Serial Monogamy (2016)

“My books aren’t romances per se; they don’t even necessarily feature happy endings any more, they just conclude with hopeful moments that allow the reader to decide whether widows have the strength to go on or divorced dads find love for a second time.”

And there is nothing romantic about the idea of serial monogamy. One cannot […]

Tricia Dower’s Becoming Lin (2016)

Reading Becoming Lin reminded me of discovering Marilyn French’s The Women’s Room and Marge Piercy’s Small Changes. Two unapologetically feminist novels which I felt had poured out of my own heart into some other writer’s story. I inhaled these books, and I felt the same sense of intense recognition and kindred-spirit-ness in Tricia Dower’s newest […]

Zoe Whittall’s The Best Kind of People

It begins with something extraordinary.

“Almost a decade earlier, a man with a .45-70 Marlin hunting rifle walked through the front doors of Avalon Hills prep school. He didn’t know that he was about to become a living symbol of the age of white men shooting into crowds.”

House of Anansi. 2016

Readers are […]

Maisie Hurley and “The Native Voice”

One woman, one newspaper: The Native Voice is a story with relevance far beyond any existing borders, as well as a work of importance for local historians in what is now called British Columbia, Canada.

Caitlin Press, 2016

Eric Jamieson’s book is of fundamental interest to any reader concerned with the interplay between aboriginal […]

Robert Arthur Alexie’s Porcupines and China Dolls (2002)

Sometimes I buy books for the stories on their pages; sometimes I buy them for the stories between the pages.

My copy of Porcupines and China Dolls was purchased second-hand at the Trinity College booksale more than ten years ago.

Because of a handful of folded sheets tucked inside the back cover (although, yes, I was […]

“Wasn’t my life supposed to be rock and roll?”

Rockstar or not, Nicola Harwood’s Flight Instructions for the Commitment Impaired is a bold and absorbing memoir. At times her style is plain and functional, at other times it is poetic and intricate – even captivating, her voice consistently displayed centre-stage.

Caitlin Press, 2016

“No such thing as one true love, just the one sent hurtling against […]

Storytelling or Chicanery: Trust in words

Sometimes, it’s clear who the bad guys are. Sometimes they’re clearly drawn, not only unsavoury, but also unprincipled.

Like the misogynists who people the Signy Shepherd series by Susan Philpott, in which women are rescued from life-threatening situations by other women working a type of Underground Railroad, called The Line. (Blown Red, 2015 and Dark Territory, […]

Jane Ozkowski’s Watching Traffic (2016)

What Jane Ozkowski captures beautifully in Watching Traffic is the very sensation embodied in the debut novel’s title: Emily is overwhelmed by motion even while in a state of stillness.

Groundwood Books, 2016

It’s the summer after high-school gradulation, and Emily is working at a catering company, making egg-salad sandwiches and butter tarts, so that other people […]