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 […]


Mireille Silcoff’s Chez L’Arabe (2014)

Weeks after reading these stories, a glance at the table of contents brings back their characters and arcs in a moment. (With “Flower Watching” and “Eskimos” I also required the aid of the characters’ names I’d noted.)

These stories stood out, not only as independent narratives but, simultaneously, for the connections between them; as with […]


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 […]


Ted Kooser’s House Held up by Trees

“Not far from here, I have seen a house held up by the hands of trees. This is its story.”

Candlewick Press, 2012

So states the title page of this illustrated work with prose by Ted Kooser (who has won a Pulitzer Prize for his poetry) and images by Jon Klassen.

Inspired by the […]


Rumer Godden’s The Dolls’ House (1948)

The day I consider myself too grown-up to read a children’s story, is the day I stop reading.

Rumer Godden’s The Dolls’ House (1948) Illus. Tasha Tudor (1976)

I re-read this slim volume countless times when I was a girl.

Not only did I have a dollhouse, but I was one of those girls who was certain […]


There’s more to Astrid Lindgren than Pippi

Astrid Lindgren’s The Brothers Lionheart (1973) Trans. J. Tate Illus. Ilon Wikland (1984)

Everybody knows Pippi Longstocking, but not so many readers know The Brothers Lionheart.

I read it on the advice of a reading friend, who counts it amongst her favourite children’s books.

And then I learned that it’s also one of Iris’ special favourites!

What I read of […]


Elizabeth Taylor: A Must-Read-Everything Author

We were introduced in 2001, when an English reading friend recommended her novel Angel to me, which I read in a single day.

It immediately seemed like one of those books with which I’d always been familiar. And its author was secured on my Must Read Everything list.

Inside my book remains a copy of […]


Monica Dickens: World’s End Series

I borrowed books in this series repeatedly as a girl. I knew exactly which shelves they were on.

If that old library was still operational, I think I could find them in an instant.

What I wasn’t so sure of, was whether I would enjoy the stories as much as an adult.

Monica Dickens’ World’s […]


Mary Norton’s The Borrowers (1953)

Mary Norton’s The Borrowers (1953) Illus. Beth and Joe Krush Harcourt Young Classics, 1998

Beyond the dark passages beneath the floor.

Past the strong gates, barred with safety pins, that only Pod knows how to open.

There: upstairs.

There: the potential to be seen…by people.

Arrietty has never known of these things. Sure, she has […]


Clinging to Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham’s A Home at the End of the World Picador (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), 1990

Michael Cunningham forced my introduction to Virginia Woolf because I desperately wanted to read The Hours and, so, Mrs. Dalloway had to come first.

The Hours has been a favourite contemporary novel ever since, but only his appearance at […]