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 Bookbag, Winter 2017

My reading year began with Marina Endicott’s New Year’s Eve (2011), written with literacy front-of-mind; its vocabulary, structure and tone are meant to ease the passage for readers with varying degrees of ease reading in English.

It begins simply: “The snow started before we left home.” Despite its brevity , there is going to be […]


July 2016, In My Bookbag

In which I discuss some of the skinny volumes, which have nestled into my bookbag.

(Meanwhile longer works, like Timothy Findley’s The Piano Man’s Daughter and Greg Iles’ Natchez Burning, were left at home.)

Stephen Thomas’ The Jokes is not funny-haha, but funny-hmmm. It’s not meant to be funny-haha either, although many of the stories are designed […]


April 2016, In My Bookbag (Yoga)

What are you carting to-and-fro these days? Are you slipping something skinny into your bag?

Or has something big and bulky so claimed your reader’s affections that you are content to lug it around?

I tell myself that I would have a yoga practice already, if only I lived next to the ocean

I’ve been […]


November 2015, In My Bookbag

Three of the books in my stack currently are heavy or over-sized (G.R..R. Martin: I’m looking at you), but there are several skinny options making an appearance in my bookbag this week.

First, Michel Chikawanine’s Child Soldier (written with Jessica Dee Humphreys and illustrated by Claudia Dávila); he begins by introducing himself and saying that […]


Summer 2015, In My Bookbag

Tomorrow, I will be on the move.

So many of the books currently occupying a position in my stacks are bulky and heavy, that it was easy to choose amongst the skinny residents.

I have one more story to read in Gabrielle Roy’s The Road Past Altamont. There are only three in total, and I especially enjoyed […]


January 2015, In My Bookbag

Isn’t there something satisfying about beginning to read someone’s published diaries in a January, when those diaries begin in some other long-ago January?

Dawn Powell’s diaries have been on my shelves for more than a decade but suddenly, in this January, I felt compelled to begin reading them.

It sat beside other diaries (including Sylvia Plath’s and […]


August 2014, In My Bookbag

On a commute during which I know I’ll have trouble concentrating, I pluck one of the mysteries from the stack.

Quercus, 2009; 2014

I’ve been discovering Peter May, Jeffrey Deaver, and Robert Galbraith this month.

Beginning with The Black House, The Bone Collector, and The Cuckoo’s Calling. Respectively.

And followed by The Lewis Man, […]


June 2014, In My Bookbag

I’m slipping a variety of reading into my bookbag this month.

It depends on my mood, when I’m travelling to and fro, and how much time I know I will have to spend on a bus or train, or whether it will be calm or chaotic.

Nick Bantock’s The Trickster’s Hat: A Mischievous Apprenticeship in […]


May 2014, In My Bookbag

Are you still there? If so, many thanks.

It’s been quiet around here; I realized that my database had tripled its allotted storage and was refusing to hold even one more byte sometime in March, and the oh-so-smart-coder-types have only recently gotten things back in working order. Many thanks to these tech-minded folks. The up-side […]


In My Bookbag: June 2012

June has been a month of dabbling. It has also been a month of magazines (and for good reason).

The only book which has consistently made an appearance in my bookbag? A Game of Thrones.

More than anything? I’ve been reading short stories. Alice Munro (but you knew that), Audrey Thomas, Elizabeth Crane. But I don’t […]