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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Mazo de la Roche’s Ringing the Changes (1957)

When I first peeked into the Jalna books, I discovered that Mazo de la Roche’s biographers depended heavily upon Ringing the Changes, her autobiography, which I was pleased to find in the library.

It’s that kind of old book whose pages have been turned so often that they are softer near their edges, which means […]

Intersection: Games and Books

The Games We Played: The Golden Age of Board and Table Games by Margaret K. Hofer is a sriking showcase of the games in Ellen and Arthur Liman’s historic collection of American games.

It began with a $6 yard-sale purchase in 1980 and grew to contain more than 500 games which they donated for display […]

Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future (2015)

The Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada is essential reading.

TRC, 2015

As a component of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the TRC’s “mandate is to inform all Canadians about what happened in Indian Residential Schools (IRS).”

The report is intended “to document the truth of survivors, families, communities […]

In My Reading Log, December 2016

Once again, my idea of reading more non-fiction this year didn’t materialize. During Non-Fiction November, so many people were actually reading books that I have been meaning to read but I picked up a novel or collection instead. Nonetheless, I’ve squeezed in a few.

Julia Shaw’s The Memory Illusion (2016)

Memory is plagued by “biological flaws, […]

Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures (2016)

“There was virtually no aspect of twentieth-century defense technology that had not been touched by the hands and minds of female mathematicians.”

HarperCollins, 2016

That might not come up in math class at school, but it’s evident on every page of Hidden Figures.

“What I wanted was for them to have the […]

Quarterly Stories: Winter 2016

This month, I’m wholly enjoying the stories in the Short Story Advent Calendar (edited by Michael Hingston and designed by Natalie Olsen). The variety of the boxed set is fantastic, especially if you’re looking for “new” short story writers to follow, but I generally read collections of works by a single author.

So many of the […]

November 2016, In My Reading Log

In the wake of my IFOA reading list and the literary prizelists of the season, my November reading felt relatively whimsical. Without duedates attached to the majority of my reading, it was a pleasure to slip into volumes which had sat untouched in recent weeks.

Each of these three volumes covers, in one way or another, […]

Laurence Scott’s The Four-Dimensional Human (2015)

Are we spending so much time plugged-in that we are no longer ourselves and now perceive the world differently? Author Laurence Scott posits that digital technology has shaped a fourth dimension.

We inhabit it, become it. The big question is: What does this mean? But just as one click online leads to a series of clicks, this breaks down […]

Nathalia Holt’s Rise of the Rocket Girls (2016)

“It’s about being an explorer, a treasure-hunter.” Sue Finlay is still passionate about her work for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, just as she was in 1957, when she put her love of numbers to work. (See video here.)

She speaks about the early days spent with a Friedan calculator and a notebook, the complex calulations which […]