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

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 […]

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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, […]

Alice Mattison’s The Kite and the String (2016)

It’s not meant to be complicated. “I hope to help you think about your writing, and to approach the task with more confidence, excitement, and hope.”

That’s Alice Mattison’s intent. But of course it is complicated. Which is why there are countless books about the craft of writing.

Viking – PRH, 2016

The Kite and […]

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 […]

Stephen King’s Finders Keepers (2015)

A detective haunted by past cases left unresolved or unhappily resolved? This offers a terrific launching pad for storytelling.

Pocket Books – S&S, 2016

Particularly when the detective is no longer in an official capacity and has more time on his hands to ruminate and regret.

“There’s not a day that goes by when he […]

April 2016, In My Reading Log (Books on writing and Jhumpa Lahiri)

Much of my reading this year has been preoccupied with writing. I’ve been reading about how Laura Ingalls Wilder’s notebooks and autobiographical writing worked their way into fiction for young readers (Pioneer Girl). Robin Robertson edited Mortification, in which writers discuss work-related embarrassments, often unfolding as they were travelling for readings and public events. Even Angela Thirkell’s novel […]

I Spy with My CanLit Eye: Two Classics

Our young separatist narrator is imagining his own future and the future of Quebec, and both man and nation are struggling with matters of expression and independence, in Hubert Aquin’s Next Episode (published in 1965, translated by Sheila Fischman in 2001).

“I am the fragmented symbol of Quebec’s revolution, its fractured reflection and its suicidal […]

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 […]

On reading, at last, Rilla of Ingleside

I can no longer claim that reading about grown-up Anne is boring, when that would clearly mean I, as a grown-up, must be boring too.

So I have had to come up with other reasons to avoid reading the final Anne book. Knowing what a chore it was for LMM to continue writing the Anne stories? […]

August 2015, In My Bookbag

Over the summer, I have been reading a lot of magazines. With some magazines, I “subscribe-incessently-and-renew-unthinkingly” and, with others, I practice the “when-I’m-in-the-mood-to-browse-the-newsstand” method.  Both of these purchasing methods result in a tremendous backlog of reading for me, because I’m curious about so many things that the stacks quickly become impossible to manage.

(For instance, […]