What Are Canadian Bookworms starting 2023 with?

KeskusteluCanadian Bookworms

Liity LibraryThingin jäseneksi, niin voit kirjoittaa viestin.

What Are Canadian Bookworms starting 2023 with?

tammikuu 1, 9:26 am

I'm starting 2023 with a memoir: Flora! A Woman in a Man's World by Flora MacDonald and Geoffrey Stevens.

tammikuu 1, 11:32 am

I didn't manage to finish Kenneth, by Nigel Tranter, before the end of last year, so it would be nice to continue with it today and start a good habit of actually reading my historical fiction.

tammikuu 1, 7:28 pm

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. It's excellent 125 pages in. I put off reading and now I am wondering why!

tammikuu 1, 10:35 pm

>3 vancouverdeb: Hi Deborah, I just finished it. It was a pretty amazing book! But it is a whopper. 548 pages,

tammikuu 2, 10:59 pm

After finishing the book I mentioned in >2 rabbitprincess:, I'm going to change genres but am not sure which. Could go for crime with The Widow of Bath, by Margot Bennett, or read more sci-fi with All Systems Red, by Martha Wells.

tammikuu 3, 1:46 am

>4 mdoris: It is whopper, Mary! But I'm finding it almost unputdownable! I'm on page 221 and wondering when I will be able to put it down today. I started reading in on the 31 of December, I think. It is amazing so far.

tammikuu 3, 4:21 pm

>6 vancouverdeb: Glad Deborah that you are really appreciating it! Unputdownable=good description.

tammikuu 4, 11:07 pm

Halfbreed / Maria Campbell
3 stars

The author grew up in Saskatchewan; she is Metis (or “halfbreed” is the word she uses: part Cree (indigenous), and part European), descended from Gabriel Dumont. Her family was poor and she never really got out of the poverty, even as she married, had kids, moved to B.C. and Alberta, etc. She also ended up drinking, doing drugs… I think prostitution, too, but (unless I missed it), she only hinted at it.

I maybe made a mistake in listening to the audio. Maria herself read it, but she has a very monotone voice. I thought that I was still able to focus in the first half or so of the book, but I did miss things as the book continued, and I suspect I missed more earlier in the book than I originally thought.

tammikuu 5, 10:30 pm

Finished All Systems Red, so going back to historical Scotland with Fatal Rivalry, by George Goodwin.

tammikuu 7, 4:11 pm

I'm finishing La Civilisation, ma Mère!... by Driss Chraïbi, Moroccan author who studied engineering in France and ended up teaching Maghreb Literature at Laval University in Quebec!
It's a beautifully luminous novel which shows the emancipation of women, moving from their ancestral to worldly wisdom. A beautiful homage to women and mothers in particular.

tammikuu 9, 2:30 pm

I've started reading A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny. Besides loving Penny, I've been particularly looking forward to this one as I was a university student in Montreal when the shooting occurred. (The confusion of it mostly stands out in my mind.)

I'm finding it a more emotional read than anticipated: Penny is such an atmospheric writer and, while it's helping me process this event and understand its impact in a much more holistic way, it made me realize just how very narrow my experience and understanding of it was. It's a humbling lesson to learn and a time to be grateful.

tammikuu 9, 6:21 pm

Finished The Widow of Bath, by Margot Bennett, and getting ready to start Maigret et le corps sans tête, by Georges Simenon.

tammikuu 9, 10:56 pm

The Boy / Betty Jane Hegerat
4 stars

This book is a combination fiction, memoir, and true crime. The author goes back and forth between telling her fictional story… which (in some ways) mimics the true crime portion of the story as she writes about her research into the crime. The chapters alternate between the fiction and the memoir.

The fictional story is set in the 90s, and is from the POV of a woman, Louise, marrying a man, Jake, who has a 12-year old son, Daniel. Louise is a teacher and knows that Daniel often gets into trouble, so she is concerned about how this will go as she becomes his stepmother. The true crime portion of the story is about a boy (Bobby Cook) in small town Alberta who, in his 20s, was convicted and hanged in 1960 for murdering his family: his father, stepmother, and five younger half-siblings. This was the last execution in Alberta.

It seems kind of an odd mix, but it worked really well for me. I liked that the character Louise would “talk” to the author, usually in between chapters, but occasionally in the memoir chapters, as well, as Louise and the author Betty figured out what the fictional Louise’s story would be and how similar it would be to Bobby Cook’s story. I liked both the fictional story, and I found the true crime portion of the story quite interesting, as well. Might have to look further into Robert Raymond Cook.

tammikuu 10, 3:57 pm

The Moonstone by Wilke Collins a classic mystery store that I was astonished to find that I hadn't read it!.

tammikuu 16, 4:15 pm

Finished 2 books so far (both crime fiction): Kate Shackleton's First Case by Frances Brody and The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves. Both pretty good reads, but not outstanding.

tammikuu 17, 6:06 pm

I've just started my latest LTER book, The Driftwood Tour by J.P. Lane

tammikuu 18, 11:35 pm

My first book of the year was The Ministry for Ignoring Climate Change by David Millar, set in Haida Gwaii its a sort of political satire about a community that discovers a way to reverse the effects of climate change, but also an enchanting story about a mother's quest to reunite with her long-lost daughter. Sounds weird but a great read, I just wrote a review for it.

tammikuu 19, 1:00 am

Skimmed David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. It should have been 800 pages shorter!

Currently reading Dune by Frank Herbert and Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch by Canadian author Rivka Galchen. All of them book club selections.

tammikuu 21, 10:16 am

Finally getting into some CanLit with Last Leaves, by Stephen Leacock.

tammikuu 23, 12:38 am

>Spare must come first. It's done. It's magnificent!

Then either Kathleen Winter Boundless or Anne Michaels The Winter Vault Bookclub theme: river(s)

tammikuu 23, 2:10 pm

More light mystery reading for me: Death at the Seaside by Frances Brody.

tammikuu 24, 10:21 am

tammikuu 25, 10:48 am

I'm finishing Moms who drink and swear by Nicole Knepper, which is a fun read (although she does swear - a lot).

I'm also reading the thriller La fille de papier by Guillaume Musso and plowing away on Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook (phew - halfway done).

tammikuu 26, 4:27 pm

tammikuu 31, 9:22 am

tammikuu 31, 1:39 pm

tammikuu 31, 4:34 pm

I've finished Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin, a light romance which was perfect for recovering from a sore back.

helmikuu 1, 5:21 pm

I really enjoyed our latest book club selection: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. A finely crafted and structured, not soppy or sentimental, and sometimes grim tale of a remarkable friendship in the context of WWII flying, spies, and the Gestapo.

helmikuu 1, 8:56 pm

I've put too much heavy non-fiction on my plate, so I'm going to grab a light mystery: Whose Body?, by Dorothy L. Sayers.

helmikuu 2, 11:35 pm

Last Winter / Carrie Mac
3.5 stars

Early in the book, we learn that 5 children died in an avalanche. One adult also died. 8-year old Ruby was one of 2 children who made it out alive, along with one other adult.

Leading up to the avalanche, we follow Ruby, her mother Fiona, who has a mental illness, and Ruby’s father Gus, who is a former Olympic snowboarder and now runs a backcountry guiding company and was one of the adults on the trip when the avalanche happened. Fiona and Gus’s relationship is in bad shape and they fight a lot. Fiona often does not take her medication, so is quite shocking in some of the things she says and does with friends.

It took me a long time to get “into” the book. It was hard to follow for the first 1/3 to ½ of the book, as there were a lot of characters I had trouble keeping straight (who was who, and how are they “related”?). There were also a couple of shifts in time that I struggled with. Fiona was extremely unlikable; I guess I should try to have more sympathy, but it’s hard when she won’t take her mediation. But, the book really picked up in the second half as the avalanche hit, along with the aftermath.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 3, 4:40 pm

I finished The Fallout by Yrsa Sigurdardottir . I quite enjoyed it, though I felt it was a little long at times, as 420 pages or so. Halfway through Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan. I very much enjoying that so far.

helmikuu 4, 10:11 am

I've finished La fille de papier by Guillaume Musso and am reading French Exit by Patrick DeWitt which I'm loving!

helmikuu 4, 10:00 pm

It's been something of a slow start for me but I'm working my way through Sheridan Le Fanu at the moment, with In a Glass Darkly, and an anthology, The Devil and the Deep. I finished Lovecraft Country and might pick up more by Matt Ruff. I was definitely different from the series and as a whole, I liked it better.

helmikuu 6, 4:59 pm

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 8, 6:24 pm

Well, I feel like patting myself on the back-finally finished Fayne by Ann-Marie MacDonald. It was an enthralling read-just very, very long and perhaps in need of some editing. It's historical fiction with a hefty dose of mysticism (which I actually think wasn't really necessary to the storytelling and which I admit I often skimmed through). Really interesting though, and it held my interest through all 722 pages.

helmikuu 9, 1:11 am

>37 ted74ca: Wow! Good for you for finishing Fayne. I looked at it , but decided it was just too long. Glad to know that you found it interesting.

After finishing Small Things Like These, I felt that I wanted to know more about the Magdalen Laundries in Ireland . I found a book at the library, The Magdalen Girls and so far I am finding it interesting.

helmikuu 9, 12:27 pm

>38 vancouverdeb: 'There is an amazing film, 2002 (and disturbing) about the Magdalen Laundries
The Magdalen Sisters

helmikuu 10, 12:54 am

>39 mdoris: Thanks so much for that info re the movie, Mary. I'll definitely look for it on Amazon Prime and the other TV services that we get. If I have to , I'll watch on you tube. The Magdalen Girls , the book, is disturbing. I feel a bit badly that I feel a real dislike for the Catholic Church reading this book. I am a Christian, but more Baptist/ Mennonite, and perhaps rather liberal in my views. I have good friends who attend the Catholic Church and I've attended myself. I feel a bit badly about having such negative feelings about the Catholic Church. My son William got married in the Catholic Church, and I was not thrilled about that, but I kept that to myself. Happily, Wm and his wife now attend a protestant Church, A Christian Alliance Church, more in line with my own beliefs. Life! ;-)

helmikuu 10, 1:55 pm

>40 vancouverdeb: Very nice to hear your news Deborah. Hope all's well in your world. Yes "disturbing" would describe the film but I feel we need to know about these horrible things to understand our selves as humans and be a bit prepared. The nuns do not come out well in the film. Hope you can track it down.

helmikuu 10, 3:22 pm

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 12, 3:44 pm

Back to easy reading for me this week, after finishing Fayne- crime fiction from one of my favourite authors: Elly Griffiths. I quite enjoyed Bleeding Heart Yard.

helmikuu 12, 10:49 pm

The Broken Girls / Simone St. James
4.25 stars

At Idlewild Hall, a boarding school in Vermont in 1950, a girl is returning (early) from a visit with family off-campus. It’s night, and no one was expecting her back early. As she walks across the schoolyard, something catches her eye. Scared, she starts running, but she never makes it back.

In 2014, Fiona is a reporter with bad memories of that school from 1994 (though the school closed in 1979) – Fiona’s sister was murdered and her body found in the schoolyard. Although, the guy was caught, convicted and is in jail, Fiona just can’t get past this. When she learns that someone has bought the school and wants to refurbish it and reopen it, she gets permission to do a story on it. Her investigations lead her to not only discover what happened in 1950, it puts her in danger as she also learns more about her sister’s murder.

This was really good! The 1950 portions of the story are told from four different points of view – four friends/roommates at Idlewild Hall. In these portions, we learn the backstories for each of the girls, plus we follow them for a month or two leading up to the disappearance of the one returning from her off-campus visit. There is creepiness all around the school. Although Fiona’s story doesn’t initially sound as interesting as the girls in 1950, I really liked both timelines and thought it all came together really nicely at the end.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 15, 1:44 pm

I'm reading all over the place. I'm finishing Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs, based on the Masada stories.
I'm also reading a cute book The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson, where a young woman tries to uncover the skeletons in her family closed after her uncle's death.
Finally I finished Dial M for Merde by Stephen Clarke, a hilarious Johnny-English style thriller, and Crocodiles by Philippe Dijan, a collection of short stories on the extremes of love (and hate).

helmikuu 15, 5:19 pm

Started Between the Stops, by Sandi Toksvig. And I just discovered the audiobook, read by Sandi, is available through iTunes, so I've bought that too.

helmikuu 18, 10:03 am

For Black History Month, I'm reading Petit traité sur le racisme by Dany Laferrière, a beautiful mix of prose, poetry and history. Laferrière has an amazing ability to describe simply and poignantly some terrible stories without dramatizing nor minimizing events. I'm learning a lot... and feeling a lot.

helmikuu 18, 2:59 pm

>48 LynnB: Oh that one looks interesting and my local library has it. Thanks!

helmikuu 19, 12:20 pm

Just finished and really loved This is How We Love by Lisa Moore.

helmikuu 19, 4:49 pm

>48 LynnB: Let us know how you like it. The books on feminism I've read recently have been lacklustre, besides Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez which I loved.

helmikuu 20, 8:28 am

>51 Cecilturtle: I'm about 40% through The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-First Century. It's thought-provoking, raising issues such as today's young adults are the first generation to come of age with porn widely available via the internet and what that means for sexuality. It probes what consent really means. It isn't judgmental; it explores perspectives across the feminist movement. So far, so good.

I, too, liked Invisible Women and was shocked at the extent to which the exclusion of women was still happening today.

helmikuu 20, 6:23 pm

I'm re-reading Alone in the Classroom by Elizabeth Hay for a book club.

helmikuu 20, 8:50 pm

>53 LynnB: I really remember that one!

helmikuu 22, 1:19 pm

>48 LynnB: I finished The Right to Sex yesterday.

What a great read...challenging at times, but so thought-provoking it is worth the effort. The author examines many feminist issues (consent, porn, prostitution and others), and explores differences in feminist thought about such issues without being judgmental. She explores ideas and perspectives within feminist thought and challenges the reader to do the same.

I liked her exploration of how a patriarchal society defines so many issues and responses. For example, she explores the politics of sex and desire and how mainstream preferences affect people of colour, disabled people, fat people, and others who don't confirm. Are our desires innate or shaped by the patriarchal society we live in? A patriarchal society also leads to systemic harms to consensual sex, in the case of male professors having relationships with female students.

By exploring differing feminist views and the context in which they are formed, the author has made me think in a deeper, more nuanced way about such issues. Recommended.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 22, 2:28 pm

>55 LynnB: Thanks for the recap! I've placed a hold at the library!

helmikuu 22, 10:45 pm

The Barren Grounds / David A. Robertson
2.25 stars

Morgan and Eli are indigenous kids, foster kids in a white home. Morgan is a sulky teenager, always in a bad mood, and Eli is younger. When they hide in the attic one day, Eli has a drawing he puts up on the wall that comes to life and pulls them through to another world of talking animals and learning of their indigenous culture.

Fantasy, talking animals – definitely not my thing. At first, I really did not like Morgan (sulky, complaining teenagers), but I would have been happier with a story in the real world. I listened to the audio and tuned out much of the other world stuff. I had a gist of some of what was going on, but it just wasn’t that interesting to me. And… talking animals. No.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 23, 4:55 pm

Anticipated books by Canadian authors for 2023. I see E. Hay will have a new one and I am far down the list of reserves at the library. Snow Road Station and M. Atwood has a new one of short stories Old Babes in the Woods


helmikuu 23, 4:53 pm

>59 mdoris: Oooh, Patrick deWitt has a new one! I'll have to request that.

helmikuu 27, 5:55 pm

Someone in my book club mentioned last month that this book was a favourite of hers, so I thought I'd give it a try. It was really good-perceptive, thought provoking, and often ironically humourous. It really made me think of my own life and my relationships with others. I thoroughly enjoyed Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout and will be looking for more novels by this author.

helmikuu 27, 10:58 pm

A Death at the Party / Amy Stuart
4.5 stars

In the first chapter, we learn that the hostess of our party has killed someone (but we don’t know who!) in the basement as the party happens upstairs. We then back up to the start of the day and progress until we find out what happened and who died and why. Nadine is our hostess, married, with two teenage kids. Nadine’s mother (Marilyn) is a famous author and it’s her 60th birthday.

Nadine insists on hosting a party for her, although Marilyn isn’t that excited about parties, and not only that, Nadine’s aunt/Marilyn’s younger sister (Colleen) was found dead at her mother’s 30th birthday party (Colleen was only 15 at the time – there was a 15 year difference between the sisters and Nadine was closer in age to Colleen than Marilyn was). Throughout the story, we not only lead up to the birthday party, we flashback in time to learn about Nadine and Colleen’s relationship and what happened 30 years ago.

I really liked this! I was pulled in right away and wanted to keep reading (and mostly did – I finished the bulk of the story in one (weekend) day!). It was hard to know if Nadine herself was reliable, though. She had had an accident previously, and though primarily it was her hip that was injured, she had head injuries, as well, that she was still recovering from. There was one twist that I feel like I should have seen coming, but I just didn’t. (But it’s always more fun NOT to figure it out first, anyway!)

helmikuu 28, 9:17 am

I've finished Mind your Manners by Claire Wallace, a 1953 Canadian etiquette dictionary. It is sometimes useful (how to call a waiter), sometimes interesting (how to eat bacon) and sometimes downright comical (how NOT to clean your fingers from lipstick by dragging them on the bathroom wall - that one sounded personal).

I'm wondering... with Canada being so diverse and many of us having grown up in different ways, what is one thing that you found odd with etiquette in Canada?
For me, it was the English fashion of eating with a hand under the table. In France, it's considered impossibly rude: either you're feeding the dog, or feeling up your neighbour, but you can't possibly be up to anything good - LOL. To this day, I can't do it. Do you have any stories?

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 28, 12:44 pm

>61 ted74ca: I am a big fan of Elizabeth Strout and read any thing of hers I can get my mitts on.

>63 Cecilturtle: Fun discussion! I like that Canadians are quite orderly, don't try and jump the queue.

helmikuu 28, 3:51 pm

>63 Cecilturtle: I don't have an answer to your question, but that book sounds fun!

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 1, 7:43 am

>63 Cecilturtle: As an eleventh generation Canadian, I don't have any stories like that. But I never understood why we had to keep our elbows off the table. Or why, when someone asks you to pass the salt, you have to give them the pepper as well; and vice-versa.

maaliskuu 1, 10:35 pm

Chief Piapot: I Will Stop the Train / Vincent McKay.
3.5 stars

In the late 19th century, Chief Piapot lived, mostly in Southern Saskatchewan (or what became such), through the coming of guns, the extinction of the buffalo, white man coming to take the land, the NWMP (North-West Mounted Police) coming, and the train coming to the West. He liaised between the Assiniboine, Cree, Sioux, and Blackfoot peoples. He knew a few languages (including French and English) and negotiated with the Canadian government for the treaties.

I grew up in Southern Saskatchewan, so I recognized names of places that had been named after some of the people (including a town called Piapot), and I recognized names of people who were historically in the area (Sitting Bull probably being the most well-known, and Gabriel Dumont made a few appearances). It appears the author did a lot of good research and seems to have portrayed him well. I have to say the end was pretty exciting, when Piapot really did stop the train!

maaliskuu 4, 4:09 pm

I'm re-reading Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel for Canada Reads.

maaliskuu 4, 5:03 pm

HI LynnB. i just thumbed your review of Shuggie Bain. i loved it too!

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 4, 6:00 pm

I'm finishing L'Enfant perdue by Elena Ferrante, and I'm picking up The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides next - I hope it'll be a more vivid story. The Ferrante book is high in colour but so descriptive, it sometimes feels like reading a grocery list of emotions.

maaliskuu 4, 11:09 pm

The Wagoner / C.A. Simonsen
3.25 stars

It’s the late 19th century. Ott has lost his grandfather and he had promised to take his body to rest with his grandmother somewhere in the Plains of the U.S. He takes his old mule, Sir Lucien, who has to pull the wagon with the coffin and they set out from (what would later become) Southern Saskatchewan to likely somewhere in South Dakota to deliver his grandfather. He bumbles his way along and meets many characters on the way there and back, including picking up a dog.

To be honest, I was bored through the first third or so of the book. For some reason, the way to drop off his grandfather just didn’t peak my interest at all. But it picked up and got better for me as the book continued on, when Ott first ended up at a brothel as he turned around to head home.

From there, he continued on and met up with various Indigenous peoples, Metis, a thief, a runaway slave from Louisiana (though technically free, her master didn’t seem to agree), and more. And it was harsh, travelling back on foot and by mule (by the way home, his wagon had disintegrated). I think his concern for his animals helped pull me in, eventually, too. It’s another book where (being originally from Southern Saskatchewan), I did recognize some place and people names, which is always kind of fun.

maaliskuu 7, 6:48 pm

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 8, 1:05 am

>72 LynnB: - Let me know what you think of Mexican Gothic. I just finished a gothic tale , Mrs England by Stacey Halls. It was a very enjoyable read. It takes place in 1904 England . A young lady named Ruby May, trained as a Norland nanny, is assigned to a family living in an isolated estate of West Yorkshire. Nurse May finds the staff of the house to be quite unfriendly , the manner of Mr England to perhaps a bit over familiar. Mrs England, the mother of four children seems cold, withdrawn and rarely present. It's a most entertaining read. I've read her two previous books, The Familiars and The Lost Orphan and enjoyed them very much .

maaliskuu 10, 7:50 am

I'm reading Hotline by Dimitri Nasrallah for Canada Reads.

maaliskuu 11, 1:38 am

>73 vancouverdeb: I just read your review of Mexican Gothic. I think I can safely skip it! I'm just starting Weyward by Emilia Hart. It is a hold that came in from the library.

maaliskuu 11, 10:37 am

>73 vancouverdeb: I didn't like Mexican Gothic. I found it melodramatic, and at times, it dragged. The characters had no depth. Like you, I can't understand why it's a Canada Reads finalist. Maybe the debates will enlighten us on that point.

maaliskuu 12, 1:20 pm

maaliskuu 13, 12:48 pm

I just finished Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson and enjoyed it, as I always do for her books.

maaliskuu 13, 5:42 pm

I'm jumping around in a big volume of Margaret Atwood's essays Burning Questions.

maaliskuu 13, 10:56 pm

Talking to Strangers / Malcolm Gladwell
3.75 stars

In this one, Gladwell looks at how we communicate (or not) with people we don’t know. Or really, how well (or not) that communication is. Generally, people assume other people are telling the truth. But what if they aren’t? Drinking changes communication and how we read (or don’t) other people. Police interactions. Spies. Crime and safety. And more. Of course, there are studies that show us some surprising results.

So he actually started off with what was the least interesting to me of all the stories – the spies. But the rest of the stories were of much more interest to me. I listened to the audio and he did it (so he said – I don’t really listen to podcasts) similar to a podcast where he used recordings of the people themselves talking or he used actors to reenact what someone said. Although some of the recordings were sometimes hard to hear, I quite enjoyed it done that way. So an extra ¼ star for the audio.

maaliskuu 15, 8:42 am

I've started H(A)PPY by Nicola Barker, a dystopia in which everyone is happy - that's an interesting paradox to explore!

maaliskuu 15, 10:22 pm

>81 Cecilturtle: Oooh, that does sound interesting!

maaliskuu 19, 8:50 am

>82 LibraryCin: I finished it: it's a very strange but very original book. Some of it is set in Paraguay (which I know nothing about) and it led me to discover the composer and musician Agustin Barrios. It's definitely not a book for everyone (quite experimental), but I loved it.

I'm now reading a very standard culinary murder mystery, Killer Pancake by Diane Mott Davidson.

maaliskuu 19, 12:52 pm

>83 Cecilturtle: Thanks for the description. Experimental might not be my "thing", but I can also check a few other reviews.

maaliskuu 23, 10:03 pm

I finished three books, The Magdalen Girls and recommend it. It's a hard but worthwhile read. My review is on the book page. I also finished Weyward by Emilia Hart and what a gripping, fabulous read. My review is on the book's main page.

I also finished my second book from the Women's Prize Longlist for Fiction, Trespasses. It's about the Troubles in Ireland and really captured my interest. Review on the main page of the book.

maaliskuu 24, 1:35 pm

I've recently completed a re-read of Changing Heaven by Jane Urquhart; Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy, Spare by Prince Harry and Dead Reckoning: The Untold Story of the Northwest Passage by Ken McGoogan.

I'm now reading The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

maaliskuu 24, 3:17 pm

I just finished All the Devils are Here by Louise Penny. I had grown a bit weary of this series so took a break from reading them, but quite enjoyed this one.

maaliskuu 26, 1:58 pm

I'm reading my latest LTER book, Everything is Just Beginning by Eric Bartels.

maaliskuu 28, 6:56 pm

I'm indulging my love of time-travel fiction with Here and Now and Then, by Mike Chen.

maaliskuu 28, 7:36 pm

At LynnB's recommendation, I picked up The Right to Sex - Feminism in the Twenty-First Century by Amia Srivivasan

maaliskuu 28, 8:55 pm

>91 Cecilturtle: I want to read that one too!

maaliskuu 29, 10:01 am

>91 Cecilturtle: Hope you enjoy it

maaliskuu 31, 6:31 pm

>93 LynnB: I'm finishing her second essay and I'm loving it! Finally a book with some subtly that's not afraid to call out the feminist movement where it's lagged but at the same time showing the complexities of the issues and areas for leadership. Phew! A far cry form the simplistic dud Shrewed which I read a few months ago.

huhtikuu 3, 2:25 pm

I just finished Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel and absolutely loved it. I'm not a science fiction fan at all, but I thought this novel focussed far more on the themes of love, connections, and the purpose of life.

huhtikuu 4, 11:24 am

I just finished Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry (great book), which reminded me to hit the stack of South Asian lit that I've been neglecting. I've been on a long stint of sci-fi lately...

Next up: Cinnamon Gardens Shyam Selvadurai
I loved both Funny Boy and Hungry Ghosts, so hope this one is just as excellent.

huhtikuu 6, 8:01 am

huhtikuu 8, 12:18 pm

I'm reading Little Big Lies by Liane Moriarty (which is hilarious) and I'll be starting Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys

huhtikuu 11, 6:58 pm

I'm about to start reading Fifth Business by Robertson Davies. I used to hear his name always being mentioned in the same breath as Margaret Atwood in the nineties, but his star seems to have faded since his death.

huhtikuu 12, 10:35 am

>101 Cecrow: His Depford trilogy is so good, with World of Wonders being my favourite! I picked up one of his other novels a few years ago and it's true I found it a bit pompous by modern standards - they haven't aged as well as Atwood's, but they're so brilliant!

huhtikuu 12, 10:39 am

I've picked up The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare by Lilian Jackson Braun. Still enjoying the series!

huhtikuu 12, 6:36 pm

I'm reading The Lover, the Lake by Virginia Pesemapeo Bordeleau, heralded at the first erotic novel written by an indigenous woman in French.

huhtikuu 12, 7:54 pm

>102 Cecilturtle: I'm hoping to read the Deptford trilogy this year! I bought myself a smart-looking omnibus volume from Blackwell's. Normally I don't do omnibuses, but I have Davies's Cornish trilogy in omnibus as well, so it seemed fitting to continue the trend.

huhtikuu 13, 6:05 pm

huhtikuu 15, 12:05 pm

Getting ready to start yet another medical memoir: Code Gray: Death, Life and Uncertainty in the ER, by Farzon A. Nahvi.

huhtikuu 15, 3:57 pm

The Son of a Certain Woman / Wayne Johnston
3 stars

Percy was born with FSS (Famous Someone Syndrome), where his hands, feet, and lips are all oversized; he also has an extremely large wine-red/purple “stain” on his face. He lives in St. John’s, Nfld with his beautiful single mom and her boarder, who also teaches at Percy’s school. A frequent visitor to their house is his mom’s friend, Medina. He also realizes there will never be a girl/woman who will love him or have sex with him; he figures his only hope is his mother. The story follows Percy from about 5 years old to 15.

Ok, as distasteful as that is, the story itself wasn’t bad. Initially, it reminded me of John Irving. It was pretty slow, though. It did pick up for me as I continued on, so I temporarily thought I might rate is just a bit higher, until something at the end of the book brought my rating back down to “ok”. It was apparently set in the 1950s and 60s, but I don’t recall if that was explicitly stated in the book. There was some humour and plenty of criticism of the Catholic Church.

huhtikuu 16, 6:10 pm

Continuing my exploration of science with An Immense World, by Ed Yong.

huhtikuu 17, 2:33 pm

I just finished Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang and really liked it. I usually have no interest in reading about American history, but this was a powerful story about the Asian immigrant experience in the West in the 1800's and I thought it well written.

huhtikuu 19, 10:04 am

I finished Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys and the graphic novel Tombé dans l'oreille d'un sourd by Grégory Mahieux and Audrey Levotre

huhtikuu 20, 11:31 pm

Finally read Five Little Indians by Michelle Good. Very difficult stories to read about, let alone fully understand (as a white, middle class person). Should be required reading in high schools.

huhtikuu 21, 8:43 pm

Started Testament of a Generation this morning. This collection compiles selected journalism of Vera Brittain and Winifred Holtby.

huhtikuu 24, 1:56 pm

I'm reading La Soif by Jo Nesbø, a Harry Hole mystery, and A State of Wonder by Ann Patchett where a biochemist is sent to the Brazilian jungle to find out how her colleague died. Both are great thrillers.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 28, 10:10 pm

I just finished The Magdalen Girls by V.S. Alexander. I've read other fiction about the laundries and have seen the film Philomena, so I knew something about this tragic issue, but this novel had a lot of detail. Sad to read. I wasn't impressed by the writing itself and felt the characters weren't fully developed enough, but it was still worth a read.

huhtikuu 28, 11:21 pm

The Miracle & Tragedy of the Dionne Quintuplets / Sarah Miller
4.25 stars

The Dionne quintuplets were born in rural Ontario in 1934. It was the Depression and their parents had no idea how they would pay to take care of 5 more kids! They were the first set of quintuplets who all lived. But the doctor who took care of them was so careful and cautious, he separated the quints into an entirely new, separate building across the street from their parents and other siblings, taken care of full-time by rotating nurses. They were so careful, the family was rarely able to visit. The Ontario government took over their care, supposedly so they wouldn’t be paraded around the U.S. Instead they were paraded out in front of the crowds who came to see them in their rural Ontario “home”. It was only when they were almost 10-years old did their parents win back custody of their own children.

Wow, those kids certainly did not have a normal childhood. Initially, they didn’t know any different, but when they finally were back with their family, they had no idea what a “normal” life was like. They’d never had to do any work before, everything was given to them and/or done for them. The parents suffered greatly, as well. They were harsh when they got the girls back; they were trying to provide a normal life for them, but they didn’t seem to have any inkling of how hard this was for the girls.

I don’t remember when the fictional version that I read of the Dionnes’ story ended, but this one continued right up to publication in 2018, when two of the sisters were still alive. I feel like the fictional book I read didn’t follow them into adulthood, so it was interesting to read that, too.

I’m giving this an extra ¼ star because I feel like this was researched so very well and the author tried to find a middle ground with all the melodrama and exaggeration and heightened emotions that seemed to happen with interviews with all parties. I feel like this is a well-rounded version, and I guess I can’t really say it’s the best version of what happened (since I’ve only read the one other (fictional) book about the quints), but I feel like it might be -- with the way it was researched and told.

toukokuu 1, 7:55 am

I'm reading My Best Mistake by Terry O'Reilly. I love his CBC show, Under the Influence.

toukokuu 3, 10:09 am

I finished A State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, a very original and thoroughly engrossing thriller set in the heart of the Amazonian jungle.

toukokuu 6, 12:20 pm

I've read a few suspense/thriller novels by Gilly MacMillan before and really enjoyed them, but I was disappointed by her latest The Long Weekend. I couldn't feel anything for any of the characters, the pacing was poor, and the dialogue almost laughable at times. Don't know why I even bothered to finish it.

toukokuu 7, 5:09 pm

I'm re-reading What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty having forgotten I've already read it. I'm over 50 pages it, and it's not ringing any bells.

toukokuu 8, 10:51 pm

Beneath the Faceless Mountain / Roberta Rees.
2 stars

This was set in the Crowsnest Pass in Southern Alberta near the British Columbia border. During the early 20th century, there were a few interesting happenings in the area, but none was the focus of the book, though they were mentioned (a rock slide and a couple of coal mine disasters). I think the bulk of the story(ies?) - maybe all? - seemed to happen during WWII.

I initially thought it was short stories as I started reading – there were different characters in each chapter (at first); I also thought there were different time periods, but one of the characters from (what I thought was) one time period appeared in another later on. So, either time travel or I was mistaken on different time periods? Unlikely it was time travel! There were weird random pages/paragraphs (in different font) referring to “you” – none of that made sense to me. I thought this book was odd, and despite being in an area not too far from where I am and somewhere I’ve been, I did not like this. Likely a good reason for that is the writing style.

toukokuu 10, 2:12 pm

toukokuu 14, 12:14 am

Seven Fallen Feathers / Tanya Talaga
4.5 stars

There are all kinds of issues on indigenous reservations in Canada. Education is just one of them. In 2000(?), a group of indigenous people built and started running a high school in Thunder Bay, Ontario for those students living north who didn’t have a high school to go to. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before some of those kids – many who were away from home for the first time, who had never been in a city before, a new culture, a new language, no (or not many) family or friends to help – started disappearing. And dying. Over 11 years, seven teenagers died.

The Thunder Bay police did very little to help, often not even contacting the families on the reserves to let them know their kids had disappeared. In some cases, they went too long before starting to look for the kids. Five of the kids were found in the river, and in most cases, just written off as “no foul play suspected”. But the indigenous people running the school, the families and friends question this. It was so unlike these kids to just get drunk and drown in the river. It has never really been figured out what exactly happened to these kids.

Wow, this is so sad. And aggravating that not enough is being done to help the indigenous kids and their communities. It’s an eye-opener and definitely worth reading. There are some repetitive bits and the author kind of went all over the place sometimes – between telling the kids’ stories, then working in other information about other people or communities. But really worth the read.

toukokuu 14, 12:36 am

Beautiful Joe / Marshall Saunders
3.5 stars

Beautiful Joe was a dog (apparently a real dog) who was abused by his owner (along with his mother and siblings, who were all killed), but was rescued by some local kids after Joe’s owner cut off his ears and tail. Joe hit the jackpot with his new family, especially soft-hearted Miss Laura who took good care of Joe and all the other animals the family had. When Miss Laura went off to a relative’s farm for a summer, Joe went with her and learned about the farm animals, as well.

The book was told from Beautiful Joe’s point of view. I enjoyed this (mostly), but it did get preachy at times. I completely agree with it all, but even so, it still felt a bit preachy to me. Many of the characters in the story were almost too good to be true, but at the same time, I think the book (originally published in 1893) was trying to teach kids not to be cruel to animals – they have feelings and feel pain, too. Interesting that it is actually a woman who wrote this: Margaret Marshall Saunders.

toukokuu 16, 11:38 pm

It took me a while to read but I've just finished The Dressmakers of Auschwitz by Lucy Adlington. Amazing, horrific, well researched chronicle of several women who sewed clothes in an Auschwitz workshop/fashion shop for high level Nazi wives to wear. I had trouble in the first part of the book (pre war) figuring out who was who, but glad I persisted.

toukokuu 18, 3:59 pm

I'm reading VenCo, the latest by Cherie Dimaline

toukokuu 19, 7:28 pm

I just finished Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout and enjoyed this sequel as much as I did the original. Thought provoking, reflective, down to earth-especially pertinent for us aging folks.

toukokuu 23, 11:13 am

toukokuu 26, 4:08 pm

toukokuu 26, 11:12 pm

An Unwanted Guest / Shari Lapena
4.5 stars

I see this as a cross between The Shining (isolated inn in the mountains during the winter) and And Then There Were None (only two staff, along with 10 guests in the isolated inn… and people are being murdered). James owns the inn, and his son Bradley helps out; because of the storm, they are the only two staff around on this cold wintery weekend. The guests: Candice is an author; David is a criminal defense attorney; Ian and Lauren are a fairly new couple, Henry and Beverly are a longer-married couple having trouble in their marriage, Matthew and Dana are planning their wedding; Gwen and Riley are long-time friends trying to reconnect. They all come with their own baggage and secrets. Who could be slowly murdering the others…?

I loved the cold wintery setting of this one! And I loved (what I saw as) the combo of The Shining with And Then There Were None. Although there were a lot of characters to introduce, I was able to figure them out pretty quickly and was interested from the start. I wasn’t sure if there would be a twist at the end (or how that would happen), but there was one and I think it was done well!

toukokuu 27, 12:16 pm

I've been home sick in bed with a really terrible cold for the past 5 days, and am too exhausted to read much. But I did get The Sleeping Car Porter by Suzette Mayr finished and really enjoyed it.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 29, 5:24 pm

Still stuck at home sick and managed to finish The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny. I wasn't really thrilled with this book-far too long and repetitive and totally predictable. I'll be taking a rest from her books for a while, I think.

toukokuu 30, 9:55 am

I'm reading Fayne by Ann-Marie MacDonald

toukokuu 30, 9:36 pm

>139 LynnB: Oh, someone just picked that for our book club for next year.

toukokuu 31, 7:11 am

>140 LibraryCin: I'm enjoying it. Fall on Your Knees is one of my top three favourite novels ever.

toukokuu 31, 11:34 pm

>141 LynnB: "Fall on Your Knees" was good, but I liked The Way the Crow Flies better. :-)

kesäkuu 1, 9:30 am

>142 LibraryCin: I liked it, too, but not as much.

kesäkuu 4, 5:56 pm

Now I'm finishing reading civil disobedience, it has opened my mind a lot, how consumerist we have become, and the constant unhappiness of contemporary man even having everything at his fingertips. "We become tools of our tools" simple as that.

kesäkuu 5, 7:33 pm

I finished Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy. I find Binchy is a hit or miss for me. This one is a definite miss.

kesäkuu 6, 12:24 pm

I just finished The Company We Keep by Frances Itani. A lovely, gentle, thoughtful slow paced read. I've loved everything I've read by Frances Itani.

kesäkuu 7, 4:17 pm

Tänään, 5:12 pm

Tell it to the Trees / Anita Rau Badami
4.25 stars

Varsha is 13-years old (or 12?) when her half brother, Hemant, is born. Varsha’s had a tough life until now: her mother was leaving her father when she was in a car crash and died. Not long after, her father headed to India to bring home a new bride. Varsha is so scared of her new Mama leaving that she hides Suman’s passport so she is unable to.

Why might Suman want to leave? Abuse. It’s why Varsha’s mother tried to leave. When Vikram (Varsha’s father) decides to rent out the little house behind theirs in this tiny rural area in B.C. a former classmate (whom he does not remember), Anu, comes from NYC in hopes of getting some writing done. While there, she befriends Suman and Vikram’s mother, Akka. And slowly figures out something is wrong with the family.

This was told from many different points of view, including Suman, Anu, Varsha, and Hemant, so we got to see almost everyone’s perspective of what was going on. Varsha became very possessive – she was very controlling (reminiscent of her father?); I initially felt badly for her, but came to quite dislike her. And the end? I liked it although many might not due to it being open-ended, so we don’t really know how it continues or what happens, though I suppose we can guess. I think this would make a good book club book with lots to discuss.

Join to post