What Canadian Literature are You Reading in 2018?

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What Canadian Literature are You Reading in 2018?

1LynnB
Jan 18, 2018, 7:24 am

I'm reading Crying for the Moon by Mary Walsh, which I got for Christmas.

2rabbitprincess
Jan 18, 2018, 6:36 pm

Reading some Canadian non-fiction: Curse of the Narrows, by Laura M. MacDonald, about the Halifax Explosion. I bought this book in Halifax last year. It seemed the right book to buy. Fascinating so far.

3gypsysmom
Jan 20, 2018, 5:44 pm

My first book for the year was Glass Houses, the latest Louise Penny mystery. I enjoyed it but not quite as much as the previous books.

4frahealee
Editado: Jul 10, 2022, 7:26 pm

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5Yells
Editado: Jan 22, 2018, 8:44 pm

>4 frahealee: The Sisters Brothers was awesome! The movie comes out this year sometime. I am curious to see if they can capture some of the same humour.

6frahealee
Editado: Jul 10, 2022, 7:26 pm

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7LynnB
Jan 25, 2018, 2:39 pm

8LynnB
Fev 1, 2018, 9:09 am

I've nearly finished Waiting for Joe by Sandra Birdsell.

9ted74ca
Editado: Fev 7, 2018, 12:04 am

I found this Canadian mystery series last year, and really have enjoyed the couple I've read so far. This one was Sign of the Cross by Anne Emery

10ted74ca
Fev 7, 2018, 12:03 am

Last weekend, I devoured (and loved) The Fortunate Brother by Donna Morrissey

11ted74ca
Fev 22, 2018, 3:17 pm

Happy I finally discovered Donna Morrissey. I finished Kit's Law this week and loved it.

12gypsysmom
Fev 25, 2018, 7:52 pm

>11 ted74ca: She is pretty great, isn't she? If you haven't read Sylvanus Now, the first book of the trilogy that ends with The Fortunate Brother I would highly recommend it.

13ted74ca
Fev 26, 2018, 1:24 pm

>12 gypsysmom:. Thanks. I've got that book request in at my local library.

14LynnB
Mar 4, 2018, 9:43 am

I'm about to read all 5 Canada Reads books in advance of the debates. I'm starting with The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline.

For those interested in Canada Reads, check out the LT group devoted to it. The debates run March 26-29.

15LynnB
Mar 11, 2018, 10:23 am

I'm reading The Boat People by Sharon Bala for Canada Reads.

16rabbitprincess
Mar 11, 2018, 10:37 am

I'm reading Arcadian Adventures of the Idle Rich, by Stephen Leacock, which does for the big city what Sunshine Sketches does for little towns. I have chuckled a lot at this one.

17Yells
Mar 11, 2018, 12:31 pm

>15 LynnB: I was going to start that one as well. It looks pretty good.

18ted74ca
Mar 11, 2018, 11:09 pm

Finished another in a mystery series by a Canadian author: Obit by Anne Emery. Quite liking this series, though I got a bit confused by all the characters with Irish names in this book.

19LynnB
Mar 13, 2018, 5:08 pm

Finishing my Canada Reads books with American War by Omar El Akkad.

20Yells
Mar 14, 2018, 8:49 am

>19 LynnB: What did you think? I finished the audiobook last week and was blown away by it. Very timely and rather scary!

21LynnB
Mar 17, 2018, 11:34 am

Still thinking abut American War: A Novel. In the meantime, I'm reading Flying Time by Suzanne North.

22LynnB
Mar 18, 2018, 9:22 am

Yells, I wouldn't have read American War if not for Canada Reads. I don't like war stories or dystopian futures, but I love Canada Reads, so I read it. Here's my review:

This novel is set in the future (2074-2095 mainly). Climate change has devastated the earth; it has changed the boundaries of the U.S. as coastal areas were flooded; it has changed the dynamics of power with a strong, united empire in the middle east, northern expansion of Mexico, and the U.S. is embroiled in its second civil war. Fossil fuels have been banned, but a few break-away southern states continue to use them and to fight for independence. South Carolina is walled off in quarantine because of a deadly, inheritable virus that was used as a weapon of war.

The story revolves around the Chestnut family. When the father is killed by a suicide bomber, the family moves to a refugee camp. Here, nine-year-old Simon and six-year-old twins Dana and Sara (who calls herself Sarat) come of age. We watch as their experiences shape them, with Simon joining a rebel fighting unit and Sarat becoming a highly trained special operative. It is largely through her eyes that the story unfolds. And, it is a violent and tragic story of war. It's also a story of family bonds and enduring friendships. In fact, I found myself often thinking that if only her dad had lived.....how different everything in Sarat's life would be.

I read this for Canada Reads, and it's not what I usually read. So, I can't say I really liked it, but the writing is very good. The author can paint vivid pictures without resorting to long descriptive passages. The characters are so real....able to occasionally find humour and joy in terrible circumstances...able to look past actions that in other circumstances would be unforgivable...occasionally scared out of their wits or simply tired of it all. I think the strong writing makes this book something more than a typical sci-fi or action novel -- it tugged on my emotions.

23LynnB
Mar 28, 2018, 1:26 pm

I'm reading the Lightkeeper's Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol for a book club.

24LynnB
Mar 31, 2018, 8:24 am

25LynnB
Abr 2, 2018, 4:54 pm

The Mountain Story blew me away!

I'm going to read Black Apple by Joan Crate next.

26rabbitprincess
Abr 2, 2018, 5:17 pm

I'm reading Return of the Sphinx, by Hugh MacLennan, and the characters feel more like mouthpieces than people. I prefer his essays, as well as his novels that derive more from his personal experience (Barometer Rising and The Watch that Ends the Night).

27LynnB
Abr 18, 2018, 12:14 pm

I'm re-reading All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews for a book club. Last read it in 2014.

28gypsysmom
Abr 18, 2018, 4:24 pm

Just finished The Tin Flute by Gabrielle Roy and now I am reading High Spirits by Robertson Davies. Two excellent writers who are no longer with us but who left a good body of work that Canadians should enjoy for a long time.

I always think of Roy as a Manitoba author and I believe all of her other books are set in Manitoba. So the Montreal setting seemed like a departure for me even though The Tin Flute was Roy's first published novel. As usual, the writing is excellent and the two female characters are superb.

I think Robertson Davies doesn't get the attention that he deserves. High Spirits is a collection of ghost stories that he wrote for the annual Gaudy Night at Massey College when he was Master. They are so witty and literate. I am loving sitting down and finishing one or two stories a couple of times a day.

29rabbitprincess
Abr 19, 2018, 8:07 pm

I just finished Ghost of the Hardy Boys, the autobiography of Leslie McFarlane, the Canadian author who wrote the first 20 or so Hardy Boys books under the pen name Franklin W. Dixon.

30ted74ca
Editado: Abr 25, 2018, 4:51 pm

In a weak moment, I picked up a "historical romance" at my local library and actually I quite enjoyed it....Also, it's rekindled my interest in learning more about WWI. Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson

31LynnB
Maio 6, 2018, 11:23 am

I've nearly finished One Brother Shy by Terry Fallis.

32LynnB
Maio 21, 2018, 5:44 pm

So far this month, I've read:
The Parcel by Anosh Irani;
Childhood by Andre Alexis for the second time; and
Angel Falls by Tim Wynveen, a new-to-me Canadian author;

33ted74ca
Maio 22, 2018, 1:59 pm

I finished Nightfall by Richard B. Wright last week and was rather underwhelmed by it.

34raidergirl3
Maio 22, 2018, 2:07 pm

>33 ted74ca: Poor Richard B Wright! He writes a phenomenal book in Clara Callen and then everything else is a complete let down. I've been underwhelmed by October and The Age of Longing. Underwhelmed is a great word for it too. Nothing really wrong, just blah.

35john187
Maio 22, 2018, 2:09 pm

Este utilizador foi removido como sendo spam.

36ted74ca
Maio 24, 2018, 1:55 am

>34 raidergirl3:. Couldn't agree more with everything you said!

37ted74ca
Maio 24, 2018, 5:57 pm

Just finished one I'd missed in Gail Bowen's Joanne Kilbourn mystery series: The Endless Knot.

38LynnB
Jun 6, 2018, 3:24 pm

39ted74ca
Jun 7, 2018, 8:38 am

I hadn't read anything by Wayne Johnston in quite a while; really enjoyed First Snow, Last Light.

40LynnB
Jun 7, 2018, 6:42 pm

41ted74ca
Jun 10, 2018, 12:09 pm

I'm putting this one in this category, because Sara Gruen was born in Canada and apparently has joint Canadian/American citizenship status. I was quite disappointed in At the Water's Edge-thought all the characters were unbelievable and it felt like a not very convincing romance novel to me.

42LynnB
Editado: Jun 22, 2018, 8:06 am

I'm about to begin my latest LTER book, Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined by Canadian author Danielle Younge-Ullman.

43LynnB
Jun 22, 2018, 8:06 am

I'm now reading After James by Michael Helm.

44gypsysmom
Jul 2, 2018, 3:44 pm

Just finished reading Surfacing the only Atwood on the 1001 list that I had never read. When I finished it I was only going to give it 3 and one half stars but the more I thought about it the more highly I thought of the writing and the themes. It will never be my favourite Atwood but it is quite remarkable that over 40 years ago she was touching on themes of American exploitation of Canada, the destruction of natural habitat and native rights and spirituality.

45ted74ca
Jul 4, 2018, 1:20 pm

I apparently have missed a few books in Gail Bowen's Joanne Kilbourn mystery series, so I finished What's Left Behind last night. I keep wishing the main character would prove herself human and actually do something wrong for once, but I guess that's not to be!

46ted74ca
Jul 7, 2018, 3:19 pm

Persisting in my quest to complete Gail Bowen's mystery series-finished The Winners' Circle last night.

47ted74ca
Jul 10, 2018, 8:48 pm

Finished a non fiction book, for a change: Run, Hide, Repeat: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood by Pauline Dakin. Quite intriguing.

48raidergirl3
Jul 10, 2018, 9:51 pm

>47 ted74ca: I’ve heard the documentary about Pauline Dakin in CBC radio. Such a crazy/sad story. She’s remarkably analytical about the whole situation in the interviews.

49ted74ca
Jul 11, 2018, 11:25 pm

>48 raidergirl3:. I'll have to check out that interview-it was such a weird tale.

50ted74ca
Jul 15, 2018, 11:36 pm

Sometimes described as Canada's Stephen King, and I can see the similarities. Haven't read a horror novel for some time, so on a Sunday when it was 34 degrees outside, seemed a perfect time to try one again.
The Only Child by Andrew Pyper

51gypsysmom
Jul 21, 2018, 3:39 pm

>50 ted74ca: I liked Pyper's earlier books before he graduated to the horror genre. Lost Girls and The Wildfire Season were excellent but I didn't like The Demonologist as much.

52ted74ca
Jul 24, 2018, 9:46 pm

>51 gypsysmom:. I don't think I've read Lost Girls yet; I'm pretty sure I've read The Demonologist but can't remember much about it. I wasn't bowled over by The Only Child but it was a good book to read when the weather is too hot for thinking!

53ted74ca
Jul 24, 2018, 9:47 pm

Just finished Sylvanus Now by the writer Donna Morrissey. Love her writing.

54LynnB
Jul 26, 2018, 5:07 pm

I'm about to start The Whirlpool by Jane Urquhart.

55gypsysmom
Jul 26, 2018, 9:00 pm

>53 ted74ca: Donna Morrissey is wonderful. There is a loose trilogy of the Sylvanus Now books. It goes Sylvanus Now, What They Wanted and then The Fortunate Brother. I have read the first and the third but somehow missed the second one but I have found a copy so I hope to read it soon.

56ted74ca
Editado: Jul 26, 2018, 9:44 pm

>55 gypsysmom:. I've done something very similar! Read The Fortunate Brother and then realized there were previous novels about the Now family. So, I requested Sylvanus Now from the library, but there was a wait, so I read Kit's Law while I was waiting. Now that I've finished Sylvanus Now, I've requested What They Wanted! But it's all good -Donna Morrissey is a great writer.

57raidergirl3
Ago 1, 2018, 7:55 am

I just finished Margaret Laurence’s A Jest of God which was very good. I still have A Bird in the House out from the library. I’ve just realized it is connected short stories about a character, which I love, like Olive Kitteridge. I hope I’ll find time to get to it soon.

58LynnB
Ago 6, 2018, 3:40 pm

59rabbitprincess
Ago 6, 2018, 8:09 pm

I'm re-reading Speak Ill of the Dead, by Mary Jane Maffini, which is set in my stomping grounds of Ottawa.

60LynnB
Ago 16, 2018, 4:56 pm

61LynnB
Ago 19, 2018, 2:50 pm

62LynnB
Ago 26, 2018, 3:52 pm

63frahealee
Editado: Jul 10, 2022, 7:25 pm

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64LynnB
Editado: Ago 28, 2018, 11:46 am

>63 frahealee: frahealee: Map of Glass is my favourite by Jane Urquhart; her most famous is Away. But you can start anywhere!

Re Margaret Atwood, I like some of her early novels, like The Edible Woman. I also liked Blind Assassin and Alias Grace which is on my TBR shelves to be re-read.

65mdoris
Editado: Ago 28, 2018, 1:44 pm

Agreed Lynn, I too greatly liked Atwood's earlier novels especially the ones you mentioned. I have read Urgquart's Away but I don't think I have read anything else of hers.

66frahealee
Editado: Jul 10, 2022, 7:25 pm

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67LynnB
Ago 30, 2018, 8:52 am

For Canadian nonfiction, I'd recommend just about anything by Charlotte Gray: The Promise of Canada, The Massey Murder, Flint and Feather to name a few. She's a great writer.

68LynnB
Editado: Ago 30, 2018, 8:53 am

I'm reading Women Talking, the newest by Miriam Toews

69LynnB
Ago 30, 2018, 9:06 am

70mdoris
Ago 30, 2018, 12:25 pm

>68 LynnB: I've got Women Talking waiting for me at the library for pick up today. I have greatly liked her other books!

71LynnB
Set 3, 2018, 9:59 am

I'm now re-reading Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood.

72mdoris
Set 3, 2018, 11:47 am

>67 LynnB: I have never read any Charlotte Gray books but have wanted to so thanks for the reminder.

73gypsysmom
Set 9, 2018, 7:56 pm

>66 frahealee: I haven't read A Map of Glass although it is on my TBR pile but I have read Away, The Stone Carvers and The Underpainter. I think The Stone Carvers is my favourite of those.
As for poetry I can recommend North End Love Songs by Katharena Vermette. She won the GG for poetry the year it came out. I don't read much poetry but that one caught my attention. (Plus it's short)

74frahealee
Editado: Jul 10, 2022, 7:25 pm

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75mdoris
Editado: Set 14, 2018, 8:34 pm

>74 frahealee: Hi Francine, Have you ever read Swamp Angel by Ethel Wilson? I loved it! It takes place in B.C.

76frahealee
Editado: Jul 10, 2022, 7:24 pm

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77mdoris
Set 15, 2018, 7:51 pm

There is an Ethel Wilson fiction prize that is awarded to the best fiction of the year of a B.C. writer (since 1985). It is interesting to see those books nominated and the winner of the award. I must read more of them!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethel_Wilson_Fiction_Prize

>76 frahealee: No I wouldn't say that Swamp Angel is of a ghost or goblin theme but I found it a riveting read and was interested to do some research about the author as she did not start writing until later in life. I know it's an old book but for me a goodie!

78frahealee
Editado: Jul 10, 2022, 7:24 pm

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79mdoris
Set 16, 2018, 7:04 pm

>78 frahealee: Well said!

80gypsysmom
Set 26, 2018, 9:46 pm

My book club chose Requiem by Frances Itani for our September book and we met just last night to discuss it. I read the book in August but unlike many books I retained almost all of the book. It is the story of a Japanese Canadian artist who was interned when he was a small boy. Fifty years later he makes a journey across Canada from Ottawa to the site of the internment camp and as he drives along (with his dog who was a great companion) he remembers his life in the camp and after. It is a powerful, beautifully written book and I think everyone in the book club enjoyed it and found lots to discuss.

81gypsysmom
Set 28, 2018, 8:23 pm

Read Washington Black by Esi Edugyan. I put a hold on it at my library as soon as I heard it was published so it was just kismet that I got it and was reading it when it was chosen as one of the five books on the Booker shortlist. Her previous book, Half Blood Blues, was also on the Giller short list. Hope this time it will be chosen. It is also on the longlist for the Giller Prize. I really loved the whole book but the ending didn't quite work for me. On the other hand I keep mulling it over when I have a quiet moment in my day so that is indicative of some good writing. Anyone else read it?

82ted74ca
Set 28, 2018, 8:58 pm

I finished another one of Donna Morrissey's novels today: Downhill Chance. I can't believe it took me so long to discover this writer.

83ted74ca
Editado: Set 29, 2018, 8:03 pm

I finished Lost Girls by Andrew Pyper today. Apparently this was a reread for me, because I recorded it here 7.5 years ago, though I don't recall it at all. I liked it both times, though.

84LynnB
Out 6, 2018, 10:16 am

I'm reading An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena....not my usual fare, but a nice break from Ulysses late at night.

86frahealee
Editado: Jul 10, 2022, 7:24 pm

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88ted74ca
Dez 9, 2018, 6:38 pm

I love this witty and fun mystery series-just finished The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley.

89LynnB
Dez 11, 2018, 12:35 pm

I'm about to start The Red Word by Sarah Henstra.

90ted74ca
Dez 19, 2018, 3:44 pm

Another in a Canadian mystery series, based in Halifax. Cecilian Vespers by Anne Emery.

91ted74ca
Dez 28, 2018, 10:18 pm

I've loved everything I've ever read by Helen Humphreys. My most recent read was The Evening Chorus.

92mdoris
Editado: Dez 29, 2018, 1:56 am

>91 ted74ca: Me too! I have her new one that I put on reserve ages ago and still waiting Machine Without Horses. I loved The River, The Frozen Thames and her war stories.

93gypsysmom
Dez 29, 2018, 12:12 pm

>91 ted74ca: My brother and sister-in-law just gave me The Evening Chorus for Christmas. It might be the first thing I read in 2019. I think Coventry may be my favourite of her books but they are all great.

94gypsysmom
Dez 29, 2018, 12:14 pm

In other Canadian literature I just finished listening to the audiobook of Warlight by Michael Ondaatje which I thought was terrific. Apparently former US President Barack Obama also thought so because he put it on his list of his favourite books from 2018.