What Canadian Literature are we enjoying in 2021?

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What Canadian Literature are we enjoying in 2021?

Jan 2, 2021, 8:36 pm

I'm re-reading Last Night in Montreal, after recently loving The Glass Hotel, both by Emily St. John Mandel.

Jan 3, 2021, 4:18 am

Nothing Canadian on the docket yet. Starting with Murakami, then going into a re-read of Wayward Son, and then Russia. I'll see what might have popped up when my santathing books arrive. I still haven't peeked.

Jan 3, 2021, 5:16 pm

I'm about halfway through All the Devils Are Here, the latest Inspector Gamache mystery. It is set in Paris instead of Three Pines but there are enough references to the village to remind us of it. And Louise Penny said in her January newsletter that she has finished the next one and it is set back in Three Pines. Hurrah!

Jan 8, 2021, 12:05 am

Thanks for starting a thread in 2021. It's always wonderful to see what people are reading!

Jan 9, 2021, 11:33 am

Just finished Polar Vortex by Shani Mootoo. She's a great writer but I felt she took too long to get to the point of the book which is about an old friend who is male and straight who comes to visit one half of a lesbian couple after no contact between them for 6 years. And I also found it strange that most of the book was in the voice of the female friend but there was one section in her wife's voice. I'm not quite sure what that added to the story. Anyone else read it and have thoughts.

Jan 9, 2021, 12:38 pm

When I open Talk and see there’s a new post in this thread, I always open it first, looking forward to seeing what you wonderful people are reading. Best group around!

I just borrowed Peace by Chocolate, the story of a Syrian chocolatier family who immigrate to Antigonish, NS, and reopen a chocolate company and are embraced by Canadians. I ate a small box of their chocolates as I started the book last night, lol. Yummy

Jan 9, 2021, 6:59 pm

Just finished On Risk, by Mark Kingwell, the first in a series of "field notes" on various topics published by Biblioasis, which is based in Windsor.

Jan 17, 2021, 10:24 am

I’ve got a theme going right now with my two reads.
Vi by Kim Thuy is a big read for online libraries. I’m listening to this one read by the author, and it is so well-written. Vietnamese refugees come to Canada.
My ebook right now is Peace by Chocolate the story of the Syrian family to come to NS and restart their chocolate business. I’ve taught a number of Syrian students the last few years so reading about how their life leaving Syria might have been is harrowing.

Jan 18, 2021, 12:19 pm

>7 raidergirl3: I also open this thread the first thing if I see it in the lineup. And I am interested in the titles you are reading right now. I read Ru when it was on Canada Reads and really liked it. I've been meaning to read her other books. Do you think I have to read Man before reading Vi?

Jan 18, 2021, 12:37 pm

>10 gypsysmom: I’ll say that you don’t have to read Man first because I haven’t read it although I also read Ru.
I really liked Peace by Chocokate. Makes you proud to be Canadian and that we have welcomed so many refugees over the years.

Editado: Jan 18, 2021, 2:10 pm

>10 gypsysmom: I’ll say that you don’t have to read Man first because I haven’t read it although I also read Ru.
I really liked Peace by Chocolate. Makes you proud to be Canadian and that we have welcomed so many refugees over the years.

Jan 18, 2021, 3:40 pm

>11 raidergirl3: Thanks. I'll give Ru a whirl then.

Jan 18, 2021, 4:53 pm

Jan 26, 2021, 4:17 pm

I'm re-reading Icefields by Thomas Wharton

Fev 14, 2021, 1:55 pm

I just finished the true crime book Murdered Midas by Charlotte Gray. Sir Harry Oakes, a mine baron was murdered on the Bahamas in the 1940s and that all-around scoundrel The Duke of Kent shows up. Lots of great history as well as the crime. Can’t go wrong with Charlotte Gray!

Fev 16, 2021, 2:00 pm

I'm launching my Canada Reads binge with The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk.

Fev 17, 2021, 2:46 pm

I just finished a book that I absolutely loved, A Map of Glass by Jane Urquhart. It's the story of a man with dementia who wanders away from his home in the middle of winter and dies. Months later his body is found frozen in ice that has piled up along the shore of an island that is significant to the dead man and his family history. The person who found the body is an artist who has been staying in the only habitable building on the island which functions as an artists' retreat. This synopsis perhaps doesn't sound lovely but Urquhart's writing is so beautiful it is like poetry.

Fev 18, 2021, 8:46 am

>18 gypsysmom:, my book club read Away last month, which I didn't re-read, but it did prompt me to move A Map of Glass up from the basement to the TBR shelves. It's probably my favourite Jane Urquhart novel.

I'm into the Canada Reads binge-read with Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi.

Editado: Fev 18, 2021, 5:53 pm

Next up in CanLit (or maybe CanNonFic) for me will be Bush Pilot with a Briefcase, by Ronald A. Keith. At the beginning of the year I did a subject keyword search of "aviation" in the library catalogue, and this was one of several that turned up.

Fev 19, 2021, 12:07 am

I too, read Murdered Midas by Charlotte Gray and found it quite interesting. But did you perhaps mean to refer to the Duke of Windsor? >16 raidergirl3:

Fev 19, 2021, 3:50 am

>21 ted74ca: lol, probably! The Duke with Mrs Simpson.

Fev 24, 2021, 10:59 am

I'm reading a book club selection, Indians on Vacation by Thomas King

Fev 24, 2021, 3:52 pm

>23 LynnB: I read that last year and absolutely loved it.

Fev 24, 2021, 3:53 pm

One of my favourite Canadian authors is Helen Humphreys and her latest book Rabbit Foot Bill, which is set in Saskatchewan, did not disappoint.

Fev 25, 2021, 3:54 pm

>25 gypsysmom:, that is on my wish list for sure!

I'm back to the Canada Reads finalists with Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots

Fev 25, 2021, 7:53 pm

>23 LynnB: >24 gypsysmom: That was a great one!

Fev 28, 2021, 1:08 pm

I'm concluding my Canada Reads finalists with Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead.

Mar 4, 2021, 9:40 am

I'm reading Balloon by Tim Wynveen. Loved his first novel; didn't like his third much. This is the tie-breaker!

Editado: Mar 6, 2021, 8:16 am

Ended up setting aside Bush Pilot with a Briefcase in order to read books with more people waiting for them. I'm still on my aviation kick though, reading Vertical Reference, by Kathy Calvert, which is about a mountain helicopter rescue pilot named Jim Davies, who worked in the Rockies.

Mar 6, 2021, 1:29 pm

I'm re-reading Timothy Findley's The Wars.

Mar 30, 2021, 5:49 pm

Mar 30, 2021, 6:20 pm

I loved Charlotte Taylor! I know it’s fiction, but probably based on a true story. Life was not easy in northern NB but Charlotte did what she needed.

Abr 11, 2021, 10:16 pm

The Forgotten Home Child by Genevieve Graham. Very interesting topic, but the story was a bit too romanticized for me.

Abr 21, 2021, 5:05 pm

Abr 23, 2021, 12:15 pm

I recently finished George and Rue by George Elliott Clarke. It's the story of two brothers who are black living in the black neighbourhood on the outskirts of Fredericton. They were raised in another black enclave in the Annapolis Valley. George was the elder and was the quieter of the two. Both of them had served time in prison but George had mostly settled down with a wife and child when Rue came to live with them. To alleviate their money problems Rue suggested and George agreed that they would rob someone. George took along his hammer but when it came time to hit their victim, a white taxi driver who had been nice to George and his family he couldn't do it. Rue took up the hammer and hit the driver hard so that he eventually died. Both men were tried and convicted of murder and hung for their crime. It paints a pretty bleak picture of life in Canada for poor black folks but Clarke's writing is magnificent. This book was chosen by CBC for their 100 Novels that Make You Proud to be Canadian list and I would say it deserves that accolade.

Abr 25, 2021, 9:49 pm

Getting ready to start Famous Last Words, by Timothy Findley.

Abr 26, 2021, 7:47 am

>37 rabbitprincess:, I love Timothy Findley's books. Re-read The Wars earlier this year.

Abr 27, 2021, 9:00 pm

>38 LynnB: I wanted to read Murdered Midas, by Charlotte Gray, and my mum suggested that I read Famous Last Words first because Harry Oakes makes an appearance in it. It should be an interesting experience.

Abr 27, 2021, 9:05 pm

I just finished The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill no too long ago

Abr 27, 2021, 9:13 pm

I’ve just started listening to A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson. I’ve really enjoyed her previous books, and this one is off to a wonderful start.

Maio 9, 2021, 9:13 am

I'm going to re-read one of my favourite books, A Map of Glass by Jane Urquhart.

Maio 10, 2021, 8:02 pm

>42 LynnB: I just read that this year and I loved it.

Editado: Maio 14, 2021, 3:44 pm

>43 gypsysmom:, as did I, for the second time.

I'm reading my latest ER book, Seven, by Farzana Doctor.

Maio 14, 2021, 10:23 am

I am about three-quarters of the way through The Midnight Bargain by C. L. Polk which was one of the books on the Canada Reads list this year. I decided that I wanted to read it after hearing the woman who defended it talk about it. I'm not normally a big fan of fantasy but I am loving this which is sort of like a Jane Austen novel set in a world where magic is practised. Women and men can practise magic but if women want to have children they have to wear a collar which stops them being able to use their magic. So the principal character has to choose between love and magic and I still don't know which one she is going to choose.

Maio 14, 2021, 2:37 pm

>45 gypsysmom:. I agree with you...I would not have read this if it were not for Canada Reads and I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. I said the same thing about it...Jane Austen with magic.

Maio 27, 2021, 8:13 pm

Just finished Famous Last Words by Timothy Findley. I enjoyed it, as I have all the Findley books I've read so far, but I always feel that I'm missing some vital subtext when I read his books, possibly because I have a very poor knowledge of Greek mythology, etc. I had read Murdered Midas about Canadian mining millionaire Harry Oakes earlier this year, then heard here about the Findley novel.

Maio 29, 2021, 12:45 pm

I recently finished Five Wives by Winnipeg author Joan Thomas. It was a choice for my library book club (which hasn't met in the library for over a year!) and I contact Joan to see if she would join our online discussion. She graciously agreed and we had a wonderful meeting. The book is about a group of American missionaries who went into the Amazonian rain forest in Ecuador back in 1956 to convert indigenous forest dwellers to Christianity. The plan was known as Operation Auca and the tribe they wanted to convert is now known as the Waorani. They had never come out of the rain forest and were known to be quite warlike. Despite this five men went into their territory without knowing any of their language and were all killed. The wives (and one sister) were determined to continue the mission and they succeeded (if that's the term) in having the Waorani territory opened up. It's a fascinating story and very well written. It was awarded the GG two years ago.

Jun 4, 2021, 2:11 pm

Just finished The Wake The Deadly Legacy of a Newfoundland Tsunami by Linden MacIntyre, and loved it. Such a gripping, yet tragic history tale, and what resolute and strong people the residents of the fishing outports were.

Jun 5, 2021, 11:25 am

I stalled out on Famous Last Words and skipped over to Murdered Midas instead. Now that Charlotte Gray has explained what Harry Oakes was doing in Famous Last Words, I can go back and finish Famous Last Words (he appears fairly close to the end, I think).

Jun 5, 2021, 3:53 pm

>50 rabbitprincess: That's the order I read them in too-Murdered Midas 1st and then Famous Last Words. You're right-Harry Oakes only enters the story in Famous Last Words nearer to the end.

Jun 5, 2021, 9:07 pm

>51 ted74ca: I had the order mixed up when I spoke with my mum about the books -- for some reason I thought she'd read the Findley first! It makes way more sense to read the Gray first.

Jun 8, 2021, 11:08 am

Jun 13, 2021, 9:57 pm

My latest read is hands-down my favourite book of the year. Machine Without Horses by Helen Humphreys. Absolutely beautifully written book.

Jun 15, 2021, 5:44 pm

>54 ted74ca: I absolutely love everything Helen Humphreys has written. I've not read this one though so I will have to remedy that. I am amazed that her books have not made it to the Giller or Governor General Awards short lists as I think she is one of the best writers in Canada today.

Jun 16, 2021, 1:14 am

>55 gypsysmom: Agree with you completely. Reading her most recent right now Rabbit Foot Bill and it is wonderful. i will read anything written by Helen Humphreys!

Jun 20, 2021, 2:58 pm

I have been reading some great Canadian books lately. I just finished George and Rue by George Elliott Clarke and was amazed at the imagery and poetic way he depicted very deplorable and dismal lives and events in a black community in Nova Scotia. Very moving.

Jun 22, 2021, 12:56 pm

>49 ted74ca:
I want to read that one.
Can't find at my public libraries so added to my wishlist!

I have finished Moon at Nine and No Safe Place,
both by Deborah Ellis.

Jun 26, 2021, 4:35 pm

>57 ted74ca: I read that one this year as well. It was on the list CBC did a few years back of Novels that Make you Proud to Be Canadian and while I couldn't say that the story made me proud to be Canadian the writing was terrific.

Jul 21, 2021, 9:46 am

I'm re-reading Underground by June Hutton which I last read in 2014.

Ago 28, 2021, 2:41 pm

I'm starting Two-Gun & Sun by June Hutton, having loved her first book, Underground both times I've read it.

Set 17, 2021, 12:08 pm

I liked The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner.

Set 29, 2021, 11:48 am

I'm about to start Outside by Sean McCammon

Editado: Set 29, 2021, 3:17 pm

Following up on my earlier non fiction read of The Blooding by Joseph Wambaugh, which dealt with the development and the first uses of DNA technology in a murder investigation in the UK, I thought I'd read The Bulldog and the Helix by Shane Morrow. This true story, written by a former local newspaper reporter, describes the police investigations and the developments of DNA technology in the separate cases of two young girls, murdered-20 years apart-in the small town of Port Alberni, on Vancouver Island, in BC. I moved to Port Alberni 6 years ago, and though I vaguely remembered reading about the latter murder, I had no idea that my adopted hometown was basically the test site for the use and acceptance of DNA technology as evidence in Canadian criminal cases. Very interesting read about two very tragic crimes.

Out 4, 2021, 2:39 pm

>64 ted74ca: That's very interesting. I just put a hold on one of the 4 copies my library has but I have suspended it since I am trying to leave room to read some of the Giller short list.

Out 4, 2021, 2:43 pm

I recently finished The In-Between World of Vikram Lall by M. G. Vassanji. It tells the story of an Indo-Kenyan who was never fully accepted by the black majority in Kenya but who, nevertheless, had a reputation for being able to talk to the political higher ups including the President, Jomo Kenyatta. He is writing the story of his life from a secluded cottage in Ontario where he went after falling into disgrace for fraud. Really interesting and very well written.

Out 19, 2021, 1:26 pm

I'm reading State of Terror, co-written by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Canadian Louise Penny

Out 30, 2021, 10:23 am

I've finished The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny

Other Canadian books I've read this year include:
Looptail by Bruce Poon Tip on leadership and sustainability
Sweetland by Michael Crummey set on an abandoned island off the coast of Newfoundland. It's bleak but beautiful.
The Orenda by Joseph Boyden, which is extremely violent but extremely well-written
F Bomb by Lauren McKeon on modern feminism (meh)

and two local (to me) books:
Ottawa Rewind 2 by Andrew King for some weird Ottawa lore
Ottawa Road Trips by Laura Byrne Paquette

Out 30, 2021, 4:55 pm

I just recently finished one of the books that was on the Giller longlist but didn't make the cut for the shortlist. Swimming Back to Trout River by Linda Rui Feng was somewhat reminscent of Kim Thuy's books in that it is about immigrants and their longing but also dissatisfaction for their home countries. Swimming Back to Trout River is set in China, not Vietnam, and the immigrants are in the USA, not Canada so it is also quite different. I thought it was very well written, especially since this is a debut novel for Feng. I haven't yet read any of the shortlist Giller books but if they were considered more deserving of the prize than this one then I'm looking forward to them.

Out 30, 2021, 5:15 pm

I just finished Fight Night by Miriam Toews- it is really good! I just started The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue- really good beginning

Nov 5, 2021, 12:45 pm

My most recent read was The Very Marrow of Our Bones by Christine Higdon. LynneB posted about this book in 2020 and it finally crawled its way up to the top of my TBR pile. I loved it and am puzzled why it didn't get more critical acclaim when it came out. It's the story of a girl/woman who grew up in the Fraser Valley in BC. One day in 1967 her mother disappeared and she was never found. The same day another woman from the same small town disappeared and was never found. Did they leave together? Did something happen to both of them that day? Lulu, the main character, found a note left by her mother and hid it. So she thinks her mother just abandoned them (her father, herself and four brothers) but as the years go on others think she must be dead. Forty years later new discoveries may shed light on the disappearances.

Nov 6, 2021, 10:29 am

>71 gypsysmom: It really was a great read!

Editado: Nov 13, 2021, 11:01 am

I'm reading I've been meaning to tell you by Alice Munro. I love how small details lead to big revelations.

Editado: Nov 17, 2021, 2:31 pm

Editado: Dez 6, 2021, 4:02 pm

I recently finished an oldie but a goodie Swamp Angel by Ethel Wilson. It's the story of a woman in an unhappy second marriage who decides to leave her husband and strike out on her own. She ends up working at a fishing lodge near Kamloops where she soon becomes indispensable and finds a new family of sorts. The writing is superb. Ethel Wilson didn't start publishing her writing until she was 60. Gives all us late bloomers hope.

I should also mention the two YA books I read recently which were on the CBC List of 100 YA books that make you Proud to be Canadian. Skim is a graphic novel about a teenage girl who is Asian-Canadian and having a tough time fitting in. The Tiffin by Mahtab Narsimhan is set in Bombay (or Mumbai) and is about a young boy hoping to find his mother who abandoned him with a family who ran a little restaurant. More of a slave than a son he finds help from an older man who works for the tiffin service. Very interesting little book.

Dez 11, 2021, 10:33 am

Editado: Dez 11, 2021, 1:26 pm

I’m listening to Ami MacKay’s memoir Before My Time

>76 LynnB: I just got the audiobook for Five Little Indians. Can’t wait to get started!

Dez 12, 2021, 8:52 am

>77 raidergirl3:, I'm enjoying it a lot...almost half way through

Dez 21, 2021, 3:14 pm

I'm reading The Figgs by Ali Bryan