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Showing posts from October, 2013

"Going Home Again" by Dennis Bock

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Charlie Bellerose has returned to Canada, his marriage failed and his daughter remaining in Spain with her mother.  Upon his return he reunites with his brother Nate, with whom he has had a rather contentious relationship.  The past is the past and as both try to recover from failed marriages, they find themselves becoming a family again.
But a chance encounter with Charlie’s first love Holly brings his past back to the forefront as he remembers his college days in Montreal and the death of his best friend Miles.  While Charlie tries to deal with these memories, his job, and remaining a part of his daughter’s life, Nate finds himself caught up in a bit of trouble, falling for Holly’s sixteen-year-old daughter and bumping heads with his ex-wife and her new partner.  But neither expects what happens next.
Going Home Again by Dennis Bock is a novel about love, divorce, sibling rivalry, parenting, and mid-life crises.  In its pages are lives that are recognizable to most of us, it’s the e…

Two Award-Nominated Canadian Short Story Collections

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In Hellgoing, Lynn Coady presents nine unique stories that present human nature in a funny and incredible way.  A young girl whose religious fanaticism leads her to anorexia and the nun who is charged of helping her, a couple involved in an S&M relationship, a bride who throws herself down the stairs in order to cope, these and many more interesting characters make up this award-nominated collection.
These are stories of flawed people with unusual problems and yet the characters come across the relatively few pages and make you like them.  The theme that runs through the book are people whose inner lives are at odds with the world they inhabit.
While I usually find that when I read a book short stories that a few stories stand out more for me than others, that wasn't the case here.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading every single story.  One really has to wonder what is going on in Coady's head, or who she meets in life, that she was able to bring these characters to life!  I&#…

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.
Last week's readathon definitely got me back to reading.  I've been accomplishing a lot more and reading a lot more each day.  It's a great feeling.  Unfortunately, I can't say the same for reviewing.  I really need to get things in gear and write all those reviews that are still waiting around!
What I Read Last Week All three of the books I had started previously so I finished them all.  And The Orenda was such a long one it felt like reading a couple of books!
What I'm Reading Right Now Going Home Again by Dennis Bock What I Plan to Read Next Cataract City by Craig Davidson, The Crooked Maid by Dan Vyleta
If I can get all three books finished this week then I have completed the Giller Prize shortlist.  I'm really hoping to do so, because then I'll be done the entire list before the prize is announced, something I haven't done yet!

"The Orenda" by Joseph Boyden

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Snow Falls, a young Iroquois girl, has witnessed the brutal murder of her family at the hands of a Huron warrior.  That warrior, Bird, sees in her the ghost of his murdered daughter and recognizes the special powers that Snow Falls possesses so he kidnaps her to take on the rest of his journey.  One member of Bird's group is Christophe, a Jesuit missionary who has devoted himself to learning the language and culture of the Huron in the hopes that he can bring them to Christ.
Bird's tribe have long been at war with other tribes but now they are facing a bigger threat, one that comes from overseas.  As we follow Snow Falls, Bird, and Christophe, we see a people desperately trying to hold on to their way of life and a people trying to lead them to a new life.  As these two worlds collide, life changes dramatically for everyone.
The Orenda is Joseph Boyden's incredible new novel that looks at the beginnings of our country and takes readers on an incredible journey into the his…

"Caught" by Lisa Moore

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Twenty-five-year-old David Slaney has escaped from prison.  After being caught in the waters of Newfoundland bringing marijuana back from Colombia, he was sent to jail.  But he's out now and he wants back in the drug trade.  In addition to evading the police and capture, Slaney is heading across Canada to find his old partner so he can make his way to Mexico and back to Colombia.  But he isn't the only one on this fugitive journey, close behind him is a detective who plans to make this high-profile arrest no matter what it takes.
Caught, by Lisa Moore, is a thrilling, fast-paced novel that takes you on an escapade across Canada, down to South America and back and will almost have you cheering for the guy that has escaped from prison.  
Set in the late 1970's, there's a retro feel to the book, making it easy to feel like you're back in a different time.  The way that Slaney and his friend Hearn planned to smuggle drugs into the country had me laughing, thinking &quo…

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.
Happy Thanksgiving all!  This is our last day of a four day weekend.  This year we decided to enjoy the holiday just the four of us and not go anywhere.  It's been a wonderful lazy four days.  Saturday was also Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon and I was able to devote a very good chunk of the day to reading.
What I Read Last Week: Caught by Lisa Moore is shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Roger's Writer Trust Prize this year.  The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich is a historical fiction novel about a Jewish midwife who delivers a baby for Christian nobility. 
What I'm Reading Now All three of these books were started last week, two during the readathon.  So this week will be devoted to finishing them.  The Orenda by Joseph Boyden was longlisted for the Giller Prize and shortlisted for the Governor General's Fiction Award.  Hellgoing by Lynn Coady was shortlisted for the Giller Pr…

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon!

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It's over!

Another readathon has come to an end.  This one definitely gave me the push I needed to get back into a reading blitz.  I see good things ahead for me and this blog!  Now it is time for the final survey.

1)  Which hour was most daunting for you.
Around 8pm I started to feel very tired and that's when my husband asked if I wanted to watch a movie and it was very tempting to put my book down.  So I read for another hour and a bit and then went and watched the movie.  And fell asleep after.

2)  Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
Definitely Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding.  It's a big book but it's so easy to read straight through.  You can't help but love Bridget!

3)  Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the readathon next year?/ 4)  What do you think worked really well in the readathon?
No suggestions, you guys have this all planned out and running smoothly.  The Twit…

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

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It's that time of year again!  Tomorrow is Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon.  I really enjoy participating in this.  Though I never read as much as I hope, I read much more than I usually do in a weekend and I like that.

This is me all prepared for the readathon.  I have chosen 4 books I really want to get through and that I think will be a good mix to keep me interested.  The first is The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich which I'm already halfway through.  The second is Hellgoing by Lynn Coady which is a collection of short stories.  This will be good for when I'm taking the kids to swimming lessons and I like to include one short story collection because I can read the stories in between other books or when I'm getting tired.  The third book is Caught by Lisa Moore, which is probably what I will start with since it looks to be the most serious of books I chose.  The fourth book is Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding which of course is highly anticipated…

"Minister Without Portfolio" by Michael Winter

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Henry Hayward's life has come to a dead end.  His girlfriend has left him, his work is uninspiring, and he has nothing to call his own.  When an opportunity comes up to go to Afghanistan as an army-affiliated contractor, he sees it as a chance to get over his heartbreak and jumps at it.  But one day, while on routine patrol, everything changes for Henry.  A roadside attack takes the life of his friend Tender Morris.  When Henry returns home to Newfoundland, he is tormented by the guilt that he is responsible for Tender's death.  
Back at home, Henry takes it upon himself to care for the people and places that were important to Tender.  Henry buys and begins to rebuild Tender's summer home.  And soon, he begins to care for Martha, Tender's pregnant girlfriend.  But what he isn't prepared for is Tender's family history and the trials that small-town life can bring.
Minister Without Portfolio by Michael Winter is an honest and insightful look into love and human n…

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.
My poor little blog has been feeling neglected over the last few months and rightfully so.  It took a lot longer to get into the new school year routine than I had expected.  Between the schedules of two different schools, a community project, and a three time a week French class, things are busier than I expected and unfortunately, my reading has taken a backseat.
But it's now literary award season in Canada and there are ton of great books that I'm hoping to read by the time the awards are presented in November so I've got tons of motivation to get back to the blog.  And Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon is coming up on Saturday so that should give me the kick in the pants I need!
What I Read Last Week Minister Without Portfolio by Michael Winter is nominated for the Giller Prize this year, the story of a man who returns from Afghanistan and takes to building the house of his friend who k…