Thursday, December 31, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
It seemed this fall the big thing to do was to hold used book sales. There were a few in the lobby of my building at work and one at church. I took advantage of these to gather some Can Lit at reasonable prices. Now, this has positives and negatives. Positive: most books cost me $1. Negative: Not always the best selection. This meant I had to broaden my selection criteria, so basically, anything Canadian I bought. So that is how I ended up with Roch Carrier on my shelf.
Then, post wedding, I was falling behind and wanted a book that I could blow through quick. So I decided on The Man in the Closet.
The only other Roch Carrier book I have read is The Hockey Sweater, which I love (of course). So this was my first non-kids, non-picture book from him. And it wasn’t bad.
The Man in the Closet is a mystery type story of a small town in Quebec that often has big town people visit on the weekend (country homes). Two young (beautiful) girls come to stay in a house owned by the Martins. One night, a man jumps out of the closet and scares one of the girls, who in turns punches through a window and runs away (all while naked- she was getting ready for bed). This leads to chaos in the small town as fingers are pointed and accusations thrown.
Though a mystery, it was not all that mysterious, but the ending did still shock me a bit (not entirely). It was a good portrait of small town life and the interesting dynamics that play out. While I would never nominate this book for any kind of prize, it wasn’t horrible.
Anyway, it is hard to write about mediocre books- not much to say besides it was ok. I still say Roch Carrier is one of the most important writers in Canada, just for the Hockey Sweater, not this one.
Next up: Barnacle Love by Anthony De Sa, which I am now 25 pages into and really enjoying!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
The books and their defenders are as follows:
- Perdita Felicien is defending Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
- Samantha Nutt is defending The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy
- Cadence Weapon is defending Generation X by Douglas Coupland (side note: Cadence Weapon is curently Edmonton's poet laureate- how cool is that? Edmonton has a rapper as a poet laureate! Sometimes this city surprises me)
- Simi Sara is defending Good to a Fault by Marinna Endicott
- Michel Vezina is defending Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner
I haven't read any of these books, though Fall on Your Knees is quite popular, so I imagine many people have. So was Generation X when it first came out.
I am looking forward to reading all theses books, and on Katy's suggestion I am going to have to reserve them at the library so I don't go broke reading Can Lit.
I am not going to lie, I have never spent the time following or reading Canada Reads books. Two years ago I did read the winner, King Leary by Paul Quarrington and it was amazing. But going back through the list of all the books nominated, that is only one of two that I have ever gotten around to. Not to say I haven't read other books by those authors, but the exact books? Just two. Quarrington and Thomas Wharton's Icefields (which happens to be a personal favorite of mine). SO this year will be a challenge for me (a challenge in a challenge, if you will). We will see how I do.
On the note of Canada Reads, I wanted to share this column by Douglas Hunter, who criticizes the novel choices in Canada Reads, noting that they are all fiction! What about Canadian non-fiction? He is right, while I am not a huge non-fiction fan, there are some great Can Lit non-fiction writers out there and I am going to try and read his recommendations as well. I need to break out of my fiction box. I may even read the Andrew Nikiforuk book.... just don't tell anyone I work with :)
So get reading readers! let me know what you think of the Canada Reads selections- any first thoughts?