Sunday, May 31, 2009

Short Story Monday Announcement

For those of you that normally participate in Short Story Monday, please note that due to a message from Barack Obama an update for the 2nd Canadian Book Challenge, tomorrow's SSM will be held over at Teddy Rose's blog. The following Monday, it'll return right here. Thanks to Teddy for jumping in and for everyone's understanding.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday Word Play- Hockey Books, Vowels and Consonants


With the Stanley Cup finals starting tonight, I think it's only appropriate to get in the mood with hockey books.

I'll tell you some authors and titles. Can you match them up? To make it a little easier, I've put a number after the author's name indicating how many vowels the name has in common with their title, and a number after the title indicating how many consonants the title has in common with the author's name. For example, if one of the authors given was John Jason Wilson/ Kevin Shea (4) and one of the titles given was Lord Stanley: The Man Behind The Cup (4) you pair them together once you note that they have 4 vowels in common (A, E, I, and U) and 4 consonants in common (L, S, N, and H). *To avoid confusion, I'll consistently refer to Y as a consonant. Got it?

As always, feel free to do all ten at home, but only answer one in the comment section-- that way nine more people can play along.

The Books (followed by # of shared consonants):
Z is for Zamboni (3), The Hockey Sweater (3), My Leafs Sweater (2), King Leary (4), Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems (5), The Game (0), Just One Goal (3), Hockey Dreams (6), Brady Brady and The Most Important Game (5), Hockey Stories and Stuff (4)

The Authors (followed by # of shared vowels):
1. Mary Shaw (1)
2. Don Cherry (2)
3. Roch Carrier (3)
4. Matt Napier (2)
5. Paul Quarrington (2)
6. Randall Maggs (1)
7. Mike Leonneti (1)
8. Ken Dryden (1)
9. Robert Munsch (3)
10. David Adams Richards (1)

*If you enjoyed this quiz, be sure to check out Joe Pelletier's Hockey Book Reviews-- an entire site devoted to hockey books.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Henry Reed- Naming of Parts



I like the following poem, but it's never been a favourite. It's also, inexplicably, been stuck in my head all week. When that happens with a song, I usually just have to listen to it to cure my fixation. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it works. So, here's the classic "Naming of Parts" by Henry Reed:

Naming of Parts
by Henry Reed


To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
To-day we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens,
And to-day we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
For to-day we have naming of parts.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Selling Out

The Globe and Mail Best Seller Lists for May 27th, 2009:

Hardcover Fiction
1. Vision in White- Nora Roberts
2. The Shack- William Paul Young
3. Assegai- Wilbur Smith
4. The Best of Times- Penny Vincenzi
5. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies- Jane Austen and Seth-Grahame Smith
6. The Host- Stephanie Meyer
7. The 8th Confession- Maxine Paetro
8. Pygmy- Chuck Palahniuk
9. Wicked Prey- John Sandford
10. The Winter Vault- Anne Michaels

Hardcover Nonfiction
1. Always Looking Up- Michael J. Fox
2. Outliers- Malcolm Gladwell
3. The Last Lecture- Randy Pausch
4. True Patriot Love- Michael Ignatieff
5. Slow Death by Rubber Duck- Sarah Dopp
6. The Bro Code- Barney Stinson
7. Shakedown- Ezra Levant
8. Not Yet- Wayson Choy
9. My Booky Wook- Russell Brand
10. A Lion Called Christian- Anthony Bourke

Softcover Fiction
1. Angels and Demons- Dan Brown
2. The Book of Negroes- Lawrence Hill
3. Sail- James Patterson & Howard Roughan
4. The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society- Mary Ann Shaffe and Annie Barrow
5. Phantom Prey- John Sandford
6. The Bourne Sanction- Robert Ludlum & Eric Van Lustbader
7. The Broken Window- Jeffery Deaver
8. Odd Hours- Dean Koontz
9. Careless In Red- Elizabeth George
10. Love The One You're With- Emily Giffin

Paperback Nonfiction
1.Three Cups of Tea- Greg Mortenson
2. Dreams from My Father- Barack Obama
3. Audition- Barbara Walters
4. The Audacity of Hope- Barack Obama
5. In Defense of Food- Michael Pollan
6. Blink- Malcolm Gladwell
7. The Brain That Changes Itself- Norman Doidge
8. The Tipping Point- Malcolm Gladwell
9. Eat, Pray, Love- Elizabeth Gilbert
10. The Glass Castle- Jeannette Walls

(Read the Canadian only, children, mystery, christian fiction and religion lists here.)

Do you follow bestseller lists?

On the rare occasion that I actually read a newspaper, I do look at the bestseller lists. Usually it's just to see what I've read (in this case only-- sadly and regrettably-- Dan Brown's Angels and Demons) and what I'd like to read (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and The Book of Negroes-- the latter of which I own, but haven't made a priority yet-- and possibly Pygmy, though I haven't read any Pahalniuk yet and cannot not start with Fight Club). For the most part I either shake my head (Russell Brand? Am I the only one that doesn't find him funny?) and shrug my shoulders (who's Maxine Paetro?)

So, which have you read?
Which do you want to read?
What do you think these lists say about Canadian reading choices?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Great Wednesday Compare #4- The Handmaid's Tale VERSUS The Giver



The last week's Great Wednesday Compare ( The Handmaid's Tale vs. Oryx and Crake), with a final score of 8-2 was The Handmaid's Tale.

My two favourite Atwood books faced off last week. I'm an Atwood fan, but I really think she hits it out of the park when she does dystopian lit. I found the opening comments last week most intriguing. I found myself agreeing right away with Corey Redekop that "Oryx is a far more likely scenario for our future." When C.B. James wrote that "Reading [The Handmaid's Tale] one can't help but think of contemporary politics" and that "it hits most closer to home" my initial reaction was that surely he meant Oryx and Crake. However, when he qualified the statement by referring to the oppression of women and gays in Iraq and excommunications for abortions in Brazil, it made me rethink. The reader's perspective makes a huge difference with these two books and their respective fear factors. When considering James' scenarios, yes, The Handmaid's Tale seems to speak more loudly of such issues. (I think it might also be worth noting that James is from California.) But, if one is thinking more of the science side of the future (technology, pollution, etc), I'd say Oryx and Crake probably ruffles more feathers.

Running with a dystopian theme for a second week...

Remember, vote simply by adding your comment below, base it on whatever merit you choose, voting does not end until Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. (June 2nd, 2009), and if you want your book to get more votes, feel free to promote them here or on your blog!

Which is better?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

If you should find yourself in Yellowknife next month...

Why not attend The NorthWords Writers Festival? But even if you can't make it, please follow the link and tell me:

1. Which author(s) would you be most interested in meeting?
2. Which events(s) would you most like to attend?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Reader's Diary #494- Charles Brockden Brown: Somnambulism



Back in 2004, Jason Priestly starred in Sleep Murder, a made-for-TV movie set in Iqaluit. I remember enjoying it, but it may have had a lot to do with the setting. The movie was about an Inuk man accused of murder. Jason Priestly plays a lawyer from the south, making the case that the accused was sleeping when he did it, therefore not conscious of his actions, therefore innocent.

Apparently homicidal somnambulism, or sleepwalking murder, is not a new phenomenon (in fact, it has been a successful legal defence here in Canada), though I had previously not been aware of it.

However, American author Charles Brockden Brown seemed to have a fascination with it way back in the late 1700s and early 1800s. It was the focus of his novel Edgar Huntly, Or, Memories of a Sleepwalker and his short story "Somnambulism: A Fragment."

While "Somnambulism" has the earmarks of a schlock horror story (night haunts, damsel in distress, etc), there is a larger psychological element at play. Althorpe, the narrator of the story, is overly rigid. In fact, his stiff manner of "talking" made the story difficult to read at first:
No doubt part of my despondency flowed from the idea of separation, which, however auspicious it might prove to the lady, portended unspeakable discomforts to me.
This guy would write government documents with ease, don't you think?

But, once I got used to became accustomed to his manner of speaking, I appreciated all the more the breakdown in his psychology. To me, this reads as a tale of a man who tries so hard to be rational that he stifles his perceived lower instincts until they make him act out in a subconscious and unacceptable manner. It was written over a century before Freud would coin the terms that defined our psychic apparatus, but I think it's a perfect description of a faulty ego.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link below. If Mister Linky is not working (they've been having issues), just leave your link in the comment section.)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday Word Play- Epistolary Fiction, The Ransom Letter



dear friends,
this week, i have Decided to focus ouR At.t.ention on epistolary novels. epistolary novels, for the uninitiated, are novels written as a series of doCUments, usuaLly letters. it's only recently thAt i came across t.h.e. ter.m., though i have read a few such b.o.o.ks .n.ot knowing they fit any .s.pecific genre. .t.he clues y.o.u ca.n. find b.e.low and the answers are right here in front of your face. you may have noticed some letters sticking out more than others-- they'll spell out all the letters in the answers. you may be pleased to note that i have not rearranged any letters. if you follow each odd letter across the line and just look for others with that same feature that make it pop out, you should find it easy-- well, as long as you're observant. i hope i've made myself clear. it's not always possible to know. very often i'll get my wife to see if it makes sense and provide suggestions just in case there was something that needed to be cleared up or elaborated on. yes, she's a tolerant and patient soul.
your loving host,
john

1. Bram Stoker
2. Mary Ann Shafer and Annie Barrows
3. Richard B. Wright
4. Alice Walker
5. Lionel Shriver
6. Aravind Adiga
7. Nick Bantock
8. Wilkie Collins
9. Douglas Coupland
10. Daniel Keyes

Friday, May 22, 2009

Reader's Diary #493- Di Brandt: Speaking of Power



After last year's GG Poetry Award debacle, is it still okay to like Di Brandt? I'm not sure, but I hope we don't discount her poetry in the process.

This is my first time reading Di Brandt or the fabulous laurier poetry series (lps) from Wilfrid Laurier Press. First a word about lps. With 15 titles so far, the series focuses on contemporary Canadian poets providing an introduction to their body of work. While short (restricted to 35 poems), it goes beyond the typical anthology treatment, offering an introduction by a critic and an afterword by the poet herself (when possible), both of which provide invaluable insight into the poems and the poet's perspective.

As the title might suggest, this collection looks at Di Brandt's poetry with a political focus. Tackling such topics as religion, feminism, and war, I was pleasantly surprised that these poems didn't come across as too blatantly rallying. Yet, using just about every trick in a poet's arsenal (including especially effective line breaks and creative but purposeful punctuation), the poems were still powerful and left a lingering charge.

If I had to fault one thing, and you know I have to, I'd suggest that perhaps it was all taken a bit too seriously. Regrettably underplayed in Tanis MacDonald's introduction and in Di Brandt's afterword is the dark humor that pops up in many of these poems (MacDonald does briefly mention wit, but that's not quite the same). No where is this more obvious than MacDonald's misreading of "Zone {le Détroit}." Referring to it as a poem about "devastating isolation" is a half truth and declaring that Di Brandt sees the Earth as "connective tissue between all forms of life" is almost as pretentious as the poem's title. MacDonald entirely misses the dark but comic relief of the 2nd part:

See how there's no one going to Windsor,
only everyone coming from?
Maybe they've been evacuated,
maybe there's nuclear war,
maybe when we get there we'll be the only ones.
See all those trucks coming toward us,
why else would there be rush hour on the 401
on a Thursday at nine o'clock in the evening?
I counted 200 trucks and 300 cars
and that's just since London.
See that strange light in the sky over Detroit,
see how dark it is over Windsor?
You know how people keep disappearing,
you know all those babies born with deformities,
you know how organ thieves follow tourists
on the highway and grab them at night
on the motel turnoffs,
you know they're staging those big highway accidents
to increase the number of organ donors?
My brother knew one of the guys paid to do it,
$100,000 for twenty bodies
but only if the livers are good.
See that car that's been following us for the last hour,
see the pink glow of its headlights in the mirror?
That's how you know.
Maybe we should turn around,
maybe we should duck so they can't see us,
maybe it's too late,
maybe we're already dead,
maybe the war is over,
maybe we're the only ones alive.


(Read the entire poem here.)

This is not substantial fear, this is someone getting off on fear. Someone this attuned to the pop culture world of urban legends is not exactly isolating herself from society. We've all played this perverse game. Fun in the face of oppression, fear and politics? Of course! It's what gets us through. Too bad this aspect of Di Brandt's poetry wasn't highlighted more. Otherwise, it's a fine book.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Great Wednesday Compare #4- A Handmaid's Tale VERSUS Oryx and Crake



The winner of our very first book against book challenge (Margaret Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale vs. Yann Martel's Life of Pi), with a final score of 15-4was A Handmaid's Tale.

Honestly, I thought this would have been closer. It certainly would have been very difficult for me. I was a little disappointed by those that said they gave up on it. The ending is the crucial part of that book, it's what people who've read the whole thing talk about. To me, it would be like leaving a tied hockey game after the second period. But, of course, if Martel didn't win their interest, I guess he's somewhat to blame. But a boy in boat with a tiger? A carnivorous island? How does that not hook you in? Oh well, to each her own.

This week, it's Atwood against Atwood.

Remember, vote simply by adding your comment below, base it on whatever merit you choose, voting does not end until Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. (May 26thth, 2009), and if you want your book to get more votes, feel free to promote them here or on your blog!

Which is better?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reader's Diary /492- The Good News Bible: Ezra

Sometimes I look forward to getting back to my Bible readings, other times it feels like homework. This was one of the latter. Fortunately, it was a relatively short book and there were a lot of lists, so it made for good, quick skimming. Telling the story of the Jewish exiles returning to Babylon, the second chapter is primarily a cataloguing of each returning Israel clan: Parosh 2172, Shepathiah 372, etc.

It's also somewhat uplifting at the beginning. Despite the fact that the Jews had been driven out and were now fortunate enough to be allowed back, they risked it all by rebuilding their temple and worshipping again, despite the opposition. I admired their dedication. Then, through a series of document searches and researches to see what past emperors had decreed (if anything, there's a moral about keeping good paperwork), the Jews were ordered to stop and allowed to begin again.

Unfortunately, it's when the title character showed up that I found it disheartening. In a display of xenophobia, Ezra forced the Jewish men to abandon their foreign wives and children. It ends with a list of which men had committed this "sin."

Of particular interest to me in this book was a switch to the first person from Chapter 8, verse 15 up to the end of chapter 9 (presumably told by Ezra himself). Why it suddenly and without warning switched and dropped the point of view like that is a mystery to me, not to mention confusing me briefly. Any theologians out there want to clear this up?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Reader's Diary #491- Jorge Luis Borges: The Garden of Forking Paths


Last year I read W.P. Kinsella's short story "Waiting on Lombard Street" which dealt with parallel universes. I complained that the idea was overdone and the story too pointless. But if Kinsella undersold the idea, certainly Borges oversold it.

"The Garden of Forking Paths" is the story of a spy named Dr. Yu Tsun who is on the run from a British officer, Captain Richard Madden. Before being caught, Tsun manages to get one more message to the Germans (for whom he spies) by tracking down a man named Dr. Stephen Albert and killing him. The British were to attack a town called Albert, and when Tsun's murder trial hit the newspapers, the Germans would make the connection between the victim's name and the targeted town.

But, there's a bit more. Before being murdered, Dr. Albert is able to unravel a mystery that has plagued Dr. Tsun: the mystery of his ancestor Ts'ui Pen. Ts'ui Pen gave up a promising career to create a labyrinth and to write a great novel. However, upon his death no labyrinth was ever found and the book was too confusing and contradictory to be published (Tsun complains, "in the third chapter the hero dies, in the fourth he is alive"). However, Albert explains that the labyrinth and the book were the same. He goes on with a needlessly complicated point about "time" being the answer to a riddle, but essentially Ts'ui Pen wrote a book where different paths are spliced together. The hero that died in chapter three was led to his fate due to some decision he had made earlier. In chapter four, the hero is still alive because he hadn't made the fatal decision earlier. Sounds impressive, especially since the parallel universe interpretation of quantum mechanics was in its infancy back in 1941 when this story was published.

Unfortunately, a childhood of "Choose Your Own Adventure Books" has made Ts'ui Pen's idea a bit of a bore. In fact, the CYOA Books seem to have been executed better. At least in those I was able to see which decision led to which fate. What did Pen get out of turning the book into a labyrinth?

And why didn't Borges simply write Ts'ui Pen's story? I can't see how the story of Tsun's ancestor and the story of spying for the Germans really connected. At one point Albert remarks, "In the present [time], which a favorable fate has granted me, you have arrived at my house; in another, while crossing the garden, you found me dead; in still another, I utter these same words, but I am a mistake, a ghost." That's as close as Borges gets to joining the two pieces together.

But in another universe, and in another time, I enjoyed it.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave your link below.)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

More Books For Everyone!

The last time I did one of these, I was given some great suggestions. It just goes to show that even the most difficult person to shop for can always be paired with a book. They might have wanted a iPod Touch, but that's irrelevant. You've promoted literacy, you've saved a couple hundred bucks, and you feel better about yourself. After all, isn't that what giving's all about?

Below are 20 people. Pick one or more and recommend a book. Someone's already recommended one? Come on, you can do better than them!

1. a conspiracy theorist
2. a lazy teenager
3. a CEO
4. an optimist
5. someone changing careers
6. a hypochondriac
7. your neighbour
8. Billy Bob Thorton
9. a zombie
10. an ex boyfriend/girlfriend
11. a co-worker
12. an anti-monarchist
13. your uncle
14. a blogger
15. a dog owner
16. a transgendered person
17. someone curious about graphic novels
18. a religious woman
19. a technophile
20. a hitchhiker

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday Word Play- Victoria Day Weekend, Hidden Scrambles



To all the Canadians who are enjoying the long weekend, I hope you remember the true meaning of Victoria Day.

In honour of her royal highness, let's look at the Victorian literary legacy. I'll give you a list of words. Unscramble them and plug them in to the clues below.

For example, if I gave you this:

According to Amazon.ca, the best selling book with "Queen Victoria" in the title is a picture book by Kyra E. Hicks and Lee Edward Fodi called M---ha A-n's Quilt for Queen Victoria

From the list of words below, you could use rant to solve it as Martha Ann's Quilt for Queen Victoria

Your turn!

As always feel free to do all 10 at home, but only answer 1 in the comment section to allow others to play along.

Evil/ Hack/ Lentils/ Licks/ Malt/ Nova/ Plead/ Rant/ Ripe/ Thaw/ Trace

1. Once stating that she has never read a book in her life, she's written a couple herself including That Extra Half Inch and Learning To Fly: Victoria Be----m

2. With its headquarters at the University of Victoria, it claims to be among Canada's leading literary journals: The ---aha- Review

3. One of her books includes Mommywood. You may know her as Donna Martin: To-- S--lling

4. The first president of Mexico and subject of several biographies by Francisco Caudet, Biografios Para Nino: Gua---u-- Victoria

5. Author of Conceit, she was born in Victoria, BC: M-ry ---ik

6. She first appeared in Batman #49: V-cky -a--

7. This American poet's "For Queen Victoria's Birthday" begins, "Lady accept a birthday thought": W-l- --itman

8. Born in the state of Victoria, Australia this author won the Booker Prize twice, for Oscar and Lucinda and for True History of the Kelly Gang: P--er ---ey

9. This author of Wanderlust, Kaleidoscope, and Second Chance has a daughter named Victoria: Da----le --eel

10. Art history professor and protagonist of 6 Elizabeth Peter novels: Vi--y B--s

Yeah, so I don't know why we celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday either. We get a long weekend, so I won't complain too loudly, but maybe we could actually honour someone or something of relevance. Any suggestions?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Poetry Friday- William Ernest Henley: Invictus



Almost a year ago, when we were deciding what to sell or take with us on our move to Yellowknife from Iqaluit, the T.V. didn't make the cut. We knew how much of a time suck it was becoming, we'd save money from not having to pay cable fees or satellite bills, and we could still watch dvds on the computer. But, all of that was easy to say when we were heading into rerun season.

Surprisingly, even when the new season started in the fall, we didn't break down. The only show we really missed, because it's not available on DVD, has been the Amazing Race*. Recently, however, my wife discovered that we could find it on YouTube. Hallelujah!

What does this all have to do with Poetry Friday? Good question.

On last night's episode (Season 13, episode 3), contestant Aja found herself bumping down a Bolivian road on a homemade bicycle. As she began to lose control she could be heard saying, "I am the captain of my fate, I am the master of my soul."

Clearly she was quoting a poem, but for the life of me I couldn't place it. Langston Hughes? Walt Whitman?

Fortunately, and being one of the advantages of watching TV online, I Googled it and quickly discerned that it was from William Earnest Henley's poem, "Invictus":

Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever God may be, For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance, I have not cried nor winced aloud, Under the bludgeoning of chance, My head is bloody but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how straight the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the captain of my fate, I am the master of my soul.

A fine poem, though I add it here not out of great admiration, but because of the unexpected way it popped up. Looking through some of my poetry anthologies, sure enough there it was. But 100 years since Henley wrote it, it took a reality TV show for me pay it some attention. Anthologies are fine, but there's a lot to be said for just happening upon poetry.

*And when are they going to open the Amazing Race to international contestants, anyway?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Reader's Diary #490- Bill Bryson: A Short History of Nearly Everything

Friend and fellow blogger Barbara Bruederlin (aka The Bad Tempered Zombie) has been trying to finish this one for four years. She claims to enjoy it and understand it, just inexplicably hasn't finished it. Our mutual friend Allison (aka Flying Buttress) recently revealed the same. I can now prove, once and for all, that I am better than they. In your face, ladies.

This has been my first experience with Bill Bryson and I'll definitely be back. I found a Short History of Nearly Everything to be witty, understandable, and well-constructed. It wasn't, however, what I thought it would be.

Despite its popularity, I knew very little about the book. Given the title, I was expecting to get a lot of stuff about past wars, religion, politics and the like. But it's really a short history of nearly all the sciences. Beginning at the beginning, if there actually was a beginning, Bryson discusses the origins of the universe, the origins of the Earth, the origins of life, and the origin of us.

I loved his knack of putting things into perspective. Probably this stems from his non-science background. I imagine that the real scientists are so used to working with their numbers and figures that they have no idea how meaningless all those facts can be to the layperson. Look at the way he describes the distance between the Earth, Jupiter and Pluto:
On a diagram of the solar system drawn to scale, with the Earth reduced to about the diameter of a pea, Jupiter would be over 300 meters away and Pluto would be two and a half kilometers distant (and about the size of a bacterium so you wouldn't be able to see it anyway.)
He goes beyond the simple stating of distance and really makes one appreciate it.

I also quite enjoyed the way he personalized the scientists. I'm not sure why this made their science all the more interesting, but it did. All the animosities and eccentricities, I guess it just made me appreciate that anything got done at all.

Then there was the wry wit. This is one of my favourite examples from the book:
In the late summer or early autumn of 1859, Whitwell Elwin, editor of the respected British journal the Quarterly Review, was sent an advance copy of a new book [On the Origin of Species] by the naturalist Charles Darwn. Elwin read the book with interest, and agreed that it had merit, but feared that the subject matter was too narrow to attract a wide audience. He urged Darwin to write a book about pigeons instead. "Everyone is interested in pigeons," he remarked helpfully.
I'd also say A Short History of Nearly Everything is the perfect length. At 574 pages before end notes, I'm sure many people would suggest he'd barely scratched the surface of scientific research. To phrase it the way Bryson might, you'd have to add about 75,000 "Short"s to the title, to get a sense of how little he actually covered in such a small space. However, I did find it just bordering on overwhelming towards the end. One of his descriptions at around page 500 made me think of ants and how we've all been told that they are so strong, it would be like one of us lifting a school bus over our heads. Yes, it's fascinating, but what have we ever done with that information? Really, I could probably have more conversations with people just by learning the names of Angelina Jolie's kids. I quickly recovered by imagining those conversations, but I knew the book had to wrap up fast.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Great Wednesday Compare #4- A Handmaid's Tale VERSUS Life of Pi


Beating out A.A. Milne last week, making him a three time GWC Champion, is Robertson Davies!!!

Let's recap the crazy ride that was the Great Wednesday Compare #3:

We began back in August of 2008 with a couple authors who have been commercial successes, but critic scratching posts: Sidney Sheldon versus Danielle Steel. There was way more love for Sheldon, shutting out Steel 7-0. The following week, Sheldon was again the lady killer, taking out Mary Higgins Clark 8-4. He met his match the next week, however, with the batty Anne Rice 10-1. But, far from immortal, Rice fell quickly to Clive Barker 8-0. Barker then scared away John Grisham 9-5 and Joe Hill 6-5. Eventually, he was called out by the legendary H.P. Lovecraft 7-4. But, God wasn't there for Lovecraft and the following week he was taken down by Judy Blume 8-5. But Blume couldn't hold on forever, especially once Beverly Cleary entered the picture 13-2. Amy Tan joined the Bad Luck Club the following week, losing to Cleary 6-3. Cleary doesn't do what Stan Lee can and she lost 6-3. The spider was taken out by the maus just one week later as Art Spiegelman downed Stan Lee 4-2. But it was also a brief history for Spiegelman once Stephen Hawking came along 4-1. I don't think George W. had anything to do with it, but Noam Chomsky won the next week, beating Hawking 5-3. Chomsky was then ravaged by Vladimir Nabokov 8-0 who subsequently took his last spike from Pierre Berton 5-1. Berton then rolled over Will Ferguson 7-0 and smoked Robert W. Service 5-4. Unfortunately, Berton was little match for Hans Christian Anderson, who burned him 5-1. Anderson went on to make a stew out of Beatrix Potter 4-3. Still, no one could picture him beating Oscar Wilde and he lost 7-5. Then, as if there were a bounty on his head, Wilde offed Salman Rushdie 10-2. He also didn't like young man James Joyce and outed him 9-5. Wilde was then snared by John Updike 4-3. Just coming 99 years and 51 weeks short of solitude, Updike was knocked aside by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 6-0. No one could see Marquez taking two in a row and he lost to Jose Saramago 4-2. Saramago then assassinated M.G. Vassanji 4-2 but under the hands of Franz Kafka, he metamorphosed into a loser 6-2. Kafka also said "non" to Jean-Paul Sartre 4-3 but "oui" to Laura Ingalls Wilder 13-4. A.A. Milne's house, however, was too little for Wilder and he sent her packing 9-8. He continued to pooh-pooh on the competition, hunting down Herman Melville 8-4, leaving nothing remaining of Kazuo Ishiguro 6-4, saying "never, never" to J.M. Barrie 6-3, and sending Jules Verne to the bottom of the sea 5-2. At five consecutive wins, all he had to do was take out the champion from the previous two Wednesday Compares: Robertson Davies. But, as always, the bearded one flew in like it was nobody business, and practically destroyed Milne 9-1.

Which means we move on to the Great Wednesday Compare #4!!!

Moving away from authors for this installment, we'll match book against book.

Remember, vote simply by adding your comment below, base it on whatever merit you choose, voting does not end until Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. (May 19th, 2009), and if you want your book to get more votes, feel free to promote them here or on your blog!

Which is better?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Reader's Diary #489- Ted Harrison: Children of the Yukon

I've been a fan of Ted Harrison's artwork for a while now. My first introduction to him was his illustrations of Robert W. Service's The Cremation of Sam McGee and The Shooting of Dan McGrew but only recently have I gotten a few of the books he penned himself: The Blue Raven, A Northern Alphabet and Children of the Yukon.

Again Harrison drew me in with with his bold colours and lines. Even if I didn't enjoy his writing, I'd at least have a book of art I appreciate.

Children of the Yukon is not a story book, but an informational book about the people of the Yukon. It's probably aimed at an older children or even adult adult audience, and is really not more than a primer of Yukon culture. I'd further caution that it's pretty dated with a publish date of 1977.

I remember a National Geographic from the 70s that I read as a boy in the 80s. It had a story on Newfoundland and there was a photo of a boy from near St. John's selling cod tongues. It stuck with me because underneath his picture was a really bad interpretation of Newfoundland dialect: "Cod tongues, sor! The best ye ever et!" I look back at it now and think not of that lousy transcription, but the fact that I was able to relate to a Newfoundland boy from a decade earlier. I, too, sold cod tongues as a boy. A decade later and all of that changed. With the decline in the codstocks and following moratorium on the fishery, the day of boys selling cod tongues for pocket change had passed. What a difference 20 years can make.

It's been 32 years since the Children of the Yukon was published. I'd love to see a follow up to see whether or not things have changed dramatically there as well. Failing that, I'd best just go visit and research it myself. Anyone care to fund my research?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Reader's Diary #488- Frank Stockton: The Lady or The Tiger?




In case you haven't heard about my Sporcle love, I'm as addicted as ever. Last week they had a short story authors game in which we were given the title and had to give the title. I got 14 out of 15, blanking on a few that I really should have gotten. There were also a couple that, while I was familiar with the author, hadn't heard of the story. But one really jumped out at me; I hadn't heard of the short story or the author. Yet, according to Wikipedia, "The Lady or The Tiger" has become a "staple in English classes in American schools."

After reading it, I can certainly see its value in school. However, most of the discussion that would surely follow this story seem better suited for an ethics or law class than an English class.

Before going on, I should note that it would be impossible or pointless to review this story without talking about the ending, so if you don't want a spoiler, proceed no further, read the story and come back.

The title, complete with question mark, is also part of the final sentence: "Which came out of the open door-- the lady, or the tiger?" Answering this question has surely been the dominant focus in all those classes.

At first I was a little put off by the question. I didn't need a conclusion, necessarily, but wasn't this all a rather roundabout way of simply asking the reader, "Are you a cynic or not?"

But upon reflection, I think there was more to it.

Leading up this question is the story of a king who holds trials in which the accused would decide his own fate by opening one of two doors, one of which held a ferocious tiger and the other, a beautiful lady with whom he'd be married to on the spot, like it or not. In the king's mind this represented a simple verdict of guilty (followed by punishment), and not-guilty (followed by reward).

It gets a lot more complicated when the accused is a man who had a secret affair with the king's daughter. Before the trial, the princess finds out which door held the lion and which held the lady. As the accused looks to her for guidance, his fate is in her hands.

At this point she recalls moments when the accused had been seen talking with the lady. Had the princess noticed something between them? Would he be happy with this other lady? Could she bear it? Would it be better to have him mauled to death by a tiger?

Essentially I think Stockton really poses three questions at the end:

1. What door did the king's daughter pick?

At first this seems rather obvious. The fact that the king's daughter would even question the right choice shows what a selfish woman she is. I'm sure most people would answer that she sent him to the tigers.

2. What would you do?

We always assume that we'd take the moral high ground, don't we? Sure, we've all felt jealousy at some point, but we're not murderers after all.

3. Really, what would you do?

With nameless royalty, and a clearly moral tone, Stockton's story is a parable disguised as a fairy tale. Because we assume and adopt the frivolous air of the story, most of us decide the princess is a murderer without much hesitation.

But let's reconsider. We haven't really been shown the king's daughter in any other context. This may have been the first time she'd ever shown a trace of jealous tendencies. Let's face it, her lover is on trial for betraying her deranged father and there's a savage tiger hiding behind a closed door. These are not normal circumstances. How could she think clearly? Yes, it may seem shocking to us that she'd hesitate for even a second. But she's stressed, she can't think straight...

Under extraordinary pressure, isn't it fathomable that you, too, might momentarily falter in your good judgement? And if not, isn't it also plausible that the princess also came to her senses?

Oh, why didn't we read this story when I was going to school? This could have been so much fun to do in class.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave your link below.)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day, Writing Moms

First of all, I hope all the non-writing moms out there have a very happy Mother's Day. As for you writing moms, happy Mother's Day to you, too-- perhaps your offspring will follow in your shoes (if they haven't already). Here's a few mother & child writers that I could come up with:

1. Laura Beatrice Berton and Pierre Berton:

Okay, so Pierre's output was quite larger than his mom's, but I've heard good things about Laura's one and only book: her memoirs, I Married The Klondike. I still need to read it.

2. Tabitha King and Joe Hill and Owen King

Almost anyone who mentions author Joe Hill subsequently mentions his father, Stephen King. Poor mom. She's an author, too, you know. I'm sure she had some influence on Joe's decision to write. Oh and on Owen, too. Geez, either these people have egos of steel or they have a whole team of family counsellors. What about daughter Naomi? Perhaps wisely she hasn't taken up the pen. Not yet, anyway.

3. Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane


I'm sure more people have heard of Laura, but according to some folks, Rose may have been read more often than realized. They claim that Rose may have had a hand, and a heavy hand at that, in her mom's writing process.

4. Alice Munro and Sheila Munro

Despite how little I care for Alice Munro's stories, I curiously want to read her daughter Sheila's memoirs about "growing up with Alice Munro."

Which of these authors have you read? Can you think of other examples?

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Saturday Word Play- Three Word Titles, Divided by Three


In today's Saturday World Play, we look at book titles with three words (excluding "of" or "the"). Taking it a step further, because it is a magic number you know, the number of letters in each title is divisible by three.

I've given you the author name, as well as the number of letters in the title. Can you use the given groups of three letters to figure out the title?

As always, feel free to do all ten at home, but only answer one in the comment section to allow nine more people to play along. *If you're stuck, pay attention to the letters that have been eliminated by other players.


ACK/ AFI/ ALA/ ARY/ ATH/ BIT/ BRI/ DIA/ DIN/ DGE/ DSA/ END/ FLO/ GER/ GFO/ HBL/ HDE/ ICH/ IEF/ ING/ ITH/ ISR/ LDW/ MON/ NCE/ NEB/ NES/ NOG/ NON/ ORE/ OUG/ OUT/ PLA/ RAB/ RAL/ REA/ REF/ RPI/ SCH/ SDI/ SFO/ SPR/ TMI/ THR/ TJO/ UCE/ VER/ WER/ WIT/ WOR/ YIN/ ZZA

1. Joseph Boyden (18)
2. Helen Fielding (18)
3. Ken Follett (15)
4. Rohinton Mistry (12)
5. Alistair MacLeod (15)
6. John Updike (12)
7. Kathleen Molloy (15)
8. Ian Flemming (18)
9. Daniel Keyes (18)
10. John Grisham (15)

Friday, May 08, 2009

Reader's Diary #487- Colin Alexander: The Ghost of the Yellowknife Inn



Colin Alexander was off to a terrible start with his "Warning" on page 3:
Warning! This book is for people-- not critics! It's a book of verse, and critics hate verse.
You see what he's doing here. He's saying that if you don't like his book, you must be a critic, and by extension, not one of the people (as he most certainly is). And only stupid people who are unfit for their positions cannot see the emperor's new clothes. I'm familiar with that old tactic.

Besides, who are these verse-hating critics that we're all supposed to be spitting on? I've come across many limericks, ballads, and so forth in quite respectable anthologies. From where I sit, the only verse that critics hate is bad verse-- of the sort found in a Hallmark card. Or in The Ghost of the Yellowknife Inn.

In his warning, Alexander goes on to say he's "found that people love traditional verse that rhymes, scan and makes sense."

He's right. Unfortunately, Alexander's bias seemed always in favour of the almighty rhyme and the other two attributes often fell to the way side.

Okay, so I tolerate syntactical liberties in Shakespeare's plays. But Colin Alexander is no Shakespeare. He has no business writing such lines as "we want to know you our name will say." You just know, of course, there's a rhyme coming up and two lines later, there it is, "today." He's trying to say, "We want to know you will say our name" but does so in a terribly awkward and confusing manner.

How about this nasty grammatical revamping:

That silly old man of Quebec's
Has an organ he's urging to flex.

You see, without the 's, he couldn't rhyme with flex, and two lines later, with sex. When you have a limerick this golden, grammar be damned.

Here's one where scansion gets thrown out the window, unless you struggle with some really unnatural sounding rhythm:

The riff-raff must now be kept far away
Lest for excellence anyone might search
And by mistake discover with dismay
There's no such thing resides there to besmirch.

- from "La Déesse Et Nos Droits"

Being what it is, I'd probably not have been as harsh were it not for the obnoxious warning at the beginning. Aligning himself with the "people"? Please. I'm one of the people. And not all of us like bad verse.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

School Books

It's been 15 years since I left my high school, J.M. Olds Collegiate, back in Twillingate, Newfoundland. 15 years. Crikey.

This is not a nostalgia piece per se. I have some fond memories, but I want to go back like I want to regrow my peach fuzz back and drive my parents' Chevrolet Celebrity again.

For some reason today, however, I found myself thinking about all the books we had to read for high school. Do you remember yours?

Mine was a grade 7 to 12 school and I don't actually remember which of these books were for high school and which were for junior high:

1. Romeo and Juliet


My first exposure to Shakespeare. It helped that we had the wonderful Mr. Butt (snicker if you want, but he was a great teacher). From there we also did

2. Julius Caesar

and then



3. Macbeth- Unfortunately we had a different teacher by this time and let's just say he was no Mr. Butt. I wouldn't really appreciate this play again until I acted in it last year in Iqaluit.

But, I'm sure Shakespeare was a part of just about everybody's high school experience in the English speaking world. Am I wrong in that assumption, and if not, which ones did you do?

More unique to the Newfoundland high school reading curriculum were these two nonfiction books:


4. Death on the Ice by Cassie Brown- I love this book. I remember walking around on the sea ice with some buddies after reading this and imitating the old timey cursing of the sealers in Brown's book, "Lard Jayse."

and



5. Bartlett: The Great Explorer by Harold Horwood- About the Newfoundland ice captain that accompanied Peary on his quest for the North Pole, I'm not sure why I didn't enjoy this one. Maybe it was my teacher, maybe it was Horwood's writing. I recently read Horwood's The White Eskimo and despised it.

I know a lot of other Newfoundlanders my age also had to read Dillon Wallace's Lure of the Labrador Wild, but somehow I missed that one, only making up for it in recent years.

Then there were these:


6. Lord of the Flies by William Golding- I loved, loved, loved this book. I was surprised when I used Golding in a Great Wednesday Compare a while back that many people were far less enthusiastic.

7. The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway- You'd think growing up in a fishing community would have made this book a slam dunk. Sadly, I was bored to tears. I reread as an adult, thinking maybe a lack of maturity was to blame Sadly, I hated it for different reasons.

8. Animal Farm by George Orwell- In my wife's high school, she had to read 1984. We're both convinced our school's picked the better Orwell. What do you think? Is it an issue of whatever you read first?

9. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens- Most self-respecting readers would be ashamed this is the only Dickens they've ever read. I don't remember much except that it felt a little too juvenile at the time, probably because almost all of us practically knew the story inside and out from t.v. Christmas shows.

10. The Pearl by John Steinbeck- I enjoyed it but again, remember little about it.

11. The Pigman by Paul Zindel- Noticeably the least predictable of the lot, though still another white, Western male. I really enjoyed it, but probably for the wrong reasons. I think there was a moral at the end, but what I really remember were the scenes of kids misbehaving: drinking in a cemetery, prank phone calls. We treated it like a how-to manual.

But, for the most part, these, whether enjoyable or not, were not my books of choice. That credit goes to Stephen King. Stephen King and Metallica. Oh yes, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Sad but true.

What are your high school book memories? Did any teachers turn you on or off a book you'd otherwise have felt differently? Any books you're surprised to have covered? Share your thoughts or else you'll have to find five examples of symbolism in 4 of the 5 texts above.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Great Wednesday Compare #3- A.A. Milne VERSUS Robertson Davies


The winner of last week's Great Wednesday Compare (A.A. Milne Vs. Jules Verne) for the 5th week in a row, with a final score of 5-2, was A.A. Milne.

Though I was pleasantly surprised with Around The World In 80 Days, I'm not going to dwell on Verne's loss last week.

As those of you who've followed these Compares may remember, winning five weeks in a row triggers the end of this edition of The Great Wednesday Compare. John Steinbeck won the first edition, Robertson Davies won the second, and when they faced off against one another, Davies became the ultimate champion. This week, Davies is back.


Remember, vote simply by adding your comment below, base it on whatever merit you choose, voting does not end until Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. (May 12th, 2009), and if you want your author to get more votes, feel free to promote them here or on your blog!

Who's better?



And now, for no reason at all, here's another video by those adorable and talented PS22 Kids:

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Monday, May 04, 2009

Reader's Diary #486- Rana Dasgupta: A Delhi Story



I don't always know what short story to read next and it's a scramble to think of someone I'm interested in reading and then find something of theirs available online. This week I scoured the Internet and came up with Rana Dasgupta. Dasgupta's first book of short stories, Tokyo Cancelled, was short-listed for a John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 2005. One of its short stories was also nominated for a National Short Prize (later renamed the BBC National Short Story Prize). I was enthralled by his website in which he encourages you to write graffiti all over it. It was there I found his short (flash fiction, actually) story, "A Delhi Story."

Despite using modern colloquialism instead of formality and despite being set in Delhi, "A Delhi Story" reminded me of some of the old Russian short stories. Theme-wise, dealing with pride and materialism, it seems like something Gogol might have tackled. Its subtle satire also seems more attune to the old Russian sensibilities than our modern satire. Though I enjoy modern satire a great deal, it's much more punchliney and direct than any of the old stuff I've read.

"A Delhi Story" is a short, but clever and amusing, story.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave your link below.)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Friends, Yellowknifers, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Books

I have a challenge for you. Wait, come back! It's not another reading challenge, I promise.

This week, your mission, should you dare to accept, is to post about places around your town where people can leave a book and take a book. Then, come back here, and leave a link to your post in the comment section below.

I'm going to declare Yellowknife the World Capital of Book Trading Posts. Here's just a few of the many such places around this wonderful city:

1. This one's somewhat small, but it has the advantage of not taking up as much space. It's in an employee lounge so I'm not at liberty to divulge where:



2. Also in an employee's lounge, this one is a bit bigger. It's also a little more organized:


3. This is a personal favourite. It's at the local Co-Op Store and available to the customers (in a small seating area, complete with free coffee, juice, and cookies) as soon as you enter. It's big and has a varied selection (including a picture book section off to the side). I almost always return with a book or two:


These Book Trading Posts are a wonderful idea. Free books, recycling, easy to set up and maintain- what's not to love?*

If you don't know of any near you, why not consider setting one up in your place of work?

*Just avoid Lars Ulrich's memoirs, he'll demand compensation.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Saturday Word Play- Red Rover Red Rover Send Author Right Over, One Degree of Separation



For this week's Saturday Word Play, we look at some of Canada's best imports. Can you separate the author from their country of birth? To show you what I mean, let's look at one of our more popular exports. Born in Canada (Lachine, Quebec to be precise), it's Saul Bellow. Dropped into the word Canada, it could look like this:

csaaulbnealldowa

except in yours, I'm not nice enough to bold any letters.

As always, feel free to do all ten at home, but only answer one in the comments section. That way, nine more people can play along.

1. runobiterdstamutneschs
2. ianndosihiranai
3. kemgnvayssanjia
4. ucanroilsthedistaeltdess
5. msirchiaelloandanatjkae
6. rionhindtonmiistray
7. uronibetrtewdskeringvidcoem
8. necthhearlersdellainndts
9. ralewibhaanogen
10. najalmohaopikicnsona

Friday, May 01, 2009

The 3rd Canadian Book Challenge- 10th Update



10 months down, and 868 books have been collectively been read for the 2nd Canadian Book Challenge!

Congrats to for finishing Heather, Corey, Mark, Barefoot Heart, Splummer and Historia for finishing the Canadian Book Challenge. Heather, who picked one of my favourite themes, finished with 13 First Nations and aboriginal authors, and then decided to throw in a few more books for good measure. Corey wraps it up with two books, one an epistolary novel with a twist. Mark brings us four more reviews, including this month's only The Gargoyle review. Barefoot Heart finishes with three books, including a great book of poetry by Leonard Cohen. Splummer rounds out her thirteen by finishing off a Kenneth Oppel trilogy. Historia actually finished the challenge for her third time! Historia took three different approaches to the challenge: a free spirit approach (where anything was okay), a single author approach (where she focused on Robert Munsch books), and finally an autobiographies, biographies, and memoirs approach. In total, she read 40 books (1 more than 3 x 13). Great job everyone!

Welcome to Kaitlin who joined us this month. Check out her four reviews and make her feel at home!

Some highlights this month include:
- a book of Inuit inventions and innovations by Alootook Ipellie
- a book about the infamous oil tar sands
- a collection of French Canadian folklore
- a book about taking caring of one's aging mother by New Brunswick author Meg Federico
- a couple of Pie books (yes, Pie, not Pi)
- a couple of Tortoise books (yes, Tortoise, not turtle)
- a review of Canadian Book Challenge participant, Corey Redekop's novel Shelf Monkey

On a frustrating note, those of you who follow Gautami's blog will note that it is no longer there, thanks to the parasites that create Malware. To be commended, Gautami has continued on with a brand new blog, Everything Distils Into Reading. I've been a long time fan of her blog and am very pleased she didn't throw in the towel. On that note, she has three new reviews this month and managed to salvage some of her old reviews, posting them on her new blog.

Some authors new to me this month include C.K. Kelly Martin, Anne Michaels and Neesha Meminger.

Thanks to everyone for your wonderful reviews. Keep those conversations happening!

Nunavummiut (13 Books...or more!)

Heather
- Little Voice by Ruby Slipperjack*
- Helpless by Barbara Gowdy*
- Child of the Morning by Pauline Gedge*
- Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston*
- White Jade Tiger by Julie Lawson*
- Darkness at the Stroke of Noon by Dennis Richard Murphy*
- Origin of Species by Nino Ricci*
- The Brat by Lynsay Sands*
- The Inuit Thought Of It by Alootook Ipellie*
- Two Trails Narrow by Stephen McGregor
- The Manitous: The Spiritual World of The Ojibway by Basil Johnston
- April Raintree by Beatrice Culleton
- Furious Observations of a Blue-Eyed Ojibway by Drew Hayden Taylor
- Devil In Deerskins: My Life With Grey Owl by Anahereo
- The Curse of the Shaman by Michael Kusugak
- The Man Who Ran Faster Than Everyone: The Story of Tom Longboat by Jack Batten
- One Native Life by Richard Wagamese
- All My Relations: An Anthology of Contemporary Canadian Native Fiction editted by Thomas King
- Medicine River by Thomas King
- Kiss of the Fur Queen by Tomson Highway

Corey
- Overqualified by Joey Comeau*
- Coventry by Helen Humphries*
- The Town That Forgot How To Breathe by Kenneth J. Harvey
- Inside by Kenneth J. Harvey
- Blackstrap Hawco by Kenneth J. Harvey
- Fruit by Brian Francis
- Brother Dumb by Sky Gilbert
- The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews
- Entitlement by Jonathan Bennett
- Cockroach by Rawi Hage
- Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere by John McFetridge
- The Killing Circle by Andrew Pyper
- The Order of Good Cheer by Bill Gaston

Mark
- The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson*
- Frozen Blood by Joel A. Sutherland*
- Me Minus 173 by Alicia Snell*
- The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill*
- The Killing Circle by Andrew Pyper
- Cricket In A Fist by Naomi K. Lewis
- Wolf Pack by Edo van Belkom
- Lone Wolf by Edo van Belkom
- Cry Wolf by Edo van Belkom
- Wolf Man by Edo van Belkom
- In Tongues of the Dead by Brad Kelln
- Wake by Robert J. Sawyer
- Grown Up Digital by Don Tapscott
- Too Close To Home by Linwood Barclay

Barefootheart
- Front Yard Gardens: Growing More Than Grass by Liz Primeau*
- The Book of Longing by Leonard Cohen*
- Apples Don't Just Grow by Maida Parlow French*
- The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley*
- Margarita Nights by Phyllis Smallman*
- The Calling by Inger Ash Wolfe*
- Your Loving Anna by Louis Tivy
- Beaver Tales by Audrey Tournay
- Beavers Eh to Bea by Lil Anderson
- The War at Home: An Intimate Portrait of Canada's Poor by Pat Caponi
- Last Stop Sunnyside by Pat Caponi
- The Corpse Will Keep by Pat Caponi
- Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson
- The Courtship by Budge Wilson
- A Fool and Forty Acres by Geoff Heinricks
- Rooms For Rent In The Outer Planets: Selected Poems 1962-1996 by Al Purdy
- Ragged Islands by Don Hannah

Splummer
- Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel*
- Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel*
- Detective by Arthur Hailey
- Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
- Someone Else's Ghost by Margaret Buffie
- Spook Country by William Gibson
- Mister Sandman by Barbara Gowdy
- The Dark Garden by Margaret Buffie
- By The Time You Read This by Giles Blunt
- Golden Girl and Other Stories by Gillian Chan
- A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton
- The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
- The Ideal Wife by Mary Balogh

HistoriaABM
- Drifting Home by Pierre Berton*
- Serendipity Road by Catherine DeVrye*
- Starting Out In The Afternoon by Jill Frayne*
- Straight From The Heart by Jean Chretien*
- Gifted to Learn by Gloria Mehlmann
- Daring to Dream by Diane Dupuy
- Thumbs Up by Elizabeth Manley
- The Storyteller by Anna Porter
- Hope & Despair by Monia Mazigh, translated by Patricia Claxton and Fred Reed
- Mila by Sally Armstrong
- Flight of the Dragonfly by Melissa Hawach
- Time and Chance by Kim Campbell
- The Fight of My Life by Maude Barlow
- Farley: The Life of Farley Mowat by James King

John
- The Terror by Dan Simmons*
- Heroes of Isle aux Morts by Alice Walsh and illustrated by Geoff Butler*
- Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood*
- Songs Of The Great Land edited by John Robert Colombo*
- Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler
- Mother Raven Nursery Rhymes by Peter Redvers and illustrated by Don Harney
- What Became of Sigvald, Anyway? by Mark Fremmerlid
- I thought elvis was italian by Domenico Capilongo
- Tom Three Persons by Yvonne Trainer
- Louis Riel: A Comic Biography by Chester Brown
- Fifteen Days by Christie Blatchford
- Grandmother by Elaine Woodward
- It's A Good Life, If You Don't Weaken by Seth
- Visiting Hours by Shane Koyczan
- House of The Wooden Santas by Kevin Major and carvings by Imelda George
- Barnacle Love by Anthony De Sa
- To The Top Canada by Chris Robertson
- Wolf Tree by Alison Calder
- Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems by Randall Maggs
- Jailbreaks: 99 Canadian Sonnets edited by Zachariah Wells
- Weathers by Douglas Lochhead
- Hand To Hand by Nadine McInnis
- The Retreat by David Bergen
- Big Rig 2 b Don McTavish
- The Clockmaker by Thomas Chandler Haliburton
- Yellowknife by Steve Zipp
- Beatitudes by Herménégilde Chiasson
- The Anachronicles by George McWhirter
- King Leary by Paul Quarrington
- The Secret World of Og by Pierre Berton
- Beneath The Naked Sun by Connie Fife
- A Theft by Saul Bellow
- Arctic Migrants/ Arctic Villagers by David Damas
- White Eskimo by Harold Horwood

Raidergirl
- Remembering The Bones by Frances Itani
- No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod
- The Outlander by Gil Adamson
- Mercy Among The Children by David Adams Richards
- Too Close To Home by Linwood Barclay
- High Spirits by Robertson Davies
- A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
- Exit Lines by Joan Barfoot
- The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence
- The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
- Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson
- Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
- The Birth House by Ami McKay

Jo
- Fruit by Brian Francis
- Mercy Among The Children by David Adams Richards
- The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
- Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
- Rotten Apple by Rebecca Eckler
- The Retreat by David Bergen
- Killing Circle by Andrew Pyper
- The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland
- Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
- Yellowknife by Steve Zipp
- Watching July by Christine Hart
- The Green Beauty Guide by Julie Gabriel
- Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
- The Game by Teresa Toten

Framed
- Waiting For Gertrude by Bill Richardson
- The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
- Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
- Dragonflies and Dinosaurs by Kate Austin
- Lesser Blessed by Richard Van Camp
- Still Life by Louise Penny
- The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston
- Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman
- The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney
- Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs
- Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast by Bill Richardson
- Barometer Rising by Hugh MacLennan
- Niagara, A History of The Falls by Pierre Berton

Monica
- X in Flight by Karen Rivers
- Flight of the Hummingbird by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
- Y in the Shadows by Karen Rivers
- Barnacle Love by Anthony De Sa
- For Now by Gayle Friesan
- First Time by Meg Tilly
- Getting The Girl by Susan Juby
- The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
- The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
- The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
- The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews
- A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
- Conceit by Mary Novik
- Forage by Rita Wong
- Porcupine by Meg Tilly
- The Alchemist's Dream by John Wilson

Tara
- The Birth House by Ami McKay
- Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden
- The Outlander by Gil Adamson
- The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregant by Michel Tremblay
- The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
- Fruit by Brian Francis
- Mercy Among The Children by David Adams Richards
- Late Nights On Air by Elizabeth Hay
- Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb
- Not Wanted On The Voyage by Timothy Findley
- King Leary by Paul Quarrington
- Brown Girl In The Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
- Lullabies For Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill
- Living Room by Allan Weiss
- Elizabeth and After by Matt Cohen

Joanna
- The Lost Highway by David Adams Richards
- The Ravine by Paul Quarrington
- The Retreat by David Bergen
- Icefields by Thomas Wharton
- No Such Creature by Giles Blunt
- Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden
- No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod
- Good To A Fault by Marina Endicott
- The Secret World of Og by Pierre Berton
- Claudia by Britt Holmstrom
- The Only Snow in Havanna by Elizabeth Hay
- The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou
- Wolf Tree by Alison Calder

Teena
- Too Close Too Home by Linwood Barclay*
- Toronto: The Way We Were by Mike Filey*
- Food Pets Die For by Ann N. Martin
- New Rules For Retirement by Warren MacKenzie and Ken Hawkins
- War Brides by Melynda Jarratt
- The New Retirement by Sherry Cooper
- Nova Scotia Drink-O-Pedia by Graham Pilsworth
- Write About Dogs by Keith Ryan
- Notes on a Beermat: Drinking and Why It's Necessary by Nicholas Pashley
- Here For A Good Time by Ra McGuire
- Cheech & Chong: The Unauthorized Autobiography by Tommy Chong
- Before I Wake by Robert J. Wiersema
- The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine by Sherry Torkos
- Down The Coal Town Road by Sheldon Currie
- The Story So Far... by Sheldon Currie
- Lauchie, Liza & Rory by Sheldon Currie
- I've Got A Home In Glory Land by Karolyn Smardz Frost
- The War On Women by Brian Vallee
- Truth and Rumors: The Truth Behind TV's Most Famous Myths by Bill Brious

PookerX
- Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant*
- Having Faith in the Polar Girls' Prison by Cathleen With*
- Good To A Fault by Marina Endicott
- The Tracey Fragments by Maureen Medved
- Fifteen Days by Christie Blatchford
- The Cure For Death by Lightning by Gail Anderson-Dargatz
- Children of the Day by Sandra Birdsell
- The Petty Details of So-and-so's Life by Camilla Gibb
- Frogs and Other Stories by Diane Schoemperlen
- Sisters of Grass by Theresa Kishkan
- The Outlander by Gil Adamson
- A Certain Mr. Takahashi by Ann Ireland
- Innercity Girl Like Me by Sabrina Bernardo
- The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews
- Beautiful Girl Thumb by Melissa Steele
- An Audience of Chairs by Joan Clark
- Where The Pavement Ends by Marie Wadden
- Naomi's Road by Joy Kogowa and illustrated by Matt Gould

PookerY
- Inside by Kenneth J. Harvey
- Grass, Sky, Song by Trevor Herriot
- Fruit by Brian Francis
- The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
- The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant by Michel Tremblay
- Mercy Among The Children by David Adams Richards
- The Christmas Tree by David Adams Richards
- Sparrow Nights by David Gilmour
- Precious by Douglas Glover
- Microserfs by Douglas Coupland
- Phantom Lake: North of 54 by Birk Sproxton
- This Business With Elijah by Sheldon Oberman
- More by Austin Clarke
- Murmel, Murmel, Murmel by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko
- Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner
- The Rez Sisters by Tomson Highway
- Yellowknife by Steve Zipp
- Consolation by Michael Redhill

Sandra
- No Such Creature by Giles Blunt
- The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
- Mercy Among The Children by David Adams Richard
- The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
- What We All Long For by Dionne Brand
- The Museum Guard by Howard Norman
- Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden
- Ten Thousand Lovers by Edeet Ravel
- Red Dog Red Dog by Patrick Lane
- The Retreat by David Bergen
- The Outlander by Gil Adamson
- The Boys In The Trees by Mary Swan
- The Letter Opener by Kyo Maclear
- The Lizard Cage by Karen O'Connell
- Alligator by Lisa Moore
- Late Nights On Air by Elizabeth Hay
- At A Loss For Words by Diane Schoemperlen
- Mister Sandman by Barbara Gowdy
- Twice Born by Pauline Gedge
- Quintet by Douglas Arthur Brown
- Coventry by Helen Humphreys
- Ex-Cottagers in Love by J. M. Kearns

Wanda
- Shelf Monkey by Corey Redekop*
- Coventry by Helen Humphries
- Belle Moral by Ann-Marie MacDonald
- Bookweird by Paul Glennon
- The Friends of Meager Fortune by David Adams Richards
- Down The Coaltown Road by Sheldon Currie
- You Went Away by Timothy Findley
- Mostly Happy by Pam Bustin
- The House of Wooden Santas by Kevin Major
- A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
- The Divine Ryans by Wayne Johnston
- Whale Song by Cheryl Kaye Tardif
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
- Ramasseur by Richard deMuelles
- Passion Fruit Tea by Elenore Schonmaier
- Turtle Valley by Gail Anderson-Dargatz
- a week of this: a novel in seven days by Nathan Whitlock
- The Birth House by Ami McKay
- Baltimores Mansion by Wayne Johnston
- Mercy Among The Children by David Adams Richards
- The Skating Pond by Deborah Joy Corey

Richard
- Nature By Design: People, Natural Process, and Ecological Restoration by Eric Higgs*
- Malahat Review #165 by various contributors
- The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland
- Vancouver Matters editted by Jamse Eidse, Mari Fujita, Joey Giaimo, Lori Kiessling, and Christine Min
- Saudade by Anik See
- Pathways Into Mountains by Ken Belford
- Interwoven Wild by Don Gayton
- Little Hunger by Philip Kevin Paul
- Almost Green by James Glave
- The Flight of the Hummingbird by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
- The Perfection of the Morning by Sharon Butala
- lan(d)guage by Ken Belford
- Medicine River by Thomas King
- ecologue by Ken Belford
- A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright
- The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant
- Spook Country by William Gibson
- Pear Tree Pomes by Roy Kiyooka
- The Witness Ghost by Tim Bowling
- Forage by Rita Wong
- Slash by Jeannette Armstrong
- Ontological Necessities by Priscilla Uppal
- Time Was Soft There by Jeremy Mercer

Kailana
- Only In Canada, You Say by Katherine Barber
- Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong
- Cats I Have Known and Loved by Pierre Berton
- Santa Claus: A Biography by Gerry Bowler
- I Was A Child of Holocaust Survivors by Bernice Eisenstein
- The Gargoyleby Andrew Davidson
- Personal Demon by Kelley Armstrong
- Barnacle Love by Anthony De Sa
- What They Wanted by Donna Morrissey
- Conceit by Mary Novik
- The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
- Jolted by Arthur Slade
- Coventry by Helen Humphreys
- Extraordinary Canadians: Lord Beaverbrook by David Adams Richards
-The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews
-Don't Lets Go The Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller
-Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland
-Traveling Music by Neil Peart

Nicola
- The Talking Cat and Other Stories of French Canada by Natalive Savage Carlson*
- The Golden Phoenix: Eight French-Canadian Fairy Tales by Marius Barbeau and retold by Michael Hornyansky, illustrated by Arthur Price
- Otherwise by Farley Mowat
- Louis Riel: A Comic Strip Biography by Chester Brown
- The Meanest Doll In The World by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, Illustrated by Brian Selznick
- The Doll People by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, Illustrated by Brian Selznick
- The Line Painter by Claire Cameron
- Too Close To Home by Linwood Barclay
- The Great Karoo by Fred Stenson
- Coventry by Helen Humphries
- The Ruby Kingdom by Patricia Bow
- The Prism Blade by Patricia Bow
- Red Dog Red Dog by Patrick Lane
- All The Colours of Darkness by Peter Robinson
- Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help by Douglas Anthony Cooper
- My Name Is Number 4 by Ting-Xing Ye
- The Shadow of Malabron by Thomas Wharton
- Bookweird by Paul Glennon
- Night Runner by Max Turner
- Getting the Girl by Susan Juby
- Jolted by Arthur Slade
- Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel
- Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
- The Horseman's Grave by Jacqueline Baker
- Newton and the Time Machine by Michael McGowan
- The Shooting of Dan McGrew by Robert W. Service and illustrated by Ted Harrison
- The Seance by Iain Lawrence

Joy
- Big City Bad Blood by Sean Chercover
- Griffin & Sabine by Nick Bantock
- Sabine's Notebook by Nick Bantock
- The Golden Mean by Nick Bantock
- Forty Words For Sorrow by Giles Blunt
- Hate You by Graham McNamee
- The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
- Runaway by Alice Munro
- Moral Disorder by Margaret Atwood
- Gallows View by Peter Robinson
- The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
- Charley's Web by Joy Fielding
- Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery

HistoriaSA
- Up, Up, Down by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko
- Playhouse by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko
- Alligator Baby by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko
- The Sandcastle Contest by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko
- Class Clown by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko
- Just One Goal by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko
- More Pies! by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko
- No Clean Clothes! by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko
- Boo! by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko
- Smelly Socks by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko
- Get Out of Bed! by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Alan and Lea Daniel
- We Share Everything by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko
- Look At Me! by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko

Steve
- The Channel Shore by Charles Bruce
- Barometer Risingby Hugh MacLennan
- The Clockmaker by Thomas Haliburton
- My Famous Evening by Howard Norman
- Rockbound by Frank Parker Day
- Roger Sudden by Thomas Raddall
- The Mountain and the Valley by Ernest Buckler
- The Film Club by David Gilmour
- Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner
- What Happened later by Ray Robertson
- King Leary by Paul Quarrington
- The Game by Ken Dryden
- Midnight Hockey by Bill Gaston

JK
- Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland*
- The Winter Vault by Anne Michaels*
- Ecoholic by Adria Vasil*
- Changing Heaven by Jane Urquhart
- Beyond The Horizon by Colin Angus
- The Killing Circle by Andrew Pyper
- Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
- The Outlander by Gil Adamson
- King Leary by Paul Quarrington
- The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant by Michel Tremblay
- Fifth Business by Robertson Davies
- The Romantic by Barbara Gowdy
- Imagining Canadian Literature: The Selected Letters of Jack McCelland editted by Sam Soleki
- Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
- An Imperfect Offering by James Orbinski
- Look For Me by Edeet Ravel
- Cereus Blooms At Night by Shani Mootoo
- Fruit by Brian Francis
- Whylah Falls by George Elliott Clark
- The Wives of Bath by Susan Swan
- Silver Salts by Mark Blagrave
- Barney's Version by Mordecai Richler
- A History Of Reading by Alberto Manguel
- The Wars by Timothy Findley
- Too Close To The Falls by Catherine Gildiner
- The Underpainter by Jane Urquhart
- The Rules of Engagement by Catherine Bush
- Happenstanceby Carol Shields
- The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
- lullabies for little criminals by Heather O'Neill
- Late Nights On Air by Elizabeth Hay
- A History of Forgetting by Caroline Adderson
- JPod by Douglas Coupland
- The End of East by Jen Sookfong Lee

August
- Cockroach by Rawi Hage
- Rust and Bone by Craig Davidson
- Once by Rebecca Rosenblum
- Adult Entertainment by John Metcalf
- Flight Paths and the Emperor by Steven Heighton
- Dancing Nightly in the Tavern by Mark Antony Jarman
- Red Plaid Shirt by Diane Schoemperlen
- The Girls Who Saw Everything by Sean Dixon
- Degrees of Nakedness by Lisa Moore
- The Tracey Fragments by Maureen Medved
- Exotic Dancers by Gerald Lynch
- Stunt by Claudia Dey
- A Week of This by Nathan Whitlock

HistoriaFS
- Paddle To The Arctic by Don Starkell
- When We Were Young editted by Stuart McLean
- The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor by Sally Armstrong
- I Married The Klondike by Laura Beatrice Berton
- After by Francis Chalifour
- Going Inside by Alan Kesselheim
- Laughing on the Outside: The Life of John Candy by Martin Knelman
- Rilla of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Anne of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Anne's House of Dreams by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Anne of The Island by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
- Unknown Shore by Robert Ruby

Kathleen
- The Tattooed Woman by Marian Engel
- Our Lady of the Lost and Found by Diane Schoemperlen
- Moonbeams From the Larger Lunacy by Stephen Leacock
- First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women by Eric McCormack
- Firewing by Kenneth Oppel
- Mud City by Deborah Ellis
- Jeux D'adresseseditted by Julie Huard, Michel-Remi Lafond, and Francois-Xavier Simard
- Slow Lightning by Mark Frutkin
- 13 by Mary-Lou Zeitoun
- Book of Longing by Leonard Cohen
- Run of the Town by Terrence Rundle West
- Volkswagen Blues by Jacques Poulin
- Natasha and Other Stories by David Bezmozgis
- An Acre In Time by Phil Jenkins
- Kiss The Sunset Pig by Laurie Gough
- Psyche's Children by Catherine Joyce
- The Lidek Revolution by James Stark
- Pure Springs by Brian Doyle
- Speak Ill of the Dead by Mary Jane Maffini
- Without Vodka by Aleksander Topolski

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians
(12 Books)

Claire
- De Niro's Game by Rawi Hage*
- Dragonflies by Grant Buday*
- It's A Good Life, If You Don't Weaken by Seth*
- Last Stop Sunnyside by Pat Capponi
- Skin Folk by Nalo Hopkinson
- Nine Planets by Edward Riche
- Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
- Jalna by Mazo de la Roche
- Ten Thousand Lovers by Ravel Edeet
- The Killing Circle by Andrew Pyper
- The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
- Song of the Paddle by Bill Mason

PeachyTO
- The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant by Michel Tremblay
- The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
- Fruit by Brian Francis
- Mercy Among The Children by David Adams Richards
- Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill
- The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood
- Generation X by Douglas Coupland
- The Landing by John Ibbitson
- Rhymes With Useless by Terence Young
- An Audience of Chairs by Joan Clark
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
- Acceleration by Graham McNamee

Albertans (11 Books)

Gypsysmom
- Peace Shall Destroy Many by Rudy Wiebe*
- Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood
- A Carra King by John Brady
- The Difference Engine by William Gibson
- Murder in Montparnasse by Howard Engel
- The Lyre of Orpheus> by Robertson Davies
- The New Ancestors by Dave Godfrey
- Murther and Walking Spirits by Robertson Davies
- Itsuka by Joy Kogowa
- Since Daisy Creek by W. O. Mitchell
- Prospero's Daughter by Constance Beresford-Howe

MelanieO
- Clockmaker by Thomas Chandler Haliburton
- The Tin Flute by Gabrielle Roy
- The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
- Mercy Among The Children by David Adams Richards
- The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant by Michel Tremblay
- Fruit by Brian Francis
- The Outlander by Gil Adamson
- As For Me and My House by Sinclair Ross
- Literary Lapses by Stephen Leacock
- Over Prairie Trails by Frederick Philip Grove
- Such Is My Beloved by Morley Callaghan

Ragdoll
- The Sad Truth About Happiness by Anne Giardini
- Once by Rebecca Rosenblum
- The Almost Archer Sisters by Lisa Gabriele
- A Hard Witching by Jacqueline Baker
- The Boys In The Trees by Mary Swan
- Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
- Whetstone by Lorna Crozier
- The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews
- Quick by Anne Simpson
- Runaway by Alice Munro
- Away by Jane Urquhart

April
- Summer of My Amzing Luck by Miriam Toews
- Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje
- The Time In Between by David Bergen
- Can You Hear The Nightbird Call? by Anita Rau Badami
- Simple Recipes by Madeleine Thien
- The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
- The Art of Salvage by Leona Theis
- Crows: Encounters With The Wise Guys of the Avian World by Candace Savage
- The Order of Good Cheer by Bill Gaston
- The Birth House by Ami McKay
- The Stone Carvers by Jane Urquhart

Saskatchewanies (10 Books)

Gautami
- the nine planets by Edward Riche*
- Six Seconds by Rick Mofina*
- The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood*
- The Murder Stone by Louise Penny
- The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
- Larry's Party by Carol Shields
- The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney
- Sir Cook, The Knight? by Erik Mortensen
- Shelf Monkey by Corey Redekop
- The Time In Between by David Bergen

Melanie
- Heave by Christy Ann Conlin
- The Hatbox Letters by Beth Powning
- Plainsong by Nancy Huston
- The Valley by Gayle Friesan
- Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner
- the Retreat by David Bergen
- Blasted by Kate Story
- The Brutal Heart by Gail Bowen
- Prarie Bridesmaid by Daria Salamon
- Saltsea by David Helwig

Sam Lamb
- The Line Painter by Claire Cameron
- Sweetness In The Belly by Camilla Gibb
- What It Takes To Be Human by Marilyn Bowering
- The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews
- The Body's Place by Elise Turcotte
- Streak of Luck by Richelle Kosar
- Latitudes of Melt by Joan Clark
- A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
- The Given by Daphne Marlatt
- A Map of Glass by Jane Urquhart

Scribacchina
- The Friday Night Knitting Club (O Clube de Tricô de Sexta à Noite) by Kate Jacobs and translated into Portuguese by Isabel Alves
- A Coyote Columbus Story by Thomas King and illustrated by William Kent Monkman
- What's The Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses? by Richard Van Camp and illustrated by George Littlechild
- Medicine River by Thomas King
- Canadian Stars by Maxine Trottier
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel
- Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
- By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept by Elizabeth Smart
- The Actual by Saul Bellow
- The Song of Kahunsha by Anosh Irani

Traveler One
- Swing Low: A Life by Miriam Toews
- Easton by Paul Butler
- Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam
- Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill
- Lesser Blessed by Richard Van Camp
- The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
- Random Passage by Bernice Morgan
- Kiss The Joy As It Flies by Sheree Fitch
- Late Nights On Air by Elizabeth Hay
- The Mountain and The Valley by Ernest Buckler

Yukoners (9 Books)

Remi
- Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant*
- Important Artifacts and Personal Property From The Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewellery by Leanne Shapton*
- Selected Poems by Alden Nowlan
- The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
- The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews
- The Killing Circle by Andrew Pyper
- Fast Forward and Other Stories by Delia de Santis
- The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland
- Selected Poems (1972) by Al Purdy

Ariel
- The Meaning of Puck: How Hockey Explains Modern Canada by Bruce Dowbiggin
- Fruit by Brian Francis
- The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
- What We All Long For by Dionne Brand
- Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
- Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet by Joanne Proulx
- The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
- At A Loss For Words by Diane Schoemperlin
- The End of East by Jen Sookfong Lee

Violette
- Sundowner Ubunto by Anthony Bidulka
- House Report by Deborah Nicholson
- The Chinese Alchemist by Lyn Hamilton
- Small Ceremonies by Carol Shields
- Burden of Desire by Robert MacNeil
- Barrington Street Blues by Anne Emery
- Black Ice by Linda Hall
- Blood Lies by Daniel Kalla
- Bone To Ashes by Kathy Reichs

Paul P
- Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb
- The Wars by Timothy Findley
- Famous Last Words by Timothy Findley
- As For Me And My House by Sinclair Ross
- Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen
- Pilgrim by Timothy Findley
- The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence
- Effigy by Alissa York
- Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood

Prince Edward Islanders (8 Books)

Mary Ellen
- Welcome To The Departure Lounge: Adventures in Mothering Mother by Meg Federico*
- The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
- Apologize, Apologize by Elizabeth Kelly
- Not Guilty by Debbie Travis
- Still Life by Louise Penny
- The Impact of a Single Event by R. L. Prendergast
- The Whirlpool by Jane Urquhart
- Margarita Nights by Phyliss Smallman

Bybee
- Rilla of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery*
- Rainbow Valley by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Anne's House of Dreams by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Anne of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- JPod by Douglas Coupland
- Anne of The Island by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Unless by Carol Shields
- Fifth Business by Robertson Davies

Sam
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel
- Inside by Kenneth J. Harvey
- Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
- Yellowknife by Steve Zipp
- Bones to Ashes by Kathy Reichs
- Consumption by Kevin Patterson
- The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
- No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod

Becky
- Emily of New Moon by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Anne of Avonleaby Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Rilla of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Rainbow Valley by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Anne of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Anne's House of Dreams by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Anne of Windy Poplars by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Anne of the Island by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Jo-Ann
- Sindbad in the Land of Giants retold and illustrated by Ludmila Zeman
- Some of the Kinder Planets by Tim Wynne-Jones
- Hero of Lesser Causes by Julie Johnston
- Lisa by Carol Matas
- Ticket to Curlew by Celia Barker Lottridge
- Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
- Thumb In The Box by Ken Roberts
- Dippers by Barbara Nichol and illustrated by Barry Moser

British Columbians (7 Books)

Chris
- Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood*
- Getting Over Edgar by Joan Barfoot
- Anne's House of Dreams by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Negotiating With The Dead by Margaret Atwood
- Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
- Yellowknife by Steve Zipp
- Loyalists and Layabouts by Stephen Kimber

Scott
- Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje*
- The End of the Alphabet by C.S. Richardon*
- King Leary by Paul Quarrington
- The Republic of Nothing by Lesley Choyce
- Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
- A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Icefields by Thomas Wharton

Reader Rabbit
- I Know It's Over by C.K. Kelly Martin*
- Shine Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger*
- Little Brother by Cory Doctorow*
- Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers*
- Another Kind of Cowboy by Susan Juby*
- Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
- Jenny Green's Killer Junior Year by Amy Bleason and Jacob Osborn

Claire
- The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
- Away by Jane Urquhart
- Ex-Cottagers In Love by J.M. Kearns
- The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
- Red Dog Red Dog by Patrick Lane
- Barnacle Love by Anthony de Sa
- Stunt by Claudia Dey

Callista
- The Bite of The Mango by Mariatu Kamara with Susan McClelland
- In Your Face: The Culture of Beauty and You by Shari Graydon
- Chanda's Secrets by Allan Stratton
- Dear Toni by Cyndi Sand-Eveland
- Leslie's Journal by Allan Stratton
- The Reading Solution by Paul Kropp
- Pact of the Wolves by Nina Blazon and translated by Sue Innes

Lesley
- The Museum Guard by Howard Norman
- Latitudes of Melt by Joan Clark
- Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson
- The Girls by Lori Lansens
- The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney
- The End of the Alphabet by CS Richardson
- Open Secrets by Alice Munro

Northwest Territorians (6 Books)

Lizzy
- The Emperor of Ice-Cream by Brian Moore*
- The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley*
- The Outlander by Gil Adamson*
- Helpless by Barbara Gowdy
- Catholics by Brian Moore
- Late Nights On Air by Elizabeth Hay

Ripley
- The Slow Fix by Ivan E. Coyote
- Scarlet Rose by Julia Madeleine
- Inside Out Girl by Tish Cohen
- The Killing Circle by Andrew Pyper
- The Line Painter by Claire Cameron
- Indigenous Beasts by Nathan Sellyn

3M
- A Certain Mr. Takahashi by Ann Ireland
- Anne of The Island by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen
- Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) by Ann-Marie MacDonald
- Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Nathan Smith
- Otherwise by Farley Mowat
- Bookweird by Paul Glennon
- Belle Moral by Ann-Marie MacDonald
- The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
- A Secret Between Us by Daniel Poliquin
-The Wars by Timothy Findley

Lara
- Broken by Kelley Armstrong
- That Scatterbrain Booky by Bernice Thurman-Hunter
- Ontario Murders by Susan McNicoll
- Jacob Two-Two Meets The Hooded Fang by Mordecai Richler
- Stolen by Kelley Armstrong
- Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

Lynda
- Sugarmilk Falls by Ilona Van Mil
- From Ink Lake: Canadian Stories Collected by Michael Ondaatje
- Life by Drowning: Selected Poems by Jeni Couzyn
- Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat
- New Oxford Book of Canadian Short Stories in English editted by Margaret Atwood and Robert Weaver
- The Birth House by Ami McKay

Manitobans (5 Books)

Kaitlin
- The View From Castle Rock by Alice Munro*
- A Student of Weather by Elizabeth Hay*
- The Concubine's Children by Denise Chong*
- The Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast by Bill Richardson*
- Before I Wake by Robert J. Wiersema*

L.Hill
- Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden*
- Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
- Surfacing by Margaret Atwood
- As For Me and My House by Sinclair Ross
- A Bird In The House by Margaret Laurence

Shereadsbooks
- Yellowknife by Steve Zipp
- The Wars by Timothy Findley
- Great Canadian Short Stories edited by Alec Lucas
- The Fire Dwellers by Margaret Laurence
- The Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro

New Brunswickers (4 Books)


Jules
- The Underpainter by Jane Urquhart*
- Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood*
- The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood
- The Moons of Jupiter by Alice Munro

Laurie
- Generation X by Douglas Coupland*
- Unless by Carol Shields
- All Families Are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland
- Sailor Girl by Sheree-Lee Olson
- What We All Long For by Dionne Brand

Barbara
- Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent by Andrew Nikiforuk*
- The As It Happens Files by Mary Lou Finlay
- The Retreat by David Bergen
- Tales From Firozsha Baag by Rohinton Mistry

Daibhin
- Island by Alistair MacLeod
- The Ladies' Lending Library by Janice Kulyk Keefer
- Looking for Anne of Green Gables by Irene Gammel
- A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews

Aaron
- The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
- The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
- The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant by Michel Tremblay
- Fruit by Brian Francis

Orchidus
- Obasan by Joy Kogawa
- The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay
- The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
- Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Tanabata
- Lighting The Dark Side by William R. Potter
- Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence by Nick Bantock
- Dingo by Charles de Lint
- How To Be a Canadian by Will Ferguson and Ian Ferguson

Teddy
- Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje
- Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
- Look for Me by Edeet Ravel
- Horseman's Grave by Jacqueline Baker

Elizabeth
- Kit's Law by Donna Morrissey
- Latitudes of Melt by Joan Clark
- A Student of Weather by Elizabeth Hay
- The Calling by Inger Ash Wolfe

Nova Scotians (3 Books)


DebbieM
- The Girl From Away by Claire Mowat*
- The Sky Is Falling by Kit Pearson
- Dressing Up For The Carnival by Carol Shields

Mrs. Peachtree
- The Singing Stone by O.R. Melling
- An Earthly Knight by Janet McNaughton
- Stella Fairy of the Forest by Marie-Louise Gay

Miriam
- By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Giles Blunt
- Blue Girl by Charles de Lint
- DeNiro's Game by Rawi Hage

Cheryl
- A Victim of Convenience by John Ballem
- Six Seconds by Rick Mofina
- Honour Among Men by Barbara Fradkin

Bookfool
- Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland
- The Best of Robert Service by Robert Service
- Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Tracy
- A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
- Rollbackby Robert J. Sawyer
- The Birth House by Ami McKay

Nan
- Nova Scotia by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
- Tottering in My Garden by Midge Ellis Keeble
- The Pioneers of Inverness Township by Gwen Rawlings

Quebecois (2 Books)


Jen
- Broken by Kelley Armstrong
- Burning Chrome by William Gibson

Paul R
- The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore
- Fifth Business by Robertson Davies

Kimiko
- Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
- Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen

Linda/CT
- Map of Glass by Jane Urquhart
- Caedman's Song by Peter Robinson

Stacy
- My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Horvath
- All-Season Edie by Annabel Lyon

Lee
- Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb
- The Droughtlanders by Carrie Mac

Joanna
- Claudia by Britt Holmstrom
- The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou

Monodon
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel
- The Cure For Death by Lightning

Lillian
- Memories Are Murder by Lou Allin
- Pandemic by Daniel Kalla

Ontarians (1 Book)


GeraniumCat
- Still Life by Louise Penny

Susan
- Wolf Moon by Charles de Lint

Carla
-Coventry by Helen Humphreys

Wayne
-Beaverbrook: A Failed Legacy by Jacques Poitras

Lisa
- Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen

Kayleigh
- Alice, I Think by Susan Juby

DebbieS
- An Imperfect Offering by James Orbinsky

Literary Mom
- Late Nights On Air by Elizabeth Hay

Jake
- Barney's Version by Mordecai Richler

Stephanie
- Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

(If these standings are not correct, please let me know. As well, if you've missed the explanation of the provincial/territorial headings and can't figure out why you're listed under a particular province, please refer to this post.)

This month's prizes, generously donated by Melanie of Chumley & Pepys Used Books, is Lyn Cook's children's novel, Pegeen and the Pilgrim which revolves around the Stratford, Ontario's Shakespearian Festival (perfect for those of us signed up for Historia's Shakespeare Reading Challenge):

AND Zachariah Wells' Unsettled (highly recommended). When Wells donated a copy of this book for the 1st Canadian Book Challenge, he ended up hand delivering to winner Raidergirl. I can't promise that this time, but I can give you his 13 recommended books. Wells is also behind this month's shout out (see below). To win this month's 2-book prize, tell me which two participants above have the most books in common, that is which two participants have read the most titles also read by one another.Email your answers (DO NOT PUT THEM IN THE COMMENTS!) to jmutford [at] hotmail [dot] com.


Shout-Out Time! Though Zachariah Wells "find[s] these exercises of 'top books' a bit arbitrary," he has no hesitation recommending these 13:
1. Milton Acorn- Dig Up My Heart
2. Elizabeth Bishop- The Complete Poems
3. Marie-Claire Blais- Mad Shadows
4. Hugh Brody- The Other Side of Eden
5. Leonard Cohen- The Favourite Game
6. Irving Layton- A Red Carpet for The Sun
7. Malcolm Lowry- Under The Volcano
8. PK Page- The Hidden Room
9. Mordecai Richler- Solomon Gursky Was Here
10. Leon Rooke- Hitting The Charts
11. Bruce Taylor- The Facts
12. Peter Van Toorn- Mountain Tea
13. Sheila Watson- The Double Hook

Which of these have you read?

Want more prizes? The Canadians in the house might want to head over to Peeking Between The Pages for a chance to win Andrew Nicoll's The Good Mayor.