Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The 10th Annual Canadian Book Challenge - January Roundup (Sticky Post— Scroll down for most recent post)

1. Click on the icon above
2. Add a link to your review. (Please link to your specific review, not an entire webpage.)
3. Add your name and in parentheses the title of the book, such as John Mutford (Anne of Avonlea)
4. In the comment section below, tell me your grand total so far. (ex. "This brings me up to 1/13")

And in prize news, congratulations to Irene for winning a signed copy of Nancy Gardiner's Hairy Leg News for taking part in last month's mini-challenge to read a non-fiction Canadian book. Canadian Book Challenge mini-challenges are exclusive to members via email.)

Reader's Diary #1443- Gord Downie (writer) and Jeff Lemire (artist): Secret Path

It took perhaps a little longer than expected, as I suspect people were weighing their need to criticize against the fact that Gord Downie is dying, but it was still not long before controversy followed his Secret Path project, a graphic novel account of the real life Charlie Wenjack and his fatal escape from residential school.

The two main arguments against it were along the lines of 1. Gord Downie is white and what the hell does he know about life at residential school and 2. this book is getting a lot of attention considering there are tonnes of pre-existing books about residential school, written by those that actually experienced it.

I am not knocking either argument. The right to tell a story from another's perspective is a very topical issue with many nuanced arguments. I can say that I have read other residential school stories, from actual survivors, and Secret Path felt similar both in terms of details and emotions. That said, everyone's experience was different and who knows what Charlie Wenjack actually felt? We can assume he was miserable based on his need to risk his life to escape, but there is something presumptuous about Downie and Lemire giving him a voice and with the legacy of exploitation by white people, I'm not 100% sure that they should have. I should note that proceeds from the book are donated to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

As for the attention the book has gotten, much of it had been through the CBC who had just had a high from producing the televised last concert of the Tragically Hip. Gord Downie and to a lesser extent Jeff Lemire are very well known. There's certainly an argument that the others who have written about residential schools should also be well known (Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, Larry Loyie, Albert Canadien, and so on), but I also don't want to sell the talent of Downie or Lemire short. I am a huge fan of both and there is no doubt that Downie has a talent to tell a story in a poetic way, no doubt that Lemire can set a mood and capture emotions in an expression. There was a safe bet that, from an artistic point of view, Secret Path was going to be a quality product. That it is.

One issue I had with the book, completely unrelated to any of the controversy, is the ridiculous size. Perhaps it's because of the vinyl resurgence, also because the book was released with music, that they made it the same exact dimensions of an album case, but it's an incredibly awkward thing to hold or even to find shelf space for.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Reader's Diary #1443- Mohamed El-Bisatie: A Conversation from the Third Floor

The title of Mohamed El-Bisatie's "A Conversation from the Third Floor" is a more apt description than referring to this as a short story. There's no conflict and it ends more abruptly than it begins.

The conversation in question is between a woman on the ground outside and her husband who speaks from behind the bars of a prison.

For all the abruptness and questionable purpose, it's nonetheless interesting. I think we tend to think of prisons as a drastic left turn in a timeline. The wife and husband in this case try their best (which turns up insufficient at times) to carry on with their domestic life. In that, there's a certain determined attitude, or is it a lack of other ideas? Is the wife, for instance, unwilling to accept the circumstance and move on with her life or does she know any other way forward?

Window by UtahSolitaire, on Flickr

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Reader's Diary #1442- Geoff Johns (writer), various artists: DC Universe Rebirth The Deluxe Edition

Another year, another major event in the world of superheroes. Unlike Marvel's completely misguided and unnecessary Civil War II event of last year however, DC's Rebirth was a bona fide commercial and critical success.

After reading the Deluxe Edition, I'm left wondering if it's just good in comparison  to Civil War II. Of course, for someone like me who only waits to read the trades, it's hard to say if this was the right jumping on point. The title would certainly suggest so, but I was surprised to find how heavily it followed the Wally West version of the Flash. I don't know why I'd be surprised by that, it's not like he's completely absent from the cover art or anything.

It turns out that Wally West had been cast into something called the Speed Force by a villain named Abra Kadabra. The Speed Force apparently is like another dimension. Wally can see his old universe but is forgotten to have ever existed there and is trapped. He spends this book trying to break free, succeeding only briefly to engage with the other superheroes trying to kickstart their memories.

I would have thought that a reboot, or rebirth, would be more inviting to newbies than this. I'm not a newbie (I got the references to the events of Flashpoint, for instance) but far from avid chronological follower, and the amount of history alluded to in this book would definitely be confusing and off-putting for anyone just trying to break in.

I also don't give a flying fart about Wally West and I found him to be an odd character to pin the rebirth on. Maybe he's got a big fan following?

That all said, the one exciting twist (for comic book fans) is that Wally senses a larger and more manipulative presence than Abra Kadabra and it ends with teaser of Alan Moore's old Watchmen characters being folded in.

The art is passable, but lackluster except for the throwbacks to Watchmen.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Reader's Diary #1441- Nathan Edmondson (writer), Phil Noto (artist): Black Widow Volume 1 The Finely Woven Thread

No knock on Scarlet Johansson's portrayal of Black Widow, but I've never been one of those clamouring for a solo movie. Do I think we need more female led superhero films? Absolutely! But I barely saw her as a superhero. Admittedly, I've never been crazy about any non-superpowered superheroes, thinking they sort of defeat the whole purpose (and yes, that includes Batman). But thanks to Edmondson and Noto's comic book take on the character I'm 100% in favour of a solo movie. The thing is? It doesn't really need to be a superhero movie. Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. the Black Widow, isn't a superhero, she's a superspy! And the spy genre has just as poorly a track record when it comes to female protagonists, so it would be perfect.

For source material, the script writers would have to look no further than The Finely Woven Thread. It's an action-packed, globe-trotting tale with just enough character-building. It's clear that Natasha has a dark past that she's atoning for, but she's far, far from broken. And to be fair, Scarlet Johansson has the chops to pull off such a delicate balance.

As a comic, I was blown away. Noto's art is spectacular. Watercolours give Natasha complexity and he has real knack for pacing; detailed, almost breath-taking scenes slow down the story when necessary but he still manages to give action scenes the gravitas and urgency they need. Stylistically, I was reminded of a more lucid version of David Mack (which is not an insult to either artist) and when I rant against generic looking superhero art, theirs is the kind of stuff I long for.

One small complaint: the spider puns. They'd all been done in Spider-Man comics before and were wholly unnecessary and distracting here.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Reader's Diary #1440- Devon Balwit: Down the Road

I think the most brilliant thing about Devon Balwit's flash fiction piece, "Down the Road," is the use of "we" rather than "I." A story about a group witnessing a distraught old man, driving to get his social security cheque, does a brilliant job of showcasing the fear of growing old: loneliness. Right now it's "we," but down the road it might just be "I."

Old man, Barcelona by Fabio Sola Penna, on Flickr

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Reader's Diary #1439- Chris Hastings (writer), Danilo Beyruth (artist): The Unbelieveable Gwenpool Volume 1 Believe It

Two of DC and Marvel's hottest properties right now are the misfits Harley Quinn and Deadpool respectively. Gwenpool is really no more than an amalgam of the two, an attempt to cash in. Gwenpool combines the 4th-wall breaking meta-humour, and well, the name, of Deadpool with the lack of superpowers and well, short shorts, of Harley Quinn. And with both characters she shares a penchant for hyper-violence.

Perhaps the one unique feature is that her 4th wall-breaking is explained. Supposedly, Gwenpool has woken up to find herself in comic book land. As an avid comic book reader she knows the Marvel heroes and villains inside and out, even (to their chagrin) their secrets. Because she doesn't quiet believe any of the action going on around her is real, she carries herself as such. She makes quips about the movie versions, the difference between comic book artists, and so on. It also takes a bit of the edge of her propensity for killing, considering it's all fake to her anyway. Unless she's making them uncomfortable with insider knowledge, those around her just assume she's crazy as a loon.

So, despite some lack of originality, Hastings has nonetheless made an entertaining comic. Beyruth's art isn't particularly inspired either, but Gwenpool has a fun design and the characters are suitably expressive for a humour-based action comic.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Reader's Diary #1438- Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles The Ultimate Collection Vol. 1

I was not into the animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a kid but don't recall precisely why. Perhaps they just came a bit too late. First airing in 1987, I would have been approaching 11, maybe a bit too old. Still, between the movies, video games, and merchandising, they've certainly been hard to avoid.

I have for the longest time been curious about the comics that started it all off. I'd heard that they were grittier and cooler. So, finally getting my hands on this collection, I can understand the appeal.

I don't think they were that gritty, but sure, there's a bit of bloody violence here or there. They are funny and cool though. A pleasant surprise was the great art. Thick inky lines, lots of shading and details, and consistent style; I was not surprised to Dave Sim and Frank Miller listed as influences. I could also see Robert Crumb in there.

The stories were fast paced and interesting, though I did enjoy the early ones that were set in New York rather than outer space. The grimy art was better suited for the streets and the ninja monsters who lurk in the shadows and the sewers made more sense (from a comic book perspective, of course).

Monday, January 16, 2017

Reader's Diary #1437- Chika Unigwe: The Smell of Home

If you've every contemplated how unfair it is that some of the most beautiful places on Earth also have the worst poverty, worst corruption, and so on, the protagonist in Chika Unigwe's "The Smell of Home" suggests it's God's way of providing balance in the world. As in, no one gets complete paradise, no one gets complete hell.

If you've assumed this is a political story, it is. Though the case is made that in Nigeria everything is politics. But surprisingly there's also an uplifting love story that emerges. It's quite beautiful really.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Reader's Diary #1436- Kate Leth (writer), Brittney L. Williams (artist): Patsy Walker AKA HellCat! Hooked on a Feline Vol. 1

First diving into Hellcat! Hooked on a Feline I was taken aback. My only knowledge of Patsy Walker prior to this collection was through Netflix's Jessica Jones. If you've seen that show (or Luke Cage or Daredevil) you'll note that, despite traces of humour here or there, it's the more serious side of the MCU. It's all gritty-stuff. So I was expecting the same.

In hindsight, the pun in the title and the bright, cartoony cover should have made it more obvious what I'd be getting. And after looking a little more into it, I understand what Kate Leth had set out to do and it was largely based on Patsy Walker's history in Marvel Comics. It seems that she began in a teen rom-com series back in the 50s (without having read it myself, it sounds like an Archie sort of thing). Later, however, she became more integrated into traditional superhero stories. I believe Leth had be trying to balance the two.

For the most part, I'd say she succeeded. The romance stuff certainly isn't a big focus, but the comedy is, though there's plenty of action as well. There's a lot of great cameos (She-Hulk, Valkyrie, and yes, Jessica Jones) and some pretty unique villains (there's one guy who can control bed bugs-- um, ew?). Patsy herself is confident, open-minded, and positive (even when she seems to have a lot of strikes against her at times). I was never quite clear on what age she was supposed to be though...

Brittney L. Williams' art really fits the mood of the stories, bright and whimsical, plus with a lot of manga style incorporated throughout to set it apart from a lot of generic superhero art.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Reader's Diary #1435- Various artists and writers: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and the Great Lakes Avengers

I've already determined that I'm a Squirrel Girl fan but I cannot say that I knew a hill of beans about the Great Lakes Avengers, so when I heard there was a compilation of Squirrel Girl's time with the group, it seemed like the perfect time to educate myself.

Given the general oddness of Squirrel Girl, the Great Lakes Avengers turned out to be a great fit. The other members include Big Bertha (whose superpower sees her able to become supremely obese), Doorman (who can teleport himself or others but just over very short distances, like the next room), Mr. Immortal (who can die, but comes immediately back to life), Flatman (who is two dimensional, can stretch, and if he turns sideways, can disappear), and Dinah Soar (a pink humanoid with a dinosaur looking head and wings and the ability to fly). For a short time Deadpool is also a member.

It's a rather ragtag team who gets no respect at all, mostly due to their less than stellar abilities. Of course this is played for comic relief but nonetheless they're a likeable collection, if for nothing else than their ambition. They know where they stand, they're not delusional, but they desperately want to be superheroes anyway. And they look out for one another. Well, maybe not so much Deadpool. But he, with his dark humour is contrasted hilariously with Squirrel Girl's lighter quirkiness. She'll only ever refer to him as "you evil, evil man!"

It's a great premise really. I've often wondered why all the mutants and inhumans in Marvel lore always wound up with super useful skills. What about waking up one morning to discover that you can turn your skin blue on command? Or create a tiny flame out of your pinky finger? The Great Lakes Avengers aren't that pathetic, of course, but still the idea is there.

Like all collections of course, it's a little inconsistent. Some art is better than others, some stories are better than others, but for the most part it's a fun ride and everyone seemed to get what made the characters so special.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Reader's Diary #1434- Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes (writers), Mikel Janin (artist): Justice League Dark Volume 3 The Death of Magic

While Justice League Dark remains my favourite part of DC Comics, I couldn't help but feel that this volume was less than a sum of its parts.

Undeniably there are some cool, creative ideas here, especially in the first science versus magic arc. Besides the intriguing premise, the main characters get the fan-boy treatment, seeing them have fundamental character traits flipped on their heads. Normally sexy Black Orchid is turned into a purple beast, Deadman is alive (albeit temporarily), forever youthful Madame Xanadu is aging rapidly, and John Constantine (adding the most comic relief) cannot lie. In the second arc, Horror City, the House of Mystery is stolen, and Swamp Thing is called in to help find it. Being a huge Swamp Thing fan, this was most welcomed.Tracing it to New York, it seems that the House is now being used to plague the city with nightmare creatures, creatures literally crafted from nightmares. The Flash also shows to help, and though I like the Flash, I hate it when the regular Justice Leaguers encroach upon this world. It also seems like a publisher's directive, like they don't have faith that Justice League Dark can sell enough comics without a cameo from the more recognizable brand names.

In any case, it was more the rushed story telling that took away from my enjoyment. Especially with the first arc, it felt to build, build, build, and boom, it was over. Certain characters and plot lines never wound up getting developed and the resolution was underwhelming.

Again though, I really like these characters, and even a weaker JLD story is better than a JL story.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Reader's Diary #1433- Björnstjerne Björnson: The Father

Björnstjerne Bjornson's "The Father" has a peculiar style that, knowing it is a translation, makes me wonder if the original Norwegian felt quite the same. The titular father, Thord, makes a curious request of a priest, than a few short, clipped sentences later, time has elapsed, and this repeats again 3 more times. It all feels rather rapid and impatient to get to a moral.

It's like a parable, I suppose, although perhaps its the presence of a priest that has implanted that idea in my head. I take it as a lesson in pride, even pride over ones' children.

Dokka Church by Marcus Ramberg, on Flickr

Saturday, January 07, 2017

The Once - Tell Me Something I Don't Know

I almost never post non-reading related stuff here, but this gorgeous video by The Once shows my childhood home and well, now I missing it.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Reader's Diary #1432- Alan Moore (writer), Stephen Bissette and John Totleben (artists): Saga of the Swamp Thing Book One

You'd never know it from how many Alan Moore comics I've wound up reading, but I don't consider myself a huge fan. I don't usually dislike his work, but I have found him to be self-indulgent at times and always overrated. But, thanks to Scott Snyder I am a fan of Swamp Thing. Of course, anyone who knows anything about the character knows that it is Alan Moore that first made the character such a critical success and so I jumped into the swamp and hoped for the best.

Yes, I am still a fan of Swamp Thing. His stories seem so much more complex and existential and horrific than typical superhero fare. It's odd: these books I don't find particularly scary when I read them, but something about the monstrous images and story lines never ceases to wreak havoc on the primordial parts of my psyche. They give me nightmares, in other words. But if a book touches me like that, I have to respect the hell out of it.

Moore's Swamp Thing plots aren't, overall, as good as Snyder's, but there are a lot of great lines and  he does infuse the creature with complex characterization. Likewise, the art is not as good as Yanick Paquette's work for Snyder, but some of that, admittedly is due to the production value. Moore's work was published on cheaper news print and therefore everything looks flat and the garish 80s colours didn't help. Snyder's book was glossy and rich in colour.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Reader's Diary #1431- Carl Barks: Uncle Scrooge "Only a Poor Old Man"

In 1987 the three inaugural inductees into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame, the crème de la crème of comic book awards, were Will Eisner himself, Jack Kirby (the artist behind a plethora of the most well-known superheroes), and Carl Barks. From a 2017 perspective, the artist behind Disney's Uncle Scrooge comics might seem like the odd-man out.

Looking at the best selling comic book characters of all time, however, you would quickly learn that while Disney's contributions to comics were once nothing to scoff at. And leading the pack, in terms of both popular and critical success was Carl Barks. Primarily Barks took on the duck line. Yes, he also did Donald comics, and Donald is arguably the more remembered character due to the animated version, but Uncle Scrooge comics is where Barks shone. Today you'll still find creative types ranging from George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg to Jeff Kinney citing Barks and Uncle Scrooge comics as an influence.

Wishing to explore more of the early days of the medium, I was finally able to find a collection of Barks' Uncle Scrooge comics in a great comics book store in Vancouver. Collected by Fantagraphics in 2012, it reprints the best of his classic 1950s run, including such memorable tales as "Only a Poor Old Man" and "Back to the Klondike."

Last year I reviewed Yusuke Murata's One-Punch Man Vol. 1, enjoying it enough but skeptical that the series could sustain itself when seeming revolving around a single premise. Wouldn't it wear thin? Now after seeing Barks' success with a similarly limited premise, I'm a bit more optimistic.

Uncle Scrooge, of course, doesn't defeat all of his enemies with one punch, but all the stories have just two essential plots: Scrooge must keep his money or, less common, Scrooge must make more money. It's almost amazing that such great adventures can arise from such basic constructs.

Yet arise they do. Blending humour with a multitude of genres from western to sci-fi to fantasy, these are wildly entertaining plot-based stories. On the flip-side of that, of course, there's not a lot of character building. Huey, Dewey, and Louie literally speak with one voice and Donald is surprisingly patient throughout. Uncle Scrooge himself has slightly more depth. You suspect he has a nicer side for Donald and his nephews to be so loyal to him and there are rare glimpses into his past and his motivations.

The art is great with highly expressive characters and attention is always paid to the background details.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Reader's Diary #1430- Madeleine Thien: 10^80 Pieces

When we were kids, before Canada Post started doing the H0H 0H0 postal code to get letters to Santa, my sister and I were told to throw our letters into the wood stove. Miraculously the ashes would blow up the chimney and to the North Pole where they'd reform into a letter for the red man himself. I've not encountered many others who had similar traditions growing up but I have to suspect it wasn't just a clever way of my parents to declutter the house pre-Christmas but somehow tied to the 2500 year old custom referred to by Madeleine Thien in the introduction to her short story "10^80 Pieces:"
The burning of paper offerings is a 2,500 year old tradition, built on the hope that if one burns paper money and gifts to one’s loved ones, they will receive them in the afterlife and put them to use.
In this case, however, the offerings are not received by Santa, but rather one Hafith al Bareed, basically a post office master in the afterlife. It is said the pieces of mail that he's handled numbers upwards of 10^80 or the approximate number of atoms in the universe. Of course, this doesn't make any sense without accepting the metaphysical or at the very least that the story is meant as a parable of sorts.

In this sense, "10^80 Pieces" reminded me of Jorge Luis Borges' "The Library of Babel" but I'm not sure it comes together in the end quite as well. Still, an interesting story to be sure.

Burning letters by RosiePosieTosie, on Flickr

Sunday, January 01, 2017

The 10th Canadian Book Challenge - The Halfway Point!

Happy New Year everyone! Thank-you to everyone who have signed on for the 10th anniversary of the Canadian Book Challenge and have helped make it a true celebration of Canadian writing.

As new years inevitably bring new surprises, I would like to offer my own: I have asked MELWYK (of The Indextrious Reader) to take over the Canadian Book Challenge starting this July, and she graciously accepted! You will be in excellent hands for this transition as she is an avid book blogger and librarian and has been a long time participant herself.Thank-you so much Melwyk!

In the meantime, you've got me for another 6 months and on that note, I bring you the halfway point recap. Some impressive variety once again and I'm very happy to see the increase in indigenous writing.

Abbott, Victoria
- The Wolfe Widow (RIEDEL Fascination)

Ahlers, Sonja
- Fatal Distraction (Pooker)

Alexie, Robert Arthur
- Porcupines and China Dolls (Buried in Print)

Alexis, Andre
- The Hidden Keys (Melwyk)

Anand, Madhur
- A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes (Melwyk)

Anderson-Dargatz, Gail
- The Cure for Death by Lightning (Eric)
- A Recipe for Bees (Irene)
- The Spawning Grounds (Heather, Melwyk, Irene)

Andrew, Suzanne Alyssa
- Circle of Stones (Pooker)

Armstrong, Kelley
- Betrayals (Jules)
- City of the Lost (Jules)
- The Gathering (Nicola)
- Led Astray (Irene)
- Omens (Irene)

Ashby, Madeline
- Company Town (Melwyk)

Atwood, Margaret
- Angel Catbird illustrated by Johnnie Christmas (John, Melwyk, Kate)
- Hag-Seed (Melwyk, MaryR)
- The Heart Goes Last (Kate, Irene)
- The Robber Bride (MaryR)

Awad, Mona
- 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl (Kate, Melwyk)

Barclay, Linwood
- Broken Promise (Shonna)
- Far From True (Shonna)
- Too Close to Home (Lisa N)
- The Twenty-Three (Teena)

Barwin, Gary
- Yiddish for Pirates (Kate)

Beck, Leslie
- Heart Healthy Foods for Life (Irene)

Birney, Earle
One Muddy Hand (Eric)

Blair, Peggy
- Umbrella Man (Melwyk)

Blais, Marie-Claire
- Tete Blanche (Melwyk)
- These Festive Nights (Irene)

Blondal, Patricia
- A Candle to Light the Sun (Mysteries and More)

Boone, Ezekial
- The Hatching (Luanne)

Bowering, George
- Burning Water (Eric)

Boyden, Joseph
- Wenjack (Kate)

Bozak, Nadia
- Thirteen Shells (Melwyk)

Bracuk, Diane
- Middle-Age Boys and Girls (Melwyk)

Bradley, Alan
- A Red Herring Without Mustard (Mysteries and More)
- Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd (Nicola, Luanne, Melwyk)

Britt, Fanny
- Jane, the fox and me illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault (Melwyk, Irene)

The Canadian Press
- Canada's Olympic Diary (Irene)

Castree, Genevieve
- Susceptible (John)

Cho, Michael
- Shoplifter (Lisa N)

Choi, Ann
- Kay's Lucky Coin Variety (Eric)

Choy, Wayson
- The Jade Peony (John)

Clark, Sally
- Moo (John)

Cliff, Tony
- Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant (Pussreboots)

Code, Devon
- In a Mist (John)

Cohen, Marina
- The Inn Between (Pussreboots)

Cohen, Leonard
- Beautiful Losers (Eric)

Coyote, Ivan
- Tomboy Survival Guide (Melwyk)

Cusk, Rachel
- Transit (Shonna)

Daher, Anita
- Itty Bitty Bits (Pooker)

Dandurand, Anne
- Deathly Delights (Melwyk)

de Castell, Sebastien
- Saint's Blood (Swordsman)

de la Roche, Mazo
- The Master of Jalna (Pussreboots)

de Lint, Charles
- The Blue Girl (Barb in BC)

Dion, Lise
- Secret of the Blue Trunk (Melwyk)

Donoghue, Emma
- The Wonder (Melwyk)

Downie, Gord
- Coke Machine Glow (Eric)
- Secret Path illustrated by Jeff Lemire (Kate)

Dumont, Dawn
- Rose's Run (Melwyk)

Dupre, Louise
- Memoria (Melwyk)

Dvorkin, Gary
- Ransom's Voice (Pooker)

Eagan, Rachel
- What Do I Want? What Do I Need? (Irene)

Echlin, Kim
- Inanna (Irene)

Eddie, Christine
- The Douglas Notebooks (Melwyk)

Emery, Anne
- Lament for Bonnie (Melwyk)

Epperly, Elizabeth Rollins
Imagining Anne (Melwyk)

Fernandez, Vince
- Little Sister (Swordsman)

Fields, Leslie Leyland
- Crossing the Waters (Irene)

Findley, Timothy
- You Went Away (Raidergirl)

Foster, Dorothy (editor)
- In Praise of Cats (RIEDEL Fascination)

Fox, Michael J.
- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future (RIEDEL Fascination)

Fradkin, Barbara
- Fire in the Stars (Melwyk)

Fraser, Frances
- The Bear Who Stole the Chinook: And Other Stories (RIEDEL Fascination)

Fu, Kim
- For Today I Am a Boy (Pussreboots)

Gadd, Ben
- The Canadian Hiker's and Backpacker's Handbook (Irene)

Gallant, Mavis
- Home Truths (Melwyk)

George, Kallie
- The Lost Gift illustrated by Stephanie Graegin (Luanne)

Goldstone, Gabriele
- Red Stone (Shonna)

Gonsalves, Rob
- Imagine a World (Pussreboots)

Gordon, Alison
- Safe at Home (Mysteries and More)

Gordon, Mary
- Roots of Empathy (Irene)

Gosselin, Laura and Jake
- The Pinkaboos: Belladona and the Nightmare Academy illustrated by Billy Kelly (Nicola)
- The Pinkaboos: Bitterly and the Giant Problem illustrated by Billy Kelly (Nicola)

Goyette, Sue
- The Brief Reincarnation of a Girl (Kate)

Greer, Darren
- Advocate (Teena)

Grimaldi, Jeremy
- A Daughter's Deadly Deception (Teena)

Guay-Poliquin, Christian
- Running on Fumes (Melwyk)

Hadfield, Chris
- The Darkest Dark illustrated by The Fan Brothers (Heather)

Hamilton, Ian
- The Scottish Banker of Surabaya (Mysteries and More)

Hamilton, Lyn
- Etruscan Chimera (RIEDEL Fascination)

Harnois, Suzanne
- The Perfect Woman (Melwyk)

Harrison, Teva
- In-Between Days (Melwyk, John)

Heine, William C.
- The Swordsman (Barb in BC)

Helmer, Marilyn
- That's What Bears are For (RIEDEL Fascination)

Hicks, Faith Erin
- The Nameless City (Pussreboots)

Hill, Lawrence
- The Book of Negroes (Eric)
- The Illegal (Kate)

Holdstock, Paula
- The Hunter and the Wild Girl (Melwyk)

Hopkinson, Nalo
- Falling in Love with Hominids (Melwyk)

Hosking, Jay
- Three Years with the Rat (Nicola)

Howgate, Bernie
- Journey Through Labrador (Pooker)

Hughes, Clara
- Open Heart, Open Mind (Melwyk)

Hutchins, Donna and Nigel
- The Maple Leaf Forever (Irene)

Jepsen, Tim
- Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies (Irene)

Jones, Amy
- We're All in This Together (Pooker, Teena, Melwyk)

Jones, Gordon K.
- Defending the Inland Shores (Teena, Swordsman)

Jordan-Fenton, Christy and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
Fatty Legs (Pooker)

Joseph, Eve
- In the Slender Margin (Irene)

Kaur, Rupi
- Milk and Honey (Melwyk)

Khan, Ausma Zehanat
- The Language of Secrets (Melwyk)

Kearsley, Susanna
- The Rose Garden (Irene)

Keating, Jess
- How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel (Pussreboots)

Kilbourne, Christina
- Detached (Teena)

Kindzierski, Lovern
- Shame illustrated by John Bolton (Nicola)

Kingsmill, Suzanne F.
- Crazy Dead (Nicola)

King, James
- Inward Journey (Irene)
- Jack: A Life with Writers (Mysteries and More)

King, Thomas
- The Inconvenient Indian (Kate)

Kinsella, W. P.
- Dance Me Outside (Pooker)

Kirby, Peter
- Open Season (Mysteries and More, Melwyk)

Kishkan, Theresa
- Winter Wren (Pooker)

Kroft, Michael
- On Herring Cove Road (Teena)

Kutsukake, Lynne
- The Translation of Love (Melwyk, Irene)

Laboucane-Benson, Patti
The Outside Circle illustrated by Kelly Mellings (John, Irene, Pooker)

Lapena, Shari
- The Couple Next Door (Luanne, Nicola, Melwyk)

Larsen, Sonja
- Red Star Tattoo (Melwyk)

Larson, Jonarno
Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box illustrated by Alec Dempster (Shonna)

Laukkanen, Owen
- Kill Fee (Teena)

Lawson, Julie
- White Jade Tiger (Teena)

Leach, Maria
- The Thing at the Foot of the Bed and Other Stories (Nicola)

Lee, Jen Sookfong
- The Conjoined (Melwyk, Irene)

Lemire, Jeff
- Descender Vol. 1 Tin Stars illustrated by Dustin Nguyen (Lisa N)
- Justice League Dark Vol. 2 The Books of Magic illustrated by Mikel Janin (John)
- The Underwater Welder (Pussreboots)

Leroux, Catherine
- The Party Wall (Melwyk)

Lindberg, Tracey
- Birdie (BuriedInPrint)

Lloyd, Tanya
- Niagara (RIEDEL Fascination)

Lunn, Janet and Christopher Moore
- The Story of Canada (Irene)

MacDonald, D. R.
- Lauchlin of the Bad Heart (Shonna)

MacLennan, Hugh
- Voices in Time (Eric)

MacLeod, Elizabeth and Sydney Smith
- Canada Year by Year (Teena)

MacPherson, Charles
- The Butler Speaks (Teena)

Maharaj, Rabindranath
- The Amazing Absorbing Boy (Irene)

Maine, Sarah
- The House Between Tides (Luanne)

Major, Alice
- Standard Candles (Melwyk, Irene)

Mandel, Elizabeth St. John
- Last Night in Montreal (Jules)

Manuel, Pte. A. W.
- A Boy From Botwood (Teena, Swordsman)

Marlatt, Daphne
- Liquidities (Eric)

Marsen, William
- Fool's Rule (Irene)

Martinez, Buck
- Change Up (Swordsman)

Mayr, Suzette
- The Widows (Melwyk)

McFetridge, John
- One or the Other (Melwyk)

McKay, Ami
- The Witches of New York (Luanne)

McLean, Stuart (editor)
When We Were Young (Irene)

McMillan, Rachel
- The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder (Melwyk)

McMillen, R. J.
- Green River Falling (Shonna)

Michaels, Anne
- The Adventures of Miss Petitfour illustrated by Emma Block (Melwyk)

Millar, Margaret
- An Air That Kills (Melwyk)

Montgomery, Lucy Maud
- Mistress Pat (Melwyk)
- Pat of Silver Bush (Melwyk)
- Rilla of Ingleside (Raidergirl)

Moreno-Garcia, Silvia
- Certain Dark Things (Corey)

Morrissey, Donna
- The Fortunate Brother (Melwyk)

Motter, Dean
- Mister X: The Modern Age (Nicola)
- Terminal City illustrated by Michael Lark and Mark Chiarello (Nicola)

Munro, Jane
- Blue Sonoma (Irene)
- Dear Life Stories (Irene)

Murphy, Angela C.
- Bathroom Book of Canadian Trivia (RIEDEL Fascination)

Naked, Bif
- I, Bificus (Melwyk)

Nappaaluk, Mitiarjuk
- Sanaaq (Melwyk)

Nason, Riel
- All the Things We Leave Behind (Melwyk)

Neuvel, Sylvain
- Sleeping Giants (Melwyk)

Nichol, Barbara
- Beethoven Lives Upstairs illustrated by Scott Cameron (RIEDEL Fascination)

Nicholson, Hope (editor)
- Moonshot (Buried in Print)

Nicole, Rebekah
- The Crashes of Waves (Ittybittyturtlepiggy)

Niedzviecki, Hal
- Trees on Mars (Irene)

North, Ryan
- The Best of Dinosaur Comics 2003-2005 (John)

O'Malley, Bryan Lee
- Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life (Pussreboots)
- Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (Pussreboots)

Orchard, Eric
- Bera the One Headed Troll (Nicola)

Osborne, Louise
- The Satan Stone (RIEDEL Fascination)

Osgood, Lawrence
- Midnight Sun (John)

Palahniuk, Chuck
- Fight Club 2 illustrated by Cameron Stewart (John)

Palka, Kurt
- The Piano Maker (Irene)

Palmisano, Richard
- Overshadows (RIEDEL Fascination)

Patterson, Freeman
- Photography of Natural Things (Pussreboots)

Patterson, Pat
- Accepted (Teena)

Peacock, Shane
- The Dark Missions of Edgar Brimm (Nicola)
- Double You (Nicola)

Penny, Louise
- The Brutal Telling (Lisa N, Pooker)
- Bury Your Dead (Lisa N)
- Dead Cold (RIEDEL Fascination)
- A Great Reckoning (Mysteries and More)
- The Hangman (Lisa N)
- The Nature of the Beast (MaryR)
- Still Life (RIEDEL Fascination)

Petterson, Genevieve
- The Goddess of Fireflies (Melwyk)

Phillips, Kevin
- The Bologna Cookbook (Swordsman)

Pool, Annelies
- Free Love (John)

Poulin, Jacques
- English is Not a Magic Language (Melwyk)
- Translation is a Love Affair (Melwyk)

Price, Stephen
- By Gaslight (Nicola)

Proulx, Monique
- Aurora Montrealis (Melwyk)

Pryde, Duncan
- Nunaga (John)

Quarrington, Paul
- Whale Music (Eric)

Rainfield, Cheryl
- Scars (Darlene, Teena)

Reichs, Kathy
- Bones Never Lie (MaryR)
- Deja Dead (RIEDEL Fascination)
- Seizure (Heather)

Reid, Iain
- I'm Thinking of Ending Things (Melwyk)

Reynolds, John Lawrence
 - A Murder for Max (Nicola)

Rivers, Karen
- The Girl in the Well is Me (Pussreboots)

Roberts, Jillian
- What Happens When a Loved One Dies (Irene)

Robertson, David Alexander
- The Ballad of Shawnadithit illustrated by Scott B. Henderson (John)
- Sugar Falls by Scott B. Henderson (John)

Robinson, Eden
- Monkey Beach (Pussreboots)

Robinson, Gillian (Editor)
- Isuma: Inuit Studies Reader (Pooker)

Robinson, Peter
- When the Music's Over (Luanne)

Ross, Sinclair
- As for Me and My House (Eric)

Ross, W. E. D.
- The Haunted Garden (RIEDEL Fascination)

Roy, Gabrielle
- Street of Riches (Melwyk)
- Where Nests the Water Hen (Sharon)

Sands, Kevin
- The Blackthorn Key (Pussreboots)

Saucier, Jocelyn
Twenty-One Cardinals (Melwyk, Irene)

Savage, Doug
- Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy (Nicola)

Sawyer, Robert J.
- Flashforward (John)

Scarrow, Kristine
- If This is Home (Teena)

Schoemperlen, Diane
- This is Not My Life (Teena, Melwyk)

Scrimger, Richard
- The Wolf and Me (Nicola)

Seesequasis, Paul
- Tobacco Wars (Buried in Print)

Shadd, Adrienne
- The Journey from Tollgate to Parkway (Teena)

Shaw-MacKinnon, Margaret
- Tiktala illustrated by Laszlo Gal (RIEDEL Fascination)

Shields, Carol
- Dressing Up For the Carnival (Eric)
- Unless (Eric)

Shields, Carol and Patrick Crowe
- Susanna Moodie: Roughing it in the Bush illustrated by Selena Goulding (Nicola

Smith, Larry
- No Fears, No Excuses (Melwyk)

Sprigg, Cindy
- Is It a Ghost Story You Want? (RIEDEL Fascination)

Steele, Peter
- The Man Who Mapped the Arctic (John)

St. James, Simone
- Lost Among the Living (Shonna, Irene)
- Silence for the Dead (RIEDEL Fascination)

Swingle, Mari K.
- i-Minds (Irene)

Sylvester, Kevin
- Neil Flambe and the Marco Polo Murders (Heather)

Taitz, Jennifer L.
- End Emotional Eating (Irene)

Taylor, Drew Hayden
- Take Us To Your Chief (Melwyk)

Taylor, Kate
- Serial Monogamy (Melwyk)

Teevee, Ningeokuluk
- Alego (Melwyk, Irene)

Thibault, Vincent
- Parkour and the Art of Deplacement (Nicola)

Thien, Madeleine
- Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Melwyk)

Thuy, Kim
- Ru (Melwyk)

Timmer, Julie Lawson
- Untethered (Shonna)

Torres, J.
- Jinx illustrated by Rick Burchett (John)

Toten, Teresa
- The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B (Heather)

Trahair, David
- The Procrastinator's Guide to Retirement (Irene)

Tremblay, Michel
- The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant (John)

Tucker, Heather
- Clay Girl (Melwyk)

Van Camp, Richard
- Angel Wing Splash Pattern (BuriedInPrint)
- A Blanket of Butterflies illustrated by Scott B. Henderson (John)

Vardey, Linda and John Dalla Costs
- Being Generous (Irene)

Vassanji, M. G.
- Nostalgia (Melwyk)

Vermette, Katherena
- The Break (Melwyk)

Viva, Frank
- Sea Change (Pussreboots)

Vo, Dzung X.
- The Mindful Teen (Irene)

Watt, Erin
- The Paper Princess (Heather)

Watterson, Bill
- Yukon Ho! (John)

Wees, Frances Shelley
- The Keys of My Prison (Melwyk)

Whittall, Zoe
- The Best Kind of People (Buried in Print, Melwyk)

Wiebe, Kurtis J.
- Rat Queens Vol. 1 Sass and Sorcery illustrated by Roc Upchurch (John)

Wiebe, Sam
- Invisible Dead (Teena, Melwyk, Mysteries and More)
- Last of the Independents (Teena)

Williamson, Dave
- Dating (Pooker)

Wilson, Eric
- The Inuk Mountie Adventure (RIEDEL Fascination)

Wilson, Robert Charles 
- The Affinities (Melwyk, Irene)
- Last Year (Melwyk)

Wolfe, Inger Ash
- The Night Bell (Melwyk)

Wynne-Jones, Tim
- Zoom Upstream illustrated by Eric Beddows (RIEDEL Fascination)

Yahgulanaas, Michael Nicoll
- Red: A Haid Manga (John)

York, Alissa
- The Naturalist (Melwyk)

Yoshimaru, Abe
- Shaku of Wondrous Grace (RIEDEL Fascination)

Young, Huguette
- Justin Trudeau: The Natural Heir (Teena, Irene)

Young, Scott
- Murder in a Cold Climate (Heather)

Zdarsky, Chip
- Jughead Volume One illustrated by Erica Henderson (John)

Zipp, Steve
- Yellowknife (Eric)

Zorn, Alice
- Five Roses (Melwyk)