What Canadian Literature Are You Reading in 2015?

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What Canadian Literature Are You Reading in 2015?

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jan 8, 2015, 3:08 pm

I've just started Sweetland by Michael Crummey, which was a Christmas gift.

jan 10, 2015, 7:34 pm

Sweetland has been on my TBR list for ages. I just finished Adult Onset by Ann-Marie MacDonald, and only sort of enjoyed it. I like her writing and I loved these characters, but this book needed better editing, in my opinion.

jan 11, 2015, 12:58 pm

I'm reading Feed My Dear Dogs by Emma Richler which I am enjoying. The young girl narrator reminds me of Flavia de Luce.

jan 16, 2015, 10:01 am

Landing by Emma Donoghue is next up.

jan 16, 2015, 12:29 pm

Recently finished Cockroach, by Rawi Hage. It was dark and grim, but there was a sense of humour to it.

jan 22, 2015, 8:51 pm

Walt by Russell Wangersky. It's a creepy little read set in St Johns. I adored his short story collection last year, and he writes a column each week in my newspaper.

jan 23, 2015, 3:46 pm

It took me a long time to read Feed My Dear Dogs but I did enjoy it. Now I am reading My October which is also set in La Belle Province. It has to do with a high school boy with a francophone father and anglophone mother who is found with a handgun at school. Echoes of the October crisis keep showing up.

jan 24, 2015, 3:13 pm

Just finished Cipher by John Jantunen, a sharp and smart crime novel that somehow has been misidentified as a YA book. (My copy has a Young Adult - Fiction label on the back and someone here has tagged it as a teen book without reading it ... it ain't YA, and the publisher doesn't call it such. Somehow, Canadian small presses seem to end up having this metadata problem.) Revolves around a former high-school football star who finds himself dragged into a story of murder, mayhem, and arson.

jan 28, 2015, 8:18 pm

Just finished a beautifully written book that I just loved: Linden MacIntyre's memoir - Causeway: A Passage From Innocence.

jan 31, 2015, 1:50 pm

I really enjoyed The Emperor of Paris by C.S. Richardson, which in retrospect spent far too long on the TBR shelves.

I'm now reading Shelby by Pete McCormack

Redigeret: feb 11, 2015, 7:00 pm

The Canterbury Trail by Angie Abdou. My book club's read for this month, and a book that I disliked at the beginning but was really enjoying by the middle.

feb 11, 2015, 9:04 pm

Just finished reading The Sisters Brothers which won the GG for English literature in 2011. It's a strange book and not my cup of tea. Also nominated that same year for the GG was Half-Blood Blues which I liked much better so I guess the awards committee and I don't have the same tastes.

feb 12, 2015, 8:35 am

I'm reading Martin Sloane by Michael Redhill.

feb 12, 2015, 1:36 pm

Bookclub was last night and we're doing a year of "Canadian only" reads which is how the bookclub started over 30 years ago. Anyway we read February by Lisa Moore winner of the 2013 CBC Canada Reads debate. The anniversary of the Newfoundland oil rig disaster is coming up on Valentine's day. There was a very interesting discussion about the "winning" process and then of course the "losing" process. How can these books be compared one over the other? It is good though as it drums up lots of interest and discussion concerning Canadian books.

feb 13, 2015, 2:20 am

A fun,light read; I'm a fan of this series: As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley.

feb 13, 2015, 8:38 am

mdoris, there is a thread for CBC Canada Reads Fans....join us!

feb 13, 2015, 8:26 pm

Thanks Lynn, starred and up and running!

feb 21, 2015, 5:00 pm

Lovelie D'Haïti by Sylvain Meunier for Black History Month

Redigeret: feb 23, 2015, 4:53 pm

When Everything Feels like the Movies by Raziel Reid, a Canada Reads contender.

And, I'm re-reading Ru by Kim Thuy.

Finally, I'm completing my Canada Reads marathon with And the Birds Rained Down by Jocelyne Saucier.

mar 12, 2015, 4:16 pm

A lovely read, as usual for this author: The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys.

mar 16, 2015, 3:36 am

mar 19, 2015, 7:46 am

This will be a great reading day! I'm starting Adult Onset by Anne-Marie MacDonald.

Redigeret: mar 24, 2015, 4:32 am

The Damned, a horror story by Andrew Pyper

mar 24, 2015, 7:59 am

I'm reading a true-crime novel: Blue Moon by James King.

mar 24, 2015, 4:44 pm

Reading Terry Fallis's most recent novel, No Relation.

mar 26, 2015, 9:00 pm

Walt by Russell Wangersky

mar 26, 2015, 10:47 pm

Just finished Jaguar's Children by John Vaillant. It was wonderful.

mar 29, 2015, 5:26 pm

I finished Fall by Colin McAdam which I really enjoyed for both the writing and the Ottawa setting (it's fun to recognise all the landmarks!). The story was good too but very reminiscent of The Talented Mr Ripley.

mar 29, 2015, 6:22 pm

I really enjoyed for both the writing and the Ottawa setting (it's fun to recognise all the landmarks!).

I like that in a book too. I'm currently reading Asylum: a mystery, which is set in Montreal, and has fabulous Montreal detail. More than I can appreciate, since I was only there for a few days. But it's making me realize it's time for another visit.

mar 29, 2015, 8:37 pm

Alone in the Classroom by Elizabeth Hay. I am re-reading it as I suggested it for bookclub and it's very fabulous the second time around too.

mar 29, 2015, 8:43 pm

Strange Heaven by Lynn Coady, I picked it up at a book sale a while ago.

>26 LynnB: What did you think of Walt?

mar 30, 2015, 9:55 am

I really liked Walt. It's a character-driven page-turner, and very well written. I was drawn into the story of what Walt said...and didn't say.

apr 1, 2015, 8:31 am

I'm reading Frog Music by Emma Donoghue

apr 3, 2015, 7:55 pm

I'm reading The Demonologist. A little disappointed it's set in the States rather than Canada, but it's a good thriller.

apr 6, 2015, 8:05 am

Currently reading a memoir about WW11 by Farley Mowat, And No Birds Sang.

apr 6, 2015, 8:07 am

31 and 32 - I think I read Walt after raidergirl and I enjoyed it, but not as much as raidergirl . I think I gave it 3. 5 stars.

apr 6, 2015, 8:34 am

Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro

apr 17, 2015, 9:23 am

apr 20, 2015, 12:43 am

Currently reading
Leaving Tomorrow by David Bergen and very much enjoying it so far.

apr 24, 2015, 8:46 pm

I've read Elle by Douglas Glover, Watch How We Walk by Jennifer LoveGrove and am currently reading The River Burns by Trevor Ferguson. CanLit is the best!

apr 26, 2015, 8:32 am

@40 LynnB - I just loved Watch How We Walk . A dark but fabulous read!

apr 27, 2015, 7:15 pm

I really liked it, too, vancouverdeb. Now, I'm starting Sweet Jesus by Christine Pountney

apr 29, 2015, 8:51 am

Highly recommend Into the Blizzard: Walking the Fields of the Newfoundland Dead by Michael Winter. Poignant, tragic, informative sometimes humorous- a memoir based on the writer's following the path of the Newfoundland regiment's movements and participation in WWI and his thoughts about the losses and the aftermath.

maj 12, 2015, 10:56 am

@43 I found this quite compelling. The combination of the personal and the historical really worked to draw me into the story.

I'm currently dabbling in Rhonda Douglas's story collection, Welcome to the Circus which strikes me as "just right". The stories do not always have circus-appropriate endings, but they feel like the exact right endings for the stories and I love that feeling.

maj 14, 2015, 7:47 am

maj 17, 2015, 11:54 pm

I'm about to start The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O'Neill, which I got for Mother's Day.

maj 18, 2015, 10:49 pm

Watch How We Walk by Jennifer LoveGrove. Really good, dark but excellent writing.

maj 19, 2015, 7:55 am

ted, I liked that one, too. The Children Act by Ian McEwan also features a JW family who are refusing a blood transfusion for their 17 year old son.

maj 22, 2015, 5:25 pm

@48. I've just requested the Ian McEwan novel from my library, Lynn. I'm hit and miss when it comes to that author-sometimes I love his books, sometimes not so much.

maj 22, 2015, 5:41 pm

same here. I liked Atonement, Saturday and The Children Act. Not thrilled with Solar and HATED Amsterdam.

maj 22, 2015, 10:27 pm

>49 ted74ca:, >50 LynnB: -- funny how people can't agree on McEwan books. A friend on another thread thinks Amsterdam is his only good book.

maj 23, 2015, 12:00 pm

@50, and 51. Too funny. I especially hated On Chesil Beach!

maj 23, 2015, 3:15 pm

and what's your verdict on Amsterdam, ted? We need a tie breaker.

maj 23, 2015, 4:24 pm

I'll vote nay on Amsterdam, and The Comfort of Strangers, but I did like On Chesil Beach and Atonement. McEwan is an uneven writer.

I've just finished listening to Martin Short's I Must Say. I've always been conflicted about Short - I don't love all his stuff and find him so 'over the top', 'look at me'. Yet, I do like him when he's more himself (I saw him on The Nightly Show and he was good and smart) and not 'on'. I admired his marriage and committment to his wife, and his Canadian-ness.

I've quite enjoyed his memoir, which is read by him including all his impressions and characters. Tons of name dropping, because those comedians are all friends and seemed to stay friends. He does tend to go too far by times, but then it wouldn't be Martin Short if he didn't. He actually was Andrea Martin's brother-in-law for a long time.

maj 24, 2015, 2:52 pm

@# 53. Sorry, never read Amsterdam, gave up on him after On Chesil Beach; am going to try The Children Act, though.

Redigeret: maj 24, 2015, 2:56 pm

Finished Infidelity by Stacey May Fowles last night. Not usually my kind of book--dealing with relationships, affairs, etc. but a good read, nonetheless. Good writer; I think this was her first novel.

Redigeret: jun 3, 2015, 9:09 am

I'm reading A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth L. Ozeki.

I'm also reading my latest LTER book, Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth.

Redigeret: jul 20, 2015, 7:24 am

I'm about to start The World by Bill Gaston, a Canadian author I haven't read yet.

ETA: Another new (to me) Canadian author -- I'm reading Waiting for Columbus by Thomas Trofimuk.

ETA: Don Quincy de la Mangement
by Michel D. Cervesasse. It's a satire on public sector management philosophies in the style of Don Quixote.

ETA: I'm reading a Young Adult novel, The World Without Us by Robin Stevenson. She's Canadian, but the book is set in Florida. I wonder if this is to attract a US audience?

jul 21, 2015, 9:47 am

I just finished and really liked: My Mother's Secret: A Novel Based on a True Holocaust Story by J. L. Witterick.

jul 21, 2015, 10:18 am

I'm completely absorbed in Lori Lansens' Rush Home Road. Now I can't wait to get her newest book.

Redigeret: jul 23, 2015, 7:54 am

I just finished a YA book from a series, Dear Canada. My granddaughter read all 34 books in the series, which is written in diary form by a fictional young person who lived through some of Canada's moments in history. This one was Dear Canada: All Fall Down about the Frank landslide in Alberta at the turn of the last century. I also finished another one, Dear Canada: Torn Apart on the Japanese internment during WWII in British Columbia where I lived in the late 1940s so I recognized many of the place names. I'm really enjoying this series and I'm finding them to be 4 star worthy. The whole series is a marvelous concept and so Canadian.

Redigeret: jul 23, 2015, 9:14 am

Rush Home Road was wonderful. Now starting The Fire-Dwellers by Margaret Laurence.

Redigeret: jul 23, 2015, 12:08 pm

>61 arcona: - My daughters read a bunch of those when they were younger. The publishers used some of the best YA and childrens writers working in Canada. Nina's favourites were Trail of Broken Dreams, No Safe Harbour and then one about the 1919 flu called If I Die Before I Wake.

jul 23, 2015, 2:55 pm

I'm reading Station Eleven by one of my favourite authors, Emil St. John Mandel.

jul 29, 2015, 9:11 pm

It's been a long time since I posted but I have been reading lots of Canadian Literature.
Maddaddam was terrific I thought
The Inconvenient Indian should have been the winner of the Canada Reads competition IMHO
Somewhere in France was a rather predictable romance set during World War I
Curiosity about Mary Anning who did some of the first work with fossils in Lyme Regis was disappointing to me.
Aftermath: Travels in a Post-War World showed me (again) what a great writer Farley Mowat was.
The Stone Angel was a re-read but from so long ago and I got a lot more out of it this time now that I am closer in age to Hagar Shipley.
Fifth Business was also a re-read but was just as enjoyable as the original read.
The Girl in the Wall is a mystery by a Winnipeg writer, Alison Preston, who sets her books in a neighbourhood that I know well.
An Irish Country Christmas is a comfort read for me as I love reading about the Irish people.
The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. is the story of Napoleon Bonaparte's wife from young girlhood on Martinique through the French Revolution and Terror up until she married Napoleon at age 32. Sandra Gulland is a new author to me but one I will be looking out for.

aug 13, 2015, 11:24 am

I'm reading A Season in the Life of Emmanuel by Marie-Claire Blais

aug 30, 2015, 5:18 pm

I finished Station Eleven. It was nice walking down the streets of Toronto (even though a pandemic was raging)!

aug 31, 2015, 10:52 am

Republic of Love by Carol Shields is my last novel of hers to read.

sep 4, 2015, 12:49 pm

sep 5, 2015, 4:19 pm

I've been reading non-Canadian books for the last month or so but I am now reading Speaking from Among the Bones, the fifth Flavia de Luce mystery. Delightful, as always.

sep 10, 2015, 12:27 am

I stayed up way too late on two worknights to get this well written psychological thriller by a Newfoundland author finished. Walt by Russell Wangersky. Great read.

sep 21, 2015, 4:18 pm

>71 ted74ca: - I loved that one too!

sep 27, 2015, 9:57 pm

I read If I Fall , I Die from the Giller Longlist. Quite enjoyed it, and added a review of it on the main page. Good read!

sep 28, 2015, 3:02 pm

I just got that one for my birthday!

sep 28, 2015, 4:46 pm

Flying through the audio of Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny. There is a new narrator who is doing fine, but whenever he says CSIS, he spells out all the initials instead is c-sis, like I usually hear on the news. Why wouldn't someone correct him?

sep 28, 2015, 7:17 pm

>75 raidergirl3: I got quite peeved with the audio of one of Penny's other books because the reader (who everyone thought was great) kept pronouncing toque as though it was toke. It was one of the books set in winter so people were always putting on and taking off toques and I found it irritating. Now I would probably let Louise know on her FB page or reply to her newsletter but I wasn't connected with her at that time. I think she would like to know so please consider contacting her.

okt 1, 2015, 8:54 am

I'm reading Cloud by Eric McCormack

okt 4, 2015, 12:17 pm

I finished The Daydreams of Angels by Heather O'Neill, a series of short stories most of which have a fairy tale element. I really enjoyed her balance of whimsey and grit: I don't know how she does it, but it works!

okt 12, 2015, 5:51 pm

Just finished A Tale for the Time Being, which I liked a lot.

okt 12, 2015, 11:03 pm

#79 I liked it too, a lot! Some books bring wafts of memory back from the read and this book has done that for me quite often.

Redigeret: okt 13, 2015, 10:40 am

okt 13, 2015, 4:01 pm

The Last Crossing by Guy Vandergaeghe.
I like it, but I'm still at the first 100/400 pages. Lots of characters being introduced and I like them, but I find it hard to pick up once I've put it down. So I'm conflicted.

Redigeret: okt 14, 2015, 9:35 pm

12 Rose Street by Gail Bowen. Time to put this series to bed, I think. Very tired of the smug and perfect Joanne Kilbourn!

okt 16, 2015, 4:28 pm

I'm reading The Western Light by Susan Swan, a Canadian author I haven't read before.

okt 26, 2015, 5:27 pm

I'm reading Summer of My Amazing Luck by Miriam Toews

okt 26, 2015, 5:45 pm

I'm reading Measure Yourself Against the Earth by Mark Kingwell, if I may include his essays under the heading of "Canadian literature."

okt 28, 2015, 2:46 pm

okt 28, 2015, 5:34 pm

Finished Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis a couple of days ago. A dark and disturbing read, but well done. It is on a couple of the Can Lit Prize lists this year - the Giller and the Rogers Writers Trust. Worth the read, I think

nov 7, 2015, 6:29 am

Finished Daddy Lenin by Guy Vanderhaeghe. Put some comments on my main thread. I enjoyed the collection of short stories, and the book won the Governor General 2015 award .

nov 19, 2015, 2:50 pm

Just finished Some Great Thing by Lawrence Hill. It was his first novel and it is set in Winnipeg in 1983. This was around the time that Hill was working as a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press and the protagonist of his novel is also a newspaper reporter so I think it is safe to say it is autobiographical to a large extent. Very interesting for me to read since I live in Winnipeg and I was a young professional at that time. A major theme of the book is the French language rights crisis.

Redigeret: nov 19, 2015, 7:43 pm

I just finished Sweetland by Michael Crummey and really liked it, just as I knew I would.

nov 24, 2015, 2:30 pm

Read Hominids on the weekend which won the Hugo Award in 2003 and now I am reading Fifteen Dogs which, of course, won the Giller award this year. Both are excellent.

nov 28, 2015, 12:39 pm

I'm reading Six degrés de liberté by Nicolas Dickner about two young friends rethinking logistics and the RCMP trying to figure out what they're doing... a slow moving thriller full of charm with just enough intrigue to keep the plot moving nicely. I'm really enjoying it.

nov 28, 2015, 2:12 pm

Burning Down the House: Fighting Fires and Losing Myself by Russell Wangersky. A moving, very intimate memoir by a Canadian writer I've just discovered this year.

nov 28, 2015, 2:18 pm

>94 ted74ca: Does your newspaper carry the Russell Wangersky op-ed column? We get his column a couple times a week. I really like it, and his writing. I've only read Walt so far, but I'll look for more.

nov 28, 2015, 2:51 pm

95. No, I live in BC in a small town that just has a free weekly paper. No columnists of any interest to me in there! I too, really enjoyed Walt and have just borrowed The Glass Harmonica from our local library.

nov 30, 2015, 3:09 pm

Not in My Father's Footsteps by Terrence Rundle West has rested on the TBR shelves long enough!

Redigeret: dec 3, 2015, 12:57 pm

One of my favourite reads of the year: The Long Stretch by Linden MacIntyre.

dec 4, 2015, 3:03 pm

Just starting Joseph Boyden's Three Day Road. I'm long overdue to read one of his books as I didn't read The Orenda on Canada Reads.

dec 5, 2015, 6:28 pm

I'm reading Martin John which was on the shortlist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

dec 9, 2015, 1:45 am

Just about finished The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. An excellent read!

dec 12, 2015, 1:56 pm

I just finished Three Day Road and was quite annoyed with myself for not seeing the ending coming! Excellent book and I really enjoyed it in a sad kind of way. I promised myself I wouldn't read any more WWI trench warfare books but I was well into it before I realized that was the premise of this book too. Boyden is an amazing writer and I'm glad I read it.

dec 12, 2015, 4:53 pm

> Boyden is also a pretty decent human being. I met him at a reading for The Orenda and when I got my copy signed by him I kibbitzed with him for a bit. He asked me if we had ever met before because I looked familiar or maybe I was a cousin. I said I would be pleased to claim him as a cousin and then maybe I could come stay with him in New Orleans (where he lives). He said I was welcome any time. When I got home I looked to see what he had written on the book. "To Wendy - my cousin! When are you coming to New Orleans? Joseph Boyden" Of course, I will treasure this book forever. Have you read Through Black Spruce yet? It continues the story of Three Day Road in the following generations and then The Orenda is kind of a prequel.

dec 12, 2015, 5:48 pm

>103 gypsysmom: I love to hear about interactions with authors. If I really love a book I often write to the author with heaps of praise and usually hear back from them which is always wonderful. Your "cousin" interaction with Boyden sounded great! Most recently I have written to Kathryn Schultz Being Wrong, Adventures in the Margin of Error.

Redigeret: dec 14, 2015, 9:50 pm

Not anything close to cheery, festive reading, but instead a memoir written by a former Vancouver Police Department detective who worked on the very botched police investigation of the serial killer Robert Pickton. Very impassioned and moving account of her struggles with PTSD as a result of her work on this case. That Lonely Section of Hell by Lori Shenher

dec 14, 2015, 5:11 pm

>105 ted74ca: I've heard that is very good. Maybe one day I'll get to it.

dec 16, 2015, 11:30 pm

The long list for Canada Reads was announced and the short list will be announced Jan. 20th.

“All the Broken Things” by Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer (Vintage Canada)
“The Amazing Absorbing Boy” by Rabindranath Maharaj (Vintage Canada)
“Birdie” by Tracey Lindberg (HarperCollins)
“Bone and Bread” by Saleema Nawaz (House of Anansi Press)
“Buying on Time” by Antanas Sileika (The Porcupine’s Quill)
“The Hero’s Walk” by Anita Rau Badami (Vintage Canada)
“Minister Without Portfolio” by Michael Winter (Penguin Canada)
“The Outside Circle” by Patti LaBoucane-Benson, illustrated by Kelly Mellings (House of Anansi Press)
“Niko” by Dimitri Nasrallah (Esplanade Books/Vehicule Press)
“Sitting Practice” by Caroline Adderson (Dundurn Press/Thomas Allen Publishers)
“Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel (HarperCollins)
“Swamp Angel” by Ethel Wilson (McClelland & Stewart/New Canadian Library)

I have only read two and loved Swamp Angel. Any feedback for the rest?

The theme is "starting over".

dec 16, 2015, 11:34 pm

Also The Illegal by Lawrence Hill
Sweetland by Michael Crummery
Landing Gear by Kate Pullinger
should be added to the above longlist.

Redigeret: dec 17, 2015, 9:14 am

Everyone please join us on the CBC Canada Reads thread to discuss the debates from now until the glorious ending!

dec 17, 2015, 9:33 am

I liked Station Eleven last year. Imagine a SARS like flu in Toronto that wipes out 99% of the population. Rebuilding takes place in near future. Not as depressing as you'd think.

Redigeret: dec 17, 2015, 8:06 pm

<110 Here's the link to the Canada Reads thread http://www.librarything.com/topic/207875.

dec 18, 2015, 5:02 pm

mdoris, thanx for posting the link...I haven't figured out how to do that yet!

Redigeret: dec 20, 2015, 9:40 pm

A tense, riveting thriller The Devil You Know-a debut novel by Elisabeth de Mariaffi. I really liked it.

dec 21, 2015, 8:51 am

A new-to-me Canadian author, Ray Robertson; I'm reading I was There the Night He Died

dec 21, 2015, 9:11 am

Not Robertson's best ... don't write him off before reading Gently Down the Stream or David.

dec 21, 2015, 9:12 am

noted. So far (20 pages) I am enjoying it.

dec 22, 2015, 9:29 am

I'm about to start Martin John by Anakana Schofield

dec 24, 2015, 11:45 am

On to Fugitives, by Suzanne Jacob

dec 28, 2015, 9:15 am

And now I'm reading The Case of Lena S by David Bergen

Redigeret: dec 28, 2015, 12:27 pm

dec 28, 2015, 10:33 pm

>121 ted74ca:: I think this is one of the best in the Inspector Gamache series.

jan 1, 2016, 7:44 pm

122. Yes, I quite liked this one too, much more than the last few. Less Ruth, less Clara and of course, no Peter-all of which are pluses in my opinion, and less lengthy philosophical rambling.

jan 2, 2016, 5:59 pm

>122 mrspenny: I agree - the poet has served her purpose as a character.

jan 3, 2016, 5:39 pm

I am reading Etta and Otto and Russell and James which is a superb travel novel about an 83 year old woman's walking journey to the Atlantic Ocean from her farm in Saskatchewan.

jan 4, 2016, 7:34 am

oh, yes, gypsymom, it was wonderful!