gypsysmom's Literary Canada

SnakCanadian Fiction/Non-Fiction Reading Challenge

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gypsysmom's Literary Canada

Redigeret: jan 12, 12:41 pm

This is just the kind of thing that appeals to me and luckily I have been keeping track of books I read since 2007. But I will start with 2009 and add every year in a separate post until the present. I will also have a cumulative list at the top here by province.

British Columbia
Fishing with John
The Jade Peony
The Fire-Dwellers
The Time We All Went Marching
Love in the Temperate Zone
Klee Wyck
Him Standing
Kill All the Lawyers
If Only Time Stood Still
Medicine Walk
Search and Rescue
Beethoven's Tenth
Now and in the Hour of our Death
Snow Job
Keep Sweet
Son of a Trickster
The Back of the Turtle
Chop Suey Nation
The Glass Hotel
The Very Marrow of Our Bones
Swamp Angel
Five Little Indians
Hetty Dorval
Atlin:Where Everyone Knows Your Dog's Name

The Outlander
Seeing is Deceiving
The Ladies' Lending Library
The Enchantment Emporium
Healthy, Wealthy and Dead
The Garneau Block
Bow Grip
The Bone Cage
Medicine River
Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands

Peace Shall Destroy Many
Grass, Sky, Song
Verdict in the Blood
Good to a Fault
River in a Dry Land
Cool Water
The Endless Knot
My Kitchen Window
The Wooden Sword
The Search for Almighty Voice
A Good Man
Flight of Aquavit
The Thirteenth Rose
Back Track
Amuse Bouche
Who Has Seen the Wind
Etta and Otto and Russell and James
The Road is How: Three Days Afoot through Nature, Eros and Soul
The Fourth Archangel
As For Me and My House
Where I Live Now
Song of Batoche
Rabbit Foot Bill
Glass Beads

Children of my Heart
Cherry Bites
The Prairie Bridesmaid
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Criminal
Running West
The Home Front
Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography
The Setting Lake Sun
A Bird in the House
Garden in the Wind, Enchanted Summer
The Age of Hope
True Confessions of a Heartless Girl
Settlers of the Marsh
Dance, Gladys, Dance
With the Boys
Survival of the Flirting Impaired
The Stone Angel
The Girl in the Wall
Some Great Thing
Blue Vengeance
Quantum Night
After Light
Nowhere Wild
The Break
Never Cry Wolf
Paper, Scissors, Rock
Places of Grace
Where Nests the Water Hen
The Strangers
A Criminal to Remember
Second Chances
And Then is Heard No More
Down Came the Rain
Permanent Astonishment

Through Black Spruce
The Man Who Forgot How to Read
Dance of the Happy Shades
The Love of a Good Woman
The Ferryman Will be There
Elizabeth and After
The Ash Garden
The Best Laid Plans
Essex County
Moral Disorder
Poached Egg on Toast
WWW: Wake
The Origin of Species
Cats I Have Known and Loved
Emotional Arithmetic
Wingfield's World
Forty Words for Sorrow
The Factory Voice
Indian Horse
One Native Life
Flyboy Action Figure Comes with Gasmask
The Orenda
The Progress of Love
Changing Heaven
The Antagonist
Kicking the Sky
Station Eleven
And the Birds Rained Down
Wally's World
The Day the Falls Stood Still
Fifth Business
Fifteen Dogs
The View from Castle Rock
Father Goose
The Delicate Storm
Cat's Eye
That's My Baby
Bellevue Square
Blackfly Season
High Spirits
By the Time You Read This
Murder Among the Pines
Seven Fallen Feathers
The Unquiet Dead
The Moon of the Crusted Snow
Days by Moonlight
The K Handshape
Juliana and the Medicine Fish
Map of Glass
Heat Wave
The Corpse Will Keep
November Rain
The Forgotten Home Child
Erasing Memory
The Sentimentalists
Sunshine Nails

Montreal Stories
Night Studies
Leaning, Leaning Over Water
City of Ice
They Shall Inherit the Earth
The Imposter Bride
Still Life
A Fatal Grace
The Brutal Telling
Bury Your Dead
A Trick of the Light
The Beautiful Mystery
How the Light Gets In
Feed my Dear Dogs
My October
The Long Way Home
Daydreams of Angels
The Nature of the Beast
A Great Reckoning
Glass Houses
The Tin Flute
Kingdom of the Blind
The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary
A Better Man
Barney's Version
How to Make Love to a Negro
The Madness of Crowds
When We Lost Our Heads

New Brunswick
Murder Goes Mumming
The Sea Captain's Wife
I am a Truck
George and Rue

Prince Edward Island
The Blythes Are Quoted
Bannock, Beans and Black Tea
High Meadows
Marilla of Green Gables

Nova Scotia
The Book of Negroes
Foul Deeds
Before Green Gables
The Bishop's Man
Quid Pro Quo
Come from Away

Newfoundland and Labrador
Sylvanus Now
Cloud of Bone
The Bird Artist
An Audience of Chairs
The Fortunate Brother
The Innocents
Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club
We, Jane

Yukon Territory
Killing in Kluane
The Wildfire Season
Wolves of Winter

Northwest Territories
Late Nights on Air
The River
Body Trade
Bones Are Forever
Ramshackle: A Yellowknife Story
Minds of Winter
The Lesser Blessed

Race to the Polar Sea
Darkness at the Stroke of Noon
Frozen in Time
The Surfacing
Lost in the Barrens
The White Dawn

Redigeret: aug 1, 2015, 4:00 pm

My reads from 2009:
Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden - ON
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill- NS
Race to the Polar Sea by Ken McGoogan - NV
Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay - NWT
The Outlander by Gil Adamson- AB
Montreal Stories by Mavis Gallant - QC
In Search of April Raintree by Beatrice Culleton - MB
Peace Shall Destroy Many by Rudy Wiebe - SK
Grass, Sky, Song by Trevor Herriot - SK
Sylvanus Now by Donna Morrissey - NF
The Man Who Forgot how to Read by Howard Engel - ON
Children of my Heart by Gabrielle Roy - MB
Dance of the Happy Shades by Alice Munro - ON
The River by Cheryl Kaye Tardif - NWT
Lunenberg by Keith Baker - NS
Verdict in the Blood by Gail Bowen - SK
Murder Goes Mumming by Alisa Craig - NB
The Love of a Good Woman by Alice Munro - ON
Cherry Bites by Alison Preston - MB
The Ferryman will be There by Rosemary Aubert - ON

Redigeret: aug 3, 2015, 8:51 pm

My reads from 2010:
Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner - QC
Killing in Kluane by Jim Lotz - YT
Cloud of Bone by Bernice Morgan - NF
Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott - SK
City of Ice by John Farrow - QC
The Bird Artist by Howard Norman - NF
Heartbreaker by Lawrence Gough - BC
Foul Deeds by Linda Moore - NS
Darkness at the Stroke of Noon by Dennis Richard Murphy - NV
Seeing is Deceiving by Suzanne North - AB
The Prairie Bridesmaid by Daria Salamon - MB
River in a Dry Land by Trevor Herriot - SK
Leaning, Leaning over Water by Frances Itani - QC
Fishing with John by Edith Iglauer - BC
Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson - NS
Elizabeth and After by Matt Cohen - ON
The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy - BC
The Ash Garden by Dennis Bock - ON

jul 31, 2015, 10:35 pm

My reads from 2011:
The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis - ON
Essex County by Jeff Lemire - ON
Moral Disorder by Margaret Atwood - ON
Cool Water by Dianne Warren - SK
Poached Egg on Toast by Frances Itani - ON
Annabel by Kathleen Winter - NF
The Endless Knot by Gail Bowen - SK
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Criminal by Michael van Rooy - MB
The Fire-Dwellers by Margaret Laurence - BC
The Ladies' Lending Library by Janice Kulyk Keefer - AB
Running West by James Houston - MB
My Kitchen Window by Edna Jaques - SK
Fauna by Alissa York - ON
The Home Front by Margaret Dennis Owen - MB
WWW: Wake by Robert Sawyer - ON
Louis Riel: A Comic Strip Biography by Chester Brown - MB

Redigeret: aug 1, 2015, 4:26 pm

My reads from 2012:
The Sea Captain's Wife by Beth Powning - NB
The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff - AB
The Setting Lake Sun by J. R. Leveille - MB
The Origin of Species by Nino Ricci - ON
Cats I Have Known and Loved by Pierre Berton - ON
A Bird in the House by Margaret Laurence - MB
The Time we all Went Marching by Arley McNeney - BC
Emotional Arithmetic by Matt Cohen - ON
Love in the Temperate Zone by L. R. Wright - BC
The Wooden Sword by Edward McCourt - SK
Wingfield's World by Dan Needles - ON
They Shall Inherit the Earth by Morley Callaghan - QC
Klee Wyck by Emily Carr - BC
Tempest-Tost by Robertson Davies - ON
The Blythes Are Quoted by L. M. Montgomery - PEI
The Search for Almighty Voice by Tiffany Shrimpton - SK
Garden in the Wind, Enchanted Summer by Gabrielle Roy - MB
The Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler - QC
419 by Will Ferguson - AB
Ru by Kim Thuy - QC
Forty Words for Sorrow by Giles Blunt - ON
The Factory Voice by Jeanette Lynes - ON
A Good Man by Guy Vanderhaeghe - SK
Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese- ON

Redigeret: aug 1, 2015, 4:17 pm

My reads from 2013:
Healthy, Wealthy and Dead by Suzanne North - AB
The Age of Hope by David Bergen - MB
Away by Jane Urquhart - ON
February by Lisa Moore - NF
Flight of Aquavit by Anthony Bidulka - SK
The Wildfire Season by Andrew Pyper - YT
Still Life by Louise Penny - QC
One Native Life by Richard Wagamese - ON
Him Standing by Richard Wagamese - BC
The Garneau Block by Todd Babiak - AB
True Confessions of a Heartless Girl by Martha Brooks - MB
The Thirteenth Rose by Gail Bowen - SK
Runaway by Alice Munro - ON
Flyboy Action Figure Comes with Gasmask by Jim Munroe - ON
Back Track by Harold Johnson - SK
Frozen in Time by Owen Beattie and John Geiger - NV
An Audience of Chairs by Joan Clark - NF
Body Trade by Margaret MacPherson - NWT
Kill All the Lawyers by William Deverell - BC
Amuse Bouche by Anthony Bidulka - SK
Settlers of the Marsh by Frederick Philip Grove - MB
Bannock, Beans and Black Tea by John Gallant - PEI
If Only Time Stood Still by Henry A. Kessler - BC

Redigeret: aug 1, 2015, 4:24 pm

My reads from 2014:
The Orenda by Joseph Boyden - ON
A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny - QC
The Progress of Love by Alice Munro - ON
Bones are Forever by Kathy Reichs - NWT
Changing Heaven by Jane Urquhart - ON
The Antagonist by Lynn Coady - ON
Dance, Gladys, Dance by Cassie Stocks - MB
The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny - QC
Kicking the Sky by Anthony de Sa - ON
Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese - BC
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny - QC
Search and Rescue by Gail Anderson-Dargatz - BC
With the Boys by Jake Macdonald - MB
A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny - QC
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny - QC
Bow Grip by Ivan E. Coyote - AB
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny - QC

It's easy to see that 2014 was the year I took off with Louise Penny and Inspector Gamache.

Redigeret: aug 1, 2015, 4:37 pm

My reads so far in 2015:
Tell by Frances Itani - ON
Feed my Dear Dogs by Nancy Richler - QC
My October by Claire Holden Rothman - QC
Survival of the Flirting Impaired by Linda Guest - MB
The Long Way Home by Louise Penny - QC
Who Has Seen the Wind by W. O. Mitchell - SK
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel - ON
And the Birds Rained Down by Jocelyn Saucier - ON
The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence - MB
Beethoven's Tenth by Brian Harvey - BC
Wally's World by Marsha Boulton - ON
The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan - ON
Fifth Business by Robertson Davies - ON
The Girl in the Wall by Alison Preston - MB

sep 3, 2015, 11:25 pm

Wow, look at the length of your lists! I'm impressed! :-) I only started really keeping track for this challenge last year. I seem to have an overabundance of books set in Alberta and Ontario!

sep 5, 2015, 4:16 pm

>9 LibraryCin: Thanks LibraryCin. I keep an Excel spread sheet every year of the books on Mount TBR and the ones I read and one of the things I note is if the writer is Canadian. So, it was pretty easy to go back and check those. Most times I could remember which province they were set in. Ontario certainly has more books set in it than any other province. I am heading to the Maritimes this fall so I am hoping to increase the number of books set in PEI, NB and NS.

sep 5, 2015, 4:57 pm

>9 LibraryCin: Yeah, I suppose I could look back over the years from before I started the challenge. I'm sure there are plenty I'd remember that I could fit in. I just haven't taken the time to do it! It would be interesting, though, and I bet I could fill in some of the "holes" that way! :-)

okt 23, 2015, 4:28 pm

Just finished reading one of the Giller prize shortlist books, Daydreams of Angels, which is a collection of short stories but most of them are set in Quebec or have a Quebec connection so I have put it in that province.

nov 19, 2015, 1:18 pm

Just finished a book set in Manitoba Some Great Thing which was the first novel Lawrence Hill wrote. He worked on the Winnipeg Free Press for a while and this book is probably quite autobiographical. It is set in 1983 which was the time when French language rights were being fiercely debated and that is a major focus of this book.

nov 24, 2015, 2:27 pm

I finished one book set in Ontario Hominids and I immediately started another set in that province, Fifteen Dogs. It's amazing what a variety of books can be set in that one province. Both were excellent BTW.

dec 15, 2015, 9:35 pm

I just finished up a book that takes place in what is now Nunavut although in the 1850s when The Surfacing was set it wasn't even Canada. Like all the books I have read that have been set in Nunavut this one concerns the search for the Franklin Expedition. Someday I really am going to have to find a book about something else that is set there!

jan 4, 2016, 5:02 pm

Starting out 2016 with a bang. I just read an amazing book set, mostly, in Saskatchewan. Etta and Otto and Russell and James is first and foremost about octogenarian Etta deciding to walk from her farm in Saskatchewan to the ocean, specifically the Atlantic Ocean. But it is also about her husband, Otto, and their good friend, Russell, who farms next to them. And then there is the coyote, James. A great, great book.

Redigeret: jan 4, 2016, 9:19 pm

>16 gypsysmom: - Oh, this sounds like fun! I am making a note of this one! Have you read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry ?

jan 5, 2016, 4:28 pm

>17 jessibud2: I haven't read The Unlikely Pilgrimage but it is one I've made note of to read some time. Do you recommend it?

jan 5, 2016, 4:37 pm

>18 gypsysmom: - It's quirky but I absolutely loved it. I listened to it on audiobook and though I forget who read it, he was excellent. There is actually a sequel of sorts to that book out now, called The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, which I saw today is out in paperback, finally. Though I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will turn up at the library on audio.

jan 23, 2016, 3:12 pm

I just finished Now and in the Hour of our Death which is subtitled A Novel of the Irish Troubles. Part of it takes place in Vancouver so I have decided to add it to the list of British Columbia books. The author, Patrick Taylor, lives on Salt Spring Island now but he is originally from Northern Ireland. The little details he works into the book for both settings make them very vivid.

Redigeret: jan 24, 2016, 3:59 pm

> 20 - Confession: I am a Patrick Taylor junkie. I haven't read the title you mention, but I have listened on audiobook to many of his others, in the Fingal O'Reilly series. After listening to the first one, borrowed from the library, I will now only listen to them on audio, because John Keating is just so outstanding as the reader. He does voices, accents and dialects so well that I can tell who is speaking just by his voice, before the characters are even identified. And many of the main characters are in most of the books. I honestly love this series. I haven't caught them in any particular order but I don't think you really need to

jan 23, 2016, 4:14 pm

>20 gypsysmom: Just finished reading about Patrick Taylor and looking up his many books at my local library. Thanks for the tip. He sounds like a very interesting and accomplished person. I will add his books to my list. Thanks. And thanks too to >21 jessibud2: as I will look for these books on audio. Good alert when you say you are an author "junkie"!

jan 23, 2016, 4:47 pm

>22 mdoris: - I promise you, you will love the audiobooks. Keating is a delightfully talented reader but Taylor is a wonderful storyteller, too

jan 24, 2016, 1:02 pm

>21 jessibud2: It's funny that you should start out by confessing because Taylor's Irish Country books do seem like a little bit of an indulgence. I agree that you don't have to read them in order although I do sometimes get confused when I read them out of order. I haven't seen any of them on audiobook in our library but maybe I just haven't been looking.

>22 mdoris: I always wonder how these people manage to do everything they do. I just read a book by N. K. Jemisin who writes science fiction and fantasy as well as holding down a day job as a psychologist. They must be much more disciplined than I am.

jan 24, 2016, 2:07 pm

>24 gypsysmom:, I know what you mean, these people can be very intimidating with their endless accomplishments. Sometimes it seems unfair that so much brain power get plopped into one body! Sigh....

apr 13, 2016, 8:26 pm

Just finished The Nature of the Beast the latest (so far) in the Inspector Gamache series which is set in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. I am now eagerly awaiting Penny's new book which is due out in August. This book takes the old tale of the boy who cried wolf and postulates how that would play out in the modern world. And it has a fascinating subplot about a Canadian armaments researcher turned arms dealer which is based upon a real person. The things you find out by reading are why I am thoroughly hooked.

maj 11, 2016, 8:31 pm

I read The Road is How by Saskatchewan naturalist Trevor Herriot. This is the third book by him that I have read and I think it is the most personal yet. It is the account of his three day walk from Regina to the Qu'Appelle Valley. As is expected for a naturalist he talks about the nature he observes along the way, particularly birds which is his speciality. However he also delves into spirituality and male female relationships and politics. I think it is the most true expression of how a male's mind works that I have ever read. It gave me lots to think about.

maj 23, 2016, 12:40 pm

I listened to the audiobook of The View from Castle Rock, another great book of short stories by Alice Munro. It is possibly her most autobiographical since all of the stories are about her family from the time her ancestors left Scotland. I didn't care for the narrator especially in the first few stories since she attempted a Scottish accent but couldn't pull it off.

maj 23, 2016, 5:30 pm

>28 gypsysmom: - I am not a fan of short stories, as a rule, but I also listened to this one on audiobook and really enjoyed it. I actually own a couple of books by Munro as I feel I ought to - and WANT - to read some of her work, as a Canadian. And I will, at some point.

jun 1, 2016, 5:17 pm

I finished a great book from Nova Scotia last week. The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre is set mostly on Cape Breton Island, a place MacIntyre knows well from growing up there. He is a great writer and this book is my favourite of all the ones by him that I have read. I know it came out a while ago but I missed reading it at the time. Last year when CBC published its list of 100 Books that Make you Proud to be Canadian it was one I had not read and I realized I had a copy I had picked up at a library sale. So now I have checked off that book. I really should check the list again and see what other essential Canadian reads I am missing.

jun 6, 2016, 3:02 pm

Somehow I heard about Ramshackle: A Yellowknife Story, a graphic novel by Alison McCreesh. Alison and her boyfriend headed to Yellowknife after they finished college to earn money for travelling. Although they did leave Yellowknife and travel after they accumulated funds they found themselves yearning to return. The artwork is fantastic and she almost had me convinced that living in a shack with no indoor plumbing could be fun.

jun 18, 2016, 7:13 pm

Read another great book set in Saskatchewan. The Fourth Archangel by Sharon Butala is set in a small town in the south-west corner of the province. There has been a years' long drought and farmers are going bankrupt. As the town is so dependent upon farm incomes for its income business in the town are closing up as well. Then a young girl, who used to be the town bad girl, develops stigmata and people from far and wide are coming to town. Is this the saving or the destruction of the town? It depends on your point of view.

jun 19, 2016, 1:31 am

>32 gypsysmom: sounds interesting! (Especially for someone who grew up in a small farming community in southern Sask during the drought-ridden 1980s. :-) )

jun 21, 2016, 2:54 pm

>33 LibraryCin: Oh yes LibraryCin, it would certainly strike a chord with you. In fact all of Butala's books probably would.

jun 21, 2016, 9:48 pm

>33 LibraryCin: Yes. I have read a couple. Perfection of the Morning (but that was so long ago, I really don't remember it!) and The Girl in Saskatoon, which was interesting.

I don't remember if I've met her, but I have met her husband. My parents know them. Dad used to sell farm equipment in Southern Sask, so I think that's how they know Peter Butala, her husband. I know I've been to their farm, at least once, but I can't recall if she was there. If she was, I'm sure I didn't know she was a "famous" (at least in Canada) author, anyway!

jun 24, 2016, 2:49 pm

>35 LibraryCin: Perfection of the Morning was my introductory read to Butala. Haven't been disappointed by one yet. That's very interesting that you have been to their farm. They sound like great stewards of the earth.

jun 24, 2016, 11:06 pm

>36 gypsysmom: It's been so long since I was there (when I was a teenager, maybe?), I really don't remember it, though!

jul 3, 2016, 11:29 am

Added another book set in Manitoba, Blue Vengeance: A Norwood Flats Mystery. It is actually set right in Winnipeg in an area I know quite well. I love reading a book in a setting that is familiar because I can easily picture where the action is taking place. The writer, Alison Preston, lives in the area so she knows it well. This is about the fifth book she has set in Norwood but it is somewhat different in that it takes place in 1964 so there is a nostalgic element to it as well. An adolescent boy wants to take revenge for his sister's death which he believes was suicide caused by a bullying teacher at her school.

jul 10, 2016, 4:18 pm

By coincidence (because I didn't know where it was set beforehand) the next book I read is also set in Manitoba. Quantum Night takes place (mostly) in Winnipeg about 4 years in the future although there are flashbacks to things that happened to one of the main characters in 2001. Very well written and will give you lots to ponder regarding free will and conscience.

jul 30, 2016, 12:35 pm

And for the trifecta I just read another book set in Manitoba. Nowhere Wild is a post-apocalyptic YA novel set in northern Manitoba. Even though it is classified as YA I enjoyed it. The blurb on the back says it all: A dark a riveting survival story set against a rugged northern landscape.

sep 15, 2016, 4:21 pm

Just finished A Great Reckoning, the 12th Inspector Gamache book, which, of course, is set in Quebec. Gamache is out of retirement and is trying to clean up the Surete Academy. There is a murder (of course) and there is a mystery involving a map of the Three Pines area which may, or may not, be connected to the murder.

okt 2, 2016, 8:20 pm

I seem to be reading mostly books set in Quebec and Manitoba. I heard about a graphic novel written by a young woman who had died of pancreatic cancer and decided I had to read it. Susceptible by Genevieve Castree is an honest portrayal of Castree's childhood living with her mother who quite often seems like the younger of the two. Then I picked up The Break by Katherena Vermette which is a fictional portrayal of the lives of a family of Metis women living in the North End of Winnipeg. Although it is fiction it is a truthful portrayal of how aboriginal women in Winnipeg live. Both books were difficult to read at times because of the subject matter but I am glad I read them.

nov 21, 2016, 7:59 pm

Finally got away from my Quebec and Manitoba obsession with a great book from Newfoundland. The Fortunate Brother by Donna Morrissey is a sequel of sorts to her book Sylvanus Now. Sylvanus is a lot older than he was in the first book with three grownup children. This book centres around his youngest child, Kyle. The whole family has been grieving for three years over the death of middle child, Chris, in the oilfields of Alberta. Of the whole family only the mother, Addie, seems to have come to terms with his death but now she has breast cancer. Mixed into this is the murder of local man and wife abuser, Clar Gilliard. Very well written and made me feel like I was catching up with old friends.

jan 10, 2017, 7:45 pm

I just finished a book that is set partly in BC and partly in Ottawa but I think I will place it in BC since the author is from there. Snow Job is a humourous look at politics, both Canadian and international, and lawyering.

jan 18, 2017, 9:33 pm

Just finished Lost in the Barrens by Farley Mowat which was suggested by the Nunavut thread in this group. It also is one of the books on the CBC list of 100 Young Adult Books that Make You Proud to Be Canadian. I am trying to read at least 15 books from the three CBC lists this year to celebrate Canada's sesquicentennial.

feb 19, 2017, 7:55 pm

Although As For Me and My House never explicitly names Saskatchewan it is quite obvious that is where this book is set. The time is the 1930s and Saskatchewan was hit hard by successive droughts. Reverend and Mrs. Bentley come to Horizon in April with little expectation that this posting will be any different than the previous three places they lived. Reverend Bentley really wants to be an artist and his wife was an accomplished pianist but they both gave up these passions when they married. Consequently their life together is unhappy and the poverty of the times does not help. It really was the Dust Bowl and Ross describes the weather in a way that made me feel the dust gathering on the windowsills and the plants dying in the garden. Beyond that the relationships between the couple and with others in the town are accurately drawn and quite poignant.

maj 2, 2017, 12:43 pm

It's been a while since I have updated here and I have read quite a few books in the meantime. In order of my reading:
Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat which is his fictionalized account of studying wolves in nothern Manitoba
Father Goose by William Lishman is about an Ontario man's successful attempt to lead Canada Geese to winter in the US with his ultralight plane.
Pandora by Sylvia Fraser is a young girl's coming of age story during WWII in southern Ontario
Paper, Scissors, Rock by Ann Decter is set in Manitoba's lake country during the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry hearings which the main character listens to on the radio
The White Dawn by James Houston is an account of a remote Inuit community's first encounter with white men. It's based on true events. Houston lived on Baffin Island for a number of years and he was one of the first people to start collecting Inuit art
Keep Sweet by Debbie Palmer is her memoir of growing up in the Mormon polygamous community of Bountiful in BC. Difficult to read but an important account.

Redigeret: maj 2, 2017, 8:25 pm

>47 gypsysmom: "Keep Sweet". Had to read the rest of your description, as my first thought was FLDS! Yup, guess so. Oh, this was someone in Canada, though. Hmmmm, might have to add it to my tbr... I've read a few memoirs, but none out of Bountiful.

maj 7, 2017, 1:15 pm

Just finished another book which I have put in BC although quite a bit of it takes place in other parts of the world, most notably Malaysia and Holland. But the story keeps coming back to Vancouver so I have listed Certainty by Madeleine Thien in BC.

maj 25, 2017, 9:08 pm

Just finished a book set in my home province of Manitoba. Places of Grace by David Elias is a series of connected stories about the Zacharias family living in the Pembina Valley in the 1950s. Quite beautifully written.

maj 28, 2017, 5:49 pm

I listened to Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood. It is a retelling of Shakespeare's The Tempest but it is set in modern-day Ontario. Great fun.

jun 24, 2017, 4:10 pm

Read a YA novel Tilt by Alan Cumyn. It doesn't say that it is set in Ontario but it is set in a big city and Cumyn lives in Ottawa so I am assuming the city is either Toronto or Ottawa. Really liked this look inside a teenaged boy's head.

jul 1, 2017, 3:16 pm

The second John Cardinal book The Delicate Storm is set mostly in Ontario, in the town Blunt calls Algonquin Bay but which everyone knows is North Bay. It is set in February when a sudden rise in temperature brings fog, rain and ice to the area. Not as good as Forty Words for Sorrow, the first Cardinal book, but since it refers to the FLQ crisis of 1970 it is quite interesting.

jul 9, 2017, 6:32 pm

Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood is set in Toronto. This isn't my favourite Atwood but it certainly explores the city.

jul 22, 2017, 5:30 pm

Finally got up into the north of Canada. From the Yukon post in this group I discovered that Journey by James A. Michener was set in the Yukon so I borrowed it from my library. Actually a lot of the action takes place in what is now the North-West Territory but since the goal of the people in the story is to make it to Dawson City for the Klondike Gold Rush I am choosing to say it takes place there. At the start of the gold rush, of course, the Yukon didn't exist but when so many prospectors came for the gold rush the territory was formed in 1898 so that there would be a local government authority. Michener's story is about 4 upper class British men and their Irish servant trying to make it through Canadian territory to Dawson City.

jul 22, 2017, 6:27 pm

Hi Wendy. I remember reading (many many years ago!) a book written by Pierre Burton's mother, called, if I remember, I Married the Klondike. It was a good read.

I have fallen off horribly in this challenge. But, I did just finish a book by David Suzuki, called Letters to my Grandchildren that I liked very much/

Also, as an aside, this Monday, I am going to see a documentary film about the Yukon at our loal doc cinema:;

Keep your eyes open, if it comes to you. It sounds very good

jul 27, 2017, 8:38 pm

Hi again Wendy. I just saw your list of 150 books for Canada 150, over on your bookcrossing thread. I hope you won't mind if I borrowed it to post on my thread. I am ashamed at how few of that list I have read but I do have a handful waiting patiently on my physical tbr piles.

Great list, it is!

jul 28, 2017, 5:57 pm

>57 jessibud2: I don't mind at all. I just posted it here on LT in the Canadian Literature group. It is a list that deserves to be spread about and talked about.

sep 30, 2017, 5:07 pm

Finished Frances Itani's latest book That's My Baby which is mostly set in Ontario. It follows Deafening and Tell in that it is about another member of the Oak family, Hanora Oak. Wonderfully written and well plotted it might just have supplanted Deafening as my favourite Itani book. If this book doesn't get Itani some awards I will be very disappointed.

sep 30, 2017, 6:18 pm

Oh! I hadn't known there was a third in this saga! I read and loved Deafening and own but have not yet read Tell. I will make a note of this new one. Thanks for the heads-up, Wendy.

I wanted to see Itani speak at Word on the Street last weekend but it was so hot (33C with a humidex of near 40C), that we barely lasted 2 hours there and her speaking session wasn't until later in the day, when I was long gone. Some other time, I guess...

okt 1, 2017, 1:35 am

>59 gypsysmom: I've read and liked both "Deafening" and "Tell". I guess I need to add "That's my Baby" to the tbr... Thank you!

okt 12, 2017, 8:17 pm

I thought I would try to read some of the books on the Giller Prize shortlist before the ceremony. My library came through with Eden Robinson's Son of a Trickster in very short order. I enjoyed it at first but then it devolved into magical realism and I found it hard to take. I'm sure it will appeal to lots of people as it has to many professional reviewers. It takes place in and around Kitimat British Columbia.

okt 14, 2017, 8:28 pm

For a reading challenge I am trying to read a book set in each Canadian province and territory. Books set in PEI are hard to find unless they are by L. M. Montgomery and I read everything by her when I was just a youngster. Two years ago we visited PEI and I bought a book in the gift shop of an historic lighthouse because it was set in PEI. So this week I read High Meadows: On Earth as it is in Heaven by Ivan Ashley. It was badly written with lots of grammatical and spelling errors but it does give a sense of rural life in PEI during the early and mid 1900s.

okt 14, 2017, 10:27 pm

I'm a sucker for cookbooks and I know Michael Smith lives in P.E.I. and has written lots of cookbooks. Would that count for your P.E.I. read?

okt 15, 2017, 3:44 pm

A number of years ago, in 2011, I wrote a blog post about books from PEI not by LM Montgomery. It's like I was writing this for you, six years in the future. Maybe it will help a bit:

Availability is always the hard part and some will not be easy to find, but it could be a start. Oh, and Michael Smith definitely would count - he has an Inn here with a restaurant that focuses on local food.

okt 15, 2017, 4:54 pm

Have you checked the PEI thread, as well, for more ideas?

okt 15, 2017, 4:55 pm

It looks like I didn't post my review there, but I read:
Chinese Islanders by Hung-Min Chiang a few years back.

okt 15, 2017, 5:03 pm

>66 LibraryCin: looks like I added the books from my blog post onto that thread.

okt 15, 2017, 5:12 pm

>68 raidergirl3: Ah! Ok, I didn't do a comparison. :-)

okt 15, 2017, 7:16 pm

>64 mdoris: I suppose a cookbook could count if it was specifically about food from PEI. I used to read cookbooks for fun but I kept wanting to eat as I was doing it so I've stopped.
>65 raidergirl3: Thanks for the list. I've read Bannock, Beans and Black Tea and enjoyed it immensely. And Blue Castle is one of my favourite Montgomery books. But the ones in between are all new to me so I'll keep it in mind for any future challenges.
>67 LibraryCin: Chinese Islanders looks really interesting. Thanks.

nov 16, 2017, 9:39 pm

Just finished reading Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill (who also writes mysteries under the name Inger Ash Wolfe) which is on the shortlist for the Giller Prize. It is firmly set in Ontario, specifically inner city Toronto. I've visited Toronto enough to recognize some of the streets and places mentioned but people more familiar with the city should have a field day. It's about a woman who discovers she has a doppelganger and becomes obsessed with tracking her down. Redhill's pseudonymous personality even gets a spot in the book. I thought it was great.

nov 16, 2017, 10:12 pm

>71 gypsysmom: - Ooo, I do want to get to this one! I like Redhill as a writer.

I am currently reading Birding With Yeats by Lynn Thomson. Have you read this one? She is the wife of bookseller Ben McNally. I hadn't realized that until I started reading. They also live in Toronto (or did, when this was written) though they travel to BC, among other places. I like when settings, street names, etc are familiar to me!

nov 17, 2017, 12:35 pm

>72 jessibud2: I haven't read Birding with Yeats yet but I have read good things about it. I will have to place it on my wish list.

jan 5, 2018, 2:48 pm

I received the latest Louise Penny mystery for Christmas so it was my first book of 2018. As with her other books Glass Houses is set in the small fictional village of Three Pines in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. I didn't think it was quite as good as some of the others but it certainly shows the flavour of Quebec.

apr 27, 2018, 2:41 pm

Oh dear, I really haven't kept up with this list very well this year. I have read a number of books set in various provinces and territories since Jan. 5 They are (in order of reading):
Where I Live Now by Sharon Butala, mainly a reminiscence of her life on a ranch in southwest Saskatchewan
Minds of Winter by Ed O'Loughlin, another book that deals with the lost Franklin expedition that was seeking to find the Northwest Passage, mostly set in NWT
Blackfly Season by Giles Blunt, mystery set in northern Ontario which was made into a TV series this past year
The Tin Flute by Gabrielle Roy, a classic work set in working class Montreal, Quebec
High Spirits by Robertson Davies, short ghost stories written for the University of Toronto Massey College Christmas Party every year that Davies was Master

maj 25, 2018, 3:03 pm

Wolves of Winter is a post-apocalyptic sf tale set in the Yukon Territory. I thought it was quite good although there were a few plot holes. It's a first novel for the author, Tyrell Johnson, so I'm pleased to see a new sf author in Canada. I imagine there will be a sequel so I'm hoping that will cover a few of the holes.

jul 5, 2018, 5:14 pm

I have read a couple of books set in Ontario and one set in Quebec. By the Time You Read This by Giles Blunt is #4 in the John Cardinal mystery series which takes place in loosely disguised North Bay. Murder Among the Pines is a Rapid Reads detective novel set in the Muskoka region of Ontario. Surfacing by Margaret Atwood takes place in a remote part of Quebec.

jul 21, 2018, 3:34 pm

I received an LT Early Reviewers book set in Halifax. Quid Pro Quo by Vicki Grant is aimed at the YA audience but it was good enough to hold my interest for 2 days.

sep 5, 2018, 10:26 pm

Requiem by Frances Itani is the story of a young Japanese-Canadian boy who was interned with his family after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Although the book is structured around a journey that boy, now man, takes from Ottawa back to the site of the internment camp much of it is a remembrance of his life just before internment and during internment which took place in BC. I found it a very moving book.

Redigeret: sep 5, 2018, 10:28 pm

>79 gypsysmom: - Requiem was also excellent as an audiobook, which is how I read it, a few years back. The narrator had a very calm voice, as I remember and kept me riveted.

sep 6, 2018, 10:36 pm

>79 gypsysmom: I've had this on my tbr for a while.

sep 9, 2018, 7:46 pm

Although I have read this book before it didn't make it onto my list of Manitoba books and it really needs to be there. Where Nests the Water Hen by Gabrielle Roy was written after she had left Manitoba and after her first book The Tin Flute came out but Roy's love of the remote area where she taught a family of children shines through this book. At the time this area of Manitoba was very remote and sparsely populated. It still is not very heavily populated but at least they now have roads and telephones and probably even internet. This book shows what life was like before those amenities.

nov 15, 2018, 5:38 pm

I just finished listening to a non-fiction audiobook about indigenous students in Thunder Bay ON. Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga details the deaths of seven of these young people in the first decade of the 21st century. It was a real eye-opener for me.

feb 4, 2019, 3:25 pm

I've added a few more to my list:
To Ontario - Brother by David Chariandy, set in Scarborough
To Quebec - The Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny, set in Montreal and Three Pines
- The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary by Andrew Westoll, set just outside of Montreal
To PEI - Marilla of Greeen Gables by Sarah McCoy

mar 11, 2019, 5:26 pm

I just added Starlight by Richard Wagamese to my BC list. It is set in the northern interior in the Nechako Valley which is between Prince George and Kitimat. There are lovely descriptions of the country as the characters in the book spend a lot of time riding, hiking, camping, fishing and just generally enjoying the great outdoors.

apr 16, 2019, 1:03 pm

I just finished another book set in Nova Scotia. Come from Away is set on the Eastern Shore during World War II. A German U-boat in the coastal waters nearby is spotted and blown up but one officer survives. Using skills learned from his father he takes shelter in a hunting camp and manages to trap and fish to survive. He speaks some English so he goes to the local store to sell some of his pelts and get some groceries. There he meets a young woman that he had danced with when he and some of his mates came ashore to attend a local dance. Although that sounds far-fetched it apparently is based upon an actual occurrence.

jul 1, 2019, 11:20 am

I have trouble finding books set in New Brunswick that aren't written by David Adams Richards so when I found a copy of I am a Truck by Michelle Winters at a library book sale I pounced on it. It's a quirky little book about a francophone couple who have been madly passionately in love for 20 years and then the husband disappears. This results in the wife having to come out of their little cabin in the woods to find a job. As much as she grieves for her husband and misses him every day she starts to explore the wider world and make new friends.

jul 1, 2019, 2:42 pm

>87 gypsysmom: I'm not sure I've managed any from NB in the few years I've been keeping track! :-(

sep 9, 2019, 5:28 pm

I read about Song of Batoche by Maia Caron on the CBC books website and I put a hold on a copy from my library immediately. Of course, all Canadians know Batoche is in Saskatchewan (although in 1885 when this book is set it was still part of the North-West Territory) and that the Second Riel Rebellion was fought there. I didn't learn much beyond the bare bones that Riel was considered a traitor and was hung. With this book I learned so much more and, more importantly, saw history unfolding from the point of view of a woman. It was really well done.

sep 28, 2019, 9:07 pm

I just finished A Better Man the 15th book in Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series. The last book Kingdom of the Blind was set during a blizzard so I guess it is fitting that this book is set in April and there is widespread flooding throughout Quebec. Penny really evokes the countryside in her writing.

nov 1, 2019, 12:24 pm

One of the books on the Giller shortlist this year is set in Newfoundland in the 1800s so technically Newfoundland was not part of Canada then but I am still counting it. The Innocents by Michael Crummey is about a sister and brother left orphaned in a remote cove on the northern shore of Newfoundland and their struggle for survival and for knowledge. I really liked it.

dec 9, 2019, 9:41 pm

I read The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou and thought it was very good. It is about two elite athletes who qualify to represent Canada at the 2000 Olympics. One is a wrestler and the other is a swimmer. They both train at the University of Calgary so after they qualify they meet up and start helping each other train. There is probably some sexual chemistry going on but they are both so focused on training for the Olympics that they don't have time for romance. If you have ever wondered what those people who make it to the Olympics go through you should read this book.

dec 9, 2019, 11:25 pm

>92 gypsysmom: I really liked that one when I read it a few years ago, as well! I share my reviews from here to both Twitter and Facebook, and I got a "like" (or whatever it's called) on Twitter from the author for my review!

dec 25, 2019, 4:41 pm

>93 LibraryCin: Well that's very cool. I believe Angie Abdou was the writer one of my friends here in Winnipeg started corresponding with after she posted her review of one of her books (possibly The Bone Cage) on twitter and got a response from her. So she is obviously quite active on Twitter.

dec 25, 2019, 5:20 pm

>94 gypsysmom: Oh, that's really cool! I'm not active at all on Twitter. I share my reviews and on rare occasions, something else. I don't find it terribly user-friendly, and just haven't taken the time to really figure out how it works. Besides I spend enough time here, Facebook, and Goodreads. I don't need to be online any more than I already am!!

jan 4, 2020, 9:48 pm

Starting off 2020 with a new to me writer and mystery series. The Unquiet Dead is set on and near the Scarborough Bluffs where a man died setting off an investigation that reaches back to the Bosnian war. It was fascinating.

feb 21, 2020, 6:06 pm

Finished listening to The Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice which was read by Billy Merasty. This was an unusual story from an indigenous writer that I was not familiar with. Some CBC radio listeners may know his name because he hosts a radio program from Sudbury. The story is set on a fictional reserve in Northwest Ontario after a power and communications blackout has put the reserve into conditions that existed 50 to 100 years before. At first the band is able to provide power and water by using their backup generators but eventually the diesel to run them is used up. No help is coming to them from the outside world because everywhere has been hit with the same blackout. And did I mention that it's winter? A very long cold and snowy winter that makes life even more difficult. What will happen to the band members when food becomes scarce? Rice has an interesting answer to that question.

mar 2, 2020, 4:21 pm

Barney's Version by Mordecai Richler was on the list that CBC made of 100 Novels that Make You Proud to be Canadian and that made me realize that I had not read any of Richler's novels. I found a wonderful hardback copy at a local UBS and I just finished reading it. I loved it and now I suppose I am going to have to read Richler's other books. It is mostly set in Montreal and is brimming with details and anecdotes from that fascinating city. There is also a subplot about the 1995 Quebec Referendum; it's hard for me to grasp that was 25 years ago now so I guess it qualifies as an historical novel.

mar 2, 2020, 8:02 pm

The movie adaptation of this book was very good too. The other Richler book I liked was Duddy Kravitz.

mar 6, 2020, 9:41 pm

>99 raidergirl3: I didn't see the movie of Barney's Version but I did see the Duddy Kravitz movie which I liked a lot. I just went on my library's web site and put a hold on the DVD of Barney's Version.

mar 6, 2020, 9:46 pm

I have just finished Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles which is one of the books in Canada Reads this year. Set in St. John's NL in the middle of February it is not an uplifting book by any stretch of the imagination but it tackles the issue of abuse and violence towards women with searing commentary and, as such, I think it is an important book in today's world.

apr 25, 2020, 3:33 pm

Andre Alexis' Days by Moonlight is the story of a road trip through small town Ontario but I doubt most people would recognize any of the places mentioned. In the afterward Alexis says all the towns he mentions exist but none of them have the attractions that he ascribes to them in the book. That's probably just as well because they are pretty quirky spots. Although this book won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Award in 2019 I didn't care for it as much as Fifteen Dogs by the same author.

jun 26, 2020, 3:40 pm

I've forgotten to add books to this list for a while.
Quebec (specifically Montreal)
How to Make Love to a Negro by Dany Laferriere is a short novel that is semiautobiographical. Laferriere was a journalist in Haiti who left during Papa Doc Duvalier's regime because he was sure he would be murdered if he stayed. He settled in Montreal and worked as a labourer while continuing to write. It's an interesting look at black culture in Quebec.
Medicine River by Thomas King is set in the same area that King's novel Green Grass, Running Water was i.e. near the Waterton Lakes National Park. It's an area my husband and I have visited often and it was lovely to be reminded of how the mountains and the prairies meld together there. Otherwise I didn't think it was as well-written as other books by King that I have read but it was good enough to keep me listening to it.
Ontario (specifically Orillia)
The K Handshape by Maureen Jennings is a police procedural mystery which has a female detective as the main character. The plot involves the murder of a girl who was deaf and the mother of a deaf child so there is quite a bit of discussion about deaf culture. I understand Maureen Jennings is the author of the books that the wildly successful Murdoch Mysteries are based upon but I had never read anything by her before. I think I'll have to look for more of her books.

aug 5, 2020, 9:45 am

Again updating this list has gotten away from me.
British Columbia
After reading Thomas King's Medicine River I realized I had another of his books on my bookshelf so I read The Back of the Turtle which is set in a coastal community in BC that has undergone an environmental disaster that killed lots of wildlife, marine life and people. It was very good.
Manitoba and northwestern Ontario
Juliana and the Medicine Fish by Jake MacDonald
Juliana grew up in a family owned fishing lodge on Lake of the Woods. Then her parents split up and she moves with her mom to Winnipeg. During the summer vacation she gets to go back to the lodge to spend time with her father and she enters a fishing contest hoping to catch a trophy fish that will bring prize money she can use to help sustain the lodge which is struggling financially.
All across Canada but large portions set in British Columbia
Chop Suey Nation by Ann Hui
Hui is a journalist with the Globe and Mail. She grew up in Vancouver the daughter of two Chinese immigrants. When she decided to do a series on family run Chinese restaurants in small town Canada she starts in Victoria and drives across Canada with her husband ending in Newfoundland, specifically in Fogo Island. Her interviews with owners of the restaurants point out one overwhelming reason why these people left their homeland to come to Canada. All of them wanted to provide a better life for their children. Hui realized that her own parents followed this same track and she weaves their history into this book along with the stories of other Chinese immigrants who brought Chop Suey to almost every small town in Canada.

Redigeret: aug 5, 2020, 1:17 pm

"Chop Suey Nation" sounds interesting!

ETA: Apparently, I thought it sounded interesting once before. It's already on my tbr!

aug 6, 2020, 1:02 pm

>105 LibraryCin: So nice to know someone else does that.

aug 6, 2020, 11:44 pm

>106 gypsysmom: LOL! Yup!

sep 27, 2020, 5:27 pm

Northwest Territory
The Lesser Blessed by Richard Van Camp

A coming-of-age tale about a Dogrib boy in a fictional community that is probably based on Fort Smith where Van Camp grew up. Predictably the boy is focused on sex as most teenage boys are. But he also has a tragedy in his past and that haunts his life.

dec 10, 2020, 4:19 pm

British Columbia
The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

Although parts of this book take place outside of Canada, the eponymous hotel is in BC on a remote island off the northern tip of Vancouver Island. The hotel is central to the main plot lines as the two main characters, a brother and sister, both work at the hotel when the owner, an investment manager from New York City, comes to visit. What happens in one night changes the fate of both main characters. The brother concentrates on his musical compositions, which gives him some measure of fame. The sister marries the hotel owner and they are together for about 3 years when his investment scheme is shown to be a Ponzi scheme and he is sent to jail for the rest of his life. I liked the book very much and it made me think about all the victims of fraud who can never recoup their losses.

Redigeret: feb 24, 2021, 4:04 pm

Ridgerunner by Gil Adamson

Part Western, part murder mystery, part psychological thriller and wholly mesmerizing.

Jack Boulton almost dies when he is just twelve years old and his mother, Mary Boulton (who was the central character of The Outlander by the same author), does die. Jack's father, William Moreland, leaves Jack in the care of former nun Sister Beatrice while he goes off to steal enough money to ensure Jack's future. Banff and Lake Louise and the Crowsnest Pass all figure prominently in this story which is set in 1917 while World War I is raging in Europe.

feb 24, 2021, 4:05 pm

A Map of Glass by Jane Urquhart

An elderly man with dementia goes out for a walk in the middle of winter and freezes to death. In the early spring his body is discovered by an artist who is using a retreat on an island in Lake Ontario. The island plays an important role in the dead man's family which we learn about as pieces of his life story are revealed by the woman who was his lover when she goes to meet the artist. It's a fascinating exploration of family and love and duty and Urquhart's writing is note perfect.

feb 24, 2021, 4:11 pm

Rabbit Foot Bill by Helen Humphreys

Leonard is a bullied teenager in small town Saskatchewan who forms an unlikely relationship with a man whom everyone calls Rabbit Foot Bill because he sells the feet from the rabbits he traps. Then Bill kills one of the boys that bully Leonard and he is sent to prison. Years later Leonard, who has qualified as a psychiatrist, takes a job at the Weyburn Mental Hospital and re-encounters Bill. Their friendship picks up where it left off but the two have changed in the intervening years and Leonard questions his interaction with Bill which prevents him from working with the patients he is supposed to be helping leave the institution.

apr 23, 2021, 12:19 pm

New Brunswick
George and Rue by George Elliott Clarke

Some of this book is set in Nova Scotia but that just leads up to the horrific crime that George and Rue Hamilton commit in 1949 in Fredericton, New Brunswick so I've decided to designate it as a book from NB. Clarke's writing is magnificent.

sep 7, 2021, 10:02 pm

I've forgotten to update a few books that I have read in the past few months.

Grain by Robert J. C. Stead
Life on a Manitoba farm from in the early half of the 20th century.

Confessions of an Igloo Dweller by James Houston
James Houston almost single-handedly brought Inuit art to the attention of the wider world. This book is his memoir of how that came about.

British Columbia
Thunder Through my Veins by Gregory Scofield
Raised in BC Scofield was hardly aware that he was Metis but he kept delving into his heritage and found some meaning for his life.

Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead
Thanks to Canada Reads I decided to read this book about a two-spirit indigenous boy coming to terms with his sexuality and his heritage.

Unearthed by Alexandra Risen
A fascinating memoir about how bringing back an abandoned garden in a Toronto ravine helped the author deal with her childhood.

Small Beneath the Sky by Lorna Crozier
Another memoir by a gifted poet about growing up poor on the Saskatchewan prairie.

sep 8, 2022, 9:55 pm

Okay, so it's been a year since I updated. These are the books I read in the last four months of 2021.

British Columbia
The Very Marrow of Our Bones by Christine Higdon
Swamp Angel by Ethel Wilson

The Strangers by Katharena Vermette

Heat Wave by Maureen Jennings
The Corpse Will Keep by Pat Capponi
November Rain by Maureen Jennings
The Forgotten Home Child by Genvieve Graham

The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny

sep 9, 2022, 3:47 pm

Time to add the 2022 books read so far:
British Columbia
Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
Hetty Dorval by Ethel Wilson

Glass Beads by Dawn Dumont

A Criminal to Remember by Michael Van Rooy

Erasing Memory by Scott Thornley
Walkaway by Cory Doctorow

When We Lost Our Heads by Heather O'Neill

jan 12, 2023, 7:58 pm

I came here to add a book I just finished but realized I still had some books from the last part of 2022 to mention.

Newfoundland and Labrador
We, Jane by Aimee Wall - a novel about underground abortion providers before they became legal in Canada

Second Chances by Harriet Zaidman - YA novel set during the polio epidemic of 1953

British Columbia
Atlin: Where Everyone Knows Your Dog's Name by Bradford Smith - a memoir about growing up in a remote northern BC town

jan 12, 2023, 8:02 pm

And now for 2023, my first book is set in Manitoba

And Then is Heard No More by Raye Anderson - a mystery involving theatre people being violently killed in Winnipeg. The body of the first murder victim was found outside Winnipeg so RCMP Sargeant Roxanne Calloway is the chief investigator. When other people are killed in Winnipeg she has to work jointly with Winnipeg Police Sargeant Cooper Jenkins who is a bit of a loose cannon.

jan 12, 2023, 9:56 pm

>118 gypsysmom: Oooh, this sounds good!

jan 13, 2023, 9:08 am

>117 gypsysmom: - Ok, 3 book bullets for me in one thread!

The book We, Jane sounds a lot like another book that came out in the last year or so about this topic. It's called Looking for Jane by Heather Marshall, also Canadian. I own the book but have not yet read it. I was intrigued, though, when I heard an interview on the radio with the author.

jan 16, 2023, 12:51 pm

>120 jessibud2: I agree that Looking for Jane sounds quite a bit like We, Jane and for that reason I haven't picked it up. It's interesting that two authors would choose the same subject matter at almost the same time. I'd be interested in knowing what you think of Looking for Jane once you have read it.

jan 31, 2023, 4:37 pm

One more book from Ontario to add:
Ghostlight by Kenneth Oppel - This is a YA novel set in Toronto and particularly on the Toronto Islands. Gabe is doing ghost tours around the island as a summer job and he always ends at the lighthouse where a keeper and his daughter mysteriously died in the 1800s. He always mentions them by name and now the ghost of the daughter has contacted him. She needs help to extricate her father's ghost from the malevolent spirit that caused their deaths and swallowed her father's essence. Not really scary but full of interesting historical details about the Islands and Toronto.

maj 2, 2023, 5:38 pm

Long after everyone else has probably read it I read Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton this week. I can see why it won the Canada Reads competition this year. Even though I loved Greenwood and was rooting for it, Ducks probably has an even more important message for Canada. The Oil Sands is not just environmentally toxic it is also gender toxic and health toxic. Since this book is set mostly in Alberta that's where I'm going to place it.

maj 2, 2023, 10:27 pm

>123 gypsysmom: Haven't read it yet... but will someday (hard to say when)! Am looking forward to it, though. :-)

maj 9, 2023, 1:17 pm

And now I have finished the last of the Canada Reads short list, Hotline by Dimitri Nasralla. We see the city of Montreal through the eyes of new Lebanese immigrant Muna Heddad. She and her son came to Canada after her husband was kidnapped and presumed dead. Starting over is hard. Even though Muna speaks excellent French she can't get a job as a teacher so she goes to work as a telephone consultant for a weight loss products company. Although not my favourite of this year's list I thought it was very good. I have to say after reading all five of them that each book was well worth reading.

maj 15, 2023, 4:06 pm

Down Came the Rain by Raye Anderson is a mystery set in Manitoba's Interlake area. This is the third in the Roxanne Calloway series. Roxanne is an RCMP sergeant with a young son who was widowed before the series started. In this book she is in charge of the Fiskar Bay detachment. The previous sergeant retired in the fall and then he and his wife went to Arizona for the winter. No-one knew they were back (well, someone must have known but it wasn't general knowledge as it usually would be in a small community) so when the retired officer is found dead in a ditch in early spring it is a shock. The RCMP Major Crimes Unit will investigate but Calloway helps out where she can. When another RCMP officer is killed everyone is worried and anxious to find the killer. There are lots of suspects but, of course, the actual perpetrator comes as a complete surprise.

I didn't think the plot of this book was as good as the last one but in terms of descriptions of the Interlake area and small towns in general it is probably one of the best I've read.

jun 10, 2023, 10:35 am

The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrud is mainly set in a fictional town in Ontario along the St. Lawrence Seaway. In the 1950s when the Seaway was expanded and some areas were flooded behind hydro-electric dams the inhabitants of a village about to go under the water had to be moved. In the book the characters can see the flooded village under the water when they go out on the lake. I had not realized that this had occurred so that is one benefit I got out of reading this book. Otherwise, I was less than impressed by this book which won the Giller Prize in 2010.

aug 26, 2023, 2:58 pm

Anangokaa by Cameron Alam is historical fiction set in the Selkirk settlement of Baldoon in Upper Canada. The protagonist is a fourteen year old girl who relocated to Canada from the Scottish Highlands with her family. Upon arrival at their prospective home they found it was little more than a swamp and was infested with mosquitoes that passed on malaria. Four of the MacCallum's caught malaria and only Flora, the 14 year old, survived. She was left quite weak and badly scarred. Shortly after her recovery the settlement was visited by two Ojibway men and one, Niiganii, became a friend of the MacCallums. And maybe more than a friend to Flora. I thought this was a really well done exploration of a time and place that modern Canada knows little about.

sep 2, 2023, 5:43 pm

I just finished Tomson Highway's memoir, Permanent Astonishment which takes place in northern Manitoba. What a great outlook on life he has. He was the 11th of 12 children born to a Cree trapper/fisher and his wife. They lost 5 of those children before they turned 10, all due to pneumonia. Tomson, two weeks premature, was actually born in a snowbank as his parents were returning to Brochet from trapping further north. Fortunately, a Dene family was on the same island and one of the women was a midwife. His father and mother wanted something better for their children than they had so they sent all of them to a Catholic residential school. Tomson was abused by one of the priests there but he doesn't dwell on that. Instead, he fills this memoir with mostly happy experiences including his achieving the highest marks ever in a residential school and learning classical music from one of the nuns. He also treasured the two months of summer when he returned home and went out with his parents wherever they had established their fishing camp for the summer. The memoir concludes when he graduates from grade 12 and goes to Winnipeg for high school. I certainly hope he writes about the next chapter in his life.

jan 12, 12:40 pm

Sunshine Nails by Mai Nguyen is set in Toronto where the author now lives. But it had its genesis in the nail salon her parents operated in Halifax. It's about a Vietnamese family, the Trans, who have been running a nail salon in Toronto for twenty years when they are suddenly hit with multiple events that threaten the viability of their business. As I said in my review, this is a heart-warming but realistic view of what immigrants in Canada face to live here.