fmgee's Canadian Tour

SnakCanadian Fiction/Non-Fiction Reading Challenge

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fmgee's Canadian Tour

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Redigeret: jun 11, 2014, 4:18 pm

Okay I was not planning on putting this together when I joined the group but rather learning about good books from Canada. Still I had a little time and decided to see what provinces I am missing. These are all the books I have read from Canada starting from around 2000 when I first visited (or at least those I can remember!).

Alberta – Inukshuk by Gregory Spatz
British Columbia - The Man Game,
The Forest Lover,
The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed,
Three Against the Wilderness,
Totem Poles and Tea
White Slaves of the Nootka
An Enchantment of Birds
Border Songs
The Whole Truth
And nothing but the Truth
When is a Man
The Devil you Know
Adventures in Solitude
Labrador - Northern Nurse
Manitoba - Kiss the Fur Queen
Louis Riel
New Brunswick -
Newfoundland - The Girl from Away,
Lament for an Ocean,
The Boat That Wouldn’t Float,
The Bird Artist: A Novel,
Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World,
Colony of Unrequited Dreams,
The Custodian of Paradise
Northwest Territories - Last of the Curlews
Nova Scotia Last Summer in Louisbourg,
Fall on Your Knees
Halifax, Warden of the North
The Bishop's Man
Nunavut -People of the Deer
Lost in the Barrens
An Arctic Man
Never Cry Wolf
Ontario - Crow Lake ,
Housebroken: Confession of a Stay-At-Home Dad,
The Film Club,
Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures,
Fifth Business,
The Ash Garden: A Novel,
The Way the Crow Flies: A Novel
Paying for it
Prince Edward Island - Bannock, Beans and Black Tea
Anne of Green Gables
Quebec - The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz
Lullabies for little Criminals
I never liked you
Still Life
Saskatchewan - The Garden of Eden,
The Gates of the Sun
Cool Water
Yukon - Drifting Home
Call of the Wild

and here are two that I cannot remember enough to place them in a province/ territory just yet
Summer North of 60
The Last Crossing: A Novel

sep 17, 2010, 7:46 pm

Yay welcome fmgee! PEI books an be a challenge to find (Aside from Avonlee of course). I will have to check out those Saskatchewan books :)

sep 18, 2010, 10:43 am

Sharon Butala has written some great books. The Garden of Eden was very good. I was amazed that only 19 people have it in their library. If you need a book for Ethiopia in any global challenge this book would work for that as well.

sep 18, 2010, 11:29 am

#3 - Heh! I am one of them! Yah me... Not sure I have read it yet though. I read one of hers awhile ago and liked it but I think it was a different one.

sep 18, 2010, 12:26 pm

4: Nice work bucketyell I did notice you name as one of the 19. If you have not read it I recommend moving it up the TBR pile. Sharon Butala does an awesome job of describing the praries.

This morning I started Last of the Curlews which I am going to count towards the Northwest Territories as this is where the birds used to breed.

Redigeret: sep 19, 2010, 9:22 pm

I finished Last of the Curlews today and for an anthropomorphic book I was quite impressed. Typically this kind of thing would just piss me off but not this time.

Now it is back to People of the Deer which takes place in Nunavut.

sep 19, 2010, 10:46 pm

Is it in Nunavut or the NWT? I thought it was NWT from my partial info, but would appreciate being set straight if I am wrong!

Redigeret: sep 20, 2010, 10:25 am

Just checked with the map in the front of the book again and it is partially Manitoba and mostly Nunavut. I tried to do a quick google maps line to show the authors route... I hope it works

View People of the Deer in a larger map

sep 19, 2010, 11:07 pm

Good to know, thank you! :)

okt 3, 2010, 5:37 pm

Well I finally finished People of the Deer for my Nunavut book. I have no idea what I am going to read next... what a wonderful position to be in! To the bookshelf...

okt 6, 2010, 8:07 pm

I am not sure where to count Lost in the Barrens. It really does travel from Manitoba to NWT to Nunavut. Most of it seems to be in Nunavut so that might be best.

okt 6, 2010, 9:23 pm

That is where I counted it :)

okt 10, 2010, 9:33 pm

oh dear major touchstone issues above. Anyhow just finished An Arctic Man for my third Nunavut book in a row. Not sure what will be next

Redigeret: jan 18, 2011, 6:00 pm

For some reason I never put White Slaves of the Nootka on this list and I read it in October. I seemed to have not touched Canlit in a while but I do want to finish this challenge sometime so I will be back (and probably adding to the same provinces I have already read from!)

mar 13, 2011, 7:25 pm

It has been a while since I have added a book here but I just finished another BC book called An Enchantment of Birds. It was a series of short anecdotes that were wonderful to read.

apr 8, 2011, 1:12 am

Sounds like a cute book! Have you seen many of them yourself?

apr 8, 2011, 11:43 am

16: I guess that I had seen about three quarters of the birds mentioned. Some of them are only found in the interior of BC which is a place that I have yet to bird and only driven through once.

I did hit a birding milestone last month when I saw my 300th Canadian species (a Rock Sandpiper in Victoria). Tomorrow I am taking part in a Big Day Challenge to see how many species of birds my team can see between 4:30am and 3pm tomorrow in the local area. It is to raise money for the Brant Festival (

apr 9, 2011, 6:10 pm

Good luck with your Big Day. Spring is my favorite birding time; I just wish I had more free time to go out.

apr 9, 2011, 11:06 pm

Ooo good luck, let us know how you do! :)

apr 11, 2011, 2:50 pm

We were lucky to have really good weather (unlike yesterday) and managed to get 84 species which is more than I had hoped for. It was nice to be outside for the entire day.

apr 24, 2011, 10:46 am

I have added Call of the Wild to my Yukon list. It is about time I tackle one of my untouched provinces... I will have to see what I have on the shelf.

jun 15, 2011, 12:11 pm

I do not know why but in the middle of making granola I remembered another Nova Scotia book I read a few years ago. Halifax, Warden of the North. I picked it up in Halifax on my honeymoon and enjoyed reading it as it did not seem as dry as some histories can be.

I am half way through The Bishop's Man also a NS book and perhaps explains by the above came to mind. I seem to have trouble moving onto new provinces!

jun 16, 2011, 3:20 pm

I finished The Bishop's Man today. What is it with books from Nova Scotia? This and Fall on your Knees are well written and engrossing but leave you feeling ill when you are done.

jun 19, 2011, 4:05 pm

Warden of the North sounds interesting! I don't think I could handle Fall on your Knees..

jun 19, 2011, 6:44 pm

I read Fall on your knees in 97, loved it and have recommended it to about a dozen people since then. I'm still waiting for a response other than, 'Why do you read these books?!' It's obviously not everyone's cup of tea but it is a well-written story with some excellently-drawn characters. Never say never, Janice!

jun 19, 2011, 11:16 pm

Fall on your Knees is nothing short of brilliant. Yes it is shocking as well (not as bad as her second novel The way the crow flies). Some books are really fun but two week later you don't really remember what happened it was just fun at the time. Other books stick with you for a long time because they tug at something deeper and stick with you for a long time. Fall on your knees is one of those, I would also add The poisonwood Bible to that. If you need a movie that does the same thing try Once Were Warriors ( but be warned it is in your face! Can fun, jovial books do that same thing? hmm I think so. As long as the circumstance are right when you are reading them and something clicks.

jun 20, 2011, 7:34 am

I loved The Way the Crow Flies too. I carried it with me everywhere when I was reading it, which is no small feat! And although I prefer Alan Duff's Once were warriors to the film version, I am always impressed by the opening sequence - it's so edgy and urban, in contrast to the rural softness of Maori life as seen through New Zealand film up to that point. I always use that sequence when I'm teaching Whale Rider, as the two are in dialogue with each other so well. Although I again prefer the book, have you seen/read the sequel What becomes of the broken hearted?

jun 20, 2011, 2:08 pm

I did read The Way the Crow Flies and enjoyed the childhood aspects of it (I agree, it is a large sized book!). Are you saying that Fall on your Knees is less shocking than that? If so I may have over estimated the uncomfortableness of the book.

I read The Poisonwood Bible this year and just posted my review yesterday. I loved that book and am glad that I stopped putting off reading it.

jun 20, 2011, 5:59 pm

27: For some reason I never figured out the Once were warriors was a book so I know nothing about the sequel! I might have to look into these.

The Way the Crow Flies is a very big book. I did find this one more shocking than Fall on your Knees. There is something about the characters in Fall on your Knees that makes it special. I do think that it is worth reading.

jun 29, 2011, 11:24 am

I finished Cool Water for another Saskatchewan book. One of these days I am going to crack into a new province.

jul 17, 2011, 10:45 am

I just started The apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz for my first Quebec book.

Redigeret: aug 3, 2011, 4:40 pm

Finally a new province, I just finished The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz for Quebec. I have mixed feelings about the book but I think it is more mixed feelings about the central character Duddy.

aug 3, 2011, 4:41 pm

A second novel for Quebec that I just finished is Lullabies for little Criminals. It was a really good book, not fun and happy but very well done.

aug 6, 2011, 9:03 pm

How did you like Cool Water? Congrats on all the reading :)

aug 6, 2011, 9:48 pm

Thanks. My view on Cool Water is somewhat mixed. I liked some of the stories and others I just wished were shorter or not show up so much so I could get back to the good ones. The writing was great I just found some characters a little too dull or somehow not believable. The book did remind me of Kate Grenville's The Idea of Perfection which followed the lives of very different people in a small country town in Australia. Both of these books are worth reading even though I think both of them could have been better as they do a great job of dealing with small town life.

aug 16, 2011, 11:13 am

Another new province with Kiss the Fur Queen for Manitoba. I liked the book as it did a very good job of building. The hallucinogenic nature of parts of it were a little weird to start but they seemed to fit well with the book.

Three provinces to go. I am making an effort to polish them off as I have identified the books.

aug 16, 2011, 3:49 pm

My kids had a good time at the park today so I had time to sit and start and finish Bannock, Beans and Black Tea. Set in PEI in the great depression it was an interesting little book describing small aspects of the authors life when he was a child.

Some part of me did not want to pick up Anne of Green Gables so I was very pleased to find this book for PEI

aug 16, 2011, 7:09 pm

I've put Bannock, Beans and Black Tea by John Gallant on my wishlist. It sound intriguing.

aug 18, 2011, 12:32 am

A second novel for Quebec that I just finished is Lullabies for little Criminals. It was a really good book, not fun and happy but very well done.

This was my favourite book so far this year. I listened to it on audiobook back in January, and because of the tone of voice of the reader, I did find it fun and happy. At least it started out that way. And then things got pretty grim for poor Baby. But still, the voice was so optimistic throughout. So although the story went all sorts of horrific places, to me it was still quite uplifting.

Another new province with Kiss the Fur Queen for Manitoba. I liked the book as it did a very good job of building. The hallucinogenic nature of parts of it were a little weird to start but they seemed to fit well with the book.

This was my favourite book from a few years ago. It never would have occurred to me to use the term "hallucinogenic" to describe those parts, but now that you mention it, they were a little hallucinogenic, weren't they. I just looked at them as magic realism. I'll have to look at all the magic realism that I've liked and consider whether it too is hallucinogenic. Interesting observation! Thanks for sending me off on new trains of thought. By the way, did you have a favourite scene? I just loved when the brothers ended up at the ballet. One of my all time favourite scenes in any book I've read in the last 5 years.

And since you liked Kiss of the Fur Queen, I recommend Green Grass, Running Water, which has some similar aspects. That one has some great scenes too. And some hallucinogenic ones, too ;-)

aug 18, 2011, 11:54 am

Nickelini: I was over looking the voice of Baby in my comment as you are very right she was always optimistic. I felt that added to how sad the whole situation was as she had no idea how bad things were. As an audio book this could have been brilliant with the right person reading it.

As for Kiss the Fur Queen, hallucinogenic is all I could think of to describe it. It reminded me of movie scenes for movies like Easy Rider. "Magic Realism" was not a term I was familiar with before now... I had to look it up! I did wonder how close to Cree Mythology those scenes were. As for my favourite scene the brothers ending up at the ballet was a highlight. I especially liked how they were the only ones left in the lobby with the food. I also really like the birth of Champion and the repetitive mention of the lucky tooth.

Thanks for the recommendation I have put it on my wishlist

aug 23, 2011, 5:53 pm

I am glad you liked Kiss of a Fur Queen as that is one I am going to read eventually. Bannock, Beans and Black tea has been on my wishlist for a bit, so glad you enjoyed it! :)

aug 23, 2011, 7:04 pm

Okay, now you have me all interested in Kiss of the Fur Queen.

feb 9, 2012, 9:29 pm

wow it has been a while since I have added anything here but I realised I have read a number of Chester Brown books.

For Ontario Paying for it, for Quebec I never liked you and for Manitoba Louis Riel.

Maybe soon I will add something with more words than pictures!

jun 18, 2012, 5:12 pm

Finally a new province! Inukshuk by Gregory Spatz is set in a fictional town near Calgary in Alberta. A wonderful tale of a father and son both a little lost in the world. I was surprised a how much I liked this book. It would make a great Book Club read as there is plenty to discuss.

jul 7, 2012, 12:39 am

I liked Inukshuk as well, although I have to admit the thought of a child giving himself scurvy really made me squirm... that's just wrong :P

jul 7, 2012, 9:59 pm

I did wonder how much research went into the scurvy thing. Considering that the son admitted to eating some things with Vitamin C in them I wondered how likely it was that he ended up suffering from it.

jul 7, 2012, 10:42 pm

True enough. Although it sounded like he made himself sick afterwards.

I keep remembering the (true) story about the pair of international students at UBC, trying to save money. They gave themselves scurvy by living off of KD and Ramen. *shudders*

sep 10, 2012, 2:53 pm

Just finished Border Songs by Jim Lynch. A wonderful book set on the border of Canada and the US (BC/ Washington). I loved everything about this book in particular the very quirky central character of Brandon Vanderkool. With drug smuggling, cross border tension, birdwatching and small town gossip this book really has a lot going on and is wonderfully put together.

sep 10, 2012, 4:41 pm

#48 - I'm so glad that you liked Border Songs too!

sep 10, 2012, 5:01 pm

49:Thanks for writing such a wonderful review as that is what made me pick it up when I saw it at the library. It was a very fun read.

nov 24, 2013, 3:13 pm

I just finished a nice little children's book by Kit Pearson. The Whole Truth tells the story of two sisters who in the 1930's have to move from Winnipeg to an island between Vancouver and Victoria to live with their grandmother. The family history and the purpose of the move is slowly revealed. I really enjoyed the book. It is nice to have a kids book set here and during that time. (4 stars).

jan 22, 2014, 8:05 pm

Just finished Anne of Green Gables as another book for PEI. Just need one more province to "finish" but I gave up on the novel that could do it!

feb 17, 2014, 6:04 pm

I read the first Louise Penny mystery series, Still Life. I was hoping for more than I found there.

feb 28, 2014, 9:26 pm

Don't give up on Louise yet. The first one I read was the 4th one. (That was my discovery of the series.) Then I went back and read the other three. I definitely prefer books four and forward to the earlier ones. There is, however, action in those early books that is frequently referred to in later installments that you would prefer to have "first-hand' knowledge of by having read those earlier books.

apr 5, 2014, 6:00 pm

Just finished When is a Man by Aaron Shepard. Set in the interior of BC. I really enjoyed it.

jun 11, 2014, 4:17 pm

Just finished another book set in Desolation Sound BC, Adventures in Solitude. An enjoyable and humorous memoir.