Saturday, October 16, 2010 |
You're not here to read my ramblings, you're here for the reader recommendations. Behold below!
Alexis Everitt recommends: Moody Food by Ray Robertson
Voted one of CBC's top 10 Rock & Roll novels, Moody Food was a hilarious, rollicking novel of the early days of R&R, and Yorkville when it was more hippie than hipster. An undervalued Canadian novel deserving of the Canada Reads spotlight.
Emily Sopkowe recommends: Annabel by Kathleen Winter
It is a beautiful work of art, with plenty of content to dig your teeth into. Furthermore, it is set in Labrador, a mysterious corner of Canada.
Myrna Allen recommends: The Shack by William P. Young
The protagonist in The Shack is one of my favourite characters in Canadian fiction. I also felt the essence of the protagonist's sense of tragedy, eternity, and hope as he moved through the novel. Furthermore, I enjoyed his take on God and the way in which he revealed the character of Christ.
Rajni Khelawan recommends: The End of the Dark and Stormy Night by Rajni Mala Khelawan
It's Canadian and multicultural, been picked up by three book clubs as it's controversial. It focuses around sexuality and religion, mainly Hinduism and Christianity — stimulates discussion. It supports gay and lesbian lifestyle — in with the times. Most literary reviews claim that it's humorous and the characters are alive and vibrant.
Elizabeth-Anne Malischewski recommends: Far to Go by Alison Pick
I am just now reading it and can't seem to put it down. It is unusual in its structure, but never jarring. I feel that I am inside the Bauer family, having to make the same choices as they once did.
Ross Turvey recommends: The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald
Awesome complex plot and character development, plus an amazing snapshot of the 60's — a time in which I grew up, as did the protagonist of the novel.
Diane Martin recommends: Finding Home by Eric Wright
This book is a gem on many fronts. There is a mystery which is revealed in the course of an interesting and informative journey through England by the author and his cousin, with whom he has humorous conversations. The cousin wishes to learn about Canada and the information the author chooses as a concise picture of Canada's history makes this truly a book for all Canadians.
Donna McGreal recommends: The Birth House by Ami McKay
This book is an amazing chronology of the history in the early 1900s of the social and legal status of women, midwifery and the effects on a small Nova Scotian village of a new maternity hospital. Although it is fiction, Ms. McKay has done a remarkable job of collecting her facts from an East Coast perspective. To me, this book should be listed as one of the all-time greats in Canadian literature.
Donna Johnson recommends: Room by Emma Donoghue
I thought this would exploit those horrific stories we hear about in the media, instead it is the amazing story focusing on the love between a mother and her son.
Barbara Kneteman recommends: The Outlander by Gil Adamson
It is an amazing adventure story that has one of the most incredibly strong, female main characters ever developed in Canadian literature.
Shawn Syms recommends: Helpless by Barbara Gowdy
Barbara Gowdy has spent a career mining the unusual complexities of human experience in a sympathetic and literary manner, and Helpless is a particularly challenging work. Focused on a terrible and terrifying subject (a man's abduction of, and sexual obsession with, a young girl), this brave, sensitive book would make for an extremely provocative Canada Reads defence.
Donna Troicuk recommends: Quintet by Douglas Arthur Brown
This award-winner is a novel without a plot — but don't let that put you off. After the sudden death of their parents three adult brothers — triplets — attempt to reconnect by sharing a journal. In this way, intimate personal details of their own lives and their somewhat distant relationship with their older brother weave together a set of threads to create a tapestry of family life.
Shauna Clem recommends: Consumption by Kevin Patterson
Consumption is a lyrical yet unsentimental novel about the Arctic, the Inuit, and the maelstrom of change that disorients us all. The story follows the life of an Inuit woman who is born on the land in the 1950's, and is evacuated to Southern Canada to have her TB treated. She returns to the North as the last of the Inuit are coming in off the land.
Andrea Nemeth recommends: Smoke by Elizabeth Ruth
Smoke uses all the well known and well loved conventions of Canadian literature to their very best and then subverts the reader's expectations of them beautifully. It is an engaging and timeless story.
Peter J. MacDonald recommends: Norman Bray, in the Performance of His Life by Trevor Cole
It was a long time since a book moved me like this one did. I laughed out loud, felt frustrated, angry — the characters were just so real. This is an excellent book. Most people probably have a Norman in their lives, you will recognize him.
Judith Caban recommends: Consolation by Michael Redhill
Loved the grimy depiction of early Toronto intertwined with a present day story. Both were intriguing stories, which ultimately deal with the importance of preserving our knowledge and understanding of our history.
Melanie Kahana recommends: The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
This book is beautifully written and drew me in from the first page.The main character is multi-dimensional and captivating. I personally like the fact that the main character is a strong female figure. The book also gives me a better understanding the history of black slavery in America. This is necessary reading for both young adults and older adults.
Scott Sellers recommends: Galore by Michael Crummey
It is the most imaginative Canadian novel that I've read in a very, very long time. The writing is beautiful. It really transported me to a place that I've never been before.
Erin Balser is an associate producer of Canada Reads.