Happy Canada Day! It’s a long weekend up here, which is nice, and to celebrate everything Canadian, I’ve decided to put together a wee list of some of my favourite books by Canadian authors that I’ve read in the past year (2015 – 2016).
- Still Mine by Amy Stuart (review) — I read this book earlier this year and it’s absolutely marvelous! Very atmospheric, foreboding, and mysterious; you’re not quite sure who to trust in this wee mining town in the middle of nowhere, and the protagonist is fighting her own past demons whilst searching for clues to the whereabouts of a missing woman. I’ve mentioned it recently how it’s a perfect vacation read, but it’s a great read any time, really.
- Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis (review) — This was last year’s winner of the Giller Prize, which prompted me to check it out (plus I got some verbal recommendations when I was at the bookstore shortly afterwards). It was absolutely stunning, from the premise of bringing human consciousness to this group of fifteen dogs to capturing the essense of human experience. Not to mention from the Canadian standpoint it gives a curious/change of perspective of the city I live in.
- Family Furnishings by Alice Munro (review) — No list of Canadian literature is ever complete without mentioning Alice Munro 😛 I selected this title, the latest compliation of her works, because it’s all around a solid collection. I found I prefer her later stories to her earlier ones–much easier to get into, the themes and scenarios interesting–and think this is a great starting point if you’ve never read anything by her before.
- Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden (review) — Joseph Boyden is a quite a big author up here, writing about Aboriginal experience in Canadian history and about Aboriginals and their lives as a whole. I hadn’t gotten around to reading any of his books until this year and suffice to say it was quite a read! I learned a lot about the Aboriginal contribution to the Canadian forces during World War One as well as a myriad of other topics such as the residential schools and the serious issue of morphine addiction. Can’t wait to read more books by him!
- The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley (review) — Any book by her, really (see author tag), but to date this title has to be my favourite from her. It’s absolutely atmospheric, feels like you’re almost in northern Scotland, at Slains, facing the sea. Both storylines–the 17th century one and the present day one–were absolutely enthralling, I couldn’t quite put it down once I started reading it. I’ve enjoyed almost all of her books save for one of two but if you’re new to her works or want a sample of her storytelling, this is definitely the book to check out.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And that’s my list of recommendations of books to check out by Canadian authors! Have you read any of these titles? If so, what did you think of them? If you haven’t read any of these, well, now’s your chance! I’m hosting a flash book giveaway where you can win your choice of book from the above five titles* 🙂 This giveaway is open internationally so long as The Book Depository ships to your country. This giveaway will run until 08 July 2016 at 11:59PM. A winner will be selected the following day and will have 48 hours to respond to the email so please make sure you enter a valid email address! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or email me at webmaster [at] eclectictales [dot] com. Bonne chance! 😀
* – If you’ve read the above titles by Alice Munro, Joseph Boyden, or Susanna Kearsley, I’d be happy to send you a book of theirs that you haven’t read.
Haha, seems like yesterday that I was just bidding the month of May adieu! And now here we are at the end of June…I’m currently away at the moment so things are a little quiet on my Twitter but I’ll get back to comments (and emails) when I get back next week. In the meantime, here’s what has been going on at my blog for the month of June:
- A bit related on the book reviews featured this month: about a third of the book reviews that went live this June were books I had read towards the end of 2015 but for one reason or another kept getting scheduled further and further back until it ended up in June xD Anyway, books featured this month include: Elizabeth Boyle’s The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane (review), Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Lions of Al-Rassan (review), and Joseph Orenda’s Three Day Road (review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
- One ARC reviews was posted this month: Alexander Lernet-Holenia’s Mona Lisa (review). You can check out all of the ARCs I’ve read and reviewed to date in this tag.
- For this month’s So You Want to Read…, I focused on books by Marina Fiorato which felt fitting as her novels evoke much of sunny, lush, bella Italia 🙂 You can check out my list of recommendations for her books over here. For all my previous recommendations under this feature, check out this tag.
- I posted not one but two Eclectic Ponderings posts this month xD You can check out all of my ponderings to date over in this tag.
And that’s about it from me for the month! How was your June? Wishing everyone a lovely July–and to all my fellow Canadian bloggers & readers a wonderful long weekend 🙂 And just a heads up to watch this space tomorrow, July 1st, for something special (aka it may or may not be a flash giveaway? 😉 )
Three Day Road
By: Joseph Boyden
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
It is 1919, and Niska, the last Oji-Cree medicine woman to live off the land, has received word that one of the two boys she grudgingly saw off to war has returned. She leaves her home in the bush of Northern Ontario to retrieve him, only to discover that the one she expected is actually the other.
Xavier Bird, her sole living relation, gravely wounded and addicted to the army’s morphine, hovers somewhere between the living world and that of the dead. As Niska paddles him the three days home, she realizes that all she can offer in her attempt to keep him alive is her words, the stories of her life.
In turn, Xavier relates the horrifying years of war in Europe: he and his best friend, Elijah Whiskeyjack, prowled the battlefields of France and Belgium as snipers of enormous skill. As their reputations grew, the two young men, with their hand-sewn moccasins and extraordinary marksmanship, became both the pride and fear of their regiment as they stalked the ripe killing fields of Ypres and the Somme.
Inspired in part by real-life World War I Ojibwa hero Francis Pegahmagabow, Three Day Road is beautifully written and told with unblinking focus, it is a remarkable tale, one of brutality, survival, and rebirth.
I’ve heard of Joseph Boyden and his work for a number of years–and heard many positive reviews about his books–but I hadn’t gotten around to reading any of his books. I’m trying to read more Canadian authors so yeah, figured it’s about time I check out one of his titles. This title intrigued me the most, with the World War One setting and the role of the Aboriginals in the army during this time.
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
This week’s topic: Freebie Week
Yay, freebie week! Well, for this freebie TTT I’ve decided to focus on Ten Books On My Summer TBR List 🙂 I’ve gone back on a book buying ban so I’m hoping to make a considerale dent on my TBR pile in the next few months. I didn’t list any classics in the following list below, but I hope to get around to a few I’ve been meaning to read (I’m just not entirely sure which ones just yet 🙂 ). Anyway, in no particular order:
- The Storms of War by Kate Williams — This book comes highly recommended but I put off reading it until the summer because it just seems like a summer read. Must be the book cover’s doing 😉
- Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar — One of the more recently historical fiction titles, it focuses on Stephen siblings, namely Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf. Should be an interesting read as it looks at the artist community from the Edwardian period.
- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah — I finally got my hands on this a short time ago. I heard so many good things about it, I’m glad to finally be getting around to reading it…soon-ish
- The Perfume Garden by Kate Lord Brown — Part of the story is set in Valencia, Spain, which instantly places itself in my summer TBR list 😀 On a semi-related note, this is shaping up to be a historical fiction summer, isn’t it? 😉
- The Frozen Heart by Almudena Grandes — Is this the year that I finally read this book? It’s one of the books that has been sitting on my TBR pile the longest…
- Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia A. McKillip — For something magical and different in this mix of hefty (but very interesting) reads 😀
- The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni — On the classic literature spectrum, is this the year that I finally tackle this Italian classic? Bonus incentive: I got the I got the Pocket Penguins edition of this book 🙂
- The Lake House by Kate Morton — Speaking of putting books off, oops, again I didn’t get around to reading this book last season (I just haven’t been in the mood…and bloody hell is the hardback heavy to read in bed). Maybe this summer?
- The Silkworm and Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith — Now that I have both books in my possession, I’ll just book binge it sometime in the next few months.
And those are just some of the books I hope to tackle this summer! What books are on your summer TBR queue (or winter, depending where in the world you are)?
The Handmaid’s Tale
By: Margaret Atwood
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population. The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions.
I seem to be on a roll these days, getting around to books that I’ve been meaning to get around to reading for years. This is one of those books. Good Canadian that I am, I never read it, lol, despite hearing about it for years and years and its impact in literature. This isn’t my first Margaret Atwood novel though; I had read her early novel Surfacing (review) a few years ago but I didn’t enjoy it. I figured maybe one of her more well-known novels would provide a different reading experience for me with regards to her body of work.