CanLit Reviews

By Lynn Bornath | Reviews of books by Canadian authors. All genres.

'After James' by Michael Helm

<b>Reviewed by Angie Abdou</b><p>Critics have praised novelist Michael Helm as “one of Canada’s most commanding writers” (<i>Montreal Gazette</i> 2010), as “<i>the</i> …

Fiction Book Review: One or the Other by John McFetridge. ECW (Perseus/Legato, U.S. dist.; Jaguar Canadian dist.), $14.95 trade paper (408p) ISBN 978-1-77041-327-6

One or the Other<p>John McFetridge. ECW (Perseus/Legato, U.S. dist.; Jaguar Canadian dist.), $14.95 trade paper (408p) ISBN 978-1-77041-327-6<p>More By and …

Review: Steven Price’s By Gaslight pulls out all the stops

Steven Price’s debut novel, 2011’s <i>Into That Darkness</i>, was a taut thriller set in modern-day Victoria, in the aftermath of a catastrophic earthquake. But, <i>By Gaslight</i>, his remarkable second novel, is the Big One indeed: a mighty steam engine of a thriller that pulls out all the stops, cutting through …

Review: ‘Sixty’ Recounts a 61st Year, Complete With Humor, Rue and Hemorrhoid

In 1950 the psychoanalyst Erik Erikson proposed that we tender, fallible humans pass through eight stages of development, each defined by a different conflict. The final stage: Ego Integrity Versus Despair.<p>Cheering terminology, I know.<p>The idea is that when we’re older, we face an existential …

Literature

Set Free by Anthony Bidulka

A writer, tormented over his daughter’s kidnapping, becomes an abductee himself while traveling to Morocco in Bidulka’s (<i>When the Saints Go Marching</i> …

Morocco

Review of Laundry Lines by Ann Elizabeth Carson

Hermit Thrush - Mark Frutkin (Quattro Books)

Today's book of poetry: <b><br>Hermit Thrush.</b> Mark Frutkin. Quattro Books. Toronto, Ontario. 2015.<p><i>Hermit Thrush</i> is Mark Frutkin's newest poetry offering and …

Barking & Biting: The Poetry of Sina Queyras, selected with an introduction by Erin Wunker

Thus far, twenty-first-century poetics has been preoccupied with two ongoing conversations: the perceived divide between lyric and conceptual …

Carol Shields posthumous Master Class in writing

Startle and Illuminate, a collection of Shields' essays, speeches and letters edited by her daughter and grandson, a trove of advice.

Canadian Literature

Chapbook Review: Thirteen Ways to Look at CanLit

<b>Thirteen Ways of Looking at CanLit</b> <i><br>Rachel Rose, BookThug, bookthug.com, $10</i>Rachel Rose’s <i>Thirteen Ways of Looking at CanLit</i>, published this year by …

Canadian Literature

QC Read My Book featuring What's Left Behind by Gail Bowen

Canadian author, Alastair MacLeod once said, “Writers write about what worries them.” What’s Left Behind is the sixteenth novel in the Joanne …

Against a Darkening Sky by Lauren B. Davis

Colleen Mondor reviews Leah Bobet

<b>An Inheritance of Ashes</b>, Leah Bobet (Clarion 978-0544281110, $17.99, 400pp, hc) October 2015.In Leah Bobet’s new fantasy, <b>An Inheritance of Ashes</b>, …

History

Review: New crime fiction from Linwood Barclay, Jeannette de Beauvoir and Sheila Kindellan-Sheehan

<b>Far From True</b><p><i>By Linwood Barclay, Doubleday Canada, 480 pages, $22.95</i><p>Trilogies are difficult. The second book (or film) is always a bridge, meaning we know the main characters are going to survive because they have another book coming. That said, <i>Far From True</i>, the second in Linwood Barclay’s trilogy …

Metanoia

The word “metanoia” means a change of heart resulting from a spiritual conversion. It’s an act of transformation through penitence. In Sharon …

A Book Spy Review: ‘The Watcher in the Wall’ by Owen Laukkanen

If this book doesn’t freak you out to the point of having nightmares, especially if you’re a parent, then you should probably go talk to someone. …

Review: Fire in the Stars: An Amanda Doucette Mystery by Barbara Fradkin

• <b>Format:</b> Kindle Edition• <b><br>Print Length:</b> 328 pages• <b><br>Publisher:</b> Dundurn (Sept. 3 2016)• <b><br>Sold by:</b> Amazon Digital Services LLC• <b><br>Language:</b> English• <b><br>ASIN:</b></b> …

Guano

Guano<br>Louis Carmain<br>Translated by Rhonda Mullins<p>Coach House Books<br>$19.95<br>paper<br>144pp<br>9781552453155<p>In Callao, Simón meets the daughter of a local landowner. …

Small town’s dark side a fast-paced read

There is, sadly, no great shortage in Canada of people who’ve been wrongly convicted of serious crimes.

Crime

FIRE AND GLASS by Marty Chan

While fairy tales might still have application in the modern world, modern gadgets paired with innovative techniques provide terrific tools for …

Prepare to be Amazed

“The City that Moto-vates.” For years, this was the slogan of Oshawa, Ontario, when virtually every resident was one or two degrees of separation …

Tales of guitar greats make familiar feel new

Ray Robertson's passion for the heroes of American roots music jumps from the page.

Music

When private investigator Cal Weaver looks into a break-in at the home of a recently deceased man, he uncovers far more than he is prepared for after he finds a hidden room that was used for salacious activities. Detective Barry Duckworth is doggedly trying to solve two murders, one of which is three years old. He believes the killings are connected, since each featured a similar distinctive wound. And the key to his mystery may lie with Cal Weaver’s own case. As the lies begin to unravel, and another murder occurs, Cal and Barry find themselves headed straight into the heart of dark secrets as they uncover more startling truths about Promise Falls.

Let me begin this review by recommending that those who have not had the pleasure of reading BROKEN PROMISE, which kicked off Linwood Barclay’s</i> …

Coming of age on the East Coast | The Journal

Michael Winter’s <i>Minister Without Portfolio</i> — one of five books selected for the Canada Reads 2016 shortlist — presents the intricate beauty of one …

Climb these 'Mountains' with Yann Martel

Read an excerptpowered by Zola<p>The High Mountains of Portugal: A Novel<p>by Yann Martel<p>(Spiegel & Grau)<p>in Fiction<p>Buy Now<p>Buy Now<br>• Amazon<br>• Barnes & Noble<br>• Google Play<br>• iBooks<br>• Indiebound<br>• Kobo<br>• Zola<p>USA TODAY Rating<p>If what you expect from a fable — whether of the original or contemporary variety — is straightforward …

Literature

Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community

In her first work of non-fiction, YA novelist Robin Stevenson uses the gay pride parade as a focus to present middle-grade readers with some …

LGBTQ

Leona Theis (BA'80) wins first prize in the 2015 American Short Fiction Contest

Leona Theis (BA’80) has received <i>American Short Fiction</i>’s first place prize for her story “How Sylvie Failed to Become a Better Person Through Yoga.” …

Crimewave: Perrine Leblanc delivers lake-side chill

The suspense in Perrine Leblanc’s The Lake (Arachnide, 205 pp., $22.95) doesn’t extend from the plot, but from finding out who the two outcast …

"Daydreams of Angels" by Heather O'Neill

Fairy tales for grown-ups, that is exactly how Heather O’Neill’s first collection of short stories can be described. <i>Daydreams of Angels</i> is an …