Jennifer D Jennifer's Comments (member since Mar 23, 2011)

Jennifer's comments from the CBC Books group.

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40089 this read will officially kick off on tuesday - july 1st. (happy canada day!)

we had lovely participation in the poll, so i look forward to a great read with you all!

who plans to read along with me? please let me know here with a comment. thank you!!

(normally i would send a DM reminder to each of the people who voted for this novel, but life is conspiring against me, so i just don't have the time right now. i am also sorry to be a bit late posting the new thread for the month!)
40089 as chosen by poll, our july 2014 read is Come, Thou Tortoise, by Jessica Grant.

from the book's description:

A delightfully offbeat story that features an opinionated tortoise and an IQ-challenged narrator who find themselves in the middle of a life-changing mystery.

Audrey (a.k.a. Oddly) Flowers is living quietly in Oregon with Winnifred, her tortoise, when she finds out her dear father has been knocked into a coma back in Newfoundland. Despite her fear of flying, she goes to him, but not before she reluctantly dumps Winnifred with her unreliable friends. Poor Winnifred.

When Audrey disarms an Air Marshal en route to St. John’s we begin to realize there’s something, well, odd about her. And we soon know that Audrey’s quest to discover who her father really was – and reunite with Winnifred – will be an adventure like no other.

about the author:

Jessica Grant is a Canadian writer, whose debut novel Come, Thou Tortoise won the 2009 Winterset Award and the 2009 Books in Canada First Novel Award.

She lives in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Grant is a member of Newfoundland's Burning Rock Collective (members include Michael Winter and Lisa Moore). Her first collection of short stories, Making Light of Tragedy, includes a story that won both the Western Magazine Award for Fiction and the Journey Prize.


i would like to try and keep this 'spoiler-free' for a while as people will be reading at different paces. please use the spoiler tag' function (can be found on the top-right of each comment box, in the 'some html is ok' spot).


reading schedule:

part 1 - oddly flowers: pages 6 - 119 - july 1st - 7th
part 2 - oddly the biographer: pages 120 - 173 - july 8th - 14th
part 3 - the plane in the basement: pages 174 - 263 - july 15th - 21st
part 4 - come, thou tortoise: pages 264 - 312 - july 22nd - 28th
epilogue - the grand finally: pages 313 - 320 - july 29th - 31st
Jun 27, 2014 09:52AM

40089 hi jane!! :)
i have had that book on my radar, since hearing about its release. i love a bookish book! did you read Loving Frank? (i own it but haven't read it yet.) i enjoyed 'the paris wife', but i liked Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald better. (i read them, along with The Aviator's Wife) really close together, so they are kind of melded in my brain a little bit. :)
Jun 27, 2014 06:35AM

40089 i am currently in a weird place with my reading. my focus and concentration have been terrible and this is leading to me sampling a few pages in a book, then moving on to a different book. so far, nothing has taken.
Jun 27, 2014 06:15AM

40089 welcome to another instalment of 'friday reads'! what are you reading today?
40089 interesting news out of hollywood: Rooney Mara ('girl with the dragon tattoo' film) will produce, and may star in, Annapurna Pictures’ abduction drama “A House in the Sky,”
Jun 23, 2014 01:30PM

40089 Kelly wrote: "Read The High Road this week, sequel to the first awesome Canadian fiction about life in Ottawa politics. Loved it, laughed out loud, great story and so much fun. The characters are ..."

that's the only one of his i have not read - but i liked the first one. i very recently read his newest one, No Relation - it was quite enjoyable and should be a great summer read for many people! Up and Down is my favourite, i think! it was actually the first book of fallis' i maybe that's why? :)
Jun 21, 2014 10:38AM

40089 OH!! WOW! stickers - that's awesome. :)
Jun 21, 2014 10:18AM

40089 i have been hearing good things about that book - and already have it on my TBR list, linda! thanks for sharing your recommendation here. :)
Jun 21, 2014 09:43AM

40089 and do tell us here which book you recommended (or would recommend) as a great summer read. i know it's hard to choose just one (so many books!!), but it would be great to hear your suggestions.

i recommended The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. i read this book last year and it surprised me so much - i just loved it! it offers a lush, escapist story and a bit of travel & adventure. i think these things lend themselves well to creating a great summer reading experience.

Jun 21, 2014 09:40AM

40089 CBC's 'Day 6 with Brent Bambury' recently hosted Becky Toyne on the program. Becky shared a wonderful reading list, and now you have a chance to win all 6 books mentioned!

Becky Toyne's Summer Reading List

My summer reading list for Day 6 this year weighs in at more than 3,000 pages, which should keep you going for a month or several. What's that, you say? You've finished already? Well OK then, here are some more:


Karl Ove Knausgård:
* A Death in the Family (volume 1),
* A Man in Love (volume 2), and
* Boyhood Island (volume 3)

Karl Ove Knausgaard's six-volume work of autobiographical fiction has taken the literary world by storm with its self-referential, confessional style, its attention to detail (LOTS of detail), and its audaciousness for being just so darn long. It also has that brooding Scandinavian something that readers can't get enough of these days.


If any or all of these things sound appealing, I can't recommend Norwegian Per Petterson highly enough. Start with Petterson's Out Stealing Horses, a devastating novel about a family torn apart by tragedy, which won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Then try In the Wake, the story of a middle-aged Norwegian man in crisis (sound familiar?). In the Wake (2003) tells the story of a man whose father, mother and two brothers have been killed in a ferry accident - a tragedy that closely mirrors one that took place in the author's own life.


* Can't and Won't: Stories, by Lydia Davis. Lydia Davis writes VERY short stories, and has been called "the master of a literary form largely of her own invention."

Read an excerpt here.


* George Saunders. Saunders is a "writer's writer" and a master of the short-story form (including, but not limited to, some that are very short indeed). Saunders' most recent collection, Tenth of December, got the "Should I Read It?" treatment in January 2013.


* An Untamed State, by Roxane Gay. I was so profoundly moved by Roxane Gay's first novel, a story about a woman dealing with her time in captivity and her journey to reclaim herself after her release that I'm not sure I can compare it to anything else.

Read an excerpt here.


But ... Gay herself does have a second book coming out this summer, an essay collection entitled Bad Feminist: Essays, which I'll be adding to my own reading list as soon as it's released in August.


* The Rise & Fall of Great Powers, by Tom Rachman. Rachman's second novel is a hugely entertaining read, spanning 30 years, multiple countries, and featuring a wild and colourful cast of characters.

Read an excerpt here.


* The Imperfectionists, also by Tom Rachman. The author's debut novel, which is set at the office of an International Herald Tribune type newspaper in Rome, was a huge hit in 2010.

* The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Perhaps not the most original further reading suggestion, but there must be somebody left who hasn't read The Goldfinch, and the two books have a similar broad appeal and even some similar characters too.


* All My Puny Sorrowsby Miriam Toews. It's easy to think of Miriam Toews' beautiful All My Puny Sorrows as being a story about suicide, but it could equally be said to be a story about sisters.

Read an excerpt here.


* Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger. Released in 2009, the second novel by the author of The Time Traveler's Wife is also the story of sisters, specifically of two sets of twins. To say the relationships between the sisters is troubled would be an understatement; to say much more would be to give too much away... Also try Per Petterson, above.


* The Farm by Tom Rob Smith. Every summer needs a psychological thriller to take to the beach. Like A.S.A. Harrison's The Silent Wife and Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl before it, Smith's 'The Farm' hinges on the sinister betrayal (or not, as the case may be ...) of a spouse.

Read an excerpt here.


The Dinner and Summer House with Swimming Pool, by Herman Koch. If you've already read Gillian Flynn and A.S.A. Harrison, two novels by Dutch writer Herman Koch might also appeal. In 'The Dinner' - one of my summer reads picks last year - two sets of parents must decide what to do about their sons, and the reader must decide who to believe, if anyone at all. Meanwhile, in 'Summer House With Swimming Pool', which was released this month, it's the family doctor cast in the role of unreliable narrator, and whom we question whether we can trust.


How to win the books??

For your chance to win all the books on Becky Toyne's summer reading list, just go to the Day 6 Facebook page and share your pick for the perfect summer book, then send us an email to let us know that you have. Please include your mailing address.



The original post can be seen on the Day 6 web site:
Jun 20, 2014 11:48AM

40089 that your first penny? if yes, maybe starting with #1 (Still Life) would give you a better way in on gamache love? heh!
Jun 20, 2014 11:17AM

40089 thanks, candice!! i hope you can decide without too much brain cramping. :)
Jun 20, 2014 10:39AM

40089 new poll!

hello everyone!

the poll to choose our BIG read is now up and ready for your votes. the big read will take place during august and september (but the discussions will not begin until september 1st.)

you may vote here:

the poll will close at midnight on the 28th of june.

please read the comment space below the poll for extra information.

thank you!!
Jun 20, 2014 10:23AM

40089 hi everyone!! i am sorry i have not been able to be around as much as usual...sometime life is a funny duck. and not in a good way. haha!! :/

i have not had much luck with reading lately. my brain is pretty fried and my focus is terrible. earlier this week, i did read Quiet Dell, by Jayne Anne Phillips and liked it quite a lot. the first ¾ was stronger than the last ¼, but overall phillips writes wonderfully, and with sensitivity to the truth upon which the novel is based.

last night, i began reading The Optimist's Daughter, by Eudora Welty. i am not quite sure about it yet...but, again, it could just be my brain at the moment.

i hope you are all keeping well and reading some good stuff.
40089 Candice wrote: "I'm wondering where everyone is at in this book? Finished? Loving, or hating it? Did it warm up for you as some readers have mentioned?"

i have had to set the read aside for now. :(

as i was concerned about, life is throwing curveballs and my focus has been terrible. i just could not give the book the attention it deserves. i will go back to it though. while i was not loving nao's 'voice', there were many things i became curious about during the 53 pages i did read, so i want to see how it progresses.
40089 hi everyone. i did have a chance to begin this read last week, but i am only up to about page...53ish, so i am behind. have to say that at this point, i am not sure about it. i am not sure that i am a fan of nao's 'voice'. and not sure about the plot device which ozeki is using, alluding to the end of nao's life.

it's too early for me to tell how ozeki views the relationship between writer and reader, so i can't really answer that.

my response to the opening was...not much, really. i am keen about the settings and keen about learning about the great-grandmother - she sounds totally right on!! :)
Jun 08, 2014 12:44PM

40089 hi guys!! i had a chance to pop in quickly, so glad to hear about your reads this past week! i did begin our monthly group read, A Tale for the Time Being - i am not sure about it. but i am only a short way in, so lots of time for this to develop yet.

mostly, because of life being a bit of a challenge right now, i have been taking comfort in Arthur Conan Doyle. i have read The Sign of Four and The Hound of the Baskervilles, since thursday. :)

@ susan - i read both 'the lobster kings' and 'frog music' very recently. i really liked zentner's book. and really was disappointed in donoghue's (i haven't read 'room' yet, but have read 'hood', which i liked.)

@ ellen - i really didn't like 'sweet tooth'. for me, mcewan is also very hit or miss. so that inconsistency is a bit frustrating.
Jun 07, 2014 06:14AM

40089 "I write against violence. I write against fascism. I write against one person dominating another."
—Timothy Findley

With the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Great War centenary upon us, the contributions of Canadian soldiers during the First and Second World Wars are no less impactful now than they were then. No wonder so many of Canada's great writers, from Timothy Findley to Anne Michaels, have been driven to write about the impact of war on our individual psyches and collective society. Here, a reading list of seven giants of Canadian war fiction—and seven discoveries that deserve to become classics.

The giants:

* Deafening, by Frances Itani
* Obasan, by Joy Kogawa
* Three Day Road, by Joseph Boyden
* The Wars, by Timothy Findley
* Fugitive Pieces, by Anne Michaels
* The English Patient, by Michael Ondaatje
* The Stone Carvers, by Jane Urquhart

The discoveries:

* No Man's Land, by Kevin Major
* God's Sparrows, by Philip Child
* The Sojourn, by Alan Cumyn
* MacLean, by Allan Donaldson
* The Deep, by Mary Swan
* Aleta Dey, by Francis Marion Beynon
* Broken Ground, by Jack Hodgins


You can visit the original post at CBC Books:
Jun 02, 2014 08:51AM

40089 oh - that's wonderful, jane! like you, i devoured all of shields' books in fairly quick order. i was absolutely gutted when i heard of her death. i mean, we often get sad when we hear of the death of a person in the public realm who we may never know personally, but her death felt very personal, as though something and someone huge was lost to me, to us all. i really miss her too.

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