CanLit Challenge discussion

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General Discussion > Canadian books & authors -- recommendations & requests

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message 1: by Ibis3 (new)

Ibis3 | 322 comments Mod
If you have recommendations of Canadian books and authors, or wish to request recommendations for books on certain topics or in particular genres, this is the place to do it.

Tell us about your favourite CanLit books!


message 2: by Lils74 (new)

Lils74 | 6 comments I'm actually looking forward to getting ideas and suggestions from you--I'm not as knowledgeable about Canadian books and authors as I should be. Offhand, I can only think of a couple authors I've read--Margaret Atwood, several of her books, four I think, Michael Ondatje, and a random entry is The Lost Girls, by Andrew Pyper, which I found by chance in a used bookstore here--it was a modern, eerie thriller; in a very Canadian setting.
It's an embarrassingly short list, and there may be more, but it's all I can think of off the top of my head.


message 3: by Ibis3 (new)

Ibis3 | 322 comments Mod
Before I started this challenge, my list of read Canadian books was embarrassingly short. Anne of Green Gables, The Handmaid's Tale, The Stone Angel, The Rebel Angels, part of A Bird in the House, Never Cry Wolf : Amazing True Story of Life Among Arctic Wolves, I Married the Klondike, The Hockey Sweater, Life of Pi...that's about it.

I got so many great suggestions from my friends at BookCrossing, I immediately set out to consume as many as possible. Check out the original post for some more recommendations: http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/6/2...


message 4: by Lils74 (new)

Lils74 | 6 comments Oh yes, Anne of Green Gables, I've read that whole series! I forgot to include that--and thanks for the link!


message 5: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) has anyone read Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott? I picked it up at my library today, she made the shortlist for the Giller Prize...i'm trying to find out if it is actually set in Canada or not...


message 6: by Mrsgaskell (new)

Mrsgaskell | 12 comments Delicious Dee Challenge Addict wrote: "has anyone read Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott? I picked it up at my library today, she made the shortlist for the Giller Prize...i'm trying to find out if it is actually set in..."

I loved it! It is set in Canada, Saskatoon if I remember correctly, but definitely Saskatchewan.


message 7: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) yay!! thanks!! It looked really interesting when I grabbed it from the library today and I was hoping...I probably would have read it eventually anyways, but I'm looking for books set in various countries right now and I didn't have a Canada book yet (wish I'd discovered this group earlier...it would have helped some)


message 8: by Regine (new)

Regine I loved Anne of Green Gables when I was a Child. I've also read Anne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island. Good stuff!

My favourite Canlit boooks right now:

Not Wanted On The Voyage
A Fine Balance


message 9: by Ibis3 (new)

Ibis3 | 322 comments Mod
Regine wrote: "I loved Anne of Green Gables when I was a Child. I've also read Anne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island. Good stuff!

My favourite Canlit boooks right now:

[book:Not Wanted On The Voyage|1101..."


Not Wanted on the Voyage was brilliant! It was my CanLit Challenge book #27. I haven't put the discussion thread for it up yet, but I hope you'll tell us more about your thoughts when I do get to it. Same goes for Anne of Green Gables (#32).


message 10: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Caviglia (patriciacaviglia) I hope someone reads some Brad Smith. He's my favourite author. I love his humour. His characters know no boundaries, his schemes are over-the-top and his stories are fast-paced.


message 11: by Regine (new)

Regine Ibis3 wrote:
Not Wanted on the Voyage was brilliant! It was my CanLit Challenge book #27. I haven't put the discussion thread for it up yet, but I hope you'll tell us more about your thoughts when I do get to it. Same goes for Anne of Green Gables (#32).


Yep, it actually makes me sad how few people have read Not Wanted on the Voyage. i'm definitely not one to hold back on my thoughts :p


message 12: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Sands (patriciasands) | 16 comments Ok Patricia - I'm going to read some Brad Smith since I have to admit I've never heard of him but you made him sound intriguing. What would you suggest I read first?


message 13: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Caviglia (patriciacaviglia) If you want to read about siblings and family drama, Big Man Coming Down the Road is your best bet. If one man against the world interests you, go with Busted Flush. All Hat is about a man who rectifies the injustices done to him, to his sister and to his community with one crazy scheme. My favourite is One-eyed Jacks. It's set in 1959 Toronto and you get a great feel for the city at the time. It's about a man who has to come up with $5000 to save his family farm.

So Pat, who's your favourite Canadian author?


message 14: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Sands (patriciasands) | 16 comments Thanks for the titles Patricia. I'll start with One-eyed Jacks. My favourite Canadian author is Carol Shields - The Stone Diaries, Unless, and the list goes on. Have you read any of her work?


message 15: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Caviglia (patriciacaviglia) No, I haven't read any Carol Shields. I think it's your turn to recommend some a novel.


message 16: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Sands (patriciasands) | 16 comments Okay Patricia - Start with The Stone Diaries (1993 - Pulitzer Prize), then Larry's Party and Unless. She also has numerous short stories.
Enjoy!


message 17: by Ibis3 (new)

Ibis3 | 322 comments Mod
Patricia wrote: "Okay Patricia - Start with The Stone Diaries (1993 - Pulitzer Prize), then Larry's Party and Unless. She also has numerous short stories.
Enjoy!"


I've always intended to add Carol Shields to the CanLit Challenge list, and after seeing your recommendation I did just that. Those three books (The Stone Diaries, Larry's Party, and Unless) are now official CanLit Challenge books.


message 18: by Ibis3 (last edited Oct 29, 2010 12:00PM) (new)

Ibis3 | 322 comments Mod
Barb wrote: "Sadly, it was my first foray into Atwood, but it most certainly won't be my last!"

If you have time right now, why not pick up Alias Grace, the current CanLit Challenge book? I'm only about 50 pages in.


message 19: by C. (new)

C. | 7 comments Ibis3 wrote: "Barb wrote: "Sadly, it was my first foray into Atwood, but it most certainly won't be my last!"

If you have time right now, why not pick up Alias Grace, the current CanLit Challenge book? I'm only..."

Excellent recommendation. Alias Grace is a super read!


message 20: by Ibis3 (new)

Ibis3 | 322 comments Mod
@Barb: Cool! I appreciate the company!

@C.: I'd love to hear your thoughts about it in the Alias Grace thread (just be sure to mark spoilers).


message 21: by John (last edited Oct 30, 2010 10:04AM) (new)

John Patricia wrote: "I hope someone reads some Brad Smith. He's my favourite author. I love his humour. His characters know no boundaries, his schemes are over-the-top and his stories are fast-paced."

I too am a huge fan of Brad Smith. So far I have read All Hat, One-Eyed Jacks, and Busted Flush. I wish more Canadians knew and read his stuff. It is always a little off beat and has a lot of fun with his usual moral dilemmas.


message 22: by Miriam (new)

Miriam | 4 comments Delicious Dee Challenge Addict wrote: "has anyone read Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott? I picked it up at my library today, she made the shortlist for the Giller Prize...i'm trying to find out if it is actually set in..."

A month later, but I really liked it. It's set in Saskatoon.


message 23: by Ibis3 (last edited Nov 12, 2010 08:15PM) (new)

Ibis3 | 322 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "I'd love to read some middle-grade or YA set in modern (post 1945 or so) Canada. Any recommendations?"

Oh jeez. Must have missed this. The first thing that came to mind was the Guests of War Trilogy by Kit Pearson. It's actually set during the war, so just before your start date, but it was pretty good & I'm not sure you knew about it.

ETA: And it's kind of a *young* young adult. Like in the 10-12 range rather than 13 and up.


message 24: by John (new)

John I am so far behind on my to-read pile that I am just getting around to last year's Giller winnerThe Bishop's Man. I was luck enough to pick up a pristine hardback copy at this year's Book Drive for $2.00, what a bargain!


message 25: by Miriam (new)

Miriam | 4 comments Cheryl, I have Word Nerd on my TBR pile. It looks quite good. And our local bookstore, McNally Robinson, lists Canadian teen novels.

http://www.mcnallyrobinson.com/teens/...


message 26: by Rachelle (last edited May 22, 2011 07:26PM) (new)

Rachelle (awaken80) I'm a little late getting into this thread, but I'm going to check out Brad Smith's books, Good to a Fault, and Not Wanted On The Voyage based on your recommendations!


message 27: by Thea (new)

Thea Atkinson (theaatkinson) I wonder if Canadian short stories authors count? I really love Alice Munro. I'm reading Runaway right now...A collection I picked up for my mother in law when she was in the hospital and she recently passed it back to me thinking I would like to read it.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Thea, I think they do! Short stories are wonderful. Have you read Stuart McLean? He's such a great weaver of stories and he's hilarious.


message 29: by Ibis3 (new)

Ibis3 | 322 comments Mod
Thea wrote: "I wonder if Canadian short stories authors count? I really love Alice Munro. I'm reading Runaway right now...A collection I picked up for my mother in law when she was in the hospital and she recen..."

They definitely do. We have some of the best short story writers who've ever put pen to paper.


message 30: by BookLovingLady (last edited Nov 13, 2011 05:12AM) (new)

BookLovingLady I love Margaret Atwood's books but as they've already been mentioned, I won't go into that.
I also really enjoyed the five books of Margaret Laurence's Manawaka series. I had read 'The Stone Angel' years ago, during my Canadian lit classes at uni, but reread the book two years or so ago and have read the other four as well by now.
Although I liked it, I thought 'Life of Pi' by Yann Martel was not all that special while I was reading it. But wait till you've finished the book and have full view of the story and the events! It definitely made me change my mind :-)
What else? I really liked 'The Stone Diaries' by Carol Shields.
And I reread 'Famous Last Words' by Timothy Findley and liked it an awful lot better than I did during my first read some 25 years ago. Maybe I was just too young for the book at the time. Something else that really helped is that I had recently seen the film 'The King's Speech' when I started rereading 'Famous Last Words'. It was as if all the pieces suddenly came together :-)
There's more, feel free to check out my shelf with Canadian books if you're interested.


message 31: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda | 1 comments Kenk: A Graphic Portrait is an utterly captivating, highly readable, and slightly unsettling comic book. Or is it a piece of graphic long-form journalism? Or perhaps a static, stylized arrangement of documentary footage? Even a kaleidoscopic collage of multimedia, peppered with interview transcription and narrative commentary?

Kenk: A Graphic Portrait is a remarkable volume that is simultaneously all of these. It recounts the events leading to the arrest and conviction of “the world’s most prolific bicycle thief,” as Igor Kenk has been described by the New York Times and the Guardian.


message 32: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Shimotakahara (lshimo) Hello, I am the Canadian author of a literary memoir being released in February. It is called The Reading List: Literature, love and back again. It is the story of an exhausted English professor's struggle to revive her childhood love of reading, while her father, grappling with his own demons, takes up reading novels for pleasure for the first time. Please visit my blog www.the-reading-list.com for more information about the book and if anyone in the group finds it interesting, I would be thrilled if it were recommended.


message 33: by Friederike (new)

Friederike Knabe (fknabe) | 23 comments Leslie wrote: "Hello, I am the Canadian author of a literary memoir being released in February. It is called The Reading List: Literature, love and back again. It is the story of an exhausted En..."

Hey Leslie, Love your blog! and your memoir sounds like an enjoyable and interesting read. Congratulations.


message 34: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Eisenmeier (carpelibrumbooks) | 12 comments Ibis3 wrote: "Before I started this challenge, my list of read Canadian books was embarrassingly short. Anne of Green Gables, The Handmaid's Tale, The Stone Angel, The Rebel Angels, part of A Bird in the House, ..."

Thanks for linking to the books, Ibis3. :)


message 35: by TamElaine (new)

TamElaine Heather A. Clark, from St. Catharines Ontario, made a huge hit with me with her debut novel Chai Tea Sunday by Heather A. Clark - while she is Canadian and part of her book clearly takes place in Canada, her main character travels to Kenya, taking her on a self-discovery journey she hadn't expected....it's absolutely a beautiful book - One of my top 5 of the year so far ! 5 stars, impressive !!!


message 36: by Ian (new)

Ian Wooder (cdnsurfer45) | 5 comments Jackson

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Let's end the stigma now. Not all disabilities are visible.
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