Tuesday, 5 July 2016

#WorldReads - five books from Canada

I'm going to the Americas for this third post in my World Reads series, to look back at five books I have read by Canadian authors. If you missed either of the earlier two posts, I've already 'visited' Australia and France.

As it was Canada Day on the 1st of July, I thought this would be the perfect month to feature Canadian authors for my WorldReads. The five books I have chosen include a range of fiction and non-fiction, from indie authors to world-famous writers. But if that isn't enough Canadian literature for you, I am also reviewing a brand new Canadian novel on Literary Flits today, Haven by Katherine Bogle.


Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood

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I think one of the most famous Canadian authors must be Margaret Atwood and I have read and loved several of her novels. The choice of which to feature here was made by timing however because my only Atwood since I began blogging my book reviews is Cat's Eye! Set in 1940s Toronto, Cat's Eye examines the bullying relationship between two young girls and how their early lives impacted onto the future of one, Elaine.


A Tale For The Time Being Ruth Ozeki

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The Time Being is Nao, a Japanese schoolgirl who begins to learn about her recent ancestors - a World War Two Kamikaze pilot and a Buddhist nun -  and so shows us fascinating details of life in Japan over the past century. Ozeki's book is also set on a small Canadian island where an author, also named Ruth, discovers Nao's diary washed up on a beach. I wasn't as keen on the Canadian storyline, but the two mesh in several interesting ways.


Gotta Find A Home by Dennis Cardiff

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Read my original book review on Literary Flits

I have chosen an unusual non-fiction book for my third suggestion. Dennis Cardiff went out of his way to befriend homeless people in Toronto, keeping a diary of his conversations with them. This fascinating memoir recounts their thoughts on a wide variety of subjects from the mundane - much they might earn today and what to have for dinner - to the suddenly shocking - a friend having his teeth kicked out. All profits from Gotta Find A Home go to homelessness alleviation projects in Toronto.


Rust Is A Form Of Fire by Joe Fiorito

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Set in Toronto again (yes, I do realise there is more to Canada than Toronto and must try harder to find books from elsewhere!), this non-fiction book is perfect for anyone who likes people watching. Joe Fiorito recreated a French work by standing on a specific street corner for a total of eighteen hours over several days, simply recording what saw. The result is a poetic series of notes and sentences that I found surprisingly beautiful to read. This was one of my Top Ten Books of 2015


Deafening by Frances Itani

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Historical fiction for my final Canadian book which tells the life story of Grania, a young girl who goes deaf at the age of five. Itani manages to vividly portray the world as it appears to deaf people and this alone would make the novel a fascinating read. However we also have interesting period detail of early 20th century Canada and The Great War in Europe.


So that's it for my Canadian World Reads for this month. On the 5th of August I will be coming back to Europe to post about five books from Italy.

5 comments:

  1. Great post. Margaret Atwood is my favorite author, and Cat’s Eye is one of my favorite books. I’ll have to check out the others on your list.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. Thanks Aj! Lots of great books from Canada!

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  2. I haven't heard of any of these! Deafening and Cat's Eye sound really good. Can you believe I have never read a Margaret Atwood novel??

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    1. No Margaret Atwood? OMG! You're missing out!

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  3. Another fabulous Canadian novel is The Magic Dogs Of San Vicente by Mark Fishman. It's set in El Salvador and I loved its magical stream of consciousness writing. My review is here:
    http://stephjb.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/paradise-by-toni-morrison-magic-dogs-of.html

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