- Infinity (play) – Hannah Moscovitch – READ
- The Pull of the Moon – Julie Paul ( 12 short stories)
- Paige Cooper – story collection Zolitude – READ
- Patrick DeWitt – French Exit – READ
- Washington Black – E. Edugyan – READ (winner Giller Prize 2018)
- Kim Thúy – Män – READ
- F. Wees – The Keys of My Prison (1956) – READ
- Margret Millar – Wives and Lovers – READ
- Thea Lim – Ocean of Minutes – READ
- The aim to read and review minimum 13 or more Canadian books.
- Start: 01 July 201 (my reading starts 18 Sept 2018)
- End: 30 June 2019
- Reviews must be posted online.
- Participants are asked to share links to their reviews with other participants.
- Hashtag: #CanBookChallenge
Genre: play “Infinity”
- When you least expect it….suddenly a
- small play can brighten my reading day!
- Characters I felt for…
- hopscotching places and times.
- Carefully observed..family dynamics.
- Prose that moves like a cheetah.
- Wise but preachy….
- Reading time: 40 minutes!
- #Bravo Hannah Moscovitch
- Born June 5, 1978) is a Canadian playwright who rose to national
- ..prominence in the 2000s.
- She has been dubbed “an indie sensation” by Toronto Life Magazine
- CBC Radio calls her “the wunderkind of Canadian theatre”.
Genre: 12 short stories “The Pull of the Moon”
The slow reader is like a swimmer who stops
counting the number of pool laps they have done
… just enjoys how their body feels and moves in water.
For the first time I approached a collection of short stories
as a slow reader.
I read each and every word Julie Paul wrote.
Not every story is a home-run….but she hit a few out of the ballpark!
Not my cup of tea….
I expected a CF plot and got
a long story about divorce, marriage and a secret affair.
I skimmed the book….reading the first sentence in
the paragraphs…didn’t miss a beat.
- This was absolutely a magnificent reading experience.
- Realism: Descriptions of place (NYC, Paris) and human contradiction are pinpoint.
- Character: Each character struggles with a sense that life is elsewhere.
- Conclusion: the book brought a smile to my face
- …that felt like a splash of fresh water
- …after having read a few very boring books on Giller Prize longlist.
- French Exit gets my vote to win Giller Prize 2018!
- #Bravio, Patrick deWitt!
- An Ocean of Minutes
- Thea Lim – READ
Genre: dystopian time-travel
Shortlisted Giller Prize 2018
But I found it to be
bland and choppy…an ice-cream headache of a book.
- Zolitude (14 short stories)
- Paige Cooper – READ
- Every single story is a struggle
- ….this was not an entertaining book.
- What’s the point in writing if readers cannot relate to it?
- I read another review:
- “… I found two or three of them to be excellent, but I had no patience with the rest.”
- I cannot tell you how many times
- …I almost threw the book in the garbage bin!
- But no, I was determined to finish every single one of these ridiculous stories
- …and I did.
- How this book managed to reach the longlist for the Giller Prize 2018 is beyond me.
- Where is the jury report?
- Please, explain to me what the criteria were to elevate this book to a finalist place?
- What am I missing?
- I really feel for Paige Cooper...
- ….to have the strength of mind to write these stories
- is incredible but they were just to chaotic…
- …too ‘way out there’, too experimental for a simple reader as I.
- I find writing a short sentence about each story was
- the best way to review it. It was late last night when I finished the book
- ….so my comments have a whiff of exhaustion in them!
1. Zolitude – breakup for Simone…and love and longing for Ms Berzina. #Average
2. Spiderhole – Vietnam vet’s memories with a score of animals…lizards etc. #Erratic
3. Ryan & Irene, Irene & Ryan – mailbomb, 3 dream scenes add up to a confusing story. #Bizarre
4. Thanatos – could not follow this at all…please, a normal story, please! #Flummoxing
5. The Emperor – snake with red eye, rat tried to crawl back up its own body,…lost again! These stories are absolutely ridiculous. #Creepy
6. Slave Craton – 9,4 quake, tidal wave, Erin and Michael’ relationship in flashbacks. #Seismic
7. Moriah – Book-mobile; librarian Moriah, and townspeople Victor, Matthew, Tyler, Adrian, Keller…and a strange mythical eagle protecting its diamond egg. #Farfetched
8. The Tin Luck – Girls from the street in unnamed Russina town…Merope pines for ‘good ol’ days.’ Title is impossible to understand from the story. #Depressing
9. Record of Working – Arthur is project manager an the work is NOT on time, NOT on budget…and a NO SHOW for a meeting! Paige Cooper dumps paragraphs of ‘fake tech mumbo-jumbo’ on the reader. #WORST short story I ever read. #Pointless
10. La Folie – Where is the SHORT in this story? ...it’s a #Novella!
11. Pre-Occupants – Oh, now we’re in space. #HoHum
12. Retirement – Olympic Gold medalist Turin 2006 remembers his glory days…but now in retirement….#Average
13. Roar – Deer hunting lodge, guests, helicopter, dogs. #NothingSpecial
14. Vazova on Love – Back in Russia and still incomprehensible…..thank goodness this is #TheLastStory.
- The Keys of My Prison
- Frances Wees – READ
Genre: suspense novel
Strange puzzle, unsettling Gothic novel, murder mystery, memory loss
Setting: Toronto, Canada
Epigraph: There is always a clue in the epigraph!
Quote John Donne
“Mee thinks I have the keys to my prison in mine own hand, and
no remedy presents it selfe so soon to my heart, as mine own sword.”
This is taken from Biathanatos, a defense of suicide.
Conclusion: This is a psychological mystery that
reflects the fact….when do the terrors of life reach a point that they
outweigh the terrors of death…what does a man do?
- Kim Thuy – READ
There is one love but there are many ways to express love.
Kim Thuy expresses love through food.
This story revolves around an orphan.
She got her name from a Buddhist monk.
Mãn means someone who is fulfilled…perfectly happy.
It seems life does not always turn out that way.
After every vignette I have to pause….
and process the emotions Kim Thuy
expresses in her poetic style.
Thuy goes deep….noticing little things that make this book
“…l’expérience à ne pas manquer.”
- Washington Black – SHORTLIST
- Esi Edugyan – READ (shortlist Man Booker 2018 / Giller Prize 2018)
This book is shortlisted for two prestigious literary prizes:
Man Booker Prize and Giller Prize (Canadian fiction)
I’m sorry to say….I don’t think it will win either awards.
I’m not a prof book reviewer and if a book is on the shortlist
I don’t want to sway readers with my personal feelings.
Because this is an opinion…not a review.
The book was good…that’s it. There was a soft smile…no sharp bite
It was sensitive….but not tough.
Give this book a chance…and see what you think.