Book podcasts

I won’t say I’m not a fan of podcasts, I just don’t seem to get round to them. I used to subscribe to a history podcast from the BBC History magazine (which is called something else now, History Extra, I think) and while they were interesting, I never seemed to keep up with them and I would end up with dozens of un-listened-to shows.

But that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth listening to. Podcasts are like radio but without the advertising breaks. I do listen to a fab ‘cast for my favourite television show, Coronation Street. It’s called Conversation Street and if you watch the show, you’ll enjoy it. (It’s a UK broadcast up to date with their episodes). That’s one podcast I never miss but it’s got nothing to do with books or reading.

I saw a link to a website today that has a very good book podcast hosted by an owner of an independent bookstore in Connecticut. Just the Right Book is hosted by Roxanne Coady.  It’s about a year old, there are 38 podcast episodes to date and they can all be listened to from the website or subscribed to on iTunes. You can also download them and play them on non-Apple devices.

From there, I jumped to Books on the Nightstand, which is no longer publishing new podcasts but does have nearly 400 back episodes you can stream or download. Episode #387 also has a list of other podcasts that a reader might find interesting.

BookRiot, a book blogging site, also has some podcasts, found here. Their main one has over 200 episodes. The others on the list of podcasts only have a handful of eps each. They can be subscribed on iTunes and also Google Play.

Now that I’ve started to look into this, I keep hearing the phrase “this way madness lies” and I can see I could get overwhelmed pretty quickly trying out all these podcasts. Just do a web search for “book podcasts” and look at the results!  The Guardian newspaper has a list of 10 “best” and BookRiot also comes up with a list of 25 “best”. This list, frankly, has some podcasts listed that intrigue me. Just the names alone are worth investigating, such as “Dear Bitches, Smart Authors” which is about the romance genre, “Drunk Booksellers“, “Lore” for horror fans (note to self, tell husband about this one), “Mugglecast” for Harry Potter fans,  and “So Many Damn Books” ( a pretty appropriate title!).  Both lists include a podcast from the Guardian, the New York Times Book Review and the New Yorker.

To bring this back to Canada, CBC has a radio show called The Next Chapter with host Shelagh Rogers and you can listen online to current and back episodes here. CBC also has Writers and Company with Eleanor Wachtel, with current and back episodes here. Canlit.ca has a Canadian perspective and “Write Reads” is a book club podcast out of Edmonton, Alberta though their streams don’t seem to be downloadable.

Many of those sites can be connected via iTunes and it looks like at least some of them allow downloading of the MP3 file of the ‘cast right off the website. That’s likely what I would do since I am not an Apple device person. But knowing me, I likely won’t keep up with any or many of them as interesting as some of them look. I’ve already downloaded a sampling and via this blog post, I can find them again via the links.

Someone that likes audiobooks will likely really enjoy podcasts and podcasts have their own dedicated fans as well. There are podcasts around the internet for any subject you can name, obviously, but since this is a blog for readers, that’s what you get from me today!

 

As If I Needed More Books To Read

Free books. We need them, we want them. How to get them? Well there are a number of websites that have free books, though they tend to be older out of copyright “classics”. Nothing wrong with that. I like to read a few classics each year. There are other websites where people self publish and offer their books for a review and some sites where publishers offer a small number of copies of books, both paper and eBook for review.

LibraryThing was the first one of those that I found. You can catalogue your books, join forums, and submit your user id for a chance to win a free copy of an early release. There are publisher releases and member releases and those are often self-published. You do have to filter the publisher releases by country because they don’t always send copies to non-American members. That often eliminates the best books but what can you do?  I’ve found a few gems at the early reviewers section, from the publishers and the self-publishers lists, and a few stinkers, too. I was cataloguing my books until I hit a wall of 200. Apparently, though I didn’t realize it when I joined, LT has a limit of 200 books for free members. As I wasn’t willing to spring for a paid membership, I’ve drifted away from LibraryThing though I do look at the Early Reviewers list now and then.

Now I’m on Goodreads which was bought by Amazon a few years ago, I think. I originally joined a group focused on Canadian authors via a CBC Books which has now been removed from GR but someone from that group then started up another independent group and many of the former members gravitated there. We post what we’re reading on Friday, we have monthly group reads, monthly challenges and a year long Bingo Challenge that regular readers here will have seen me mention (four more squares to go!) I’ve discovered some really talented Canadian authors and writers from other countries too. Our group members read a wide variety of things though we do like to encourage support for Canadian talent. Again, I’ve found some superb gems through investigating what other people recommend.

Goodreads also has giveaways from publishers and authors and I’ve won a handful or two of free books through that aspect of the site. They’ve always been hard copies, paper or hard cover versions that they mail to you in exchange, they hope, for an honest review. For a long time I didn’t win too many but this year, I’ve been quite lucky. Free books! What’s not to like!

Professional ReaderI’ve also seen people’s reviews that mention NetGalley ARCs. (Advanced Reader Copy) Today I decided to investigate NetGalley. They primarily aim for professional readers in the industry, or librarians etc but if you have a blog or if you publish your book reviews somewhere like Goodreads or Amazon, you can still join for free. You build a profile and make a list of the types of books you like and go browsing. I thought it was all request submissions but that seems to be mainly for pre-publication books. I found a couple that looked interesting that have been on NetGalley for a little bit and requested them and lo and behold, I now have another free book on an app on my phone with another waiting!

NetGalley is all digital, no hard copies. They will send to Kindle or you can download using Adobe Digital Editions. I did see that the copy of the one I have expires in 55 days. That’s more than enough time to read it but I will have to remember not to leave a book on my “shelf” too long before downloading. Another thing I discovered is that the app they recommend for Android is Aldiko. You can create a login or log in with Facebook or Google+ and it automatically authorizes that device for the DRM locked copy of the book. Digital Rights Management. That locks the eBook to you and your device so you can’t share it or send it to anyone else. Purchased books from Kindle or Kobo have that as well, most of the time. It’s a copyright thing. Occasionally, an author or publisher releases their book DRM-free.

Anyway, I was about to download the book to Aldiko but was also given the choice to download to Overdrive which I also have for borrowing eBooks from the library. Oh, well then, I’ll use that since I like it and am familiar with using it. It worked and opened the book cleanly. I tried to download the second book into Overdrive but it’s a PDF and Overdrive didn’t like that so I had it sent to Kindle which I can read on my phone through the Kindle app.

My first book is The Way Back to Florence by Glenn Haybittle. It’s historical fiction set in World War II. The other book is Gone Astray by Michelle Davies.

So there you are. You can request new releases from LibraryThing, Goodreads or Netgalley and the free books you can get are all based on the country where you live as well. It doesn’t mean, for instance, that the only books I will be able to request are those from Canadian publishers, just publishers that also release in Canada. Penguin, for instance, is global.

Of course the ultimate in free books is your local library but that’s a given. Also keep an eye out for a Little Free Library.

Happy Reading!

Book Lists

I make lists, especially when I travel. Endless lists. I like lists. I like book lists, too, because I’m always looking for that next great book to read even if I still have a stash of hundreds of ebooks that I haven’t read yet. Seriously. I have a mini library of ebooks I’ve accumulated from various sources over the years and yet, I still want more and often will buy a new book when I could have read one of the older ones for free. Such is temptation.

I blame book lists in part. I look through the book lists and read the summary of the story and add it to my wish list, my TBR (To Be Read) list. Goodreads is great for keeping track of books you want to read or have read. So is 50BookPledge. There are apps for that, and other websites, too. And you can keep a wishlist on Amazon or, in Canada, Indigo,  where you can then purchase the book. Kobo hasn’t caught up to that yet.  I keep a wish list on my local library e-site. I really should use that more often, it would save me a lot of money. More and more, newly published books are getting picked up by libraries which is a good thing.

Most of those sites above will have lists that you can check out for ideas and recommendations. Goodreads even generates a recommendation list based on books you’ve tagged as ones you’ve read or want to read. I’ve discovered some good books that way.

CBC Books, a division of Canada’s Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)’s website (Canada’s national radio and television stations) has some good lists too, obviously Canlit based. Here’s the 100 Novels That Make You Proud to be a Canadian. I’ve read just under 30 I think and there are some excellent books on that list. In a related list, they also have 100 YA books. The contents of both lists cover fiction and non fiction and even graphic novels and short stories. While we finish off with CBC, check out their general book lists for quite a few different lists, long and short including best sellers by the week and books mentioned on a couple of their literary radio programs The Next Chapter and Writers and Company, and you can listen to both of them online.

A couple of other lists I’ve seen lately:

50 Amazing New Books You Need To Read This summer  from a blog called Parchment Girl. There are some interesting books on that list, and a wide variety of sources with about 50/50 fiction and non fiction split.

50 Books Written by 50 Canadian Women of Colour on a website called Room Magazine. I applaud putting the focus on authors that don’t always get the mainstream attention. I have read a small number of books on this list but I’ve tagged quite a few more for the TBR list.

Then we get into things like the literary prize long list and short lists, Scotiabank Giller prize, Man Booker, Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize for Fiction), the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Awards, American Book Awards, Hugo Awards (Science fiction), and so many more. Wikipedia has quite a good list of literary prizes by country and region which could keep you busy for days, browsing. All of those websites have the current year’s list as well as prior year lists.

That’ll do for now. I plan to keep a list of good sites like this for future posts! Or just, you know, make a note of them somewhere!

Buying Books

Bookmark, Halifax, NS

Traditionally, to buy a book, you’d go to a bookstore. Bookstores are great, aren’t they? Aisles, shelves, stacks, filled with books. The smell of the paper, leather, binding, it’s intoxicating. The bright covers. The smooth leather with gilded impressed titles. The words on white paper. So many stories. So many places books can take you. Bookstores that sell second hand books are even better. You never know what treasures you will find.

Books can be bought many places, of course. Even the corner gas station often has a rack of paperback books. The airport and train station both certainly always have several, so that travelers can wile away the hours waiting for and sitting on their journeys. Books are a staple of second hand stores and charity shops. Department stores, grocery stores, “big box” retailers like Costco all have book sections.

And the internet, that world wide web of possibilities, is where readers have an endless and nearly infinite choice. I think Amazon was the first big internet book retailer (I may be mistaken but that’s how I remember it) and boy, did it take off! There are now Amazon sites all over the world. It’s really quite mind-boggling. Amazon also now carries a wide variety of items and independent companies also sell things through Amazon. There are other book retailers, companies that have “real life” bookstores that then extended their business to the virtual world (Indigo, Barnes and Noble, Waterstone’s, just to name a few of the English retailers.)

Amazon was one of if not the first to sell eBooks with their reader, Kindle. Apple and Google both have their own e-book sites but I think Kindle is still King. While I don’t have a Kindle, I do use the Kindle app on my smartphone because sometimes you can get a really good sale on a book from Amazon. I use a Kobo ereader that is less restrictive and in some cases, will even allow me to read a Kindle-format book. Best of both worlds!

Recently, I discovered two online book retailers. These are for real books, not electronic books. The first is BookOutlet (that link is for .ca (Canada) but I believe they also have a .com site, too). BookOutlet sells discounted books and the deals there are amazingly attractive. They also carry “scratch and dent” sales, selling slightly damaged books for an even deeper discount. Their bog-standard shipping costs are reasonable, with the price for shipping rising depending on how urgently you want delivery. (but orders over $100 are automatically shipped by UPS and require a signature) I warn you, though, you can get sucked in and spend a lot of money, even with/because of the discounts. You can also build a wishlist if you want to reign yourself in and spread out the cost so you don’t bend that credit card too much in one go.

While the prices, if you’re in Canada, do show in Canadian dollars, they are an approximation based on the current exchange rate if the original book only has an American price. I think they are actually a Canadian company and there is an actual store in Southern Ontario. They also take Paypal in addition to the standard credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express).

The other is Book Depository. That one is based in the UK.  You can see the prices in your home country’s currency. You do get some discount but it’s not as radical as BookOutlet. However, they ship internationally for free! That can be quite a saving if you’ve bought a lot. I find that the selection is more extensive here as well and I’ve seen books and authors here that I don’t see on Canadian sites. For instance, on BookOutlet, I saw books 4 and 5 of a Fantasy series called Throne of Glass. On Book Depository, I can get the whole series from the start. I was looking for adult colouring books today and, as you can see from this picture here, I found one that reproduces Norman Rockwell posters! How cool is that?

Why? Because, according to their website, BookOutlet sells new books that were returned to the publishers as excess inventory or returns in addition to the slightly damaged books. They aren’t like a regular site or bookstore that has everything from a publisher.  Does it matter? Not in the least but you might not find what you’re looking for. If you do, you’ll save money. Book Depository might be where you want to go to find it. It doesn’t hurt to compare, though. Check against Amazon or other online booksellers for sales, especially the ones that have free shipping over a minimum purchase.  Comparison shopping online is just as important as on the street.

Book Depository accepts Visa, Mastercard, Visa debit,  Paypal, American Express, Delta and  Maestro for payment. For me, I’d check BookOutlet first and then Book Depository if what I wanted wasn’t available. I have to say I rarely buy a book in a bookstore anymore, though I do still love to browse in one. I get ideas on what’s newly released and I like the gift sections.  I mainly buy ebooks for reading but there are other gems I can only buy as “hard” copies, such as colouring books, children’s books, travel guides (because I love the colour pictures and they’re easier to flip back and forth and put sticky notes in or use highlighters to mark pages), and any kind of book with illustrations or maps.  If a book is on sale or if it’s a kind of book that does not lend itself well to an eReader, then I will buy a hard copy.

A quick shout out to some local bookstores here in the Halifax region:

The main “big box” retailer is Chapters. (owned by Indigo). My mother and I enjoy browsing and we, along with my niece, always go after Christmas to spend our gift cards. There are several good second hand book stores, with John Doull’s being very good. He’s moved his shop to Main Street in Dartmouth where he’s got a lot more room than he had on the old Barrington Street, Halifax location. I’m not sure if Back Pages is still open. I think perhaps it isn’t. There is also Bookmarks on Spring Garden Road, a lovely independent seller of new books. They carry some great titles and have some good sales.

An excellent children’s book store is Woozles, on Birmingham Street, off Spring Garden. It’s Canada’s oldest children’s bookstore, apparently. I notice they have a home delivery service one evening a week. That’s convenient.  Schooner Books on Inglis Street in Halifax is another long time independent retailer of rare books specializing in Canadian, Atlantic Canada, history and rarities. Read about them here.

The Military and History Bookshop, Sidney, BC

One more mention, this on the west coast of Canada in the town of Sidney on the Sea, Vancouver Island. There are a number of unique bookstores here, most in the general area of Beacon Street or just off it on a couple of side streets, including one I’ve been in, The Haunted Bookshop (second hand, antiquarian). There’s a website and you can see a bit about each shop. I’ve got Sidney on my list for an upcoming trip to Victoria this November. One of the bookshops specializes in Military and History books. I may not have mentioned that history is one of my interests!

Tell me about your favourite local bookstore or online book seller.

Audio Books, Yea or Nay?

I love to read. I read quite quickly, too, so I will find myself skimming pages at times which is a shame when it’s a lovely well-written book. I will often make myself go back and reread something to get more detail and enjoy the flow of the words but if I make myself read slowly in the first place, I only end up reading the same paragraph over and over.

Some people really enjoy listening to audio books which have been around quite some time. They’re really an extension of the days when plays and books were read on the radio but audio or “spoken word” or “talking” books have been around since the 1930s. Initially, it was mainly plays and poetry and often only available in schools or in libraries. Thomas Edison invented the phonograph and he saw it as a way to bring books to the blind. In fact, the first thing Edison did with his new phonograph was record himself reading “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. But the cylinders and early disks weren’t very practical because they couldn’t hold a lot of recorded time. By the 1930s, record disks could hold more and recorded speaking books started to be produced.

A company in the 1950s, Caedmon Records, decided to start selling recorded books on records to the general public. By now, LP (Long Play) records were on the market making it more feasible even though the first works were still shorter works of fiction, short stories, plays and poetry. Still, it was a start. Over the decades, technology improved and little by little recorded books turned to cassette tapes and then CDs when it really took off in the 1980s like a shot. Big companies like Time Warner and Literary Guild were offering audiobooks as choices in Book of the Month Club. There was no going back, now.

Now, of course, there are downloadable digital audio books and website streaming and they are becoming even more popular. People listen to books as they drive, work at home or relax on the beach or wherever they can find a comfortable spot. Just like eBooks, you can get most of the classics for free or buy audiobooks from various on or offline sellers. You can borrow audio books from the library via an app on your phone or computer or stream them from the library website.

Me? I’ve never really got into audio books but I’m going to try a couple over the next few months. I know from past experience trying to listen to the occasional radio play that my attention wanders, I get distracted, and I miss chunks of the storyline. That’s mainly why I haven’t taken the plunge. I’d probably have the best luck with it if I sat with my adult colouring book and listened. There would be less distraction. For me, when driving, the radio is background noise and I think an audio book would be as well. I wouldn’t get anything out of it even if I was only the passenger.

I did actually try a few chapters a month or so ago with Quantum Nights by Robert J Sawyer, but the male reader of the story would change his voice to sound feminine for the female characters and the way he did it grated on my nerves. I then tried streaming an abridged (condensed) version of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead and when that narrator did something similar, it was ok. Many people that love audio books do say that the quality of the reader is very important to your enjoyment of the book.  A few days ago, I went to a couple of sites that have free audio books to download. These are mainly classic books that are in the public domain. I like to try to read a classic or two every year anyway so why not try one in this format?

Terminology to know: Abridged vs Unabridged. Unabridged is the whole book recorded where Abridged is a condensed version without all the detail. The Underground Railroad that I listened to off the BBC Radio website was most definitely abridged and I would have preferred the full meal deal, I think.

If you are interested in trying an audiobook, check out your local library’s digital catalog. You can borrow one for free. If you want to download one, this website has a few options for the best sites to try.  You might also have a look at Open Culture, Librivox and Playster. You can also get free audio books through Amazon and iTunes (iBooks) and Google books.

You can also pay for audio book services like Audible, which seems to be one of the most popular. You pay a monthly fee and get one book for free each month and then can buy loads more at good discounts and listen offline. Audiobooks is a similar service.  Spotify does online streaming of music and books. You can join there for free but there are restrictions and you may have ads in the stream. I think all three do have free books as well, classics and perhaps some self published works.

For me, since I can’t see audiobooks being a major part of my reading world, I will experiment with free books, either by download or through the library using the Overdrive app on my phone and go from there. It’s all about trying new things. At least then I can’t say I’ve never tried it.

 

 

Project Bookmark creating a CanLit Trail

Installing the Bookmark for No Great Mischief (Alistair MacLeod) at Port Hastings, Cape Breton, NS

Installing the Bookmark for No Great Mischief (Alistair MacLeod) at Port Hastings, Cape Breton, NS

I came across a link to Project Bookmark Canada recently in the Goodreads CanadianContent discussion group. It is a charitable organization that is creating a “trail” of poster sized plaques or markers that contain excerpts from Canadian books or poems. The markers are signboards and are placed on the physical spot where the excerpt from the book actually takes place. The excerpt on the marker will be the one where that location is referenced. There are and will be locations all across Canada. It’s quite a cool idea and anything that promotes Canadian Literature or “CanLit” is a good thing.

Currently, there are 17 across Canada. It means you could, if you wanted, visit the locations and make a point of trying to find them all should you find yourself traveling through the various locations. It’ll be easier if you’re in Ontario, more specifically, souther Ontario because 13 of them are in Ontario locations, most along the lakes from Kingston to the US border by Niagara. That’s a bit disappointing but let’s hope that the future will bring funding for more widespread bookmark markers.

There is one in my province of Nova Scotia at Port Hastings visitor centre, just across the Canso Causeway in Cape Breton Island. This commemorates No Great Mischief by Alistair Macleod” and was put in place in 2015. We’re hoping to go on a road trip there in the fall so I will make sure we stop and have a look and a photo and I might even try to get my hands on a copy of the book from the library! There’s a marker in Vancouver for The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy and that’s another location I’ll be visiting later in the year so it’s going on my list, too!

It’s even more fun if you have actually read the book. I only recognized one book that I’ve read, Garbo Laughs by Elizabeth Hay. It’s marker is in Ottawa. There’s also one in Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland and the only other non-Ontario location is in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They started up in 2007 and erected the first bookmark in 2009 in Toronto, at the Bloor Street Viaduct, referenced in “In the Skin of a Lion” by Michael Ondaatje. The most recent one was just a few months ago in the gardens of Castle Loma, Toronto as depicted in a children’s book, The Cat and the Wizard by Dennis Lee.

They have a form on the website to suggest a location and book and I have thought about one for Halifax, where I live. Halifax is famous for the Halifax Explosion in 1917 and there have been several books written with that theme. One of the earliest is Hugh McLennan’s Barometer Rising. Another book I read recently is Tides of Honour by Geneveive Graham. I would like to find a spot that either of those books mentions specifically and suggest it. I have some research to do! They operate on donations with a lot of volunteers as well.

Their website defines their mission statement as:

Project Bookmark Canada is a one-of-a-kind, Canadian cultural innovation. Though many countries have tangible tributes to literature and writers, no other initiative in the world creates a permanent series of site-specific literary exhibits using text from imagined stories that take place in real locations.

Our vision is to blaze a Canadian literary trail connecting hundreds of Bookmarks in cities, towns and other areas across the country.

Word by word and kilometre by kilometre, Project Bookmark Canada is enhancing reading culture in Canada, strengthening our sense of ourselves, and using literature to link local communities to nation-wide conversations.

Promoting Canadian Writers

When I was in high school in my last year, there were two specialized English classes that we could opt to take instead of the regular one. The regular English class would have a variety of topics and usually included a Shakespeare play, some novels and possibly some poetry and short stories. One of the specialized courses was European Literature and one was Canadian Literature. At the time, I decided to take the European Lit class instead of the Canadian Lit because, I’ll admit, I thought Canadian authors were boring. I know. I’m ashamed of that now but that’s the way I thought  back in the 70s.

I believe the Canadian Lit course included such authors as Margaret Atwood, Margaret Laurence, Timothy Findlay and probably Robertson Davies among others. The European Lit included Ibsen, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy, Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsen, Tolstoy,  Flaubert and Josef Conrod.  Some of the novels I liked, some I hated. I’ve reread a few of them in the past year or two and changed my mind on several. You will never get me to crack open a Conrod ever again. He scarred me for life!

In the more recent years, however, I’ve rediscovered that Canadian authors are very diverse and even the classic authors are pretty damn amazing. Even before I found the Canadian book groups at Goodreads, I’d been dipping into books written by home grown authors and authors that have immigrated to Canada and are considered “ours”.  Through the Goodreads groups, I’ve discovered lots of newer authors and I’ve been encouraged to pick up more of the classic books by authors that have been writing for decades. The experience has been mostly quite positive and I will definitely be delving into more of their back catalogues.

Here’s a good blog post about a 2012 survey about how Canadians felt about Canadian books and authors. The results are quite interesting.

A couple of good places to start if you don’t really know what you might like is the website for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, a literary prize handed out every year to Canadian writers. There is a long list which is pared down to a short list of new novels published that year. The winner is announced in November.  They have the lists and winners on their site going back to 1994. It’s a great place to find superb books.

Along a similar vein, there’s CBC’s Canada Reads competition. They choose five books and a well known Canadian defends each book, promoting it’s good points in a televised competition over a few days where one book is eliminated by a vote of the defenders each day. The books are not always new releases, either, they can be much older. Each year the competition sets a theme for the books and picks a long list and each defender must read all five of the shortlisted books. There are some wonderful books to be explored. The website has the shortlist and winners back to 2002. The shortlist for 2017 will be announced at the end of January with the competition near the end of March.

CBC, the national television and radio broadcaster, is a big supporter of the arts and their Books section has lots of great information, interviews, lists and you can click and click and find all kinds of interesting things like “My Life in Books” where prominent Canadians share their favourite books.  There are two radio shows that feature books and interviews, too.  You can listen on line to past episodes or to podcasts and one also has a blog. The Next Chapter is one and Writers and Company is the other.  Follow CBC Books on Twitter.

100 novels that make you proud to be a Canadian
100 YA novels
100 True Stories that make you proud to be a Canadian 

I have long decided that Margaret Atwood is my favourite Canadian writer and I plan to try to read all her novels and short stories, maybe even her poetry. I admit that’s not really my favourite thing to read but for her, I’m willing to experiment! I’ve seen her interviewed and she’s sharp and witty and so interesting!

Other Canadian authors I’ve discovered and really enjoyed include Miriam Toews (Manitoba), Ann-Marie MacDonald (Nova Scotia), Ami MacKay (Nova Scotia), Lesley Crewe (Nova Scotia), Michael Crummey (Newfoundland), Wayne Johnston (Newfoundland), Frances Itani (Ontario), Kathleen Winter (Quebec), Linden McIntyre (Newfoundland), Heather O’Neill (Quebec), Jocelyn Saucier (Quebec), Sussana Kearsley (Ontario),  Louise Penney (Quebec), Richard Wagamese (Ontario) and Elizabeth Hay (Ontario). There are more but those are the ones that  particularly impressed me. In fact, Ragged Company by Richard Wagamese is probably my favourite book from my reading in 2016. It certainly stayed with me for some time after I finished it.

I am most definitely going to be reading Canadian authors regularly.  I look forward to finding new ones and discovering more books written by our classic authors in addition to Ms. Atwood, such as Mordecai Richler, Robertson Davies and Timothy Findley just to name a few. I think it’s important to promote home grown talent  though I’ll continue to read from other countries, too,(I’ve developed a fondness for Scandinavian crime novels!)  and I plan to continue my quest to read literary classics.