In the Cage by Kevin Hardcastle

In the Cage is pretty much the opposite of the last book I wrote about. Far from "heartwarming", it's rough, gritty (yes, "gritty"), and sad. This is not a criticism - many of you know I like dark, heavy books. However, I wouldn't normally be drawn to books about fighting or fighters, but I have … Continue reading In the Cage by Kevin Hardcastle

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The Unlikely Redemption of John Alexander MacNeil by Lesley Choyce

Lesley Choyce has written a crazy number of books; over 80 for adults, teens, and children. I only own one that I deliberately bought a few years ago because I was anxious to read it. It is still unread. He also lives in Nova Scotia. All of this to say that I'm wondering what makes … Continue reading The Unlikely Redemption of John Alexander MacNeil by Lesley Choyce

Giller Longlist: We’ll All Be Burnt In Our Beds Some Night by Joel Thomas Hynes

When I started reading this book, I had no idea what to expect. With a title like that, and a cover that looks like the world is on fire, and almost all the praise and reviews using the word "gritty". ("Gritty" means gross, right? Yes. And other things.) But the thing is, once I got … Continue reading Giller Longlist: We’ll All Be Burnt In Our Beds Some Night by Joel Thomas Hynes

2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize Shortlist

The Giller Prize shortlist is out! The Shadow Jury will be reading and reviewing these books over the course of the next 6 weeks, and will be choosing a shadow winner a few days before the official Giller Prize announcement on November 20th. Rachel Cusk for her novel Transit, published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd My thoughts: Unfortunately I wasn't a … Continue reading 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize Shortlist

Literature on the Black Loyalists of Nova Scotia

This spring and summer I got reading about Black Loyalists in Nova Scotia, inspired mostly by reading Lawrence Hill's Black Berry, Sweet Juice and by the subsequent discussion I had with my sister. Around the same time I also read Steal Away Home by Karolyn Smardz Frost. All of this made me want to know … Continue reading Literature on the Black Loyalists of Nova Scotia

Angie Abdou: Between, The Canterbury Trail, and The Bone Cage

I finally decided to pick up one of Angie Abdou's books this summer. I've been meaning to for years now - I wish I could remember what it was that prompted me to do it - it was something I read about her last book, Between. So that's the one I started with. I loved … Continue reading Angie Abdou: Between, The Canterbury Trail, and The Bone Cage