2011 Canadian Literature you have enjoyed (or are looking forward to reading/being released)

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2011 Canadian Literature you have enjoyed (or are looking forward to reading/being released)

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1Bcteagirl
Set 15, 2011, 10:54 am

In trying to keep myself up with new books (Mostly I am catching up on many years of not having paid proper attention to Canadian Literature) I thought it would be great to have a thread to discuss newly (this year) released Canadian authored books we have enjoyed, or new releases we are looking forward too!

2ajsomerset
Set 15, 2011, 12:09 pm

The Meagre Tarmac by Clark Blaise, which is on the Giller longlist, is very good.

I liked Angie Abdou's The Canterbury Trail, which came out this spring. I think it's a better book than her much better known (Canada Reads contender) The Bone Cage.

The Antagonist is getting rave reviews (although touchstones don't yet recognize it), and I am a big fan of Lynn Coady, especially her last, Mean Boy, so I am looking forward to that one. People I trust are raving about Monoceros, by Suzette Mayr. And The Sisters Brothers looks interesting.

When people I know who have given up on Ondaatje after a string of ho-hum novels praise The Cat's Table, I pay attention.

I'm also looking forward to getting my hands on Claire Tacon's Metcalf-Rooke Award winner, In The Field, which has no working touchstone yet.

Short story collections: Better Living Through Plastic Explosives, by Zsuzsi Gartner, is one I haven't gotten to yet that is getting lots of chatter. Rebecca Rosenblum's new collection The Big Dream launches next week. I'm interested in Cathy Stonehouse's Something About The Animal and Laura Boudreau's Suitable Precautions.

Non-fictionwise, I am looking forward to Ray Robertson's Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live.

That's about as far as my book budget can hope to stretch, especially given that I have non-Canadians Jim Harrison & Benjamin Percy on there, too. Fall is expensive.

3Bcteagirl
Set 15, 2011, 1:34 pm

Some great ideas!! I have been hearing about Better Living Through Plastic Explosives throughout the summer. The Canterbury Trial sounds interesting, I believe that is a BC author. :)

4ajsomerset
Set 15, 2011, 1:48 pm

She lives in Fernie.

5raidergirl3
Set 15, 2011, 5:09 pm

Good to hear about Canterbury Trail - I just picked it up from the library. I liked The Bone Cage, so now am really looking forward to it.

I'm looking forward to Helen Humphries new book - Reinvention of Love, which will be released later in the fall. I'm already on my library wait list.

I'm in a long line at the library for Tide Road by Island author Valerie Compton, released this year.

6Bcteagirl
Set 15, 2011, 5:17 pm

Tide Road sounds very interesting, and I like that it is set in PEI!

7Nickelini
Set 15, 2011, 6:49 pm

Yea! A PEI book that isn't Anne of Green Gables! Finally.

I'm still trying to catch up on all the novels I haven't had time to read yet, but I am looking forward to The Cat's Table and Better Living Through Plastic Explosives.

8vancouverdeb
Set 20, 2011, 10:41 pm

I picked up Meagre Tarmac today and I'm looking forward to reading it. It's on the Giller List and is a book of short stories.

I've read The Cat's Table and as most you've know, I thought it was pretty mediocre.

9ajsomerset
Set 23, 2011, 9:32 am

To follow up on my last post:

I just finished Ray Robertson's Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live on a flight down to Edmonton.

It is quite good, if you can get past the fact that Robertson is utterly wrong on Bob Dylan's 2003 performance in Niagara Falls: consistently engaging & thought-provoking. (That's the book, not Dylan's performance.) This book has just been shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize, which is the country's biggest prize for non-fiction.

On the flight back home, I read Claire Tacon's In the Field. This is the winner of the 2010 Metcalf-Rooke Award, a prize given to an unpublished manuscript by a new writer (which leads to the unpublished manuscript being published, the following year). In the Field is, in simple terms, the story of a woman who moves back home to Nova Scotia as her marriage is crumbling. This is the kind of territory where we frequently find all kinds of sentimentality and cliches, but the strength of this book is that it avoids them.

I have picked up The Antagonist and The Big Dream. I think I'll be reading The Antagonist next -- in my opinion, Lynn Coady is Canada's most underrated writer, and from what I'm reading about this book, it could be her big breakout.

#8: Hope you enjoy The Meagre Tarmac. I thought it was very good.

10vancouverdeb
Set 23, 2011, 12:01 pm

9 - I'm sure I will enjoy Meagre Tarmac - but for now I'm very caught up in Touch . It seems to be excellent so far, but I' am not far into the book as yet.

Yesterday I was at the bookstore and say Tell it To the Trees by Anita Rau Badami. That's going to be a must read for me. I've read another book by her, and the name escapes for the moment,but I though it was excellent.

The Antagonist does look interesting too. One day I will get to it too... I hope!

11buriedinprint
Set 24, 2011, 1:04 pm

I'm looking forward to Charlotte Gill's latest, Eating Dirt, which is non-fiction, because I loved her collection of stories, Ladykiller, which was nominated for the Giller Prize a few years back.

Having recently finished Pauline Holdstock's new novel, Into the Heart of the Country, I'm hoping to track down some of her earlier works, including Beyond Measure.

And I'm also completely engrossed into Esi Edugyan's Half-Blood Blues, so I might just pull her debut novel, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne off the shelf too.

I agree that prize-lists are random creatures, but they do get me reading books that have been too-long-lingering neglected on my shelves.

12buriedinprint
Set 24, 2011, 1:08 pm

raidergirl3 I heard Helen Humphreys read from the opening of this last week and it definitely piqued my interest. I can understand why she found it such an interesting situation to explore. Somehow I'd missed the book's publication, but I'm definitely keen on getting a copy of it now. All the more so because I loved The Lost Garden and Afterimage: A Novel. Looking forward to your thoughts on it!

13vancouverdeb
Editado: Nov 4, 2011, 6:04 pm

Raidergirl and BuriedinPrint - I've been looking at Helen Humphreys lastest too. I'll look forward to what you think of her latest offering. I've only read Coventry, which I loved, but I've got After Image on the shelves .

buried in print - glad you are engrossed in Half Blood Blues. It just arrived from the Book Depository and I've heard good and bad about it, so I'll be curious as to your thoughts.

Just about finished Touch. Very enjoyable and intriguing. 5 star read for me!

14buriedinprint
Set 29, 2011, 8:21 pm

vancouverdeb and all those interested in Esi Edugyan's novel.

The impressions that I had of this one going in were something other than what I found in the novel; I had the idea that it was going to be a story told on a rather broad scale, but I felt that, in fact, it was actually a very personal tale, primarily focussed on one man's experience of the time and place (and his relationships with a couple of significant people). If I'd been stuck on the idea of a sweeping historical story, I might have been disappointed, but as a tale of friendship/betrayal, a story of survivial/endurance, I found it quite riveting. (Thoughts here.)

15buriedinprint
Set 29, 2011, 8:22 pm

ajsomerset You could add me to the list of people raving about Monoceros. I thought it was terrific!

16lit_chick
Out 22, 2011, 4:07 am

Looking very forward to The Virgin Cure being released, which I think is set for Oct 25. Ami McKays Birth House is an absolute favourite of mine.

17vancouverdeb
Out 23, 2011, 7:59 pm

Add me to the list, Nancy @16. That was supposed to be released last year in October -so I'm holding my breath for The Virgin Cure!

18Loriel
Editado: Nov 3, 2011, 9:32 am

Regarding post 13, the touchstone linked to an Elmore Leonard book. Did you mean the Alexi Zentner novel Touch? It is one of my favourite reads of the year and I would not want anyone to miss it. It is interesting, moving and downright spooky in spots.

19vancouverdeb
Editado: Nov 4, 2011, 6:03 pm

18 - Yes, sorry , I meant to link to Touch by Alexi Zentner. Thanks for the correction. It was one of my favourite reads of the year too. I'll go and edit it.

20alans
Dez 8, 2011, 1:57 pm

I read Half-Blood Blues and I thought it was good, but not great. Certainly not worthy of a major prize like the Giller. I had also read her first book which I hated, this one was a lot more inviting.
Then I read Alone in the Classroom which I believe is a modern masterpiece. The quality of the writing and the story-telling is so sophisticated and beautiful that it was a joy to read. The story reminded me a lot of Alice Munro'swork. Just a brilliant novel. Much better then her other prize winner Late Nights on Air.