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Canadiana Reading List

with 9 comments

What I do not know about the country in which I currently reside could fill bookshelves. And it does. So, thanks to a generous friend  and a used bookstore, I have the following reading list to catch me up on Canadiana:

Margaret Atwood, Before the Flood

Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake

Mordechai Richler, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

Margaret Laurence, The Diviners

Alice Munro, Lives of Girls and Women

W. O. Mitchell, Who has Seen the Wind

Hugh MacLennan, Two Solitudes

Rudy Wiebe, The Temptations of Big Bear

Criag Brown, Ed. The Illustrated History of Canada

Peter C. Newman, Company of Adventurers

To be fair to me, I am not a complete dolt and have read a great deal of Atwood, and taught her first novel, The Edible Woman, in Women’s Studies courses. But I haven’t read her newest stuff, which focusses more on the damage to the environment caused by the patriarchy than the damage to individual people. I’ve also read some Richler, but not his seminal Duddy, so that needed to happen.

I hesitate to ask you, gentle reader, if you have anything to add to the list, for I also have other reading that needs to happen and, well, kids and a husband and knitting that all need tending to. But, comments on your favorites are most welcome, as are things that might have been neglected in the creating of this list! (Oh, and my French is abysmal, so we’re sticking to Anglophone literature and history. A true loss, I am sure.)

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Written by Jennifer

August 14, 2011 at 6:39 pm

9 Responses

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  1. Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache mysteries take place (mostly) in a small village in Canada. She touches on current and past political situations as some background. Her writing is excellent.

    Jody Crocker

    August 15, 2011 at 11:33 am

  2. Thank you for the tip, Jody. I have a total weakness for mysteries, so I’ll definitely add her to the list!

    Jennifer

    August 15, 2011 at 11:36 am

  3. In an NPR review in the early 1990’s of books worthy of not being forgotten, the virtues of Margaret Laurence’s “The Diviners.” were highly priased. We ordered a few copies for our bookstore and as usual I read a copy, carefully handling it, so that I could put it back on the shelf. It never went back on the shelf. It was more than a great read. It was one of those experiences that pushes and pulls you like a strong undertow into waters that feel unsafe, but ultimately deliver you back to terra firma. Yet deposited in a place not previously known. I hand sold this book often enough to place numerous reorders. Divine!

    Michael Nelson

    November 2, 2011 at 8:46 am

  4. In an NPR review in the early 1990’s of books worthy of not being forgotten, the virtues of Margaret Laurence’s “The Diviners.” were highly praised. We ordered a few copies for our bookstore and as usual I read a copy, carefully handling it, so that I could put it back on the shelf. It never went back on the shelf. It was more than a great read. It was one of those experiences that pushes and pulls you like a strong undertow into waters that feel unsafe, but ultimately deliver you back to terra firma. Yet deposited in a place not previously known. I hand sold this book often enough to place numerous reorders. Divine!

    Michael Nelson

    November 2, 2011 at 8:47 am

  5. Michael,
    thank you for putting one of the books higher on my “to read” list. I need to give you a newsy update soon but thank you for thinking of me.

    Jennifer

    November 11, 2011 at 9:05 am

  6. Hi fellow Jennifer!
    Anne Michael’s Fugitive Pieces is one I keep re-reading over the years. Beautifully poetic.
    Also a big fan of Carol Shields. And Thomas King for a laugh.
    And anything written by grade 5 students 🙂

    Jennifer Matthews

    November 25, 2011 at 8:55 pm

  7. So many good suggestions! I use an iPhone app called “Indiebound,” connected to the website of the same name, to track all the books on my “To Read.” With everything on the phone, I have it with me at the library, at bookstores, etc. I am looking forward to Christmas break, when I get to sit and read and read and read and knit and knit and knit.

    Jennifer

    November 28, 2011 at 10:13 am

  8. I’m the only Canadian alive who got through highschool without reading Duddy Kravitz. I’m glad. I’m currently reading Barney’s Version, and I find it thoroughly misogynistic, although Tim argues that Richler isn’t really a misogynist, he’s a misanthrope. Potato, Potahto. It is great, rich, textural writing, and I’m sure if he didn’t hate me so much as a woman, I might even enjoy it.

    Lynne

    December 8, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    • Barney’s Version didn’t piss me off the way Kravitz did. Maybe because I read Barney first and didn’t approach it pre-irritated. Also, I was the only honors student at my high school who got away without reading Moby Dick. Of this I remain proud.

      Sent from my iPad

      Jennifer

      December 8, 2011 at 8:29 pm


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