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8 May

I’m purging some of my books. Are you interested in any?  I’d prefer if they went to a good home and didn’t sit on shelves!  Many of them are recent/advances from when I was at Bookmark.


Ann Eriksson – Falling from grace
Nicholas Ruddock – The Parabolist
Joseph Monninger – Eternal on the Water
Miguel Syjuco – Illustrado
Sandra Brown – Rainwater
Todd Babiak – Toby: A Man
Tracy Morgan – I am the new Black
Walter Lippmann – A preface  to morals (non fiction, philosophy)
Lionel Shriver (especially well-reviewed) – So Much for That
Paul Tremblay – The Little Sleep (very cool cover)
Isaac Deuscher – Stalin (biography)
Anna Elliott – Dark Moon of Avalon
Harvard Lampoon – Nightlight (Twilight parody)
Danielle Trussoni – Angelology
Buzz Hargrove – Laying it on the Line
Ann Herendeen – Pride/Prejudice
Monica Kidd – Any Other Woman
ML Malcolm – Heart of Lies
Penelope Lively – Family Album
Lee Henderson – The Man Game
Paulette Jiles – The Colour of Lightening
Peter Darbyshire – The Warhol Gang
David Gordon – The Serialist
Nahoko Uehashi – Moribito
Maggie Stiefvater – Linger

There’s nothing wrong with any of these books, I just don’t have room for ’em 😦   Free to a good home.


Late onset resolution: me vs the Giller Prize

19 Jan

I’m a big fan of resolutions, even if I never keep them.  I’ve never lost the 20lbs, never cleared my place completely of clutter, never even packed lunches to work/school three times a week… but I’ve definitely intended to.  But this, this time will be different!  I got a book-journal for Christmas.  It’s got a page or whatever to write about which books you’ve been reading.  I’ll almost certainly never do that, because I’m disorganized, but I love the idea.  At the back of the book-journal is a reading list of different literary awards.  As I scanned the pages, I became hyper-aware that I’ve read… a small fraction of the award winners.  Of course, there’s merit to any reading, and thousands of brilliant books don’t win awards.  But also, good books do win awards.  And I should be reading more good books.  Anyway, whatever my motivation, I’ve resolved to read all of the Giller Prize winners since the prize was created in 1994.


Why the Giller Prize versus, say, all the other prizes (i.e. Gov Gen award, Nobel, or Booker Prize):

No real reason.  I’ve read very few of the Giller books and there are fewer of them in total.  I can budget two weeks for each one and still get through ’em all this year.  That’s it, mostly.

With that said, I think I’ll read more from the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour because who doesn’t need more humour in their lives?

Will you have anything clever to say about the books you’ll be reading?

No.  Which is bad.  Because reading all the books from a list of literary awards is undeniably pretentious.  Unlike, say, watching all of the Batman movies and saying something silly about each, I feel – maybe mistakenly – that there’s some onus to write something insightful or clever about the books.  I probably won’t do that.  Sorry.  I will write about each of them and maybe have a picture of their cover or something.  My only qualifications as a literary critic are that I worked part-time in a bookstore (and still do, sometimes) and that I’m generally a very ornery person.  Is that sufficient?

The list:

1994 – M.G. Vassanji, The Book of Secrets (status: on order at Bookmark)
1995 – Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance (I’m pretty sure my brother owns this)
1996Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
1997Mordecai Richler, Barney’s Version
1998 – Alice Munroe, The Love of a Good Woman
1999 – Bonnie Burnard, A Good House
2000 – Michael Ondaatje, Anil’s Ghost & David Adams Richards, Mercy Among the Children
2001Richard B. Wright, Clara Callan
2002 – Austin Clarke, The Polished Hoe
2003 – M.G. Vassanji, The In-Between World of Vikram Lall
2004 – Alice Munro, Runaway
2005 – David Bergen, The Time In Between
2006 – Vincent Lam, Bloodletting and other Miraculous Cures
2007 – Elizabeth Hay,  Late Nights on Air
2008 – Joseph Boyden, Through Black Spruce
2009 Linden MacIntyre, The Bishop’s Man
2010 – Johanna Skibsrud, The Sentimentalists

I’ve already read the ones scratched out.


So: next week, me and M.G. Vassanji.  Oh, and will someone tell the Bookmark that they’re completely free to sponsor me on this one, should they wish?