Archives for posts with tag: best

2020 Holiday Gift GuideBooks make great gifts. Beautiful to look at and to hold, hours of entertainment, and (bonus!) so easy to wrap!

My annual Holiday Gift Guide for Day 6 this year includes two Canadian novels with big heart and some much-needed-in-2020 chuckles, a hopeful big-idea nonfiction book that argues for our inherent human kindness, mouthwatering Northern Thai food for home cooks, and a brilliant story for littles about how the world keeps turning and each of us is important.

Here’s the audio >> listen

FICTION

Like Rum-Drunk Angels by Tyler Enfield (Goose Lane)

Indians on Vacation by Thomas King (HarperCollins)

NONFICTION

Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman (Little, Brown)

FOOD

Kiin by Nuit Regular (Penguin)

KIDS

You Matter by Christian Robinson (Atheneum)

 

 

Shuggie Bain

 

Scottish-American author Douglas Stuart published his debut novel, Shuggie Bain, in February 2020.

It’s now on the shortlists for both the Booker Prize – the UK’s most prestigious literary award – which will announce its winner on November 19, and the National book Award – one of the USA’s most prestigious literary awards – which will announce its winner on November 18.

Stuart’s publisher rushed out a paperback edition for the occasion (available now).

But should you read it?

Listen here to my review for CBC Day 6, in which I talk about the novel’s political context (1980s Glasgow), the beauty in the darkness of a relationship between young Shuggie Bain and his alcoholic mother, Agnes, and a novel that, with its Glaswegian dialect throughout, entices you to read with your ears as well as your eyes.

 

 

2020 Spring preview - Globe

 

“To read a new book in spring 2020 is to open a time capsule. Books written, edited and printed before the pandemic must now be read in an altered world – one that’s shrunk and retreated to the confines of four walls.

Something fascinating and almost shocking is to be found in the diurnal detail of a new novel. Take Cordelia Strube’s Misconduct of the Heart, centred around a small restaurant that would now be closed for all but takeout. Or Eimear McBride’s Strange Hotel, in which the protagonist flies off to a series of hotels and commits such unthinkable acts as pressing a concierge’s brass bell with her naked finger.

Dystopian fiction (of which there is plenty) carries a different echo of our present moment. Business tomes must be read through the lens of a new economy. Books about the beauty and power of nature and the resilience of the human spirit feel more urgent (and moving) than ever.

Whether you’re looking for escapism or for answers about our current situation, the spring has a bounty of new books to suit your needs.”

From my 2020 Spring Books Preview for the Globe and Mail.

2020 Holiday Gift Guide CBC

Another year, another holiday gift guide. It wasn’t my intention to choose books whose covers were so matchy-matchy, but it’s a nice bonus if you want to splurge and buy them all together!

Listen to the audio here >> LISTEN

My top picks for 2019 are:

The Innocents by Michael Crummey – my favourite Canadian novel of the year

Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry – my favourite non-Canadian novel of the year

Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow – already a Pulitzer Prize winner and major buzz book, this book about the journalist’s pursuit of the Harvey Weinstein story reads like a le Carré novel

Agnes, Murderess by Sara Leavitt – an awesome Canadian historical graphic novel with a queer subplot and gothic vibe, this will appeal to teens and adults

Just Because by Mac Barnett illus. Isabelle Arsenault and King Mouse by Cary Fagan illus. Dena Seiferling – two picture books for little kids that tell two very different stories, both about kindness, patience, and the magic of imagination.

 

 

2019 Holiday Reads

 

Books: they’re easy to wrap! (I say this every year, but it’s true).

My annual Holiday Gift Guide for CBC Radio’s Day 6  is here.

It includes:

SOME OF MY FAVOURITE FICTION OF 2018
Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart
Beirut Hellfire Society by Rawi Hage
Dear Evelyn by Kathy Page

A BIOGRAPHY & A MEMOIR THAT MAKE A GREAT PAIR
In Pieces by Sally Field
Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography by Andrea Warner

A GREAT GIFT FOR TEENS – A BOOK THAT SHOULD BE IN EVERY CANADIAN LIBRARY AND HOME
The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada 

A PICTURE BOOK FOR LITTLES AT BEDTIME
Sleep, Sheep! by Kerry Lyn Sparrow. Illustrated by Guillaume Perreault

 

Mars Room

 

Romy Hall is serving two life sentences without parole for murder. She did it. That’s not in doubt. But did she have any choice? Or did life deal her a hand that could’ve had no other outcome?

Rachel Kushner’s third novel is bristling with detail, bursting with love, and heavy with despair.

Should you read it?

My review for CBC Radio’s Day 6 >> listen here

 

Heart Berries cover _ March 2018

 

Heart Berries, the debut memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot, went straight onto the bestseller lists when it was published in Canada last week. But should YOU read it?

My review for CBC Day 6 >> listen here

Holiday Reads 2017

 

I made a list, Day 6 gifted it twice!

Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, YA, a music biography and (not pictured) an adorable picture book for kids.

What will you find in your stocking this year … ?

Listen to the audio here.

Hanks Weiner SIRI

 

Tom Hanks (of Academy Award-winning actor fame) and Matthew Weiner (of Sopranos and Mad Men fame) have both just released their debut books.

Should you read them?

The “Should I Read It?’ segment gets two for the price of one this week. My review for Day 6 on CBC Radio One >> listen

Legacy of Spies

 

For his 24th novel, spy-novel master John le Carré returns to his most famous and beloved creation, George Smiley.

Sort of.

Narrated by Smiley’s younger protégé Peter Guillam, A Legacy of Spies serves as both a prequel and a sequel to The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Readers are united with old friends Guillam, Smiley, and Alec Leamas in the years leading up to the mission detailed in TSWCIFTC, and with the now-pretty-old Guillam and Smiley in the early 21st Century (though you’ll have to wait until the very end to see Smiley in anything but a flashback).

The novel has been met with much international fanfare.

Should you read it?

Spy puns (and unexpected Star Wars comparisons) abound in my review for CBC Day 6.

Listen here >> audio