Books – “What Strange Paradise” by Omar El Akkad

** spoiler alert ** About that ending… El Akkad has won the Scotiabank Giller Prize this year for “What Strange Paradise.” I just finished reading it and found it wonderful, disturbing, frustrating, and thought-provoking all at once. This book will, I suspect, confuse a considerable number of readers. I say this because of the ending,…

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Books — Leonard and Hungry Paul by Ronan Hessian

I love books. No surprise there. And some of my favorite conversations  are about books, and sharing the books I love with friends. So I thought I’d start sharing some of them here. I won’t be reviewing them (since I’m really not a qualified literary critic, and I feel one should be to properly review…

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‘Tis The Season To Be Bookish #4 and final

These are some of the books I read and loved this year. The fourth and final post. You can pursue the other selections here and here and here. THE INNOCENTS by Michael Crummey. An astonishingly good book. I can see why it was nominated for every prize, although I can’t see why it hasn’t won…

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‘Tis The Season To Be Bookish #3

These are some of the books I read and loved this year. The third post. You can pursue the other selections here and here. THE OLD WAYS by Robert Macfarlane.  My dear friend, Nathan Turoff, turned me on to Macfarlane. Thank you, Nathan! I could devote an entire blog to Macfarlane’s work. I am haunted…

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‘Tis The Season To Be Bookish #2

Continuing my annual round-up of some of the books I’ve loved this year. I present them in the order I read them. You can read about the first five by clicking here.  Without further ado: MOCKINGBIRD by Walter Tevis. A sci-fi masterpiece: “A moral tale that has elements of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Superman, and Star Wars”…

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‘Tis the Season to be Bookish #1

Of course, all seasons are bookish, don’t you think? It’s been a great reading year for me. I’ve read 127 books so far (I expect to finish a couple more before the year is out). For the next little while I want to share with you the books I enjoyed most. I’ll share five at…

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Reading in Dark Times

It can be difficult for me to remain cheery in the midst of world events. It’s hard to remember that all things are born, live and die into transformation, only to repeat the cycle over and over again. This is true, I believe of all sentient things, as well as eras, cultures, nations, planets… The…

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Books I loved in 2018

I don’t know how I managed to read over a hundred books this year, especially since it’s been a publishing year. My own novel, THE GRIMOIRE OF KENSINGTON MARKET, was published by Buckrider Books/Wolsak & Wynn in October and has thankfully been well received by critics and readers alike. But, what does a writer do…

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Alice McDermott's THE NINTH HOUR and her magic mirror

I recently read Alice McDermott’s brilliant book, THE NINTH HOUR, about which NPR said: “The Ninth Hour begins with a suicide. The aftermath is handled with indisputable authority by a nun who works with the sick and poor, Sister St. Saviour, who arranges both a funeral for the dead man and a future for his pregnant…

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Fantastic Book! "I AM NO ONE" by Patrick Flanery

I’ve been absent for a while because, as many of you now know, I’ve been on the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize jury and reading A LOT OF BOOKS. However, that’s mostly done now and I’ve been able to start reading other things. First one up is a book called I AM NOT ONE, by…

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