Day ? of the pandemic. I finished a wonderful book this morning. THE OLD WOMAN AND THE RIVER, by Ismail Fahd Ismali, a brilliant Kuwaiti writer, immensely respected in the Arab world. I’ll share the back of the book quote with you, and if you read it you’ll see why: “As the war between Iran…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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”…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

It’s a tough time in the world and I’ve been pondering what, if anything, to say, wondering if the world needed yet another voice yapping on about justice and mercy. And what would I say, anyway…that I’m for it? Seems obvious, doesn’t it? What I do believe is that each of us is given a…

Read More

Although I’ve not finished my reading for 2015, ’tis the time of lists. A number of ‘best of’ lists this year have me scratching my head, since I read some of the books and didn’t care care for them very much, and the fact Kim Kardashian’s SELFISH made the Globe & Mail’s list… well… the…

Read More