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May-June 2017

REVIEW: Powerful memoir explores the challenges of living with multiple sclerosis

Inside Jen Powley's Just Jen

Jemicah Colleen Marasigan

Just Jen: Thriving Through Multiple Sclerosis By Jen Powley Fernwood Publishing, $21.00 Just Jen: Thriving Through Multiple Sclerosis, written by advocate-cum-urban planner-slash-writer Jen Powley, is a powerful memoir chronicling her journey with multiple sclerosis (MS). From travel milestones, to date nights, to a litter box incident, each chapter of Just Jen is evocative, candid, and […] More »
May-June 2017

REVIEW: Inside the visual remembrance of John “Daddy” Hall

Tony Miller's new book explores the historical figure's life through linocuts

Maria Siassina

Daddy Hall By Tony Miller The Porcupine’s Quill, $22.95 Daddy Hall by Canadian artist Tony Miller is a visual retelling of John “Daddy” Hall, a man who lived until the remarkable age of 117 in 19th-century North America. Hall was of Mohawk and African-American descent and lived through many historical events, such as the Underground […] More »
May-June 2017

REVIEW: New Biblioasis novel explores grief, loss, and relationships

Inside Blue Field by Elise Levine

Sharon Kashani

Blue Field  By Elise Levine Biblioasis, $19.95 Blue Field, a new novel by Elise Levine, tracks the underwater adventures of Marilyn through grief, loss, and relationships. Following the passing of her friend Jane during a diving exploration, Marilyn convinces Jane’s widow, Rand, to dive with her again. A vibrant mixture of intimate moments between two […] More »
May-June 2017

REVIEW: New book explores the dying art of eulogy

Inside Julia Cooper's The Last Word

Marisa Iacobucci

The Last Word: Reviving the Dying Art of Eulogy By Julia Cooper Coach House Books, $14.95 Not knowing what to say when death arrives is precisely why readers should pick up Julia Cooper’s lifesaver of a book, The Last Word: Reviving the Dying Art of Eulogy. In this critical examination and analysis of the eulogy […] More »
May-June 2017

REVIEW: New collection of essays explores the emotional world behind baseball

Inside Stacey May Fowles's Baseball Life Advice

Samantha Sobolewski

Baseball Life Advice: Loving the Game That Saved Me Stacey May Fowles McClelland & Stewart, $24.95 Baseball Life Advice: Loving the Game That Saved Me, a collection of honest, funny, and thought-provoking essays by author and journalist Stacey May Fowles, should be mandatory reading for anyone that’s ever found a sense of solace in sports. […] More »
March-April 2017

REVIEW: New CanLit is “an ode to books”

Inside Dominique Fortier's The Island of Books

Jemicah Colleen Marasigan

The Island of Books By Dominique Fortier (translated by Rhonda Mullins) Coach House Books, $19.95 An ode to books, Rhonda Mullins’s translation of Dominique Fortier’s The Island of Books captures the emotions of two struggling individuals hoping to find strength in writing. Told from the perspectives of an illiterate, grieving artist from the 15th century […] More »
March-April 2017

REVIEW: A look at everyday life across Canada in this new short story collection

Barrelling Forward is Newfoundland writer Eva Crocker's debut

Sharon Kashani

Barrelling Forward By Eva Crocker House of Anansi, $19.95 Barrelling Forward, a debut short story collection by emerging Newfoundland writer Eva Crocker, presents compelling tales of the so-called “ordinary” within Canada. Through 14 pieces, readers are acquainted with intensely realistic descriptions of both personhood and setting. The chafing, itching skin of a man is delineated […] More »
March-April 2017

REVIEW: New novel explores survivors’ realities in the Second World War

The Water Beetles was inspired by author Michael Kaan's own family history

Pema Tsering@PemaTsering1

The Water Beetles By Michael Kaan Goose Lane Editions, $22.95 At times graphic and disturbing, The Water Beetles by Michael Kaan tells the heroic and poetic story of a young boy living in Hong Kong during the Second World War. Based loosely on the diaries and stories of Kaan’s father, the narrative follows 12-year-old Chung-Man […] More »
March-April 2017

REVIEW: An honest exploration of a decade at a residential school

Arthur Bear Chief's new book explores his 10 years at Old Sun Residential School

Maria Siassina

My Decade at Old Sun, My Lifetime of Hell By Arthur Bear Chief Athabasca University Press, $19.95 My Decade at Old Sun, My Lifetime of Hell is a short read, but one that should be read slowly and deliberately. Author Arthur Bear Chief describes the first years of his life as full of love, family, […] More »
March-April 2017

How to write the perfect book inscription

Consider it a gift within a gift

Grace O'Connell@yesgrace

All of us word nerds know that books make excellent gifts. Aside from obvious last-minute coffee table tomes (“I remembered how much you love generic landscape photos!”), giving someone a book means you’re trying to think from their point of view, to imagine what they might like, or to share something you love with them. […] More »
March-April 2017

REVIEW: In Terri Favro’s debut novel, science fiction meets comic book artistry in the nuclear age

Inside ECW's release Sputnik's Children

Aaron Broverman@Broverman

Sputnik’s Children By Terri Favro ECW, $19.95 Terri Favro follows up her award-winning novella The Proxy Bride with Sputnik’s Children, a full-length debut mixing comic book science fiction with reflections of growing up during the atomic age at the height of the Cold War. Comic book creator Debbie Reynolds Biondi finally decides to tell the […] More »