Sixpence House (spoiler warning)

It has taken me a while to post on Paul Collins’ Sixpence House because I desperately want to avoid using the word ‘quaint’ as a descriptive word.  Paul and his wife, Jenny, bring their baby boy, Morgan from San Francisco to Hay-on-Wye, England on a romantic idea that they can make a go of it in the town made famous by the number of booksellers per capita. The town of Hay is a book-lover’s paradise from Collins’ description, with a used bookstore on every corner, many holding the rare and antiquated finds that are the fantasy of any bibliophile.

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Last Night in Twisted River

*originally published in “Reading Selections” on December 23rd, but more worthy of a spot here.  Thanks BogusTrumper!*

I recently saw John Irving do a brief reading from his new novel at the International Author’s Festival in Toronto. He was then interviewed by Seamus O’Regan and finally he took some questions from the audience. He was in fine form as he talked his writing process, cracked a joke about the obligation of writers to answer questions from Margaret Atwood, and told numerous funny anecdotes, including one about how he had to talk to Charlton Heston, proud President of the National Rifle Association, who was being scorned by puzzled left leaning liberals at a Pro-Choice fundraiser. (The refined liberals were incredulous that this gun-toting Moses moron could also support pro-choice). In addition to being a great writer, the Irving is quite a raconteur.

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Holiday Reading

Alright!  Holidays are here and I am looking forward to having some time between the covers of Blood Sports, Eden Robinson’s new one.  I loved Monkey Beach, so I am anxious to see what she can do with this one.  Bit nervous about finding it in the discount bin already though.

Keeping with the indigenous authors theme, I have also got Richard Wagamese’s latest Dream Wheels.  For a bit of escapism, the sequel to Dracula, by Stoker’s great-grand nephew Dacre titled Dracula: The Un-dead.  I also have Eating Crow, the book mentioned in The Walrus article that kicked off this blog.  From there, I will read whatever else I come across.

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The Road

About a month ago I picked up The Road by Cormac McCarthy.  I had come across a book review of it while writing a paper on another post-apocalyptic novel, Riddley Walker, a little over a year ago and noticed that the movie was coming out, the second adaptation of a McCarthy book in a very short period of time, the previous being No Country for Old Men.  This movie ad, featuring Viggo Mortensen, brought this altogether and I figured that it was high time I explored what ol’ Cormac had to offer.  It has been an awful long time since I experienced a darker novel that presented a bleaker interpretation of the nature of mankind.

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‘Nother Apology

My apologies (heh) to all of my loyal followers for the space of time since my last post.  Some personal and professional issues kept me away.

In that time I came across the CBC’s write up of Gerald Keddy’s apology.  It seemed very relevant timing regarding article we looked at from The Walrus.  Not that I want to change the theme of this blog to a rant about the shallowness of apologies, but I thought it was an interesting alternate view on the same topic.

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All Apologies

I found this article in one of my favourite reflections of Canadiana, The Walrus.  I think it is a great read and would certainly make for some interesting discussion surrounding policies and results of our government’s practice of apologizing to groups that have been wronged in our country’s history.

“A Sorry State” by Mitch Miyagawa

If we are not alright with apologizing to make up for our past indiscretions, then what is a better approach?  After the apology, should we be concerned with the results, such as the residential school compensations?  When I have had time, these are questions that I ponder.

Miyagawa also mentions a satirical book based on this world trend, Eating Crow by Jay Rayner.  Can anyone recommend or comment on it?

The Plan

Welcome to my attempt at an on-line book club, whose goal is to bring readers together from all over without the pressure of being together in the same room (or same city) to discuss literature.

The first piece is yet to be chosen as of yet.  Please do apply for membership though, not only will you be able to say that you were here for the start, maybe you will have the chance to contribute to the choice of the first article!