Friday, August 18, 2017

Between the Acts

August 12, 2017

Virginia Woolf. Between the Acts. Penguin, 1992 (1941).

Found this treasure at Baker's Books in Hope last week. This is Woolf's last novel, about a day in June in 1939 in a small community as England anticipates another war with Germany. Where does the violence come from? And what would happen if history were written (as the playwright does here) without reference to military and violent responses? What if we were to turn the mirrors on to the audience? What could you do to stop it? 
We know from history that Woolf despaired. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

God Is Alive Magic Is Afoot

Leonard Cohen. God Is Alive Magic Is Afoot: from the novel Beautiful Losers. Stoddart, 2000. Illustrations by Sarah Perkins & Ian Jackson. 

An absolutely beautiful gift, art inspired by this excerpt made famous by Buffy St Marie from Cohen's experimental novel. 

Abattoir Blues

Peter Robinson. Abattoir Blues: An Inspector Banks Novel. McClelland & Stewart, 2014.

I am a great fan of mystery crime fiction as the many listings for Rebus and Gamache testify. Inspector Banks too, by Canadian writer Peter Robinson, yet always set in or near Yorkshire, is another favourite. I especially enjoy the television adaptations, the actor who plays Banks. (Sorry I cannot remember his name but he used to play a priest in Ballykissangel.)
In Abattoir Blues, the plot, instigated by the theft of an expensive tractor, leads to a missing person, and an accident on a lonely mountain road. Who knew there were caves and blizzards in Yorkshire? 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Dropped Threads

Carol Shields & Marjorie Anderson, Eds. Dropped Threads: What We Aren't Told. Vintage, 2001.

A most interesting and entertaining collection of essays by mostly Canadian female writers on topics of their choice around the theme of "things we weren't told." I was most attracted to Martha Brooks descriptions of ecstasy and Sharon Butala's disclosure of the esp-like ability to "see" signs which often go unnoticed. I especially enjoyed Lorna Crozier's story about dancing with her father. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Man To Marry A Man To Bury

Susan Musgrave. A Man To Marry A Man To Bury. McClelland and Stewart, 1979.

Great poetry.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Rather Be the Devil

Ian Rankin. Rather Be the Devil. Orion, 2016.

Rebus and Big Ger - they've still got it.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Okanagan Odyssey

Don Gayton. Okanagan Odyssey: Journeys through Terrain, Terroir & Culture. Rocky Mountain Books, 2010.

I had heard of this book before, possibly from when I reviewed another Gayton title, Man Facing West. Have looked forward to reading this ever since and finally there it was in my favourite book store in Hope. Love the image and the sensuous French-fold cover. Love the braiding of wine terroir and tripling with nature walks and with traversing the geography (ie, the organization which follows the map). I'm going to suggest a couple of hesitations, but only because I like the book and its concept so much. I felt that transitions between chapters were missing. And I felt that the grasp of local and BC history was minimal, but then again, isn't that why we write books? To learn what we want to learn about the places we inhabit.