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The Recommend: May 2015

Most of the books we read are the result of one thing: someone we know, trust, and/or admire tells us it's great. That's why we run this series, The Recommend, where readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others tell us about a book they'd recommend to a good friend ... and why.

This week we're pleased to present the picks of Steve Burrows, author of the birder mystery, A Siege of Bitterns; Gail Bowen, author of the Joanne Kilbourn Shreve mysteries; Julie Joosten, author of the poetry collection Light Light; Diana Davidson, author of the historical fiction novel Pilgrimage; and Steve Stanton, author and former president of Canada's national association of science fiction and fantasy authors.

*****

Steve Burrows picks The Bedside Book of Birds: An Avian Miscellany, by Graeme Gibson

"As symbols and muses, omens and deities, birds have always been an inspirational part of the human experience. Graeme Gibson’s book is a fascinating overview of the many varied forms the relationship between birds and humans has taken throughout the ages. But this book is more than just a celebration of the positive. It examines the entire spectrum of the human connection with birds, and provokes sober reflection at times. Some of the entries are profoundly moving, even disturbing, b …

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Detecting Canada Excerpt: A Feminist Examination of Joanne Kilbourn

Book Cover Detecting Canada

Detecting Canada is the first serious book-length look at crime writing in Canada, containing essays on many of Canada's most popular crime writers. The following is an excerpt from Pamela Bedore's piece on novelist Gail Bowen and her Joanne Kilbourn novels. Of the essay, the book's editors, Jeannette Sloniowski and Marilyn Rose, say:

"Pamela Bedore [argues] that the author uses the series as a jumping-off point for a feminist examination/reconstruction of the amateur sleuth. She sees Bowen’s fiction as complex and nuanced and the author as creating a serious discussion of feminist issues through manipulations of the conventions of crime fiction."

*****

From Chapter 7 by Pamela Bedore

A Colder Kind of Death

The Joanne Kilbourn series naturally breaks into three “movements” of three or four novels, each based on Jo’s professional situation as well as her romantic relationships, and each movement contains one novel that addresses feminism head-on, although questions of gender politics inflect all the novels. Although Jo’s strength as a successful professional woman oft …

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