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On Our Radar

tagged: on our radar

Book Cover The Two of Us

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet and elsewhere. 

*****

The Two of Us, by Kathy Page

Reviewed by Vicki Ziegler at Bookgaga:

Kathy Page’s hypnotic short story collection The Two of Us reinforces its title from the first to the last of its unforgettable tales. Each story, unto itself and building successively, piece by piece, spirals in and out from the power of duos and duality. That power is dizzying, and intensifies and deepens with each relationship depicted … and discovered. 

Read the whole review here. 

**

Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis and Inuit Issues in Canada, by Chelsea Vowel

Included by Alyssa Sherlock as one of "5 Books by Indigenous Authors You Should Read" at I am Writer, Hear Me Roar: 

The reviewers are right—Indigenous Writes is a super accessible introductory book, aimed at Canadians ignorant of Indigenous issues in Canada. It provides a starting p …

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On Our Radar

tagged: on our radar

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet and elsewhere. 

****

How to Pick Up a Maid in Statue Square, by Rea Tarvydas

Reviewed by Anne Logan at I've Read This:

I’ve never been, but I picture Hong Kong at night, with lots of flashing lights, billboards, and traffic, similar to the cover of How to Pick Up a Maid in Statue Square. Tarvydas does a wonderful job of evoking these dark images, as many stories take place in bars under strange neon signs. Her characters are mostly expats struggling to find their place in Hong Kong, although she does stray into the life of a Filipino nanny in “Merrilou”, albeit briefly, only a few pages. It’s obvious Tarvydas is mostly comfortable depicting the lives of the transplanted, (especially because she was an expat herself for awhile), so her stories seem believable, even if the characters are extremely wealthy in some cases. But this wealth and glamour is what makes these stories so interesting, I found some of them read like screenplays, in fact “Blank” could be shopped around for movie rights it was so engrossing.

(Read the entire review here.)

*

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On Our Radar

tagged: on our radar

Book Cover All the Things We Leave Behind

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet and elsewhere. 

**

All The Things We Leave Behind, by Riel Nason

Reviewed by Becky Robertson at Quill & Quire

Riel Nason’s All the Things We Leave Behind is a novel of hauntings: characters are haunted, variously, by people, nature, memory, and the way things were. Evoking nostalgic reverie—bolstered by its summer 1977 setting—the story speaks to the latent recollections that eat away at us, whether they manifest in pangs of longing or waves of painful distress and regret.

Read the review here.

**

The Killer Whale Who Changed the World, by Mark Leiren-Young 

Author Q&A by Michael Ruffolo at The Tyee:

I am curious to find a justification as to why [orcas are not on equal footing as humans]. I couldn’t find one. I was asking people ‘what is it that makes a human human?’ and the answer seems very vague. Every answer seems to apply to an orca. I u …

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On Our Radar: The Summer Edition

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet and elsewhere. 

*****

Fiction

Book Cover The Dancehall Years

The Dancehall Years, by Joan Haggerty

Featured at at All Lit Up as part of their "Where in Canada" series: 

The dancehall is Bowen Island with its medley of tides that rise and fall below the building. Over the years and generations, it stages the loves and deaths, arrivals and disappearances of the characters in such a way that they might be dancing still.

In fact, the dancehall was torn down in the early sixties along with the hotel and most of the cottages. In the novel, the building still stands, rotating above the wharf.  It’s the dancers that are rotating of course—there’s always a dosey-doe or an allemande left to exact—but, to Gwen,  the whole building swings to the summer music of the day, a Benny Goodman clarinet solo or a Glen Miller swing saxophone.

Read the entire feature here.

**

Non-Fiction

Book Cover Out of the Orchard

Out of the Orch …

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On Our Radar

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet and elsewhere. 

*****

Book Cover White Elephant

White Elephant, by Catherine Cooper

Reviewed by Sarah Murdoch in The Toronto Star

Dr. Richard Berringer has long dreamed of bringing his medical skills to the poor of Africa. So now he, his sick and unhappy wife, Ann, and their difficult 13-year-old son, Tor, have pulled up stakes in Nova Scotia and settled in Sierra Leone, on the cusp of civil war... This self-assured debut novel, with its difficult characters operating at cross-purposes, can be hard to read. Yet it is so deftly executed that it’s impossible to turn away.

Read the review here

**

Book Cover Tell

Tell, by Soraya Peerbaye

Winner of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and shortlisted for the 2016 Griffin Prize for Poetry:

From the Griffin Judges' citation: The true miracle of Tell is not merely its choice to sing of such things, but its ability to sing in such a way as to urge the rea …

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On Our Radar: The Mystery Month Edition

Book Cover Blood Red Summer

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books from all around the Internet and elsewhere. This month we've had fun finding books that fit our May editorial theme, which is Mystery. (And while we're on the subject, don't miss our amazing Crime Fiction Virtual Roundtable)

*****

Fiction

Blood Red Summer, by Wayne Arthurson

A bestselling book this week in Edmonton:

Métis journalist Leo Desroches has just been released from jail. Fortunately for him, he is re-hired at the paper to write a popular column about crime. It’s summer, the city is hot and buzzing with mosquitoes and it’s on track for a record number of homicides. Called to the scene of an apparent overdose of a young Native man in the inner city, Leo witnesses some rocks falling out of the body bag, and he picks them up. At first he believes they are crack cocaine, but discovers that the rocks are really rough diamonds. As he digs deeper into the story, he finds that the victim was a highly trained mudlogger at one of the new diamond mines in Canada’s High Arctic. Leo gets dragged into a deadly conflict between the mining companies and a murderous Native street gang, who are fighting for control of t …

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On Our Radar

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet.

*****

Becoming Lin, by Tricia Dower

Reviewed by Tom Sandborn in the Vancouver Sun:

Moving, well-crafted and thoughtful, Becoming Lin is a novel of ideas and of politics in the very best sense. Dower shows us the tectonic shifts that undergird a culture in transition while respecting and bringing to life the fine grain human details of the characters living out their own poignant stories on that shifting ground.

(Read the whole review here)

**

In This Together, by Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail (Editor)

Profiled by Michael Hingston at the Edmonton Journal

The book’s guiding principle is that reconciliation is a thorny, complicated subject that involves asking tough questions and, particularly if you’re not aboriginal yourself, doing a lot more listening than talking. But that’s no reason to avoid it altogether. On the contrary, In This Together wades enthu …

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On Our Radar

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet.

*****

Chinkstar, by Jon Chan Simpson

Reviewed by Carleigh Baker in Globe Books:

"Chinkstar is a fresh and totally badass exploration of history, language and cultural truthiness—straight outta Red Deer. Jon Chan Simpson battles the tropes of Chinese-Canadian culture, tongue firmly in cheek. And what better place for an epic battle than Simpson’s central Alberta hometown? Our home defines us, as does our history. But what if the stories our parents and grandparents pass on are coloured by shame? In Chinkstar, Simpson addresses what he sees as an element of victimization in Chinese-Canadian immigrant history. With wit and wisdom, he creates a braided narrative of past and present, with characters who are blazing a trail toward the future."

Read the whole thing here. 

**

'Membering, by Austin Clarke

Reviewed by Steven W. Beattie in Quill & Quire

"Readin …

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On Our Radar

On Our Radar is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet.

*****

A Youth Wasted Climbing

A Youth Wasted Climbing, by David Chaundry-Smart

Interviewed by Lynn Martel at Crowfoot Media:

From the interview: "In Toronto in the late '70s there was a dismal anti-establishment cold war mood in youth culture that put a premium on doing what you liked and having it be chancy and maybe even annoying. Rock climbing wasn’t exactly a well-known activity anywhere, let alone in Toronto, so the people I knew who climbed were prepared to do things that were on the fringes of society. This extended to other areas of life besides climbing. I’m still a little prone to see aversity to law and order in climbing and elsewhere as just a little soulful." 

Read more

**

Their Biography, by kevin mcpherson eckhoff

Reviewed at Poetxt:

"Composed of composites, Their Biography is an agglomerate of poems that are said to be from 'friends, family, co-workers, strange …

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On Our Radar

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet.

*****

Book Cover The Mystics of Mile End

The Mystics of Mile End, by Sigal Samuel

Reviewed by Rory McCluckie in YULBuzz:

"It's this blend of mystery and Montreal life that is one of Samuel's most effective achievements but it's by no means the only way that The Mystics of Mile End succeeds. As the author told the crowd at D&Q, she has tried to work the Jewish textual tradition within which she grew up into the narrative while keeping it accessible; the way in which references to Kabbalah are sprinkled throughout the text is a wonderful complement to the mystical element that courses through the characters' lives. She's also done a good job of painting a portrait of Mile End that is vivid, personal and sure to be of interest to anyone who has known the area, past or present. The book abounds in descriptive detail of streets and people that will be immediately familiar to Montrealers despite being glazed with Samuel's particular blend of the mundane and the magical." 

Read the review here

**

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On Our Radar

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet.

**

Red Jacket, by Pamela Mordecai

Reviewed by Dana Hansen in Quill & Quire: 

"The first novel from Jamaican-born poet, short-story writer, and scholar Pamela Mordecai is a deliberately paced, trenchant story of one woman’s coming of age on the fictional Caribbean island of St. Chris, and her difficult journey away from the security and familiarity of her loving home to find a place for herself in the wider world...

Despite being thematically heavy, Red Jacket is an accomplished, intelligent novel. It is to be savoured for its multiple layers of meaning and—especially—its richness of language."

Read the whole review

And don't miss Pamela Mordecai's "Novels of the Caribbean" list from last month.

**

Born to Walk, by Dan Rubinstein

Reviewed by Zsuzsi Gartner in The Globe and Mail

"From a group walk in Glasgow meant to boost mental health, and a pilgri …

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On Our Radar: Olesen, Berkhout, Tsiang, Stratton, and Crozier

"On Our Radar" is a monthly series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet.

*****

Kinds of Winter: Four Solo Journeys by Dogsled Through Canada's Northwest Territories, by Dave Olesen

The Lucky Seven Interview, Open Book Toronto:

"The central question of the book is not a question but a quest. One man’s quest for a deeper appreciation of his chosen home place in the Far North. Northern Canada is a place so fraught with clichés and stereotypes that it rarely emerges honestly in written descriptions. Throughout my years in the north I have always chafed against those sappy portrayals which constrain and alter perceptions of the North. As I got farther into the writing I also came to grips with my own lifelong fascination with North and with 'north-ness.' What was driving me out the door into the cold at 40 below zero? Why this lifelong fixation on North? Those are questions that emerged as I wrote, and I try to answer them in the book."

Read the entire interview here. 

**

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