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The Recommend: June 2014

Research shows that 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 author and musician Dave Bidini (Keon and Me); author Anakana Schofield (Malarky); Bare It For Books founder and Centrediscs recording/licensing manager Allegra Young; UK-based author and filmmaker Jeff Norton (Metawars); author Saleema Nawaz (Bread and Bone); librarian and lit blogger, Casey Stepaniuk; and Steve Stanton, author and president of Canada's national association of science fiction and fantasy authors.

*****

Dave Bidini picks The Son of a Certain Woman, by Wayne Johnston

"The Son of a Certain Woman shows you that you can't really trust awards, entirely, to shape your reading habits, because this book wasn't nominated. Worse, it was given to me by a magazine that had decided they wouldn't review it. Sometimes you have to discover books on your own and get a little lucky and that was the case here. An amazing, hilarious, strange, moving, and dirty book about fate and life and the kinds of creatures we all can be …

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The Recommend: May 2014

Research shows that 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 the reason for this series, The Recommend. Every month, we reach out to people—readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others—whose taste we respect and ask them to 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 Stanton, author and president of Canada's national association of science fiction and fantasy authors; Diana Fitzgerald Bryden, author, most recently, of No Place Strange; Barbara McVeigh, teacher-librarian with the Peel District School Board; Charlotte Ashley, writer, editor, and bookseller; and Lynne Perednia, Washington State-based middle school librarian.

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Steve Stanton picks Douglas Smith's The Wolf at the End of the World: "This is an excellent debut novel by Douglas Smith, a fantasy about shapeshifters and sentient animals in an Ontario native community. Modern controversy over aboriginal land claims is mixed with a romantic embellishment of ancient stories transmitted orally through the ages by a culture with no written language. The author, noted as a short-story specialist, uses staccato pacing and multiple POV with a hook a …

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The Recommend: April 2014

Research shows that 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 multimedia artist and author Vivek Shraya; Vancouver librarian and lit fest organizer, Heidi Schiller; Laurie Grassi, Books Editor at Chatelaine; Dee Hopkins, editor and lit blogger extraordinaire; and Carrie Snyder, author and finalist for the 2012 Governor General's Award for Fiction. See our recommenders' bios below their picks for more of their books.

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allmyfriendsoriginal

Vivek Shraya picks Andrew Kaufman's All My Friends Are Superheroes: "This is a truly special book, a treasure in Canadian literature. A love story with a fantastical spirit, it features characters with whimsical names such as 'The Perfectionist,' 'Hypno,' and 'TV Girl.' In a culture that often glorifies length, All My Friends Are Superheroes serves as …

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The Recommend: Picks By MadeleineThien, Karen Connelly, Katherine Govier, Gillian Gerome

Research shows that 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're starting our new series, The Recommend. Every two weeks, we'll reach out to people—readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others—whose taste we respect and ask them to tell us about a book they'd recommend to a good friend ... and why.

This week we're pleased to present the picks of Karen Connelly, author of The Lizard Cage; Katherine Govier, author of The Ghost Brush; Madeleine Thien, author of Dogs at the Perimeter; and Gillian Jerome, author of the poetry collection Red Nest. See our recommenders' bios below their picks for more of their books.

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Karen Connelly picks Nicholas Pengelley's Traitor’s Gate: "This is Quattro Books' first mystery, and the first book by Nicholas Pengelley. While I am not a dedicated reader of mysteries, this novel sucked me in immediately because of the wonderful story. Ayesha Ryder, Middle East specialist with a secret past, is called in by Scotland Yard to assess the scene of the grisly 'terrorist' murder of the renowned Jewish professor who mentored her. The murder threatens to derail historic peace talks between Israel and Palestine, but Ayesha sees through the ‘terror …

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The Recommend: March 2014 #1

Research shows that 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're starting our new series, The Recommend. Every two weeks, we'll reach out to people—readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others—whose taste we respect and ask them to tell us about a book they'd recommend to a good friend ... and why.

This week we're pleased to present the picks of Trevor Cole, author of Practical Jean; Farzana Doctor, author of Six Metres of Pavement; Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother; Rolli, cartoonist and author of God's Autobio; and Mark Leslie Lefebvre, bookseller and author of Spooky Sudbury.

*****

Trevor Cole picks The Golden Mean, by Annabel Lyon: "Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this novel is the audacity and self-confidence Lyon displayed in even attempting it. Imagine daring to represent the mind of one of civilization’s greatest thinkers, as he writes about its greatest warrior. I shake my head in awe at that, and at her success. Her Aristotle is entirely believable, grounded by her obviously vast research, but also her understanding of human nature. He is immensely wise, yes, but also at times rash or prone to hubris. And Lyon manages to bring alive the intimate a …

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The Recommend: February 2014 #2

Research shows that 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're starting our new series, The Recommend. Every two weeks, we'll reach out to people—readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others—whose taste we respect and ask them to tell us about a book they'd recommend to a good friend ... and why.

This week we're pleased to present the picks of Ali Bryan, author of Roost; Steven Galloway, author of The Cellist of Sarajevo; Eliza Robertson, author of the Journey-Prize nominated short story, "My Sister Sang"; Jowita Bydlowska, author of Drunk Mom; and Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Painted Girls.

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Ali Bryan picks Nicole Dixon’s High-Water Mark: "This short story collection is a quick, sensuous read that will simultaneously stroke your hair and slap you in the face. Dixon’s female characters, much like her writing style, are stripped down, raw, and real. She writes with a refreshing feminist bent and has a knack for capturing the raunchy and intimate with an honesty and grit reminiscent of Lena Dunham’s Girls. I was left with a hot face on more than one occasion, yet her stories are also infused with moments of tenderness, grief, and conflict that are palpa …

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The Recommend: February 2014 #1

Research shows that 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're starting our new series, The Recommend. Every two weeks, we'll reach out to people—readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others—whose taste we respect and ask them to tell us about a book they'd recommend to a good friend ... and why.

This week we're pleased to present the picks of Trena White, co-founder of Page Two and former publisher of Douglas & McIntyre; Missy Marston, author of the Ottawa Book-award winning The Love Monster; Trevor Corkum, contributing author to the very apropos short story collection, Friend. Follow. Text.; Alexis Kienlen, poet and agricultural journalist; and JC Sutcliffe, writer, editor, and translator.

*****

Trena White picks The Golden Spruce, by John Vaillant: "The Golden Spruce creates a riveting mystery out of a little-known event, outdoorsman Grant Hadwin’s massacre in the late 90s of a revered tree on Haida Gwaii. From that story, Vaillant jumps off into a wide-ranging, evocative history of the West Coast: the devastation European contact wrought among coastal First Nations, the rough-and-tumble logging camps, the dangers of felling coastal giants. He packs a phenomenal amo …

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