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Rosie Chard -- Night Table Recommendations

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 3:27pm

Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon

Not quite knowing what is going on is one of the most pleasurable aspects of Inherent Vice. Private eye Doc Portello, occasionally emerging from a fog of marijuana smoke, somehow manages to decipher a trail of increasingly convoluted clues that bring him ever closer to solving the mystery of the enigmatic Golden Fang. There's a lot happening, a tangle of motives, an undercurrent of melancholy and a deliciously dodgy cast of characters all negotiating 1970 Los Angeles, but I was perfectly happy to just tag along with Doc as he drifted through his lonely, yet strangely enviable life, reflecting on every little pleasure that presented itself.

The Rapture by Liz Jensen

You can feel the heat coming from Liz Jensen's apocalyptic thriller from the first page. Set in a stifling twenty-first century England it tells the story of a world on the cusp of disaster seen through the eyes of Gabrielle Fox, a distressed art therapist who is already trying to deal with her own history of personal calamity. If this incendiary mix of psychiatry and global warming were not enough to tempt us Jensen gives us Bethany Krall, a teenage killer raised in evangelical hellfire, who is in possession of an uncanny ability to predict catastrophes. As the two womens' lives become increasingly intertwined Gabrielle comes to realize that turbulence, even in its most powerful form, obeys specific rules. Tense and haunting, The Rapture is a thrilling read that remained in my thoughts long after I had reached the final page.

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Rosie Chard is a British writer and landscape architect who immigrated to Canada in 2005. She now lives in Winnipeg, where she divides her time between writing and garden design. Her first novel, Seal Intestine Raincoat, was published by NeWest Press in Sept 2009.

Categories: Reviews, Discussions, Authors

Michelle Elrick -- Night Table Recommendations

Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 10:06am

On my night table at the moment sit a small stack of collected poetry works, a very boring novel I haven't been able to finish, and a lovely little book by Kurt Vonnegut. Of the poetry, I have most enjoyed dipping into Pier Giorgio Di Cicco's Living In Paradise and Robin Skelton's Selected Poems. Each of these collections covers a significant portion of the author's writing life, affording me a chance to understand the development of each author's interest and character.

Categories: Reviews, Poetry, Discussions, Authors

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Ariel Gordon -- Night Table Recommendations

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 9:59am

$18.00

I recently published my first book - Hump (Palimpsest Press, 2010) - so I'm firmly in rest-and-recover mode, re-visiting beloved books and authors before getting back to work on my (sadly languishing) manuscript of poems on American inventor Thomas Alva Edison.

As such, I thought I'd share some of the plums of this particular crop of reading...

Categories: Reviews, Poetry, Discussions, Authors, SciFi & Fantasy

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Ronald Hore -- Night Table Recommendations

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 4:33pm

After pounding out numerous manuscripts over several years, I finally had one of my many stories published in an anthology, Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead, and joined several other Canadian authors at the launch at the World Horror Convention in Brighton UK in March of this year. In my spare time I have been involved with a writer's workshop, a national book contest, and a few genre book reviews. I have managed to do some reading though.

Categories: Reviews, Discussions, Authors, Horror

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Karin Adams -- Night Table Recommendations: A Judy Blume Special

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 5:21pm

Manitoba-based Karin Adams is the author of Lights! Curtains! Cows! and No TV? No Fair!, both available at McNally Robinson Booksellers. Humour and a kid-centered universe are the essential ingredients in her books. Karin's favourite stories remain those she read as a young(er!) person. Join us at McNally Robinson Grant Park on May 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm to celebrate the launch of No TV? No Fair!.

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The best thing about being a children's writer is that my favourite pastime (reading children's books) and my research (reading children's books) are one and the same. I am currently re-discovering the works of Judy Blume, children's author extraordinaire. As a reader, it's been great catching up with "old friends" like Peter Hatcher, Margaret Simon, and Sally J. Freedman (as herself, of course). As a children's author, I've spent some time thinking about why Blume's books are so beloved and enduring. Here's what I've come up with so far:

Categories: Reviews, Discussions, Authors

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