Archive for May, 2012

Time to read

- May 29th, 2012

Taking a few days off after working seven in a row. I’ll spend a good chunk of the next five days reading. Currently tackling Shibumi, a novel published in 1979, written by Trevanian, a pseudonym of Rodney William Whitaker, an American academic.

Mai At The Predators’ Ball

- May 28th, 2012

Just got a copy of Marie-Claire Blais’ novel – Mai At The Predators’ Ball.

It’s an interesting style. Not one paragraph in the whole novel and as far as I can tell very few periods, if any. Reminds me of Jose Saramago, the author of Blindness.

Blais is a four-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, so although I haven’t read any of her novels, now sounds like a good time to start.


- May 24th, 2012


Deux Voiliers Publishing Open House at the Collected Works Bookstore, 1242 Wellington, Ottawa, June 1, 7-9 p.m.

Four exceptional Deux Voiliers authors will read from their works of fiction
Deux Voiliers Publishing (DVP) – Ottawa’s newest small press – is pleased to host its first Open House for book lovers and prospective contributors.

Four DVP authors from the Ottawa area will read from their recently published workers of fiction. The book readings will be followed by an information session for prospective writers, copy editors, graphic and video artists and others who are interested in possibly joining the DVP collaborative publishing initiative. Everyone is welcome.

The event will be video-taped and posted to the, Youtube and social media sites.

The following DVP authors will present their works of fiction.

Chris Turner – Tales of Other Worlds, an anthology of fantasy and science fiction short stories. Turner with four full-length novels and two anthologies under his belt is one of Canada’s most prolific new fantasy writers. Collected Works also carries Turner’s other works of fiction, published by Innersky Publishing, Wakefield, Quebec.

Stephen Lorne Bennett – Last of the Ninth, a mystery novel from Second Century Rome. Bennett, a world traveller and diplomat, brings to life the political intrigue of Roman politics and the rough-and-tumble world of Roman foot soldiers in a masterful work of historical fiction. This is possibly the best novel written about the Roman Empire by a Canadian.

Brendan Ray – Marching to Byzantium, a fascinating look at the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks. Ray, a long-time resident of Istanbul, challenges with his swashbuckling narrative, the Turkish and Greek versions of the end of the Eastern Roman Empire and the rise of the Ottoman Empire.

Con Cú – Soldier, Lily, Peace and Pearls, a beautiful tale of human resilience. Con Cú is a classic story-teller who draws on his rich knowledge of world events to create a stimulating backdrop for the story two young Vietnamese refugees, Quan and Minh Chau, who meet in a refugee camp in Malaysia. Quan, hardened by his ordeal in a Khmer Rouge collective farm becomes the young girl Minh Chau’s protector for life. The story blends the exoticism of Southeast Asia with discovery and renewal in Canada.

Will Self

- May 24th, 2012

One of my favourite authors Will Self has a new novel coming out this summer — Umbrella.

Click through to his blog to find a description.

If you don’t know Will Self, google him. If you want to read Will Self, start off with Cock and Bull or try Great Apes.

Harry Hole and Kurt Wallander

- May 23rd, 2012

In the last week, I tackled the final novels in the Harry Hole and Kurt Wallander series, written respectively by Jo Nesbo and Henning Mankel.

Both were very intense, character-driven suspenseful novels. The Harry Hole novel was a little more dark, a little more difficult to deal with. But that’s always been the way with Hole. It will be interesting to see where Nebo goes after this. A lot of his Harry Hole books carried the sticker: The next Stieg Larsson. I never really got the comparison, especially since Nesbo started writing before Larsson. But without a doubt, Larsson did help raise the profile of authors from countries like Sweden, Noway and Finland

So now the question is, what do I tackle next?

I started reading Maine last night, a story about three generations of women who come together at the family cottage. I got about 40 pages into it, and although I’m enjoying it, I let my wife take it over as she needed something to read. I still have a John Updike novel and a couple of cheap mysteries to read.

For a sure thing, I might turn to Elizabeth George. There are quite a few Thomas Lynley novels left for me to read (and I’m reading them in order). I’m also reading Ian Rankin’s John Rebus series in order and I probably have six to eight books left in that series to read.