On Our Radar: Rideout, Petrou, Marston, Heiti, and Hughes

"On Our Radar" is a new monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books in all genres with buzz worth sharing. The buzz hails from around the Internet, and beyond ...

*****

Book Cover Arguments With the Lake

Arguments With the Lake by Tanis Rideout 

From Mark Sampson at Free Range Reading:

"The listless, monolithic hulk of Lake Ontario looms large in this stellar collection of interconnected poems by Tanis Rideout. Arguments with the Lake takes as its basis the lives of two teenage swimmers from the 1950s, Marilyn Bell and Shirley Campbell, the former of which was the first person ever to swim across Lake Ontario. By plunging into the aquatic depths of these two characters’ fictionalized emotional lives, Rideout pulls off a poetic rendering of two historical figures that is as consuming as it is invigorating."

Read the whole review here

*****

Is This Your First War? by Michael Petrou

Winner of the 2013 Ottawa Book Award for English Non-Fiction. From the jury statement:

"Is This Your First War? is a harrowing journey into the heart of darkness of post-9/11 Afghanistan. In this journalistic coming-of-age story, Ottawa writer Michael Petrou has risen magnificently to the occasion.  Head, heart and spirit blend powerfully in a chronicle of a stranger in an alien land seething with ancient and modern loyalties and hatreds. Petrou's prose shimmers with small, telling moments lined with significance."

*****

The Love Monster

 

 

The Love Monster by Missy Marston

Winner of the 2013 Ottawa Book Award for English Fiction. From the jury statement:

"In this joyous calliope of a book Missy Marston has achieved that rare thing in a first novel: a literary romp and a riveting tale that fights tough in the corners. Marston's characters stick with the reader and her audacious turn of phrase wizardry lingers on the page. A book to engage and delight, The Love Monster rewards the reader page after page with a flair that dazzles just as much as it entertains. A modern fairy tale and a zoned out fantasy in one satisfying confection."

*****

Book Cover The City Still Breathing

The City Still Breathing by Matthew Heiti

From Shawn Syms in the National Post

"He’s naked. He’s in the woods. He’s alone. He’s dead. And before long, his body’s missing. But who is he?

Matthew Heiti’s fantastic debut novel The City Still Breathing concerns identity—not just that of the aforementioned corpse, but those of each of the lives that comes into contact with it over the course of one cold, grey storm of a winter day in Sudbury, Ont."

Read the whole review here

*****

 

Four Seasons of Patrick by Susan Hughes 

From Helen Kubiw at CanLit for LittleCanadians:

"Hard to believe that, in a spare 80 pages, author Susan Hughes efficiently and thoroughly takes the reader through a significant year of growth and tumbles in the life of Patrick McAllister… Hughes creates Patrick as any child in [a blended family] situation: he works at figuring out what's happening and how he can find a place to fit in, because there certainly is at least one. He plays neither the victim or the aggressor, and consequently will be that character to whom many children of blended families will relate."

Read the whole review here

*****

How to Expect What You're Not Expecting by Jessica Hiemstra and Lisa Martin-DeMoor

From Bonnie Way at The Untrained Housewife:

"This is a valuable, healing book, for we need to share our stories and hear other stories.  As a mom, I’ve learned I need community—I need other women who know what it is like to be a mom.  As these men and women shared their stories, their intimate journeys, with me, I felt like each of them was sitting beside me, giving me hope.  Lorri Nielsen Glenn says in her essay, “As we have learned to breathe again, we have found other parents—far more than we imaged—with stories that echo ours.  All along, we were not alone, but none of us had the courage to talk then.  We talk now” (p. 106)."

Read the whole review here

November 19, 2013
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