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Interviews, Recommendations, and More

On Our Radar

New books by Ray Robertson, Gillian Wigmore, Dan Falk, Julie Joosten, and Becky Citra.

"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 I Was There the Night He Died

I Was There the Night He Died by Ray Robertson

From David Worsley's review in Cord Community: "I Was There The Night He Died doesn’t read like a lot of Canadian fiction. It’s urban, has a lot of alt-country and obscure rock and roll in it, and it’s not trying to turn anyone into a better human being. It’s just a great story populated by some very real, very flawed characters.

Granted, no one who works for the Chatham Chamber of Commerce will be too thrilled, but I think many of the rest of us will remember fondly a life not too far removed from our own, and have a laugh on the way."


Book Cover Grayling

Grayling by Gillian Wigmore

From Caroline Woodward's review in BC Booklook: "Grayling is a page-turner that wears its dense layers lightly. Wigmore’s pitch-perfect language and brilliantly-paced unspooling of the plot (think fishing line, dancing here and there on the surface, then trying another lure for tugging through the depths for the eponymous prize, the Arctic grayling, then think of several tangled, strangled lines) makes for a deceptively slim book that packs a mighty wallop."


Book Cover Science of Shakespeare

The Science of Shakespeare by Dan Falk

From Alex Good's review in Quill & Quire: We don’t know a lot about Shakespeare’s life, and even less about what he “really” thought about anything. All we can do is make educated guesses based on evidence in the plays. Falk understands this, and understands that what constituted “science” in Shakespeare’s day was sometimes fuzzy. So he spends a lot of time laying the groundwork for his investigation by detailing the way our understanding of the cosmos evolved in the 16th and early 17th centuries… Falk freely admits the speculative nature of his inquiry; he isn’t interested in hammering out a thesis so much as entertaining possibilities. In the end, The Science of Shakespeare succeeds in informing us a bit about Renaissance science while enriching our appreciation of Shakespeare’s achievement."


Book Cover Light Light

Light Light by Julie Joosten

From Barbara Carey's review in The Toronto Star: "At the heart of Julie Joosten’s intriguing debut collection Light Light, is an encounter with the natural world… Joosten writes of “ghost species” of wildflowers that have perished because their habitat has changed. The fact that they are “place-faithful” dooms them. The 19th-century Romantic poets, who are cited in Light Light, rhapsodized about nature as separate from humankind; in this era of climate change, Joosten reminds us there is no separation."


Finding Grace

Finding Grace by Becky Citra 

From Penny Draper's review at the National Reading Campaign: "This is the first novel in the Gutsy Girl new series, featuring smart, funny, brave and inspiring protagonists. Hope certainly fits the bill, becoming her own knight in shining armor; her character will appeal to young girls who yearn to be the one to save the day. A lonely girl, she finds her solace and inspiration in books, yet is quick to action when required. Hope has a lovable personality and we celebrate her successes, although more mature readers will wonder at the ease with which Hope’s daunting problems are solved. But overall, Finding Grace is an enjoyable and positive read for middle grade girls."

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