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Interviews, Recommendations, and More

On Our Radar

New books by Billeh Nickerson, Dianne Whelan, K.D. Miller, Stephany Aulenback, and Eileen Kernaghan.

"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 Artificial Cherry

Artificial Cherry, by Billeh Nickerson

From Kimmy Beach's review at Canadian Poetries: 

"This is a gleeful, fun book, right up my popcult alley, and stuffed with seedy fake Elvises, bad cocktail parties, sad rooms in luxury hotels, Colonel Sanders, and the Loch Ness Monster. The poems are sweet, funny, sorrowful at times, sexy at others. They tug at our hearts without being maudlin, and he occasionally milks a great cheap joke to the full extent of his power."

From Haiku Night in Canada:

Gordie Fucking Howe
Mario Fucking Lemieux
Wayne Fucking Gretzky


Base Camp

Base Camp: 40 Days on Everest, by Dianne Whelan

From Dianne Whelan's interview at Canadian Geographic:

"The ambition at base camp is raw and extreme. It’s a hard place. When I went there the first time, all I could see was the ego and selfishness, the ambition gone wrong. But you have a lot of time to think at night. By day, I was pointing the camera at other people, but at night, it was pointed within. After spending almost 40 days there, everything I saw that was dark in other people I saw in myself. I realized that if I ran out of oxygen and was dying, I would steal some. That is not the person I thought I was when I got there, but it was the person I realized I was before I left." 


Book Cover All Saints

All Saints, by K.D. Miller

From Anne Kingston's review in Macleans

"Its structure is as complex and delicate as origami. Plots and characters link in haunting and astounding ways. As a collection, the stories reflect the power and purpose of all communities, ecclesiastical or otherwise: read like a novel, they offer multi-faceted perspective and illumination. The result is a Canadian classic. If this book doesn’t get a Giller prize nod, something is wrong." 


Book Cover If I Wrote a Book About You

If I Wrote a Book About You, by Stephany Aulenback and Denise Holmes

From Jen Bailey's review at the National Reading Campaign

"In If I Wrote a Book About You, a mother tells her daughter, “If I wrote a book about you and how wonderful you are, I would write it everywhere.” Using things like noodles, raindrops, pennies, and candies, she proceeds to just that, surrounding her daughter with the adjectives that reflect her wonderment ... Aulenback’s descriptors include precious and amazing, both of which come to mind during quiet moments with children but can be difficult to capture and take hold of. Holmes grounds these abstract words with vivid pink, green, and brown hand-drawn, digitally coloured graphics. Some illustrations show the daughter doing something to reflect the description, but most leave the impression that no requirements or standards need to be met. Kids will enjoy locating other adjectives: adorable is rendered in bubbles above a bath, charming is written across the beads of a bracelet, and amazing is written in cursive in a telephone wire." 


Book Cover Sophie in Shadow

Sophie, in Shadow, by Eileen Kernaghan

From Kris Rothstein's review at CM Magazine

"For the most part Eileen Kernaghan avoids the tendencies of many authors writing about Victorian and Edwardian India. She does not overly exoticize the landscape or its people. She does an excellent job of creating this milieu and seeing it through the eyes of a particular girl from a particular time, rather than a current perspective. Sophie’s friendships with Will, a young World War I soldier, and Darius, a young Oxford-educated Indian scientist, are both very realistic and convey much about relations of the time between men and women and between English and Indians. The tension between the straight-laced officials and Sophie’s more unconventional adoptive family shows the intricacies of the politics of British rule in India. Ultimately, Sophie, In Shadow ends up being a fantastic history lesson without ever really being obvious about it." 

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