"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 and elsewhere.
The Dancehall Years, by Joan Haggerty
Featured at at All Lit Up as part of their "Where in Canada" series:
The dancehall is Bowen Island with its medley of tides that rise and fall below the building. Over the years and generations, it stages the loves and deaths, arrivals and disappearances of the characters in such a way that they might be dancing still.
In fact, the dancehall was torn down in the early sixties along with the hotel and most of the cottages. In the novel, the building still stands, rotating above the wharf. It’s the dancers that are rotating of course—there’s always a dosey-doe or an allemande left to exact—but, to Gwen, the whole building swings to the summer music of the day, a Benny Goodman clarinet solo or a Glen Miller swing saxophone.
Out of the Orchard, by Julie Van Rosendaal
Featured in The Edmonton Journal:
Finding inspiration in the every day is the cook’s greatest challenge. Happily, a new book of recipes by Calgary food writer Julie Van Rosendaal reveals new ways to work with the humble apple, as well as other beloved British Columbia tree fruits.
Out of the Orchard, a joint project of Van Rosendaal and the B.C. Tree Fruits Cooperative, is a collection of some 85 recipes highlighting the many possibilities of peaches and plums, pears, cherries and apricots and, of course, the mighty apple.
This Being, by Ingrid Ruthig
Poems excerpted in Numero Cinq Magazine:
That Summer in Paris
the streets sweltered, people
prostrated nude on the floor,
prayed for release from the heat
that seized them, off guard –
privacy thrown to an awol wind
they cast the nets of windows, doors
to snag even gossip of a breeze...
Gatekeeper, by Natasha Deen
Reviewed by Helen Kubiw at CanLit for Little Canadians:
Gatekeeper, like its predecessor, is completely an edge-of-your-seat read, though I found that I looked forward to the witty dialogue as much as the paranormal elements which Natasha Deen flawlessly embeds in her plot. I’ve always thought Norah McClintock was the queen of YA crime fiction but I think Natasha Deen has developed into a princess of YA paranormal murder mysteries.
Tagged Out, by Joyce Grant
Reviewed by Roseanne Gauthier at the National Reading Campaign:
As in other novels from Lorimer’s hi-lo Sports Stories series, Tagged Out discusses important issues, like homophobia, through a sports-focused lens. This approach could result in a plot that feels awkward and contrived, but Grant has made baseball so integral to Tagged Out that the story never feels forced...With strong characters and lots of action, the deeper themes of Tagged Out ensure that even readers who aren’t familiar with baseball, or don’t consider themselves sports fans, will find many things to think about.
The Not-So-Faraway Adventure, by Andrew Larsen and Irene Luxbacher
Reviewed by Alex Mlynek in Quill & Quire:
In one spread, Theo and Poppa arrive at the lake and Poppa recalls that he used to play there as a boy, when he thought it was the ocean. Luxbacher overlays the blue water with finely rendered drawings of sea creatures and a pirate ship in white to convey this imaginary world. Words and images combine to form a story that gently demonstrates the value of teaching kids about their family’s past so they feel part of something bigger than themselves.
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