"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.
Mister Nightingale, by Paul Bowdring
Reviewed by Trudy Morgan-Cole at The Compulsive Overreader:
This is a novelist’s novel, a book for people who love words. It’s also a fun read for anyone who knows and loves St. John’s, Newfoundland and its literary scene, which is the main reason it floated to the top of my overcrowded “to-read” list. Apart from the general caricatures of the local scene and the loving evoked details of the city, there are a few characters that are pretty clearly (and in some cases, hilariously) based on thinly-disguised real people.
In My Humble Opinion: My So-Called Life, by Soraya Roberts
Reviewed by Sadaf Ahsan at the National Post:
Though Roberts’ book harbours a specific focus on what it means to be a girl in the wake of My So-Called Life (using it to demonstrate the weight of television in adolescence), In My Humble Opinion is an easy to digest, though comprehensive and immersive take on what it means to grow up. This is Roberts continuing to own the ’90s and reminding us that it’s okay to deify television, which, whether parents liked it or not, helped raise us and give us a voice. It’s nostalgia at its finest, investigated by the best—a true fan.
Reviewed by Clarissa Fortin at Rabble.ca:
Canadians are used to hearing about our residential school history in dry factual terms. It's a very different thing to experience this story through the eyes of skilled poets.
Narratives like these are important because they remind us of the diversity of experience among Canada's Indigenous people. In comparing these two books that fact is emphasized and will hopefully remind the reader not to generalize or homogenize Indigenous experience in Canada (if they are prone to do so).
Watching Traffic, by Jane Ozkowski
Reviewed by Michelle at Fab Book Reviews:
I am tempted to call Jane Ozkowski’s young adult debut a true gem of a book. However, I feel that "gem" might not be a potent enough word for the unexpected beauty and depth of this book. Watching Traffic is a solid entry into the world of coming-of-age, contemporary YA and an introduction to a great voice in Canadian literature.
All the World a Poem, by Gilles Tibo, illustrated by Manon Gauthier, translated by Erin Woods
Reviewed (so beautifully!) by Helen Kubiw at CanLit For Little Canadians:
The translation from Gilles Tibo’s French Poésies pour la vie (Isatis, 2015) is beautifully rendered by Pajama Press’ own Erin Woods, who also capably gave English voice to Elliot (Pajama Press, 2016). The text is sublime, a celebration of sounds and rhythms and expressive verse. And Manon Gauthier again creates her distinctive illustrations of paper collage art that gives texture and whimsy a totally unique look.
The luxuriance of the words and the art is almost overwhelming in its intimate beauty. All the World a Poem has the lightness and spiritual delicacy that suggests it could take flight. Fortunately, readers will discover that All the World a Poem has effortlessly become tethered by heart strings to our glorious world.
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