a day late and a book short

for the past couple of months, blog friend zo has participated in top ten tuesday.


on this weekday, bloggers are invited to list their favourite selections on a top ten book-related subject, hosted by the blog the broke and the bookish.

i love lists and i love books! i have come to anticipate with glee zo’s tuesday blog entries because it’s fun to see the topic of the week, and to peruse zo’s picks.

well, i no longer blog on tuesdays, so i’m off by a day! to play off the expression a day late and a dollar short, today i have for you: top ten tuesday nine wednesday.

according to the broke and the bookish blog, this week’s/yesterday’s category for the top ten list is:

top ten books i’d recommend to someone who doesn’t read x

(an example: if you adore classics, you could recommend ten classics for someone who typically does not read this genre).

[sidenote: there have been over 80 top ten lists proposed by the broke and the bookish, thus far! see the complete list here!].

initially, it was challenging to decide on my category. i pondered female protagonists, multi-generational family sagas, male writers who write in the first person voice but feature a woman as their lead character (ok, that one is way too wordy, and does anyone seriously avoid a book of that nature??)…in the end, i decided to go with:

the top ten books i’d recommend to someone who doesn’t read

canadian fiction published since the year 2000

ok! that’s still super-awkward! but we’ll work with it. to be solidly patriotic, canada has a lot of talented fiction writers. limiting my choices to just nine oeuvres is no easy task. but, let’s go!

[click on the title if you would like the link to amazon for more details].

1. good to a fault – marina endicott (2008) fabulous

2. a perfect night to go to china – david gilmour (2005) haunting and so sad

3. tempting faith dinapoli – lisa gabriele (2003) quirky, little-known coming-of-age tale that deserves recognition

4. late nights on air – elizabeth hay (2007) very enjoyable, great characters

5. the other side of the bridge – mary lawson (2006) memorable

6. the way the crow flies – ann-marie macdonald (2004) this is the #1 title on this list; phenomenal story

7. unless – carol shields (2002) you can never go wrong with a ms shields novel

8. a complicated kindness – miriam toews (2004) outstandingly quirky and endearing

9. clara callan – richard b wright (2002) you would never guess it was written by a man

as i was reviewing my coil-bound notebook where i log my reading (and rate the books on the **** [four star] system), i realized there are equally at least nine selections to warn you against picking up. red flag! red flag! if you find yourself handling one of the following titles of canadian fiction published since the year 2000, back away! with so many terrific options available, i cannot in good faith recommend these ten nine reads:

1. star – pamela anderson (2004) yes, that would be this pamela anderson


and she should stick to running on beaches. yikes!

2. oryx & crake – margaret atwood (2004) there are much better atwoods out there

3. the gum thief – douglas coupland (2008) i expected more from mr coupland, given his creative reputation

4. the book of negroes – laurence hill (2007) didn’t match the hype; saccharine

5. the fourth hand – john irving (2001) go read a prayer for owen meanie, instead

6. no great mischief – alistair macleod (2001) grey and depressing

7. the continuity girl – leah mclaren (2006) ms mclaren is one of my fave globe columnists; this is very badly done chic lit

8. alligator – lisa moore (2006) incomprehensible

9. the flying troutmans – miriam toews (2008) disjointed; stick with a complicated kindness

how familiar are you with canadian fiction writers? who have you read? i am right now in the middle of irma voth by miriam toews, and sadly, i cannot recommend this novel at all. irma is past quirky, heading right into messed up/weird. we have not connected. i am only persevering because i have read miriam toews’ other two novels.

any suggestions for me that would be **** (four star) reads of canadian fiction published since the year 2000?! i am eager to move on from irma!!!

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  • karen at virtually there  On January 21, 2012 at 6:45 am

    My most recent favourite Canadian fiction is called The Birth House by Amy McKay. Everyone I know who’s read it totally loves it but they are all people who have given birth and I do wonder if that’s a requirement for loving the book. Having said that it is a really engaging story and the characters are great. The book moves along well too. I highly recommend it. (It was one of the contenders for Canada Reads last year on CBC.)

    • 1970kikiproject  On January 21, 2012 at 6:47 am

      yes!! this book ALMOST made my top ten list – i read it and loved it (although have not given birth!). i think you read all the contenders for canada reads last year?? or you were thinking of it?? i think that is a GREAT reading goal.

  • Dorry  On January 19, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    I learned a lot reading this post – I know nothing about Canadian authors! Maybe if we move to Vancouver, I’ll learn more. 🙂

    • 1970kikiproject  On January 20, 2012 at 5:47 am

      ah, yes! douglas coupland is from the west…and although i do not recommend “the gum thief,” he has written other novels which may be better?! i am excited to find out about whether vancouver will be your new home!!

  • Lisa  On January 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I don’t have anything to suggest—fiction has not been part of my vocabulary in a long time.
    So I just wanted to say hi, and tell you that you’ve made me want to read more 🙂

    • 1970kikiproject  On January 18, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      i always like hearing what you are reading, lisa! you select some interesting non-fiction! i think we all wish for more reading time, don’t we, whatever the types!

  • Johanna B  On January 18, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I’m not sure if I’ve read Canadian authors or not. I’m not aware of any that are but as much as I read it’s certainly possible. I’ll have to check out (literally) some of the ones you suggest. I’ll also have to pay more attention to the bio’s of the authors I do read. I know that Kathy Reichs books take place in Canada (and the US) but a great deal of the stories are set in Canada. I love the interspersed French.

    • 1970kikiproject  On January 18, 2012 at 11:22 am

      oh yes! i have read a few of kathy reich’s novels! very suspenseful writing, eh?! and yes, it is neat how she incorporates quebec/french phrases into her novels’ settings. i am going to bet that you have read some more canadian authors, johanna, being the avid reader that you are!

  • Zo  On January 18, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Glad you joined in, Cathy! This post is awesome.
    I haven’t read any of these, but I have read Shields and MacDonald books. I’ve also read some Atwood (not O & C though). Otherwise, i’m sorry to say I haven’t read much. And now you’ve given me more possibilities!

    • 1970kikiproject  On January 18, 2012 at 8:38 am

      thanks, zo! like i said, i really like this top ten books theme, and you’ve given me some good ideas over the weeks, too. i like seeing which canadian authors you have read!

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