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Valeria Parrella: For Grace Received

Europa Editions is getting quite a bit of publicity these days for publishing Boualem Sansal’s The German Mujahid.  I had never ran into them before, but then suddenly I saw their attractive books popping up all over the bookstores!  Which is great news for those of us who love literature in…

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Annabel Lyon: The Golden Mean

I was definitely wary before beginning The Golden Mean (2009).  It is a historical fiction told from the first person narrator Aristotle.  But that also made me very excited.  Obviously such an ambitious book could be a major flop, but if done well . . . Incidentally, I am surprised…

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Kim Echlin: The Disappeared

The Killing Fields of Cambodia, the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot, have been covered before, particularly by the courageous Dith Pran, who died last year.  I knew going in to The Disappeared (2009) that the book could not be as affecting as the journalistic accounts.  Yet, there’s something haunting and reverent about…

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Anne Michaels: The Winter Vault

After an intriguing, if ultimately disappointing, experience with Fall, my first read on the Giller Prize shortlist, I decided to read Anne Micheals’ The Winter Vault (2009).  I remembered that when KevinfromCanada reviewed this book, he was disappointed, yet his review still made me want to read the book.  The…

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Finalists for Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award

In other literary news, the finalists for Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award were announced today, and the list includes Michael Crummey’s Galore, which I didn’t really like.  Alice Munro is also on the list for her last book Too Much Happiness, which I will be reading and reviewing after getting the…

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2009 National Book Award Finalists

Fiction: Bonnie Jo Campbell: American Salvage Colum McCann: Let the Great World Spin Daniyal Mueenuddin: In Other Rooms, Other Wonders Jayne Anne Phillips: Lark & Termite Marcel Theroux: Far North I have read only Jayne Anne Phillips’ Lark & Termite (and if you remember, I interviewed her here).  I actually signed…

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Colin McAdam: Fall

I am very excited to be part of the Giller Prize Shadow Jury this year.  While only one of KevinfromCanada’s top picks made it to the shortlist, I have to say that the actual shortlist ranges a number of attractive topics.  Look at this range: (1) The Golden Mean takes us…

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E. Lockhart: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

* This post has been edited since its original posting because, frankly, it was cobbled together quickly and was no good.  It still doesn’t do this book justice, but I hope it conveys my sincere respect and admiration a bit better. Last year my wife read The Disreputable History of…

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2009 Nobel Prize in Literature

Today Romanian-German author Herta Müller won the Nobel Prize for literature.  Amazingly, it was predicted yesterday by The Literary Saloon, based on several factors M.A. Orthofer lists.

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2009 Man Booker Prize Winner

Hilary Mantel has won the 2009 Man Booker Prize for Wolf Hall.  I wasn’t interested in this book, but I do have the goal to read all Booker Prize winners.  So, when the mood strikes . . .

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2009 Giller Short List

Kim Echlin: The Disappeared Colin McAdam: Fall Linden McIntyre: The Bishop’s Man Annabel Lyon: The Golden Mean Anne Michaels: The Winter Vault KevinfromCanada is currently celebrating that he does not have to read The Year of the Flood; however, his top four books did not make the short list.  Go…

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Horacio Castellanos Moya: The She-Devil in the Mirror

Have you ever started a book thinking that the title and the blurbs disclosed too much?  That though it still promises to be well written and interesting, you wish the ending hadn’t been alluded to?  That’s how I felt when I started The She-Devil in the Mirror (La Diabola [sic:…