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William Maxwell: Bright Center of Heaven

Over the past year I have become a big fan of the nonprofit publisher The Library of America and their books (see their inspirational 25th Anniversary movie here).  For sometime, the dust jackets on their editions turned me away.  I’m not a huge fan.  However, I got one of the books,…

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Kathleen Winter: Annabel

Fifth and final stop on the 2010 Giller shortlist for me is Kathleen Winter’s Annabel (2010), an intriguing story I’ve been looking forward to reading since I saw KevinfromCanada’s review of it earlier this year.  First, there is the cold wilderness setting of Labrador.  I like dwelling in harsh weather…

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KevinfromCanada’s 2010 Giller Shortlist Reviews

I am afraid that at times I have neglected to link to Shadow Giller Jury chair KevinfromCanada’s review of this year’s Giller shortlist.  He has read and reviewed all five.  My review of Annabel is forthcoming, and then I will have also read and reviewed all of this year’s shortlist….

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Johanna Skibsrud: The Sentimentalists

Fourth stop on the Giller shortlist.  Only Annabel left.  As a quick reminder, I really enjoyed Alexander MacLeod’s short story collection Light Lifting, but I didn’t really like the last two.  To be honest, I didn’t have high hopes for The Sentimentalists (2009), which, as a paperback with a sturdy dust jacket and…

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Sarah Selecky: This Cake Is for the Party

For me, stop number three of the Giller shortlist is the second collection of short stories, This Cake Is for the Party(2010), Sarah Selecky’s debut.  As I said when reviewing Alexander MacLeod’s debut, Light Lifting, debut short story collections are tricky things.  The short story, as a form, is quite…

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Review Index by Author

Because the drop-down menu on the right-hand sidebar becomes more cumbersome the more categories are added to it, I’ve decided it’s time to create a review index.  The first index available is arranged by author.  I hope to add one arranged by title soon (that one will take some work).  You can…

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David Bergen: The Matter with Morris

My second stop on this year’s Giller shortlist is David Bergen’s The Matter with Morris(2010).  Bergen won the Giller in 2005 for The Time in Between, and he was shortlisted in 2008 for The Retreat.  The other authors on this year’s shortlist are all first-time Giller finalists.  None has ever…

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2010 National Book Award Finalists

The 2010 National Book Award Finalists have been announced.  What surprises many is that Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom is not among the fiction finalists.  What surprises me is that Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squadis not among the fiction finalists.  I’m pleased, though, that Nicole Krauss’s Great House is…

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The 2010 Man Booker Prize Winner

Howard Jacobson has won the 2010 Man Booker Prize for The Finkler Question.  I loved Galgut’s In a Strange Room, but I’m very happy that The Finkler Question won. This year was a good year for me.  Of the four shortlisters I read, I would have been happy had In…

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Alexander MacLeod: Light Lifting

After the four Giller Prize longlisters I read (The Imperfectionists, Lemon, Player One, and The Debba) each failed to make the cut to the next round, I had to start the shortlist from scratch.  I decided to start with one that I have been looking forward to the most, Alexander MacLeod’s…