Tag Archives: Canadian setting

Blood Price by Tanya Huff

One of my podcasts, the now-defunct Dragon Page Cover to Cover, interviewed the author, which got me interested in Huff’s books. The library only had Smoke and Shadows, which I enjoyed, so I picked this book up when I had a gift card to spend.

Published: 1991

Genre: urban fantasy

Length: 272 pages

Setting: Toronto, present day Continue reading

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Smoke and Shadows by Tanya Huff

I’m still recovering my book review buffer from the long read that was Winter of the World. So, it’s another old book review for today. This one I heard about from a podcast that is now defunct. They did an author interview with Huff and I decided to pick up one of her books from the library.

Published: 2004

Genre: urban fantasy

Length: 416 pages

Setting: Vancouver, Canada, present day Continue reading

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Still Life by Louise Penny

This was chosen as our next book club reading. I vaguely remember hearing about the series (it’s the first book in the Chief Inspector Gamache series) on What Should I Read Next as being awesome, but that’s all I knew about it going into the book.

Published: 2005

Genre: murder mystery

Length: 312 pages

Setting: Three Pines, near Montreal, Quebec, present day Continue reading

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Mercury by Hope Larson

I’m always on the lookout for good graphic novels. The kids will read a good one five times or more before it’s time to take it back to the library. There’s a couple of blogs I follow that will post about graphic novels. Usually, if I see one I’m interested in, I’ll check my library collection and request it on the spot if it’s in the system. That means, we get a random graphic novel showing up on a regular basis. It also means I can’t remember who recommended the book to me in the first place. Sorry! This book sounded interesting because of its setting (Nova Scotia – don’t get too many stories set there) and its premise of telling a story set in the same place but in two different time periods.

Published: 2010

Genre: mystery graphic novel

Length: 234 pages

Setting: French Hill, Nova Scotia, 1859 and the present. Continue reading

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Looking for Anne of Green Gables by Irene Gammel

The Anne of Green Gables series was a favorite of mine when I was a child. In fact, I’ve already introduced them to Miss Adventure as bedtime stories. So, when I found out from a friend there was book about the writing of the series, I was intrigued. I really knew nothing about the author beyond the fact that she wrote the Anne of Green Gables series. I was interested in learning more.

Subtitle: The Story of L. M. Montgomery and Her Literary Classic

Published: 2008

Genre: biography

Length: 262 pages of text, 312 pages total

Setting: mostly Prince Edward Island, Canada, 1903-1938 Continue reading

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Short Stories by Holly Schofield

Title: Graveyard Shift

Published: September 2013 in Tesseracts Seventeen: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast to Coast.

Genre: speculative fiction

Length: 9 pages

Setting: a graveyard, near future

Interest: It was published in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: Ryan Leong has pretty much given up. He’s just graduated from college, deep in debt, with little prospect of getting a job since all the teachers have been replaced by online classes and algorithms, and his mother just died. So, he’s going to show xiao one last time and visit his Grandfather’s grave. He figures he owes his grandfather at least one last conversation, before using the gun in his backpack. That conversation manages to turn his mind around and give him an idea of what to do after graduation.

Final thoughts: The story qualifies for speculative fiction, but not in any “crazy technology” way. Instead, the author took a trend (the creation of online courses, and the increasing expense of college) and pushed it to the extreme. What would that mean? It could mean that going to college would no longer be a help in getting a job. Instead, it would just saddle you with enormous amounts of debt, and you’d still be less competitive than the cheap overseas workers. The author also pulled in lots of details of showing respect to your elders as a Chinese immigrant.

Title comes from: The narrator goes to visit his Grandfather’s grave before dawn

Title: Hurry Up and Wait

Published: May, 2013 in Perihelion Science Fiction

Genre: post-apocalyptic

Length: 15 pages

Setting: an island off the coast of Vancouver, near future

Summary: Mike and Darren are living on a small island north of Vancouver. For all they know, they could be the last people to survive the supervirus, bombs, earthquake, and other environmental disasters that all seemed to hit at once. That thought changes when they get a text on Darren’s cell phone. A billionaire survivor is asking anyone still alive to meet at the University of Vancouver campus. Mike is pessimistic and happy to stay on the island, while Darren, who crashing landed on the island in a storm at the beginning of the apocalypse, wants to join them. They spend a winter on the island, and Mike is convinced they can’t really make it on their own. He starts making plans to get to Vancouver.

Final thoughts: An interesting twist on the post-apocalyptic story. Mike had been planning to move off grid onto the island, but the apocalypse came before he could get all his supplies together. Darren, on the other hand, was an unexpected visitor that Mike couldn’t just send away. There was no away to get to. Mike’s a little annoyed he has to share his hideaway with anyone, let alone a stranger. Eventually, though, he realizes that he just doesn’t have enough resources to survive on his own, and they think about joining other survivors.

Title comes from: A phrase Mike uses when talking about doing chores around the cabin. You have to hurry up and do something and then wait until it’s important.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery

Published: 1922

Genre: fiction

Length: 227 pages

Setting: Glen St. Mary, Prince Edward Island, early 1900s

Interest: It’s the fifth book in the Anne of Green Gables series I’m reading to Miss Adventure as a bedtime story

Summary: Anne and Gilbert have finally gotten married and are off to Glen St. Mary where Gilbert will be practicing medicine with his uncle. Anne fins dome new kindred spirits there. Miss Cornelia is an affirmed old maid just down the way who has an opinion on everything (and it usually starts with men and/or Methodists being wrong). Captain Jim is the lighthouse keeper and teller of many tales. Then there’s Leslie Moore, who’s lived a tragic life and is saddled with a simple husband she hates. They don’t truly become friends until Anne loses her first baby at birth. We see many scenes from Anne’s life in her first year or so of marriage.

Final thoughts: A delightful story, due mainly to Montgomery’s writing instead of any major plot points in the book. Montgomery loves to describe the scenery and Prince Edward Island provides many opportunities for her lyrical descriptions. She also tends to use catchphrases for her supporting characters, which can get tiresome at times. Makes it easy to tell who’s talking, though. I also noticed that this book seemed to have a stronger thread of Christianity than previous books.

I did find it interesting that at no time was it ever said that Anne was pregnant. In fact, even when she was in labor, the allusions where so vague Miss Adventure didn’t realize what was happening. Once the baby was born, though, Montgomery was able to convey the sadness of losing a child so well that I teared up while reading the passages.

As a read aloud, this book worked quite well. Not only did you have Montgomery’s lyrical descriptions of the location, but the chapters were the perfect length to read one a night. I always appreciate having a given stopping point instead of having to find one in the middle of a chapter.

Title comes from: It’s what Anne and Gilbert called the house they lived in, their first house together.

Reading challenges fulfilled: 97/100 in my 100 Book Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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