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Showing posts from January, 2017

On Ancestry, Identity, and Telling Stories...One Reader's Perspective

If you haven’t heard, celebrated Canadian author Joseph Boyden has come under the microscope over his Indigenous heritage. This isn’t the first time it has happened. Boyden, author of the novels Through Black Spruce, Three Day Road, The Orenda, and most recently the novella Wenjack, has for years been positioned as a spokesperson for Indigenous people in Canada. In the past, some have posed questions surrounding Boyden’s heritage and pointed out inconsistencies in his own personal stories. But it seems those questions were largely left to be minor discussions in the public realm.

Until a couple of weeks ago when Jorge Barrera, journalist with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) and blogger Robert Jago raised the question again, this time having done research into Boyden’s genealogy based on his own words and coming up with no evidence to back up what he has claimed.

For a little while, Boyden remained quiet on the subject other than issuing a statement reaffirming what he…

"The Trophy Child" by Paula Daly

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Release Date: March 7, 2017
Tiger mothers have nothing on Karen Bloom. Things may have not turned out so well with her son Ewan but she is definitely not letting her daughter Bronte slip through the cracks. Straight A’s, music lessons, and dance classes dominate the young prodigy’s life. Karen expects her family to always be at 200 percent and nothing less.
But behind the facade of the perfect family lies a wealth of secrets. Karen’s husband Noel, a successful small-town doctor has a taste for women and alcohol. Noel’s teenage daughter Verity is under strict discipline at school and at home due to her aggressive behaviour. And Bronte, the one on whom everything rests, longs to run away from it all.
When Bronte actually does go missing, a domino effect hits the family. As tragedy strikes the family again, all of their secrets and lies begin to spill out, leading readers to wonder how far people will go in their quest for perfection in The Trophy Child by Paula Daly.
After reading What …

Canada Reads 2017 Longlist

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Every March, the CBC hosts a one week discussion surrounding the question "what is one book that all Canadians should read?" (I know, just when you think Canadians can't get any more awesome, you find out we have literary debates on national television.) The longlist for this year's event, taking place from March 27 to 30, was announced this past week. Here are the contenders:

Company Town by Madeline Ashby
A brilliant, twisted mystery, as one woman must evaluate saving the people of a town that can't be saved, or saving herself.

even this page is white by Vivek Shraya
Vivek's debut collection of poetry is a bold, timely, and personal interrogation of skin - its origins, functions, and limitations.

Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis
Alexis's contemporary take on the apologue offers an utterly compelling and affecting look at the beauty and perils of human consciousness.

I Am Woman by Lee Maracle
One of the foremost Native writers in North America, Lee Maracle link…

"Born a Crime" by Trevor Noah

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It takes a brave person to fill the shoes of Jon Stewart, one of the (if not THE) most successful satirical news hosts on American television. At the helm of The Daily Show for 16 years, Stewart built the show into a 23 time Emmy-winning show that averaged 2 million viewers each night, becoming the authority on news and politics for the younger generation. It is only natural that his successor would be held to a scrutiny that few could withstand. But Trevor Noah was more than ready for the challenge.
Everything in Trevor's life was leading him to The Daily Show. Starting as a young comedian in South Africa, he took all sorts of jobs that would eventually lead to him headlining one of the biggest stand-up shows the country had ever seen. Pretty soon, the rest of the world came calling and Noah was set on the path to taking over one of the most coveted seats on television.
But it is the start of Trevor’s story that is most compelling. Born in apartheid South Africa to a white Swiss…

Here's to a New Year!

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"Out with the old, in with the new," has never been a more appropriate saying than it is for 2017!

Today marks my 7th year with this little blog. Over the last year it has suffered quite a bit with my trying to balance family life, work life, and writing life. Sadly, the writing life has suffered greatly. But as New Year’s Day brings about another year of blogging, I’m committing to a refresh and once again giving it my attention.

My holidays have been a busy one. It was full-on right up until Christmas Eve (everyone who works in retail knows what that is about) but I’ve thankfully been able to have some good downtime to spend with my family and, of course, watch television. Because I’m all about the binge-watching. These holidays have been spent doing a massive Coronation Street catch up but also getting reacquainted with my Netflix account and watching Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, The Crown, and Black Mirror. And of course my beloved British Christmas specials …