The idea of this blog is to facilitate the love of reading by collecting news about new books, or sometimes good old books. It is also dedicated to stamping out the scourge of e-books, Kindles, Kobo's, i-Pads, and all other such abominations.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

RESTLESS by William Boyd

Sally Gilmartin, a widow living in the Cotswalds, reveals to her daughter that she has been living a lie. Her real name is Eva Delctorskay and she worked for the secret service as a highly trained spy during World War II. She used safe houses, had access to fake passport and her modus operandi was to trust no one.

Thirty years later, Sally believes that someone is trying to kill her. She decides to reveal her identity to her daughter in order to get help.

Ruth, the daughter, a single parent mother of a little girl, is astonished as she is drawn into the details of her mothers previous life. She simply had no idea. Ruth's uneventful life suddenly becomes more dangerous as she attempts to help her mother.

Much of the book is given over to Sally's life as a spy. It is a wonderful recreation of that world, an enthralling story of espionage: the distrust, the paranoia and the politics of war. It's a marvelous read.


Michel Tremblay has written four magical autobiographical narratives: Birth of a Bookworm, Bambi and Me, Twelve Opening Acts, Bonbon Assortis.
The first, Birth of a Bookworm will be treasured by anyone who has fallen in love with words on a page. As a young boy, Michel loved the library and went to great lengths to be admitted to the adult section. He tells of being captivated by among others, Jules Verne, The Brothers Grimm and Robert Louis Stevenson. These great writers inspired his imagination and eventually led him to begin his storytelling through novels and plays that reflected his particular culture and his world. He talks of the relationship with his mother as he journeyed through his reading.

Bonbon Assortis, the fourth narrative, recounts his early years in Montreal It is filled with vignettes featuring his much loved and indominable mother who kept her (bonbons) chocolates under her bed, the aunt who inspired the character Albertine, and his prickly grandmother. As well there are other family stories such as the escapade of the uncle who contrives to have Santa call Michel from the North Pole and has to deal with the complications he sets in motion. Michel fondly recounts the moments he spent with his father.
From his favorite place under the dining room table, Michel views the interaction of the nine members of his family. On one occasion, he was summoned to deliver a wedding present to the neighbours. It is a story, both funny and poignant, of how a proud family attempts to hide its poverty.

Tremblay's two other narratives:
Bambi and Me is his memoir of his early interaction with film.
Twelve Opening Acts relates his first encounters with the theatre.
Through these books we enter the world that inspired this gifted writer.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Natural Flights of the Human Mind by Clare Morrell

Believing that he is responsible for the deaths of 78 people, Peter Stryker moves to a lighthouse on the Devon Coast. Peter speaks to no one. His guilt has driven him to investigate the lives of the people who died and to keep them alive in his dreams.

Imogene Doody, suffering from the suicide of a sister and angry after being abandoned by her husband many years before, finds herself in the small community when she inherits a run-down house and barn. Despite her abrupt, off-putting manner. Imogene strikes up a relationship with the silent Peter as they work to restore the house and find a surprise in the barn.

As the 25th anniversary of the accident approaches, the families of the victims of the accident
are intent on revenge. They descend into the village. Their destination is confronation at the lighthouse, which is now in a precarious state.

This is a superb read. Morrell's themes of anger, guilt, revenge and forgiveness are worked out
beautifully. I heartily recommend it.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

B. C. Book Prizes honour Nanaimo and Gabriola Island writers Carol Windley and Katherine Gordon

Two of the 2007 B. C. Book Prizes went to mid Island writers. Carol Windley, author of Home Schooling, took home the Ethel Wilson prize for literature. Carol's book was short-listed for
the Giller Prize. This is a special book of short stories which I have written about earlier.

Katherine Gordon, a Gabriola Island resident, was awarded the Roderick Haig Brown Prize for
Regional writing for Made to Measure, A History of Land Surveying in British
Columbia. I will be writing more about this.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

WordStorm Rocks!

WHERE? ACME FOOD COMPANY in the Bombay Lounge, 114 Commercial St.
WHEN? The LAST THURSDAY of every month except July, August & December
WHAT? An electric evening of spoken word
COST? $3.00 (See Reservation information below)
CONTACT: David Fraser at: or
Cindy Shantz at:

WordStorm is raging in Nanaimo! Since WordStorm’s premiere in January, all types of spoken word artists including poets, story-tellers, song-writers and dramatists have performed on our stage to sold-out audiences—in fact we have had to turn away people at the door. That’s why we have a reservation system which is described at the end of this blurb.
WordStorm has two components: a prearranged reading series, and an exciting open mike competition evaluated by three astute judges picked at random from our audience. All judges are issued their proper regalia of bunny ears, or a pilot’s helmet and goggles, or a purple wig and glasses, depending on the component they are judging. (Entertainment/Inspiration; Delivery; Quality/Imagery)
Open mike material must be the reader's own work and be read without props or instruments. Sign-up begins at 6:30 PM on the night of WordStorm.
Admission to WordStorm is $3.00 and the bulk of the money collected will go to prize winners with a small amount set aside for administration.
The Bombay Lounge has a capacity of about 45 people. You can take your chances at the door or avoid disappointment by reserving ahead through the PayPal link on the Website. All reservations must be picked up before 6:30 or they will become void, and spaces will be given out on a first come, first served basis. Sorry—no refunds. You can reserve for future events at the reservation table on any night of WordStorm by giving our Meeter/Greeter your name and contact number and your $3.00 admission fee.
Come out to listen and be entertained, or sign up to be part of the entertainment. Everyone is welcome!