Tag: Books: Canadian Literature

Review: Wenjack

Posted 11 September, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

By: Joseph Boyden
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Shortlisted for the 2017 OLSN Northern Lit Award

An Ojibwe boy runs away from a North Ontario Indian School, not realizing just how far away home is. Along the way he’s followed by Manitous, spirits of the forest who comment on his plight, cajoling, taunting, and ultimately offering him a type of comfort on his difficult journey back to the place he was so brutally removed from.

Written by Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author Joseph Boyden and beautifully illustrated by acclaimed artist Kent Monkman, Wenjack is a powerful and poignant look into the world of a residential school runaway trying to find his way home.

I kept seeing this book around and as I was slowly getting through Joseph Boyden’s bibliography, I figured I’d pick this book up. I was taking a break with The Orenda at the time so it seemed like a good idea to take a break with another book of his, set in a different period. Contains spoilers ahead! (If you don’t want to be spoiled, just jump to the last paragraph)

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Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 29 August, 2017 by Lianne in Meme / 12 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week’s topic: Ten Hidden Gems in X Genre

I always enjoy these kinds of topics but I actually was stuck with a bit of writer’s block trying to think of a genre to focus on for this week’s TTT. In the end I decided to go with Canadian Literature/Books Written by Canadian Writers. Because there’s a ton of gems written by Canadians that need to be read and shared 😀

In no particular order:

  1. Robert Rotenberg’s Detective Ari Greene series (see author tag) — If you love mysteries and courtroom drama, this is definitely a series worth picking up. The author does such a wonderful job in conveying how an investigation unfolds both from the police side and from the courtroom side, not to mention captures the atmosphere of Toronto perfectly.
  2. Forty Words for Sorrow by Giles Blunt (review) — I didn’t know about this mystery series until it was adapted into a television series that aired earlier this year. Very moody, it’s set in northern Ontario, away from the major cities, where resources can be a bit of a crunch. The character dynamics were pretty interesting too. I haven’t read any of the other books in the series but I’d be keen to!
  3. Stony River by Tricia Dower (review) — I was plugging this book quite a bit a few years ago, I thought it was a really interesting character drama set in the 1950s and the contrast between the perfect life and what really lies behind the facade.
  4. Isabelle Lafleche’s J’Adore series (see author tag) — Love fashion and books featuring lawyer protagonists? Then look no further, this series was a lot of fun to read.
  5. The Delusionist by Grant Buday (review) — I picked this book up during a book fair a few years ago and ended up really enjoying it. It’s a coming-of-age novel but it’s also quite a sombre look at what happens to a family that refuses to acknowledge a very difficult and hard past that they’re trying to look past (in this case, the Holodomor in Ukraine that happened the 1930s).
  6. The Mystics of Mile End by Sigal Samuel (review) — Another family drama novel, this time focusing on a Jewish family fractured after the death of its matriarch and the family members’ views on religion and life. The POVs were especially memorable.
  7. The Fledglings by David Homel (review) — This novel sort of stuck with me long after I had finished reading it and I do find myself recommending it time and again as I thought it was an interesting look at family and friendship in the early twentieth century.
  8. The Emperor of Paris by C.S. Richardson (review) — I thought this was a beautifully written novel, short but jam-packed with story and a tour de force throughout twentieth century French history, or at least the first half.

…And actually I can only think up to eight books today, lol. What books and genre did you feature on your list this week? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂


Just a bit of a heads up as I never announced it in a previous TTT but my first poetry collection, Shall I Be a Poet Instead?, is available now online (Lulu/Amazon/The Book Depository/Barnes&Noble/etc.)! You can read more about my writing project and my journey towards its publication over at this blog post and check out some of my poetry over at Instagram 🙂 Cheers!

Review: Forty Words for Sorrow

Posted 26 May, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

Forty Words for Sorrow (John Cardinal and Lise Delorme Mystery #1)
By: Giles Blunt
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

When four teenagers go missing in the small northern town of Algonquin Bay, the extensive police investigation comes up empty. Everyone is ready to give upexcept Detective John Cardinal, an all-too-human loner whose persistence onlyserves to get him removed from homicide. Haunted by a criminal secret in his ownpast and hounded by a special investigation into corruption on the force, Cardinal is on the brink of losing his career–and his family.

Then the mutilated body of thirteen-year-old Katie Pine is pulled out of anabandoned mineshaft. And only Cardinal is willing to consider the horrible truth: that this quiet town is home to the most vicious of serial killers. The case as it unfolds proves eerily reminiscent of the Moors murders in Britain, as anunassuming young man and his belligerently loyal girlfriend scout young victimsfor their macabre games.

With the media, the provincial police and his owndepartment questioning his every move, Cardinal follows increasingly tenuousthreads towards the unthinkable. Time isn’t only running out for him, but foranother young victim, tied up in a basement wondering when and how his captors will kill him.

I found out about this book because it was recently adapted into a 6-episode television series, Cardinal, that aired earlier this year. I was intrigued by the trailer–set in Canada, that sort of thing. So I decided to check out the book first before watching it.

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Books: A Batch of Mini-Reviews

Posted 11 May, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Mini-reviews seem to be my friend these days 😛 Included in this post are reviews for the following titles:

Sonnets from the Portuguese
By: Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was a prolific writer and reviewer in the Victorian period, and in her lifetime, her reputation as a poet was at least as great as that of her husband, poet Robert Browning. Some of her poetry has been noted in recent years for strong feminist themes, but the poems for which Elizabeth Barrett Browning is undoubtedly best know are Sonnets from the Portuguese.

Written for Robert Browning, who had affectionately nicknamed her his “little Portuguese,” the sequence is a celebration of marriage, and of one of the most famous romances of the nineteenth century. Recognized for their Victorian tradition and discipline, these are some of the most passionate and memorable love poems in the English language. There are forty-four poems in the collection, including the very beautiful sonnet, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”

I first read this collection two years ago (review) when I was first making a serious foray into poetry. Revisiting it now after having read quite a range of poetry, I find her poetry evokes a lot more emotion out of me with the passion conveyed about her love for Robert Browning and how that love affects her. I suppose you could say I appreciated this collection a lot more than I did the first time around 😛

Rating: ★★★★☆

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Books: A Batch of Mini-Reviews

Posted 18 April, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Another day, another mini-batch of book reviews featuring more poetry 😀

La Douleur Exquise
By: J.R. Rogue
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

What happens when you meet
your soul mate at the wrong time?
What happens when you meet
your soul mate but you aren’t theirs?

I picked up this book after seeing it listed as a nominee in the GoodReads Choice Awards in 2016. The book cover was lovely and the term “la douleur exquise” is lovely (see meaning). Plus, I was trying to read more contemporary and self-published poetry after reading a string of classic and translated poetry. The collection was good, can’t say I was blown away from start to finish but there were a few poems that did stand out, namely the early part of the book. Maybe my expectations were a little high picking up this book and being swayed solely by the cover and title, but I’m not saying it was a bad collection; it just didn’t connect with me as much as I thought it would.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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