Monday, October 13, 2008

word pile up

The benefit of starting the Canadian Reading Challenge on time this year is that I don't feel rushed to get through my list. On the flipside, I haven't been very successful posting about reading. I have finished another 3 Canadian novels since I last wrote, but I fear that waiting so long to write about them means I may forget the details that stood out. On top of that, I've fit other books in between, namely books about design and advertising (see the top of the book pile for example) which make my recall even harder.

The Body's Place by Elise Turcotte: This was a swift read. Even though character details were sparse, the tension that the author created was well crafted and it lead to a riveting ending. The story is told through a 15 year old girl, but it is actually the story of the three children in her family. On the outside the family seems typical, living through a dull suburban existence. What is underneath the veneer however, is a broken marriage that impacts each child in totally different ways.

Streak of Luck by Richelle Kosar: I already passed this one on to my mom, forgetting I would want a photo of it. Like The Body's Place, this came in my $5 book bag from Comorant last year at Word on the Street. Another story about a family, told through three female characters (the mother and two daughters). Most of the story is set in Toronto, and so I enjoyed the familiar details of my city. There were moments when I absolutely cringed; the family is perpetually down on their luck, yet I never felt truly sorry for them as it seemed clear it was the parents' decisions that were responsible for their situation. And the ending surprised me, leaving me totally satisfied. Overall, a good read.

Latitudes of Melt by Joan Clark: Yes, I loved An Audience of Chairs more, but this novel was a pretty close second. I'm so thankful Ragdoll introduced me to Joan Clark. East coast stories are particularly charming to me, and the main character, Aurora, was another woman I was drawn to. Her story begins when she is found as a baby, floating on an ice floe, suspected to be a Titanic survivor. We watch her grow up, get married, have children and live out her life in her favourite Newfoundland. I loved everything about the story, but it's funny that sometime last year I checked out a few pages while in a bookstore and a passage upset me so much that I really had to talk myself into giving it a chance this year. The passage was about the birth of Aurora's son, and how her 6 year old daughter reacted. The birth had been hard so Aurora was hospitalized for 6 weeks. In that time her daughter's allegiance switched from Aurora to her father, and until the daughter was middle-aged it never once turned back. It hurt my heart to think that a child's love could be so temporary, and that an unforeseen absence could have such a devastating effect (not to mention totally freak me out about the prospect of having a second child while Sadie and I are so close). But clearly I got over it, and it was a wonderful novel. I heart Joan Clark, and highly recommend her to everyone.

So there is my second round-up of book reviews and still no sign of a knitting comparison. It could be due to the fact that every knitting project I take on these days takes me forever, but I still intend to get back into the habit. I just need my knitting mojo back. The leaves are falling, surely that should be enough, right?