As with any university town, Kingston, Ontario has its fair share of writers that call the Limestone City home: Diane Schoemperlen, Merilyn Simonds, Steven Heighton and many more. Add Adrian Michael Kelly to the list. His newest book, The Ambassador of What (2018, ECW Press) is a collection of stories, some previously published, but many appearing in print for the first time. Primarily about a father and son relationship, The Ambassador of What is full of raw emotion at moments (“Stragglers”, “It Does Not Control You”) and at other times, Mr.… Continue reading
At one point in Deli Meat (2018, Crooked Cat Books), Bree Arms tells her husband Todd that she is reading a book called, um, Deli Meat. She tells him it “is weird as hell and twice as strange,” which is a good summing up of the book itself. It was a very delightful type of weirdness and strangeness that I found between the blood-red covers of author Tom Halford’s first book.… Continue reading
Poor Ramya. A Hindu woman in her late 40’s finds herself out of work (due to downsizing), separated from her husband, childless and nearly friendless. Plus, she is suffering from depression. So much so that she cannot even motivate herself to fill out her papers to get EI assistance. This is the state we meet Ramya in at the beginning of Ramya’s Treasure, Pratap Reddy’s first novel, which follows on the heels of his captivating compilation of short stories, Weather Permitting and Other Stories, published in 2016.… Continue reading
Over the years, Flanker Press of Newfoundland & Labrador has published a vast array of books, both Fiction and Non-Fiction, including the excellent historical fiction books of Gary Collins. Operation Wormwood (2018) is a fictional crime thriller that was interesting to read, to say the least. The main theme is that a “disease” of sorts is affecting a particular group of people, namely pedophiles. They experience prodigious nosebleeds and unquenchable thirst.… Continue reading
It is time to announce the winners of the 2018 “The Very Best!” Book Awards! For the first time, I have chosen to restrict the awards to three categories: Best First Book (fiction or non-fiction), Best Fiction, and Best Non-Fiction. I have also chosen to award a small gift to the “notable achievement” books in each category.
It was difficult to choose six books from this year’s shortlist.… Continue reading