Harbour View by Binnie Brennan

Harbour View (2009, Quattro Books) deals with the small inner world of a Halifax nursing home (called Harbour View Centre) in which each character adds notes of wistfulness, sadness, lightheartedness, even tragedy to be combined in a singular literary-musical tapestry that reaches through to the heart and to the mind.  Ms. Brennan’s follow-up volume of short stories, A Certain Grace (2012 Quattro Books) and most recently, a novel, Like any Other Monday (2014, Gaspereau Press) are equally as impressive, firmly establishing Ms.… Continue reading

Like Any Other Monday by Binnie Brennan Review|Interview

Like Any Other Monday is Halifax author Binnie Brennan's first novel, and it is an impressive one. Its 200+ pages are filled with a wondrous, meticulously researched story set in a time period that has practically been forgotten: the American Vaudeville era, and is loosely based on the life of Buster Keaton. The author also agreed to be interviewed by The Miramichi Reader about the book, her influences and her other interests.

A Certain Grace by Binnie Brennan

Every night before turning out the lights, I do a little reading. Last night I finished A Certain Grace (2012, Quattro) by Halifax author Binnie Brennan. I quickly came to the conclusion that I shouldn’t read short stories before bed, especially the type that Ms. Brennan writes. Oh, not that they are scary in any way. I can sleep quite easily after reading H.P. Lovecraft! No, her short stories are of the type that keep the wheels turning in the mind long after you put the book down.… Continue reading

The Spanish Boy by C.S. Reardon

The year is 1936 and the Clarey family of Halifax, Nova Scotia is, by all accounts, a typical family. The father, Charles is the latest owner of Clarey Paint and Glass, a business started by his grandfather. Charles and Mary Clarey live in a house with their children Edith (Edie) and Mel. Their oldest, Gus is away at a seminary college in Antigonish. Mel’s best friend Lawrence (Lawrie) Shine lives across the street.… Continue reading

The Miramichi Reader “The Very Best” Awards for 2015

We have a saying up here in the Miramichi: “the very best” (but you have to run all three words together to say it correctly). Typically, it comes in response to “how are you?” or “how’s the family?” and so on. I thought it would make a great award title for the best books that the Miramichi Reader has reviewed here over the past year (and since it is solely based on my opinion, it is trustworthy).… Continue reading

Escape!!! by J.P. Rodriguez

One nice thing about being a book reviewer is the cooperation one can easily establish with the small, independent book publishers, of which there are quite a few. I have found them very easy to deal with and they are only too happy to have their titles read and reviewed. Quattro Books is one publisher that has been very supportive of the Miramichi Reader since it has started up.… Continue reading

Let Us Be True by Erna Buffie

Just after finishing Let Us Be True (2015, Coteau Books), I rated it a 3 out of 5 stars at Goodreads. Then I changed my mind and gave it another star because I kept thinking about the story long after I finished it, which is a sign of a four-star book for me. I kept thinking about it primarily due to the way the author, Erna Buffie has written the life story of Pearl Calder.… Continue reading