Celtic Knot: A Clara Swift Tale by Ann Shortell

A fine example of Canadian historical fiction, Ann Shortell’s Celtic Knot: A Clara Swift Tale (2018, Friesen Press) is constructed around the actual assassination of D’Arcy McGee, one of the fathers of confederation, on April 7th, 1868 as he was returning from Parliament to Mrs. Trotter’s boarding house. The assailant was never seen, but Patrick J. Whelan (“Jimmy”) was later arrested, convicted and hanged as the culprit.… Continue reading

Summer Shortlisting 2019: Best Fiction!

What a reading year it has been! I actually tried to read less this year, in an attempt to concentrate more on reading books more deliberately hoping to write a better review. I’m not sure how successful that was, but by being more “choosy” about what I read (and the books I select and agree to read) I was able to concentrate more fully on some great titles from 2018/2019.… Continue reading

Announcing the 2019 “The Very Best!” Book Award Finalists!

the 2019 Atlantic Book Awards have been given out, it seemed like a good time to lock in my 2019 long list for the summer. Any books I am currently reading will be put on the 2020 long list (if deemed worthy, of course).  I will announce a shortlist in August. 

It was a very good year for reading, and I found myself adding book after book to the list (that’s why it’s a long list, right?).… Continue reading

“The Very Best!” Book Awards

The Very Best! Book Awards are awarded to books I have read and reviewed within the preceding year and are announced in September (my reading ‘season’ goes from September 1st to the end of the following August). These are books that I consider exceptional in some way; books that I enjoyed reading so much that I didn’t want them to end. Or, if it was a non-fiction title, one that is well researched and the author has made it interesting to read, not just pages of facts.… Continue reading