Deli Meat by Tom Halford

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 “Deli Meat by Tom Halford”

Bag of Hammers by Edward Riche

I‘ve always been a fan of good satire. Back in the late 70’s and 80’s I read National Lampoon magazine monthly, watched Saturday Night Live and SCTV weekly. Read Doonesbury and Bloom County Babylon daily. Then came This Hour Has 22 Minutes on CBC. This show introduced me to East Coast humour and satire, specifically that of Newfoundland origins.

Although I’ve never been there (yet), the island of Newfoundland appears to me as a distinct society, as much as Quebec certainly does.… Continue reading “Bag of Hammers by Edward Riche”

Grandpa Pike’s Outhouse Reader by Grandpa Pike

Laurie Blackwood Pike, a.k.a. Grandpa Pike, is the author of Grandpa Pike’s Outhouse Reader (2017, Flanker Press). Grandpa Pike grew up out in the country in Newfoundland, and later in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, when outhouses were common and reading material took the form of old Eaton’s catalogues or the Family Herald. While these printed materials have long since faded into history, many people still read in the washroom, and Grandpa Pike now adds his own contribution to modern bathroom literature. … Continue reading “Grandpa Pike’s Outhouse Reader by Grandpa Pike”

This is the Cat by Berni Stapleton

Stapleton is a Newfoundland- Labrador writer and performer. She is a past recipient of the WANL award for best work in non-fiction for her contribution to the book They Let Down Baskets. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Riddle Fence and The Newfoundland Quarterly. She is a recent recipient of the Ambassador of Tourism Award from Hospitality NL. Her latest book is This is the Cat which was published in 2015 by Killick Press (now an imprint of Breakwater Books). … Continue reading “This is the Cat by Berni Stapleton”

The Minted by Will McClelland

Quebec author Will McClelland has published his debut novel, The Minted (2016, Blue Leaf Press) to some impressive reviews. Quill & Quire noted: “The Minted is nothing like the CanLit with which we are all so familiar.” In his acknowledgements, Mr McClelland confesses: “This book is very much a product of “my first fine careless frenzy” and, as such, writing it almost killed me.” At Goodreads, I rated it 4 out of five stars, which in Goodreads parlance means that “I liked it.” And I very much did.… Continue reading “The Minted by Will McClelland”

The Nearly Girl by Lisa de Nikolits

The Nearly Girl is a quirky exploration into people’s peculiarities and is absolutely riveting to read.

Amelia, the novel’s young protagonist, signs up for group therapy to assuage her teenage angst; she feels like an outcast and just yearns to be normal. Like most young adults, Amelia thinks she has been marred by her parent’s foibles. Her father, Henry, is an acclaimed, outré poet with preternaturally dark tendencies and her mother, Megan, is an aloof, withdrawn woman who shirks all parental responsibilities—finding solace in suntan booths and the gym instead.… Continue reading “The Nearly Girl by Lisa de Nikolits”

The Money Shot by Glenn Deir

Ever since anchorman Peter Mansbridge (CBC’s The National) announced his plans to retire, the search has been on for a replacement. I propose that Sebastian Hunter the male protagonist (and more often than not, antagonist) of Glenn Deir’s irreverent novel The Money Shot (2016, Breakwater Books) be given a ‘shot’ at the top job.

The author (who is a former CBC television reporter) describes Sebastian as an “unscrupulous rake”.… Continue reading “The Money Shot by Glenn Deir”