I Am Herod by Richard Kemick (Guest Review by Chris Benjamin)

memoir had a lot of LOL moments, and considerable depth too. I have never been that much of a spiritual searcher myself. I think I am comfortable enough with my own pseudo-scientific-magical interpretation of the universe, which seems to accommodate any and all new information, that I have never shared Richard Kemick’s need to put faith in any stories that sound to me like ancient fiction.…

Santiago’s Purple Skies at Morning’s Light by Bernadette Gabay Dyer (Guest Review by Ursula Pflug)

-year-old Kathleen Dunkley lives in a small Ontario town several hours north of Kingston. After her parents die in an automobile accident, a neighbour sends her to Toronto with the address of an old friend. It turns out the old friend has passed on, and the current owner of the house, a gentlemanly Jamaican immigrant by the name of Walker T. …

Boom Time by Lindsay Bird (Guest Review by Tom Halford)

The following review of Lindsay Bird’s Boom Time (2019, Gaspereau Press) is by Newfoundland author Tom Halford, whose book Deli Meat was shortlisted by The Miramichi Reader for Best First Book in 2019.

is a consistent good-natured irony and humour running through Lindsay Bird’s Boom Time. In “Newfoundland”, Bird develops a rhythm that compliments her tongue-in-cheek content. She writes,

Never been, but know

most of its men.…

The Girl Who Stole Everything by Norman Ravvin

Ravvin skillfully weaves his story with images of the past and present in Vancouver and a small village in Poland. The key figures are drawn together throughout the story using the unlikeliest of props; a vacant building which was once a pawn shop in Vancouver, an abandoned house in the Polish village square of Radzanow, a pop bottle, a box containing relics – one of which is a photo of children, a black and white image of the past.…

To See The Stars by Jan Andrews (Guest Post by Lana Shupe)

(The following review is by Lana Shupe, whose Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/LanasAtlanticBookLoves. She has graciously allowed The Miramichi Reader to publish her review of To See The Stars by the late Jan Andrews.)

this book To See the Stars by Jan Andrews on International Women’s Day seems particularly poignant given the story between the covers. This story encompasses the fight for the rights of women garment workers after the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire in 1911 that killed 123 women who were trapped there.…

Reproduction by Ian Williams

Novels, like love and family, take many forms. On every page of Reproduction, his debut novel, Ian Williams finds ways to resist and defy conventional narrative practice while constructing an audacious and uniquely challenging story that crosses generational lines. In the process, he has written a poignant, resonant tale about intersecting lives and the ways that seemingly trivial decisions can have unexpected and far-reaching consequences.…

Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta (Guest Post)

Note: For the past three summers, Naomi of the Consumed by Ink book review blog and I have been swapping a book review. This year I reviewed The Afrikaner by Arianna Dagnino for her site, and she has written a review of the critically-acclaimed book by Jamaican-Canadian author Zalika Reid-Benta, Frying Plantain (2019, House of Anansi Press)*. Naomi writes from Truro, Nova Scotia and reviews a broader range of CanLit than I do, although we sometimes review the same book, which is always interesting!…

The Afrikaner by Arianna Dagnino

For the third year in a row, Naomi of the Consumed by Ink book review blog and I have guest-hosted each other’s reviews and my review of The Afrikaner by Arianna Dagnino can be found there. Her reviews are remarkable for their insight and perceptiveness of a novel’s strengths and weaknesses. I encourage you to follow her reviews of CanLit. Often, we review the same books and it’s fun to see what each other takes away from a book.…

Perfect World by Ian Colford

(This is a guest review submitted by Naomi MacKinnon of Consumed by Ink.) Naomi often reviews books that I can never get around to reading, and such is the case with Ian Colford’s Perfect World.)

We first meet Tom as a 13-year-old living in rural Nova Scotia with his parents and new baby sister. But ever since his sister was born, his mother has been having what his father calls “spells.”…

Malagash by Joey Comeau

(The following is an excerpt from a review written by Naomi MacKinnon at Consumed by Ink. It is reproduced here in part with her kind permission.)

Malagash is a gem of a book. And I can’t think of anyone I wouldn’t recommend it to.

The title of the book refers to the community where the story is set. Malagash is located along the north shore of Nova Scotia and is one of those places you can easily pass through without knowing you are there.…

Peninsula Sinking by David Huebert

(The following review is reproduced in part by the kind permission of Naomi MacKinnon of the Consumed by Ink book review blog. – James)

at the cover of this book. It couldn’t be more stunning. With stories to match. Peninsula Sinking is David Huebert‘s first short story collection. He has won the CBC Short Story Prize, the Sheldon Currie Fiction Prize, and the Walrus Poetry Prize, and is the author of one poetry collection We Are No Longer the Smart Kids in Class (which I haven’t read).…

Dazzle Patterns by Alison Watt

6, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion. Due to this, may books have been written to commemorate, revisit or try to understand how the Explosion shaped the lives of thousands. The books, past and present have appeared in both fiction and non-fiction genres.

Naomi MacKinnon of Consumed by Ink has undertaken a project to gather and read as many books as she can about the Halifax Explosion, and you can see her list here (including links to her reviews):
https://consumedbyink.ca/halifax-explosion-reading-list/

I am a truck by Michelle Winters

Once again, I am grateful for Consumed by Ink’s superb coverage of the books on the 2017 Giller Prize list. Here’s another one that Naomi allowed me to take an excerpt from. Author Michelle Winters is originally from New Brunswick and now lives in Toronto.


Trucks play a big part in this story of a rural Acadian couple who have been together for almost 20 years.…

Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill

The nice thing about book bloggers is their willingness to share their posts on books I would like to read, but just can’t work them into my “to-be-read” stack. Here’s another Giller shortlist book reviewed by Naomi at Consumed by Ink.


What I love so much about reading the Giller books is that there are always surprises. I’m often reading books I hadn’t heard of before, books from authors I’ve never read before, and books I know very little about.…

Brother by David Chariandy

The following review is by Naomi MacKinnon of Consumed by Ink, and is reproduced here with her kind permission.

you’re looking for that one beautiful gem, David Chariandy’s Brother just might be it. It’s raw and honest, and the writing is as smooth as silk.

Michael and his older brother Francis are close as they grow up in 1980s Scarborough, the sons of a single hard-working mother from Trinidad.…