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

In Every Wave by Charles Quimper, Translated by Guil Lefebvre

Over the few short years of its existence as an imprint of Baraka Books, QC Fiction has now produced nine titles, with a tenth one in the works. Looking back over this diverse catalogue, it would be easy to compare them to snowflakes (no two are alike) or the proverbial sampler box of chocolates. However, I have come to think of QC Fiction as a major league baseball pitcher who has a number of different pitches in his repertoire.… Continue reading

The Clock of Heaven by Dian Day

I believe I may have found a new “favourite” writer in Dian Day. I recently read her new book The Madrigal (clicking the link will take you to another site) and I was very impressed by it. It was an intriguing read about the life of Frederick, the seventh son (all the other six were twins) and the issues he had to deal with growing up and some that haunted him up to his adult life.… Continue reading

A Circle on the Surface by Carol Bruneau

While Carol Bruneau’s award-winning 2017 book of short stories, A Bird on Every Tree was excellent and well received (“Her exceptional prose reveals how much there is to discover in the every day” raved Publishersweekly.com), it merely whetted our appetites for one of her full-length works like Glass Voices (2007) or These Good Hands (2015). The wait is over for Nimbus Publishing has released A Circle on the Surface.… Continue reading

Songs for the Cold of Heart by Eric Dupont (translated by Peter McCambridge)

Note to readers: In lieu of the regular review that I would normally post, I am instead publishing a letter* I received from a reader regarding Songs for the Cold of Heart (2018, QC Fiction). I found it fairly sums up my thoughts on the book, and I reprint it here with the sender’s permission.

Dear Mr. Fisher,

May I call you James? I am one of the 12 subscribers to your blog (I do hope you get more soon, people don’t know what they are missing) and I wanted to not only thank you for alerting your few readers to the fact that the east coast of Canada has many fine writers, but la belle province has a number of them as well.… Continue reading

First Quarter Best Reads of 2018: Fiction

it is almost May and the Spring 2018 titles are upon us! While I have been able to review some of them, thanks to advance reading copies (ARCs) from the publishers, I thought I would highlight some of the best reads from the last few months.The following titles are in no particular order.

Short Fiction

Historical Fiction

Some Observations

The first thing you might notice, and I have no explanation for this, is that there are more titles here from female writers vs.… Continue reading

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.… Continue reading

In the Belly of the Horse by Eliana Tobias

the her “Acknowledgements” section at the back of In the Belly of the Horse (2017, Inanna Publications), Ms. Tobias thanks “the anonymous South American taxi driver for sharing his memories which became the catalyst and inspiration for my story.” While she does not elaborate on this statement, it is easy to see after reading this story that the taxi driver could have been the inspiration for Salvador’s Uncle Tomas.… Continue reading