SqueakyChu's Canadian province Challenge

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SqueakyChu's Canadian province Challenge

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Editado: Mar 11, 2019, 8:46am

I'm so glad to have discovered this challenge. I've always been aware of how understated and unmentioned Canada is in the United States. Is that because it's such a huge and peaceful neighbor of the U.S.? Who knows?

Anyway, I have traveled across Canada in my youth (from Ontario to British Columbia) and appreciate its uniqueness. I'll proudly join in this challenge to "read" the Canadian provinces.

I'd like to set up my challenge differently. I'd like to read at least one book by an author born in each of the provinces (with Newfoundland and Labrador done together). The books may be either fiction or non-fiction. I may or may not complete this challenge, but I'm going to give it my best shot.

Since I may have a hard time finding titles for some provinces, my personal challenge is to read one book for each of the 13 provinces or 13 books for one province, whichever comes first! I'll begin with books I've read starting in 2011.

Here we go.................

Addendum: My challenge will be for Canadian authors that are new-to-me, born in each of the provinces!

Deadline: None!

Editado: Ene 15, 2011, 11:31am

Editado: Mar 11, 2019, 8:48am


British Columbia:
1. Itsuka - Joy Kogawa - Naomi's Aunt Emily leads the charge to seek redress from the Canadian government following their persecution during and After World War II. The author was born in 1935 in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Editado: Jun 10, 2018, 12:04am

New Brunswick:
1. Losing Eddie - Deborah Joy Corey - A 9-year-old girl narrates the story of a year in the life of her dysfunctional family. The author was born 1958 in Temperance Vale, New Brunswick.

Newfoundland & Labrador:
1. Every Little Thing - Chad Pelley - As a consequence of multiple small things that went wrong in a young man's life, he ended up with a short prison term. The author is from St. John's, Newfoundland.

Northwest Territories:

Editado: Jun 10, 2018, 12:03am

Nova Scotia:


1. Fugitive Pieces - Anne Michaels - A war orphan is saved and raised by a Greek man. The author was born in 1958 in Toronto, Ontario.
2. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood - A woman lives in a misogynistic dystopia where most women are used as a vessel for having babies and are treated as subservient beings. The author was born in Ottowa, Ontario, Canada.

Editado: Mar 18, 2011, 10:18pm

Prince Edward Island:


Editado: Ene 15, 2011, 11:00am



Ene 15, 2011, 11:02am

Welcome to the challenge! Good approach to it!

Ene 15, 2011, 11:15am

Thanks, Lori!

I'm doing it this way because I feel I'd have a better chance to complete this challenge. I'm really looking forward to seeking out Canadian authors. It's easier to determine nationality by birth because that's usually not up for debate.

I never thought much about Canadian authors, but I do like to read world fiction. Why my reading often omitted Canada, I have no idea. I'm happy to give this challenge a try, though!

It was actually LibraryThing that made me aware of how little I knew of works by Canadian authors. I hope to remedy that deficit fairly soon.

Ene 15, 2011, 12:12pm

Wohoo so great to see you here Squeakychu!! I really look forward to seeing your reading choices :)

Ene 15, 2011, 12:14pm

Hi, Janice!

Just how active is this group? Some of the threads seem to be "asleep". :)

Ene 15, 2011, 12:31pm

Welcome SqueakyChu! I think people are just settling into the new year.. there are threads here that are quite active. :) In setting up my 11 in 11 challenge I have become a bit behind here, but will be starting a new book for this challenge next week :)

Ene 15, 2011, 1:06pm

I'll be looking for more Canadian authors now. I think this will turn out to be fun...and a real challenge for me as I've always been more interested in translated world fiction.

Ene 15, 2011, 1:33pm

Activity kind of comes and goes. I went through a period last year when I couldn't seem to find any Canadian books that fit my 1010 categories. I neglected the thread. I've gotten off to a better start this year, knocking off 2 provinces in January. I've got books for one or two other provinces on hand so I should be able to get to those after reading a few other commitments.

Ene 15, 2011, 2:01pm

Welcome, Madeline!

Ene 15, 2011, 2:14pm

Thanks, Joyce.

If any of you here hit an especially noteworthy Canadian read, please stop by this thread and post your recommendation. I'm wide open, but try to avoid posting the names of too well-known Canadian authors (e.g. Munro, Atwood, etc.) . Those are authors I'd discover anyway.

Ene 15, 2011, 2:16pm

The book I noted above, Losing Eddie by Deborah Joy Corey, was a random discovery. I found that book at The Book Thing of Baltimore, and the book looked interesting. It really was!

If you see this book anywhere, take it. This was the author's debut novel and a good one at that. I'd be up for reading another book by this same author any time.

Editado: Ene 15, 2011, 2:33pm

I completed this challenge in a little over a year by reading one book per month. I enjoyed it so much that I included a Canadian category in my 11 in 11 challenge. I was familiar with very few Canadian authors when I started this challenge. It gave me the feeling of exploring new territory. Some of my favorite discoveries for the challenge:

The Danger Tree by David Macfarlane (Newfoundland)
I Am Hutterite by Mary-Ann Kirkby (Manitoba)
Who Has Seen the Wind by W.O. Mitchell (Saskatchewan)
Mrs. Mike by Benedict Freedman and Nancy Freedman (Alberta)

I'm still following the threads and noting more Canadian books I want to read, so I'll look forward to seeing your choices!

Ene 15, 2011, 3:18pm

I just added an addendum to my challenge to make the authors of the books I'll be reading as new-to-me authors. That should make this challenge even more fun. Thanks for your recommendations.

Ene 17, 2011, 8:04am

oh, this will be fun to follow! I don't know how many Canadian authors you've already read and how obscure they need to be before they are likely to be new to you, but one place you might find really good recommendations on librarything in is the CBC Canada Reads group: http://www.librarything.com/groups/cbcscanadareadsfans. If you're interested in any of this year's finalist's, it's a good time to read them. The debates will be airing February 7,8, and 9.

Ene 17, 2011, 9:02am

Actually, I prefer to discover Canadiana authors by chance. In that way, I often get to find ones that are new to all of us.

Thanks for the link, though, because I think that's such a nice program. I do like to see which authors are on the list of those already chosen.

Dic 22, 2011, 3:51pm

Extending this challenge in to 2012...

Feb 12, 2012, 4:10pm

Welcome back! :)

Feb 12, 2012, 4:22pm

Egad! I didn't even remember I was still in this challenge. :(

Feb 12, 2012, 8:34pm

I took a bit of a break, too. It's nice to have a challenge not tied to an annual cycle.

Editado: Ene 24, 2016, 4:38pm

I'm back! I might add at least one more book to this challenge this year (2016). Haha!

ETA: I guess I won't add the book I had in mind after all because the author of The Bird Artist who is Howard Norman wrote this book set in Newfoundland. He had been born in the U.S. *sigh*

Ene 24, 2016, 5:04pm

You could read the book I just finished: Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox. I really enjoyed it and reviewed it on my thread. He was born in Alberta!! ;-)

Jul 15, 2017, 6:42pm

I'm back...after a year and a half. I'll have to plug in some empty slots in this challenge in which I'm already failing miserably. Let's see if I can add more books to this challenge before this year is out. Do note that I had no deadline for this challenge.

My recent trip to visit jessibud2 in Toronto made me feel guilty about abandoning this challenge. I forgot what a lovely country Canada is. It was a true delight to be there. Reading books by Canadian authors should remind me of the fun I had there celebrating Canada Day with LibraryThing friends (torontoc, -Zoe_, radicarian, jessibud2).

Mar 23, 2018, 11:47pm

Ha! I thought I'd check out your thread, as I recognize you as being one of the people currently trying out Litsy (as am I). I peeked in to see if you were Canadian, but it doesn't sound like it! It's nice to see someone who's not Canadian trying out Canadian authors. :-) ...even if you haven't checked in here for a while!

Editado: Mar 24, 2018, 12:02am

>29 LibraryCin: Hi! Glad you found me although this is not my main thread. Stop on over in the 75 Books Group where I maintain my up-to-date thread.

I actually made a trip to Canada this past year and spent a lovely few days with friends in Toronto and in St. Catherine’s. In Toronto, I even went to a LibraryThing meetup. Meeting people I chat with online in real life is terrific fun!

I’m not reading much Canadian literature these days, but maybe I’ll get back into it soon. After all, I’m not doing too well on this challenge! :)

What are your thoughts about Litsy? I didn’t think I’d like it, but I’m finding it entertaining.

Mar 24, 2018, 8:14am

Ack I just wrote a long post and lost it.

I have this thread starred so clearly I have been here before. Glad to see it revived. Maybe I can help a bit with suggestions. Just a little FYI for >1 SqueakyChu: - Canada has 10 provinces and 3 territories.

You might find some good suggestions from this thread over on bookcrossing:


Also, a book I read recently (one of the finalists for this year's Canada Reads, which airs beginning this coming Monday through Thursday) is Mark Sakamoto's Forgiveness. As you know, Madeline, (and no small thanks to you!), this resonated and generated a good discussion over on my thread in the 75ers group. Sakamoto was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta, by the way.

I hope t his thread stays alive. I'd love to follow it. I have quite a *healthy* Canadiana section of books I own and one of my goals this year is to read not only more of the books already in my house but also more Canadian Lit.

Mar 24, 2018, 1:08pm

>30 SqueakyChu: Glad you enjoyed your trip to Ontario! Ah, an LT meetup - what fun! I hope you do get back into reading the Canadian stuff soon. :-) You can check the province/territory threads in this group for suggestions, too, though you are looking for authors from the provinces, so you'd probably have to double check them.

Litsy... I'm not real excited about it, at least not yet. It looks like it belongs on a phone: giant photos, very little text. I'm not crazy about that "look" even though Litsy is made for phones. I don't have a smartphone, even, just a tablet. Many emails are made to look that way now, as well. The people seem super-enthusiastic, but I'm also not a big fan of the Twitter-like conversation style - that is, hashtags and @ to tag someone. I don't know. We'll see. I'm not stopping yet. I've posted three review (also hate the tiny number of characters!), but no pictures, just text.

Mar 24, 2018, 9:43pm

>31 jessibud2: Shelly, you can keep this challenge alive. Start your own thread, post your books onit and invite others to do so. Challenge them to do so!

I have so many backed-up books to read that I don't know when I'll add any to this challenge again. However, have you noticed that this is an ongoing challenge for me? Never mind that I started it six years ago, I have the rest of my life to finish it...and I hope to live to a ripe old age! :)

Forgiveness sounds like a magnificent read.

Mar 24, 2018, 9:50pm

>32 LibraryCin: It was jessibud2 I visited in Toronto! :D I met her for the first time after writing to her for over 10 years via Bookcrossing). She was such a lovelyhostess. Now I hope she'll come to visit me! *waves to jessibud* :)

I think I would hate to use Litsy on a tablet. It's fine for a smart phone, though. It's very easy to scroll through the entries, and, since what people write are small blurbs and reviews, it's fun for short bursts.

Editado: Abr 11, 2018, 10:04pm

Ha! I just now added a book to this challenge. I have to keep this challenge in mind. The book was Itsuka, and it was amazing. Look up my review for it and read the novel! It was so well worth it.

Editado: Abr 11, 2018, 11:03am

I'm actually reading two Canadian authors in a row. I don't think I've ever done that before. I'm now reading Margaret Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale which I've just started. It's scary!!

Abr 11, 2018, 10:01pm

>36 SqueakyChu: Ha! Good for you!

Editado: Abr 11, 2018, 10:04pm

Editado: Mar 10, 2019, 6:40pm

Here's a long message about Canadian authors. It is not exhaustive, but will perhaps introduce new writers to you. I included one American-born Canadian writer because he is especially awesome*.

Some of my best-loved Canadian authors
Adult Fiction
Alice Munro (short stories)
Miriam Toews (rural stories growing up 'Mennonite')
Stephen Leacock (humour, e.g. Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town)
Mordecai Richler (satire on Canadian life; poignant characterizations)
Margaret Laurence (don't miss: The Stone Angel)
Carolyn Arnold (Crime mysteries) Keeps her Cdn birthplace private
Guy Gavriel Kay

Adult Non-fiction

Genre: children & YA
L. M. Montgomery (PEI)
Kathleen Margaret ("Kit") Pearson (born = AB)
Susan Juby (AB)
Susin Nielsen (AB) (my current most fave is No Fixed Address)
*Robert Munsch (one of my faves is the Paper Bag Princess) but born in Pittsburgh! Check out his titles and be sure to read his about page!

Overview list, Canada.
Manitoba. (Do read Intrepid by William Stephenson; it is outstanding non-fiction even if you don't read this type of history)
PEI. The most famous is the Anne of Green Gables series.
SK. Some of my personal fave authors: W. O. Mitchell, Lynne Bowen, Sharon Butala, Guy Gavriel Kay, Max Braithwaite.
Yukon. Famous writers include Pierre Berton and Ken Coates; Robert Service was a popular poet of the day but his work is perhaps too dated now.
Nunavut, many Northern writers born in this territory before it was officially separated from the NWT, so not specifically separated from NWT.

Hope this helps you find some new-to-you literature!

Editado: Mar 10, 2019, 8:12pm

>39 SandyAMcPherson: Thank you so much for all of that information. I’ll refer back to it in hopes of eventually completing this challenge.

Mar 10, 2019, 9:39pm

>39 SandyAMcPherson: "SK. Some of my personal fave authors: ... Max Braithwaite."

Now, that's a name I haven't heard in a long time! My parents had one of his books at home when I was growing up. Not sure if I ever read it though.

Trying to remember the title... Had to look it up Why Shoot the Teacher - catchy title, for sure!

Editado: Mar 11, 2019, 12:26am

>36 SqueakyChu: That was a book I thoroughly disliked. No way I'd ever manage seeing the movie. I had nightmares just reading the story!

In fact the only Atwood I've read and kept is The Edible Woman. I have only a hazy memory of the story now (and mine is a 1973 reprinted paperback). Haven't added it to my LT library yet.

My private 'challenge' is that I have to re-read books if I don't a clear memory of the plot. I have an excel file on my computer with a couple thousand books in it and I'm only adding them to LT if I liked them enough that I'll want to revisit the story. So the greater bulk of my library at home isn't on LT.

I have a hard cover Dance of the Happy Shades I want to read first. Alice Munro is a dear memory to me from the 1970's, when she used to hold these fabulous 'theatre games' at her house. I bet she got lots of writing material from those hilarious evenings. Won't bore you with that story, but I wish I'd asked her to sign my copy of that book, just for sentiment, you know?

Editado: Mar 11, 2019, 8:49am

>142 I thought The Handmaid’s Tale was a creepy, but intriguing story. I read it fairly recentl, at least since we in the USA have to fear for the courts taking away women’s rights under our now oppressive right-wing government. That alone made Atwood’s story notable for me. I tried Oryx and Crake but couldn’t get into it. I read The Cat’s Eye years ago but was not impressed by that book either. I’ll give Atwood another chance, though. :)

I usually start forgetting plots as soon as I finish a book. Maybe that’s a result of my age. However, I started taking notes on most books I read (plot, characters, my thoughts) on my phone and simply transfer this information to private notes in LT when I finish each book. This has been easy enough to do and wonderful for when I want to refer back to each book.

I’ve yet to read something by Alice Monroe other than a a short story.

Mar 11, 2019, 8:50am

I don’t seem to be making much progress on this challenge — five books in eight years!! :O

Editado: Mar 11, 2019, 9:09am

>142 I read the “About” for Robert Munich as you suggested. It left me in tears. I do have a copy of his most famous book, Love You Forever, that I was given by jessibud2 when I was in Toronto in 2017. How sad that it had been written for his two stillborn children.

Mar 11, 2019, 9:32am

Some other Canadian authors you might consider, that I have enjoyed: Wayne Johnston, Timothy Findlay, Robertson Davies, and, a personal favourite for me, Roch Carrier, who has written for both children and adults. These are just a few.

Mar 11, 2019, 9:33am

>45 SqueakyChu: Oh dear! I didn't mean for anyone to be tearful, but I can see what you mean (I went back {>39 SandyAMcPherson:} and re-read the sweetly candid Robert Munsch bio). I still think it is very amusing. But poignant, too.

My second reading ~ with your reaction in mind ~ was enlightening, however: perhaps Bob's humour is his way of coping with disastrous situations (?). I think he surely does have a great connection to children. He knows to a nicety how to play a situation so it is kid-friendly amusement.

This past summer, I read Pigs about a hundred times to my 3 y.o. grandson. We laughed and laughed, every time. The illustrations are terrific, too.

Mar 11, 2019, 11:05am

>47 SandyAMcPherson: Sandy, I was deeply touched by Munch's need to cope with the stresses of mental illness. It can't be easy. I'm glad he was so successful in his final chosen career. I never knew how prolific of an author he is, although I Love You Forever is very well known here in the USA. After reading the "About", I feel I have a deeper understanding of this author. It's really nice to know about an author's background to see what he or she brings into their writing.

I'll have to look for Pigs!

>46 jessibud2: Thanks for the recommendations, Shelley! I treasure the Canadian kids' book you gave us. :) They are in the bookshelf at the head of the bed in which Eli used to nap. Now neither of my grandkids takes an afternoon nap! :D