Cecilturtle's Canadian Adventure

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Cecilturtle's Canadian Adventure

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Editado: Nov 28, 2015, 12:42pm

British Columbia: The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy
Unfaithful Mind by Marion Gibson
Nervous System by Jan Lars Jensen
The Oil Man and the Sea by Arno Kopecky

Alberta: 419 by Will Ferguson

Saskatchewan: Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott
Cool Water by Dianne Warren

Manitoba: La Maudite Québécoise by Janis Locas
Le Soleil du Lac qui se couche by JR Léveillé

Ontario: The Killing Circle by Andrew Pyper
The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood
The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrud
Unless by Carol Shields
The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
Papa, parle-moi anglais comme maman by François-Xavier Simard
All the Broken Things by Kathryn Buitenbrouwer
Fall by Colin McAdam
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

Quebec: The Origin of Species by Nino Ricci
Joshua Then and Now by Mordecai Richler
Le Vieux Chagrin by Jacques Poulin
Sous les vents de Neptune by Fred Vargas
The Last Witness by John Matthews
Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner
A Brutal Telling by Louise Penny
Le passager by Patrick Senécal
The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
Still Life by Louise Penny
Dead Cold by Louise Penny
The Murder Stone by Louise Penny
Les Fausses couches by Steph Rivard
Lovelie D'Haïti by Sylvain Meunier
Six degrés de liberté by Nicolas Dickner

New Brunswick: The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor by Sally Armstrong

Nova Scotia: The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
Extreme Vinyl Cafe by Stuart McLean
The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre
Revenge of the Vinyl Cafe by Stuart McLean

PEI: Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Newfoundland: February by Lisa Moore


Nunavut: Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden
Du bon usage des étoiles by Dominique Fortier
Inside by Alix Ohlin

Northwest Territories: The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King

Yukon: Contemporary Canadian Women's Short Stories edited by Lisa Moore

Editado: Sep 20, 2009, 4:06pm


The Origin of Species by Nino Ricci.

Set in Montreal, it investigates the life of Alex, lost Canadian soul who roams the world to find his purpose. This book gives a great cross section of Montreal's racial and linguistic diversity.

Joshua Then and Now by Mordecai Richler.

Very similar to Ricci's book in its themes (although this one is the precursor), it gives a good overview of Montreal and its history from a Jewish perspective.

Le Vieux Chagrin by Jacques Poulin.

We move to Northern Quebec in this very romantic, subtle tale of a lone man looking for love. It will make you fall in love with the St-Laurent River.

Sous les vents de Neptune by Fred Vargas

She's my all-time favourite French mystery writer. In this book, she takes her characters for a mission in Canada, in the beautiful region of Hull-Gatineau. I loved how even Lake Pink is mentioned!

Editado: Sep 20, 2009, 4:08pm


The Killing Circle by Andrew Pyper.

A grisly thriller set in Toronto. I got chills as I recognized the streets and neighborhoods - could I be the next to meet the boogieman? A fun read that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood

Although Toronto isn't expressly mentioned, it's easy to recognize. As an interviewer, Marian walks through neighbourhoods that seem very familiar. A great look at social expectations in the last years of the 1960's.

Sep 20, 2009, 9:47pm

The Edible Woman is, to this day, my favourite Atwood.

Welcome to the group, Cecilturtle!

Oct 3, 2009, 7:41pm

Okay, I'm still in the same provinces but this is worth a mention.
The Last Witness by British writer John Matthews is in great part set in Montreal. He has a great grasp of the geography (although the French names suffer a bit), but it's sooo cute to see him writing about Anglophiles and Francophiles all the time. Apparently Francophone and Anglophones are not words that made it past the British spell check!

Nov 1, 2009, 7:10pm

After much traveling from Africa, the Southern United States and New York, I am finally in

Nova Scotia

with The Book of Negroes. What a great way to learn about history.

Nov 6, 2009, 9:11pm

Who knew I would stay in Nova Scotia? I have just finished Extreme Vinyl Cafe in which Dave often goes back to his hometown of Big Narrows on Cape Breton.

Nov 7, 2009, 12:02am

Life would be a lot emptier without Dave, I must say!

Nov 7, 2009, 9:11am

I'm embarrassed to say that I've lived in Canada for all of my 42 years and I've not yet experienced the Vinyl Cafe. I've got it on my wishlist now.

Nov 7, 2009, 11:51am

I've never read any Vinyl Cafe either, but I certainly have experienced it on the radio -- Saturday mornings on CBC2. It's hilarious! You really have to give it a listen--the musical guests are often fabulous too.

Editado: Nov 7, 2009, 12:07pm

We have at least three VC books, and listen to it on Saturday mornings on the way to swimming. You can podcast it off the CBC website, too.

Well worth picking up a copy, especially for the times you can only fit in short bursts of reading. Often you can find nice hardcovers at local library used book sales. The best part is, if you've listened to Stuart McLean on CBC, you can truly hear him reading the stories to you as you read them.

I noticed the touchstone isn't loading an obvious author choice - here's a link to his page. http://www.librarything.com/author/mcleanstuart&norefer=1

If you only read one thing by Stuart McLean, it should be Dave Cooks the Turkey.

Nov 7, 2009, 12:23pm

I'm actually listening to the Vinyl Cafe as I type this, and I just wanted to add that he also gets serious . . . so if you turn it on expecting constant hilarity, you'll be somewhat confused. His show is a real mixture.

Nov 7, 2009, 2:04pm

Hey mathgirl40 - you're not the only one - and I'm a year older that you :)
Let's check out Vinyl Cafe together!

Nov 8, 2009, 7:53am

I'm going to have to try the podcast...

Nov 8, 2009, 8:00am

OK, I've definitely got to try Vinyl Cafe, after all these recommendations. I'm doing the 1010 challenge too, so I'll add it to my "Recommendations" list! Dave Cooks the Turkey sounds like it'll be perfect reading for the Christmas holidays.

Nov 8, 2009, 11:03am

I'm so excited you're all going to give VC a try.

RWG,if you like the podcasts, let me know. I can easily put my hands on some of the books for you.

Ene 31, 2010, 1:16pm

I love the Vinyl Cafe! McLean does a Christmas tour every year and I have caught it in Toronto, Hamilton and Kitchener. He has a few musical guests and then reads a couple VC stories. My absolute favourite is Morley and the dead raccoon. The books are great but it's best to hear him read live.

(sorry... a little late to the party but if you haven't tried VC, now is the time) :)

Abr 5, 2010, 7:09pm

I've been gone from Canada for a while, but am back in Saskatoon with Good to a fault.

Abr 5, 2010, 9:14pm

I'd be interested in hearing what you think of Good to a Fault. I enjoyed it but am a bit surprised by how much attention it has gotten. Definitely a worthwhile read, though.

Mayo 16, 2010, 5:54pm

I enjoyed Good to a fault - it was well-constructed albeit far-fetched. I wouldn't consider it a great novel, but it was definitely a heart-warming story that restores faith in humanity.

I'm traveling all over Canada now thanks to Nikolski - the first Canadian Road novel I've read, I think. I love visiting all the little villages in the Plains, Ontario and Quebec. This novel gives a real feel for Canada's great geography and its isolated villages.

Editado: Jul 3, 2010, 5:27pm

I was hoping to get Through Black Spruce into my Nunavut category... but it turns out that Akimiski Island is in Northern Ontario (right at the border!)... nonetheless a fabulous book in Northern Ontario.

Jul 3, 2010, 7:29pm

21, mmm, Wikipedia says that Akimiski Island is in Nunavut. I think all the islands of the Bay James are part of Nunavut, independently of latitude.

Editado: Jul 3, 2010, 8:34pm

!! I'll cheat then! Only a fairly small part of the story is set there... but it is an important part (and I'm unlikely to come across Nunavut anytime soon)! Thanks, paruline!

Ago 7, 2010, 12:51pm

I'm in the Eastern Townships, Quebec, with Louise Penny's A Brutal Telling

Sep 4, 2010, 11:48am

I'm reading The Jade Peony set in 1930-40 Vancouver. It's been in a while since I've been in BC...

Oct 11, 2010, 8:25pm

I'm finishing The Bishop's Man tonight - what an interesting, insightful book - anything that doesn't have cut and dried answers is a hit for me: nothing like food for thought!

Editado: Oct 12, 2010, 6:07am

I really enjoyed The Bishop's Man.Perhaps a tad slow, and a bit depressing but what great insight into the Catholic Church -and I agree - nothing is cut and dried.

I am so delighted to find via your posts that Good to A Fault takes place in Saskatchewan. Great news! I hae not read the book yet, but I do own it. Thanks for that info!

Oct 12, 2010, 12:59pm

Perhaps I am missing seeing it, what province are you reading The Bishop's Man for?

Oct 12, 2010, 8:41pm

Nova Scotia for The Bishop's Man. It left such a strong impression, I wanted to stay in the Maritimes, but on a much lighter note. I've started Anne of Green Gables which I have never read, for my PEI pick.

Editado: Oct 16, 2010, 3:36pm

I just loved Anne of Green Gables and felt like a teen all over again (although I was never that bubbly!). I do believe I shed a tear or two throughout the book...

Nov 1, 2010, 10:27pm

I have just finished Du bon usage des étoiles by Dominique Fortier and just loved it! Although I can't say she made Nunavut sound appealing (sounds cold...), the story is fabulous!

Editado: Feb 2, 2011, 9:04pm

I read Unless by Carol Shields in the fictional town of Orangetown (presumably based on Orangeville) and real town of Toronto. I found it an extremely insightful discussion of women's place, expectations and roles in modern society, one that has me still chewing on the outcome.

Mar 12, 2011, 9:31pm

Cool Water by Dianne Warren definitely reshaped my visions of Saskatchewan: I love the desert and cowboy stories and authenticity of the characters.

Abr 8, 2011, 1:13am

ooo Cool Water is already on my wishlist (Being that it is a Saskatchewan book). I am glad to hear that you liked it so much! How did it 'reshape' your visions of Saskatchewan?

Jun 25, 2011, 5:02pm

#34 - I always saw Saskatchewan as such a "bland" prairie province. Warren talks about its unique geography but adds a lot of whimsicality to it as well - the prairies may be endless but its inhabitants sure are colourful!

I stayed in my home town with Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis. A humourous look at politics and a creative look into how our government works. I had a few good laughs, which is what this book is all about!

Jun 26, 2011, 7:21pm

I just came across Best Laid Plans over the weekend. I didn't pay much attention to Canada Reads this year, so only just noticed that it was named as 'the essential Canadian novel of the decade.' That's quite something to live up to, I might have to order it and have a look!

Jun 26, 2011, 10:04pm

The only circumstances under which that book might be called "essential" would be if you were trapped on the ice fifty miles out of Davis Inlet and needed to start a fire.

Ago 6, 2011, 9:21pm

lmao!!! Ok, you owe me a new keyboard AJ :P

Editado: Nov 3, 2011, 4:45pm

I'm still in Ontario with Papa, parle-moi anglais comme maman by François-Xavier Simard - although there are a few bits in BC and Quebec since it's about the misunderstandings that come from clashing cultures. Simard is himself from Quebec but in the Gatineau region (I enjoyed finding Ottawa again in the book). Unfortunately the theme of linguistic duality is not developed enough and I was disappointed.
I'm also reading The Vinyl Café Notebooks by Stuart McLean - not specifically about one place, although he speaks of growing up in Montreal before moving to Toronto. There're lovely nostalgic notes about everything from seasons to friends and adventures. I'm sure there will be a few cross-Canada tales as well.

Feb 12, 2012, 4:12pm

I do love Stuart McLean's writing style... such a great book to curl up with on a cold day. :)

Ago 6, 2012, 4:21am

I'm just back from a horror trip in Drummondville, Quebec, in Le Passager.

Ene 12, 2013, 5:25pm

I've been neglecting my home country! I went to Calgary, Alberta, recently in 419. I didn't like the story, but it was nice to get a glimpse of the city I grew up in!

Mayo 5, 2013, 4:59pm

I've added The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King to NWT although really, this book could fit in any province or terrority since King traces the plight of Natives throughout North America.

Ago 13, 2013, 6:19pm

I have my first book in Manitoba with La Maudite Québécoise by Janis Locas who talks about the Francophone communities there. A homage to the Francophonie and to diversity in general.

Sep 9, 2013, 8:27pm

I've added a couple of titles: Unfaithful Mind by Marion Gibson for her honest and difficult look at mental illness. She lives in Victoria, BC.
Contemporary Canadian Women's Short Stories edited by Lisa Moore has stories from all over Canada, but a particularly stunning one is The Back of the Bear's Mouth by Alissa York, set in the Yukon.

Nov 5, 2013, 6:21am

Back from the Frazer Valley in Nervous System by Jan Lars Jensen. Like Gibson's book, a frank look at mental illness

Nov 23, 2013, 8:07pm

I have my first book for New Brunswick: The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor by Sally Armstrong about a women settler along the Miramichi River. A great tale based on Taylor's biography.

Dic 22, 2013, 5:36pm

I have my first book for Newfoundland with February by Lisa Moore. I'm finally catching up with my Atlantic provinces!

Editado: Ene 6, 2014, 4:19pm

Loving your thread with so many good reading ideas for the future for me. Thanks. One of my favourite Newfoundland books is about the 1914 sealing disaster. I can snoop for the title if you would like. Just found it. Cassie Brown Death on the Ice: the Great Newfoundland Sealing disaster of 1914. Book club members are still talking about it even though we read it years ago. I gather that it is on the curriculum in the schools for children to learn about their history.

Ene 7, 2014, 12:24pm

mdoris: thanks very much! I wish I'd learned my history through novels instead of dry history books!

Jun 21, 2014, 4:14pm

I just finished a lovely Manitoban novel, Le Soleil du Lac qui se couche which combines Métis and Japanese culture. It's a beautiful poetic love story which shows that blended cultures enrich us all.

Ene 17, 2015, 11:14am

I'm in BC with The Oil Man and the Sea by Arno Kopecky on the Enbridge Northen Gateway through the Great Bear Rainforest.

Feb 21, 2015, 5:00pm

Back from cold Montreal in Lovelie D'Haïti by Sylvain Meunier. The weather in Ottawa didn't make it a long leap of the imagination although the scenes in late 1970's from Haiti were...

Mar 29, 2015, 5:29pm

I was in the National Capital Region with Fall by Colin McAdam, back in the day when kids went to Hull for drinks. The author also mentions Café Wim which definitely made me nostalgic!

Mar 29, 2015, 6:24pm

back in the day when kids went to Hull for drinks.

Kids don't do that anymore? What changed? The one time I visited Ottawa, we considered going over to Hull--I'm not even sure why--and were told the only reason to go there was if you were too young to drink in Ontario. We were in our 40s, so went for a drink in Ottawa instead.

Mar 29, 2015, 7:00pm

#55 - Nickelini: it's Gatineau, now. The name changed when several agglomerations were merged - Hull is a name of the past! I'm sure kids still go drinking, but the bar scene has been significantly cleaned up and it's not quite as seedy as it was back in the 80's and 90's. Not necessarily a bad thing...

Mar 29, 2015, 10:47pm

>56 Cecilturtle: - Huh! I'm sure I heard about that happening, but it just didn't click in my head. Thanks for the explanation.

Mar 29, 2015, 11:39pm

And I thought it was still Ottawa - Hull too! Thanks!

Jul 1, 2015, 4:30pm

I'm back in Big Narrows, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia with Revenge of the Vinyl Cafe by Stuart McLean. Loving the humour and gentle kindness.