One Hour in Paris by Karyn L. Freedman

Title: One Hour in Paris: a True Story of Rape and Recovery
Author: Karyn L. Freedman

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

One Hour in ParisThis book is one of the 8 that I picked from the Canada Reads 2017 longlist. I didn’t get to finish it before the shortlist came out, and unfortunately it’s not one of the 5 contenders. But I continued reading it anyway.

Freedman was brutally raped as a young student traveling Europe. Of course, the event changed her life in many ways, and she still seems to feel it often even though she has had many years now to work on her recovery. The book starts out with that scene in Paris in 1990, and continues with her experiences of the recovery. The author is a philosopher, and as you might expect, she offers her philosophical views on rape and culture. Continue reading

Nostalgia by M. G. Vassanji

Title: Nostalgia
Author: M. G. Vassanji

My Rating: ♥♥♥

NostalgiaNostalgia was the fifth book I read out of the eight that I have chosen to look at from the CBC Canada Reads 2017 Longlist. It’s interesting sometimes when I look back at the list to see why I picked something. I wrote that I thought it sounded interesting because “It deals with the problems of memory that we might face should we overcome the impediments to immortality.”

Well, the book didn’t really turn out to be about that. The main character, Dr Frank Sina, lives in a world in the future (the specific time was never really defined), where people can choose to abandon their lives and be given a new physical and psychological persona – a process called rejuvenation. It seemed to be something more for the privileged few, and in fact it has cause something of a rift between two distinct sectors of the world population – those who can and those who can’t. Continue reading

Waiting for First Light by Roméo Dallaire

Title: Waiting for First Light
Author: Roméo Dallaire

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Waiting for First LightThis is the fourth book that I have read from the CBC Canada Reads 2017 Longlist, and probably the first one that I can see actually making it into the shortlist. Roméo Dallaire is a retired Canadian Army general, and a former senator. He was in command of a Canadian peacekeeping mission in Rwanda during the genocide in the 90s. This book is about the effect that the horrible, horrible things that happened in Rwanda have had on the rest of his life ever since he came home. Continue reading

Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer

Title: Quantum Night
Author: Robert J. Sawyer

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Quantum NightI picked this book from the Canada Reads 2017 longlist for a couple of reasons. First, I thought I had never read anything by Robert J. Sawyer but I had been meaning to. Well, I found out that I did in fact read something by him, which was the WWW trilogy a few years ago. I remember really enjoying that trilogy, and that’s probably why I had it in my head that I wanted to read more by the same author.

The second reason why I chose this book was for the theme of psychopathy. Well, even though psychopaths and the identification of them was a main theme of the book, this isn’t really the kind of psycho story I would normally go for. Now I know.

But after all, I finished this book with mixed feelings. Continue reading

Knucklehead by Matt Lennox

Title: Knucklehead
Author: Matt Lennox

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

KnuckleheadI’ll admit I was skeptical when I started this book. It’s the second out of my eight picks from the Canada Reads 2017 longlist. The first one I read, Fifteen Dogs, was a bit of a bust in my opinion, and Knucklehead by Matt Lennox didn’t seem to be the kind of book I would normally read.

But once I got into it, Knucklehead started to grow on me. The book tells the story of Ashley Rosco, a small-town meathead kind of guy who works as a bouncer at the local bar and enters body-building competitions in his spare time. He’s in love with his cousin, who also happens to be dating his unsavoury friend Darren. Continue reading

Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis

Title: Fifteen Dogs
Author: André Alexis

My Rating: ♥♥

Fifteen DogsFifteen Dogs is the first book that I have read from my CBC Canada Reads 2017 longlist picks. I chose this book because I enjoyed A Dog’s Purpose, which also involves dogs with  human consciousness, and also because it has previously won a couple of other literary awards.

It’s an interesting idea. In a drunken bet, Apollo and Hermes decide to grant human consciousness to a bunch of dogs to see if they die happy. Apollo thinks that if dogs have human consciousness, they will die even more unhappy than if they went on as normal dogs. If just one of the dogs dies happy, then Hermes will win the bet.

Somehow this story missed the mark for me. Continue reading

My Picks from the Canada Reads 2017 Longlist

On Monday, CBC announced the longlist for Canada Reads 2017. They will announce the shortlist on January 31st, but in the meantime I’m going to check out as many as I can. You can see the full list here.

Since I probably cannot read 15 books in a little over a month, I’ve tried to pare the list down. When they announce the finalists, I will of course try to read any that I skipped. Out of the 15 on the list, I’ve chosen the following eight: Continue reading