I enjoying trolling through online book reviews, looking for new and interesting books to read, which is a crazy thing to do becaus I have a least 100 books at home to read and access to an an excellent library system. But I love the quest for new books, the desire to stay on top of what is new, the flow of words strung together in a refreshing manner. Here are a few books that will be added to my growing reading list.
Going Ashore by Mavis Gallant – Gallant is an ex-patriot Canadian who moved to Paris in the 1950s to see if she could make a living as a writer – and did she ever. She is regarded as one of the finest short story writers in English (along with Alice Munro who is also Canadian). I’ve read a number of Gallant’s short stories, but I want to read many more. This collection brings together previously uncollected stories from 1951 to 1982. Some of the stories are a little dated, some have held up rather well, but all display Gallant’s marvelous style.
* Also check out this excellent interview with Mavis Gallant. This is a rare treat as Gallant doesn’t often grant interviews and when she does, has been known to cut them short.
The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt – I read Byatt’s Possession a number of years ago and was blown away. It started off slowly, but then hooked me with the powerful language, finely tuned characters and strong plot. The Children’s Book mixes fairy tale themes with dark story lines. I’m looking forward to diving into its 600+ pages.
Oonagh by Mary Tilberg – I’m not normally interested in historical fiction, but this novel sounds interesting. It tells the story of an Irish immigrant woman in 1830s Ontario who falls in love with an escaped slave from Virginia who has sent up his own barber shop. Despite the fact that slavery had been banned by this time in the British colonies (including what is now Canada), society was definitely not ready for mixed race relationships.