Book Review: Bumble-Ardy by Maurice Sendak

Bumble Ardy is the somewhat confusing tale of a pig who turns nine and incurs the wrath of his guardian aunt by inviting circus performers to his first ever birthday party. Never mind that, in pig years, nine is well past maturity, and that the character’s name appears to have been chosen simply so the author has something to rhyme with the word party. The story itself simply doesn’t make much sense. Sendak is minimalistic at the best of times, but there’s a difference between sparse and lacking – the reader is never quite sure what is going on.

Book Review: 1982 by Jian Ghomeshi

Better known as the host of CBC radio’s cultural-affairs talk show Q and former member of ‘90s folk-rock band Moxy Früvous, Ghomeshi focuses his debut book, a memoir, around his formative fourteenth year. In 1982, the first-time author describes in fresh and exacting terms his attempt to fit in in the deeply conservative (and mostly white) Toronto suburb of Thornhill as a UK-born teenager of Iranian descent.

He’s not a Hobbit, but it’s quite a journey

I told myself that once post-grad I would commit myself to reading all of the classics, theory, and textbooks that I faked understanding over...

Book Review: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

This is a massive and partially-satisfying novel. With his growing popularity, Murakami has become (like JK Rowling) a little insufferable in the length and absurdity of his novels, but I still can’t help it – I love the guy.

Book Review: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

To read an author whose talent and imagination leads them through an array of genres is an interesting change from modern authors who stick to the familiar. Patchett is one such example, moving through the tangled Amazon in State of Wonder, to a home for unwed mothers in the 1960s in Patron Saint of Liars; from a father trying to protect his children in Run to a magician’s widow delving into the secrets of her deceased husband in The Magician’s Assistant. And now Bel Canto, a quiet reflection of twisted, lovely, complex, human relationships

Women’s rights, cultural oppression and the writer’s process with Shauna Singh...

On Wednesday, October 10, Shauna Singh Baldwin stood in front of over 60 guests and spoke about her latest book, Selector of Souls.

Humans: Dysconnected fools with tools

The literature of facts can be the scariest literature of all. There are 7.4 billion people on our planet and more than 7.4 billion cell phones. Right now, more people have access to a cellphone than to a toilet

Book Review: The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

The Casual Vacancy isn’t anything special. Though Rowling’s writing technique still maintains that humour, that ease of dialogue and characterisation, the plot lacks a cheerfulness that Harry Potter had. It meanders along in melancholy, never quite brightening up. The characters are good, but Rowling doesn’t have seven books to develop them, and they don’t live up to Harry Potter. It’s the real world now; there’s no magic to bring the text to life.

Book Review: Snapper by Brian Kimberling

Maybe you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but this works in Snapper’s favour: birds surround the title as though it’s a grub they would like nothing more than to dig out of a rotten stump and feed to their squawking young.

Book Review: Salinger: A Biography by Paul Alexander

There are few literary icons as enigmatic and mysterious as the reclusive JD Salinger, author of highly-lauded coming-of-age novel The Catcher in the Rye. There is very little known about Salinger because he rarely granted interviews, and when he did he did not allow video or audio recording; thus, he went into hiding for much of his life. There are no primary sources when it comes to an investigation into the life of JD Salinger, for JD Salinger did not want to talk, and most of the people who knew him still to this day respect his wishes for privacy. Paul Alexander seeks to tear down these high walls of solitude that the hermit author constructed during his time on this earth in order to gain a better understanding of who the man was and what happened to him in his book entitled Salinger: A Biography.