Joe Longpre

Nothing about raising young children is simple or straightforward, especially those small things that should be. School lunches must be void of any and all nuts, screen time must be limited (forty-three-point-five minutes per day, according to recent studies), and junior hockey practice starts alternately at 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM, twice a week. And […]

The post-modern explosion of self-help books kicked off with the success of How to Make Friends and Influence People in 1936. A steady stream of such books followed, offering practical-but-obvious-when-you-think-about-it advice to a population without internet access, perhaps culminating with the business-oriented The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Then came a barrage of feel-good […]

  Rachel Ganz

Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia is a family drama that spans five generations and four countries, gracefully weaving fragmented chapters along a seamless spine of female fortitude. Two families are featured in the novel, both of Latin American descent, their intersections meaningful and so-satisfying-I-need-more-immediately. From Camaguey 1866 to Miami in 2019, we explore the […]

  Ann Fitzhenry

Jack Woodville London has written an engaging book about family and how our personal and familial histories impact who we ultimately become. It is an interesting exploration of how secrets and different interpretations of events based on incomplete knowledge can influence lives, creating domino effects that can ripple through generations. The story centres on two […]

  Ann Fitzhenry

Crude Blessings: The Amazing Life Story of Glenn Patterson, American Oilman is written by Patterson’s Roe. Glenn isn’t famous, though he was successful. He didn’t accomplish great feats of endurance, work towards world peace or discover a groundbreaking scientific phenomenon. What he did do was achieve success as a businessman in the oil sector, moving beyond a […]

  Ann Fitzhenry

The Spirit of the Trail by Carrie Morgridge with Ross Sellers is an account of the 46 day bicycle journey undertaken by Morgridge and her husband John in the summer of 2016. The couple rode their bicycles the length of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) from Banff, Alberta to Antelope Wells, New Mexico, […]

  Ann Fitzhenry

This book is a love letter to Mitzi Libsohn, the author’s mother. It is ostensibly about the love story of her parents and the poetry that sprang from that relationship, but make no mistake, this is about the adoration of Mitzi. Pauli Rose Libsohn writes about her mother’s early life, chronicling challenging family relationships and […]

  Hilary Smith

Jennifer Egan must be a wise soul. I would love to sit down with her and ask for her advice about my own life. She just seems to know so much about the powerlessness of… living. “Emerald City” is a collection of short stories that she published in 1989 (two decades before “A Visit from […]

  Hilary Smith

I loved Jane Austen. And I loved this modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. It perfectly updates the story to capture all of the same themes and it made me squirm, laugh, and seize up in anticipation the same way I did when I first read P&P as a teenager. In Eligible, Jane is nearly […]

  Ann Fitzhenry

Kimberly Adams’ Beginning Color Mixing: Tips and Techniques for Mixing Vibrant Colors and Cohesive Palettes is a fantastic book for new artists wanting to learn more about color in a way that inspires the newbie to dive into vibrant colors with confidence. Adams begins with a discussion of basic materials, then moves on to techniques in a […]

  Ann Fitzhenry

George Thomson’ s Practical Calligraphy is a small book full of big ideas. It introduces the history and uses of calligraphy in straightforward and inspiring ways, from ancient Mesopotamia, through medieval monks to modern wedding invitations. The examples and step-by-step instructions for projects look very accessible, and they are clear. The big problem for me […]

  Hilary Smith

A memoir from a Mormon woman raised in Idaho by fundamentalist parents, who survived a violent childhood and sub-par homeschooling and managed to attain a PhD. Interesting logline, right? I was excited to read about this; it’s obviously a fascinating journey. But Tara Westover is not Jeanette Walls. This story is less an account of […]

  Kelly Bedard

I think most coffee table books are a little stupid, seemingly designed just to occupy uncomfortable company while you’re off, I don’t know, platting the hors d’oeuvres? They clutter up the table and seem to me to be mostly just pictures of gardens or whatever. But the just-released 200+ page effort from Schiffer (available now […]

  Hilary Smith

Since Donna Tartt’s debut, in which she was introduced to the world in an 8-page interview in Vanity Fair, she has amassed a cult of devotees. I am such a devotee. I loved The Secret History and especially loved The Little Friend. (It’s a mystery to me why The Little Friend is not as highly […]

  Laura Anne Harris

For a year I anticipated the release of my friend Andrea Werhun’s memoir Modern Whore, about her experience working as a sex worker in a Toronto escort service. I was excited because I knew my friend as a particularly hilarious performer so I was sure her book would explore a humorous and complex approach to […]

  Kelly Bedard

Stop telling me I can draw. I’ve always been that person who insists that “anyone can sing” if they learn correctly. But, after my latest exercise in attempting to draw, I’m wondering if I’m only saying that because I can sing and I’m projecting my own experience of the world onto others, just like those […]

  Ann Fitzhenry

Perhaps young adult fiction is not my thing. Perhaps I am a little too old, a little too far removed from high school. Whatever the reason, this book, full of clichés about high school groups never resonated with me. Is my memory fading? Or is it that, in the halls of my school, I missed […]

Batman/Elmer Fudd #1 by Tom King, illustrated by Lee Weeks, coloured by Lovern Kindzierski…

Tetris for me will always be the first game I can remember an adult playing. As a kid, one of my earliest friends’ mom loved Tetris; I was astounded that she had her own Gameboy, let alone that she was a monster at Tetris. While it’s a common sight now to see adults gaming, whether […]

  Tom McGee

If you’re looking for an all-ages comic that combines humour, heart, history, and adventure, then look no further: The Time Museum is an absolute delight from start to finish, and while it hits many of the familiar beats of the ‘young hero attends fantastical school/camp/institution’ genre, the characters, style, and concept are so utterly enduring […]

  Tom McGee

*This article contains full spoilers for recent DC Comics – most notably Batman #21 and the recent Superman arc* On paper, what I’m about to pitch is going sound like one of the worst ideas in comics history…but there’s a mad, meta-brilliance to it that might make it out to be one of the best. […]

  Ann Fitzhenry

The Book Club met to discuss The Lake House by Kate Morton. Our feelings as a group can be summed up by Patty’s comment, “I wanted to stay home from work to keep reading”. Now, you may think that this isn’t saying much, but Patty actually likes her job. It’s high praise. The Lake House […]

  Kelly Bedard

Sean Patrick Flanery wrote a novel. Do you know who Sean Patrick Flanery is? Around the turn of the century, he was tied for first place as my favourite Sean Patrick in Hollywood (the other was Sean Patrick Thomas; remember him?). Flanery was the love interest in a ridiculous 1999 romantic comedy called Simply Irresistible. […]

  Ann Fitzhenry

Five women with a shared love of reading fiction came together just over a year ago. Our purpose: to enjoy the camaraderie of discussing books, to encourage the exploration of works we otherwise might not have read, and to have an excuse to get together once every one to two months. This is our story […]

  Beth McNeil

Two half sisters, an ocean and a world away, give birth to two completely different dynasties. Homegoing follows these families through interwoven tales of love, heartbreak, classism, racism and the struggle of identity, giving us snippets of lives that are at once beautiful in their complexity and unflinchingly real. Effia, known as the beauty, marries […]

  Marty Chodorek

Though it may not be quite as contradictory to my Canadian self-identification as my dislike of maple syrup, I’ve never felt particularly drawn or sympathetic to the character of Wolverine. I’ll grant he’s somewhat endearing when portrayed in films by that charming Aussie song-and-dance man – and a less mystifying object of admiration than Deadpool […]