A Murder Mystery After My Heart: Blanche on the Lam by Barbara Neely

I am eternally searching for murder mysteries that scratch a very specific itch. I have extremely high standards and a very particular set of criteria for my ideal mystery novel, which are: The mystery must be a satisfying puzzle; there can be none of that nonsense where the author springs a crucial piece of information … Continue reading A Murder Mystery After My Heart: Blanche on the Lam by Barbara Neely

In Which I Talk at Length About Rainbow Rowell’s Simon Snow Trilogy, and Eat Sour Cherry Scones

I've been a fan of Rainbow Rowell for a long time. She is one of my all-time favourite comfort-read authors, and Fangirl has long been my number one pick of her books (I wrote one of my first blog posts about it). However, these days the Simon Snow trilogy has elbowed its way to the … Continue reading In Which I Talk at Length About Rainbow Rowell’s Simon Snow Trilogy, and Eat Sour Cherry Scones

Small Glimpses of a Greater Constellation: Kuessipan by Naomi Fontaine

I’m back with another slight book full of gorgeous moments and understated beauty. These may very well be my favourite types of books. Kuessipan is the debut novel of Innu writer Naomi Fontaine, and it was published in 2011, when she was only twenty-three years old. (The English-language edition, translated by David Homel, was published … Continue reading Small Glimpses of a Greater Constellation: Kuessipan by Naomi Fontaine

Come for the Intrigue, Stay for the Impeccability: The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

In an abandoned royal compound surrounded by haunted birch barrens and a glowing lake, an old peasant woman spins stories. A young cleric listens, and writes records. A magical bird listens, and remembers. The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo is a small and perfectly spare novella. In spite of its brevity, it … Continue reading Come for the Intrigue, Stay for the Impeccability: The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

The Ghost of a Place — The Ward: The Life and Loss of Toronto’s First Immigrant Neighbourhood

Toronto is a city I know well. As a child and teenager growing up a couple of hours west of this metropolis, it was the go-to "big city," the place where you could shop for fancy things, eat special food, go to galleries, museums, concerts, clubs. As an adult, I lived in Toronto for a … Continue reading The Ghost of a Place — The Ward: The Life and Loss of Toronto’s First Immigrant Neighbourhood

“There is always another side, always”: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

On the heels of my Brontë reading extravaganza, I finally picked up Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea and pushed through the sad animal deaths in the beginning chapters. And am I ever glad that I did. The book is a beautiful, complicated wonder. It tells the story of Mr. Rochester's first wife (Bertha Mason in … Continue reading “There is always another side, always”: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Where White Sand Water Meets Water of Aching Blue: Glorious Frazzled Beings by Angélique Lalonde

Some books feel perfect for the time and place. Angélique Lalonde's Glorious Frazzled Beings has been one of those books for me. In the middle of a hard few weeks, when I was overwhelmed and grieving and anxious and in pain, this collection of short stories was exactly what I needed. A quote on the … Continue reading Where White Sand Water Meets Water of Aching Blue: Glorious Frazzled Beings by Angélique Lalonde

Uncannily Peaceful: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

I often dream about water. Floods, rains, storms at sea, currents of water bearing me away. Sometimes I struggle to keep my head above its surface. Occasionally I fly or sail above it. But more often than not, my dreams are watery. Susanna Clarke's long-anticipated second novel, Piranesi, fantastically combines these two elements. It has … Continue reading Uncannily Peaceful: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke