I said I wasn't going to do it--join in anymore reading challenges, that is. But I am such a pushover when it comes to something I seem to already be doing (or want to do), that I'm being tempted by John Mutford's (sixth annual) Canadian Reading Challenge, which I read about via Caroline. I'm beyond tempted, I've sort of signed on, so I'll be reading more Canadian Literature in the coming months (at least I hope so). Mostly I'm hoping this will keep me motivated to read more North American authors in general, which I had been thinking about doing earlier in the spring.
It seems to be a pretty laid back set up. The challenge runs from July to July, so that's a whole year to see how many books I can manage. I won't make any predictions or promises, but as I've already read Ethel Wilson's Swamp Angel (even wrote about it on Canada Day, how fitting is that?), and am now reading her novel Hetty Dorval, I'm off to a good start. I've got an initial list of books/authors that I own, so I have a pool of titles ready to draw from.
The Innocent Traveller by Ethel Wilson -- I requested this one from ILL and just brought it home a couple of days ago
Open Secrets by Alice Munro -- This one is already in progress and who knows I may just read another book or two by her this year
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery -- This was already on my list of books to read this year (which I've not done very well at reading from, so a little nudge here to get back to my original plan)
A Jest of God or The Diviners by Margaret Laurence -- Several years ago I read The Stone Angel and it still sticks in my mind--I think it is one of my all-time favorites. I've been meaning to read more by Laurence. It seems someone suggested an order to read her book in, but now it escapes me. Maybe it doesn't matter? Any suggestions?--as I've been collecting her books
Beyond the Blue by Andrea MacPherson -- I've owned this one for a long time, and I should read it this year in any case. Although it's set in a Scottish mill town around the time of WWI, MacPherson is a Canadian author
The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston -- It must have been in my pre-blogging days that I read this, but it's another story that has stayed with me. I wouldn't mind revisiting it now
The Holding by Merilyn Simonds -- "Lyrical in its depiction of the merciless Canadian landscape, Simonds' deeply emotive psychological drama is a spellbinding, ethereal portrait of women pushed beyond their breaking points."
The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields -- A fictional diary, which would be perfect for my diary project (that I've been very quiet about but am still working on)
A Student of Weather by Elizabeth Hay -- I'm leaning very heavily at the moment towards this one as a starting place
Varieties of Exile by Mavis Gallant (or one of her other story collections)
To Dance at the Palais Royale by Janet McNaughton -- This is a YA novel about a young woman who emigrates from Scotland to Canada to work as a domestic servant
Still Life by Louise Penny -- There are probably loads more Canadian mystery writers worth exploring as well, but I've heard lots of good things about Inspector Gamache, so this is probably a good place to start
I realize I'm already reading Hetty Dorval, but it is a very short novel, so I might have to pick up one of these sooner than later (because with such a handy excuse to start a new book I can't really pass it up). Which to choose? Any other suggestions for good books by Canadian authors I shouldn't miss?