Canadian Library Month

October is Canadian Library Month, which seems as good a time as any to resurrect this blog. In truth, it has been a busy year. From January to April I was working six days a week at two jobs and had no energy to blog. After that, my reading for the Read Maple selection committee got into high gear, and of course I cannot write about what I am reading. Good news, though: the lists of Forest of Reading nominees for 2014 will be announced in just two weeks on October 15. I can’t wait to see which books the other committees have chosen!

Fall is a busy season for book awards and book-related events. The Canadian Children’s Book Centre will hand out their awards in Toronto October 22 and Montreal October 29. The list of nominated titles is available here. On November 4, the Scotiabank Giller Prize will be awarded. The longlist is available here, and the shortlist will be announced October 8. Finally, the International Festival of Authors gets under way this month. I have actually never attended an IFOA event, but now that I live so close the the Harbourfront Centre perhaps this will be the year I finally go. Hey, it would give me something to blog about, right?

Review: Whirl Away

Whirl Away
Russell Wangersky
2012
Thomas Allen Publishers
978-0-88762-936-5

This collection of short stories explores what happens when people feel their lives slipping out of control, such as the elevator inspector with the crumbling marriage or the woman having an affair with her married boss. The characters are often deeply flawed and it’s safe to say there are no happy endings here. I don’t typically read short stories because I find I don’t have enough time to really care about the characters and the endings sometimes feel abrupt and leave me wondering what the point of the story was. As an English major I would have to spend hours writing essays to answer such questions but now that I’ve been out of school for a while I guess I am too lazy. Thankfully, Wangersky’s stories are well-written and just long enough that by the end you feel something for the characters, whether it be sympathy or that they got what they deserved. Whirl Away was short listed for the 2012 Giller Prize.