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January 17, 2019

 

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Globe Books winter preview: 46 books to keep you warm on cold nights
  Globe Books winter preview: 46 books to keep you warm on cold nights
 

Becky Toyne

Made in Canada

This season’s lead Canadian titles stay close to home with stories set in locations across Canada. In Days by Moonlight (Coach House Books, Feb. 19), the fourth instalment in André Alexis’s “quincunx” of novels that includes the Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning Fifteen Dogs, a botanist and a professor embark on a Dantesque journey through Southwestern Ontario. Daniel Goodwin’s second novel, The Art of Being Lewis (Cormorant Books, March 23), tells the story of a Jewish boy from Montreal whose world falls apart in a series of unfortunate events after he moves to Moncton. And Ian Williams – familiar to many as the author of poetry and short stories – heads to Brampton, Ont., for his debut novel, Reproduction (McClelland & Stewart, Jan. 22), a Zadie Smithian love story.

 
Megan Gail Coles can arguably already claim the prize for this year’s best title with Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club (House of Anansi Press, Feb. 12). Highly regarded as an author of stories and drama, Coles is making her debut as a novelist. Billed as “Newfoundland gothic for the 21st Century,” this perfect winter read takes place in February in St. John’s.

 
 
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Author interview
 
Moon of the Crusted Snow author Waubgeshig Rice and the stories that shaped him
  Moon of the Crusted Snow author Waubgeshig Rice and the stories that shaped him
 

Waubgeshig Rice

Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist who splits time between Ontario’s Sudbury and Wasauksing First Nation. When he’s not working at the CBC and hosting the CBC radio show Up North, he is writing. First, there was the short-story collection Midnight Sweatlodge in 2011. He followed that up in 2014 with his first novel, Legacy. His latest is Moon of the Crusted Snow (ECW Press), a thriller set in a snowbound northern Anishinaabe community, where a postapocalyptic reality slowly creeps its way through the band. Here are the books that have most influenced Rice throughout his life.

 
What did you read as a kid?

 
Growing up on the rez at a time when my family and community were really reconnecting with Anishinaabe traditions, spoken storytelling had a bigger influence on my upbringing than books did. Still, books were a big part of my childhood. My parents encouraged reading from a very early age. We didn’t have a television, so I have fond memories of both my mom and dad reading to me and improvising stories at bedtime. Some of the books on the shelf were the classics by Robert Munsch like The Paper Bag Princess, and of course, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.

 
 
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Book reviews
 
Review: Three new books pay homage to the bureaucrats who make modern government tick
  Review: Three new books pay homage to the bureaucrats who make modern government tick
 

Eric Andrew-Gee

These are dark days for technocrats.

 
From Brexit Britain to Trump’s America to Ford’s Ontario, the world is in thrall to a style of politics that treats the functionary as an obstacle – an arrogant “expert” interfering with people power or, worse, an emissary of the “deep state” thwarting the executive’s whim.

 
Republicans and Tories have been attacking bloated bureaucracy for generations, but this isn’t Ronald Reagan’s conservatism: In a growing segment of the modern right, the civil service is treated not only as inefficient, but illegitimate.

 
 
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Don Gillmor tackles the rise in baby boomer suicides – and family tragedy – in To the River: Losing My Brother
  Don Gillmor tackles the rise in baby boomer suicides – and family tragedy – in To the River: Losing My Brother
 

Genesee Keevil

To the River: Losing My Brother

By Don Gillmor

 
Random House, 272 pages, $29.95

 
“When people die from suicide, one of the things they leave behind is suicide itself,” writes novelist, journalist and children’s author Don Gillmor in his most recent book, To the River: Losing My Brother.

 
 
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A new gory thriller from Quebec’s Patrick Senécal – sadly written at a Grade 11 level
  A new gory thriller from Quebec’s Patrick Senécal – sadly written at a Grade 11 level
 

Russell Smith

Title: Seven Days

 
Author: Patrick Senécal

 
Translated by: Howard Scott and Phyllis Aronoff

 
Publisher: Simon and Schuster (trade paper), 286 pages, $22

 
“I am not one of those college professors who coyly boasts of enjoying detective stories,” Vladimir Nabokov once wrote, “they are too badly written for my taste.”

 
Well, Nabokov is very much out of fashion and the college professors he mocked are in. There is much promotion, particularly in this country, of the idea that literary media and prizes and official reading lists are snobbish and exclusive and that genre fiction does not deserve its relegation. More and more fiction writers of the highbrow tradition are turning to murders and fantasies, either to increase their readership or as a nod to the postmodern collapsing of high/low distinctions. And occasionally even prize juries are rewarding entertaining stories over worthy ones. Furthermore, thrillers and slashers outsell meditations on identity. Why not analyze them as rigorously?

 
 
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Books news
 
Five shortlisted Canadian authors vie for the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize
  Five shortlisted Canadian authors vie for the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize
 

Brad Wheeler

 
Full Story
 
The Queen and us: A closer look at her relationship with Canada (plus a couple of Trudeaus)
  The Queen and us: A closer look at her relationship with Canada (plus a couple of Trudeaus)
 

ROBERT HARDMAN

 
Full Story
 
Why Nabokov’s Lolita is still misunderstood
  Why Nabokov’s Lolita is still misunderstood
 

SARAH WEINMAN

 
Full Story
 
A forbidden story makes its way into Iran
  A forbidden story makes its way into Iran
 

Peter O’Brien

 
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In case you missed it
 
The Globe 100: Our favourite books of 2018
  The Globe 100: Our favourite books of 2018
 

STAFF

 
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PODCAST
 
What once was a secret Facebook group has now grown into a multi-platform, online-bartering movement. In this episode, Sascha Mojtahedi, the CEO of popular trading platform Bunz, talks about the future of bartering and Bunz' new cryptocurrency BTZ.
 
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