Friday, April 28, 2006

UNION STATION by Joe Fiorito

I went to Fiorito's launch of this non-fiction collection of essays about who we are now in Toronto on Tuesday night. Many of the people about whom Fiorito has written were there as well including the Nigerian cab driver whose son Fiorito has the privilege of calling Joseph after a naming ceremony and Enza-the-supermodel Anderson, the drag queen (and occasional mayoral candidate) who finally got the breast implants she desired.

It is a raw look at Toronto. At our kindnesses, cruelties and foibles.

Fans of Fiorito's column must read this book.


I've just re-read this fantastic collection of linked short fiction published first in 1971. It is a progressive book for its time--so progressive that several libraries chose to ban the book because of its explicit depiction of Del's coming of age and growing awareness of her sexuality.

Alice Munro is a must-read author. Dip and then delve into her body of work.

THE QUEEN'S FOOL by Phillipa Gregory

Set in the early English Renaissance during the reigns of "Bloody" Mary and Elizabeth I, this historical novel follows the life of a young Jewish girl who has moved from Spain to England with her bookseller father to escape persecution that led to her mother's death at the stake.

Dressed in the clothes of a young boy, she piques the interest of one of the courtiers who invites her to become the fool in the court of the invalid boy/king. She then befriends Mary and Elizabeth and serves as a spy reporting between their two royal camps.

It is a novel filled with intriguing historical anecdotes and credible characters.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

MARLEY AND ME by John Grogan

For any doglovers, this memoir, that is a New York Times bestseller will affirm your loyalty to your furry four-footed companions. Grogan unabashedly recounts Marley's really bad behaviour, but reminds us that Marley approaches everything with joyful ebullience.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Set in late 80s small town Saskatchewan, this novel reveals Toss Raymond's fierce loyalty to his remaining family (his Aunt Cora and her son Perry) and his emotional exhuberance for other social misfits like himself (including Dewey, the projectionist at the dilapitated movie house.)

Toss has a history of violence and in the recent past his wife Marcie has left him because of rumour and misunderstanding that so easily passes from mouth to gossipping mouth.

Toss is a crusader for truth. And he's willing to face his own demons to find it.

THE PROJECTIONIST is Michael Helm's first novel and it was short-listed for The Giller Prize. His prose is deft, rhythmic and clean. Read this book!