Saturday, November 04, 2006

Book Loot

I always make a point of buying some Canadian books while I'm 'home' as they're not always easy to come by unless they've won awards or had some recognition outside Canada. So my suitcase(s) are always rather weighed down on the return journey.

First stop, Munro's Books downtown. Such a great space; I love looking through their sale books and often have to use extreme willpower to resist.

Next stop, Chapters. It seems that every time I go there, there are fewer books and more gifty-type things. Very sad. But I did find the 2 Nick Bantock books there for a really great price so I guess I can't complain too much.

And last but not least by any means,
Bolen Books. Ahhh! Lovely big bookstore and the fact that it's independently -owned is a nice plus!

There were so many that I picked up and contemplated but forced to choose because of space and weight constraints, here's what came back with me:

Hitching Rides with Buddha - Will Ferguson (previously published as Hokkaido Highway Blues, the full version has been restored for the Canadian version, "along with the title I always wanted. (That title was nixed by the American publisher on the complaint that it sounded too religious. Sigh.)"

Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) - Ann-Marie MacDonald (her award-winning play because I loved both of her books)

Write Turns: New Directions in Canadian Fiction (so cheap at Munro's I couldn't resist, plus I thought it might be a great introduction to new Canadian writers to watch out for)

Three Views of Crystal Water - Katherine Govier (storyline has a Japanese angle- something that always catches my interest for obvious reasons- and my aunt, who I went browsing with, said she'd read and loved an older book of Govier's so would recommend anything by her sight unseen. Good enough for me!)

The City of Yes - Peter Oliva (another Canadian in Japan memoir-type book, that I'd heard of but couldn't find here)

The Morning Star and Alexandria - Nick Bantock (great price and I already had the previous 4 so just HAD to. Now if I would only actually READ them instead of just flipping through them randomly admiring the artwork)

The Birth House - Ami McKay (does this need an explanation?? I've heard nothing but wonderful things about this book!)

The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield (the only non-Canadian book in the bunch but I decided that I could no longer resist it, especially with this cover)

Plus since getting home, I've also received The Book Thief - Markus Zusak (another one that has had nothing but rave reviews from many a book blogger) and A Year in Japan - Kate T. Williamson (which is full of beautiful illustrations- thanks to Love Made Visible for bringing it to my attention)

I hope to get to some of these soon, but it's always a pleasure knowing they're waiting for me on the shelves!


  1. Great haul, Nat! And, I'm with you -- that cover of "The Thirteenth Tale" has been calling me... I'm dying to get my hands on a copy of the book, solely for the cover-art! LOL

    <>< Mizbooks

  2. Great haul! I'm finding The Thirteenth Tale disappointing, but who could resist that gorgeous cover? I am in the minority, so don't let me put you off. That cover is really stunning. I'll have to look up some of the other authors you listed.

    Oddly, we were just having a conversation about publishers being in control of titles on one of my reading lists, yesterday. I think it's an area where the author usually knows best, but try to tell that to the people who sell the books! :)

  3. I absolutely loved Hokkaido Highway Blues...I'll have to see if I can find this full version! Wonder if it's being sold in the US? Kate T. Williamson's book sounds awesome!

  4. Mizbooks, yup I know what you mean! It's 50% off Amazon Canada! (nudge nudge) ;)

    bookfool, I'm actually quite enjoying it, the gothic mood of it. I really hate it when publishers change titles, don't get me started on the American "translations" like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone!!

    Janet, I've looked at Hokkaido Highway Blues a few times but hadn't gotten around to picking it up yet. Then when I saw this rereleased Canadian version, I just had to get it. It does seem to be available in the US. I wonder how much it's different.

  5. I've been wanting to read the Will Ferguson (sp?) one ever since I saw a review for it in the Globe and Mail...he has such an irreverant sense of humour. I love it!

  6. I'm lusting after the Bantock books especially. Yum!

  7. Very nice stack of books. You did good. I'm reading The Book Thief right and am loving it.

  8. Lotus, yes it should be a fun look at Japan, through his eyes!

    Andi, aka a. estella sassypants,
    mmmm, I know. I saw he also has an illustrated novel out now but it was HEAVY! So unfortunately I abstained. And worse yet, he was doing a signing in Victoria, either the day I left or in the next couple of days! Argh!

    booklogged, there were so many more I wanted but considering I could only have a few I think I did ok. ;)

  9. I haven't heard of most of these books, apart from The Thirteenth Tale, which I started at midnight last night and am loving so far. Those bookstores look beautiful.

  10. Lazy cow, the bookstores were great. I could easily have spent more time in them. :)


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