Bella's Bookshelves

Awards Prize Pack Contest!

Posted by in book-related events

If you guys are following the book world, you’ll know that Thomas Allen’s titles Whirl Away, by Russell Wangersky, Siege 13, by Tamas  Dobozy, and Half-Blood Blues, by Esi Edugyan are all noteworthy works of Canadian literature. Whirl Away is currently short-listed for the Giller Prize. I gave it a great review because it absolutely deserves one. Superb short stories. I really look forward to reading The Glass Harmonica. Wangersky’s been nominated for or won a prize or two for every book he’s published. He’s in St. John’s, NFLD. Siege 13 is…read more


Into that Darkness, by Steven Price: A Review

Posted by in book reviews

It’s not unheard of, but it’s not often you come across a marriage in which both partners are published novelists. Probably even less common is finding them published by the same house. Such is the case, however, with Esi Edugyan and Steven Price, who’s also a critically acclaimed poet. I’ve already reviewed Esi’s Half-Blood Blues, which I enjoyed immensely. And now, having also read Steven’s Into that Darkness, I can say that this family is jam-packed with talent. I can’t help but wonder what their baby daughter might produce in…read more


On the New Generation of CanLit

Posted by in other book stuff

Recently, Finnish journalist Verna Kuutti contacted me to ask a few questions for a story she’s doing on “contemporary Canadian literature and the generational shift that seemed to take place this fall.” Her story will appear in Finland’s largest newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. Verna wrote, “Canadian literature, and especially the more recent writers & works are still quite unknown in Scandinavia, so it would be great if you could help me spreading the word by answering a couple of questions.” Because some of these questions have arisen here in Canada, too, I thought I’d…read more


Esi Edugyan Takes Home 2011 Giller Prize

Posted by in book-related events

The CBC invited me to participate in the Giller chat this evening from 7–10 and it was my pleasure, even more fun than I had anticipated. Discussion was mostly focused and everyone remained cool (I’ve seen some heated awards talks!). The shortlisted books on the menu tonight were: David Bezmozgis’s The Free World Lynn Coady’s The Antagonist Patrick deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers Zsuzsi Gartner’s Better Living Through Plastic Explosives Esi Edugyan’s Half-Blood Blues  Michael Ondaatje’s The Cat’s Table While I have read only two and a half books on the shortlist…read more


LitBits 22

Posted by in LitBits

It’s amazing how fast I’m accumulating these literary tidbits these days. It’s probably an indication I’m spending way too much time not working or being productive but—hell. There are worse ways to procrastinate, I’m certain. Enjoy! 1. Probably I don’t need to tell you that the lovely Julian Barnes won the Man Booker Prize yesterday for his novella The Sense of an Ending. I look forward to this book, as I do all of his, though I’m a bit behind on his releases. Here is the man himself by way…read more


LitBits 21

Posted by in LitBits

The weekday after a long weekend is always extra hard for me, and I imagine it is for others, too. So let’s start off with some amazing news! 1. The Governor General Literary Award nominees were just announced today, and the fiction nominees are: Patrick DeWitt, for The Sisters Brothers, Esi Edugyan, for Half-Blood Blues, David Bezmozgis, for The Free World, Marina Endicott for Little Shadows, and Alexi Zentner, for Touch. This is only the second time ever that two authors have been nominated for all three major Canadian literary…read more


Half-Blood Blues, by Esi Edugyan: A Review

Posted by in book reviews

I love jazz—classic jazz, that is, the old-school stuff of Louis, Ella, Billie, Sarah, Coltrane. One of the very first CDs I bought, when I’d finally got myself a CD player in university, was Miles Davis’s quintessential, cozy Kind of Blue. It’s been one of my favourite albums since; I’ve never tired of it. Back then, I studied to it, I fell asleep to it, I went for walks with it, I very cheesily made out to it. Sometimes I simply lie on the floor listening to it, or read…read more