Book Reviews

'I learned to write by reading the kind of books I wished I'd written.' -Barbara Kingsolver
Reviewing literary and genre fiction for middle grade, young adult, and adult readers--and memoirs. (Please scroll down to the bottom of the page for memoirs)

I only write positive reviews. I only review books I've enjoyed reading. In an attempt to limit screen time, I only review paperbacks.

Are you looking for a book reviewer? Here's a list: 20+ Book Bloggers

2012 (9)

The Sentimentalist by Johanna Skibsrub
Gaspereau Press
Douglas & McIntyre
2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner
(fiction)


Encore Edie by Annabel Lyon
Puffin Canada
an imprint of Penguin Random House
(young adult novel)


Mayne Island Skeletons
 Amber Harvey
Tree with Roots
review copy
(middle-grade novel)


Scammed 
 Ron Chudley
Touchwood Edition
(mystery)


Daughters of the Witching Hill
 Mary Sharratt
Mariner Books
a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
review copy
(historical fiction)

Leaving Now 
Arleen Pare
Caitlin Press
(fiction)


Our Lady of the Lost and Found
 Diane Schoemperlen
Phyllis Bruce Books Perennial
an imprint of Harper Collins
(fiction)


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 
 Jonathan Safran Foer
Mariner Books
a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
(illustrated novel)

The Cat's Table
Michael Ondaatje
Vintage Canada
an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
(literary fiction)



2013 (12)

Inside
Alix Ohlin
Vintage Contemporaries
an imprint of Penguin Random House
shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and
the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
(literary fiction)


Half-Blood Blues
Esi Edugyan
Dundurn Press
won the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2011
shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2011
(historical fiction)


Dr. Brinkley's Tower
Robert Hough
House of Anansi Press
(historical fiction)


Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen
by Mary Sharratt
Mariner Books
a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
(historical fiction)

Death's Last Run
Robin Spano
ECW Press
review copy
(mystery)

Kim Thuy
first published by Libre Expression
then by Vintage Canada
an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
(historical fiction)


419
Will Ferguson
won the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize
Penguin Books Canada
an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
(thriller)


In Calamity's Wake 
Natalee Caple
Harper Collins Canada
review copy
(historical fiction)


Almost Criminal
ER Brown
Dundurn Press
(mystery)


The Historian
Elizabeth Kostova
Little, Brown and Company
(horror)

Insomnia
Stephen King
Viking Press
an imprint of Penguin Random House
(horror)

2014 (13)

Voices
Arnaldur Indridason
Penguin Random House
(mystery)

The Help
Kathryn Stockett
Penguin 
an imprint of Penguin Random House
(historical fiction)

Annabel
Kathleen Winter
A finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
House of Anansi
(fiction)


How Green Was My Valley
Richard Llewellyn
Penguin Classics
an imprint of Penguin Books
(historical fiction)

Open Secret
Deryn Collier
Touchstone
an imprint of Simon & Schuster
(mystery)


Madame Zee
Pearl Luke
HarperCollins Canada
(historical fiction)


The Orenda
Joseph Boyden
Hamish Hamilton
an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
(historical fiction)


Indian Horse

Richard Wagamese
Douglas & McIntyre
(fiction)


The Delusionist
Grant Buday
Anvil Press
(fiction)


The Secret Life of Bees
Sue Monk Kidd
Penguin Books
(woman's fiction)

Bag of Bones
Stephen King
Pocket Books
Simon & Schuster
(horror)

Misery
Stephen King
Viking
an imprint of Penguin Random House
(thriller/horror)


The World According to Garp
John Irving
Vintage Canada
an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
(fiction)



2015 (11)

The Robber Bride
Margaret Atwood
McClelland & Stewart
an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
(fiction)


Cockroach
Rawi Hage
House of Anansi
(fiction)


Caught
Lisa Moore
Grove Press
(fiction)


Pillars of the Earth
Ken Follett
Penguin Random House
(historical fiction)

The Holy Man
Susan Trott
Riverhead Books
a division of Penguin Group
(fiction)

Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn
Crown Publishing Group
a subsidiary of Random House
(thriller)

Sing A Worried Song
William Deverell
ECW Press
(mystery)


When Everything Feels Like the Movies
Raziel Reid 
won the Governor General's Literary Award
Arsenal Pulp Press
(Young Adult fiction)



Every Word
Ellie Marney
Tundra Books
an imprint of Penguin Random House
review copy
(mystery)

Day of the Bees
by Thomas Sanchez
Vintage Contemporaries
an imprint of Penguin Random House
(historical fiction)

Cider House Rules
John Irving
Ballantine Books
an imprint of Penguin Random House
(fiction)


2016 (13)

Food for the Gods
Karen Dudley
Ravenstone
an imprint of Turnstone Press
(historical fantasy)


Never Knowing
Chevy Stevens
St. Martin's Paperbacks
an imprint of St. Martin's Press
(thriller)


The 100-Year-Old Man Who 
Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
Jonas Jonasson 
Harper Perennial
an imprint of HarperCollins
(adventure)

Shimmer
Paula Weston
Tundra Books
an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
review copy
(YA fantasy)

Cat's Eye
Margaret Atwood
Penguin Random House Canada
(fiction)


Doctor Sleep
Stephen King
Scribner
an imprint of Simon & Schuster
(thriller)


Burn
Paula Weston
Tundra Books
an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
review copy
(YA fantasy)

Flowers for Algernon
Daniel Keyes
Bantam
an imprint of Penguin Random House
(fantasy)

Still Alice
Lisa Genova
Pocket Books
an imprint of Simon & Schuster
(fiction)

State of Wonder
Ann Patchett
Harper Perennial
an imprint of HarperCollins
(fiction)

Still Life
Louise Penny
Sphere Publishing
an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
(mystery)


Held
Edeet Ravel
Annick Press
(YA thriller)


2017 (13)

All Fall Down
Jennifer Weiner
Atria Publishing Group
an imprint of Simon & Schuster
(fiction)

Fifteen Dogs
Andre Alexis
Coach House Books
2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner
2015 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize winner
2017 Canada Reads pick
(fiction)


The Wonder
Emma Donoghue
HarperCollins
(historical fiction)


The Lotterys Plus One
Emma Donoghue
HarperCollins
(middle-grade fiction)


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time 
Mark Haddon
Vintage Contemporaries
an imprint of Penguin Random House
(mystery)

Are You Seeing Me?
Darren Groth
Orca Book Publishers
(YA Novel)


13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl
Mona Awad
Penguin Random House Canada
(fiction)


Short
Holly Goldberg Sloan
Penguin Random House
(middle-grade fiction)

Nine Stories
J.D. Salinger
Little, Brown and Company
(short story collection)

The Break
Katherena Vermette
House of Anansi Press
2017 Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Literature winner
Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction winner
(fiction)


Nation
Terry Pratchett
HarperCollins
(Fantasy)

The Only Child
Andrew Pyper
Simon & Schuster Canada
(horror)


Son of a Trickster
Eden Robinson
Knopf Canada
an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
(magical realism)


2018 (10)

The Darkest Part of the Forest
Holly Black
Little, Brown and Company
(fantasy YA)

Wonder
RJ Palacio 
Knopf Books for Young Readers
an imprint of Penguin Random House
(middle-grade novel)

Independent People
Halidor Laxness
Vintage International
an imprint of Penguin Random House
(fiction) (Icelandic classic)

The Perfect Nanny
Leila Slimani
Penguin Books
an imprint of Penguin Random House
(thriller)


We Are All Made of Molecules
Susin Nielsen
Tundra Books
an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
(YA novel)


The Shoe on the Roof
Will Ferguson
Simon & Schuster
(fiction)


Super!
Jennifer Chen
Insomniac Press
review copy
(magical realism middle-grade novel)


The Birth House 
Ami McKay
Vintage Canada
an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
(historical fiction)



Motherhood
Sheila Heti
Vintage Canada
an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
(autofiction)


Sweep:  The Story of a Girl and her Monster 
Jonathan Auxier
Puffin Canada
an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
(historical fiction middle-grade novel)


2019 (18)

Saturday Night Ghost Club
Craig Davidson
Vintage Canada
an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
(literary fiction -- thriller)


Washington Black
Esi Edugyan
HarperCollins Canada
(historical fiction)


A Wake for the Dreamland
Laurel Deedrick-Mayne
Friesen Press
(historical fiction)



Bluebeard's Egg
Margaret Atwood
Anchor Canada
an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
(short story collection)



Something for Everyone
Lisa Moore
House of Anansi Press
(short story collection)


Bellevue Square
Michael Redhill
Anchor Canada
an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
(mystery)


Milkman
Anna Burns
Gray Wolf Press
Faber & Faber
2018 Man Booker Prize winner
(historical fiction)

Fox 8
George Saunders
Illustrated by Chelsea Cardinal
Published by Penguin Random House
(illustrated short novel)


That Time I Loved You
Carrianne Leung
HarperCollins Canada
(linked stories)


An Ocean of Minutes
Thea Lim
Viking
an imprint of Penguin Canada
a division of Penguin Random House Canada
(fiction)


The Quintland Sisters
Shelley Wood
HarperCollins Canada
(historical fiction)


The Princess Dolls
Ellen Schwartz
Illustrated by Mariko Ando
Tradewind Books
(historical fiction)


Bunny:  A Novel
Mona Awad
Penguin Random House Canada
(literary fiction)


The Pearl 
John Steinbeck
Penguin Books
a division of Penguin Random House
(a short novel)

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde
Dover Publications
(horror)

Akin
Emma Donoghue
HarperCollins Canada
(literary fiction)


The End of the Affair
Graham Greene
Penguin Books (US)
(romance)

The Little Paris Bookshop
Nina George
Translated from German by Simon Pare
Broadway Books
an imprint of Crown Publishing Group
a division of Penguin Random House
(romance)

2020 (23)

The Call of the Wild
Jack London
serialized in the summer of 1903 by The Saturday Evening Post later that year the manuscript was purchased by Macmillan Publishers my copy was published in 1964 by The Macmillan Company of Canada. The Macmillan Company of Canada was founded in 1905 and ceased to exist in 2002.
(adventure) 

Empire of Wild 
Cherie Dimaline
Random House Canada
(thriller, fantasy)


Be My Love
Kit Pearson
HarperTrophy Canada
an imprint of HarperCollins Canada
(YA)


The Painted Girls
Cathy Marie Buchanan
Harper Perennial 
an imprint of HarperCollins
(historical fiction)


The Wife
Meg Wolitzer
Scribner
an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Radicalized
Cory Doctorow
A Tor Book
Tom Doherty Associates
(short story collection, science fiction, dystopia)

House of Anansi
(literary fiction)


Shaena Lambert
HarperCollins
(short story collection)


Edith Wharton
Charles Scribner's Sons
(novella)


Reproduction
Ian Williams
Vintage Canada
a division of Penguin Random House Canada
2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner
(literary fiction)


Crow Winter
Karen McBride
HarperAvenue
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
(literary fiction)

Emma Donoghue
Harper Collins
(literary fiction)

Oyinkan Braithwaite
Anchor Books
a division of Penguin Random House
(darkly comic thriller)

Charles Dickens
Wordswoth Edition
(classic adventure)

Nora Roberts
St. Martin's Press
(romance, thriller, fantasy)
Guest Reviewer: Benni Chisholm

Alice Munro
McClelland & Stewart
2004
(short story collection)

Roz Nay
Simon & Schuster
2020
(thriller)

Jenn Ashton
Tidewater Press
2020
(short story collection)

Andrew Pyper
Doubleday Canada
an imprint of Penguin Random House
2011
(horror)

Souvankham Thamnavongsa
McClelland & Stewart
an imprint of Penguin Random House
2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner
(short story collection)

Danielle R Graham
One More Chapter
a division of HarperCollins 
2020
(historical fiction romance)


Richard Hooker
William Morrow
imprint of HarperCollins
1968
(historical fiction)

Julia Nobel
Sourcebooks young readers
2020
(mystery)

2021 

written by Liam O'Donnell
illustrated by Aurelie Grand
Owlkids Books
2020
(first chapter mystery)

Frances Greenslade
Puffin Canada
an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada
Young Readers
2020
(wilderness adventure)

Arvin Ahmadi
Viking
an imprint of Penguin Random House
2020
(YA)

Morgan Murray
Breakwater Books
2020
(fiction)

David A Robertson
Puffin
an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers
2020
(MG)

Helen Humphreys
HarperCollins
2020
(historical fiction (based on true events)) 

What We Aren't Told
Edited by Carol Shields and Marjorie Anderson
Vintage Canada
a division of Random House Canada
2001
(anthology)

Jesse Thistle
Simon & Schuster Canada
2019
(memoir)

Daniel Kalla
Simon & Schuster Canada
2021
(thriller)
Reviewed by Benni Chisholm

Tom Robins
Bantam Books
1991
(postmodernism)

Stephen Hawking
Bantam Books
an imprint of Penguin Random House
2018
(autobiography)
Reviewed by Benni Chisholm

Glen Canning
with Susan McClelland
Goose Lane Edition
2021
(non-fiction)

Douglas Adams
Pan Books
an imprint of Macmillan Publishers
1976
(humour, sci-fi)

Gail Anderson-Dargatz
HarperAvenue
an imprint of Harper Collins
2021
(thriller)

Mary Lawson
Alfred A Knopf
2021
(fiction)

Memoirs

2011
Robyn Michele Levy
Greystone Books

2013
Shirley Hershey Showalter
Herald Press

2016
Craig Davidson
Alfred A Knopf Canada

2018
Laura Fahrenthold
Penguin Random House/Hatherleigh Press

Other memoirs I've read but have yet to review...


Never Have Your Dog Stuffed and other things I've learned 
Alan Alda
Random House
Published in 2006

Lucky Man
Michael J. Fox
Hyperion Books
Published in 2002

Rites of Passage
Lucy B. Lindell
Christian Press
Published in 1998
*Set in Eriksdale, Manitoba--where I was born and raised