Margaret Mackey

Margaret Mackey

What is your latest release and what genre is it? One Child Reading: My Auto-Bibliography / nonfiction

Quick description: “The miracle of the preserved word, in whatever medium—print, audio text, video recording, digital exchange—means that it may transfer into new times and new places.” — From the Introduction

Margaret Mackey draws together memory, textual criticism, social analysis, and reading theory in an extraordinary act of self-study. In One Child Reading, she makes a singular contribution to our understanding of reading and literacy development. Seeking a deeper sense of what happens when we read, Mackey revisited the texts she read, viewed, listened to, and wrote as she became literate in the 1950s and 1960s in St. John’s, Newfoundland. This tremendous sweep of reading included school texts, knitting patterns, musical scores, and games, as well as hundreds of books. The result is not a memoir, but rather a deftly theorized exploration of how a reader is constructed. One Child Reading is an essential book for librarians, classroom teachers, those involved in literacy development in both scholarly and practical ways, and all serious readers.

Brief biography:
Margaret Mackey is Professor in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta. She has published widely on the subject of young people’s reading and their multimedia and digital literacies. A voracious reader, she lives in Edmonton.

Links to buy Margaret’s book:
University of Alberta Press
Amazon

Margaret’s promo links:
Website
What are you working on now?
University of Alberta Press

What are you working on now?
At this moment (apart from moving house and closing my office), I’m just getting started on a project that has the potential to be very intriguing. In the fall I will be recruiting some undergraduates to create a digital map for me of a place that was very important to their early literacy. It can be a real-life landscape or a fictional one (acknowledging that some urban children don’t spend much time out of doors). I will invite them to annotate their map with any kind of records they can come up with – written comments, photographs, videos, audio, interactive ways to “travel” around the landscape, and anything else they can think of. I’ll interview them about the map: why they chose this landscape, what makes the annotations meaningful to them, what they remember more broadly about their literate lives at the time this map was meaningful to them. Pilot work has established that this method of approach can bring out expanded memories of an important stage in developing literacy; and while it is a tool to help articulate these memories, it also allows for some very eloquent forms of expression in its own right. I’m excited to get going on the full-stage project. The idea arose from the work I did for One Child Reading; I was very surprised to re-discover how important my own landscape had been to me and I began to wonder if it was the same for other readers. The pilot work suggests that the answer is yes.

Margaret’s reading recommendation:
I am very happy to recommend a wonderful book called Lakeland: Journeys into the Soul of Canada. It’s by Allan Casey and was published in 2009. Casey talks about the huge significance of lakes to many, many Canadian psyches. He begins with his “own” lake in Saskatchewan and visits at least one lake in every province except PEI. Some of these are working lakes, others are cottage country lakes, and some are just wild. I haven’t been to every lake he mentions but I’ve been to a number of them, and I’ve also driven across Canada three times, which certainly gives anyone a strong sense of what a lake-bound country this is. I don’t think you would need this level of experience to enjoy the book, but it would certainly help a reader if they loved at least one lake, wherever it is.

Advertisements

Eileen Bell – update on the third book in a series

Eileen Bell has been featured previously several times on Reading Recommendations, first in Jan. 2014 as part of The Apocalyptic Four, then with news about the first two books in her Marie Jenner Mystery series, here and here. She’s back now to tell us about the third book in this series, just being released.

Stalking the Dead
by E.C. Bell
Published by Tyche Books
Genre: Paranormal Mystery, 3rd in a series

Marie Jenner is going home.

When Marie’s slightly-more-than-boss, James Lavall, decides it is vital that he speak to her mother, face to face, about Marie and all her secrets, she follows him to Fort McMurray.

What Marie doesn’t realize is that her stalkery ex-boyfriend, Arnie Stillwell, has gone home, too. And he’s managed to get himself killed just about the time James rolled into town, making James “a person of interest” in the Stillwell murder investigation.

Marie’s going to have to figure out who really killed Arnie to get James off. She’s also going to have to figure out a safe way to move Arnie’s spirit on to the next plane of existence, because the last thing she needs is for him to go all stalkery on her now that he’s dead.

Murder can really put a kink in a Jenner family reunion.

Stalking the Dead is an entertaining mash up of a thrilling PI novel with a creepy ghost story set in the rough oil town of Fort McMurray. Genre-bending doesn’t get any better than this.”
Wayne Arthurson, Author of the Fall From Grace and other novels in the Leo Desroches crime series.

Where to purchase Eileen’s novel:
Ebook and Print:
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Ebook only:
Kobo
Tyche Books

Bruce Meyer – update on a new anthology

Bruce Meyer has previously been featured on Reading Recommendations promoting his own book of poetry and with a guest post about writing on my main blog. He’s back now with news of an anthology he has edited for Exile Editions that I believe is an important publication.

CLI-FI: Canadian Tales of Climate Change
The Exile Book of Anthology Series: Number Fourteen

Edited by Bruce Meyer
Published by Exile Editions

With the world facing the greatest global crisis of all time – climate change – personal and political indifference has wrought a series of unfolding complications that are altering our planet, and threatening our very existence. Reacting to the warnings sounded by scientists and thinkers, writers are responding imaginatively to the seriousness of changing ocean conditions, the widening disappearance of species, genetically modified organisms, increasing food shortages, mass migrations of refugees, and the hubris behind our provoking Mother Earth herself. These stories of Climate Fiction (Cli-fi) feature perspectives by culturally diverse Canadian writers of short fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and futurist works, and transcend traditional doomsday stories by inspiring us to overcome the bleak forecasted results of our current indifference.

Authors: George McWhirter, Richard Van Camp, Holly Schofield, Linda Rogers, Sean Virgo, Rati Mehrotra, Geoffrey W. Cole, Phil Dwyer, Kate Story, Leslie Goodreid, Nina Munteanu, Halli Villegas, John Oughton, Frank Westcott, Wendy Bone, Peter Timmerman, Lynn Hutchinson Lee, with an afterword by internationally acclaimed writer and filmmaker, Dan Bloom.

Where to purchase Cli-fi
Amazon
Chapters/Indigo
Independent Bookstores

And if you are in Toronto on May 7th, the book will be launched …

CLI-FI: Canadian Tales of Climate Change
Sunday, May 7, at the SUPERMARKET Restaurant & Bar
268 Augusta Avenue (Kennsington Market) 3:00–5:30
Readings start at 3:30
Featuring: Geoffrey W. Cole, Rati Mehrotra, Peter Timmerman, Leslie Goodreid, Halli Villegas,
John Oughton, Nina Munteanu, Lynn Hutchinson-Lee

Michael Kelly – an update on a new anthology

Michael Kelly has been previously featured on Reading Recommendations. He’s back now with news of a new anthology of fiction he has edited and published.

Shadows and Tall Trees
edited by Michael Kelly
Published by Undertow Books
Genre: Anthology of Weird Fiction

The acclaimed literary anthology Shadows & Tall Trees has featured authors short-listed for the Man Booker Award, and World Fantasy Award winners. Several of our stories have been reprinted in “Year’s Best” anthologies and have garnered numerous award nominations. The premiere anthology of weird fiction.

Shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award!

Shortlisted for the Shirley Jackson Award!

Shadows and Tall Trees is a smart, soulful, illuminating investigation of the many forms and tactics available to those writers involved in one of our moment’s most interesting and necessary projects, that of opening up horror literature to every sort of formal interrogation. It is a beautiful and courageous series.”
– Peter Straub

ALL NEW STRANGE TALES FROM:
Brian Evenson, Malcolm Devlin, Rebecca Kuder, V.H. Leslie, Robert Levy, Laura Mauro, Manish Melwani, Alison Moore, Harmony Neal, Rosalie Parker, M. Rickert, Nicholas Royle, Robert Shearman, Christopher Slatsky, Simon Strantzas, Steve Rasnic Tem, Michael Wehunt, Charles Wilkinson, and Conrad Williams

Michael Kelly is the Series Editor for the Year’s Best Weird Fiction. He has been a finalist for the World Fantasy Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the British Fantasy Society Award. His fiction has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including Black Static, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 21 & 24, Supernatural Tales, Postscripts, Weird Fiction Review, and has been collected in Scratching the Surface, and Undertow & Other Laments. He owns and runs Undertow Publications. Undertow Publications is home to two acclaimed series’ of anthologies: Year’s Best Weird Fiction, and Shadows & Tall Trees.

Where to purchase:
Amazon
Undertow Books

Roy Dimond – update on a new novel

Roy Dimond has be featured previously on Reading Recommendations here and here. He’s back now to tell us about a new novel.

I, Bully
by Roy Dimond
Published by Motivational Press

I, Bully addresses the serious issue of cyber bullying. What makes this story unique is that it is told from the perspective of both the bully and the victim.
 The two main characters, the victim, Hannah, and the bully, Eric, learn from each other in ways they could never have imagined.
 Hannah is a typical young girl in grade 8. She’s completely focused on friends and feels her family doesn’t understand. Hannah also feels invisible and her perception is that her older sister gets all the attention. It’s a good, middle-class family, but struggling. 
Eric is also in grade 8, but his family is dysfunctional. Dad drinks and mom is barely keeping it together. Eric is filled with rage and takes it out on everyone.
 Eventually, spirit quests and restorative justice help build relationships that lead to enlightenment and reconciliation.
 Roy Dimond’s exciting new novel I, Bully will empower and touch all who read it.

Where to purchase Roy’s book:
Amazon Canada
Amazon US
Motivational Press

Antony Millen

Antony Millen

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Chain – Young Adult dystopian

Quick description: The year is 2043. Empowered by the anti-encryption program, ICALL, and the world-wide wireless Blanket, the Global Domain reigns over all colocation centres with its Connectivist ideology, enforcing mandatory online activity for every eartizen and disabling attempts to secure privacy. The Domain’s slogans are: “Secrecy Threatens Security” and “Privacy Prevents Prosperity and Peace.”

From his death-bed in New Zealand, Fenton Ouvert commissions his sons, Topia and Lukan, to locate a flash drive containing the files of Jeremy Winterton, files stolen thirty years earlier from international surveillance agencies. A former investigative journalist, Ouvert hid the flash drive at the end of a chain of clue-bearers around the world. Contacted by the resistance movement known as Arachne, Ouvert believes the drive contains original plans for the ICALL program and thus, hope for a free world.

Travelling the globe, the Ouvert boys locate the links, but what will their journey reveal about their father and the effects of the Global Domain’s dominance? And what will their quest mean for the world when they reach the end of the chain?

Brief biography:
Antony Millen lives and writes in New Zealand, but is originally from Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Since 2013, he has published three novels and seen short stories featured in literary journals and competitions. He blogs regularly at antonymillen.com.

Links to buy Antony’s book:
Amazon US
Amazon Canada

Antony’s promo links:
Website/Blog
Facebook
Twitter

What are you working on now?
I’m nearing the end of a draft for my fourth novel. It is also intended for young adults, but will not be as complex as The Chain. A simpler story about friendships, co-dependency, dreams and re-assessing our heroes.

Antony’s reading recommendation:
The North Water by Ian McGuire, longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker prize. A faster-paced Moby Dick in a sort of thrilling historical fiction way.

Sharon Butala – update on a new book

Sharon Butala was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in Oct. 2015. She’s back now to tell us about a new non-fiction book just being released.

Where I Live Now: A Journey through Love and Loss to Healing and Hope
by Sharon Butala
Published by Simon & Schuster Canada
Genre: Memoir

An intimate and uplifting book about finding renewal and hope through grief and loss.

“It was a terrible life; it was an enchanted life; it was a blessed life. And, of course, one day it ended.” — Sharon Butala

In the tradition of Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, Diana Athill’s Somewhere Towards the End, and Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal comes a revelatory new book from one of our beloved writers.

When Sharon Butala’s husband, Peter, died unexpectedly, she found herself with no place to call home. Torn by grief and loss, she fled the ranchlands of southwest Saskatchewan and moved to the city, leaving almost everything behind. A lifetime of possessions was reduced to a few boxes of books, clothes, and keepsakes. But a lifetime of experience went with her, and a limitless well of memory—of personal failures, of a marriage that everybody said would not last but did, of the unbreakable bonds of family.

Reinventing herself in an urban landscape was painful, and facing her new life as a widow tested her very being. Yet out of this hard-won new existence comes an astonishingly frank, compassionate and moving memoir that offers not only solace and hope but inspiration to those who endure profound loss.

Often called one of this country’s true visionaries, Sharon Butala shares her insights into the grieving process and reveals the small triumphs and funny moments that kept her going. Where I Live Now is profound in its understanding of the many homes women must build for themselves in a lifetime.

An Evening with Sharon Butala
Tuesday Apr 11 2017 7:00 pm, Winnipeg, Grant Park in the Atrium
McNally Robinson Booksellers

Where to purchase Sharon’s book:
Simon & Schuster Canada
Amazon Canada
Chapters Indigo
Independent bookstores across Canada
Amazon UK

News from Sharon:
I have been invited to be a keynote speaker at a small conference in Boise, Idaho whose theme is “Wallace Stegner and the Consciousness of Place.” It is hosted by the Idaho Humanities Council, will be held at the Boise State University July 16-21, and is for K-12 teachers. I’m invited because of my connection to Stegner and his family home in Eastend, Saskatchewan, a place about which he wrote Wolf Willow: A History, A Story, and a Memory of the Last Plains Frontier. As I too, have written about that world but from a purely Canadian perspective, we share a lot, but we also diverge because he went back to the United States to live out his long life, and because he was a man, and didn’t see the Western world quite as I do. I am truly looking forward to this adventure, and not least because years ago on a writing trip, I spent a night there and did a reading and thought I’d never seen a place in the US I thought prettier or more green or more peaceful. I have always wanted to see it again. And besides, once you begin to age you start to see that the small adventures are often much richer than the big ones, that tends to just knock you for a loop.

Merilyn Simonds

merilyn-simonds_hi-res Merilyn Simonds

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Gutenberg’s Fingerprint: Paper, Pixels & the Lasting Impression of Books – Narrative nonfiction

Quick description: eReader in one hand, perfect-bound book in the other, author Merilyn Simonds asks herself: What is lost and what is gained as paper turns to pixel?

Gutenberg’s Fingerprint trolls the past, present and evolving future for an answer. Part memoir and part historical exploration, the book follows the production of her collection of flash fiction, The Paradise Project, as both a book-arts edition hand-typeset and hand-printed on Hugh Barclay’s antique press, and as a digital eBook designed by her son Erik. Her assumptions about writing and reading and the nature of creativity and change are toppled as she works alongside these two born-again Gutenbergs, one on either side of the digital divide.

A timely and fascinating exploration of the myths, inventions, and consequences of the current shift in how we read, Gutenberg’s Fingerprint is at its heart, the chronicle of one woman’s lifelong love affair with books.

gutenbergsfingerprint_cov

Brief biography:
Merilyn Simonds is the author of 17 books, including The Convict Lover, a Governor General’s Award finalist; and the novel, The Holding, selected a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her work is published internationally in eight countries. The Founding Artistic Director of Kingston WritersFest, she writes a biweekly books column in the Kingston Whig Standard and teaches creative writing, mentoring emerging writers across the continent. She divides her time between Kingston, Ontario, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Links to buy Merilyn’s book:
Buy this book at your local independent bookseller. Or order from:
Merilyn’s Website
ECW Press
Amazon

Merilyn’s promo links:
Website
Blog: Books Unpacked
Facebook
Twitter

From Quill & Quire: Personal Essay: Merilyn Simonds on digital technology and new immersive literary experiences

What are you working on now?
I have a novel, Refuge, coming out next year with ECW Press. I have just finished the first full draft of another novel, ~then~ , set in Mexico in 1994 in the early days of the Zapatista War and in 2016, shortly after the election of US President Trump.

Merilyn’s reading recommendation:
I am currently reading Mexican women writers. I just finished Here’s to You, Jesusa! by Elena Poniatowska, a brilliant example of “testimonial fiction,” a genre she created and perfected.

Della Dennis

Della Dennis

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Something Unremembered – Historical fiction/contemporary realism/magic realism

Quick description: The narrator of the story is Janine LaFoy, a late 20th-century woman living in Alberta, with roots in French-Canadian Catholic culture. One would hardly think an outlying college town on the prairies would be the place a woman from the 15th century would choose to reveal her story, but when Janine begins to discover the story of Madeleine of Beauvais interpolated in the pages of her beloved books about the history of art and culture, an enigmatic presence begins to form. Mystified by references to Madeleine which seem to appear in her books only to disappear again, and unhappy with her own restless ever-aftering, Janine becomes preoccupied with uncovering the secrets of Madeleine’s life.

This book began by imagining how a subjugated history, a story that could not keep peace with being forgotten, bubbles up between the lines of 20th-century Janine LaFoy’s art and cultural history books.

Brief biography:
Della Dennis is a music educator and historian. As a missionary kid in Africa, she grew up in the shadow of a protestant ethic where fiction ranked among the lower orders of creation. As an adult she returned to her birthplace and settled in Edmonton. When her children were safely grown and on their own, she fell from grace and began to write. She wrote and privately published the story and documents relating to her grandmother’s early life and journey (as an 11-year old without her parents) to Canada in 1904. Something Unremembered is her first novel.

Links to buy Della’s book:
Stonehouse Publishing
All Lit Up
Chapters/Indigo
Amazon Canada
Amazon US

Della’s promo links:
Facebook
Goodreads

What are you working on now?
I am just beginning a second novel that takes place at the same time as Something Unremembered and features many of the same characters. In this story, the narrator, Janine, makes different choices. As a result, her interests and challenges and the course of her life turn out quite differently.

Della’s reading recommendation:
I have been reading Charissa’s Shoes by David Gay, a satiric, dystopian novel that is both absurd and prophetic. It is a startling reflection on the potential for cyber terrorism in the modern era. It was written before the Trump era, and mostly takes place in Canada, but some of the ludicrous behaviour of people seeking power could have been taken from today’s news. Next up, for a change of pace, I am looking forward to reading Evelina, an 18th-century novel recently reissued by Edmonton’s Stonehouse Publishing.

Susan Calder

Susan Calder

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Ten Days in Summer, murder mystery

Quick description: While Calgary, Alberta, celebrates its 10-day Stampede festival, insurance adjuster Paula Savard investigates a suspicious building fire that caused the death of a hoarder.

Brief biography:
I am a Calgary writer, who grew up in Montreal. I have published two mystery novels, Deadly Fall (Touchwood Editions) and Ten Days in Summer (Books We Love Ltd.), books 1 & 2 of my series set in Calgary, Alberta. My short stories have won contests and been published in magazines and anthologies. I have taught fiction writing courses and workshops at the Alexandra Writers Centre Society. I’m a member of Crime Writers of Canada and serve on the board of Calgary’s When Words Collide Festival for Readers and Writers. When I’m not occupied with writing, you’ll likely find me travelling or hiking.

Links to buy Susan’s book:
You can purchase Ten Days in Summer online through:
Chapters/Indigo Books
Amazon
In Canada, you can also find the novel at your local bookstore, or place an order for it there.

Susan’s promo links:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Facebook Page Ten Days in Summer
Linkedin

What are you working on now?
Book 3 of the Paula Savard Mystery Series. In the depths of a Calgary winter, Paula investigates a hit and run accident that killed a woman and seriously injured her husband.

Susan’s reading recommendation:
The Bloodline Artifacts: Extraterrestrial Connections by Howie Erickson. I am not a big reader of sci-fi adventure novels, so I was surprised by how much I was drawn into this book. Once I got used to the character and place shifts, I could follow the story easily. I found the characters sympathetic and interesting and loved the varied settings and the historical connection to the first Christian apostles. The story held my interest to the end and left me looking forward to the sequel when it is published. I recommend this book to readers, like me, who enjoyed The Da Vinci Code.

And here’s Susan with “books by two Susans” from July 2012 … Here’s what Susan had to say in her email then: I took the picture at the start of Stampede and was looking for a mix of Island and Calgary Stampede – hence the island shirt and straw cowboy hat, purchased in Mexico. As you had suggested, I included both of our books.

Thanks, Susan!