Thursday Night Ramblings: The Giller Prize Shortlist and Other Things

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This has been quite a hectic return back from vacation, full of workshops, meetings and travel, and hardly any time to read… or breathe, for that matter. Flew back home last night and I am happy to be sitting at my home desk but somewhat lacking energy to write.

The Giller Prize short list was announced this week. You can see it here: http://www.scotiabankgillerprize.ca/finalists/2015shortlist/.

I bought my Giller-related selections for 2015 out of the long list and none of the books I bought made the shortlist. So here is what I have to read:

Marina Endicott, Close to Hugh

Alex Hawley, All True Not a Lie in It

Patrick DeWitt, Undermajordomo Minor

I already had a copy of the original French version of Arvida by Samuel Archibald, and the English translation did make the Giller shortlist. I should get to these four books at some point in the next year. And I will mostly likely buy the Giller Prize winner when it is unveiled.

I had to give up reading a book this week, which I hardly ever do and I felt really bad about it. There were no particular reasons why I should not like this book. It was a family saga, set in a country of some interest to me, with quirky characters, and it explored the changing social and political context this family lived in. But I just couldn’t connect with any particular character, did not care about what happened to them and found myself just trying to turn the pages faster to get through the book. I read the first two chapters, the last one, tried for a random start in the middle of the book, but I finally had to give it up. It was The Walnut Mansion by Miljenko Jergovic, written in 2003 and coming out in English translation with Yale University Press towards the end of October. I am sure this book will be of great interest to people with an interest in literature from Eastern Europe.

I am off to the Trois-Rivières International Poetry Festival for the next couple of days, and the weather forecast is decent if a little cool, but that should work out well with rushing around town from one venue to the other.

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