Category Archives: Writing Criticism

This category is for book reviews and comments on author readings.

Book review of Essbaum’s Hausfrau: NOT a modern Anna Karenina story

A couple of weeks ago I found two books at my local library using one of my common techniques for choosing books—browsing randomly. These books were in a corner of the library set aside for a summer reading club. This … Continue reading

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Eleanor Wachtel interviews Caribbean poet Derek Walcott: “That resolution into light”

Every Sunday I listen to Eleanor Wachtel interview writers on CBC Radio’s Writers & Company. Last Sunday, when I heard that the guest was a poet, I was mildly disappointed. I don’t read much poetry. I’ve concluded that I can … Continue reading

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How do fiction writers enchant readers?

Enchantment happens when you don’t sacrifice your own voice to the god of marketability. All writers crave an audience, but it’s by writing from your own passion, and expressing yourself skillfully using your voice that you will produce valuable writing: writing … Continue reading

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Why I write unconventional (and unpopular) book reviews

I am driven to write book reviews for my blog though these posts are seldom popular compared to my running posts. Why do I do it? I realize that books are (and always have been) my greatest passion. Running was … Continue reading

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Eleanor Wachtel explores identity, relationships, and writing with Jackie Kay

Yesterday evening I had a near-mystical experience of closeness—the kind of closeness you can have when you are alone, yet deeply connected in some way to others. I was listening to Eleanor Wachtel’s “Writers & Company” on CBC’s radio one. … Continue reading

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My Life in Middlemarch: Rebecca Mead’s tribute to George Eliot moves both heart and intellect

My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead Book review by Nancy Tinari Reading Rebecca Mead’s My Life in Middlemarch gave me a renewed optimism about the endurance of excellent writing and appreciative readers. It reminded me that great writing has … Continue reading

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Deep reading with David Shields

How many of us read novels anymore? How many of us read “difficult” books that force us to stop, think, re-read, argue with the author inside our heads? How many of us can still become obsessed by a book? I … Continue reading

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Happy Endings

Most of us like to make sense of our lives by explaining them in terms of stories. On the last day of the year, we often sum up what has happened during the past year. We are happy to think … Continue reading

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Nancy Huston’s Infrared wins the Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award

Leah McLaren is one of my favourite Globe and Mail columnists. She is currently living in London, England, and in last Saturday’s Globe and Mail she wrote, in her usual barbed witty style, about what it was like to be a … Continue reading

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Fifty reasons not to read Fifty Shades of Grey (and some alternative suggestions)

First things first. This book doesn’t live up to its hype. It’s not very erotic. Also, the domination-submission theme that has been talked about so much is pretty tame, and practically nothing happens in that realm for hundreds of pages. … Continue reading

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