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Old 03-03-2012, 02:49 PM   #1
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Spotlight on the Commonwealth

Most of the recommendations for books come from the UK-USA axis. I'd like to spotlight here English- language ebooks that come from elsewhere in the Anglo-sphere-Canada, Australasia, Africa, India and the Caribbean. I've a feeling that there is more to Canada than polar bears and snow..

For example, from the area of the English-speaking Caribbean, I can recommend Tobias Bucknell and Nalo Hopkinson in the area of SFF. Any oother recommendations from the "hinterlands" ?
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:30 PM   #2
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As far as Canadians go:

If you like experimental literary fiction, I don't think you can go too wrong with Paul Glennon, whose intertwined short-story conceptual collection The Dodecahedron, or A Frame for Frames was my introduction to the Oulipo movement (probably best known for producing Georges Perec's novel written entirely without using the letter "e"). Disclaimer: I have not yet got around to reading his other books. It doesn't seem to be available as an e-book in English, but the French-language translation can be bought via Kobo (I picked it up just last month).

For multicultural mystery/crime novels, while I haven't gotten around to actually Donald J. Hauka's Jinnah series, I did quite enjoy the CBC film adaptations of them, and they are available via Kobo, at least for Canadians, and I intend to get them at some point.

Don't know if he's available in e-books, but I've read a fairly good historical/literary novel by Rudy Wiebe based on the doomed Franklin expedition with the lost ships Erebus and Terror (which some forum-goers may recall from the sale on Dan Simmons' version thereof).

And while I've only encountered a few of his works, I'd say that the late novelist & playwright Timothy Findley is pretty good, especially his play Elizabeth Rex which is available as a DVD from its CBC performance (out of print).

They may be a bit of an acquired taste, but I've always had a certain fondness for Kristjana Gunnars' stories about the Icelandic-Canadian immigrant experience (will probably be really difficult to find outside of major Canadian metropolises).

ETA: for specific Canadian SF/F author recommendations, mine can be found in the bottom of this post here in a thread where someone asked for Canadian SF/F, among other things.

Last edited by ATDrake; 03-03-2012 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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What about Ireland? Not US/UK, not Commonwealth....
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:41 PM   #4
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What about Ireland? Not US/UK, not Commonwealth....

Good catch. I just naturally think of Ireland as being part of something called " Britain" .

Have any recommendations from Ireland ?
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:18 PM   #5
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I like Canadian Michael Van Rooy, and his hard-edged antihero Montgomery Haaviko. Michael died last year, and so far his last book is only available in Canada and does not have an ebook version.

Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce series has a very English setting, but he is also a Canadian mystery writer.
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:08 PM   #6
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Good catch. I just naturally think of Ireland as being part of something called " Britain" .

Have any recommendations from Ireland ?

I have read several Sebastian Barry novels recently ("A Long, Long Way" and "The Secret Scripture"). They were excellent - both were short-listed for the Booker.

Roddy Doyle's Barrytown trilogy are excellent ("The Committments", "The Snapper", "The Van"). I read "The Dead Republic" recently - the prior novels ("A Star Called Henry","Oh Play That Thing") are now on my TBR list.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:40 AM   #7
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Gordon R Dickson is a Canadian and I really like his Dorsaii series. Jennifer Fallon is an Aussie whose books I really enjoy.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:47 AM   #8
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Great idea for a thread!

My girlfriend and her daughter both swear by Vancouver-based author Kelley Armstrong (vampire/supernatural mysteries/thrillers).
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:22 AM   #9
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The Anglo-Indian writer Salman Rushdie has written some wonderful books. My personal favourite is "Midnight's Children", which won the Booker Prize in 1981.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:48 AM   #10
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Unhappy Eire ? Britain ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stonetools View Post
Good catch. I just naturally think of Ireland as being part of something called " Britain" .

Have any recommendations from Ireland ?

Bejaysus, me ould Aunt's turning..........

But, for a wonderfully evocative chuckle or three, and among said Aunt's favourites...........

Some Experiences of an Irish RM (Longmans, Green & Co., London, 1899)
Further Experiences of an Irish RM (Longmans Green & Co., London, 1908)
In Mr Knox's Country (Longmans Green & Co., London, 1915)

............by Sommerville and Ross (Other writings available) - who could merit a story in themselves ! I know some are on Amazon.

Here's a link to their Wiki ..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Irish_R.M.
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:29 AM   #11
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Cloudstreet by Australian Tim Winton is perhaps my favorite book EVER. Sadly, it's not available as an ebook in the US. Almost none of his books are. Peter Carey is another excellent Australian writer (although I believe he lives in New York now). I am not Australian but I took an Australian Lit class in college that was one of my favorite classes.

Caribbean writer Caryl Phillips' Crossing the River is another great book that is not available as an ebook. 15 Years after reading it, I remember the opening lines: "A desperate foolishness. The crops failed. I sold my children."

All of these are literary fiction, I would say.

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Old 03-04-2012, 09:41 AM   #12
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Cloudstreet by Australian Tim Winton is perhaps my favorite book EVER. Sadly, it's not available as an ebook in the US. Almost none of his books are.
They do seem to be available as Kindle books from Amazon UK. They have 12 of his books available, including "Cloudstreet".
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:10 AM   #13
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"Cloudstreet" is available from Amazon Main, for $13.99, located here:

http://www.amazon.com/Cloudstreet-eb...0873680&sr=8-1




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Old 03-04-2012, 10:16 AM   #14
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Oh, I don't know how I missed it, but that's good news, because it's a great book!

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Old 03-04-2012, 02:22 PM   #15
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Some regional Canadian (Newfoundland and Labrador) books:

John Steffler "The Afterlife of George Cartwright"

Kenneth Harvey - "Blackstrap Hawco"

Wayne Johnston - "The Colony Of Unrequited Dreams", "Baltimore's Mansion: A Memoir", "The Divine Ryans"

Cassie Brown - "Death On The Ice"

David Macfarlane - "The Danger Tree: Memory, War and the Search for a Family's Past" - unfortunately not available as an ebook, but Amazon has it in paperback
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