Hockey, schmockey, gimme a book

11 April 2008

Slowly, we are becoming more familiar with Canadian authors. (And playwrights, but more on that another time.) In my past, without knowing at the time they were Canadian, I read Robert W. Service (a hoot) and W.P. Kinsella (a disappointment). More recently, however, while Katharine has been reading Douglas Coupland and a bit of Alice Munro, I have read oodles (but not yet enough) of Stephen Leacock, four (or is it five?) novels and a play by Robertson Davies, one Margaret Atwood (I know, I know—more later, I promise!) and three books by humourist Will Ferguson.

Recently at the Toronto Library Ferguson gave a short reading from his new novel Spanish Fly and chatted awhile in an interview afterwards. Most entertaining, thank you, Will! Great stories about the publishing industry, travel, creative writing and more. The new book, a story built around a compendium of con artist swindles, sounds like a good read.

I spoke with Mr. Ferguson briefly and thanked him for helping me with a number of Test the Nation questions, since his book Canadian History for Dummies was my main reference source. (Second was an online list of Canadian inventions; we were asked about pablum and the caulking gun.) He signed my copy of How to Be a Canadian (Even if You Already Are One), co-written with his brother Ian. Hooray for friendly celebrities!

On a completely unrelated note but as a favour to my brother, my sister-in-law and puppies, herewith a link to a new site for Greyhound rescue, fostering and adoption. Just because we’re all about kitties at our house doesn’t mean we don’t care, dammit.



  1. Just like to add a few Canadian authors to your ought-to-read list:

    Guy Vanderhague (“The Englishman’s Boy” or “The Last Crossing”)

    Mordecai Richler (“Barney’s Version” or “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz”)

    Stewart McLean (“Vinyl Cafe” series)

  2. Howdy!

    I am a Minnesotan who grew up with hockey, reported on hockey, watched every level of hockey, yet only played broomball. Now I only watch it (hockey) when the playoffs arrive so as to avoid routine rough-housing during the LONG season.
    I am seeking authors to peruse so Ferguson & McLean look like good additions. Atwood has been on my waiting list far too long.

    Stay tried & true, you Canucks you!

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