CROSS COUNTRY CHECKUP'S CHRISTMAS BOOK LIST, December 1, 1996

Rex Murphy's suggestions:

"The Third Policeman" by Flann O'Brien (Plume)
"At Swim-Two-Birds" by Flann O'Brien (Plume)
"Boswell's Life of Johnson" ed. by Gill, 6 vol. edition (Oxford, 1934)
"The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages" by Harold Bloom (Harcourt Brace)
"Tango On the Main" by Joe Fiorito (Nuage)
"Independent People" by Halldor Laxness, trans. from Icelandic (Alfred A. Knopf 1946) -won the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1955
"The Iliad", "The Odyssey" by Homer, translated by Christopher Logue (Penguin Classics)
-novels of Anthony Price -spy stories with history
-essays by humourist and New Yorker writer S.J. Perelman
-poetry by Seamus Heaney
"The Castle of Indolence" by Thomas M. Disch (Picador) 1995 (poetry criticism)

  • Eleanor Wachtel's suggestions:

    Host of CBC Radio's "Writers and Company":

    "Regeneration" by Pat Barker (Compass Press) -first of a trilogy about young British soldiers during the First World War
    "The Autobiography of My Mother" by Jamaica Kincaid (Plume) (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
    "An Anthropologist on Mars" by Oliver Sacks (Vintage) -life-affirming stories of success against physiological/neurological odds by the doctor who wrote "Awakenings"
    "The Liars' Club: A Memoire" by Mary Karr (Penguin)
    "The Politics of Memory: Looking For Germany in the New Germany" by Jane Kramer (Random House)
    "Great Books: My Adventures with Homer, Rousseau, Woolf and other Indestructable Writers of the Western World" by David Denby (Simon & Schuster)
    "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien (Penguin), 1991 - fiction about Vietnam
    "In Pharoah's Army: Memories of the Lost War" by Tobias Wolfe (Knopf) 1994 -n on-fiction about Vietnam
    *books by Penelope Fitzgerald, an English writer who writes short intelligent , elegant books: "The Blue Flower" -about a German philosopher; "The Beginning of Spring" -set in Russia at the turn of century; "The Gate of Angels" -about university life (Carroll & Graf)
    "The Last Thing He Wanted" by Joan Didion (Knopf)
    "Two Lives" by William Trevor (Viking/Penguin)
    "The Boarding House" by William Trevor (Viking/Penguin)

  • Cross Country Checkup's Callers' Suggestions

    "The Celestine Prophecy: A Pocket Guide To the Nine Insights" by James Redfield (Warner Books) -new age "Let Me Be the One" by Elizabeth Harvor (HarperCollins) -G-G nominee, fiction, short stories about underdogs
    "Shikasta" found in collection entitled "Canopus in Argos" by Doris Lessing ( Vintage/Random House)
    "James Herriot's Favourite Dog Stories" by James Herriot (St Martin's Press)
    "James Herriot's Cat Stories" by James Herriot (St. Martin's Press)
    "The Great Lakes" by Pierre Berton (Stoddart) -history, politics
    "It's A Bloody War: One Man's Memories of the Canadian Navy 1939-1945" by Hal Lawrence (McClelland & Stewart)
    "The Work of Justice: The Trials of Robert Raymond Cook; The Story of the Last Man Hanged in Alberta" by Jack Pecover (Wolf Willow Press)
    "The Deptford Trilogy" by Robertson Davies (Viking/Penguin)
    "The World According to Garp" by John Irving (Ballantine Books)
    Trilogy: "Regeneration"; "The Eye In The Door"; "The Ghost Road" by Pat Barker (Plume/Penguin)
    "Mr Mani" by A.B. Yehoshua (Doubleday)
    "Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust" by Daniel Goldhagen (Knopf)
    "Absolute Power" by David Baldacci (Warner Books) - fiction about the power of celebrity
    "Shadowmaker: The Life of Gwendolyn MacEwen" by Rosemary Sullivan (HarperCollins)
    "By Heart: Elizabeth Smart, A Life" by Rosemary Sullivan (HarperCollins)
    "Chat" by Nan McCarthy (Peach Pit Press) -1st of a trilogy originally subtitled "A Cybernovel" -about an e-mail relationship
    "The Story of San Michele" by Axel Munthe (Buccaneer Books/Carroll & Graf)
    "Birdsong" by Sebastian Faulks (Random House)
    "Changing Maps: Governing in a World of Rapid Change" ed. by Steven A. Roselle (Carleton University Press) 1995 - about participatory democracy
    "The Flight of the Reindeer: The True Story of Santa Claus and His Christmas Mission" by Robert Sullivan (MacMillan)
    "More Writers and Company" by Eleanor Wachtel (Knopf/Harcourt Brace) - her second book of interviews with contemporary authors
    "False Impressions: The Hunt For Big Time Art Fakes" by Thomas Hoving -a former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art
    "The Matisse Stories" by A.S. Byatt (Vintage)
    "Happenstance" by Carol Shields (Viking/Penguin) -a book with two separate story lines about two related people -- one starting on one side of the book, the other on the flip side.
    "Mike: The Memoires of the Right Hon. Lester B. Pearson" Vol 1 1897 - 1948, Vol 2 1948 - 1957, Vol 3 1957 - 1968 edited by John Munro (U of T Press) (McClelland & Stewart)
    "Third Class Ticket" by Heather Wood (Penguin) 1984 -a rich woman in a village in India dies leaving money for others to travel the country
    "Anna Karenina" by Leo Tolstoy trans. by Rosemary Edmonds (Penguin)
    "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Milan Kundera (HarperCollins)
    "Difficult Loves" by Italo Calvino (Harvest Books/Harcourt Brace)
    "Invisible Cities" by Italo Calvino (Harvest Books/Harcourt Brace)
    "The Quality of Mercy" by Faye Kellerman (Crest/Fawcett) -murder mystery set in Shakespearean England
    "Tuck Everlasting" by Natalie Babbitt (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) -for adolesce nts (10-13) about a family who finds an eternal spring. Rex says it's the same theme as a Alfred Tennyson poem entitled "Tithonus"
    "On Grief and Reason: Essays" by Joseph Brodsky (Farrar/Straus Giroux); "So Forth: Poems" by Joseph Brodsky -selection published posthumously
    "Slash" by Jeannette Armstrong (Orca Book Publishers/ Theytus Books) -children's fiction about being native in Canada
    "Blood Ties" by David Adams Richards (Oberon Press/M&S) -about family ties and tensions in smalltown northern New Brunswick.

  • Governor-General's Award-Winning Authors' suggestions:

    John Ralston Saul (winner non-fiction "Unconscious Civilization"; House of Anansi Press):
    "Self: A Novel" by Yann Martel (Knopf) 1996

    David Homel (winner last year, translation for "Why Must A Black Writer Write About Sex"; Coach House Press):
    "Convict Lover" by Merilyn Simonds (MacFarlane Walter & Ross)

    E.D. (Ted) Blodgett (poetry "Apostrophes: Woman At A Piano" Buschek Books):
    -new biography of Gabrielle Roy by Francois Ricard; "Unconscious Civilization" by John Ralston Saul (House of Anansi Press)

    Merilyn Simonds (nominee non-fiction "Convict Lover"):
    "Santa Evita" by Tomas E. Martinez (Knopf Random House)

    Marie Claire Blais (winner French fiction "Soifs"; Editions du Boreal):
    -books by all GG finalists

    Eric Beddows (winner children's illustration "The Rooster's Gift" by Pam Conrad; Groundwood Books):
    "The Story of Ferdinand" by Munroe Leaf, illust. by Robert Lawson (Viking Children's Books)

    Paul Yee (winner children's text "Ghost Train"; Groundwood Books):
    "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle (Bantam Doubleday Dell 1976)

    Guy Vanderhaeghe (winner English fiction "The Englishman's Boy"; M&S):
    "The Home Team" by Roy MacGregor (Viking/Penguin)

    Sheila Fischman (nominee translation "Ostend" by Francois Gravel (Cormorant):
    "The Cure For Death By Lightning" by Gail Anderson-Dargatz (Houghton Mifflin 1996)

    T.F. Rigelhof (nominee non-fiction "A Blue Boy In A Black Dress"; Oberon):
    " City Unique: Montreal Days and Nights in the 1940's and 50's" by William Weintraub (McClelland & Stewart)

    Donald Winkler (won translation 1994 "The Lyric Generation" by Francois Ricard; Stoddart):
    "Red China Blues" by Jan Wong (Doubleday 1996)

    Gilles Tibo (winner "Noemie, Le Secret de Madame Lumbago" Editions Quebec/Amerique):
    "Le Berger des Chevaux" by Christiane Deschenes

    Linda Gaboriau (winner literary translation "Stone and Ashes" by Daniel Danis ; Coach House Press):
    "Soifs" by Marie-Claire Blais (Editions du Boreal), "American Notebooks: A Writer's Journey" by Marie Claire Blais (Talon Books)



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