Mary Poppins – P.L. Travers

On a rainy afternoon our twelfth reader and I took a stroll around a neighbourhood readying itself for Halloween and spoke about Mary Poppins (1934), the first installment in P.L. Travers’ immensely popular series. Our reader fell in love with the story as a child and had plenty to say about its impact on her…

One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) spans multiple generations, tests the boundaries of reality, and commands the hearts and imaginations of its readers. In this interview, our eleventh reader encourages me to dive right into this “larger than life” novel and to not be intimidated by its style or Nobel Prize-winning reputation….

“The Heat Death of the Universe” – Pamela Zoline

Our tenth reader and I sat down on a park bench in the shadow of a private all-boys school to discuss Pamela Zoline’s subversive sci-fi story “The Heat Death of the Universe” (1967). It’s an amazing work of short fiction that deftly portrays a housewife’s nervous breakdown alongside a discussion of physics and cosmology. We…

Oddly Enough – Bruce Coville

I met our ninth reader on a gloomy October evening for a delicious bowl of ramen and a conversation about the short story collection Oddly Enough (1994). Bruce Coville’s fantastical and often spooky narratives enthralled our reader at a young age and strengthened her interest in fiction. We talked about the humour found in the…

City – Clifford D. Simak

Our eighth reader selected the 1952 sci-fi novel City by Clifford D. Simak. The novel’s unusual narrative is guided by philosophizing dogs from the distant future who are in the process of reciting the oral history of humankind. The novel suggests the inherent violence of human nature and challenges the endurance of our species. After…