The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien

Grab your best walking stick, find a supply of lembas bread, brush up on your Elvish dialects, and join me on a journey through Middle-earth with our twenty-sixth reader. After decades of composition and revision, The Lord of the Rings was published in three volumes (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King) between July…

The Mediator Series – Meg Cabot

I met our sixteenth reader on a rare and well-deserved break from her postgraduate studies in law. It was clear from the beginning of our conversation that she was intent on building a strong case in defense of the oft slandered genre of young adult fiction. Her initiation into YA is attributed to late-night readings…

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…

The Harry Potter Series

It’s easy to become nostalgic about the years before the Harry Potter series was adapted to film, before the theme parks were created, or before the associated merchandise generated more excitement than pages of text. In my memory the books were always enough. Each novel provided access to a magical world within our own where…