Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery

“People laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas, you have to use big words to express them, haven’t you?” For over a century, the red-haired heroine of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables (1908), Anne (“with an e”) Shirley, has stolen the hearts of readers across Canada…

Asking for It – Louise O’Neill

Content Warning: Please be advised that this episode features discussions of sexual assault, rape culture, victim blaming, and uses language that some may find triggering. Now is the time for difficult conversations. We need to listen to voices that have long been silenced and challenge those who promote fear among vulnerable populations. This is particularly…

This One Summer – Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

When summer finally arrives in Canada, people walk around cities and towns in a daze. It’s as if we’ve all woken up on another planet and are trying to remember long-forgotten survival skills. Once the shock wears off, people flood onto patios and into parks to pay homage to the sun and to melt the…

The Holy Terrors – Jean Cocteau

Jean Cocteau was a true Jacques-of-all-trades. Throughout his life and career he garnered both critical and popular acclaim as a filmmaker, playwright, designer, author, and poet. His inner circle of friends and collaborators included Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky, Coco Chanel, Eric Satie, and Marlene Dietrich. Cocteau penned Les Enfants Terribles (1929) during a week of…

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…

A Complicated Kindness – Miriam Toews

Our second reader selected the novel A Complicated Kindness (2004) by celebrated Canadian author Miriam Toews. We spoke about teenage reading, the author’s deft treatment of emotional trauma, and the profound empathy found in reading the right book at the right time. Our reader (a very talented writer) also emphasized the importance of reading in…