Thursday, July 1, 2010

Canadian Authors, Eh?

Happy Canada Day! Even if you're not Canadian, you can join the celebration. Maybe some maple syrup with your pancakes, tortiere for lunch, or a little ice-wine or local brew later on with the fireworks :)

In honour of the day, I'd like to spotlight a few of my favourite Canadian authors.

All-time fave for me has to be Lucy Maud Montgomery. Anne of Green Gables will always be one of my favourite books. I devoured the entire series when I was a pre-teen. And then I read them again. And again. Great characters! Anne is wonderful - fun and flawed. The writing style is different from what sells today - I seem to remember the first sentence being something like 20 lines long - but the story is timeless.

Margaret Atwood is my favourite poet. I read The Circle Game in high school and was literally blown away. It didn't rhyme! It wasn't about heartbreak! It was modern! It made me think! These were huge revelations to me. I'd enjoyed poetry, but Margaret Atwood convinced me it was something to love. She came to my hometown when I was much younger and did a poetry reading. Awesome stuff! She writes great novels too, but it was her poetry that hooked me.

Robert Munsch writes incredible books for kids. Every primary teacher I know has a box filled with Munsch books. Classics! Paper Bag Princess, Thomas' Snowsuit, Mud Puddle and Murmel, Murmel, Murmel are just a few of my favourites.

Farley Mowat is another timeless author. Reading Never Cry Wolf made me aware of the environment and how humanity is messing it up long before it became the popular thing to do. A Whale for a Killing is beautiful and haunting. I can read his works over and over again. His retelling of Dian Fossey's life in Virunga is another masterpiece.

Gordon Korman is a fantastic MG author. His MacDonald Hall series featuring Bruno & Boots is a riot. His newer adventure series are great to entice reluctant readers. It's easy to turn kids onto reading when you have a bunch of Korman's books available. I was lucky enough to hear him speak years back and have a signed copy of Bugs Potter to show for it! :)

Monica Huges is the last one I'll talk about today. She writes terrific science fiction for kids. Her Invitation to the Game is a fabulous read set in the near future. The twist halfway in always shocks the kids and makes them think about what we're doing to our world. She has a number of terrific books for young adults.

I could go on, but I won't :)

So do you have any favourite Canadian authors? Have you read any of mine?

Happy Canada Day, everyone! And Happy 4th of July weekend to my American friends! Party weekends all around! Anyone else celebrating this weekend?

119 comments:

  1. I was an Anne of Green Gables fan too! I should re-read those one of these days.

    Margaret Atwood is on my TBR list, and the rest are unknown to me.

    Happy Canada Day!

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  2. Happy Canada Day to all of my Canadian buddies!!!!!!

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  3. You'll love Atwood - she's lyrical with her words - beautiful stuff.

    Farley Mowat is one I think many people would like. He was way ahead of his time in the way he approaches the earth and the creatures who inhabit it.

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  4. Happy Canada Day. Hope you have a great day and enjoy lots of fun.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  5. Thanks DL! It's going to be a great day - making cookies first - always a good way to start :)

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  6. Anne of Green Gables is such a fabulous book--love those characters. And Invitation to the Game re-introduced me to YA science fiction when I read it with my first 6th grade class of students. It's been downhill (or uphill, depending on your perspective!) ever since.

    Happy Canada Day!

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  7. Mason - thanks! That's exactly the plan :)

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  8. Mary - my grade 6 kids always love Invitation to the Game - it really is a great entry into science fiction and dystopia.

    Thanks!

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  9. You know, I've never read Anne of Green Gables. I may well put it on my holiday reading list... and now that you've mentioned pancakes with maple syrup I'm going to have to make some.

    Have a fabulous Canada Day.

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  10. What a great way to celebrate Canad Day! I love Anne of Green Gables. :)

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  11. Rosalind - you'll love Anne - it's beautifully written. There's a LOT more description than would sell today, but it's magic :)

    Enjoy those pancakes!

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  12. Thanks Aubrie!

    Anne seems to be a universal favourite - which is awesome! I always wondered how far past our borders she reached :)

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  13. Happy Canada Day! I didn't realize that L.M. Montgomery was Canadian. Thanks for the info! I love that book.

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  14. Elizabeth - Thanks so much! :)

    LMM is from PEI - there's a Green Gables house there - it's a huge tourist attraction!

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  15. Happy Canada Day!

    I love Anne of Green Gables. I got a three box set for Christmas one year from an ex-aunt. One of the best Christmas gifts ever!

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  16. Happy Canada Day!

    Love Robert Munsch. Paper Bag Princess is one of my favorite picture books!

    I'm going to the Charles River in Cambridge to watch the July 4th display. Maybe we'll have a bbq first.

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  17. Happy Canada Day, my blogging friend.

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  18. Mary - Thanks!

    I know what you mean - I've still got my original set - so old I couldn't find the image on Google :)

    I read the orignial 3 many, many times!

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  19. Theresa - Paper Bag Princess is awesome! He's got a true gift for telling tales - whether it's as a speaker or an author :)

    Enjoy your 4th!

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  20. Rayna - Thanks so much - it'll be a fun day! :)

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  21. Happy Canada Day!
    And I agree with the scores of others - I loved Anne of Green Gables. I reread it about twice a year. :)

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  22. Bethany - thanks :)

    Anne truly is one of those classics you can reread and enjoy each and every time!

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  23. I loved Anne too. After reading the series at least twice, my school libarian recommended I read L.M. Montgomery's autobiography. I was 12 years old, and hers was the first biography I read. And thanks for reminding me of Farley Mowat. Great reads here!

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  24. Thanks Lynn - I love Anne!

    I read every Mowat book I could get my hands on when I was a teen. He's so passionate and thought-provoking. Great stuff :)

    Happy Canada Day to you!

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  25. Southpaw - thanks so much! It's been fun so far :)

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  26. Happy Canada Jemi! You've mentioned several of my favourites!

    My Grandma and cousins live on PEI, so of course I am a giant fan of Montgomery. I also loved Korman and Monica Hughes!

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  27. Thanks Talli!

    I haven't been to PEI yet, but one day I'm going out to see the house and do all the touristy things!

    Korman and Huges are great! :)

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  28. I already wished it to you last week, but again, "Happy Canada Day!"

    I have had a couple of Margaret Atwood books sitting on my bookshelf for, oh, tweny years or more. I might have finished A Handmaid's Tale, but I don't recall if I did or not.

    I have a few history and non-fiction books about Canada that I read back in the 80s and enjoyed very much. Ran across one of the a couple weeks ago and it brought back fond memories. I grew up reading Franklin Dixon, author of the Hardy Boys series. Otherwise, I am not aware of any other Canadian authors I have read.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  29. Lee - I often don't know the nationality of the author of a book I enjoy. I'm not one to look up facts like that. I just remember the name for my next visit to the book store or library :)

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  30. Can I name my favorite Canadian band, Rush?

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  31. Alex - definitely! Rush is a great band - they have a unique sound :)

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  32. I love Anne of Green Gables! And I had no idea that all these authors were Canadian either. So cool! Happy Canada day!

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  33. I didn't know Margaret Atwood wrote poetry. I'll have to find some.

    Favourite Canadian author, Joelle Anthony, actually American but living in Canada and I think Courtney Summers is Canadian too.

    Have a lovely Canada day!

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  34. Love love love L. M. Montgomery! The Anne series is one of my favorites! I re-read them every couple years. :)

    Happy Canada Day!!!

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  35. Thanks Carol - Anne seems to be a favourite of a lot of authors!

    I don't always know the citizenship of authors either - but these are some of my favourites :)

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  36. Alexa - I think you're right about Courtney Summers, although I'd have to google to be certain. There are so many authors right now.

    Atwood's poetry is edgy and thought provoking - no surprise there!

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  37. Laura - me too. Anne is so easy to reread. Some books I can only do once or twice, but Anne can be read infinite times! :)

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  38. Happy Canada Day!!! And I too loved Anne of Green Gables...seems to be a trend. :-)

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  39. Thanks Kristi! :)

    Anne is definitely a lot more popular in other countries than I suspected. I'm not surprised - her story is universal - that so many people love her!

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  40. Happy Canada Day! And Happy Anne of Green Gables Appreciation Day (I figured the two should be ont he same day). Next to The Secret Garden and the Harry Potter series, those are probably the books I have read the most times. I love them! (And I love her!)

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  41. Cruella - they most certainly should be on the same day - love it!!

    Anne is so great - I wanted to be her friend so badly. I never aspired to be her as that was a pretty far reach for someone as quiet and shy as me - but to have someone who could say out loud things I was thinking... Awesome! :)

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  42. Hi Jemi! Happy Canuck Day! I not only love Anne of GG and Ingleside, and house of dreams and of the island - I was convinced, as a child, that I was her! I was skinny, had red hair, freckles and walked around making things up all the time. Voila!
    I know all of these except the last and we share two authors on our lists...

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  43. Thanks Yvonne! I hope everyone is having a fun and relaxing day :)

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  44. Jan - you were most definitely a kindred spirit - if not Anne herself!

    I don't believe you read science fiction much (if I remember correctly) which is probably why you don't know Monica Hughes. She's terrific.

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  45. Anne!!! I dedicate my Canada Day to Anne of Green Gables and Margaret Atwood.

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  46. Sarah - Great choices! Anne is really the ultimate character, isn't she? And I love Margaret Atwood's stuff :)

    Thanks for dropping by :)

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  47. Happy Canada Day!

    I think I've read the majority, but I I absolutely love, love, love Anne of Green Gables - every single year I go back to Anne (with an "e"). And you're very right about the writing.

    I also like Eric Wilson and Alice Munro :)

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  48. Thanks WN!

    Anne with an 'e' - my daughter's middle name is Anne - and yes it's all about the book... well, actually it sounded great with her first name too :)

    I forgot the Eric Wilson mysteries - and I have at least a dozen in my classroom. Munro is good too! So many talented people :)

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  49. So very cool! You know what's funny is I don't really pay attention to where the author is from. I suppose I should, but there it is. Great books!

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  50. Lisa Gail - I actually don't often check that kind of info out either. Sometimes it just comes up. And we Canadians tend to get very excited when one of our own makes it big :)

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  51. Oh I LOVED all of the Anne (with an E) books! :) And Robert Munsch is a favorite as well. Not sure which other authors that I read might be Canadian.

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  52. Beth - Musch is awesome :)

    And there's something awfully special about Anne!

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  53. What a special way to honour Canada by paying tribute to your favourite Canadian authors.
    Note: In tribute to your special holiday, I've spelled honour and favourite the Canadian way.
    Donna

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  54. Thanks Donna :)

    I very much appreciate the special spellings! We do like our 'u's!! :)

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  55. Happy Canada Day! And great list of books.

    I am getting Anne... for my daughter, ordered from the library right now.

    I am Anne with an "e" and I understand that - When I was first married (24 yrs ago) I filed with the court to have my name changed, and all I did was add an "e" onto Ann. Cost me $15 and now I am complete.

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  56. Anne - your daughter will love Anne!

    I LOVE that you changed it to add an 'e'!! That's totally awesome! :)

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  57. Oh, I loved Anne of Green Gables and the sequels. I read them a long time ago, when I was a teenager. If I had time, I'd read them again. I loved the movie. And I also love Margaret Atwood's poetry. These are the two in your list that I know. The rest sound very interesting. Thanks! And thanks for commenting on my blog.

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  58. Happy Canada Day. I must follow a lot of Canadians, 'cause I'm catching a lot of celebrating going on!

    Woo-woo. Maple Syrup tastes better than firecrackers, for sure.

    Straight From Hel

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  59. Ann - you're very welcome - your blog is a lovely place to visit!

    The Anne series is even more popular than I thought! They are treasures.

    Atwood writes some amazing stuff - she is truly incredible!

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  60. Helen - thanks! And the celebrations are rocking today :) We're off to the fireworks in a little bit!

    We have a local maple syrup company that makes the best I've ever tasted! Great stuff.

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  61. Happy Canada Day!

    I love Anne of Green Gables as well -- I agree that the story is timeless, even if the writing style isn't.

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  62. Sandy - Thanks!

    So many people enjoy the story and the character - LMM sure created a treasure! :)

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  63. Thanks for sharing Jemi, didn't know Montgomery and Atwood were Canadians, but then I thought for years that Evelyn Waugh was a woman.... I'm a bit oblivious to the author, I just pay attention to the story ;)
    Hope you had a good day.

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  64. Cate - lol :) Yeah - I didn't know that one either!

    It's always a bit of a surprise - or shock in some cases - to find out a little more about our favourites!

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  65. I haven't read any of these but I'll add a few of them to my TBR pile because they look good!!!

    Happy Canada Day!

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  66. Jen - thanks!

    They are terrific authors - Farley Mowat has so many important messages to impart - but he wraps them in such wonderful stories. They stay with you for a very long time.

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  67. Ah ... Margaret ... dear, dear Margaret ... excellent choice, Jemi. :)

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  68. Valerie - thanks - I've always been partial to Margaret myself :) She's awesome!

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  69. Love Margaret Atwood! I've never read her poetry but The Edible Woman and The Handmaid's Tale are two of my favorite novels. I also adore Alice Munro and Michael Ondaatje (who I believe is Canadian by choice if not by birth). My husband likes Red Green's books. Doesn't that count? Thought not. :)

    I can't believe I'm a day late for Canada Day. I'm so sorry!

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  70. LOVED Anne of Green Gables when I was little! I can't wait until my daughter wants to read the series- I think I still have them somewhere.

    Happy Canada Day!

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  71. I already commented on this to wish you a Happy Canada Day last night, BUT I also wanted to let you know that there is a little something waiting for you over at my blog this morning :)

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  72. VR - no worries! :)

    I read the Edible Woman in high school and was hooked with Atwood's novels too. She's got such a haunting style.

    My hubby would say Red Green's stuff definitely counts too!

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  73. Stephanie - I pop my daughter a beautiful pop-up book of the Anne of Green Gables story when she was really small. She loved that book - completely wore it out. :)

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  74. Cruella - awww - thanks - you're such a sweetie! I'll pop on over :)

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  75. Hope you had a good holiday, Jemi! And thanks for adding to my TBR list, too. Kind of. ;) Atwood's name keeps popping up and I'm beginning to think it's a sign I need to finally read some of her work.

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  76. Thanks Kimberly - it was lots of fun!

    You'll enjoy Atwood - she's a very talented lady with a lyrical voice and a sharp wit. She always makes me think!

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  77. I don't have favorite Canadian authors as much as I have favorite Canadian actors. Michael J. Fox, John Candy, Martin Short, Keanu Reeves, Dan Akroyd, Rick Moranis, Howiw Mandel, and Captain Kirk among many others come to mind.

    Stephen Tremp

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  78. Stephen - those are some really good actors! There are some terrific singers and bands as well! :)

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  79. I love Anne of Green Gables! My daughter and I discovered her books and have enjoyed them over and over again. I'll have to check out these other authors. Thanks!

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  80. Kathi - Anne really is a great read and a great reread! She's so much fun and inspiration! :)

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  81. I haven't read yours, but my favorite Canadian author is Margaret Atwood. Happy Canada Day!

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  82. Happy Canada Day!!!
    I love the Anne of Green Gables story. I am shocked that I've never read the books!!!
    Watched the movies over and over.
    I must get the books.
    xx

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  83. Medeia Sharif - Thanks!

    Atwood writes some incredible stuff - both prose and poetry. Love her :)

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  84. Michelle - you'll love the books. I've loved the movies too - but the books draw you right in. It's a really special story :)

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  85. Happy Canada Day & 4th!! Have a great holiday weekend!!

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  86. Thanks Kimberly - I hope you have a great holiday weekend as well! Enjoy :)

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  87. Hope your Canada Day is THE BEST. And you've highlighted such super Canadian writers. My faves are Montgomery and Atwood, but I think I'll have to take a look at these others as well.

    Thanks.

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  88. C Lee - Thanks!

    Montgomery & Atwood are really amazing. Farley Mowat is one of my all-time favourites - he's got some truly incredible books.

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  89. Jemi, don't kill me but I have never read Anne of Green Gables. I have heard of it though. I downloaded it to my Kindle and will read it after I finish Artemis Fowl Time Paradox. Great list!!!

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  90. Chary - WHAT????? LOL :)

    I think you'll love it.The writing is definitely old fashioned - but it's also lyrical. I hope you enjoy it! :)

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  91. Interesting post! I realize I never really paid attention to where most authors are from, whether Canada, the US, the UK, etc. (Except for the really famous authors, of course.)

    I caught up on your blog, and your posts are entertaining and thoughtful as always! I like your list of movies. I'm a Star Wars and Serenity fan myself. :)

    Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

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  92. I read INVITATION TO THE GAME. It was super interesting.

    It's cool that you heard two of the writers speak. I love going to readings/signings.

    Happy Canada Day to you, Jemi!

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  93. Jemi! You know what's weird?! I heard your comment on my blog ping in when I was commenting here! Okay, maybe you don't find it as exciting as I do, but I HAD to come back and tell you! :)

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

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  94. Thanks Shelley!

    I don't always know where authors come from either - seems to be a few who stick in my head for some reason.

    I think Serenity is one of my favourite series of all time - Whedon is a genius!

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  95. Dawn - I love coincidences like that! Means we're on the same wave length - I'm glad you dropped by to let me know! :)

    I enjoyed hearing both of them - and it was great to have the signed book too!

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  96. Flyin' by on America's July 4th holiday to say hey. :) Here's hoping you had a great weekend! <3

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  97. Thanks Shannon - same to you - hope your celebrations of the 4th are happy and lots of fun! :)

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  99. I had pancakes over the weekend!!! We can call it a celebration for the Canadians!!!

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  100. Nice post! I like Annie Proulx -- but she's from Newfoundland. That's still Canada though, eh?

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  101. Jen - I like it! I think we can declare you official guest-Canadians :)

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  102. Anne - Thanks!

    And yes, Newfoundland most certainly is Canada! :)

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  103. Happy Canada Day to you! I love Lucy Maud Montgomery and Farley Mowat. I still remember when he got that telegram that spelled his name "Varley Monfat" or something like that. I loved, loved, loved that book growing up. And who doesn't love Anne ofGG?

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  104. Eek, I'm a Canadian, but the only author on your list I've read is Robert Munch.

    One of my new fav Canadian authors (who's also a friend of mine) is J.E Macleod. Her YA novel, Waiting To Score, is great.

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  105. Lydia - thanks :)

    I remember that telegram too - great story - and great story teller! I think the world is a better place because of writers and activists like him.

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  106. Stina - Munsch is a great Canadian to read! Love his stuff!

    I don't know your friend yet - but I've just put her book on my wishlist! :)

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  107. Anne of Green Gables...ahhh!!! How I miss that!! This post is so coincidental to me because my family and I JUST discussed the possibility of taking a vacation to Candana!!

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  108. No; but I don't think I have any favorite childrens authors. I have a hard time remembering that far back, but I think I read mostly bible stories and non fiction growing up (Diary Of Anne Frank).

    However, I'm looking at the cover of INVITATION TO THE GAME and thinking I should get it for my 12 year old and see if it inspires him to read. The fact I think it would interest me too has nothing to do with that decision.

    ........dhole

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  109. I am excited to pick up a few of these authors that I hadn't heard of before. I love Atwood, and of course, the Anne of Green Gables series. But looking forward to Invitation to the Game, and the Gordon Korman books, at your recommendation. Thanks!

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  110. Haven't read those (although Anne of Green Gables sits guiltily on my book shelf).

    I'm usually aware if the writer of the novel I read is Australian ('cause, that's where I am), but admit I don't usually even know where the writers come from (except Stephen King, but everyone knows that).

    Now I'll probably think about it a bit more :-)

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  111. Saumya - Anne is spectacular! I hope you manage to visit our country - I think it's a fabulous place! :)

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  112. Donna - lol :) Invitation to the Game is a terrific book! Many of my students have enjoyed it over the years.

    Some of my favourite books are ones from my childhood.

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  113. Heather - hope you enjoy them as much as I have. They're great authors! So many of my students have enjoyed them over the years! Have fun :)

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  114. Charmaine - the writing style of Anne is very old-fashioned, but it is well worth wading through the page long sentences and semi-colons for the story :)

    And I agree - everyone knows where King is from! Other than that I mostly only know if an author is Canadian or not. :)

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  115. Tara - thanks! We had a great time! :)

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