Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Canada Day!!

Actually this is in Kananaskis Provincial Park,
but it's right next door to Banff
Yay Canada! Yay picnics in the park and bands playing music by the beach and people wearing red and white, and knowing that there are parades and fireworks going on (even though we don't really enjoy parades or fireworks so we don't go).

Some things I love about Canada:

Anne of Green Gables
Banff National Park
The Group of 7

I know, I know, those are all pretty typical. But they're still great, and I can say I grew up with them; they shaped who I am.

St John's, Newfoundland
The Arrogant Worms
The Trans Canada Highway (which I've driven in its entirety. Twice.)
Newfoundland (where I lived for a wonderful year)
Douglas Coupland
Terry Fox, and the fact that he is pretty much our biggest hero (every elementary kid knows who he is).
We love laughing at ourselves
Our political discourse is boring. Boring is good in politics!
We have really good Thai food (that's what we had tonight). And Italian food and Vietnamese food and Indian food and Russian food and Ethiopian food and  . . .  Let's hear it for multiculturalism!

Anyone else have things they love about Canada to share?

So June passed me by completely (I was in the garden picking strawberries all month)(I swear, it's true! I suffered from "eyes bigger than my stomach" syndrome when I planted two huge beds of strawberries, and I ended up with way more strawberries than I knew what to do with!). But in failing to blog in June I managed to miss the deadline for the Canadian Book Challenge this year, and I was only one book short! The worst thing is that I had actually read the thirteenth book, but was too deep in strawberries to get around to reviewing it. So, one day late, here's my final Canadian book of the year:

Half a Crown, by Jo Walton, is the conclusion to her Small Change trilogy. Set in an alternate history in which Britain made peace with Hitler and is sliding slowly but surely into fascism, the three books are fascinating and horrifying in equal measure. Inspector Carmichael is the hero (anti-hero?) again, and again he shares the narration with a naive girl who at first accepts what's going on because everyone else does, but then gradually realizes how wrong it is. The tension created by the alternating narratives is again brilliant. I hesitated to read this trilogy, because the premise sounded really depressing, but Walton is a compelling writer, and she does a wonderful job of drawing you into the world through the characters, and showing how individual moral choices are affected by and affect the moral choices of a society. Really worth reading. The dense, chewy texture of a real Montreal bagel with a complementary sharp/creamy shmear of Winnipeg cream cheese. (More things I love about Canada!)

John Mutford has way more great Canadian reads on his blog, The Book Mine Set, where he hosts the Canadian Book Challenge every year. I will do better next year, I promise!


  1. Happy Canada Day to you!
    Wonderful Photos.

  2. Lovely photos! Thanks for sharing.
    Kim, thanks for all your wonderful book recommendations.

  3. Hah, Arrogant Worms! My friend from Erie (close enough to the border that a lot of things spill over that the rest of us aren't so likely to see) introduced us to them in college! This is the first I've ever seen mention of them anywhere else!

    We were visiting her one weekend before you needed a passport to cross the border, and all decided to take a day trip to Niagara Falls. I wish it was still so easy just to pick up and cross the border!