What I Read & Watched {Canadian Edition Part 2}


I read a whole slew of Quebecois books before our trip to Quebec. I am happy to say that 4 out of 5 of them in this post were enjoyable to read. {Here’s a link to Part 1 and another before I knew there’d be multiple post on my Canadian Reads!}

Most of these books were not available from my local library. When that is the case, I’ll often buy second-hand books from ThriftBooks online. Highly recommended! I figure that if I decide to KonMari my bookshelves one day, I have these options for selling my books. <– I wrote that last sentence last month.

Since then, I’ve discovered Paperbackswap.com {which includes more than just paperbacks!} I’ve got a “to-read” list on GoodReads.com. Of those books that can’t be found in my local library, I’ve put them on my Paperbackswap.com wish list. I get a credit every time I mail a book to someone who requests it and with it, I can request a book from someone else! The only thing I pay is the media mail shipping on the books I send. It’s genius. I almost, *almost* am crushing on it as hard as I am my library!

Anyway… You’ll be happy to know that most of these Canadian books have already found Happy Homes on Paperbackswap.com!


sat nite girl

The Girl Who was Saturday Night by Heather O’Neill (Fiction)

I found out about this book through TripFiction, a site that recommends books based on setting. I really and truly loved this book! There were points were she was way over the top with similes and metaphors, but other than that, I loved the story. SO much so that I purchased another one of O’Neill’s books from ThriftBooks before I learned about Paperbackswap. This one is set in the 90s, right before the vote to separate Quebec from Canada. Well, you know how that one turns out, so let’s just say this is often referred to as a coming-of-age story and leave it at that.


tin flut

Tin Flute by Gabrielle Roy (Fiction)

I absolutely loved this book and didn’t think I would! I sometimes have a hard time with the classics or books written during a different era {like The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz}, but this book really surprised me. I was caught up in the characters and the author’s insights. It’s nice to have a women’s perspective for a book published in the 40s! The book kept me thinking. And I do prefer the actual French translation of the title of this book: Second-Hand Happiness. I wonder it was decided to change the name of the English version?



Barney’s Version by Mordecai Richler (Fiction)

Oh! Here we go again! Yes, I gave Mordecai Richler another shot despite my thoughts about Duddy Kravitz. I was pleasantly surprised! I don’t think I’ve ever read two books by an author written almost 40 years apart! I thought that this book was genius from this perspective and in the manner it was written. I do believe that Richler could pull much personal experience into this work, too. Duddy Kravitz himself made an appearance a time or two as well.

After reading it, I also rented the movie from the library. Rob and I watched it together. It wasn’t 100% true to the book. {What movies ever are?} But I really did like this adaptation. Paul Giamatti made an excellent Barney.


Layout 1

The Fat Girl Next Door is Pregnant by Michel Tremblay (Fiction)

This book was recommended to me at some point because Tremblay is a well-known and respected Quebecois playwright. While reading it, I kept thinking there was something coming… But for me, there was no real payoff. I often find most books have rushed endings and have come to expect that. But this one was a little more… annoying that there wasn’t more to it.


last nite montreal

Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel (Fiction)

This book was only partly set in Montreal, but that didn’t really matter. What mattered to me was the story. What a unique circumstance! It was an easy read, especially on the plane coming home from Montreal, tired from our trip where we averaged walking 9 miles per day.

I do have two more Quebecois novels to read. However, since we’ve returned from our trip, I’ve been picking up my reserved copies of books at the library instead. All in due time…

How do you choose a book to read?

Do you like to read books set in a place you are traveling to before or after you visit?




2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Quebec City – The First Bites | Season It Already!

  2. Pingback: What I’ve Been Reading… | Season It Already!

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