Monday, February 15, 2010

Blogging books Canadian style!

I hope its safe to assume that everyone knows the 2010 Olympics started this week and it's in Canada!  Watching the opening ceremonies on Friday night was a once-in-a-life time event.  To be honest I wasn't take excited about the Olympics and was kinda getting sick of all the commercials but when Nikki Yanofski sang our national anthem while the whole world watched I was a very proud Canadian.  Before I move onto the reason behind this post I want to take a moment to recognize Alexandre Bilodeau who won the first gold medal to ever be won in Canada in men's moguls!

Since everyone (well I hope everyone) is  very proud to be Canadian, especially right now, I thought I would highlight four of my favorite Canadian authors over the next two days!  For today I will be highlighting Margaret Atwood (a literary genus) and a genus in her own right Kelley Armstrong.

No list such as this one would be complete without mentioning Margaret Atwood .  Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa in 1939 and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto.  She is an award winning poet and writer of children's literature, fiction, and non fiction and is also the author of, The Handmaid's Tale, one of my favorite books of all time.  See below for more information on the book as well as a the publishers book synopsis.

Title: The Handmaid's Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
ISBN - 10:0771008554

From the Publisher:
In this multi-award-winning, bestselling novel, Margaret Atwood has created a stunning Orwellian vision of the near future. This is the story of Offred, one of the unfortunate "Handmaids" under the new social order who have only one purpose: to breed. In Gilead, where women are prohibited from holding jobs, reading, and forming friendships, Offred's persistent memories of life in the "time before" and her will to survive are acts of rebellion. Provocative, startling, prophetic, and with Margaret Atwood's devastating irony, wit, and acute perceptive powers in full force, The Handmaid's Tale is at once a mordant satire and a dire warning.

Its been awhile since I read this book last but what always touched me about this book was how intimate a relationship I was able to develop between myself and the main character, Offred.  The life Offred is forced to live (I say forced because the only choice Offred has is really no choice at all) is unimaginable.  Taking place in the not to distant future, Atwood paints an ugly picture where the United States Government is overthrown and in its place a Christian extremest group establishes itself and women cease to have any rights.  

Next up is author Kelley Armstrong!  She is one of my favorite authors in the urban fantasy/paranormal genre and when I began reading her books I was excited to learn that she is Canadian!  She now has ten books in her Otherworld series (not including Men Of The Otherworld), two book out in her Darkest Powers series and two as well in her Nadia Stafford series. For a full listing of her books please check out Kelley Armstrong's website.

My journey into the magical world created by Kelley Armstrong started with the first book in her Otherworld series, Bitten.  The main character Elena Michaels, is the first and only female werewolf known to exist who was turned by her boyfriend Clay against her will.  Choosing to live estranged from her pack in Toronto, Ontario (who knew just a magical world was only a short drive away from my house!) she only returns to her pack when the pack leader calls her home to help with a recent uprising. When its all over it is Elena's intention to return to her home in Toronto and live a human life.

Title: Bitten
Author:  Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Random House of Canada

From the Publisher:

An erotically charged, addictive thriller from the future queen of suspense.

Living in Toronto for a year, Elena is leading the normal life she has always dreamed of, including a stable job as a journalist and a nice apartment shared with her boyfriend. As the lone female werewolf in existence, only her secret midnight prowls and her occasional inhuman cravings set her apart. Just one year ago, life was very different. Adopted by the Pack when bitten, Elena had spent years struggling with her resentment at having her life stolen away. Torn between two worlds, and overwhelmed by the new passions coursing through her body, her only option for control was to deny her awakening needs and escape.

But now the Pack has called Elena home to help them fight an alliance of renegade werewolves who are bent on exposing and annihilating the Pack. And although Elena is obliged to rejoin her "family," she vows not to be swept up in Pack life again, no matter how natural it might feel. She has made her choice. Trouble is, she's increasingly uncertain if it's the right one.

An erotically charged thriller, Bitten will awaken the voracious appetite of every reader, as the age-old battle between man and beast, between human and inhuman forces, comes to a head in one small town and within one woman's body.

If you haven't had the pleasure of curling up with a Kelley Armstrong book do what you need to do to get one or more of her books ASAP.  

If you are a YA enthusiast I highly recommend, The Summoning, the first novel in her YA Darkest Powers series.  

Title:  The Summoning
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Doubleday Canada

From the Publisher:
After years of frequent moves following her mother's death, Chloe Saunders's life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she's not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts-everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe's small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home-charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a "thing" for fire-Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn't your usual "problem kid" behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…

If you haven't read a novel by Margaret Atwood or Kelley Armstrong please take some time to check out two great Canadian authors the next time you are in a book store or library.


Withywindle Books said...

Cheers to Margaret Atwood - she's a phenomenal author, and I'm looking forward to reading Kelley Armstrong.

Great blog, and congrats to Canada on the Olympic medals won so far!

Ruthann said...

I have The Handmaid's Tale waiting for me to read...but I have read most of the Women of the Otherworld series. I really enjoy her books!

Lindsey said...

I love them to! Glad your a fan :) I can't wait for her next book to come out!

Callista said...

Yay for Canadians! I think it's cool that the Olympics are being held in Canada but I wish it was the summer olympics. I know it's not hot enough but I like watching the summer ones more.

I still haven't read A Handmaid's Tale but I will eventually!

Lindsey said...

I love the summer Olympics to but were Canada and we have lots of snow (usually) and Hockey is our national sport lol.

Its a great read I hope you like it.

Beth said...

Bitten was one of the best finds ever for me! I'm so glad I picked it up on a whim at work. The Women of The Otherworld series is probably my favourite series going!

I've never heard of The Handmaiden's Tale before - it sounds interesting, I think I shall be adding it to my list of books to read!

Chris said...

The Handmaid's Tale is one of my favorites even though it's scary as heck.

Lindsey said...

Beth: I hope you enjoy it! Kelley Armstrong is one of my favorite authors as well. Kim Harrison is also really great in the urban fantasy genre (if you haven't already read her). Thanks for checking out my blog.

Chris: It is SCARY! I hope this world never gets that bad!

Tea and Tomes said...

Must get back to reading Handmaid's Tale. I believe I was about 20 pages from the end when I put it down and forgot to pick it back up again.

And The Summoning has an intruiging plot. I'll have to see if I can find it somewhere!

(I'm amused that Blogger's word verification was "lizedd" here. Nothing like "zed" on a Canadian post!)

Lindsey said...

Tea and Tomes - A fellow Canadian tea drinker and book reader!! I hope you finish up the book!

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