I am father of two and avid reader. I read as much and as widely as possible; in effect, obtaining a lifelong educational experience through books. I am also a music fan, with interest in creative musicians overlooked by mainstream media.
history of ideas, Renaissance humanism and neoplatonism, human rights, environmental ethics, history of mathematics, mythological archetypes in the arts, 20th century poetry, transcendentalism, Canadian art and literature, liberalism and democracy
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A close runner-up for my favourite book in 2007 was Divisadero. Another sublime read by Ondaatje that, as the title implies, examines the divisions (intentional, unintentional, emotional, physical, and geographical, among others) within the interweaving lives of seemingly disparate characters. Ondaatje's elegant prose is the highlight, providing just enough illumination while leaving room for open-ended interpretation.
Rawi Hage's second novel Cockroach takes place during a frigid Montreal winter and details the picaresque adventures of an unnamed protagonist, a recent immigrant from the Middle East and self-professed thief who often envisions himself as a giant cockroach. Hage is the recent winner of English literature's richest prize, the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, for his debut novel DeNiro's Game (which I did not read); as such, there has been a considerable degree of anticipation for this new book.
There are two narrative arcs in this novel. The primary arc is a first-person description of the protagonist and his interactions within and without the shadowy émigré community… Read more
Given the current worldwide economic situation, it appears rather prescient that the 2008 Massey Lectures are on the subject of debt. In these lectures, Margaret Atwood provides an examination of the concept of debt as a motif in human society, particularly through an examination of the metaphors of debt in western literature. As such, this book only obliquely deals with monetary debts. Rather, the focus is on the more general idea of debt in relation to justice, sin, redemption, balance, and revenge, among other topics.
Atwood begins with the notion of debt and its relationship to fairness, which is ingrained in the psyche of the human race (and other intelligent creatures). In… Read more