Write Reads #15 Blood: The Stuff of Life by Lawrence Hill


It sounds like we were out for blood in this one. However, Mr. Hill’s book comes away bloodied but not defeated. Okay. Enough blood references. Please feel free to weigh in with any counterarguments you may have to our points of view. We always welcome them.

Other books discussed in this podcast:
Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
The River Swimmer by Jim Harrison
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
A Fairy Tale by Jonas T. Bengtsson
The books of Bill Bryson
The books of Terry Pratchett                                                                                                              1491 by Charles C. Mann                                                                                                                   Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters by Matt Ridley                           Frog Music by Emma Donoghue

Bands mentioned in this podcast:  Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Pavement, and Toto.

About writereads

A Canadian book club podcast that will change the world of literature forever.
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8 Responses to Write Reads #15 Blood: The Stuff of Life by Lawrence Hill

  1. lauratfrey says:

    You should totally do the AJ Fikry book! And in general, don’t be too bound by rules… especially rules you made yourself 🙂 I never really thought about it till now, but interesting how The Afterword Reading Society doesn’t seem to have any such restrictions. Lots of American books going on there.

    (still listening so may have more comments later)

    • writereads says:

      Our rules are to make us a little different from the many other book blogs/podcasts our there. Also because we love Canadian books. Also, because if we get our butts in gear, it would make it easier to apply for an Canada Arts Council Grant.
      But, I agree that rules are made to be broken and I think a few “special podcasts” are not out of the question. Especially when there’s a chance for public weeping 🙂

      • lauratfrey says:

        Makes sense. I want to know more about this grant business…

        I’m kind of resisting this book and the Mr. Penumbra one, though your recommendations are breaking me down… they are both so ubiquitous and I feel like they might just be… too cutesy or something? Too much preaching to the choir – I don’t need convincing that books are awsome, you know?

    • writereads says:

      Laura, I can’t seem to reply to your last comment (stupid technology), but with the grant, the Canada Arts Council provides grants (provided you are willing to go through the insanity of the applications) and they tend to support Canadian content artistic endeavours more than others. There are grants for writing and publishing, grants for audiovisual media etc. It would be nice to give ourselves a little honorarium for the work, plus pay for things like microphones and websites – it’s a big application process, but we thought we might give it a go. If you’re interested, check it out: http://www.canadacouncil.ca/council/grants.aspx

  2. I felt like i should have live tweeted the podcast. That’s how much colour commentary i had to add. So, yes to a Mr Penumbra. AJ Firky double bill. I used to work at a bookstore and my floodgates may open as well. Also I can’t help but think these books are a little gimmicky. Convince me otherwise.
    And I haven’t read Blood, but it may have been repetitive because it was originally a lecture and we process and deliver aural material differently than written material.
    And can’t wait to hear Laura next month.

    • writereads says:

      Glad we induced colour commentary 🙂
      For some reason, wordpress is not allowing me to reply to Laura’s post right now, so I’ll reply to both of you.
      First, Laura is on next month! Woo hoo!!
      Second, I have a fear of Fikry being too cutesy/gimmicky as well, though I’ve read Zevin before and cutesy is not usually her style, so I’m hopeful. So far, Penumbra is an argument for both technology and books, but I haven’t finished it yet so I can’t say which it will argue for in the end. I think we can do a special “Booksellers’ Lament” edition sometime this summer. Thanks for your votes on that.
      Third, with regards to Hill’s lecture translated into a book, I think there may be problems inherent in turning the Massey Lectures into books as a whole as I agree that what works as a lecture doesn’t always work as a book and vice versa. I was not a big fan of choosing this book to begin with for mainly this reason, but I was outvoted by Kirt and our listeners…about which I’m still clearly bitter :). Some of the MLs work as books (Northrop Frye and Thomas King), but they are meant to be lectures and, as such, should be enjoyed as a listener. Usually, reading what is purposefully aural diminishes the experience – I highly doubt a transcript of Kirt and I giggling at each other would be in any way entertaining, but as a listener, it hopefully works a little better. I tried to look at Hill’s work as a book, as that’s what we were covering, so I didn’t allow myself to listen to the lecture at all until after I was done. As a book, I stand by the fact that it doesn’t work. But as a lecture, Hill is warm and conversational in tone and you feel, if not more informed, at least entertained by the end of his work. And the Massey Lectures are awesome. Go CBC! CBC rules!
      Thanks so much for listening! – Tania

  3. Pingback: Spring Reading Thing 2014 | writereads

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