Summer of the Canadian Short Story 2014

So, Friday’s post about Fifth Business started out being about my being halfway through the Spring Reading Thing challenge. Today’s post also started out being about that and yet, lo and behold, I’ve decided to start my own reading challenge instead.

Summer of the Canadian Short Story!SCSS3
Let me start by saying that I know nothing about hosting reading challenges. I’m too new to this blogging thing to really take on any real responsibility. But, summers are a time of super lengthy reads interspersed with quick reads for me, so I liked the idea of short stories and speculative fiction/fantasy (my Summer SpecFic list is not Canadian, but I’ll post it later if you want).

This started out being a challenge to myself because of 3 things I observed:
1. Write Reads doesn’t do short stories on the podcast.
2. Canada is renowned for its short story writers.
3. My dad has given me a lot of Canadian short story books.

If you’d like to join me, this is the basic premise for the SCSS, read closely as it’s quite complicated:
Read 1 or more short story books by any Canadian author between June 1, 2014 and September 1, 2014. That’s it….Okay, not quite. Linking back to Write Reads on your blog/facebook/twitter (and maybe even posting the little picture I made*) if you decide to post about your Canadian short story reading would be much appreciated.

If you’re not much a short story reader, or aren’t sure where to start, check out C.J.’s awesome guest post on the Armchair BEA site (it even mentions us!) on how to get into a short story adventure.

I decided to try reading one short story book per month. We’ll see how that goes. I’ve picked the 3, as you can see from my little picture, but if I’ve learned one thing from Spring Reading Thing, it’s that I don’t like to stick to strict reading lists. I will read the Margaret Laurence first as I’ve been wanting to read it for ages. With Laurence’s work, I only allow myself sporadic readings as she is my favourite author, and I want to be 50 and still be able to pick up a book of hers that I haven’t read. I’m curious as to whether anyone else does that with favourite authors who have already passed on? But I digress.
So, as of May 13, 2014 my choices are:
Friend Of My Youth by Alice Munro
A Bird in the House by Margaret Laurence
South of Elfrida by Holley Rubinsky.

If you’re looking for lists of great Canadian short stories, 49th Shelf just put up a list as, apparently, May is Short Story Month here in Canada – finding out about this is part of why I put the announcement out so early. I hope you’ll join me and maybe we can make this a yearly summer event, and I’ll become better at hosting such things and put out prizes and stuff. Or, maybe I’ll just remain lazy about it 🙂

* The little picture is courtesy of the advice of lovely and talented Leah at Books Speak Volumes, who told me about using picmonkey.com. It is still a sad picture as I’m not good at these things (yet), but trust me the one I was making without picmonkey was far more pitiful. I may post the original later and hold a competition for whoever can come up with the worst insult for it.

Participants thus far:
Kirt will be reading Hellgoing by Lynn Coady for the challenge.
Naomi at Consumed By Ink
Rick at Another Book Blog
Laura at Reading in Bed
C.J. at ebookclassics

 

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This entry was posted in CanLitNews, Opinions, SCSS, Tania. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Summer of the Canadian Short Story 2014

  1. Naomi says:

    This sounds like fun- I’m in! Surely I can at least fit one in this summer, right? Is there a short story collection whose author’s last name begins with an “I”? I’m stuck on “I” right now.

    I was thinking I would just read one of the collections already sitting on my shelf, but now that I’ve looked at the list at 49th shelf, I’m tempted to get something new…. But I better not.

    Your picture is lovely. I have yet to attempt such a thing. 🙂

    • writereads says:

      Yay! I have a taker! As for ones that start with “I”…wikipedia says George K. Ilsley who wrote Random Acts of Hatred…I’ve never heard of it. You might want to stick with what you’ve got on your shelf or one of the ones listed on 49th Shelf (they do look tempting, don’t they?).
      Thank you for boosting my confidence about my picture making skills 🙂 -Tania

      • Naomi says:

        I checked Wikipedia, too, as soon as I was done commenting on your post, and found Ilsley. But I think I’ll stick to one of my own books, which I already feel confident I will like. Random Acts of Hatred sounds so… negative. I’m glad I looked him up, though, because I had never heard of him, even though he is from NS.

  2. Lindy says:

    You listed Vampires in the Lemon Grove in your Spring Thing list. Is it still TBR?

  3. It’s very difficult to say this and still be considered Canadian, but I hate short stories. I just do. They’re too short and i hate having to switch gears between each one. I may give it a try as I have an ARC of Circus by Claire Battershill (?). Good luck to you!!

    • writereads says:

      It’s okay Tanya. It really is. I still consider you Canadian. 🙂
      I completely understand the “gear switch” annoyance, though when short stories are done well, they seem to have a coherency and awesomeness that reduces that switchiness. I just settled into goodness when I read Barbara Gowdy’s We So Seldom Look on Love and Tom King’s One Good Story That One. So I know there are good ones out there! -Tania

  4. lauratfrey says:

    Oh, I’m in! I have a Mavis Gallant collection sitting in my bathroom (yay for bathroom reading.)

    Barbara Gowdy has a short story collection??? I’m into that.

    And Vampires in the Lemongrove!!

    Hmm I may end up reading a few…

    • writereads says:

      Yay for another participant! And for bathroom reading 🙂
      We So Seldom Look on Love is awesome, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
      Karen Russell is American, right? Not that this should prevent you from reading her books 🙂 -Tania

      • Ooh, I loved We So Seldom Look on Love too. I’m joining and will be reading Alice Munro because she’s so big and I haven’t read any of her work.

      • writereads says:

        Woo hoo! I’m reading her, too as I’ve only read a few of her short stories out of CanLit compendiums and feel like it’s just wrong that I haven’t read a complete book of her short stories. -Tania

      • writereads says:

        Woo hoo! I’ll put you on the list -Tania

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  7. writereads says:

    I’m going to do Hellgoing. – Kirt

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  13. Great idea! I saw this challenge mentioned on Consumed by Ink and I’m definitely in. Though a late arrival. I read a lot of short stories and am currently enjoying Kathy Page’s collection Paradise and Elsewhere and Gilles Archambault’s In a Minor Key, as well as an Alice Munro, because I’ve been reading through her work chronologically since 2011 (only two collections left). Is there a spot where participants can post links to the collections they’re reading? I’d like to follow others’ reading too.

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