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#BookTrailAdvent – Canadian Cheer

  • Submitted: 7th December 2016

Christmas anywhere in the world is festive and fun – but in Canada it’s something else. Not always guaranteed snow to be fair- but it always feels so frosty anyway. So cold that they have ice sculptures in gardens which last for weeks. You get snowed in! It can look like Narnia to be fair. So that’s why TheBooktrail heads to Canada today – Michelle from Dundurn Press in Toronto for some Canadian Christmas cheer…


What is your favourite novel set at Xmas time or somewhere where there is snow..

Turns out I haven’t read a lot of novels set at Christmas time, but I did really love Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi. I love a good fairy tale retelling, even more so when it’s feminist.

Favourite thing about being a bookworm at Xmas?

I get a lot of my books from the library during the year, so Christmas is that special time of year when I get to actually build my book collection. I try to stack my list with a mix of Canadian books from independent publishers, classic novels, and a celebrity memoir (this year I’m going for Amy Schumer).

c-canadaHow and where do you celebrate Christmas?

I usually spend Christmas with family in a small town outside of London, ON, but occasionally I go to Ireland to spend Christmas with my husband’s family. We both come from big families (five kids in mine, four in his), so both sides of the family now do Secret Santa.

Snow is really hit or miss in Toronto! We’ve had a few days with snow so far, but nothing we had to shovel. I’m waiting to the first snowstorm and then it will really feel like Christmas.

What would your favourite literary characters be up to at Christmas and where would they be?

Haruki Murakami is one of my favourite authors and I’d like to picture one of his protagonists over Christmas. He would probably be making a simple meal of spaghetti or a quick stir fry washed down with a bottle of beer. He’s a little lonely, spending Christmas morning reading a novel at home with his cat sleeping beside him.

b-canadaA favourite novel you always read or a genre you like reading with a wine by the fire?

I always go back to Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. I feel like I take away something different from it every time I read it. It’s totally dependent on where I am in my life.

What book makes a good present?

I’m giving someone one of my favourite reads of 2016, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. It’s not exactly a feel-good gift, but I know she’ll love it as much as I do.

Which of your books would you give for a  booktrailer at Christmas?

Escape to Havana by Nick Wilkshire is an escapist read that brings you to Havana, Cuba and Five Roses by Alice Zorn is a walk through Montreal. The first is perfect for mystery lovers and the second is gem for the novel reader on your list.

a-canadaWhat has been a highlight of publishing life this year and what are you looking forward to next year?

I started working at Dundurn Press in January, so that was definitely a highlight for me! It’s been a whirlwind of a year getting to know these diverse titles and helping get the word out in the world about them.

I’m really looking forward to After the Bloom by Leslie Shimotakahara, out in April 2017. It’s a literary novel that’s loosely inspired by events at Manzanar, the camp where the infamous Manzanar Riot took place, and is at its core a story of unpacking family secrets to find redemption.

Thank you Michelle and hope you have a happy Canadian Christmas!

Visit: Dundurn Press

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