Happy 146th Birthday! (the good, the bad, and the not so ugly)


Helga’s Post # 41 — Just one week after welcoming the summer solstice, I have the honour of posting yet another upcoming celebration: Our beloved country’s 146th birthday.

Happy Canada Day once again!

And what a year it’s been for our mighty nation! Let’s start with the bad and the ugly and, like a good novel, keep the good stuff for the end. So what have some of our famous sons and daughters been up to this past year? How about this for a sampling (to make our neighbours to the south snicker). Canada, eh? Not so boring after all

– We got a mayor with a crack scandal (Rob Ford, mayor of Canada’s largest municipality, Toronto).

– Talking of mayors, this headline just out: “Alexandre Duplessis, Scandal-Plagued Canadian Mayor Denies Allegations of Sexual Favors”.

– A series of politico scandals have recently rocked Canadian cities: Montreal’s interim mayor was arrested on corruption and defrauding the government charges. He took over from ex-Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay who resigned last fall amid allegations of illegal campaign donations. The list goes on.

– Moving on to federal politics: yesterday in the House of Commons, the son of former prime minister Trudeau, now leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, called the Environment Minister “a piece of shit”.

– Moving on to the west coast: a premier who couldn’t even win her own seat… (she will run for a by-election July 10).

How about a story about a hero’s journey, a topic we writers have more than a passing acquaintance with.

Chris Hadfield is an astronaut. He recently got back from space. He commanded a space station orbiting Earth. In space. Not only did this Canadian from Sarnia, Ontario spend five months on the International Space Station, he did it in the most awesome way possible. He brought the ISS experience down to us mere earthlings with a constant stream of tweets, photos, videos and chats. In 146 days, he made space cool again as he captured our collective imaginations. Chris Hadfield

To continue with the good stuff: Canadian writers and novels. It’s books after all  that this blog is about. Aside from the fact that Canada has a respectable number of internationally known literary authors, we can proudly claim that some of the best crime fiction authors live here.

With that in mind, here is a list of great summer reading. Pack a picnic basket with some fine Canadian cheeses, a bowl of local cherries, a bottle of Okanagan wine, and have your spouse or favourite friend join you to head for the beach. Leave space in your basket to pack some of these fabulous books:

Sean Slater: (I would be remiss if I didn’t top the list with Sean Slater. Not only is he the founder of our critique group and lifelong honorary member, his books are truly awesome. Fast-paced crime fiction, impossible to put down once you start.) His titles: The Survivor; Snakes and Ladders; The Guilty. More in the works.

More good reads:

Louise Penny: A Trick of the Light

Peter Robinson: Before the Poison

Robert Rotenberg: The Guilty Plea

Jack Batten: Take Five

Gina Buonaguro: The Wolves of St. Peter’s

Rick Mofina: Into the Dark

Rosemary McCracken: Black Water

Janet Bolin: Thread and Buried

Meg Howald: Expatriate Bones

This only a minuscule sample. If you want to expand the list, check out the website of Crime Writers of Canada. You may be amazed at how many excellent Canadian authors live and write here. The books on offer are as diverse as the people of our great country.

And with some luck and a good dose of perseverance, who knows, you may see some of the 5 writers’ names on the list sometimes soon. Rest assured, we are all hard at work after getting back from our Whistler retreat. The myriad of advice and suggestions for rewriting and editing our novels in progress will keep us busy and out of mischief for a while to come.

6 thoughts on “Happy 146th Birthday! (the good, the bad, and the not so ugly)

  1. Great reading suggestions Helga. And yes, who doesn’t LOVE Chris Hadfield? When he sang David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” in space (and in tune, even), I thought it was the most refreshing thing I’d seen on the news in about 20 years. What a hero!

    • Chris is one of my favorite Canadian heroes. What’s not to love? He more than makes up for our blundering politicians

  2. Happy Canada Day weekend, Helga. Sunshine and impending heat is shifting the focus off Alberta’s flooding but regardless of the positive impression given by Calgary’s mayor, I suspect there will always be some “ugly” in the mix when we’re looking at politics.

    Congratulations for surviving your Whistler critique week. I’ve been following the posts and it sounds like it was a very worthwhile experience.

    • Happy Canada Day to you too, Carol. We really appreciate your following our posts and progress! We need all the cheerleading we can get.

  3. You mean your politicians can be as bad as ours in the US? Sigh. That’s unfortunate. But let’s hear it for astronauts and writers, who are far more interesting! Have a Happy Canada Day!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s