CanCon Reading

I’m sure you’re all wondering what to read this year.

Well, here are 5 music-related books by Canadian authors that I think are absolutely essential.

Having read each of these several times, I recommend that you do too.

Give ‘er!


Michael Ondaatje – Coming Through Slaughter

Hands-down, Ondaatje’s best book. And it’s about jazz. I love jazz. Read this now.

Gordon Downie – Coke Machine Glow
Ah, Gordie, can he do no wrong? Awesome poetry from left field. 

Dave Bidini – On A Cold Road
Bidini’s one of my fave Canuck writers anyway, and this one is a gorgeous, honest appraisal of life on the road in this big old lug of a country of ours.

Hawksley Workman – Hawksley Burns For Isadora
Hawksley’s the man, a poet, a rocker, a genius, and a freak, and this collection is a must.

Leonard Cohen – Stranger Music
Collects a whole bunch of Leonard’s writing. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Own this book. Make a shrine for it in the corner of your living room. Light some candles. Embrace.

You’re welcome.


19 thoughts on “CanCon Reading

  1. deKE says:

    You need to hunt down Brent Jensens two books..
    No Sleep Til Sudbury and Left Over Read!
    All Canadian and he’s a real solid guy as well!


    1. keepsmealive says:

      2016 is your year! 🙂 I heartily recommend Coming Through Slaughter, and In The Skin Of A Lion and, yes, English Patient (although you’re gonna picture the film in your mind as you read, so bummer!).

      The later three (Anil’s Ghost, Divisadero, The Cat’s Table) are OK but didn’t strike me as well. Maybe they will for you!

      He’s also got a ton of poetry books, which I love, so it’s up to you whether you dig poetry or not.

      I would also highly highly recommend Running In The Family, which is hilarious. It’s a fictionalized memoir. Oh man.

      I even have a book here that he wrote about Leonard Cohen. He’s got tons. But I’d say start with those three novels and branch out from there.

      Here ya go!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. keepsmealive says:

      Oooo CTS is such a great book. Short but powerful!

      Lots of people would say English Patient is his best, and my lovely wife would say In The Skin Of A Lion is her fave, and they’re all right that those are good books. But for me, CTS takes the prize everytime!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 1537 says:

        I thought English Patient was a better film than book – I tried a couple of times but just couldn’t get on with it.

        Speaking of jazz books, you come across ‘The Axeman’s Jazz’? great thriller, Louis Armstrong is one of the main characters in it. Great read.


        1. keepsmealive says:

          And see, I liked the book better than the movie. I don’t like Ralph (not RAFE, it’s fucking RALPH you pretentious twat!) Fiennes.

          I have not read that particular book, but I will be on the look-out for it! Sadly, my local library does not offer a copy, but I’ll bet I can get one on interlibrary loan…

          Also interesting: My son is now reading chapter books, and he’s into the Magic treehouse series. There’s a New Orleans story and Satchmo is one of the main characters – as a kid!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Sarca says:

            I actually like Rafe better than Ralph (that’s just me), and from looking up its origins, it can be pronounced as both. But, not coming in to argue or nothin’…:)


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