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Dave Bidini – Midnight Light

This book is a gem. Charting Bidini’s travels and adventures across far Canada’s north during a summer writing gig at the Yellowknifer, it’s also a lament for a dying form (newspapers), an ode to the northern way of life, and a volume chock full of true characters. Compulsive, recommended reading. Bidini is becoming our generation’s Pierre Berton.

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.


Dave Bidini – Writing Gordon Lightfoot

This was actually a total score I got from BMV in Toronto on our trip in May. It’s just taken me this long to get around to reading it…

Dave Bidini – Writing Gordon Lightfoot

Dave Bidini is a hero of mine. Not only was he in the venerable Rheostatics, and maker of excellent solo records too, but he’s written a whole bunch of fantastic books too! Long may he run!

When I found this book on our trip to Toronto, of course I had to snap it right up. I am so glad I did. Written as letters to Lightfoot himself, this book is well-researched, funny, and full of memories. The story of one week in Lightfoot’s life in 1970, it’s Gord’s story, Dave’s story, and Canada’s story, from that time, too. A history lesson as much as it is a personal memoir, it’s compulsive, compulsory reading.

In looking this one up online, I was a little surprised to find quite a few negative reviews claiming that it’s a waste of time, poorly written, lacking substance. Did they read they same book I did? Can they not see it for what it is? He never claims it’s a biography of Lightfoot, just a snapshot of one short period, and his own stories and memories as a fan. Ah well, we’re all entitled to our opinions.

Me? I say get this, it’s a great read by an excellent writer in our current Canadian landscape.

writing lightfoot

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