Lisa Moore will pick the perfect book for your summer goals

Want Lisa Moore to pick the perfect book for you this summer? Send your summer goals to

*Contest closes at midnight on June 19th. Canadian residents only please, excluding Quebec. Your entry may be read to the Internet by Lisa Moore.

Anansi Presents Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood has been publishing books with Anansi since the ’60’s when we published The Circle Game — we’ve even published her children’s book Up in the Tree on the Groundwood side. Her most recent adult book with us was Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, which will soon be a movie on a screen near you. So, we thought it would be fantastic to ask her which of our books she’d give as a Christmas present. And she even agreed to let us turn her into a dancing elf . . .

For festive giving Margaret Atwood recommends:

For: Bleeding edge experimentalists and all those actually alive in 1969. Anyway I know the characters.

What: Five Legs, by Graeme Gibson.”

The end of author picks and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Thanks, all, for following along with our fun “Author Picks for the Holidays” feature! It’s been great to hear from some of our favourite authors and illustrators, and we hope you discovered some new and exciting books. To revisit our picks, just click on the “author picks” category button.

Happy Holidays from all of us at House of Anansi and Groundwood Books!



Author picks for the holidays: Adwoa Badoe recommends HOME IS BEYOND THE MOUNTAINS

The book:

Home is Beyond the Mountains, by Celia Barker Lottridge
ISBN: 978-0-88899-949-8 * $12.95

The recommender:

Adwoa Badoe, author of Between Sisters

Adwoa says:

I really enjoyed Home is Beyond the Mountains by Celia Barker Lottridge, a fabulous storyteller. Set in Persia, in the period of the First World War, Samira’s story is one of danger, loss, love and responsibility. It is also about family and the desire for a place called home. Through Samira’s voice we follow displaced children, who have fled northern Persia under attack by Turkish armies, as they learn to live with each other in orphanages. A new orphanage director inspires them to attempt the difficult journey home.

ADWOA BADOE was born and raised in Ghana, where she qualified and practiced as a doctor. Since moving to Canada she has published The Pot of Wisdom: Ananse Stories (illustrated by Baba Wagué Diakité), Nana’s Cold Days (illustrated by Bushra Junaid), The Queen’s New Shoes and Crabs for Dinner, twelve other books for children in Africa, as well as a memoir (“Witness in Silk”) in the anthology My Wedding Dress: True-Life Tales of Lace, Laughter, Tears and Tulle. She is an artist and popular speaker who performs her stories orally and with African dance.



Author picks for the holidays: Kathleen Winter recommends BECOMING HUMAN

The book:

Becoming Human — 10th Anniversary Edition, by Jean Vanier
ISBN: 978-0-88784-809-4 * $18.95

The recommender:

Kathleen Winter, author of Annabel

Kathleen says:

There is something about Jean Vanier’s writing that cuts through all the religious bullshit I’ve waded through on my own spiritual search, and gets right to the raw heart, the writhing, lonesome conflict of being alive in this cold world. Vanier’s insights feel homemade and lumpy and faulted, but they don’t feel fake and they never feel impotent like a lot of so-called spiritual writing. I don’t always agree with his views, but he often manages to cut through weariness and cynicism and disillusion and jaded hopelessness, and revive some sort of embryonic goodness inside me. I suspect he seeks and writes at great expense to his own energy, and I think his hard-won light of the soul is a lovely gift to give someone at the darkest time of year.

KATHLEEN WINTER has written dramatic and documentary scripts for Sesame Street and CBC Television. Her first collection of short stories, boYs, was the winner of both the Winterset Award and the 2006 Metcalfe-Rooke Award. Her first novel, Annabel, was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. A long-time resident of St. John’s, Newfoundland, she now lives in Montreal.



Author picks for the holidays: Celia Barker Lottridge recommends BETWEEN SISTERS and VIOLA DESMOND

The books:

Between Sisters, by Adwoa Badoe
ISBN: 978-0-88899-997-9 * $12.95

Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged, written by Jody Nyasha Warner and illustrated by Richard Rudnicki
ISBN: 978-0-88899-779-1 * $18.95

The recommender:

Celia Barker Lottridge, author of Home is Beyond the Mountains

Celia says:

Between Sister by Adwoa Badoe is great read for anyone novel reader who really likes to get to know a character and a place.  Gloria is fifteen and her concerns are like those of most girls her age, passing or not passing exams, trying to figure out what to do as she grows up, clothes, friends, pressure from men who find her a little too attractive.  All of this has a special slant because Gloria lives in Ghana and the story is also full of detail that gives the reader a vivid sense of what life in that African country is today and the special problems that Gloria faces.

Viola Desmond Won’t be Budged is a beautiful book that tells a true story of a true Canadian hero.  In 1946 Viola Desmond, a black Nova Scotian, got in trouble with the law because she refused to move from a seat on the main floor of a movie theatre to the balcony where people of her races were supposed to sit.  The story is told clearly and vividly and the pictures evoke the era and the emotion of the event beautifully.  This is definitely a picture book for all ages.

CELIA BARKER LOTTRIDGE is a writer and storyteller who has written several highly acclaimed children’s books, including Ticket to Curlew (winner of the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award and the Geoffrey Bilson Historical Fiction Award), Berta: A Remarkable Dog (nominated for the Texas Bluebonnet Award, Horn Book starred review) and Stories form the Life of Jesus (Publisher’s Weekly starred review). She wrote Home Is Beyond the Mountains after hearing her mother’s stories about growing up in Persia and after reading letter’s written by Celia’s aunt, Susan Shedd. Born in Iowa and raised in the United States, Celia now lives in Toronto.



Author picks for the holidays: Lisa Moore recommends THE SPARE ROOM

The book:

The Spare Room, by Helen Garner
ISBN: 978-0-88784-838-4 * $18.95

The recommender:

Lisa Moore, author of February

Lisa says:

Helen Garner’s Spare Room is spare. Spare and lush at the same time, so quick and fine it cuts to the bone. Garner’s novel is a transparent and moving account of a friendship between two women. It is the story of getting old, being beautiful, loving deeply, living a life of uncompromised, costly independence, then becoming dependent. It is a story that cracks open with need and illness and willful blindness and finally, acceptance and bravery. There is uncontainable rage against the things that can’t be changed. And it is a novel about grace. The Spare Room shows how to approach death with dignity and every sentence Garner fashions is full of that elegance and sadness. But friendship is the thing here, and it is the narrative engine — not sweet, not easy, not romantic — but messy and so full of meaning and insight it carries the reader, breaks her heart and mends it, sentence by sentence.

LISA MOORE is the acclaimed author of the novel Alligator, which was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, won the Commonwealth Fiction Prize (Canada and the Caribbean), and was a national bestseller. Her story collection Open was also shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and became a bestseller. Her second novel, February, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Fiction Prize (Canada and the Caribbean). Lisa Moore lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.