Too Many Books In The Kitchen

I'm Michael Hingston, books columnist for the Edmonton Journal (new columns every other Friday).

My first novel, The Dilettantes, was just published by Freehand Books. Here's everything you might want to know about it.

Other topics under discussion: podcasts, strange sodas, the Wu-Tang Clan, and Moby-Dick.

Email me, if you like, at hingston [at] gmail [dot] com. I'm available for hire and I like free books.

WRITING

Favourites: 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013
What I Read: 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014 (so far)

All Reviews /
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Mark Abley (1)
Henry Adams (1)
Chris Adrian (1)
Charlie Ahearn (1)
César Aira (1) (2) (3)
André Alexis (1)
Rona Altrows (1; interview)
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Kingsley Amis (1)
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OTHER PIECES

"Comic Sans" (The Incongruous Quarterly)
"'No Fear' T-Shirts Based on Board Games" (McSweeney's)

"The Men in the Mirror"
"Moby-Dick; or, My Favourite Book"
"The Pop-Culture Annotated 'Lord's Prayer'"
"Tumblr Recommends"

Dept. of Darndest Things: Marie-Louise Gay, Caramba and Henry

(“I’ll only be in the photo if I can close my eyes.”)

My daughter Bridget, who turns 5 next week, likes books as much as I do. When I can convince her to write a joint review of a new kids’ title, the result is a dispatch from the Dept. of Darndest Things.

Today we look at Caramba and Henry (Groundwood Books, $17.95) Marie-Louise Gay’s follow-up to Caramba, the story of the only cat in the world who can’t fly.

* * * * *

You have a little brother, too. Did this book teach you anything about what that’s like?

Bridget: They don’t talk. They go on walks? I can’t think of anything to say. My body is saying, “I want to play something else. But I don’t know what to play.”

What parts did you like?

B: I liked how it says things like, “He throws his cheese omelets out the window.” I think it’s funny. You’d better watch what you’re doing, Henry!

The pictures are beautiful, I thought. Lots of greens and blues. What did you think of them?

B: I liked the picture of the cheese omelet.

If you acted out this book, what character would you be?

B: I would be Henry.

Why?

B: I could pretend to throw cheese omelets. I could pretend to throw one of my books around. I could pretend to bump into walls. I could pretend to get tangled in something, or… I’m a pretty good screamer. I could, “Ahhhhh!” And I’m a pretty good whiner.

Why do you think Caramba and Henry’s pants fit so weird?

B: They’re too big, or too small. Henry’s look like they’re too small. Caramba’s look like they’re too big. Are they bunchy or something? They have no cuffs. They’re very long pants.

If Henry doesn’t like his brother’s cheese omelets, what does he eat for breakfast instead?

B: Breast milk. [Whispers] And Henry’s favourite caterpillars.

Sep 29, 2011
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