Read Harder Challenge 7 & 8

June 25, 2020

Throughout 2020, All Lit Up-er Tan Light is participating in BookRiot's  Read Harder Challenge—a reading task designed to expand readerly boundaries—and doing so with an indie twist. Each entry in this series will highlight one or two completed challenges along with a list of books from All Lit Up to have you reading harder, too! This challenge is a duo of books based in Quebec—a gripping mystery and a gorgeous graphic memoir. 

See more details below

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Challenge #7: Read a mystery where the victim is not a woman
Book Chosen: Blindshot by Denis Coupal

 

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About the book: When financier Paul Carignan is hit by a stray bullet and killed in Beaufort, Quebec, the town leaders seem reluctant to investigate. Running out of patience, his teenage sons, Jack and Noah, take justice into their own hands--and kidnap the locals they suspect are responsible.My write up: Denis Coupal has written a small-town crime novel that offers us a deep exploration of what it means to be a man, and what it means to do the right thing. To the reader, the corruption in the small Beaufort County clan is apparent from the start, and the radical actions of the teen protagonists almost had me cheering. The end plays out handsomely with a couple of twists, and we are left hoping we might return to the County again soon. 

Tan's take: Denis Coupal has written a small-town crime novel that offers us a deep exploration of what it means to be a man, and what it means to do the right thing. To the reader, the corruption in the small Beaufort County clan is apparent from the start, and the radical actions of the teen protagonists almost had me cheering. The end plays out handsomely with a couple of twists, and we are left hoping we might return to the County again soon.

 

Looking for other great mysteries in which the victims are not women?

TRY...

 

 

read harder 7 followups

 

 

A Little More Free by John McFetridge (ECW Press)

The Second Detective by Shannon Mullally (Anvil Press)

Edge of Wild by D.K. Stone (Stonehouse Publishing)

 

 

 

 

Challenge #8: Read a graphic memoir
Book chosen: Little Russia by Francis Desharnais

 

 

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About the book: Inspired by the story of his grandparents, who lived in Guyenne from 1948 to 1968, Little Russia sees author Francis Desharnais delving into his own family's past to explore Quebec's rural heritage through the lens of both grassroots socialism and early feminism. An intimate story of epic scale, Little Russia is a fascinating foray into an unusual and largely forgotten social experiment.

Tan's take: Little Russia has a documentary-film feel to it, with delightful opening and closing sequences, and a follow-up on the impacts of it's players. It's an interesting glimpse into rural life heavily impacted by church and state, yet often left to thier own devices. I'll admit that if you look a few generations back, you will find some loggers in my family tree, who came to Ontario via Quebec. It gave me a personal connection to this work and a better understanding of some of the challenges they faced. 

 

 

Looking for other great graphic memoirs?

TRY...

 

Nunavik by Michel Hellman (Pow Pow Press)
Mile End by Michel Hellman (Pow Pow Press)
Tangles by Sarah Leavitt (Freehand Books)
Such a Lovely Little War by Marcelino Truong (Arsenal Pulp Press)
Bird in a Cage by Rebecca Roher (Conundrum Press)

 

 

read harder 8 followups

 

 

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Want to join me?  Click here for a downloadable and editable PDF of the 2020 Read Harder Challenge tasks. Stay tuned next month for more Read Harder!


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