I don’t know anyone who reads the classics anymore – not the Canadian Lit. classics anyway. Ask Canadians about them and they roll their eyes and mutter something about Roughing it in the Bush, which, unless you have actually taken a University level Canadian Lit. course you probably haven’t read. Susanna Moodie’s whiney tale of life in the New Country is the quintessential Canadian novel people love to hate. Ask a non-Canadian about our classics and and their reaction would probably be, “Canadian what?”

I started collecting 1970’s paperback copies of the New Canadian Library novels over 15 years ago – purely for aesthetic reasons although I always told myself that I would get to them someday. When I had my first daughter in April 2008 I had the chance to read more while nursing her a million times a day and thought now is the time to challenge myself and dig into those paperbacks starting at #1 and seeing how many I could get through.

Of course, that totally wasn’t the time to challenge myself. Having a new baby was enough of a challenge. My original intention with this blog was to only write about the New Canadian Library and other Canadian novels but there is just so much good stuff to read out there that I want to talk about that I don’t want to limit myself anymore.

Other than the old New Canadian Library numbering system there isn’t an order to them – in fact, the new versions aren’t numbered but it seemed like a good place to start. I looked online to see if there was anyone else reading them/writing about them and – not surprisingly – there wasn’t. Really, why would there be? Some of them are amazing but some of them are down right painful to try and get through.

So now this is a reading blog for where ever the wind takes me. (Insert *Who Has Seen The Wind joke here*)


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  1. I found your blog by wondering the very same thing – was anyone else reading these? I love collecting the NCL books but had been having trouble finding a coherent list of titles that included the unnumbered ones. Lo and behold! I have been collecting the ones from the third cover design, the ones with the beige/grey spines and Canadian paintings on the covers. It’s been really hard to find any information about that time period at the NCL – what made them decide to switch designs, etc!

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