The Art of Japanese Prints by Nigel Cawthorne

The Art of Japanese Prints
Nigel Cawthorne
(Advantage Publishers Group: 2000)

READ: May-June 2006

Another Chapters bargain-book find, I kept seeing it and refusing to buy it on the premise that I was moving to Japan soon and the last thing I needed to acquire was another book. Then I convinced myself that since I was moving to Japan soon, I needed to acquire this particular book, that I owed it to myself as a soon-to-be-Japanite and a lover of ukiyo-e, the specific focus of this book. So I bought it.

It was a great purchase and one I will not regret anytime soon. Though a slim volume, it provides an excellent overview of the development of ukiyo-e and a look at some of the masters of ukiyo-e. There are nice illustrations, interesting details, and well-written explanations. A lovely book.

The Lost Salt Gift of Blood by Alistair MacLeod

The Lost Salt Gift of Blood
Alistair MacLeod
(McClelland & Stewart, Toronto: 1992, c1976)

With an afterword by Joyce Carol Oates.

READ: May-June 2006

This is a book I had long wanted to read, supposed admirer of Canadian literature that I am. I have read one or two short stories of Alistair MacLeod's before. This is a collection of seven stories, all focused around family love and family relationships. They are all based in or focused on Cape Breton, but have meaning and value beyond those borders. There's a reason why Alistair MacLeod is commonly included in the canon of Can-Lit, and I am looking forward to reading more of his work in the future.