John Chidley A blog about reading, writing, pop culture and sports.


Follow Friday – Blog Roll

Unfortunately, I could not find an image that combined books and mixed martial arts. You really don't want to Google Image search that either.

In the grand spirit of Twitter’s Follow Friday I figured I’d shed some light on three blogs maintained by close friends.

The Can-Lit Project
Written by my girlfriend Katy and her sister Tory, the Can-Lit project is a series of book reviews and essays about Canadian literature.

It all began when Katy decided that she wasn’t familiar with the Canadian canon, so she and her sister dedicated themselves to reading as many books from this great country of ours as is possible. The result has been intriguing, with both of them exploring classics of the genre as well as some titles that are less popular.

In their eight months of blogging they've put up 43 reviews of Canadian books. Most are fiction, but some are non-fiction.

This may be the Canadian studies graduate in me, but I think this is a very worthy pursuit. In particular, I’ve enjoyed the debates over titles like Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I’ve never read the novel myself, but I miss this kind of heated discussion from undergrad and it makes me want to read the book so I can weigh in as well.

If anything, this blog shames me into being better read and also reading more high quality books. One of my favourite blogs to read and not just for obvious personal reasons.

The Writer’s Pet
Speaking of debates from undergrad, my friend Lija also maintains a literary blog called the Writer’s Pet. Although we used to talk about CanLit in our glory days at the University of Toronto, she’s now moved on to sunny London, England where she continues to toil in the writing game.

Her blog and Twitter feed revolve around literary news and reviews and she occasionally posts interviews with authors like Gavin James Bower,  Anna Lawrence Pietroni or Marina Endicott.

It’s a great website to check in on regularly since Lija always has something interesting going on, whether it be a new review or a discussion on unorthodox bookmarks.

Victor Bachmann
My girlfriend’s brother-in-law (the husband of Tory, co-writer of the Can-Lit Project), is a professional mixed martial artist who fights out of Edmonton. He recently started a blog to record his planning and training for a tournament at the end of April that will feature fighters from across Canada in an elimination tournament, much like the original Ultimate Fighting Championship.

There’s only a few posts so far, but that handful has been enlightening. Victor’s talked about his entrance into the sport, his experience fighting at The Fight Club 10: High Octane and coming up with a strategy for his next bout.

It’s a good read for anyone interested in seeing what it takes to be a high-calibre professional athlete or for any fans of MMA.