The books to come out of the sluggishness of the ordinary

Les livres pour sortir de la morosité ordinaire

On tour across the province to present the show The Origin of my species, the author-composer-performer Michel Rivard has also turned many pages in his life. Check out his favorite books.

What is it that you find the most wonderful, with the books ?

Since the most tender of my childhood, books have been my friends, my confidants, my doors of entry into the world, my exit doors of the sluggishness of the ordinary. I love both the books as objects, like physical presence, and at the same time as promises of things to learn, to dream, to understand. I love their smell, their weight, their silent presence and reassuring in the libraries around me and in my backpack.

Have you ever been so captivated by a novel that you preferred to put work and obligations in order to continue your reading ?

I rather works with a system of “rewards” : I’m doing my job, I continued with my occupation, family or other, the best that I can… and I get the gift of a few hours of reading, well deserved. It happened to me recently with Blonde Joyce Carol Oates, a biography “fictitious” Marilyn— Monroe that I have devoured…

The books you have-they regularly inspired by the lyrics of songs ?

Everything I read is lodged somewhere in my subconscious and ends up necessarily influence my songwriting. But it happened to me to transpose in a direct way : Motel My Rest, one of my first songs, tells the story of an episode very accurate of the novel, Salut Galarneau !, Jacques Godbout. The return of Don Quixote , of course, makes reference to the legendary character of Cervantes… but I haven’t read it yet ! I reserve for my “old days” (next year, maybe…).

You can talk to us about novels that you’ve particularly loved over the last few years ?


The murder of the commander, of Haruki Murakami. As often with Murakami, the line is thin between the real and the fantastic. This writer of atypical, leads me every once in a adventure strange strong fragrance.

Memory of fire, Eduardo Galeano. A history of the American South, legends of the creation until the 1980s, told in a language as precise as it is poetic in hundreds of fragments. An interesting read, and intoxicating.

Miss Iceland, of Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir. Since the lightning strike that was Rosa Candida, I devoured all that this great author of iceland we offer : this time, the struggle of a young woman to fulfill his destiny as a writer in Reykjavik in the 1960s. Feminist and proud of it, this novel may not leave us indifferent.

The cities of paper, by Dominique Fortier. With all the softness and delicacy which it is known, Dominique Fortier, crossed his personal career and that of the great poet-recluse Emily Dickinson. A great success story, a small masterpiece discreet.

All the light we cannot see, by Anthony Doerr. An extraordinary historical novel : the crossed destinies of two children, a young French blind and a young German enthusiast of world of radio, on the background of the Second world War. A touch of magical realism.

And what was your most recent stroke of heart ?

The box River that includes The river, The sky, The hell and The earth, the four short autobiographical novels of Sylvie Drapeau. The great actress was hiding a great author…

What is it that you intend to definitely read soon ?

All the news of Joyce Carol Oates, as I have just discovered a few months ago, and whose writing me back. She knows so describe the soul of north america.

In your library, what is the book to which you hold the most ?

The opera of the moon, a poetic tale of Jacques Prévert. This little book was given to me as a gift around the age of three years. I have read and re-read it, I read and reread hundreds of times. My mother had kept and I was given a few months before his death. A precious object and a text timeless.

And what is the latest you’ve ever slipped ?

The appearance of the deer, by Élise Turcotte. A family drama dramatically deconstructed by the pen clever of this author that I finally discovered.

We would like to thank for their valuable collaboration to the entire team of the library The Harbour head, where the photo of Michel Rivard has been taken.

Share Button