Thursday, December 27, 2007
And if you are attending the Ontario Library Association's Super Conference at the end of January, the Dewey Divas will be doing two separate sessions, talking about the upcoming books of the Spring season, one focused on adult books (session #311 at 9:05, Thursday, 31st) and one on children's books (session #1028, at 9:05 Friday, Feb. 1st). We'll also be in our respective publishers' booths during the Book Fair, so do stop by and say hello.
Dream Wheels by Richard Wagamese - It seemed to fade away but was my favorite fiction from last year
Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
Shaggy Muses: The Dogs Who Inspired Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edith Wharton, and Emily Brontë by Maureen Adams - I learned so much about this group of writers!
Jon Katz - any book from Jon Katz! For some reason his tone and pacing is like sipping Bailey's. Smooth and warm.
David's List (with help from his daughter Piper):
Crazy Man by Pamela Porter
Parvana's Journey by Deborah Ellis
Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell
Keeper by Mal Peet
Heavy Water and Other Stories by Martin Amis
Yellow Dog by Martin Amis
No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
Storming The Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics by Rebecca Solnit
Some of the Dharma by Jack Kerouac
Zen Is Right Here by Shunryu Suzuki
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
A few of my personal favourites for 2007 must begin with Don DeLillo’s Falling Man. In my opinion, except for one misstep (The Body Artist), DeLillo has been a go-to author for me over the years. I was riveted and humoured by the train wreck that was Cosmopolis. I was immersed in the epic journey that was Underworld and I was horrified and saddened by the catastrophe that was Falling Man. For me, the strength of Don DeLillo is his singular mastery of the written word. His characters and plots do not always resonate for me but his writing definitely does.
Another favourite of mine was Patricia McLaughlin’s Edwards Eyes. A small (in size only) masterpiece, this triumph of spare, poetic prose is neither maudlin nor simple. There are many wonderful, memorable characters, an individual setting and a plot that, while fairly predictable, gracefully meanders to its conclusion allowing us along for the ride. I love this book.
A fiction title that was initially a dark horse for me was Linda Barry’s Later, At the Bar. It is a series of interconnected short stories that focus on each regular customer of this local bar in a small town in upper state New York. The book begins with story of the old woman who owns the bar and the circumstances by which she comes to own the establishment. The second story follows a man who is a regular at the bar and a good friend of the old woman (he is introduced at the end of the first story). The book connects all of the regulars together in a network of shared experiences but also uncovers the reasons why each person is there in the first place. This is an unassuming book that vibrates with the energy of life and the power of remembrance.
A nonfiction book that I read this year which actually was published in 2006 is Patrick Hanlon’s Primalbranding: Create Zealots For Your Brand, Your Company, and Your Future. It could be considered a business book but I would prefer to characterize this book as a primer of contemporary society. Patrick Hanlon is the founder and CEO of Thinktopia, a marketing firm that is responsible for many prominent advertising campaigns. Hanlon outlines the seven criteria to which every successful company or individual should understand in order to “create zealots for your brand”. How come people can recognize a Starbucks coffee cup from across a busy street? Who doesn’t know what that little swish on Tiger Woods golf cap stands for? Why does Tom Cruise’s image elicit a different reaction now than it did five years ago? Hanlon tells the reader what every successful person or company knows (sometimes only intuitively). I think anyone could read this fascinating book and learn something useful about how the world around us ticks.
And, finally, my pick of children’s picture book is the release in paperback of a book originally published by Picture Book Studios in 1990 (but out of print for several years) – Santa’s Favorite Story by Hisako Aoki and illustrated by Ivan Gantchev. This wonderful story weaves together the Santa story and the Nativity story. Santa goes for a walk in the woods, decides he’s not going to go out Christmas Eve because he’s tired and all the forest animals are horrified. There won’t be a Christmas if you don’t go out, Santa, they say. Santa tells them he isn’t the reason there’s a Christmas every year. He proceeds to tell the animals his favourite story – the Nativity story. The story changes everyone’s mind, even Santa’s. I’ve read it to my daughter every year for five years. It’s a tradition in our household now.
No doubt due to the huge snowstorm we got in Toronto last Sunday, I've felt the sudden urge to immerse myself in fictional snow-bound worlds. These two gems made a lovely pairing, not just for the setting they shared - northern Norway - but for a similarity in theme; the irresistible pull of the landscape in confronting and finally dealing with the past. Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson, translated by Anne Born, won the IMPAC award and has received wonderful reviews, landing on a number of "best books of 2007" lists. It really deserves all the accolades - the writing is just exquisite and the story is very touching. Trond is a 67 year old man who has always considered himself lucky but who has now decided to spend the rest of his life living alone in a cabin in the woods. He has a strange and silent neighbour named Lars, a man he hasn't seen for decades. The story moves between Trond's acceptance of his new life and his memories of the summer he was fifteen and also staying in a cabin with his father. A tragic accident that befalls Lars's family has longterm effects for Trond as well, precipitating an important decision by his father who he will never see again after that summer. One piece of advice his father passes on to him is, "you decide for yourself when it will hurt" and that fairly sums up the theme of this novel; subconsciously or not, we pick and choose events from our past and either brood or discard. But the really deep pain doesn't go away until it's confronted.
In Peter Stamm's Unformed Landscape, translated by Michael Hofmann, Kathrine is a young woman who has never been south of the Arctic Circle. She works as a customs officer checking Russian trawlers and has drifted into two bad marriages. When she discovers that her husband has habitually lied to her about his life, she leaves her small town and travels to France in search of a man she's only casually met and communicated with by e-mail. Eventually, however, she needs to return home to confront her husband and make changes to her life. What I loved about these two books was the infusion of the landscape - as bleak as it is - into the story. The play of stark light and the long hours of darkness. The quiet whiteness of the snow that can be both physically dangerous but also emotionally empowering in its freedom of possibilities. Both novels are also infused with a curiosity and fear of lives lived in other places. The river that runs beside Trond's childhood cabin also meanders into Sweden, the country in the background of his father's wartime activities and indeed the site of one of the last key episodes of the book. Kathrine visits a number of great European cities - Paris, Copenhagen, Stockholm - but when she goes to an internet cafe, it's to look up her village's website, where a webcam is constantly set up on the town square, even though there's nothing new to see. These two novels challenge the claims that one must travel to "find oneself", arguing instead that the familiar landscapes of home and childhood are where one grapples with one's own interior truths. Beautiful, introspective works.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Spymistress: The Secret Life of Vera Atkins by William Stevenson
Here if You Need Me by Kate Braestrup
Free For All: Oddballs, Geeks, And Gangstas in the Public Library by Don Borchert Mild-mannered assistant librarian tells all in a shocking new book! Free For All is a lively and uncensored look at what it’s like to work in a public library, from hiring policies to the collection of often humorous, often intelligent, and sometimes kooky people who work there. And then there are the patrons… A book that will amuse and entertain librarians and library patrons everywhere!
Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman’s Skiff by Rosemary Mahoney
Evergreen Country: A Memoir of Vietnam by Thuong Vuong-Riddick
High Hat, Trumpet, and Rhythm: The Life and Music of Valaida Snow, by Mark Miller
A Long Labour: A Dutch Mother's Holocaust Memoir, by Rhodea Shandler
After giving birth while in hiding, Rhodea Shandler has the difficult task of caring for a child in the midst of continuing Gestapo raids.
Paddling South: Winnipeg to New Orleans by Canoe, by Rick Ranson
Ranson writes about ducking bullets in St. Louis, avoiding a whirlpool, working on a Mississippi towboat, and spending a few nights in a Fargo City jail, all while meeting an eclectic array of
Forgotten Highways: Wilderness Journeys Down the Historical Trails of the Canadian Rockies by Nicky L. Brink and Stephen R. Brown
We've all seen the movie, Out of Africa. Now Wheeler has brought us Denys' story - his love affair with Africa as well as Karen Blixen and Beryl Markham. One also gets a very interesting glimpse of how WWI was fought on this continent with rhinos and lions replacing mud and trenches.
A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas
Abigail’s husband suffered severe brain trauma after chasing his dog into the street in New York and being hit by a car. As a result of this accident, life as Abigail and Rich knew it, was changed forever. This is an honest account of life after a tragedy and comfort taken in the form of three furry friends. It’s a beautiful memoir.
Jane Boleyn: The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford by Julie Fox
Jane Boleyn was a lady-in-waiting to not just one, but five of Henry’s wives. As Henry’s wives rose and then fell, taking so many down with them, Jane stayed on. Jane was married to George Boleyn, Anne’s brother. This book reads very much like a piece of well-written historical fiction. As a student of the Tudors, Julia Fox adds all the important details that give the reader insight into the glamour and violence that was the court of the notorious Henry VIII. I snuck this book into this list although it will not be available until January, 2008. I like it so much I just couldn’t wait.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thames : Sacred River by Peter Ackroyd.
The 100 Mile Diet by Alisa Smith & J.B. MacKinnon
The Silence of the Songbirds by Bridget Stutchbury
Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith
Dead Cold by Louise Penny
Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky
Juvenile & Teen
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman
Better than Blonde by Teresa Toten
Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
What’s Up Duck: a Book of Opposites by Tad Hills
Blue Goose by Nancy Tafuri
Bon Jour Butterfly (Fancy Nancy) by Jane O’Conner
Here a Face, There a Face by Arlene Alda
Thursday, December 13, 2007
A hilarious and heartbreakingly “true” coming of age novel which will make you so very glad you will never have to go through being an eighteen year old university student again! It is laugh-out-loud funny, even as you wince in recognition, watching young Brian Jackson as he embarks on the study of literature at university, and on establishing himself as a man of erudition, wit and discerning taste. His attempts begin with competing for a place on the University Challenge quiz team, where he tries to rise above class disadvantages and his bad skin condition to win the fair Alice. Of course, it’s all a disaster, but Nicholls has a spot-on ear for dialogue and he draws his characters with real affection, which holds our sympathy even while we have to laugh at the absurdity of it all.
Just In Case by Meg Rosoff
Following her amazing How I Live Now, here is another not-to-be-missed young adult crossover novel from an author whose books just keep getting better all the time. David Case is persuaded by a near-disastrous experience babysitting his little brother that Fate is out to get him. So he changes his name to Justin and then proceeds to change everything else he can, including the way he dresses and lives, to try to hide from Fate and to escape his destiny. This is a truly remarkable book that with economy and a light touch looks at the big issues - chance and destiny, death and the meaning of life itself.
Sovereign by C. J. Sansom
This is the third (and latest) offering in C.J. Sansom’s series of Tudor mysteries featuring hunchback lawyer, Matthew Shardlake. If you enjoy a mystery underpinned by fascinating, well-researched history then you’ll love this series. The novel’s setting is the Royal Progress which Henry VIII undertook in 1541 to try to rebuild his popularity in the North of England. The king and his entourage reach the City of York at the same time as Shardlake who, with his assistant Jack Barak, is on a mission to pick up a prisoner charged with treason. They are plunged into the heart of uncovering a conspiracy intent on proving the illegitimacy of Henry’s claim to the throne, and the pace never lets up. Sansom is so good at bringing to life the discomfort, dirt and smells as well as the cruelty and the sheer danger of life in Henry’s paranoid England. The mystery is cleverly plotted, the history is authentic and the writing is wonderful – this is the best yet in a first-rate series.
The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber
Seventeenth century ciphered letters are found in a rare book which point to the existence of a hitherto unknown Shakespeare play. Skulduggery abounds as international criminal gangs compete with our heroes in the race to lay hands on this treasure. But is it genuine or yet another forgery? This is an intelligent and literate thriller that engages our interest and our sympathies for the main characters whilst it draws us right into the heart of the gripping and enthralling story. Dan Brown only wishes he could write something this good!
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
Despite some flaws – it’s a tad too long, and the writing can become a bit flowery at times – this wow of a first novel is an exhilarating experience, offering us an extended literary joke and a murder mystery, all wrapped up in a coming of age story, and all very clever! Blue Van Meer and her father, a university professor, settle in Stockton NC just long enough for her to complete her final year of high school. There she is picked up by an in-group of students who call themselves the Bluebloods, and her whole life changes. The book is constructed like an English course syllabus, and peppered with clever footnotes and a breathtakingly esoteric range of allusion and reference, as we unpeel the layers to get to the truth concealed beneath. It’s quite unlike anything else I’ve read in a long while, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries That Ignited the Space Age by Matthew Brzezinski
Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Execution by Caroline Weber This book provides a fascinating look at the doomed royal, using the unique lens of her fashions- from her first appearance in court, right up to her appointment with the guillotine.
Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Family, Fatherland and Vichy France by Carmen Callil.
Forge of Empires by Michael Knox Beran. This is a non-fiction version of War and Peace. A fabulous story of three great leaders - Lincoln, Bismarxk and Alexander II, who gave birth to three great empires.
For the Mystery Lover
For those who love a great historical mystery: The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin
For cozy mystery readers: Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter by Blaize Clement
On a cliff edge overlooking the North Sea, a quadriplegic woman in a wheelchair stares unseeingly at the waves. She had been murdered. And, miles away, in a storeroom in the Maze, a medieval warren of yards and alleys at the heart of Eastvale, Yorkshire, a young woman lies sprawled on a heap of leather scraps, also murdered. DCI Alan Banks and DI Annie Cabbot attempt to solve these crimes as a ghost from the past is back to haunt both them. DCI Banks is a super character. I care as much about what is going on in his life as I do about the mystery itself.
Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger
Ridley Jones saves a little child from being hit by a car and because of the publicity, someone slips a note under her door that says “I think you are my daughter”. This book is one of the most intense, addictive mysteries I have ever read. I really liked the character of Ridley Jones and fortunately she re-appeared in Sliver of Truth. Booklist calls this second book a sizzling sequel and I couldn’t agree more. Treat yourself.
A skeleton is found on a construction site but it is several decades old. Detective Erlendur's team is skeptical that they can find out how it got there but secrets always come back to life. A mysterious green lady, a missing fiancee and a cryptic note written by a dying octogenarian all provide clues. For fans of Henning Mankell and Karin Fossum, Indridason is the new, great voice in Nordic Crime. This novel won the CWA Gold Dagger and caused some controversy when complaints poured in that too many works in translation were winning the award. Which is of course a complete load of poppycock.
For something a little more lighthearted - the myseries of Edmund Crispin are a lot of fun. Featuring eccentric Oxford don Gervase Fen, these always have lots of fun literary references sprinkled in. Try Holy Disorders, Love Lies Bleeding or his most famous The Moving Toyshop.
The Law of Three: Sara Martin Mysteries by Caroline Pattison
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
3. The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
5. The Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems: Today I Will Fly! /My Friend is Sad! /I am Invited to a Party! /There is A Bird on Your Head
10. Black Book of Secrets by F. E. Higgins
This is part social history and part coming of age – totally intriguing , very well written and researched.
4. The Wilde Women by Paula Wall
5. Waiting to Surface by Emily Listfield
6. Billie Standish Was Here by Nancy Crocker
7. Lacemaker and the Princess by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley
8. The Miner's Daughter by Gretchen Moran Laskas
Monday, December 10, 2007
Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart
Consequences by Penelope Lively
Exit Ghost by Philip Roth
The Lay of the Land by Richard Ford
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
The Pesthouse by Jim Crace
The Post-birthday World by Lionel Shriver
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
In his first novel for a younger audience, Carl Hiaasen plunges readers into the middle of an ecological mystery, made up of endangered miniature owls and the owls' unlikely allies--three middle-school kids determined to beat the screwed-up adult system. All of Hiaasen’s dark humour slightly sanitized for the young adult reader. This effort was followed by Flush in 2005.
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
The story centres on a new tenth grade student at Mica Area High School in Arizona: Stargirl Caraway, an eccentric and compassionate non-conformist vegetarian who has spent her previous years in homeschooling. Eleventh-grader Leo Borlock narrates with equal amounts of grudging admiration for her eccentricity and the hope that Stargirl could somehow be more normal, and thus attract less ridicule. A sequel, Love, Stargirl, was released in August of this year.
Schooled by Gordon Korman
This book is about Capricorn Anderson, a home-schooled boy raised in isolation by his grandmother, an ex-hippie from the sixties. It's the story of what happens when he's suddenly thrust into a large middle school. An accident befalls his grandmother, Rain, and Cap is placed in the care of a social worker while his grandmother recuperates. Having never handled money or lived in a house with a telephone, Cap finds himself baffled by what the people around him take for normal.
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
The book is a collection of economic articles written by Levitt, translated into prose meant for a wide audience. Levitt had already gained a reputation in academia for applying economic theory to diverse subjects not usually covered by "traditional" economists. This fascinating book connects economic statistics with social and cultural phenomenon.
By telling the stories of regular patrons at Lucy’s Tavern, Rebecca Barry captures the idiosyncrasies of an upstate New York backwater where social life revolves around the happenings of the bar.
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
Nazneen is a Bangladeshi girl whose father arranges a marriage to Chanu, a Bengali immigrant living in England. Although Chanu—who is twice Nazneen's age--turns out to be a foolish blowhard, Nazneen accepts her fate, thereby applying the main life lesson taught by the women in her family. Over the next decade and a half Nazneen grows into a strong, confident woman who doesn't defy fate so much as bend it to her will.
Still Life by Louise Penny
The residents of a tiny Canadian village called Three Pines are shocked when the body of Miss Jane Neal is found in the woods. Miss Neal, the village's retired schoolteacher and a talented amateur artist, has been a good friend to most of the townsfolk, and so her loss is keenly felt. At first, her death appears to be a tragic accident, but the seemingly peaceful, friendly village hides dark secrets.
The Birth House by Ami McKay
Modernity meets tradition during World War I in the isolated coastal town of Scots Bay, Nova Scotia, where the men make their living building boats and fishing and the women tend to matters of the home, including birthing and raising children, feeding their families, and cultivating gardens and friendships. When Dr. Gilbert Thomas arrives, promising to bring safe and hygienic methods to childbirth, the local women are faced with the choice of turning to him or continuing to be cared for by the midwife and all she represents.
The Lizard Cage by Karen Connelly
Karen Connelly’s first novel recreates the world of a Burmese prison, and of the country’s tumultuous years in the late 1980s, when millions of people rose up to protest against the brutality of their military government. This is a story of human resilience, love and humour in a world that celebrates the human spirit in the midst of injustice and violence.
By the Time You Read This by Giles Blunt
Giles Blunt is Canada’s answer to Ian Rankin. This dark, gritty novel is the latest in a series featuring Detective John Cardinal. Here, he is on the hunt for an ingenious killer even as he mourns his own wife’s tragic death. In this thriller of heart-stopping suspense, Blunt makes Northern Ontario seem not so removed from big-city problems, after all.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Found by Souvankham Thammavongsa
These spare poems were inspired by a scrapbook that the poet's father kept while he lived in a refugee camp in Thailand.
Sitcom by David McGimpsey
Mischievous, generous and side-splittingly funny, this collection of wry soliloquies and sonnets begins with a milestone birthday. One of the Q&Q's Best Books of 2007
All Our Wonder Unavenged by Don Domanski
A poet explores the implicit relationship between the matter and spirit and the interconnectedness of the universe. Winner of the Governor General's Award for Poetry, 2007.
The Door by Margaret Atwood
I love the bite Atwood delivers in her poetry and short stories; I think she's at her best in these two literary forms. This is her first collection of poetry in over a decade.
Conversation Pieces: Poems that Talk to Other Poems selected by Kurt Brown and Harold Schechter
Everyman's Library publishes The Pocket Poets series - lovely, tiny, little volumes perfect for slipping in a purse or pocket. This anthology is a lot of fun. The editors have paired poems that are direct, conscious responses to other, mostly famous poems. Some are parodies, others are worshipful tributes. And some are deliciously nasty. I particularly like Ezra Pound's "A Pact" which starts out with "I make a pact with you, Walt Whitman - /I have detested you long enough." This is followed by Charles Harper Webb's "Another Pact" that begins, "You've cowed me long enough, Ezra, with your red/ beard and fascist eyes./I don't need you to teach me How to Read./ Tom Sawyer did that years before I'd heard of you. "
The Stray Dog Cabaret: A Book of Russian Poems translated by Paul Schmidt
The Stray Dog Cabaret opened in St. Petersburg in 1912 and was a club where Russia's bohemian artists drank, talked, debated, played music and read their work on its open stage. This short anthology contains wonderful pieces by some of Russia's best known poets and writers, including Anna Akhmatova, Osip Mandelstam, Marina Tsevetaeva, Boris Pasternak, and Alexander Blok.
Poet’s Corner: The One and Only Poetry Book For the Whole Family compiled by John Lithgow
I normally stay away from celebrity books, but this one was so good I couldn’t resist! Lithgow, a poetry enthusiast since childhood, has compiled a collection of works from fifty different poets. The book is arranged in alphabetical order according to the poet’s last name and are each introduced by Lithgow, who also provides definitions, historical tidbits, favourite poems, further readings and interesting websites to visit to further the learning experience (like a Dorothy Parker site on which you can listen to the poet reading her favourite poems). Lithgow’s essential criterion for inclusion in the collection is that ‘each poem’s light shines more brightly when read aloud’. Keeping with this idea, the book comes packaged with a MP3 CD containing a selection of poems read by Lithgow and other celebs, including the fabulous Helen Mirren, Glenn Close, Susan Sarandon, Jodie Foster, Morgan Freeman, and more.
Forage by Rita Wong
Friday, December 7, 2007
Debut novelist Horan blends fact and fiction as she recounts the affair between Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick Cheney, the wife of one of Wright’s clients. Commissioned to build a home for the Cheney’s in 1903, the two went on to have an affair that shocked society of the day and destroyed themselves and those around them. Horan is able to draw the reader into the life of Mamah and her thoughts and feelings about her choices and Wright himself come through clearly. This is not so much the story of an affair, but rather the implications of choices that were made by a woman trying to carve out a life for herself beyond the bonds of the early twentieth century.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hoseini
Two boys, Amir, son of a prominent and wealthy man, Hassan, son of Amir's father's servant, it is through the recounting of the relationship between these two boys that the reader is taken into Afghanistan. Hosseini, through the pages of his story explores relationships – the bonds between fathers and sons, the bonds between two boys raised in the same home yet worlds apart and the bonds of culture. Through the recounting their lives and their choices, we learn about life in Kabul before the Russian invasion and then the destruction of all they held dear. This is a tour de force that clearly demonstrates the power of story.
Smoke by Elizabeth Ruth
Travel back to rural Southern Ontario in the 1950s through the pages of Elizabeth Ruth’s second novel, Smoke. Here we meet Buster McFiddie, a popular, handsome 15-year-old whose life changes forever one night after he falls asleep in bed smoking and Doc John, the town doctor who tells Buster stories of a Detroit mob gang in the 30’s to help him ease the pain of his burns. As the story unfolds, the reader is asked to consider what is most important, who we are on the outside or the inside.
Before I Wake by Robert J. Wiersema
The lives of the characters in this book are changed forever following a hit-and-run accident that leaves three year old Sherry Barrett in a coma. Sherry’s parents, forced to confront every parent’s nightmare - the loss of a child, take their daughter off life support, however, the child breathes on her own, this is only the first of a number of “miracles”. At home, Sherry’s nurse discovers that the child’s touch has the power to heal and as word of this gift leaks out believers begin to gather. Like Sherry’s parents, the reader is asked to consider questions of faith and belief.
October by Richard B. Wright
With a grace and gentleness of style Wright weaves the story of a man who must confront both his present and his past and the connection between the two. James Hillyer, a retired professor, is in England to spend time with his daughter, she has recently been diagnosed with cancer. While there, he has a chance encounter with a man he knew as a teenager and it is through this meeting that he comes to recall a summer spent with his uncle in Quebec and to consider a unique request that will help him face the possibility of outliving his child.
Austenland by Shannon Hale
The Sea by John Banville
Abundance : a novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund
Mary Modern : a novel by Camille DeAngelis
Sharron Smith is the Manager of Readers’ Advisory Services at the Kitchener Public Library and the co-author of Canadian Fiction: a guide to reading interests a resource designed to connect readers and books; as well, she is an active participant in a professional readers’ advisory committees both in Ontario and the U.S. A committed promoter of reading in her community through appearances on local television, public speaking and community outreach; she has been actively involved with the Region of Waterloo’s One Book, One Community program, one of the first community reading campaigns in Canada, since it began in 2002.
Salamander, Thomas Wharton
Conceit, Mary Novik
The Republic of Nothing, Lesley Choyce
Bloodletting & Miracle Cures, Vincent Lam
The Memory of Running, Ron McLarty
The 100 Mile Diet, Alisa Smith & J.B. Mackinnon
Home Schooling, Carol Windley
A History of Reading, Alberto Manguel
Job: A Comedy of Justice, Robert Heinlein
Black Water, TJ MacGregor
John Miedema is a library student at the University of Western Ontario, and author of the blog, slowreading.net