Weekend Picks

St. Patrick’s Day Picks



Sing Street

See 1980s Dublin through the eyes of fourteen-year-old Conor, who is looking for a break from a home strained by his parents’ relationship and money troubles while trying to adjust to his new inner-city public school where the kids are rough and the teachers are rougher. He finds a glimmer of hope in the mysterious, über-cool Raphina. With the aim of winning her heart he invites her to star in his band’s music videos. There’s only one problem: he’s not part of a band yet.



An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.


In the Name of the Father

A true story of one man’s 15-year struggle and ultimate triumph over a terrible injustice. Gerry Conlon, a petty thief in 1970s London, who is forced to confess to a savage terrorist bombing that he did not commit. When he and his father are both sentenced to life imprisonment as one of the ‘Guildford Four’, he finds a fiercely dedicated lawyer, to help prove his innocence, clear his father’s name and expose the truth behind one of the most shameful legal events in recent history.



Dramatizes the final days of Bobby Sands, a twenty-seven-year-old Irish Republican Army member who went on a hunger strike at Maze Prison to protest the British government’s refusal to recognize him and his fellow IRA inmates as political prisoners.


Veronica Guerin

Based on the true story of Irish journalist, Veronica Guerin, whose reporting on powerful drug lords cost Veronica her life.



A Czech immigrant meets an Irish street musician, and together they spend one eventful week writing and recording songs that describe their own unique love.


The Magdalene Sisters

In Ireland in the 1960s, three women were sent to the Magdalene Sisterhood Asylum because of ‘sinful’ behavior. They all had to work in the laundry, where the strict nuns would break everyone’s wills through sadistic punishment.



Follows the story of a fisherman who pulls up his nets one day to find a woman inside, which his daughter believes to be a selkie, but as they fall in love, a figure from her past threatens to disrupt their happiness.


The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Driven by a deep sense of duty and a love for his country, Damien abandons his burgeoning career as a doctor and joins his brother, Teddy in a dangerous and violent fight for freedom. As the Irish freedom fighters bold tactics bring the British to a breaking point, both sides finally agree to a treaty to end the bloodshed. But, despite the apparent victory, civil war erupts and families who fought side by side, find themselves pitted against one another, putting their loyalties to the ultimate test.


The Crying Game

A compassionate Irish terrorist risks his own life to seek out the girlfriend of the hostage he held, and discovers that personal relationships are complex and more satisfying than political commitments.


Waking Ned Devine

When Ned Devine dies from shock after winning the lottery, two longtime friends, Michael and Jackie, discover the body and agree Ned would want them to benefit from his good luck. They embark upon an outrageous scheme to claim the ticket – but first they must convince the townfolk to go along with their plan.








St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the March 14, 2018 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

I am I am I amI am, I am, I am : seventeen brushes with death

By Maggie O’Farrell

We are never closer to life than when we brush up against the possibility of death. Seventeen discrete encounters with Maggie at different ages, in different locations, reveal a whole life in a series of tense, visceral snapshots. An extraordinary memoir from one of Northern Ireland’s bestselling novelists, for fans of Wild and When Breath Becomes Air.



American war (cover only)American war : a novel

By Omar El Akkad

A second American Civil War, a devastating plague, and one family caught deep in the middle–a story that asks what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself. An audacious and powerful debut novel that is shortlisted for Canada Reads 2018.

Joanne’s Mystery Picks

518kxrxzqel-_sx308_bo1204203200_NAKED IN DEATH by J.D. Robb

Robb’s (a.k.a. Nora Roberts) first book in the “In Death” series takes us to New York City in the mid-twenty-first century.  Don’t let the futuristic setting deter you from reading further.  Other than some societal differences and the fact that technology pretty much runs the world (not a far cry from today), you won’t be subjected to anything super sci-fi.

Eve Dallas, a Lieutenant in the New York City Police Force, is called to the scene of a grisly murder.  A woman working as a licensed prostitute (an accepted profession in this time) has been found dead in her apartment, and it’s been found that she’s the grand-daughter of a prominent Senator.

With the determination that comes along with her job and the past that haunts her, Eve ignores the obstacles that are put in her way as she investigates this case and the subsequent ones that appear to be tied to it.  She’s smart, strong, and feisty, and when compromised, puts up a really good fight.  I like Eve Dallas, and look forward to reading the other 40+ books in this series.

Seniors Book Club March Selection

The Seniors Book Club will meet at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, March 14 in the 2nd floor Training Room to discuss the novel  Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney.Lillian Boxfish takes a walk

About the book…

It’s the last day of 1984, and 85-year-old Lillian Boxfish is about to take a walk.

As she traverses a grittier Manhattan, a city anxious after an attack by a still-at-large subway vigilante, she encounters bartenders, bodega clerks, chauffeurs, security guards, bohemians, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be—in surprising moments of generosity and grace. While she strolls, Lillian recalls a long and eventful life that included a brief reign as the highest-paid advertising woman in America—a career cut short by marriage, motherhood, divorce, and a breakdown.

A love letter to city life—however shiny or sleazy—Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop. (Author’s website)

Meet Chicago’s modern-day flaneuse: an interview with Kathleen Rooney

Interview with author Kathleen Rooney

Kathleen Rooney describes the process of writing Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

The real Lillian Boxfish: Margaret Fishback 

In praise of walking (and witty women) 

Chicago Tribune review



St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the March 7, 2018 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

ShrewedShrewed : a wry and closely observed look at the lives of women and girls

By Elizabeth Renzetti

Drawing upon Renzetti’s decades of reporting on feminist issues, Shrewed is a book about feminism’s crossroads. From Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign to the quest for equal pay, from the lessons we can learn from old ladies to the future of feminism in a turbulent world, Renzetti takes a pointed, witty look at how far we’ve come — and how far we have to go.



Boat peopleThe Boat people : a novel

By Sharon Bala

A deeply compassionate and timely debut novel about a Sri Lankan refugee who has survived the harrowing experiences of civil war, a prison camp, and a perilous ocean voyage to Canada — but his journey has only begun, as he and his young son navigate the morass of the Canadian refugee system. Shortlisted for Canada Reads 2018.