St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the February 19, 2020 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

How to do nothingHow to do nothing : resisting the attention economy

By Jenny Odell

When the technologies we use every day collapse our experiences into 24/7 availability, platforms for personal branding, and products to be monetized, nothing can be quite so radical as . . . doing nothing. Here, Jenny Odell sends up a flare from the heart of Silicon Valley, delivering an action plan to become more meaningfully connected in the process.

 

All things being equalAll things being equal : why math is the key to a better world

By John Mighton

Mighton argues that math study is an ideal starting point to break down social inequality and empower individuals to build a smarter, kinder, more equitable world. Bringing together the latest cognitive research and incremental learning strategies, Mighton goes deep into the classroom and beyond to offer a hopeful–and urgent–vision for a numerate society.

Joanne’s Mystery Picks

the old successThe Old Success
by Martha Grimes

Do writers have a “best before date”?  I’m beginning to think so, especially since reading Peter Robinson’s Many Rivers to Cross, Ann Cleeves’ The Long Call and now Grimes’ The Old Success.  For each of these stories is just not up to the caliber that one would expect of these authors.

The Old Success is the 25th in the Richard Jury series and I was looking forward to some insight into one of his old cases but this was not to be.  Instead, Grimes has Jury collaborate with a DI with the Devon-Cornwall police and a former CID detective who has the reputation of solving every case he’s ever taken on, but one.  The three are tasked with investigating a series of 3 murders over the course of a few weeks.

Missing is the wit that Grimes brings to our favorite characters.  In fact, missing are our favorite characters! For they get barely a mention in this story.  What we do get are some new characters who appear on the page without any introduction, causing me to ask: “who are you and what are you doing in this story?”  As a result, rather than becoming a book that I couldn’t put down, this one was a book that I had to force myself to finish reading.  

Maybe Grimes was counting on her previous reputation to carry this book – in other words, her “Old Success”.    If so, it didn’t work for this reader.

2 Daggers
Joanne gives this “2 daggers out of 5”

Weekend Picks

So ’90s Valentine’s Day Ed.

Like omg, when that little boy in Jerry Maguire asks for a hug… so kewt!

Romeo + Juliet
Trailer

Reality Bites
Trailer

Jerry Maguire
Trailer

Before Sunrise
Trailer

Sleepless in Seattle
Trailer

Romeo + Juliet
Trailer

Ghost
Trailer

The English Patient
Trailer

You’ve Got Mail
Trailer

Titanic
Trailer

10 Things I Hate About You
Trailer

Clueless
Trailer

ps – click here to take a totally awesome Valentine’s Day trip to the ’80s.

St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the February 12, 2020 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

Modern loveModern love : true stories of love, loss, and redemption

Ed. by Daniel Jones

The most popular, provocative, and unforgettable essays from the past fifteen years of the New York Times “Modern Love” column–including stories from the Netflix series starring Tina Fey, Andy Garcia, Anne Hathaway, Catherine Keener, Dev Patel, and John Slattery. This is the perfect book for anyone who’s loved, lost, stalked an ex on social media, or pined for true romance.

 

Lost sisterThe Lost sister : a novel

By Andrea Gunraj

Alisha and Diana are young sisters living at Jane and Finch, a Toronto suburb full of immigrants trying to build new lives in North America. Partially inspired by the real-life experiences of a former resident of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children, The Lost Sister bravely explores the topics of child abuse, neglect, and abduction against a complex interplay of gender, race, and class dynamics. 

Seniors Book Club February Selection

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fineThe Seniors Drop-In Book Club will meet at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, February 12 in the second floor Training Room to discuss the novel Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Scottish author Gail Honeyman.

About the book

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .
The only way to survive is to open your heart. (Source: Publisher)

About the author

Publisher’s Readers Guide (includes discussion questions)

Discussion questions & hosting tips (BookBub)

A Guardian interview

A Conversation with Gail Honeyman (Penguin Random House)

Video interviews with Gail Honeyman

A Guardian book review

An Irish Times book review

An Independent article on loneliness in young people

A US News article on youth loneliness in the U.S.