St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the July 26, 2017 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

Little sisterLittle Sister : a novel

By Barbara Gowdy

It is high summer, and a band of storms is rolling across the city. Something unusual is also happening to Rose. She loses consciousness and has vivid, realistic dreams of living someone else’s life. Is Rose merely dreaming? Or is she, in fact, inside the body of another woman? Disturbed and entranced, she tries to find out what is happening to her.

 

 

 Be my WolffBe my Wolff : a novel

By Emma Richler

Emma Richler returns with a major novel about a sister and her adopted brother with a one-of-a-kind connection: a profoundly moving, original love story about the choices we make or create for ourselves. This is a novel of astonishing range and imagination: a love story, an exuberant adventure through time and place, a tale of the most unbreakable ties that bind.

Joanne’s Mystery Picks

51rpbhltysl-_sx339_bo1204203200_SIDNEY CHAMBERS and the PERSISTENCE OF LOVE by James Runcie

Archdeacon Sidney Chambers doesn’t look for murders.  They just happen to find him.  This is what happens on a tranquil day when he and daughter Anna are walking in the woods.  They almost trip over the body of a man.  He’s obviously dead and the circumstances of his death lead Sidney to believe that he’s been murdered.

With his good friend DI Geordie Keating, Sidney finds himself involved in solving this murder and subsequent mysteries which include the theft of a valuable religious text; a case of unethical dealings in the art world (involving his friend Amanda); and the disappearance of his nephew.

These cases all have to do with love in one way or another and love plays a part in the problems that Sidney has to deal with in his parish.  Whether it be forbidden love, or love of self, or love of possessions, ultimately Sidney has to approach each instance with compassion and understanding.  When he is met with a personal loss, Sidney struggles with his faith to understand the “why” of what has happened.  He knows that somehow, the love that he holds in his heart will see him through this ordeal.

vertigo-42-9781476724058_lgVERTIGO 42 by Martha Grimes

When Jury’s friend, Sir Oswald Maples, asks him to meet with Maples’ friend, Tom Williamson, Jury finds himself investigating a death that took place seventeen years previously.  The death of Williamson’s wife, Tess, was ruled as an accidental fall, due to her chronic vertigo.  However, Williamson has never really believed that Tess fell to her death, yet has never been able to explain exactly how she did fall.

Meanwhile in Long Piddleton, police are in full force in the area of Tower Cottage where the body of a young woman has been found at the base of the tower.  Did she fall?  Was this suicide?  Or was something more sinister at work here?

Grimes peppers this novel with classic film references: Lawrence of Arabia, Casablanca, and Hitchcock’s Vertigo (a wonderful film about doppelgangers), all seemingly innocuous until the two deaths (and two others – one in the past, and one in the present), start to merge.

Slowly, Jury is able to put the pieces together with help from Plant and through a suggestion from the infamous Harry Johnson (he of The Old Wine Shades).  Alas, Johnson’s story is still unfinished, and so I await the next installment in Jury’s cases, hoping that finally he’ll be able to bring Johnson to justice.

 

Summer Reading Game Reviews

The reviews keep coming in!

12067Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

This book is in my top 10 books that I’ve read. The story was really good and kept me interested right ’til the end. The humour in the story was really great and I laughed out loud many times. I listened to this book on Hoopla and felt the narrator did an excellent job — using different voices, etc. It added to my enjoyment.
Loved it!

51edq-ruewl-_sx323_bo1204203200_The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Beginning in the 1930s, this novel is the story of a family as told to us by Iris Chase, an elderly woman whose life spans the twentieth century.  Iris begins her story with the suicide of her sister, Laura, and the hidden notebooks tied together with kitchen string.  Supposedly written by Laura and entitled “The Blind Assassin”, excerpts become a format for a ‘novel within a novel’ in which a love affair between an unnamed Marxist and a very rich young lady reveals the story of an assassin who falls in love with his victim.

This is a family epic in which the different genres of science fiction, mystery, romance, newspaper reportage and tragedy are bound together in an intriguing narrative that urges us to read on to an unforeseen conclusion.

The Blind Assassin was published in 2000 and in that same year won the Booker Prize.

~Staff review by Iris, Summer Reading Game programmer

St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the July 19, 2017 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

Feast recipesFeast : recipes and stories from a Canadian road trip

By Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller

Two friends. Five months. One car. Ten provinces. Three territories. Seven islands. Eight ferries. Two flights. One 48-hour train ride. And only one call to CAA. The result: over 100 incredible Canadian recipes from coast to coast and the Great White North. Stories, photographs and recipes from Saveur Magazine’s “Best Culinary Travel Blog” award winners.

 

 

Speaking in cod tonguesSpeaking in Cod Tongues : a Canadian culinary journey

By Lenore Newman

Lenore Newman explores Canada’s rich and evolving culinary landscape in Speaking in Cod Tongues. From oceans to prairie, from bakeapples to fiddleheads, from maple syrup to k’aaw, from the height of urban dining to picnics in parks, Newman describes a delicious and emerging mélange representing the multifaceted nature of Canada.