St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the August 15, 2018 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

HeartbreakerHeartbreaker : a novel

By Claudia Dey

Set in an isolated town founded decades ago by a charismatic cult leader, Heartbreaker is the story of a mysterious woman who abruptly disappears, and those who try to find her. At the intersection of The Handmaid’s Tale and Twin Peaks, this is the wildly imaginative American debut of a prize-winning Canadian author.

 

 

terrible countryA Terrible country : a novel

By Keith Gessen

When Dima insists that Andrei return to Moscow to care for their grandmother, Andrei must take stock of his life in New York. His girlfriend has stopped returning his text messages. It’s the summer of 2008, and his bank account is dangerously low. Perhaps a few months in Moscow are just what he needs. A wise and funny novel about Russia, exile, family, love, history and fate.

Joanne’s Mystery Picks

9781459737617A TIDING OF MAGPIES by Steve Burrows

When DC Desdemona Gill, Empowered Investigator for the Met’s Department of Professional Standards, is brought in to audit the case of the kidnapping of the Home Secretary’s daughter (the case that earned Jejeune his promotion), what has always been assumed to be a straight-forward case, turns out to be anything but.  With a new murder to investigate, along with fending off questions about the kidnapping and a resurgence in the threats to Lindy, Jejeune’s partner, Jejeune must count on Sergeant Danny Maik more than ever.

Burrows has written an intense mystery with many twists and turns and occasional “laugh out loud” moments.  As the team assembles the final pieces in the puzzles that are these cases, Jejeune makes a decision that will have an dramatic impact on everyone in his circle.  Where the story goes from here, I don’t know, but I’ll be waiting with baited breath to find out!

4 daggers

 

Joanne gives this “4 daggers out of 5”!

Check out Joanne’s other Birdie Murder Mystery reviews: A Shimmer of Hummingbirds, A Siege of Bitterns, and A Pitying of Doves

Summer Reading Game Book Reviews!

The reviews are pouring in as participants are racing to finish their reading challenges before the end of the Adult Summer Reading Game!

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I Remember You by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Amazing!
I finished this book just before midnight and then lay awake until almost 1:00 a.m., mulling over the story and just plain being freaked out. I love a good ghost story, and Sigurdardøttir does a great job of building up the tension in two brilliantly crafted, and seemingly unrelated stories. It kept me guessing all the way to the scary finish, when all the interconnecting pieces snap together. Like other Scandinavian mysteries, the bleak isolated landscape of the remote Hesteyri island is almost like another character.
Read with the lights on.
~Staff review by Michelle S

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Amazing!
Like the Nightingale, Hannah’s characters are rich and realized. But The Great Alone brings her talent for character to a focal point. Leni’s experiences of emotional and physical survival are tested beyond belief when her family–a Vietnam vet plagued by PTSD and his overly devoted wife–moves to isolating Alaska in a deluded attempt to find a better life. Beautifully written with horrific moments, things must descend into chaos before finding the light.

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Amazing!
Wow! I really enjoyed this book! Except for the night when I read it right before trying to sleep, the author revealed a big event and Boom! I spent the whole night horrified by what had happened! Reminiscent of Gone Girl.

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Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Amazing!
Through the voices of multiple characters you hear about the events leading to and after an afternoon BBQ. The actual events at the BBQ are not revealed until 2/3 of the way through the book. I couldn’t stop reading!

Poppies of Iraq by Brigitte Findakly

I liked it.
The graphic novel format is prefect for this book. The author integrates anecdotes about her life in Iraq as a child and visits later as an adult living in France. Through the anecdotes and the description of events in Iraq that led to these impacts in her famly’s life, I got a more personal account of Iraq’s history.

Mr. Flood’s Last Resort by Jess Kidd

Amazing!
This book was excellent. A well-written mystery that was able to send chills down my spine. Kidd’s writing created exciting and well-developed characters, as well as unexpected twists and turns. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a thrill ride! Excellent, exciting novel!
~Staff review by Kirsten

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Sidney Chambers and The Shadow of Death by James Runcie

I liked it.
I love mysteries and Sidney in Grantchester did not disappoint. Each of the six mysteries stand on their own, however the characters interconnect from beginning to end. The budding friendship, or perhaps romance between Sidney and Amanda had me curious through the entire 392 pages, waiting for a kiss.

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Amazing!
WOW. I absolutely loved this book. Grann writes non-fiction in a narrative fashion, which is enhanced by photographs alongside the relevant passages. A fascinating look into both Native American mistreatment in the early 20th century as well as the government’s creation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate the serial murders of the Osage people. A WONDERFUL read. Highly recommend.
~Staff review by Kirsten

Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly W. Brown

I liked it.
Admirable book from a young(ish) adult herself!
Easy read; however, the advise is “right on the money” in most cases. Helpful to any young adult, middle-aged or older adult in our chaotic era of sociocultural-technological times. Even better, if you’re stressed–moving. A great “how-to” with authentic anecdotes! Amusing, vernacular not for the faint-hearted.

Weekend Picks

Stream over 30,000  films from the Criterion Collection, enlightening documentaries, and the best indie films from around the world, with your free membership to Kanopy!

Here are a couple of those enlightening and also relevant docs:

Feminism Inshallah: A History of Arab Feminism

The struggle for Muslim women’s emancipation is often portrayed stereotypically as a showdown between Western and Islamic values, but Arab feminism has existed for more than a century. This groundbreaking documentary recounts Arab feminism’s largely unknown story, from its taboo-shattering birth in Egypt by feminist pioneers up through viral Internet campaigns by today’s tech-savvy young activists during the Arab Spring.

A Sinner in Mecca – Challenging Faith in the Face of Adversity

For a gay filmmaker, filming in Saudi Arabia presents two serious challenges: filming is forbidden in the country and homosexuality is punishable by death. For filmmaker Parvez Sharma, however, these were risks he had to assume as he embarked on his Hajj pilgrimage, a journey considered the greatest accomplishment and aspiration within Islam, his religion.

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