St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the December 6, 2017 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

Snow childThe Snow Child : a novel

By Eowyn Ivey

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart–he breaking under the weight of farm work; she crumbling from loneliness. In a moment of levity during the first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning they glimpse a blonde-haired girl running through the trees. Now available as a book club kit.

 

 

HiddenseeHiddensee : a tale of the once and future nutcracker

By Gregory Maguire

Hiddensee imagines the back story of the Nutcracker, revealing how it came to be carved and how he guided an ailing girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a Christmas Eve. At the heart of Hoffmann’s mysterious tale hovers Godfather Drosselmeier– the ominous, canny, one-eyed toy maker who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter.

 

Joanne’s Mystery Picks

HEART OF THE CITYheart-of-the-city-9781476740577_hr  by Robert Rotenberg

After the events in Stranglehold Ari Greene distances himself from his life as a cop and takes a job on a construction site for a new condo development in Toronto.  His life has been changed dramatically with the discovery of a 21 year old daughter of whom he had no prior knowledge.  When he stumbles across the body of Livingston Fox, condo developer, he is reluctantly thrust back into his former life, in pursuit of a vicious murderer who does not stop at killing only Fox.

After an awkward reconciliation with Daniel Kennicott, his protégé, Greene and he join forces once again as they follow the money in the high-stakes world of downtown development in pursuit of Fox’s murderer.  Like any case, once you crack the secrets you’ve pretty much cracked the case.  In this case, some of those secrets strike very close to home for Greene.

Rotenberg provides us with a first-class mystery as the suspects start adding up.

It’s Greene who works it all out in the end – to a startling and unexpected conclusion.

THE SEAGULL by Ann Cleeves35963210

When Vera is asked to visit her local prison to give a talk on the repercussions of crime on its victims, she’s confronted by former DS John Brace, now an inmate for corruption and his role in a death.  He wants to strike a deal with Vera. He’s prepared to provide her with information about the disappearance of Robbie Marshall, a notorious figure at the time he disappeared almost twenty years ago.  In return, he wants Vera to look out for his daughter and grandchildren.

Vera’s investigation into this cold case plunges her back in time to her years living with her father, Hector, and brings up disturbing memories of his illegal activities.

Marshall was someone she remembers as having visited their house along with Brace and two others, all friends of Hector.

The more Vera digs into this case, the closer it gets to home. With Hector being one of the last people to see Marshall alive, Vera is forced to consider the possibility that Hector was involved in Marshall’s death.  As Vera reflects on this time in her life we’re given a better understanding of how her past and her years of living with Hector in such a dysfunctional household have formed the person she is today.

Weekend Picks

It’s December 1st and I suppose that it is finally time to accept that winter is a thing. Enjoy some Ice Cold Flicks! 

Misery

After a famous author is rescued from a car crash by a fan of his novels, he comes to realize that the care he is receiving is only the beginning of a nightmare of captivity and abuse

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Norwegian Wood

Toru recalls his life in the 1960s, when his friend Kizuki killed himself and he grew close to Naoko, Kizuki’s girlfriend, and another woman, the outgoing, lively Midori.

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The Holiday

Two women troubled with guy-problems swap homes in each other’s countries, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love.

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St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the November 29, 2017 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

Bellevue SquareBellevue Square : a novel

By Michael Redhill

A darkly comic literary thriller about a woman who fears for her sanity–and then her life–when she learns that her doppelganger has appeared in a local park. A peculiar collection of drug addicts, scam artists, philanthropists, philosophers and vagrants—the regulars of Bellevue Square—are eager to contribute to Jean’s investigation. Winner of the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

 

We'll all be burnt in our beds some nightWe’ll all be burnt in our beds some night : a novel

By Joel Thomas Hynes

This is the story of one man’s kicking-and-screaming attempt to recuperate from a life of petty crime and shattered relationships, and somehow accept and maybe even like the new man emerging from within, the one he so desperately needs to become. Winner of the 2017 Governor General’s Award for Fiction.