Book picks as published in the January 25, 2017 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.
The Revenge of Analog : real things and why they matter
By David Sax
Blending psychology and observant wit with old-fashioned reportage, Sax shows that humans need to work, sell, and live in the real world–not on a screen. “A funny thing has happened on our way to the digital utopia: we find ourselves increasingly missing reality.” Sax has found story after story of entrepreneurs, artisans, and creators who make real money by selling real things.
The Inevitable : understanding the 12 technological forces that will shape our future
By Kevin Kelly
Kelly, a former editor of Wired magazine provides an optimistic road map for the future, showing how the coming changes in our lives—from virtual reality in the home to an on-demand economy to artificial intelligence embedded in everything we manufacture—can be understood as the result of a few long-term, accelerating forces. Fascinating and provocative.
Book picks as published in the January 18, 2017 St. Albert Gazette.
With the United States on the cusp of a new era, some timely books reflecting on pressing social issues.
The Underground Railroad : a novel
By Colson Whitehead
This US National Book Award winning novel chronicles the daring survival story of a cotton plantation slave in Georgia, who, after suffering at the hands of both her owners and fellow slaves, races through the Underground Railroad with a relentless slave-catcher close behind. A powerful meditation on the history of race relations in America.
Hillbilly elegy : a memoir of a family and culture in crisis
By J.D. Vance
Shares the story of the author’s family and upbringing, describing how they moved from poverty to an upwardly mobile clan that included the author, a Yale Law School graduate, while navigating the demands of middle class life and the collective demons of the past. A passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans.
Book picks as published in the January 11, 2017 St. Albert Gazette.
The Promise of Canada : 150 years – people and ideas that have shaped our country
By Charlotte Gray
Get into the spirit of Canada’s sesquicentennial year with this award-winning writer’s look at 150 years of Canadian history. What does it mean to be a Canadian? What great ideas have changed our country? Gray has chosen people whose ideas have caught her imagination, ideas that over time have become part of our collective conversation.
A Number of Things : stories of Canada told through fifty objects
By Jane Urquhart
Urquhart chose 50 Canadian objects and wove a rich and surprising narrative that speaks to our collective experience as a nation. Each object is beautifully illustrated by the noted artist Scott McKowen, with Jane Urquhart conjuring and distilling meaning and magic from these unexpected facets of our history.
Start the new year with a celebration of reading!
The Art of X-Ray Reading : how the secrets of 25 great works of literature will improve your writing by Roy Peter Clark
Clark invites you to don your X-ray reading glasses and join him on a guided tour through some of the most exquisite and masterful literary works of all time, from the Great Gatsby to Lolita to The Bluest Eye, and many more. Along the way, he shows you how to mine these masterpieces for invaluable writing strategies that you can add to your arsenal and apply in your own writing.
Books for Living by Will Schwalbe
In this delightful celebration of reading, Schwalbe invites us along on his quest for books that speak to the specific challenges of living in our modern world, with all its noise and distractions. The books span centuries and genres and each one relates to the questions and concerns we all share. He focuses on the way certain books can help us honour those we’ve loved, and also figure out how to live each day more fully.
The Seniors Book Club will meet in the 2nd floor Aquarium on Wednesday, June 15 at 2 pm. This month we’re discussing The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys.
About the book
Resigned to living out the Second World War in a German POW camp, James Hunter, an English officer, begins studying a pair of redstarts near the camp. His interest in the birds captures the attention of the Kommandant and gives James cause to fear for his life. Meanwhile, back in England, James’s young wife, Rose, falls headlong into a passionate affair with another man. When James’s sister, Enid, is bombed out of her London flat, she comes to stay with Rose, and the two women form a surprising friendship that alters the course of both of their lives.
With wonderfully developed characters, exquisitely shaped by and reflected in the natural world, The Evening Chorus is a brilliant, beautiful evocation of place and a natural history of both the war and the human heart. (Publisher)
Helen Humphreys on The Evening Chorus and the solitary act of writing
Helen Humphreys on writing historical fiction
Q and A with Helen Humphreys (The Globe and Mail)
Review in the The Globe and Mail
Review in the National Post
John Buxton (ornithologist)
Birdmen of the German Stalags
Airmen’s memorial on Ashdown Forest