St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the November 28, 2018 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

washington black - giller winnerWashington Black : a novel

By Esi Edugyen

Washington Black is an eleven-year-old field slave who knows no other life than the Barbados sugar plantation where he was born. When his master’s eccentric brother chooses him to be his manservant, Wash is terrified. But “Titch” is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor, and abolitionist. Shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize and winner of the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize.


Friend - Nunez - National Book Award winnerThe Friend : a novel

By Sigrid Nunez

A moving story of love, friendship, grief, healing, and the magical bond between a woman and her dog. When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane. Winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction (US).

St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the November 21, 2018 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

Red wordThe Red word : a novel

By Sarah Henstra

The Red Word is a campus novel like no other. As her sophomore year begins, Karen enters into the back-to-school revelry — particularly at a fraternity called GBC. When she wakes up one morning on the lawn of Raghurst, a house of radical feminists, she gets a crash course in the state of feminist activism on campus. The Red Word is this year’s Governor General’s Fiction Award winner.


Dear EvelynDear Evelyn : a novel

By Kathy Page

Twisting and startling, harrowing and deeply tender, Dear Evelyn explores how two very different people come together to shape and reshape each other over a lifetime. It is a compelling and unconventional love story that will leave its mark on any reader who has ever loved.  Dear Evelyn is this year’s winner of the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.

Joanne’s Mystery Picks

9781472234681INCORRUPTIBLE by Barbara Nadel

The body of a young woman is found in the backstreets of Istanbul.  She’s been brutally murdered and the description of her injuries is horrific, indeed.  Maryam de Mango was well known by many who claimed her to be a messenger from the Virgin Mary after she was miraculously cured of cancer.  But this claim incensed those of other religions, causing a rift amongst Christians of the city.

As Cetin Ikmen and his team investigate Maryam’s background, they find a family divided by hatred, fear and many secrets.  The brutality of her father, Silvio, is measured both by his words and his fists.  At times it is difficult to carry on reading, as he spews his venom with such abhorrent obscenities.  Many will find these passages offensive and at times I felt that they were “over the top”.  Even Ikmen shows his disgust at Silvio’s words and actions.

As the story draws to its conclusion, the landscape around our characters changes dramatically, leaving us wondering where Nadel will take us next.

Weekend Picks

A couple of “good” ones right here:

Good Manners

Clara is a lonely nurse from the outskirts of Sao Paulo who is hired by the mysterious and wealthy Ana to be the nanny of her soon-to-be-born child. Against all odds, the two women develop a strong bond, but a fateful night marked by a full moon changes their plans.

The Good Postman

Postman Ivan has a new political vision: he decides to run for mayor in order to bring his dying village to life by welcoming refugees. His opponents are only interested in closing their eyes to the refugees, shutting the border and reintroducing communism. While on the campaign trail, his delivery route, Ivan learns that good intentions are not enough, and that even the smallest deeds matter.