Book Reviews to Inspire You for the Last Week of the Reading Game!

The last day to spin the Summer Reading Game wheel is Sunday August 16, and the last day to get your entries in is Tuesday August 18! Get those entries in for the Grand Prize of a Kobo Aura eReader.

To help with your final reading choices, here are a couple patron book reviews:

RuRu by Kim Thúy

“An autobiographical story of a Vietnamese Canadian, told in ultra-short scenes (vignettes), using poetic language. I can’t decide if I like this book or not. Maybe I read this book too fast, as the language sometimes felt choppy and the scenes too scattered. I may need to give it another try.”  ~Patron review, August 2015

Category: Fiction in Translation

**Kim Thúy will be coming to St. Albert Library on October 28 as part of STARFest 2015**

6257535New York by Edward Rutherfurd

“As the characters develop I found it interesting to grow with them and learn how history impacted them. I appreciated how the author introduced different characters, different cultures and tied them to a significant historical event. I did find it tough to remember all the linkages and felt it sometimes digresses. Overall enjoyed it.” ~Patron review, August 2015

Category: Historical Fiction

Monday Evening Book Club April Selection

ConfabulistThe Monday Evening Book Club will meet April 13 at 7 pm in Forsyth Hall. We will discuss the novel The Confabulist by Steven Galloway, one of last fall’s StarFest authors. As some of you were at the event we should have an interesting conversation, enriched by your impressions.

Booklist review:

Confabulation is the invention of imaginary memories to compensate for memory loss. It’s not lying because the confabulist is not aware the memories are false. This fascinating novel is narrated by Martin Strauss, who confesses to two things: he is the man who killed Harry Houdini (twice), and he suffers from a degenerative condition that affects his brain’s ability to store memories. Strauss tells a fascinating story about the unknown Houdini: stage magician—sure, we all know that—but also a secret spy for the U.S. Treasury Department, advisor to the American military, confidant of a Russian spy, faker of his own death. Strauss’ story so cleverly mixes historical fact with fiction that it is virtually impossible to separate the two (and, remember, Strauss believes it’s all true). Author Galloway will often take a real event, such as Houdini’s escape from a prison transport in Moscow, and layer on fictional elements, but it’s done so seamlessly that it’d be easy to think the whole episode really happened (as Strauss, in fact, does). The book’s title itself could easily apply either to Strauss (for obvious reasons) or to Houdini himself, whose escape-artist persona, even his name, was an embellishment of the real man. A brilliant novel, and one that virtually demands multiple readings to pick up all the subtleties (especially concerning the end of the book, and enough said about that).

Author biography

Author interview

Youtube video of interview

Reviews

Discussion Questions

Harry Houdini on Wikipedia

Spiritualism

Seniors Book Club November Selection

ConfabulistThe Seniors Book Club will meet Wednesday, November 12 at 2 pm in the second floor Training Room. We will discuss the novel The Confabulist by Steven Galloway, one of our recent StarFest  authors. As many of you were at the event we should have an interesting conversation, enriched by your impressions.

Booklist review:

Confabulation is the invention of imaginary memories to compensate for memory loss. It’s not lying because the confabulist is not aware the memories are false. This fascinating novel is narrated by Martin Strauss, who confesses to two things: he is the man who killed Harry Houdini (twice), and he suffers from a degenerative condition that affects his brain’s ability to store memories. Strauss tells a fascinating story about the unknown Houdini: stage magician—sure, we all know that—but also a secret spy for the U.S. Treasury Department, advisor to the American military, confidant of a Russian spy, faker of his own death. Strauss’ story so cleverly mixes historical fact with fiction that it is virtually impossible to separate the two (and, remember, Strauss believes it’s all true). Author Galloway will often take a real event, such as Houdini’s escape from a prison transport in Moscow, and layer on fictional elements, but it’s done so seamlessly that it’d be easy to think the whole episode really happened (as Strauss, in fact, does). The book’s title itself could easily apply either to Strauss (for obvious reasons) or to Houdini himself, whose escape-artist persona, even his name, was an embellishment of the real man. A brilliant novel, and one that virtually demands multiple readings to pick up all the subtleties (especially concerning the end of the book, and enough said about that).