St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the January 25, 2017 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

revenge-of-analogThe 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.

 

inevitableThe 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.

St. Albert Gazette Great Reading Picks

Start the new year with a celebration of reading!

art-of-x-rayThe 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-livingBooks 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.

Seniors Book Club September Selection

precious-cargoThe Seniors Book Club will meet in the 2nd floor “Aquarium” meeting room on Wednesday, September 14 at 2 pm. Our pick this month is Craig Davidson‘s memoir Precious Cargo : my year driving the kids on school bus 3077.

About the book:

Surprising and revelatory non-fiction from a talented young writer whose last book, “Cataract City,” was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Trillium Book Prize, and was a Globe Best Book and national bestseller. In this new work of intimate, riveting, and timely non-fiction, based loosely on an award-winning article he published, Davidson tells the story of one year in his life – driving a school bus full of special-needs kids. Davidson shows us how his evolving relationship with the kids on that bus, each of them struggling physically as well as emotionally and socially, slowly but surely changed his life along with the lives of the precious cargo in his care. This is the extraordinary story of that year and those relationships. It is also a moving, important and universal story about how we see and treat people with special needs in our society. (Publisher)

Craig Davidson’s website

Author biography on Wikipedia

Craig Davidson’s blog – reader questions

A Chatelaine interview

A Radio interview on CBC’s The Next Chapter

A TVO article and video interview

A CBC’s The Current podcast and transcript

A Globe and Mail review

A Quill and Quire review

Craig Davidson aka Nick Cutter

 

Monday Evening Book Club September Selection

Inconvenient IndianThe Monday Evening Book Club will meet in Forsyth Hall on September 12 at 7 pm. This month we’re discussing The Inconvenient Indian : a curious account of Native People in North America by Thomas King.

About the book:

Rich with dark and light, pain and magic, The Inconvenient Indian distills the insights gleaned from Thomas King’s critical and personal meditation on what it means to be “Indian” in North America, weaving the curiously circular tale of the relationship between non-Natives and Natives in the centuries since the two first encountered each other. In the process, King refashions old stories about historical events and figures, takes a sideways look at film and pop culture, relates his own complex experiences with activism, and articulates a deep and revolutionary understanding of the cumulative effects of ever-shifting laws and treaties on Native peoples and lands.
This is a book both timeless and timely, burnished with anger but tempered by wit, and ultimately a hard-won offering of hope–a sometimes inconvenient but nonetheless indispensable account for all of us, Indian and non-Indian alike, seeking to understand how we might tell a new story for the future. (Publisher)

About Thomas King

A Globe and Mail interview

Publisher’s Readers Guide, including discussion questions

An Amnesty International Book Club discussion guide

A book review by Richard Wagamese

A Quill & Quire review

thestar.com review

A Wikipedia article on ethnic stereotypes

Truth and Reconciliation resources

Seniors Book Club March Selection

Into the abyssThe Seniors Book Club will meet March 12th at 2:00 pm in the Training Room to discuss Into the Abyss : how a deadly plane crash changed the lives of a pilot, a politician, a criminal and a cop by Carol Shaben.

About the book:

In the tradition of Into Thin Air and The Perfect Storm comes the riveting account of a deadly plane crash in northern Canada and its aftermath. Written by an award-winning journalist who is the daughter of one of the survivors, Into the Abyss is a dramatic true story of survival, and a compassionate account of 4 men’s journey from the depths of tragedy to the riches of lives begun anew. On an icy night in October 1984, a Piper Navajo commuter plane carrying 9 passengers crashed in the remote wilderness of northern Alberta, killing 6 people. 4 survived: the rookie pilot, a prominent politician, a cop and the criminal he was escorting to face charges. As they fought through the night to stay alive, the dividing lines of power, wealth and status were erased and each man was forced to confront the precious and limited nature of his existence. The survivors forged unlikely friendships and through them found strength and courage to rebuild their lives. Into the Abyss is a powerful narrative that combines in-depth reporting with sympathy and grace to explore how a single, tragic event can upset our assumptions and become a catalyst for transformation.

Carol Shaben’s website

Review (Toronto Star)

Review (National Post)

Youtube: CTV Edmonton interview with Carol Shaben

Podcast of “The Wreckage of Flight 402” (The Current on CBC Radio)

NPR interview with Carol Shaben

Edmonton Journal article Oct. 19, 1984

About Larry Shaben

Non-Fiction Discussion Questions (generic)