Summer Reading Game Book Reviews

The Great Canadian Reading Game is on, and players can spin to find great reads from Jun 28-Aug 22, 2017!

Here’s what you thought of your reads:

819tq-q0n2blSWAMP ANGEL by Ethel Wilson

Maggie LLoyd has made an unfortunate second marriage after her husband is killed in WWII. In what may be the best planned departure from a marriage in a work of literature, Maggie leaves her husband and embarks upon a new life in the interior of B.C., working at a fishing lodge. This idyllic setting is perfect for Maggie, though it becomes complicated by the jealousy of the lodge owner’s wife.
Loved It! ~Staff review by Sheila

32080126Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

A collection of linked stories that reads like a novel (much like her Pulitzer-prize-winning Olive Kitteridge). A masterful writer at the height of her powers — this book did not disappoint. Strout is marvelous at portraying small-town characters and growing up poor. Even better if you first read My Name is Lucy Barton.
Loved It! ~Staff review by Luise

The Back of the TurtleTHE BACK OF THE TURTLE by Thomas King

I loved The Back of the Turtle. It tackled the serious issues of environmental abuses and the treatment of indigenous people in Canada in a darkly humourous fashion. Throughout the novel, King interweaves elements of Christianity and Native myth to create a unique storytelling experience. The protagonist Gabriel returns to his mother’s home which was destroyed by an environmental disaster inadvertently caused by Gabriel. The novel follows Gabriel as he reconciles his feelings and the few people he interacts with while discovering the nearby abandoned town. I highly recommend this novel as it explores both the darker elements within Canada, and also leaves the reader with a sense of hope for the future.
Loved it!

one-brother-shy-cover-lower-resONE BROTHER SHY by Terry Fallis

One Brother Shy is the latest of Terry Fallis’s humourous works. Alex MacAskill is a shy software engineer who discovers life-changing news after his mother dies. This news leads him across the globe to discover more about his family and himself. I loved this novel; it was a great summer read with a powerful protagonist. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a fun, light read with a heartwarming story.
Loved it!

Canada Mike MyersCANADA by Mike Myers

I smiled when I saw a Cherry Blossom and Hickory Sticks the other day. This book brought back memories of my childhood since I’m just a year younger that Mike Myers. But there was definitely a difference between growing up in Alberta as opposed to Ontario in the 60s & 70s. I learned some Canadian history that either I’d never learned or had forgotten about. Overall, he does give readers the sense of what it means to be Canadian and what make us different from our neighbors to the south.
It was OK. ~Staff review by Kemmie




Last Batch of Summer Reading Game Reviews, Part 1!

As the Adult Summer Reading Game winds down, readers have been reviewing their picks, and we have them all here!


The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Loved this story. Part fairy tale surrealism, part 1920s homestead history, the story follows an aging couple to Alaska as they escape a childless past and break ground, literally, in a harsh Alaskan landscape. There they find the unexpected–and themselves. Beautifully told.

Random Passage by Bernice Morgan

I got this book through inter-library loan–but I honestly don’t remember ordering it! I’m glad I did, though. This was a very interesting book about early settlers in Newfoundland. They lived such a hard life. The characters really made the book for me though. I was sorry when this book ended. Hurrah, there is a sequel! And I’ve got it on order.

Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck

Really loved the light-hearted, carefree form of this novel. Be sure to read the accompanying notes. Really illuminating.  ~Lori W.

End of Watch by Stephen King

This is the third book in a series dealing with an evil perpetrator, Brady Hartfield, who was featured in Mr. Mercedes and then Finders Keepers. Brady’s obsession with suicide leads him to killing several people during the Mercedes Massacre. End of Watch is an interesting twist to Brady’s five year stay in a clinic, in a vegetative state, and how Brady is able to overcome and turn around to finally attempt to complete another mission.

One Day by David Nicholls

This was an easy read. I enjoyed the character development. I kept reading because I really wanted to see how the outcome of their relationship would be. Funny how little decisions in life can really alter everything.

Luise’s Summer Reading Reviews

Our Fiction Librarian, Luise, has been reading up a storm for the Summer Reading Game! Here are her reviews.

y648And After the Fire: a Novel by Lauren Belfer

Weaves an engaging story around a fictional long-lost Bach cantata with anti-Semitic lyrics. Incorporates facts about many interesting historical figures (Bach, Mendelsohn, Luther, etc.). Shows the progression of anti-semitism over the centuries. Touches on many interesting subjects, from musicology to philanthropy and includes a love story – lots to like!   (Historical Fiction)


man-s-search-for-meaningMan’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir about his years in Nazi death camps and the lessons he learned for spiritual survival. His theory (logotherapy) is that it is not the pursuit of pleasure and happiness that gives us meaning, but the ability to find meaning and purpose in unavoidable suffering. Amazing insights by an exceptional individual who lived through unspeakable trials; a timeless classic.   (Memoir)


adams_invinciblesummer_1_12Invincible Summer by Alice Adams

“Four close friends who graduate college together in 1998 venture off to pursue their fortunes in the new millennium, but find themselves drawn back together twenty years later amidst broken dreams, lost jobs, and shattered relationships.” (publisher summary)
A great summer read, well written, entertaining without being shallow.   (Romance/Love story)


thetroublewithgoatsandsheepThe Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

I expected an amusing, light summer read, but this debut novel is simply brilliant on so many levels! Yes, it was charming and quirky with plenty of eccentric characters (including the wittiest and smartest and most lovable two 10-year-old girl “sleuths” I’ve ever encountered), but it was also dark and tragic and full of depth and nuances and complex characterizations evoking the reader’s empathy for both victims and perpetrators. On the surface this is a very British book with countless cultural and food references (vast amounts of very unappetizing sounding sweets are being consumed throughout this book), but the message is universal and timeless (and very timely in the age of Trump). Best of all, the writing is exquisite! Don’t miss this one!

Plot-loving mystery fans beware, though – this is a different kind of “mystery”.   (Mystery)

Summer Reading Game Reviews

511rj0vclml-_sx331_bo1204203200_Cleo by Helen Brown

  • I enjoyed this book.
  • I would recommend this book to a friend.

An excellent book about loss, a cat and moving on. I do not like cats but Cleo grew on me. This family had so many struggles to overcome but they also had many positive events: new jobs, a second marriage, more kids, and a long life for Cleo.

i-am-pilgrim-9781439177747_hrI am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

  • I enjoyed this book.
  • I would recommend this book to a friend.

This was an awesome spy thriller! The author weaves together the stories of different characters around the world and makes you think about what it would by like to be a spy. This isn’t the kind of book I am normally drawn to but I loved it!

6738493The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb

  • I enjoyed this book.
  • I would recommend this book to a friend.

Intrigue and hardship with small rewards along the way. Gave me an insight into the lives and life in Vietnam during the 1980s. So much life in people who had so little and made the best of their struggles–remaining positive against all odds. A great life lesson for all of us.

Camilla Gibb is coming to the Library this October as part of STARFest Readers Festival 2016!


More Summer Reading Game Book Reviews!

spy guyThe Adult Summer Reading Game is still going strong! Here are more of your reviews!


tumblr_ma6tqyp94g1r2j1gfo8_540The Secret History by Donna Tartt

  • I enjoyed this book.
  • I would recommend this book to a friend

Lots of detail to read before it piqued my interest. Then I could not put the book down–to learn how the characters coped with the horrible deed they committed…

i-robotI, Robot by Isaac Asimov

  • I enjoyed this book.

This book was well written and interesting. I loved that it was divided up into short stories but at the same time was all one larger picture. Funny to think that we are now living in the “future” but are not as advanced as past generations predicted.

celona28rv2Y by Marjorie Celona

  • I enjoyed this book.
  • I would recommend this book to a friend

This was a great debut novel. The style was very character-driven–similar to Jodi Picoult. I look forward to more books by this author.

the-color-purpleThe Color Purple by Alice Walker

  • I enjoyed this book.

I loved reading this book, which surprised me greatly. Normally I don’t like reading books written in vernacular, but Celie was so eloquent with her language, she was a joy to read. The contrast of Nettie’s language was always shocking, but it was beautiful to read the letters these ladies wrote to each other, so expressive of their love for each other.

the_girl_with_all_the_giftsThe Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

  • I enjoyed this book.
  • I would recommend this book to a friend

Simply written & very fast paced. Could easily be adapted to a movie or T.V. show. An interesting take on the zombie genre. Written in a way that captures the feelings of all the characters, and helps you relate to every side. Reminds me a lot of War of the Worlds.

As part of the rules of the Adult Summer Reading Game, players can write a book review in place of reading a second book.