Eleanor Wachtel recommends


Every year, CBC Calgary teams up with Calgary Reads, a local literary advocacy group, to organize a giant used book sale. The proceeds from the sale will benefit Calgary Reads and their various programming initiatives. The 2012 sale will take place May11-13 in Calgary. For more information on when to shop or how to get involved, head to the Calgary Reads website.

This sale got us thinking: what book would you recommend readers snap up if they see it at the sale? That's the question we posed to Writers & Company host Eleanor Wachtel.


Eleanor Wachtel has been the host of CBC's Writers & Company since its inception in 1990. Eleanor's work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Saturday Night, Maclean's and the Globe and Mail. In 2005, she was named to the Order of Canada.

When we asked Eleanor about her recommended read, here's what she had to say, via email:

"Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Egan's latest novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad is a surprising, polyphonic tour de force. It sounds complicated, with interrelated stories spanning 40 years, and shifting in focus from one character to another. You can be at the centre stage in one piece and off to the margins in the next, but the result is a sharp, often moving, and always engaging narrative about pop culture, image and time.


"Edmund de Waal's extraordinary memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes reveals "a family's century of art and loss." Edmund de Waal is one of England's most respected ceramicists, but a remarkable family inheritance sent him on a journey of several years — to Tokyo, Paris, Vienna and Odessa — to trace the story of his family through the story of the collection he inherited. De Waal is descended from the Ephrussis, a grand, 19th-century European Jewish banking family, on a par with the Rothschilds. But by the end of the Second World War, virtually all that remained of their vast fortune was a collection of 264 Japanese wood and ivory carvings, none bigger than a matchbox, known as Netsuke. Edmund de Waal became the fifth generation to inherit this exquisite collection and his account of its journey is haunting and original."

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