Wednesday, October 20, 2010 |
Have you been noticing any trends in the daily round-ups? Any surprises? Share your top 40 predictions in the comments below! And don't forget to have your day by nominating your novel of choice using our online form or via Twitter or Facebook!
But before you do that, be sure to read today's reader recommendations below!
Steven Stamatopoulos recommends: The Factory Voice by Jeanette Lynes
It is a fantastic read. It tells the story of an underexplored chapter in Canadian history. The story flows beautifully. It's witty, sad at times, and the reader can tell that the author did her research. I would recommend this novel immensely.
Jennifer Barratt recommends: A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
I first listened to this book driving from Toronto to Victoria...read it again on a stormy St. John's afternoon....and read it once more with my book club. Each time, I was impressed and inspired. I've recommended this book dozens of times as a librarian — and will continue to do so. Nomi Nickel is one of the freshest Canadian characters we've ever had! Go ACK, go!
Allison Smith recommends: Raymond and Hannah by Stephen Marche
Raymond and Hannah is a story of multiculturalism, urbanity, young love, technology, globalization and the longing that all of these elements of modernity create in the human soul. So much of Canada's identity is based on the diaspora that created our country and the search for identity that has succeeded it. Marche's book considers his characters' need to identity with places, religions, their futures and love.
Layla Guse Salah recommends: The Fallen by Stephen Finucan
This book is not all that long, but don't be fooled into thinking it is a quick and easy read. There are many subtleties and intricacies to this novel which add to its depth and complexity. The novel is about a Canadian soldier who gets pulled into the black-market of WWII Naples. The characters are intriguing, mysterious and complex while remaining real and relatable. The story is told with strategically placed gaps so as to pique your interest without giving everything away at once. Telling a story that is both worldly and distinctly Canadian, Finucan is able to tell of one man's struggle with his conscience and battle with budding and strained relationships while using war-torn Naples as the perfect setting; one soldier's tortured mind reflected in a tortured landscape. Nothing in this novel is a throw away, everything has its place, such to the extent that the setting of Naples seems to develop a life of its own.
Sandra Furlotte recommends: The Friends of Meager Fortune by David Adams Richards
I was born on the Miramichi in New Brunswick and every time I read one of David's books I feel that I am back home. David has a solid grip on what it means to be from this beautiful part of the world.
Katherine Rein recommends: King John of Canada by Scott Gardiner
This is a very funny book with believable events and characters. So believable you wonder if it could be true! Then you start giggling at the author's audacity and end up wondering if you shouldn't try to contact the author and have him be elected our next PM.
The story is not just funny and interesting but it's also an account of deep friendship which is tested and found true. It is also a story of geography and landscape and how sometimes our place is what binds us to one in another.
Canadians might not agree on which party should be in power but they might just agree King John of Canada is a winner and a must read!
Cheryl Baxter recommends: The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
In a world going more and more toward bigotry particularly against Muslim people, this book is a must-read. I believe that is the case so that people are aware to what bigotry can lead of what deeds hate-filled people are capable.
Leigh Walton recommends: Essex County by Jeff Lemire
It's an incredible graphic novel, a multi-generational saga of small-town life in rural Ontario, but it's bigger than that too. The characters are unforgettable and Lemire is a genius at using visual elements like facial expressions, body language, and snow-covered landscapes to communicate the depths of emotion that these inhibited characters have so much trouble expressing. This book will absolutely make a grown man cry...plus there's some awesome hockey scenes!
Melanie Mitchell recommends: Bitter, Sweet by Laura Best
Bitter, Sweet by Laura Best is my personal favourite Canadian novel of the past 10 years. It is unique in many differing aspects which I believe makes it an essential read. Bitter, Sweet is a story within a story: the tale of the Burbidge family, and of rural Nova Scotia in the 1940s. Best spins a beautiful, memorable tale that appeals to both young and old alike. The story is simply told, yet emotionally fierce; historical, yet timeless; sad, yet uplifting. A wonderful little book that I recommend to everyone!
Sherry Peters recommends: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer
Science fiction, yes, but not so far off to be unrealistic. Speaks to the idea of consciousness and sub-consciousness, and a future of technology we all live in right now.
Irena Jazwinski recommends: The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre
Because it is written with such sensitivity and is a great insight into the politics of the Canadian priesthood without being overly judgemental.Also is a comment on the changes that are going on in rural Cape Breton and the pressures that people face as a result. All in all a terrific read!
Elizabeth MacAulay recommends: Motorcycles and Sweetgrass by Drew Hayden Taylor
A realistic, yet not depressing look at life on a reserve in Ontario, this novel also blends some magical, mythological elements. Lots of funny as well, with unique characters, including some well organized raccoons.
Robin Ganev recommends: Saints of Big Harbour by Lynn Coady
This novel, a coming of age story set in Cape Breton, is funny and entertaining but also has genuine depth because the story is rooted in an understanding of human nature. The characters are really persuasive, fleshed-out and complex. It captures the particularities of Cape Breton language, makes you see and feel the place.
Grant Campbell recommends: Shelf Monkey by Corey Redekop
Shelf Monkey is a striking example of mordant humour, set in a Canada assailed by popular culture and gigantic box stores. It starts in a fairly light and witty vein, and then gets progressively more sombre. The satire is biting without being gratuitously cruel, and the overall effect is of a sadness punctuated by moments of uproarious humour. Shelf Monkey was a delightful surprise for me, and it deserves to be read and read widely in Canada.
Laura Clarke recommends: Life of Pi by Yann Martel
I read it in my Grade 11 Enriched English class last year and it honestly changed my life. The struggle in which Pi goes through is inspiring and thought-provoking — which version of his story was true, the animal or human one? Or were both false? It is one of the most amazing books I have ever had the pleasure to read, and has encouraged me to read more.
MaryAnn Lee recommends: Crazy About Lili by William Weintraub
I love this coming-of-age story about Richard Lippman. He is a McGill student writing poetic scripts for Lili L'Amour, "the striptease queen", to use in her routines and all the while falling in love with her. It is laugh-out-loud funny!! This book transports the reader to 1948 Montreal and introduces Richard and the reader to the world of burlesque.
Lucas Nightingale recommends: The Origin of Species by Nino Ricci
An epic novel that takes the reader into the mundane, turbulent and terrifying emotional realities of growing up Canadian, that most Canadians will relate to but who almost none have the guts to put down on paper. A remarkable book.
Chuck Schwager recommends: Sylvanus Now by Donna Morrissey
Ms. Morrissey brings alive not only fully fleshed characters but a whole place and time. Her sentences are finely fashioned and they bring to mind pictures of the place she describes. Morrissey accomplishes something few novelists do — this is a political novel that has not a shred of didactic preaching but the politics flows naturally out of the characters. Knowing nothing about government fishing policy, I came to understand the impact of far away debate on the lives of her characters. Her work has humanity and love and relies on story that emerges from character. Somewhat unusual in a post modern novel to harken back to the 19th century.
Jim Merchant recommends: Unless by Carol Shields
This book allows us as readers to see Carol Shields as a writer with vision that extends far beyond the domestic relationships about which she writes so well. She can create a narrator, in this case Reta, a writer, translator, mother of 3, who is introspective, astute and funny. As Reta explores the riddle and grief of one daughter who is now voluntarily mute and begging on a downtown Toronto street, she also brings perspective to gender, violence, rebellion, the concept of goodness and much more. Reta is indeed a translator of much more than the memoirs of an eccentric and opinionated writer — she, and Carol Shields, are channeling life through their experiences.
Sandy Shreve recommends: Galore by Michael Crummey
Galore is a superb combination of the fantastic and the everyday. The characters are believable, the story engaging, the journey(s) memorable. The place is both Newfoundland and everyland. This novel does what only the best fiction can achieve — it transports us elsewhere at the same time as it takes us more deeply into our own lives and times.
Erin Balser is an associate producer with Canada Reads.