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Reader Recommendation Daily: October 23

Happy Saturday! Let's get right to the reader recommendations, shall we?


William Dechman recommends: Blackstrap Hawco by Kenneth J. Harvey

An epic work. A wonderful mix of myth and historical fiction. Each chapter could stand alone as a short story. Not for the faint of heart; the subject matter is bleak and Blackstrap has few, if any, redeeming qualities.

Barbara Kuhne recommends: What They Wanted by Donna Morrissey

I could recommend any of Donna Morissey's novels but this one in particular gripped me. It's a family drama that moves between the Maritimes and Alberta, and the protagonists are memorable. It's a truly Canadian novel in its themes and settings, and Morrissey has a uniquely powerful storytelling style.

Shirley Parker recommends: Sylvanus Now by Donna Morrissey

Set in Newfoundland in the 1950's this book has appeal to everyone who sees changing trends within an way of life he/she have loved or been part of for generations.This book deals with the fishing industry but the emotional turmoil and how different characters deal with the changes are part of the human experience.

Erinn Schroeder recommends: Empress of Asia by Adam Lewis Schroeder

I loved the characters in the novel. I always feel that a book has really gotten to me when I turn the last page and feel a little bit lonely. Empress of Asia caused me to feel that way.

Michelle Miller recommends: The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou

Best book about the lives of athletes after they are done with the Olympics, should be required reading in schools so that kids can understand what goes into being an athlete and what happens to you once that part of your life is over.

Heather Walters recommends: Far to Go by Alison Pick

Far to Go is a beautifully told story of one family's struggle in the lead up to the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia. All of the characters are compelling, multi-dimensional and "relatable to" — even as they make decisions that at best, make no sense, and at worst betray.

Martin Hershey recommends: Email from Freak: The Transcripts as Compiled by Halberd James Poel by Jeffrey James Davidson

I have recommended this book to a few people, but I am sure it could use the publicity because it is either self-published or has been put out by a small press. It is a dark book about a woman who lets a strange man into her lonely life, but only through email. He claims to have committed strange crimes and she comes to realize there is some truth to his claims. Most of the violence is cleverly alluded to as opposed to being described. Weird twist ending that leaves more questions than answers.

Kim Ellis recommends: Unless by Carol Shields

This novel is beautiful. Shields has carefully chosen each word and each sentence is perfectly crafted. Her description of setting is effective in setting atmosphere. The story is a lesson on humanity.

Rolande Herman recommends: The Glenwood Treasure by Kim Moritsugu

I loved the style of writing. I've lived in Rosedale for forty years and what I read was so my neighbourhood the mother, the daughter the son the houses the park the hill. I cried when the brother killed himself. Great read .

David Nowak recommends: The Fearsome Particles by Trevor Cole

I think it is the essential novel "of the decade" as The Fearsome Particles is a comic tragedy about a family struggling with an increasingly threatening world, and a son traumatized by his experience in Afghanistan. Trevor Cole is one of the best Canadian novelists and has put his finger on the pulse of this decade.

Carole Walzak recommends: The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy M. Buchanan

I enjoyed the story, thought the writing and the characters were effective, and was reminded of some very wonderful visits to Niagara Falls when I was young. During those visits I did not know about the many places that Cathy wrote about, but I was intrigued to learn about some of the history according to Cathy. I think it is a novel that I could re-read.

Jackie Buxton recommends: Alphabet by Kathy Page

I read Alphabet years ago and can still remember so much about it — the sinister psychology, the excruciating vulnerability of the main character and his unpredictability — to say it's gripping would be a gross understatement. I love the way Kathy Page writes; fantastic insight and just the right amount of description. My vote's for Alphabet!

Waldemar Ens recommends: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

In this novel Martel got the WORLD'S attention and got them thinking about their beliefs, their assumptions and checking to see if bananas float. All this in an entertaining and gripping adventure tale. Life of Pi is a book for the ages.

James Bly recommends: Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden

An authentic view of World War I plus a riveting story of its effects on two Aboriginal soldiers. The writing draws you in to a view of Canada from residential schools through the liberation of war and its repercussion on individuals not seen as equals. How they use war and their unique skills to create their own worlds each separate but with a bond between them that joins them forever in a story that is unforgettable. The book is well written and never lets you go.

Anna Purcell recommends: The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

The Year of the Flood is absolutely haunting. Atwood's knack for taking current public concerns around scientific discovery and technological innovation to their furthest ends while remaining believable is astonishing. Her imagination and skill are disturbing and profound.

Heidi Clark recommends: Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

This book is utterly captivating. It is classified as YA, but is so rich and complex in mythology and Shakespeare that anyone could enjoy it.

Amy Roebuck recommends: The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis

It deservedly won the Leacock Medal for Humour — the book and the author are both absolutely delightful. I am sure it is an all too accurate portrayal of the way Ottawa works, but also holds that flavour of idealism and "all for the best" that I love about Canada.

Meredith Bone recommends: Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay

With clarity and eloquence, writer Elizabeth Hay captures the thoughts of her characters, the employees of a small radio station in Yellowknife. The stories of their lives in the North, their interconnectedness and isolation, along with wonderful descriptions of the landscape, pull the reader into the story.

Two catalysts add suspense: a wilderness canoe trip taken by four characters into the Barrens, following the ill-fated steps of an English explorer; and a judge's inquiry into the controversial plan for a gas pipeline through the Mackenzie Valley, which threatens the land and its Native peoples. Late Nights on Air is beautifully written, and presents a compelling picture of the vast Northern reaches of our country.

Amy Neufeld recommends: The Girls by Lori Lansen

A really interesting read from the point of view of a pair of conjoined twins. Not a story you hear every day!

Patti Cornish recommends: The Heart Specialist by Claire Holden Rothman

This was a fascinating, beautifully written novel. The story was interesting on so many different levels, as it explored her personal and family issues, as well as her struggles in becoming a doctor and gaining respect in her profession.

Get your own recommendation in: your pick could be featured in a future round-up or (even better!) find its way to the top 40! Send us your selection through our online recommendation form, Facebook or Twitter.

Erin Balser is an associate producer with Canada Reads.

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