Monday, October 25, 2010 |
Today is it. Get your recommendation in by midnight tonight to have your say! Our online form, Facebook, Twitter and the comments section below are all great options for expressing your opinion. But before you go, check out today's reader recommendations below.
Christine Mullie recommends: The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy M. Buchanan
When we think of Niagara Falls, most Canadians today would probably think "tourist trap." This book goes back to a time when the falls were actually a part of people's lives — when locals played in them, lived off them, and even deliberately ended their lives in the waters of Niagara Falls. It makes one want to go back in time and experience what it would have been like to live close to such an impressive force of nature. I learned lots but I was also entertained.
Anne Bancroft recommends: Afloat by Jennifer McCartney
I enjoyed this book because it painted a picture of a part of Canada we had known, it was intriguing as the story changed from one era to another, and kept ones interest , always wondering where it would lead to. I like the style of writing, direct and yet descriptive.
Ed Hawco recommends: Ascension by Steven Galloway
Ascension is a remarkable tale and family saga, full of Roma and traveling circus lore. It's a gripping story of a man's rise from a poor village in 1920s Transylvania to the highest achievements in tightrope walking, and all the stuff in between. Its crisp and unsentimental prose kept me turning the pages and not wanting to put it down. A must read!
Jana Tubinshlak recommends: The Order of Good Cheer by Bill Gaston
I picked this novel because I believe it hits the funny bone of our times by on the one hand reaching deep into this nation's past and on the other teetering on the edge (literally) of Canada's present. It touches poignantly on themes of love, loss and belonging — be it to a tribe, country, or more grandly to the human race, and not least importantly, on the theme of food, in all it's multifaceted glory. Likewise, Bill Gaston has that rare talent for infusing his characters with a humanity so tangible one can almost smell them. I recommend this book because it is beautifully written, and leaves a lingering, bittersweet aftertaste.
Julia Goudy recommends: The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews
This book illustrates what it is like to grow up in rural Manitoba. I am an early English Literature student and don't have a lot to enter intellectually but this novel spoke to me having lived in Manitoba for two years. I can't imagine what she went through to have had the inspiration to write this novels. ( Plus amazing other ones like A Complicated Kindness )which spoke from the soul. I hope this novel makes it in to the top 10 because she paints a beautiful picture that anyone can throw themselves them into. The characters of this novel are ones that anyone can relate to. Thanks for reading, just learning analysis, Jian you are awesome and put an amazing spin on my day!
Rose Ardanaz recommends: Isobel & Emile by Alan Reed
A must read.
Sandy Feldstein recommends: Adultery by Richard B. Wright
This is a superb account of a moment in time, and how life can change in the most sudden and unexpected ways. It captures the essence of someone trying desperately to create a fulfilling life for himself, and in the process, getting caught up in a situation that ends up unravelling his life faster than he could have dreamed possible. I think anyone, man or woman, can read this book and imagine themselves in a similar situation...not so much the specifics, but the notion that the innocent behaviours of daily life can end up having such dire consequences.
Katherine Reid recommends: Consolation by Michael Redhill
Consolation is definitely one of my favourite novels. I once lived in Toronto and from the first pages Redhill's sensually accurate descriptions of the city caught me. And then that concept of not really being able to say hello until you've said good-bye really resonated — both in the relationships between characters and in the importance of the past to the present that drives the plot. I love this book!
Sarah Ferguson recommends: Relative Happiness by Lesley Crewe
I chose this book because it is a great story. It is full of laughs and heartache, just like life. It is so easy to relate to, it's a wonderful women's fiction that is impossible to put down. Chock full of East Coast charm and wit, it is undeniably one of my favourite books. It's no wonder it's a bestseller in Canada!
Susan Rosen recommends: The Queen of Unforgetting by Sylvia Maultash Warsh
This book is great...it's very Canadian taking place in Toronto, and Midland. The research is amazing, the stories within stories very intriguing. I've learned a lot of history that I never knew, at least not at this depth.
Peggy Cline recommends: The Disappeared by Kim Echlin
From the first sentence I felt I was sitting at a Montreal bistro with Anne Greeves while she shared her story with me. Her story makes me realize how little I knew about the genocide committed by the Khmer Rouge. The Disappeared is probably the most powerful story of unconditional love I have read. I couldn't put it down and after I finished I found myself often revisiting it in quiet reflection.
Corvus Comeau recommends: Mean Boy by Lynn Coady
Mean Boy is a brilliant novel that speaks to the experience of watching a hero fall and how we both lose and find ourselves through that process. The novel follows a year in the life of young Prince Edward Island native Lawrence Campbell in a powerful life-changing year at university. Idealistic and naïve, his fascination with legendary poet Jim Arsenault sees Lawrence learn about loss and unexpected gain. Coady has an ability for rendering characters so real you are sure you will meet them someday. It is a seamless read and it's not just Coady's mastery of the form that is so impressive — it's her genius gift for perfectly blending tragedy and comedy. I had to put the book down time and again to brace myself while laughing until my stomach hurt, and then later to have a quiet cry. Coady has spectacular storytelling ability. You become a part of the book, and never want it to end. And long after the book is done, you find yourself wondering how Lawrence is making out, if he'll ever publish his own poetry. And then you remind yourself — he's a fictional character created by a writer with a genius gift. There is a reason this author has been called the new Mordecai Richler. You can't call yourself Canadian if you haven't read Mean Boy.
Bev Neilson recommends: The Geranium Girls by Alison Preston
It's a great mystery. It is set in Winnipeg. A lot of it is set in the post office as well, and many of us have worked there, if only during the Christmas rush. It's not new (2002), but many of your books have not been recent publications over the years. It's one of those books that is written from a couple of characters' point of view, but the transitions don't leave you wondering who is "speaking", like some books do. I found it a comfortable read, not too fancy, and not to simple.
Camiella Hay recommends: The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
This book takes a refreshing look at the joint participation of USA and Canada during the most difficult time. It gives a voice to many people who were not privileged enough to have a voice.
Samuel Martin recommends: Galore by Michael Crummey
Michael Crummey's newest novel Galore is a masterpiece that owes as much to Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude as it does to the King James Bible and traditional Newfoundland folklore. Though still dealing with loss to a degree, this new novel is a fireworks display of storytelling sparking with life, sexuality, conspiracy, and miracles! If any work in the last 10 years speaks volumes about the cultural life and vitality of Newfoundland and Labrador, it is this novel, which is destined to become a Canadian and international classic.
Lisa Mills recommends: De Niro's Game by Rawi Hage
De Niro's Game is a devastating portrait of war and its impact on the psyche of a young man caught up in the Lebanese civil war. While the writing is lyrical, the style does not detract from the force of the storytelling. Hage illuminates how war corrupts individuals and corrodes the bonds between them, leaving them with few means to preserve their moral integrity and dignity. With its unforgettable and complex characters, devastating portrayal of war, and flashes of dark humour, De Niro's Game is the Canadian book of the decade.
Jeanne Mortimer recommends: The Heart Specialist by Claire Holden Rothman
It was great insight into the Canadian medical field, in the early years. I loved the struggle this woman had trying to enter the ""male dominated"" medical profession. It has some mysteries in the story and some wonderful details about Montreal and McGill University in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. World War I was part of the story, as well as France during and after the war. It was a wonderful read. One of those books that you find difficult to put down.
Susan Wortman recommends: The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
Loved it! Funny, and humane and a glorious example of what politics, not to mention human life, could be like if we all cared less about others' opinions of us and more about doing the right thing (as best as we could determine that!)
Amanda Jeffries recommends: Open Arms by Marina Endicott
I loved Good to a Fault so much that I just had to give this one a try and having finished it in only 2 days I am now at loose ends. I need more by this author. Maybe it is just me but I feel like she is talking directly into my ear...no my heart with each of these novels. Even more than this though, somehow she leaves me feeling satisfied...yes I want more but I feel that the story does close is a satisfactory way...that isn't something that happens often for me.
Lesley Collins recommends: Kit's Law by Donna Morrissey
Kit's Law is a book set in rural Newfoundland and is so well written that the local dialect leaps off the page at you and you can hear the voices and the sound of the ocean. Kit's story is heartbreaking and surprising and Morrissey gives the reader a twist at every turn.
Erin Balser is an associate producer with Canada Reads.