Hot winter reads from Edmonton AM
From gripping thrillers to wartime romance, it's a good time of year to settle in with one of these books
Whether hunkered down by the fire or hibernating in your bed, there's nothing better to keep you occupied through Edmonton's long winter months than a good book.
In search of the perfect winter read, Edmonton AM asked its well-read listeners for some suggestions of paperbacks worth devouring this season.
Here are some of the CBC morning show's top picks for your 2017 reading list.
Book descriptions are from the publisher.
"A beautifully told story ... It is deeply moving and suspenseful."
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II ... Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer "whose sentences never fail to thrill."
Disgraced crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist has no idea of the levels of conspiracy he will uncover when is enlisted to investigate the unsolved disappearance nearly forty years ago of a Swedish industrialist's niece. And when the pierced and tattooed computer savant Lisbeth Salander joins him, together they unearth layers and layers of secrets and scandals that permeate the highest levels of society, from politics to finance to the legal system itself.
"Highly recommend - excellent crime writer!"
Fegan has been a "hard man," an IRA killer in northern Ireland. Now that peace has come, he is being haunted day and night by twelve ghosts: a mother and infant, a schoolboy, a butcher, an RUC constable, and seven other of his innocent victims. In order to appease them, he's going to have to kill the men who gave him orders.
"This book was a good read and insightful for me. I understand the complicated politics of the Middle East far better than before."
Dillon Hillier, a corporal with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, returned home from a tour in Afghanistan and started up a normal life. But when ISIS insurgents began attacking local populations in Iraq and elsewhere, Hillier, a long-time soldier, felt he had to join in the action, so he sold his truck, lied to his parents about where he was going and became the first Canadian to volunteer to fight ISIS in Iraq ... One Soldier is about Hillier's three months fighting with the Kurds in Iraq, on the front lines.
"A WWII story based in Edmonton."
Friends William, Robert, and Annie are on the cusp of adulthood while the world is on the brink of war. It is a Canadian summer in 1939 and Robert and Annie's love has blossomed, even as the inevitability of the boys joining up means separation and the first of many losses. Fearing he might not return, Robert makes William promise to take care of Annie. Every arena of their lives is infiltrated by the war.
"Insightful and funny. It's the best."
A blind date blooms in a grocery store parking lot. Lake Erie forms the backdrop to a botched assisted suicide. A neurotic, dog-loving caretaker writes a complaint letter after an unfortunate leg-waxing incident. While his uncle lies in a coma, a young man befriends a dead homeless guy. A coming-of-age road trip leads to encounters with a gang of costumed lesbian arm wrestlers and a man with a hoof. A plane crash on the BC coast brings an artist and a bootlegger together in a dire situation. These flawed, often broken characters seek meaning, acceptance, and closure under extraordinary circumstances ... though not necessarily in that order.
"A beautiful book."
Lavishly illustrated, respected journalist Harvey Kubernik charts Leonard Cohen's extraordinary career in detail, placing his literary and musical achievements within the context of his life.From his beginnings as a writer and poet, through his classic albums of the sixties and seventies up to his triumphant recent tours, every stage of Cohen's remarkable life is expertly analysed.
"Her first book. Exciting and spellbinding right to the final sentence."
Lana Granger lives a life of lies. She has told so many lies about where she comes from and who she is that the truth is like a cloudy nightmare she can't quite recall. About to graduate from college and with her trust fund almost tapped out, she takes a job babysitting a troubled boy named Luke. Expelled from schools all over the country, the manipulative young Luke is accustomed to controlling the people in his life. But, in Lana, he may have met his match. Or has Lana met hers?
"As good as the movie was, the book is hilarious and explains his thinking in detail. The cliche of "the book is better" holds in this case!"
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.
January, Fjällbacka. A semi-naked girl wanders through the woods in freezing cold weather. When she finally reaches the road, a car comes out of nowhere. It doesn't manage to stop. By the time Detective Patrik Hedström receives word of the accident, the girl has already been identified. Four months ago she disappeared on her way home from the local riding school, and no one has seen her since. It quickly becomes clear that she has been subjected to unimaginably brutal treatment. And it's likely she's not the only one.
Other recommendations from Edmonton AM listeners include:
- The Man Who Wasn't There by Michael Hjorth
- Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us by Nathalia Holt
- Field Grey by Philip Kerr
- Traitors of Camp 133 by Wayne Arthurson
- The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
- Canada by Mike Myers
- When the Music's Over by Peter Robinson
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
- Inspector Gamache by Louise Penny
- The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman
- A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi
- Eat the Document by Dana Spiotta
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
- The Illegal by Lawrence Hill
- The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
- The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
- The Land of Dragons by Emily Rodda