Thursday, March 21, 2013

Help us choose next year's Algonquin Reads book!

Which would you pick of from the following list?  Pick your choices, from our poll at the right of this post. Descriptions of the books are below:

A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews

Miriam Toews’s third novel is a funny tale of life in Mennonite country. It tells the story of sixteen-year old Nomi who lives with her Dad in a small backward town in Manitoba, ruled by a pious pastor.  Several years before, Nomi’s sister disappeared with her boyfriend and her mother also left, inexplicably.  Nomi pieces together her childhood memories in an effort to discover why she and her father were abandoned. 

Still Life by Louise Penny

Still life is the first in the series of the Inspector Gamache, of the Montreal Surete, mystery novels. It tells the tale of a mysterious death in a small Canadian Village in the Eastern Townships area of Quebec. Penny richly describes the town and infuses her novel with fully developed and interesting cast of characters. 

Inside by Alix Ohlin

The story opens in a dramatic fashion, when Grace, a Montreal psychotherapist, discovers a man on a ski trail who attempted suicide. She saves him and is drawn into his story and his life.  Later we learn more about Grace, her ex-husband Mitch and her former patient Annie, as each tale is unveiled across different time periods, but inter-connected. Beautifully written, we are drawn into the stories of these very different people.

Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese

In Richard Wagamese's novel, Saul Indian Horse introduces himself in the first line of his "memoir": Anishinabeg, of the Fish clan, from the shores of the Winnipeg River. But it soon becomes clear that this pastoral and traditional sense of himself has not come easily, that he has had to fight numerous battles to achieve self-knowledge and self-acceptance.

The Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler

Richler's novel, set in Montreal is the story of a child of a Holocaust survivor, who is seeking knowledge of her missing mother. The novel moves through time and a century of family history through Europe, Palestine and Montreal.

Ru by Kim Thuy

Ru, meaning lullaby in Vietnamese, is a beautiful collection of vignettes from the perspective of a newly arrived immigrant woman in Quebec.  Memories of her former life in a palatial residence in Saigon to a crowded refugee camp in Malaysian, to her new life in Quebec, are interspersed throughout.  While in Quebec, she is given a new lease on life, but life becomes difficult again, as she must learn to cope with her son’s autism.  Moving between past and present, memory and present day, Ru is a book that celebrates life in all its wonder.  

Deadline by Stephen Maher

Set in Ottawa, Deadline is a political thriller, full of twists and turns and backroom deals in political life. It opens with freelance journalist, Jack MacDonald waking up, hungover, with an extra Blackberry in his pocket, that everyone wants to get their hands on. His friend, who he was with the previous evening, lies in hospital, after being found in the Rideau Canal.  Meanwhile the Prime Minister of Canada announces he will retire from politics, setting off a power struggle behind the scenes.

1 comment:

  1. I voted for Still Life or Deadline and here's why!

    * Still Life has some French-Canadian content, which is a little harder to come by, and...
    * Deadline is set in Ottawa.


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