We finish our postings of Favourite Reads lists for this year with the two Sarahs from Calgary Public Library. Sarah Laing is one of their book selectors, and Sarah Meilleur is their Customer Service Manager for the library's Humanities, Community Heritage and Family History Department. Some terrific reads here to give as gifts or to hunker down with yourself over the holidays.
Sarah Laing's Favourite Reads of 2010:
Annabel by Kathleen Winter.
I really enjoyed this first novel set in Labrador. Winter writes a unique story about a couple raising their hermaphrodite child as a boy and does a great job..
The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon.
An excellent historical novel about the relationship between tutor, Aristotle and student, Alexander the Great. I really enjoyed Lyon’s meticulous research and portrayal of life during this time period.
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny.
I always love Louise Penny’s settings and descriptions and this one was particularly wonderful as it was set in Quebec city. Penny’s research into Samuel de Champlain’s burial place was a joy to read.
On the Proper Use of Stars by Dominque Fortier, translated by Sheila Fischman
A very different viewpoint of the quest to discover the Northwest passage told by Sir John Franklin’s wife.
Heartstone by C.J. Sansom.
Number 5 of an intriguing, well-written historical series set during Henry VIII’s reign and featuring lawyer, Matthew Shardlake.
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. A charming and thoughtful first novel.
Captive Queen by Alison Weir.
Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life by Brian Brett.
After hearing Brian at the Sunshine Coast Festival of the written arts, I just had to read his book about his family homestead on Salt Spring Island in B.C. A fascinating, witty look at farming on an independent small mixed farm.
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The best children’s book I’ve read for a long time!
The Quickening by Michelle Hoover. A beautifully written debut historical novel set in the early 1900’s in the Midwest plains. Hoover’s characterization, setting and descriptive prose is very strong.
Sarah Meilleur's Favourite Reads of 2010:
April & Oliver by Tess Callahan
A haunting tale about childhood, innocence, and hope that I couldn’t stop thinking about after I put the book down.
The 13 Clocks by James Thurber
Great to read out loud, to kids or spouses. Quirky and funny with a quest and fairy tale elements.
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
A family saga of love, loss, deception, and secrets.
The Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle
I’ve recommended this to many men in my life, who have all enjoyed this tale of food, France, good wine, and a grand theft.
The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault
If you love words, their meanings, and mysteries, this is the book for you.
The Factory Voice by Jeanette Lynes
Set in WWII at a northern Ontario airplane factory this is written in alternating perspectives of four very different women, whose voices ring true.
The Spice Necklace by Ann Vanderhoof
I read this while on vacation in the Caribbean, and it was the perfect read for the place, resonant of the culture, and more importantly the food.
Vanishing and other Stories by Deborah Willis
A fantastic collection of short stories about family and relationships, written from widely varying perspectives whose individual voices are remarkably authentic.
A History of Forgetting by Caroline Adderson
A novel of loss, and human nature, and I can’t wait to read her next book, The Sky is Falling.
Solitaria by Genni Gunn
A body is found and a family’s history unravels before us, through the confessions an aunt makes to her nephew.