The Humans by Matt Haig

Image result for the humans by matt haigI listened to the audiobook: The Humans by Matt Haig. This is the story of an alien who comes to earth and assumes the likeness of a mathematics professor in order to prevent that professor from a mathematical discovery which may have catastrophic impact on the universe. At first, the alien is repulsed by humanity and does not understand the meaning behind even the most basic human interactions. However, as his mission extends, he is drawn into the emotional depth of human interactions. He starts to appreciate music and poetry and develop deeper relationships with the family of the man he’s disguised as.

This book was extremely amusing at times and at other times, extremely poignant. It was really interesting to hear perceptions of humanity from an (albeit fictitious) alien perspective. A lively and entertaining read, I would highly recommend The Humans. (Submitted by Seline)

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The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin

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Wonderful characters and a unique crisis make this novel an enticing read, but solid writing and a great plot will keep you reading to the end. Single mom, Janie, struggles to keep herself together and protect her four year-old son, Noah, as his bizarre behaviour destroys their lives. Noah panics when Janie tries to wash him, constantly shares information that he can’t possibly know, and begs to be returned to his real home and mom. In desperation Janie contacts Dr. Jerome Anderson, whose life and career is ending tragically, creating an alliance that offers hope and resolution for them all. Supernatural elements are intelligently explored and rooted in research so the mystery is solid and believable. I strongly recommend this captivating story (Submitted by Pippa).

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Wrecked by Joe Ide

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This is the 3rd book in the IQ mystery series and it holds together really well. Like the first two books, I have to get over some of the violence and language used, but I keep coming back. I still find Isaiah Quintabe, IQ, a believable and relatable character, and the world he moves in, his ‘hood’, is filled with gangs and grandmothers, those that are homeless and those that are damaged, families and individuals, all trying to either get by or fight their way through life.

The author grew up in the same part of the Los Angeles as the book’s setting and his description of streets and houses and strip malls bring you right there. Now I just have to be patient for book number four to come out. (Submitted by Renee)

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Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum

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In Etaf Rum’s debut novel, A Woman is No Man, we are introduced to three generations of Palestinian-American women who are all tied down to tradition and culture. Isra is the girl from Palestine who gets married off to an American and shuttled away to Brooklyn, New York. There, she battles her dreams of a better life in America, one where women are valued and not subservient to their husbands. But her new mother-in-law Fareeda is just as traditional as her own mother, pressuring her to have a son and disregarding the daughters that Isra eventually bears, including the first born, Deya. But perhaps it is Deya who will finally manage to find that balance between being Arab and American and breaks free from the tight constraints of a patriarchal mindset, through the use of books and the discovery of secrets long kept hidden…

This was an enthralling read that had me hooked from the very first chapter. Etaf Rum seamlessly invites us into a world we may or may not be familiar with. This world will horrify you and sadden you, but ultimately it will provide you with hope that a better world may be on its way. Jumping between timelines and characters, Woman is No Man depicts the voices of women who have been silenced for far too long. (Submitted by Alan)

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Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas

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I loved “Winners Take All” by Anand Giridharadas – eye-opening and paradigm-shifting look at a different kind of world. (Submitted by Jenny)

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Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi

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Penny is angry with her mom, Celeste. She’s going away to college to be a writer. Sam is stuck. He is in a low paying job as a baker/barista, his ex-girlfriend is pregnant, he has no money, and he wants to be a film director. Their paths collide in the centre of town and they become each other’s Emergency Contact. Great writing from 2 points of view, believable scenarios. (Submitted by Sharleen)

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Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

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Life After Life – Does the course of your life depend on fate or do you have control based on the choices you make?  Ursula Todd is born on a snowy winter day in 1910 .. and then dies before she can take a breath.  Or does she? The very same day, she is born, the doctor arrives in time, and Ursula lives.  We follow Ursula’s childhood, adolescence, and adulthood as Kate Atkinson weaves in key historical events from the early to mid 20th century – World War I, the Spanish influenza epidemic, and then World War II, both in London during the Blitz and Germany in the ‘30s and ‘40s.  We witness Ursula’s birth and death over and over again — in each timeline she makes different decisions that lead to wildly different life paths. Or is it fate acting upon her?  A highly enjoyable read for fans of British historical fiction and alternative histories. The audiobook, read by Fenella Woolgar, brings the characters to life. (Submitted by Beth)

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