Getting Stoned with Savages: a trip through the islands of Fiji and Vanuatu

getting_stoned_with_savages_imageA greatly entertaining memoir in which our author J. Maarten Troost travels to Vanuatu and Fiji, becomes a parent, and takes heaps of strangely muddy island hallucinogens. Absolutely recommended read for fun travel escape!  Also available in print format. (submitted by TH)

Get this book now!

Atlantic: great sea battles, heroic discoveries, titanic storms, and a vast ocean of a million stories

Part history, part biography – it’s a story that is over 310 million cubic kilometres of water in the making.  Simon Winchester uses his personal experiences with the Atlantic and springboards into the history of this body of water and the people that have ventured across it.  He nostalgically recalls his first journey across the Atlantic on a Canadian Pacific Liner which leads into stories of the first Europeans setting foot in North America (and no, it wasn’t Christopher Columbus).  This book is about more than exploration.  It delves into the depths of how it has been polluted over the years, as well as the fishing fleets and markets.  For example, did you know that no one would buy a “toothfish” but when the name was changed to “Chilean sea bass,” people can’t get enough of them?  I particularly enjoyed the audiobook version, which is read by the author himself. (submitted by BH)

Get this book now!

A Fortunate Age – Joanna Smith Rakoff

I’m not even done this book and I can already recommend it. It follows a circle of five Gen X university friends as they move, one by one, through their twenties and into their thirties. The story begins in late 1990s New York, and runs until the middle of the next decade. While embodying so many cliches of the privileged and creative, each character is uniquely crafted and very well developed. Highly recommended for anyone who liked Jonathan Frazen’s Freedom, or Jane Austen. If that doesn’t hook you, read what the New York Times had to say.  Belatedly, we’ve learned how lucky we once were to live in uninteresting times. The book is currently on order. (submitted by TH)

Get this audiobook now!

Physics of the Future: how science will shape human destiny and our daily lives by the year 2100

Author Michio Kaku gives the reader a fascinating glimpse into what our daily lives may look like in 30 years, in 60 years and in 100 years.  Don’t be intimidated by the title. Written for the layperson, the book explains what physicists are working towards in such fields as robotics, space travel, nanotechnology, medicine, and computers.  Can you imagine wearing contact lenses that hook you up to the internet, or having a chip implanted that will alert doctors to the first signs of cellular change or disease?  Don’t miss this book! (submitted by JB)

Get this book now!

The Last Camel Died at Noon – Elizabeth Peters

Think Elizabeth Bennet meets Miss Marple in an Egyptian mystery. All of the Amelia Peabody series are worth the read (or the listen) – and you might also want to check out the audio-books narrated by Barbara Rosenblat.  I really enjoyed listening to all the twists and turns of this story and I’m looking forward to listening to more stories by this author. (submitted by library customer Joy)

Get this book now!

Faithful Place – Tana French

Audiobook on cd, read by Gerard Reynolds:  In this engaging compelling story set in present-day Dublin, Frank Mackey is a divorced police officer with a daughter. When he was 19 and living at home, he made plans with girlfriend Rosie to get out of Ireland and start a life together in England. When Rosie doesn’t show up at their secret meeting place, Frank assumes that she has left without him and he decides to run away on his own. He doesn’t make contact with his family again until he hears that a suitcase has been found walled up in the house where he and Rosie were going to meet. He goes back to find out what happened on the night that his life changed forever.  This is a wonderful story brought to life by listening to it. While it is not uplifting, I was left with a sense of hope for Frank. (submitted by LL)

Get this book now!

My Korean Deli: how I risked my career and mortgaged my future for a convenience store

Since we have a lot of Korean friends and neighbours, I decided to listen to a story about the life, culture, and struggles of someone who married into a Korean family.  What I got was a funny memoir of a former editor of Paris Review, his Korean wife, and his complicated and hilarious mother-in-law, trying to buy and run a convenience store.  I found myself nodding my head with a big smile as I listened to the words of Ben Ryder Howe, as read by Bronson Pinchot, describing the situations, complications, and rationale behind the decision-making in his family.  This audiobook was the funniest non-fiction book I have listened to in a while! (submitted by IM)

Get this book now!