Category Archives: ebook

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

Image result for today will be different book coverToday will be Different by Maria Semple is a fast-paced, adventurous, fun read. It is full of strong characters, edgy humour, crazy plot twists and delightfully descriptive text that immerse you in Seattle, New Orleans, and Aspen. In the story, Eleanor Flood, a middle-aged animator and mom of a precocious eight-year-old boy living in Seattle wakes up one day deciding that today is the day she will get out of her rut and insists that today will be different. In fact, it turns into one misadventure after another as she tries to solve the mystery of her absent husband and in the search reflects on her life and her troubled relationship with her estranged sister. Although a quick, fast paced read, Semple is able to explore the relationships between this flawed, yet immensely likeable character and her significant others to a satisfying depth. (Submitted by Michelle).

 

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The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

Image result for THE SILENT WIFE BOOK COVERA friend recommended The Silent Wife after I enjoyed reading Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.

The story is told in alternating voices of main characters, Todd, and his common-law wife Jodi.  The couple’s seemingly perfect relationship, which includes flourishing careers and a luxury waterfront condo, unravels in the aftermath of Todd’s adulterous lifestyle.

Both characters are unlikeable.  But the author’s meticulous account of Jodi’s unspoken turmoil, set against the picture perfect view from the calm of her tony surroundings, kept me turning the pages.

It is unfortunate that this Canadian author passed away from cancer just months before her first novel was published. (Submitted by TS).

 

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Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Image result for faithful book cover alice hoffmanFaithful is the tale of Shelby, a teenager who survives a horrific car accident that leaves her best friend in a coma and Shelby with depression, survivor’s guilt, and PTSD. Her promising young life takes an abrupt swerve into the dark and unknown, and we follow Shelby along into adulthood.

It’s a simple story, really, and driven mostly by the mere passing of Shelby’s years. But it’s beautiful. I said “tale” earlier, because it’s not just a story about a woman, it’s a tale of redemption, of forgiveness, of romance and of mothers and daughters. Just a whisper around the edges of a fairy tale element – some symbolism, for those on the lookout for that sort of thing, and slow, gradual progress from unhappy to happy.

For those who like sad but happy books, rescuing stray dogs, complicated female characters, and Chinese takeout. I loved it. (Submitted by Veronica).

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The Parcel by Anosh Irani

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The Parcel by local author Anosh Irani was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and for the Governor General’s Literary Award. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was one of those books I thought I was going to be trudging through because of the serious subject matter (the main character is a transgender sex worker in Bombay); however, it was really well written and quite the page-turner.  This book has been described as “difficult and moving, surprising and tender.” I finished it over a weekend! (Submitted by Surinder).

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Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

Image result for exit pursued by a bear book coverTalk about tough subjects for a teen novel: rape/date rape, drugs, unwanted pregnancy, and abortion. This may not be gritty enough for some readers but you don’t necessarily need gritty to talk about serious issues.

While attending a camp in Northern Ontario, Hermione Winters was drugged and raped. The repercussions range from testing the strength of families and friendships, romantic relationships – past, present and future – to the school and small town rumours that can mark and make or break the spirit of a victim.

The author admits she was angry when she first started writing this book and that it wasn’t very cohesive but she stuck with it, creating a novel I wasn’t sure I wanted to read but I’m glad I did. It makes you realize the ‘what ifs’ of your life and the decisions that you’ve made that have put you on the path you are on – at the moment. (Submitted by RZ).

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Image result for uprooted bookUprooted contains all my favorite things in a YA fantasy: a young woman put in aggravating circumstances discovers her own power and is forced to use all available will, talent, and knowledge to fight a greater evil to her community and the world as she knows it. This contribution features both a complex female friendship as well as a touch of romance as the main character is taken abruptly from her home and tries to remain true to her core values. The story is fast-paced and fully engaging–I’d open the book meaning to read a chapter and lose an afternoon.  Novik has written another series about a dragon known as Temeraire but apparently Uprooted is a significant departure. I enjoyed this read immensely.  (Submitted by Meghan W.)

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The Martian by Andy Weir

 

Image result for the martian bookI was told to read The Martian by outside sources which initially made me resist the idea (as did the imminent movie and general dislike for mass consumption Sci Fi novels).  This was a mistake. By far my favourite read of 2015, The Martian exceeded my expectations. Told through the voice of Mark Watney, a sarcastic Botonist/Astronaut/General Fix-it Man, the reader is swept into a survival story like none before: survival on Mars! Mark Watney is abandoned on Mars after a sandstorm separates him from his crew. He must employ his considerable skills to survive and possibly make it back to earth. Andy Weir manages to combine plausible science and edge of your seat drama to write this compelling tale.  The constant cliff hangers and hilarious wit of Mark Watney made this not only a read all night book, but also a read twice in one week book! (Submitted by CB).

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