Sophia: princess, suffragette, revolutionary by Anita Anand

This was a fantastic biography with great writing. It was super interesting–I absolutely loved it! If you want to read about an interesting life, this is a great choice. Sophia was born into Indian royalty and raised in an English palace. She surprised everyone when she returned to India as a revolutionary battling injustice.  Highly recommended. (Submitted by JF).

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Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

This book was written as a letter from a father to his 15-year-old son about what it means to have a black body and be a black boy/man in America. It was awesome with great writing. I connected to this in a couple of big ways: I am the same age bracket as the author and his language around “the Dream” really hit home for me….I loved it! (Submitted by JF).

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The Girl with Seven Names: a North Korean defector’s story by Hyeonseo Lee

The Girl with Seven Names was a fascinating look at North Korea from an accidental defector who lived a more comfortable life than many on the Chinese/North Korea border. Not only did I learn a lot about North Korea, but I learned much about that part of the world in general. Lee’s book was very interesting and I highly recommend it. (Submitted by JF).

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Louis Riel by Chester Brown

Montreal author and illustrator Chester Brown presents the story of Canadian icon Louis Riel in this unique and gripping comic. This biography illustrates the struggles faced by the Metis people of the prairies, leading to two resistance movements against the Canadian government to form the province of Manitoba.  Brown has created an accessible and entertaining way to learn about an important part of Canadian history while also creating an exciting illustrated story that can appeal to any reader.  (Submitted by CB)

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Momma, Momma, the Preacher’s Comin’ by Doreen Brust Johnson

Local Surrey author, Doreen Brust Johnson, felt compelled to write this account of her mother’s life. Born in 1939, Doreen grew up in rural northern Saskatchewan before moving to Vancouver as a teen. The story opens with adult Doreen in a coma as a result of a car accident–her elderly mother sits by her side and weaves a tale of hardship, love, and courage. To help Doreen through her coma, her mother shares the stories of growing up in the early part of the 20th century — the World Wars, the depression, and traveling north to become homesteaders.

I enjoyed this historical account of Canadian life — it reminded me of how important it is to share stories with one another. Listen to your elders, to your parents–ask questions and learn. I look forward to meeting Doreen at Authors Among Us at City Centre Library on Sat, April 16 at 12:45pm. Call 604-598-7426 to save your spot! (Submitted by Meghan).

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Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive by Dr. Mark Winston

I absolutely loved Mark Winston’s Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive. This book won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2015 and it deserves all of it’s accolades. Dr. Winston is a bee scientist and a professor at Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue. His writing on the topic of bees, sustainability, environment, food, science, history, and art flows seamlessly. I’ve always known that bees are remarkable and a valuable part of the ecosystems that make Earth function as a planet, but I never knew quite how valuable. This was a fascinating exploration of a topic that is more timely than ever as the environmental changes to our planet accelerate.

You have a chance to meet Dr. Winston in person at Honey, Hives, & Poetry in Surrey on Tues, March 15 at 7pm at City Centre Library. He will be joined by Surrey Poet Laureate Renee Sarojini Saklikar, Surrey poet Heidi Greco, and the Surrey Beekeepers Association. Black Bond Books will have books for sale. Call 604-598-7426 to save your spot. (Submitted by Meghan)

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American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin

This Pulitzer prize winning biography chronicles the rise of physicist Robert J. Oppenheimer, the man in charge of the Manhattan Project.  This is a hefty book–26.5 hours as an audiobook–but the research and detail show through.  You get insight into his life, not just his time at Los Alamos but his childhood and later in life his fall from grace as a result of the McCarthyism so rampant after the war.  I enjoy history and biographies that have a lot of detail and the author manages to deliver that without losing the story or overwhelming the reader.  I knew a bit about Oppenheimer before reading this book but I now have a much better understanding of his life, impact and legacy. (Submitted by Braden).

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For personalized book recommendations, email our Book Advisors at bookadvisor@surrey.ca.