Another road trip to Ontario in July helped me up the number of books read for the month – and I read a lot of GOOD ones! I hope you get some ideas for your TBR list.
I’m really behind in my blogging because of the road trip and a really bad cold that laid me low before we left, but I do hope to publish detailed reviews of all or most of these titles throughout this month.
1. A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans by W. Bruce Cameron
Just released in paperback. A wonderful story told by the dog in question: Toby, Bailey, Ellie, Buddy – well, you’ll see….
It made me laugh out loud and sob uncontrollably. It’s my pick for my book of the month – which says something given the quality of the others I read. If you’ve ever loved a dog, you will love this book. My review is here.
2. The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence
It’s been several years since I read this Canadian classic and it has held up even better than I could imagine. Told by elderly Hagar Shipley, it’s her story – of love and loss, and the tragedy of not communicating. See my review.
3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Set in WWII Germany, the story of a young girl and her best friend, the boy down the street. If you love to own books, you’ll appreciate this. In a twist that makes it stand out from other books in this genre, the story is narrated by Death.
4. Room by Emma Donoghue
A gripping story told by five-year-old Jack, of his life in “Room” with his Ma who was kidnapped before his birth and has been held for seven years in this one-room prison. Not nearly as dark as it sounds. Jack will warm your heart. You can read more about what I thought.
5. To Fetch a Thief by Spencer Quinn
The third in the Chet & Bernie mystery series, of which I am a huge fan (as you may know). In this story, the intrepid detectives track a stolen circus elephant across the California desert. Chet is, as ever, endearing.
6. The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
My third reading of another Canadian classic by wordsmith Shields. Described as a family album set to a novel, this account of 90-something Daisy Goodwill’s life is rich and real.
7. The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen
The gentle story of two elderly sisters, Twiss and Milly, who live alone in the house where they grew up in Spring Green, Wis. Ultimately, it’s a portrayal of sacrifices made for family – and the roads that lead from them.
8. Unfinished Business: One Man’s Extraordinary Year of Trying to Do the Right Things by Lee Kravitz
After losing his job, Lee Kravitz—a man who always worked too hard and too much—took stock of his life and decided to spend an entire year making amends and reconnecting with the people and parts of himself he had neglected. Much to ruminate about here as Kravitz reaches out to family & old friends, caught up on commitments he meant to keep but didn’t, and looks at roads not taken. My review is here.
9. Diary Of A Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield
Originally published in 1931 and surely the basis for Bridget Jones’s Diary and like books. Wry, clever, and, ultimately, more sophisticated than current versions.
10. Gator Aide by Jessica Speart
First in the Rachel Porter mystery series. Novice U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent Porter is called to attend the murder investigation of a stripper because the victim’s pet alligator was found dead at the scene. Rachel’s likable, if a little less-than-mellow in her attitude toward equality with the good ol’ boys.
11. Nancy’s Wedding Feast and Other Tasty Tales by James O. St. Clair & Yvonne C. LeVert
Historical narratives from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, accompanied by recipes that complete the tales, to give the full flavour of Cape Breton’s rich and varied cultural palate. An interesting foray into the history & culture of the island.
This a stop on my Atlantic Canada Literary Road Trip.
12. The Magnificent Spinster by May Sarton
I didn’t finish this so won’t rate it, but did read 260 pages of it, so feel it should count. In response to my request for reader feedback, I received a lovely email which has encouraged me to pick this up at another time, and give it another try.
Links for my Canadian readers: