The God of Small Things

Arundhati Roy
1997
R888g

Beautifully written book set in India about one fateful and tragic event in the lives of a set of twins and how it shaped their lives and who they became. The author captures the shattered innocence of the children through her unique voice. Mesmerizing.

The Ash Garden

Dennis Bock
2001
FICTION B665a

A scientist stealing across the Pyrenees into Spain, then smuggled into America… A young woman quarantined on a ship wandering the Atlantic, her family left behind in Austria… A girl playing on a riverbank as a solitary airplane appears on the horizon… Lives already in motion, unsettled by war, and about to change beyond reckoning — their pasts blurred and their destinies at once bound for the desert of Los Alamos, the woman unexpectedly en route to a refugee camp, the girl at Ground Zero and that plane the Enola Gay.In August 1945, in a blinding flash, Hiroshima sees the dawning of the modern age.

With these three characters, Dennis Bock transforms a familiar story — the atom bomb as a means to end worldwide slaughter — into something witnessed, as if for the first time, in all its beautiful and terrible power.Destroyer of Worlds.With Anton and Sophie and Emiko, with the complete arc of their histories and hopes, convictions and requests, The Ash Garden is intricate yet far-reaching, from market streets in Japan to German universities, from New York tenements to, ultimately, a peaceful village in Ontario. Revealed here, as their fates triangulate, are the true costs and implications of a nightmare that has persisted for over half a century.In its reserves of passion and wisdom, in its grasp of pain and memory, in its balance of ambition and humanity, this first novel is an astonishing triumph.

Sweetland

sweetlandMichael Crummey
2014
FICTION C956s

This a great Canadain novel set in contemporary Newfoundland. The inhabitants of the island of Sweetland must resettle elsewhere after being offered a package to depart. Only Moses Sweetland, aged 60, holds out though he is intimidated and pressured. Mortality, loss, community and history are some of the themes explored in this wonderfully evocative and heart-wrenching book.

The Mothers

mothersBrit Bennett
2016
FICTION B471m

This book  follows the lives of Nadia, Aubrey and Luke, three young people in a small community in California, who have to all deal with a loss, secrets and betrayal. Within the novel is the chorus of the mothers, elder women who witnessed the events or promted, through gossip, the unfolding of the dramatic events to follow.

 

 

Codex Aléra. 1 Les furies de Caldéron

codex_aleraJim Butcher
2010
ROMAN B983c

L’histoire fantastique se distingue des autres de sa catégorie de deux façons. La première réside dans le talent incomparable de l’auteur pour à la fois nous prendre dès la première page sans nous lâcher une seule seconde et à la fois avoir des personnages réalistes et qui réagissent de façon normale. La deuxième est que tous, et je dis bien tous, les personnages secondaires comme principaux ont des pouvoirs magiques très bien développés dans le réalisme, SAUF le personnage principal. Ce qui rend amusant de suivre un « incapable » au lieu du demi-dieu d’une ancienne lignée royale qu’on a dans tous les autres livres du même genre.

Samuel P.

Vil et misérable

vil_miserableSamuel Cantin
2013
BDF C231v

2 pour 1 sur les Balzac à l’achat d’une Chrysler. Lucien Vil, libraire de son état, partage sa boutique de livres avec les minounes de Linguine voitures usagées / livres usagés. Entre ses collègues avec lesquels il a peu en commun, son psy aux méthodes plus que douteuses, son nouvel assistant Daniel et le jour de la marmotte qui s’en vient à grands pas, difficile pour Lucien de ne pas angoisser… Mais aujourd’hui, on s’en fout, c’est l’Halloween.

Ex libris : confessions of a common reader

ex_librisAnne Fadiman
1998
814.54 F145e

This witty collection of essays recounts a lifelong love affair with books and language. For Fadiman, as for many passionate readers, the books she loves have become chapters in her own life story. Writing with remarkable grace, she revives the tradition of the well-crafted personal essay, moving easily from anecdotes about Coleridge and Orwell to tales of her own pathologically literary family. As someone who played at blocks with her father’s 22-volume set of Trollope (« My Ancestral Castles ») and who only really considered herself married when she and her husband had merged collections (« Marrying Libraries »), she is exquisitely well equipped to expand upon the art of inscriptions, the perverse pleasures of compulsive proof-reading, the allure of long words, and the satisfactions of reading out loud. There is even a foray into pure literary gluttony–Charles Lamb liked buttered muffin crumbs between the leaves, and Fadiman knows of more than one reader who literally consumes page corners. Perfectly balanced between humor and erudition, Ex Libris establishes Fadiman as one of our finest contemporary essayists.

Dreams from my father : a story of race and inheritance

dreams_fatherBarack Obama
2004
923.273 O12
In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father—a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man—has been killed in a car accident. This sudden death inspires an emotional odyssey—first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces the migration of his mother’s family to Hawaii, and then to Kenya, where he meets the African side of his family, confronts the bitter truth of his father’s life, and at last reconciles his divided inheritance.

 

The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow

silence_bonaventureRita Leganski
2013
FICTION L496s

A magical debut novel from Rita Leganski, The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow is the tale of a mute boy whose gift of wondrous hearing reveals family secrets and forgotten voodoo lore, and exposes a murder that threatens the souls of those who love him.

Bang Crunch: Stories

bang_crunchNeil Smith
2007
FICTION S655b

Unexpected humour and tenderness intertwine with loneliness and hopefulness in this remarkable book from an already acclaimed writer. In nine richly varied stories, written in intense, clear-eyed prose, the reader is led into an exploration of the human need for connection, however tenuous or absurd, and at whatever cost. The stories operate with heartbreaking precision, drawing us past the surface of characters’ lives and into the moments of decision and recognition that shape these people irrevocably.