Man’s search for meaning

Viktor E. Frankl
2006
940.5318 F831p

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (« meaning »)-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

At the time of Frankl’s death in 1997, Man’s Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. A 1991 reader survey for the Library of Congress that asked readers to name a « book that made a difference in your life » found Man’s Search for Meaningamong the ten most influential books in America.

This is the kind of book that should be read by everyone. Very inspiring.

My sister, the serial killer : a novel

Oyinkan Braithwaite
2018
FICTION B814m

A short, darkly funny, hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends

« Femi makes three, you know. Three and they label you a serial killer. »

Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead.

Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her « missing » boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.

Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realize that she’s exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and how far she’s willing to go to protect her.

Sharp as nails and full of deadpan wit, Oyinkan Braithwaite’s deliciously deadly debut is as fun as it is frightening.

Split tooth

Tanya Tagaq
2018
FICTION T125s

Longlisted for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize

From the internationally acclaimed Inuit throat singer who has dazzled and enthralled the world with music it had never heard before, a fierce, tender, heartbreaking story unlike anything you’ve ever read.

Fact can be as strange as fiction. It can also be as dark, as violent, as rapturous. In the end, there may be no difference between them.

A girl grows up in Nunavut in the 1970s. She knows joy, and friendship, and parents’ love. She knows boredom, and listlessness, and bullying. She knows the tedium of the everyday world, and the raw, amoral power of the ice and sky, the seductive energy of the animal world. She knows the ravages of alcohol, and violence at the hands of those she should be able to trust. She sees the spirits that surround her, and the immense power that dwarfs all of us.

When she becomes pregnant, she must navigate all this.

Veering back and forth between the grittiest features of a small arctic town, the electrifying proximity of the world of animals, and ravishing world of myth, Tanya Tagaq explores a world where the distinctions between good and evil, animal and human, victim and transgressor, real and imagined lose their meaning, but the guiding power of love remains.

Haunting, brooding, exhilarating, and tender all at once, Tagaq moves effortlessly between fiction and memoir, myth and reality, poetry and prose, and conjures a world and a heroine readers will never forget.

Extremely original and disturbing work. Poetic and raw, it is at once tender and fierce, forgiving and angry, sexual and transcendant, spiritual and earthy. I especially loved the last chapter because it left me with a lot of questions on how to interpret what happened.

 

Paul McCartney

Philip Norman
2017
927.82 M123n

Biographie de P. McCartney retraçant son parcours au-delà de la période des Beatles, des blessures de son enfance jusqu’à son divorce avec H. Mills, en passant par la rupture avec J. Lennon et les phases de dépression. Fondée sur des entretiens avec des proches du chanteur.

Le bonheur conjugal

Tahar Ben Jelloun
2012
ROMAN B456b 

A Casablanca, au début des années 2000, un peintre célèbre est immobilisé dans un fauteuil roulant, suite à un accident cérébral. Déprimé et persuadé que son mariage est la cause de tous ses malheurs, il couche sur papier les difficultés liées à sa relation avec son épouse. Cette dernière découvre le manuscrit et entreprend de livrer sa propre version des faits.

Au pays: roman

Tahar Ben Jelloun
2009
ROMAN B456a

A quelques mois de la retraite, Mohamed n’a aucune envie de quitter l’atelier où il a travaillé presque toute sa vie depuis qu’il est parti du bled.
Afin de chasser le malaise diffus qui l’envahit, il s’interroge sur lui-même avec simplicité et humilité. Il pense à son amour profond pour l’islam, dont il n’aime pas les dérives fanatiques ; il se désole de voir ses enfants si éloignés de leurs racines marocaines; il réalise surtout à quel point la retraite est pour lui le plus grand malheur de son existence. Un matin, il prend la route de son village natal, décidé à construire une immense maison qui accueillera tous ses enfants. Un retour  » au pays » qui sera loin de ressembler à ce qu’il imaginait.

Le dernier ami

Tahar Ben Jelloun
2004
ROMAN B456d 

Deux visions de la même histoire par deux narrateurs différents, amis d’enfance. Le premier raconte une amitié d’enfance, brisée par la rivalité conjugale et la trahison. Le second explique cette fourberie qui semble ne plus en être une. La fiction pose la question du malentendu et laisse entrevoir la société complexe qu’était le Maroc pendant les années de répression.

Breadfruit

 Celestine Hitiura Vaite
2005
FICTION V132b

Women who want romance, men who won’t commit, interfering in-laws-some things never change, even in a tropical paradise…

Materena never really thinks about marriage until Pito, the father of her three children, drunkenly proposes one night. Suddenly, Materena’s planning her dream wedding, although Pito seems to have forgotten ever asking the question. Materena tries to be patient, but as her mother Loana says, « Girl, waiting for a man is like waiting for chicken to have teeth. »

When Pito’s antics go too far, Materena starts to see things another way. If there’s no ring, a woman can tell her man to pack his bags and go home to his mama whenever she likes. So what does Materena really want?

Breadfruit is the first of Célestine Hitiura’s Vaite’s internationally acclaimed novels about Materena and the joys and perils of family life in Tahiti. Warmly funny and full of bold and brilliant women, Breadfruit is a delicious taste of life in the tropics.

 

Tilly and the Crazy Eights

Monique Gray Smith
2018
FICTION G782t

When Tilly receives an invitation to help drive eight elders on their ultimate bucket-list road trip, she impulsively says yes. Before she knows it, Tilly has said good-bye to her family and is on an adventure that will transform her in ways she could not predict, just as it will for the elders who soon dub themselves “the Crazy Eights.”

The Crazy Eights each choose a stop—somewhere or something they’ve always wanted to experience—on the way to their ultimate goal, the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow in Albuquerque. Their plan is to travel to Las Vegas, Sedona, and the Redwood Forests, with each destination the inspiration for secrets and stories to be revealed. The trip proves to be powerful medicine as they laugh, heal, argue, and dream along the way. By the time their bus rolls to a stop in New Mexico, Tilly and the Crazy Eights, with friendships forged and hearts mended, feel ready for anything. But are they?

This book will make you laugh and cry. it is about forgiveness and healing.

There There

Tommy Orange
2018
FICTION O63t 

Here is a story of several people, each of whom has private reasons for travelling to the Big Oakland Powwow. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life together after his uncle’s death and has come to work at the powwow to honour his uncle’s memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil Red Feather, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and has come to the powwow to dance in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and unspeakable loss.

Fierce, angry, funny, heartbreaking, There There is a relentlessly paced multi-generational story about violence and recovery, memory and identity, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people. An unforgettable debut.