Torontoc's Books Read in 2015
Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.
Aquest tema està marcat com "inactiu"—L'últim missatge és de fa més de 90 dies. Podeu revifar-lo enviant una resposta.
I will try to follow the British authors challenge as well.
1. Dvorak in Love by Joseph Skvorecky I picked this novel from my very big TBR pile and just finished it today. The story centers on Dvorak's time in the United States when he had a post as the Director of the National Conservatory in New York City. Each chapter is narrated by a different person- so the reader learns about his family and how he married his wife, Anna, as well as the histories of the many people that Dvorak met and worked with in America. In fact at one point in the novel, there seemed to be too many characters to follow as Skvorecky writes about Dvorak's many musical friends and his appreciation and later use of Black music. The many stories that make up the narrative give the reader an appreciation of the many influences that Dvorak used in his music as well as the people who were influenced by him in their musical careers in the United States as well as in Europe. In this biographical novel I made the acquaintance of some formidable women who figured in this development of music- Jeannette Thurber, a patron who used her husband's money to set up both the Conservatory and an earlier opera company and Adele Margulies - a pianist who bridged the gaps between classical and popular music. And there are the many stories of unrequited love from Dvorak's first infatuation with his wife Anna's sister Josephine to Otylia, Dvorak's daughter who had to choose between the Old and New World. The book ended and I felt a little sad in leaving all the remarkable characters in the story. A very good read to start the New year.
I must admit that I do " lurk" and not comment as well- it is once to read what everyone is reading.
I also have Engineer of Human Souls in the very big TBR book pile and want to get to it this year.
I haven't listened to New World Symphony for several years, so I'll listen to Leonard Bernstein's version of it on Spotify while I visit the threads.
2. The Hockey Sweater Anniversary Edition by Roch Carrier and illustrated by Sheldon Cohen and translated from the French by Sheila Fischman. This beautiful book came with the DVD of the National Film Board of Canada of the animated film. Both book and film are not very long but they evoke memories of the days when the Montreal Canadiens were the best hockey team in the 6 city league. Carrier uses a childhood memory to create the long gone world of a small town in Quebec in the late 1940's. Carrier said that the most important things were the Church and the skating rink, and the idolization of the great Maurice Richard who played for the Canadiens. Every boy knew all about the statistics and listened to the hockey games broadcast on the radio. At the skating rink, every boy wore the jersey of the Montreal Canadiens. The story shows what happens when Roch as a growing boy needs a new hockey jersey. His mother orders a new one from the Eaton's mail order catalogue. ( Eaton's-a long gone Canadian department store empire with stores and a famous catalogue) Unfortunately, the wrong jersey arrives- that of the hated Toronto Maple Leaf team. Roch is forced to wear it and suffers the consequences. That is the story- the settings and dialogue were illustrated by Sheldon Cohen for the book as well as the short animated film. This book has more- information on the history of making the film, the references and tributes by many prominent Canadian politicians ( including the present Prime Minister) writers, sports figures and a former goalie and member of parliament- Ken Dryden. This book was also taken by a Canadian astronaut to the International Space Station. This edition is more than one for children- it is an exploration of a past life in Canada.
*waves to Cyrel* Morning!
4. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri This novel is certainly about alienation and destroyed relationships. Subhash and Udayan are brothers living in Calcutta in the 1960's. Udayan is the most passionate about politics and joins a revolutionary group-The Naxilites. His brother, Subhash disapproves of his brother's actions and moves to the United States to continue his education. Udayan marries Gauri and continues his undercover activities,. A crisis occurs when Udayan is killed by the Indian police. Subhash comes home, and marries Gauri, in order to protect her and the unborn child of his brother. The relationship of Gaudi and Subhash and the child, Bela is examined in this story. The relationship of the two brothers is probably the warmest in the novel. I found the Gauri is portrayed as a very withdrawn person, perhaps crippled by her life in India. Her actions seem very coldhearted as she pursues her own education and life in the United States. There are revelations about Gauri as all the characters age and create new lives. I found this book to be well written but I thought that there was a " coldness" and withdrawn feeling in the writing and created characters.
As to be expected, Lahiri's writing itself is exquisite. The narrative shifts among the various characters, giving voice to the internal thoughts and feelings of each. As a reader, I found it difficult to identify or empathize with any of them, except perhaps Subhash. This was, I think, because each of them is so emotionally isolated from the others that they come across as self-absorbed, uncaring, and distant. Yet I can't claim this entirely as a flaw: if Lahiri's intention was to show the deep and far-reaching damage that trauma and betrayal inflict on individuals and even generations, she has certainly succeeded.
Nice to see you here Stasia!
5.Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton.This book is a well written memoir, by the owner and chef at the New York City restaurant, Prune. Hamilton had a very unusual upbringing.She remembers being taught about food, taste and work ethic by her French mother. Her father built stage scenery in his own shop. Her parents divorced and left a young teenager on her own. Hamilton is very careful to give the reader an edited version of her life, emphasizing her food education and her work in the catering industry for many years. She also has a MFA in Fiction writing and her descriptions of food and what drives her is the main attraction of this book to me. Hamilton writes about both her strained marriage and the wonderful experiences in Italy with her husband's family. So the book is both revealing and hidden about features in her life at the same time. A good read for those interested in food and taste.
8. The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale. I had to buy a book for a five year old and this one was recommended by a lady in a bookstore. This particular five year old is into princesses and loves the film Frozen. She has abandoned her obsession with Dora the Explorer. I read this story and think that it is perfect for her. Both authors want this story to be the first in a series of adventures for this princess - a girl who is also a heroine as she saves the goats from a very bad monster. She disguises herself in black clothes so no one knows who she really is.( almost like Zorro). The story is not frightening for a young child and begins to provide a role of a girl who takes charge. I think that authors are looking at changing the stereotype of the girl who needs protection.
Your Sad Eyes and Unforgettable Mouth by Edeet Ravel. I try to follow all of this author's works- her themes are very interesting. I read this book a few years ago and had to refresh my memory for my book club meeting next week. Maya is the child of Holocaust survivors as are her close friends Rosie, Tony and Patrick. The lives of the children are definitely impacted by the histories of their parents. I liked the book when I first read it and the reread reemphasized the trials of the parents.
thank you and I loved this next book - Cariola gave it a great review-
14. History of the Rain by Niall Williams I almost never cry when I read a book but I did for this one. I loved the language, the humour, and the ideas in this novel. The story is related by Ruth Swain, an invalid young Irish woman who never goes out of her attic room in the small village of Faha. Her narrative traces the stories of her great-grandfather, grandfather and her father Virgil. Ruth was a twin and her brother Aeney's tragic story is part of her work. Ruth reads from her father's library and there are many literary references to the large library that is her legacy. The relationship between Virgil and his wife Mary is beautifully recalled by their daughter. A really great book- why did it not win the Booker?
Hmm- books about books- I would recommend anything by Eleanor Wachtel- she also has a radio show on CBC- another LY reader found a link so that you could listen to some of her broadcasts- I'll post if I can find it.
I'll check my books read list to see if there are other books about books that I liked.
anything by Alberto Manguel is good.
16. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery ( touch stones are not working this afternoon) I had never read this Canadian classic story before. Early Reviewers gave me a chance to do so. I must admit that I loved the story and the amazing character of Anne. The author created a lovely very talkative young girl who loves her imagination, nature and every new experience. A modern jaded reader might not appreciated the wonder of seemingly everyday events like concerts and exhibitions. But the world of Anne Shirley- young orphan in pre-World War 1 Prince Edward Island - was very grim before she was taken in by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. The author traces Anne's growth from bold and talkative little girl to mature young lady who makes wise decisions. The story is dated but in a nice way. The world of this small rural town no longer exists but this novel is a remarkable tribute to the lives of those who lived in Canada at the beginning of the 20th century.
Have a lovely weekend, Cyrel.
17.The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. I finally finished this novel last night. I had started it two years ago and put it down after finishing the first half of the story. I found the pace and writing style " slow". Last year I picked up the book again for one reason. A member of my book club said that she found the novel difficult for read because it was similar to the story of her in-laws and how they survived in Hungary during World War Two. This statement made me curious and I resolved to finish the book. The story follows the history of a young Hungarian Jewish man, Andras Levi and his life as he studies for his architecture degree in Paris in 1937. He struggles with balancing work and studies and meets with Klara Morgenstern, a young woman with secrets of her own relationships. Andras, his friends' and brothers' lives are related in great detail in the first half of the book. The complicated story of Klara and her family and why she is in Paris make this first part of the story more of a saga that moves very slowly. The second half of the novel takes place mainly in Budapest. Andras has to leave Paris because of the political situation. He and Klara marry and take up residence in Hungary where the war in Europe changes lives for Hungarian Jews. Orringer writes about the labour groups that Jews have to join- these companies are to support the Hungarian Army. The details of the work , anti-Semitism, and survival take the reader through the changing politics of Hungary as an ally of Germany and later a puppet state controlled by the Nazis. The writing seems more authentic as the author describes the horrors of the work and conditions of the labor camps. I found the ending touching as the fate of Andras's family and friends is revealed. In fact, I am glad that I did return to this novel.
20.The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. This really fun mystery is the first featuring young Flavia - a young girl living with her father and older sisters on a big crumbling estate in England in the early 1950`s. The language used is very date sometimes so I am not sure that the young adult reader would understand everything at first. The story involved murder both past and present, the stealing of valuable postage stamps past and present and the framing of Flavià`s father for the murder. Flavia is a master of chemistry(she has her own lab)and as budding detective. Her story of how she solves the crime and is saved when she is threatened by the true murderer is a good read and I looki forward to the next book in the series.
21.A Dangerous Inheritance- A Novel of Tudor Rivals and the Secret of the Tower by Alison Weir. I like Alison Weir's biographies of the Tudors but until now was not as happy with her historical fiction. But this story was really interesting. Weir has taken two women who might have know something about crucial events in British royal history- the murder of the two princes in the Tower of London by Richard the Third and the succession plots during the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth- and given them plausible biographies. Katherine Plantagenet was the illegitimate daughter of Richard the Third. She was married to William Herbert and probably died in childbirth. Katherine Grey was the sister of Lady Jane Grey and married secretly against the wishes of Queen Elizabeth. Katherine Grey was imprisoned for most of her life as a result of this action. Weir had given both women lives that place them at points of known history. She has made them both curious about the fate of the princes in the Tower of London and gave them actions that add more detail to what is generally know today. The fictional detail that could be true make this story interesting to me.
22. Gossip from the Forest by Thomas Keneally I liked this fictional story about what may have happened during the talks that led up to the armistice and the end of World War One. The structure of the book uses very short chapters to imagine the conversations between the German, French and English negotiators as they met in a railway car outside of Compiegne.. The story of one of the German negotiators was particularly poignant as the reader learns of his fate after the war. In a way the writing style is somewhat " impressionist"- Keneally alternates between the dialogue between the French and English and the Germans. I liked this story and found it informative in learning about the circumstances surrounding the negotiations to end the war.
25. A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman. This novel is funny and very tragic at the same time. The author, an American who was born in Belarus and immigrated to the US when he was nine, takes on the theme of identity. At first, the plot centres on Sasha's dilemma.Sasha is a young writer working as a researcher at the famous magazine in New York. Sasha doesn't have any opportunities to write articles for the magazine as his style is not what the editors want. At the same time as Sasha is struggling at his job, the reader is introduced to Sasha's grandfather who is mourning the death of his wife. Sasha has been avoiding his Russian relatives in Brooklyn. At the shiva for his grandmother, Sasha and his grandfather talk. The grandfather had escaped to Uzbekistan during the war while his future wife was trapped in a ghetto and managed to survive. At the shiva, Sasha encountered his relatives and family friends who really lived a very different life than he did. The family kept on trying to get Sasha to date Vera, a childhood friend. Sasha had developed a relationship with a co-worker, Arianna. Sasha's grandfather pressures his grandson to write a letter for him to the German government in order to claim restitution for Holocaust survivors. Sasha uses part of his grandmother's story and convinces himself that his grandfather's grim life is reason itself to commit a little forgery. Soon, Sasha is writing letters and hearing snippets of stories from many elderly Russians. The guilt that Sasha considers is layered with the realization that those who did immigrate from the Soviet Union have a very different set of morals and lifestyles in South Brooklyn. It is not an assimilated American way of life not is it a totally Soviet life. The contrast is best shown through Sasha's dealings with Arianna and Vera. His grandfather says of Vera- she would defend you like a tank and would take the rap for anything that Sasha did. Hardly a compliment to life in America but Vera lives a very Russian way of life. Arianna is more of a free spirit but doesn't understand Sasha's ties to the ideas of his relatives. Sasha and the author seem to debate what is truth and what is loyalty is this very moving story.
27. My October by Claire Holden Rothman Rothman writes about a dysfunctional family living in Montreal in the early 2000's. The father , Luc Levesque is a famous Quebec writer who has separatist views and a big following in literary circles. His wife, Hannah expertly translates his books into English and has won awards for doing so. Hannah comes from an Anglo background but has embraced her husband's culture. She has had little contact with her parents in Toronto.Their son, Hugo, is a fourteen year old who is alienated from his parents and in trouble at school. Luc and Hannah have little personal communication as they try to help their son. Hugo discovers his grandfather's background as a prosecutor after the 1967 October crisis in Quebec. The family crisis does eventually get settled at the conclusion of the novel. I found that the extremes of behaviour on the part of the main characters and the changes that occur, happens a little too fast. The tensions set up throughout the story did draw me into the drama.This is a very interesting book.
41. A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley. I just had to read the next book in this series. ( I bought a book with the first three)
Flavia solves the mystery of three murders and learns a little more about her dead mother. I like the way the author not only presents the details of a complicated murder case but also introduces the reader to a slice of 1950's British life. In this case, the gypsy caravan and some obscure religious sects. The estate where Flavia lives, Buckshaw, plays a central role in this mystery.
44. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins I like to read books that seem to be really popular. I guess that I am curious to see "why"? This is a little like Gone Girl- a lot of suspense,and unlikeable characters. The entries or narratives by Rachel, Megan and Anna show people who have a lot of troubles and make bad decisions. There is suspense and I am glad that I read the book but it is not one of my favourites.
45. The Ward: The Life and Loss of Toronto's First Immigrant Neighbourhood edited by John Lorinc, Michael Mcclelland, Ellen Scheinberg, and Tatum Taylor. I do know one of the editors, Ellen Scheinberg, and I went to the book launch. This book is composed of many articles by many historians and people interested in the St. John's Ward area of Toronto.The area was home to African- Canadians and Irish in the mid nineteenth century and later to the first Italian, Jewish and Chinese immigrants living in Toronto. The articles talk about bootleggers, Chinese laundries, public health initiatives in the area and more. Eventually the small run down houses and structures were torn down and today the area holds the new city hall and square as well as major hospitals and hotels. The range of authors shows the diversity of interest in this first immigrant neighbourhood. An excellent book on the history of an important part of Toronto's past.
Anyway, I did read The Girl on the Train but, like you and Cyrel, I was not all that crazy about it. I had the opposite reaction: I was drawn in at first but felt the ending was particularly weak and contrived. I just read that the movie rights have already been purchased.
46. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and The Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell Gladwell's books always present situations where the author takes a hard look at assumed theories. In this book he examines the story of the battle between the Goliath, the giant who should have won and David -who seemed to be disadvantaged. In fact Gladwell shows how a disability might not be one and what happens to many "Davids" in society. Selected studies show that choosing a so-called second tier college might be an advantage to students, and how a disability might spur people on to excellence. Gladwell looks at a think tank that totally misread the Vietnam War and why the people of London survived the German bombing during World War Two when establishment thinking believe the opposite would happen. A provocative book and worth reading.
47. The Rise & Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman. This is a very accomplished piece of writing. The story of Tooly Zylberberg is told in three time periods- 1988, 1999 and 2011. In a way the reader is looking not at Tooly's future but at deciphering her past. Tooly in the present owns a bookstore in an isolated part of Wales. She is called to New York as her father, Humphey is dying. However , Humphrey is not her real father although they travelled throughout the world when she was growing up. Tooly was raised by tricksters and a trio of mysterious characters. In each time period the reader wonders how she became the wanderer. Tooly believes that her childhood was an adventure although as the reader finds ( spoiler) out that Tooly's assumptions about her life are false. Great characters and comments about society of the beginning of the 21st century. I did find the " reveal" a little disappointing.
52. Daydreams of Angels by Heather O'Neill i am a fan of this author. Her last book The Girl Who Was Saturday Night was so good- this book of short stories does pick up some themes about being poor in Montreal. Many of the stories combine storytelling, fantasy and bizarre happenings. I enjoyed all of them. O'Neill uses some of the history of Canadian soldiers in the second world war in a few of her stories. In some cases she successfully combines both whimsy and horror. This is a well crafted collection.
A really good story!
>59 torontoc: I read this one when it first came out and wasn't all that impressed. I've read quite a few books by Kamila Shamsie, and most of them have fallen sort for me. I will have to see if I reviewd any of them here on LT; I must have reviewed Burnt Shadows.
I wish that Nam Le would write another book.
61. Stones on a Grave by Kathy Kacer. This is an ER and Young Adult book that is part of an interesting series. Seven young women had been living in an orphanage in a small town in Canada in 1964- the building burned down and all seven then set out on journeys to find out about a specific secret relating to their backgrounds. There are seven novels that can be read independently. Sara, the key figure in this book travels to Germany to look for information about her mother. All she has is a few documents with her mother's name, the name of the doctor who signed a certificate and a Star of David necklace. Sara had not known that she was Jewish and her discovery of her history coincides with the story of the Holocaust and concentration camps. The story shows Sara's growth and maturity as a young adult. She resists the temptations of a boyfriend with questionable values in her home town. In Germany Sara finds out what happened to her parents and learns why she faced barriers to discovering the truth. Sara begins to live with some uncomfortable facts about her past and make plans for her future. This book was written for a maturing young audience. The themes are presented in a way that explains some difficult situations that a young person may have to explore with relationships that they make. This is a very interesting series and I think that I all try to read the rest of the books.
62. The Matter with Morris by David Bergen. Morris Schutt wrote a column that was printed in many newspapers and used his family as the source for many of his stories. In this novel, Morris is asked to take a brake from writing by his agent as his work has become too dark and personal. The reader learns that Morris's son Martin, a soldier in the Canadian army had been killed by friendly fire. Although as the narrator, Morris seems to be a rational man, he has separated from his wife and has taken all his money out of the bank and put it a safe in his condo. In addition, Lucille, Morris's wife found out that he had had a relationship of sorts ( all in writing) with a married woman from the United States. The story of how Morris tries to mend the relationship with his older daughter and later Lucille as well how he exhibits some trying and irrational behaviours is interesting. I think that the writing style is excellent . As the lead protagonist, Morris is not quite the unreliable narrator but gets dangerous close to becoming one. I did like the book but in comparison to his earlier novel, I liked that one better.
This is my 75th book of the year!
I loved How to be Both, had it in the same order as you, and did wonder what I would have thought had I read it the other way round!
76. Dead Wake The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson I must admit that I found this book to be not interesting as some the author's previous works. This is very detailed account of the last voyage of the liner Lusitania during the first World War. Larson takes the reader through the ship and it's workings. As well, the book informs the reader about specific passengers and their own accounts. Larson asks some questions about the care or lack of it given to this ship. Germany had publicly warned the public about travelling on what it considered enemy vessels. Not only did the German u-boats target navy ships, it also took down passenger ships of British and neutral countries. Larson describes the secret department of British intelligence and how it had more information that showed that the Lusitania was in danger of being targeted. Larson also writes about the "almost official non- rescue" of the survivors and how the government tried to put the blame on the Captain for the sinking. There are no definitive answers. The view that the sinking of this ship directly led to the United States into the war effort are shown to be false although the event did alert the Americans and President Wilson to Germany's intent. I think that this history is a meticulous telling of the events that led up to the sinking and the repercussions in later years.
78. Jack of Spies by David Downing. This book is the first in the author's new series on a world war one spy- Jack McColl. McColl's facility with language leads him from Tsingtau, China to San Francisco, Mexico and New York on behalf of the British secret service. This first book is et just before the start of the war. The British government is concerned with the actions of Germany as German agents try to forge alliances with Mexico, Ireland and India. Much of Jack's work seems mundane but there is danger and near misses as agents try to kill him. I don't think that this series is as interesting as his John Russell stories but I will give the next novel a try.
85. The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg Sigh! My book club wanted to read this novel and another on the same topic this month. Maybe my inner grouch is coming out but I thought that this story would be better as a TV series. Parts were funny but the book was too long. I liked some of the characters but really I would rather read something else- I will do that next.
86. Four Queens The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe by Nancy Goldstone. I really liked good history books- especially about times and people that I really don't know much about- and this biography worked for me. The author relates the stories of four sisters, Marguerite, Eleanor, Sanchia and Beatrice from Provence during the 1200's who became queens in England, France, Germany and Sicily. They all were married well because of the plans of their parents, Beatrice of Savoy and Raymond Berenger V , the count and countess of Provence. Goldstone gives the reader a good sense of the politics and events in Europe during this time. The two elder sisters, Marguerite of France and Eleanor of England were much more involved in the management of events in their countries. One important factor was the close family ties of those in power from Provence and Savoy. How they influenced power in England and France was fascinating. A really good read.
87. Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis/ This is an amazing book. The premise is unusual but it does work for me. This book is on the Giller Prize shortlist. The gods Hermes and Apollo are drinking at a tavern in Toronto and make a bet. If they gave some dogs human intelligence, would they be happy at the end of their lives? Fifteen dogs at a clinic are given this gift or curse and escape. Alexis follows this group as they confront newly acquired traits. One dog, Prince becomes a poet. Groups are formed that accept or reject this gift. There is a lot of casual brutality as the dogs do not loose their " dog" or animal instincts. In a way there is a battle between those who explore those new sensations and those who want to establish their old ways again. Aliexis follows both groups and their destinies. There are discussions about the nature of humanity and memory. I found the end very touching. A very good read for me.
88. The 100-Year- Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson I read this for my book club.Double sigh! I know that some readers really liked this book but I was annoyed. ( I will agree that I may be a grouch) It was not really funny to me as the story relates the history of 100 year old Allan Karlsson and his adventures. He met almost every world leader, and survived the prisons of a number of dictatorships. In the present he escapes from his old folks home and meets a variety of interesting people and their adventures. I found the story to be longwinded and not funny.
but do get the next series!
89.The Story of a New Name by Elena FerranteThis is the second book in the four part series of the " Neapolitan Novels". I loved the first book and have to say the same for the second. The reader takes up the story of Elena Greco and her friend Lila just after Lila marries Stefano. Lila seems to be the one in the impoverished Naples neighbourhood who has achieved success- marriage, a modern apartment and money. Elena continues her studies at high school although she has much self doubt about her skills and ability. How Lila involves herself in the many plans and skirmishes with rival families does drive much of the plot in this account. Lila seems to be on a suicide mission- not caring about the relationships that she destroys. She even takes away a valued friend from Elena. The reader sees how Elena achieves much and how Lila seems to have altered her life for the worst. But the story does continue!
97. Hilda and the Troll by Luke Pearson. I like to see what children's book authors are doing. ( an interest in seeing what my young great nieces will be reading) This graphic novel is well designed and has some interesting characteristics. The young girl , Hilda is fearless, takes a leadership role and solve problems with trolls and other creatures. ( I like the woodman) There is a mother ( nice to see that a parent is present ) and she is trusting and cheerful. This story is a nice change from old stereotypes of the past.
99. Winnie The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally M. Walker and illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss. This book has a nice combination of illustration and print for a young reader. ( the book is a gift for my young great niece) The author describes how a veterinarian who had joined the Canadian army in World War 1 bought a young bear in Northern Ontario, named him Winnie ( after the city of Winnipeg) and took him overseas to England. When the soldier had to go to battle in France, he left Winnie in the care of the London Zoo.When the war was over, the veterinarian realized that Winnie should remain at the zoo. And this is where an author and his son found the bear and named him "Winnie-the -Pooh". A lovely book to start a young reader with before going to the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.
100. Step Aside, Pops a Hark! A Vagrant Collection by Kate Beaton. Kate Beaton's comics are wonderful. This second collection includes a number of her favourite targets. Fairy tales, comic book heroines, the US founding Fathers and of course Jane Austen vs the Brontes are all put in unlikely and funny situations. Cinderella works out with the Prince, Lois Lane is bugged by both Superman and Clark Kent, and Julius Caesar is reminded to wear pyjamas to the Senate. Chopin and Liszt are rivals in everything. Avenging Feminists and women bicycle riders are both given a prominent place in this collection of funny and acute observations on literature and politics.
I saw a very smart movie yesterday that I recommend highly
The Big Short- it really explains some of the financial corruption regarding mortgages ( I know- is this a topic for a film?) a few years ago in the US.
107. Behind the Beautiful Forevers Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo The journalist/ author writes about the lives of a group of people living in a slum just near the airport in Mumbai. Boo details the lives of a number of families involved in processing garbage for resale, and the incredible ( to my eyes) corruption in the political and municipal systems in India. One family is targeted by another and there is a murder charge and subsequent trial. There are a number of unsolved murders and suicides as well. The details of life in this slum are horrifying. The wholesale mismanagement of funds for development so that too much money lands in the hands of politicians and developers is astounding. A very thoughtful study of the underclass in India society and their struggles.
110. The Lieutenant by Kate Grenville Grenville writes a beautiful story about a young lieutenant assigned to record a comet in Australia in 1788. He is assigned, as an astronomer to a company that is setting a colony in an isolated part of this new territory with a group of convicts. Daniel Rookie manages to convince his superior officer that he needs to live on a high spot overlooking the settlement so that he can record the stars. He finds that the native people visit and in particular , one young girl befriend him. He starts to learn their language. The treatment of the native people lead Daniel to realize that the values of the conquering the British army are not his. A very sensitive view of how the British settled in Australia.