What is that, in the sky? Is it spring, unfolding all around us, after what was, for much of the country, a long and brutal winter?
Is that the scent of flowers on the breeze?
May is upon us, and in the wake of the amazing experience of Authors for Indies Day, we have a selection of recommendations from a handful of Canada’s foremost independent booksellers. Fiction and poetry, adult books and a kids book, this installment of Shelf Talkers is a veritable bouquet of spring blooms. And what better way to spend an afternoon than to visit your local independent bookseller, list in hand, then find a sunny spot to spend a few quality hours with a quality book.
Enjoy! And happy spring!
The Bookseller: Mary-Ann Yazedjian, Book Warehouse Main Street (Vancouver, BC)
The Pick: The Mountain Story, by Lori Lansens
Without a doubt, this is the best book I have read so far in 2015. It is a story of survival, friendships, family relationships, adversity, resilience, and love. Our 18-year-old narrator Wolf Truly takes the tram up the mountainside near Palm Springs with no intention of coming back. When he meets three enigmatic women on the mountain and becomes lost with them, he has to re-evaluate his priorities if any of them are going to survive. I loved this novel and I guarantee you won't be able to put it down.
The Bookseller: Colin Holt, Bolen Books (Victoria, BC)
The Pick: The Wrong Cat, by Lorna Crozier
Lorna Crozier is everything that is right about poetry. Her poems are instantly familiar, often sexy, and always wonderful. Read any one of these poems out loud to the person next to you and watch as they take the book from your hands, needing more.
The Bookseller: Lee Trentadue, Galiano Island Books (Galiano Island, BC)
The Pick: All My Puny Sorrows, by Miriam Toews
The subject is heartbreaking. The writing is superb. It is funny, hilarious even.
The sisters' relationship is fierce and loving. All My Puny Sorrows explores the sometimes devastating impact of fundamentalist communities on the individual, and can certainly be applied to all communities that demand conformity and punish those who insist on making their own way, who stay true to themselves despite the gossip and ostracism.
The Bookseller: Tracey Higgins, Bryan Prince Booksellers (Hamilton, ON)
The Pick: The Night Stages, by Jane Urquhart
Like Urquhart’s earlier novels, The Night Stages is a beautifully written tale of lives intersecting and the tensions that shape our relationships. Several stories intersect, connecting characters between Newfoundland and Ireland. The Night Stages is both specific in the emotional drama of its several characters, but has a more sweeping and epic feel as it draws together distant lands and eras into one very cohesive and compelling tale.
The Bookseller: Kim Ferguson, Kaleidescope Kids’ Books (Ottawa, ON)
The Pick: Mabel Murple, by Sheree Fitch
Mabel Murple is a perennial favourite at Kaleidoscope Kids’ Books. The fun-to-read rhyming text and adventurous, zany heroine make it a great picture book to read again and again and again. Try to read it really fast like Sheree Fitch does—it will take practice!
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