Updated - December 10, 2010
Two years ago I decided that I would no longer read paperback trash, but would take the time to explore the best books of the day. A very good friend has been a member of a book club for over 25 years and she was very generous in sharing their "top 100". I enjoy searching through the book reviews in the Globe and NY Times and also went out and obtained my first library card since the 70's. Below I have listed the books that I have read and those that I will read in the near future. They are all wonderful in their own right and many were winners or the runner up of the Governor General's award, the Canadian Giller Prize, the Pulitzer Prize and the Man Booker Prize. Enjoy your reading and send me your thoughts on any of these books that you have read.
History of Love
A truly great love story. My #1 favourite
In the Skin of a Lion
Cdn. Author. Exceptional description of Toronto’s working class in the early 1900’s
The English Patient
Cdn Author. An amazing story teller
Elizabeth and After
Cohen’s best novel that took 10 years to write.
Three Day Road
Cdn. author’s first novel. Amazing story of two young natives from Moose Factory who enlist in the army for WWI
A Complicated Kindness
Cdn. Author, Governor General Award and Giller Prize Short list. A wonderful story of human emotions and the enslavement of a Mennonite community in Manitoba.
Typing: A Life in 26 Keys
Cohen’s autobiography written before his death in 2001. Reads like a great novel.
The Book of Negroes
Cdn author. Winner of CBC’s Canada Reads and Giller Short List. An excellent story written around historical facts.
Through Black Spruce
Cdn. author’s second novel won the 2008 Giller prize. Characters are 2 generations after Three Day Road. Very insightful, descriptive.
First novel for Lebanese Cdn author. 2006 short list for Giller prize and GG award. He writes of the dark side of worn torn Lebanon and the life of a young teen aged boy. Gripping.
2007 Pulitzer prize winning novel. Dark and all encompassing. McCarthy at his best.
Lives of the Saints
Cdn. author’s first novel and winner of GG award. Exceptional insight and description of a poor Italian village, post WW1
2007 Man Booker Prize winner. The narrator (Veronica) says out loud what many of us only think, but would never say.
Second novel for Lebanese Cdn author. 2008 short list for Giller prize and GG award. The dark side of a middle eastern immigrant struggling in Montreal.
The Origin of Species
Cdn Author. GG award winner. A lost man and his travels, emotions and lost loves.
Translated from Spanish. Science fiction, different but well written. Made into a major motion picture
A Thousand Splendid Suns
A follow-up to his first novel “The kite Runner”. An enthralling story of the tumultuous lives of two Afghan women.
The White Tiger
His debut novel and winner of the 2008 Man Booker prize. Shows the contrast between India's rise as a modern global economy and the working class people who live in crushing rural poverty.
The Kite Runner
A best selling first novel and movie that opens eyes to life in Afghanistan through the Russian invasion and emergence of the Taliban..
The 2003 Pulitzer Prize winner. A wonderful story of a young woman who discovers as a teen that she is a hermaphrodite. The story begins with her Greek grandparents and their journey from Asia Minor to Detroit Michigan.
A 2001 prize winning novel Based on the Lima Crisis, this book is about a group of terrorists who hold high executives and people of high political standing hostage. It explores how the terrorists and hostages cope with living in a house together for several months. Many of the characters form unbreakable bonds of friendship, while some fall in love.
The Year of the Flood
2009 Giller Shortlisted by a leading Cdn author. Atwood at her imaginary best, but not my cup of tea!
Mistress of Nothing
Cdn author and 2009 Governor General award winner. The romantic story of a maid in 19th century Britain and her travels to Egypt with her employer.
2009 Pulitzer prize winner.
A very interesting compilation of stories centered around the central character, Olive Kitteridge.
The Inheritance of Loss
2006 Man Booker prize winner.
Set in the shadows of the Himalayas, a young girl is orphaned and is sent to live with her aging Grandfather. We see the comparisons of rich and poor in northern India that leads to rebellion. It was an enjoyable read and at the same time an inspiration for literary students. The author highlights so many issues in a brief manner; such as how the beauty of nature gives an immensely powerful feeling with intensity.
Late Nights on Air
Cdn Author. Winner 2007 Giller Award.
Great Canadian literature that paints a realistic picture of life in the Canadian territories, the foibles of CBC Radio and the dangers of a trans-arctic gas pipeline.
2004 Pulitzer prize Winner. Started but have not finished.
Books I want to Read
McEwen won the Booker for a previous novel, Amsterdam
The Shipping News
Pulitzer prize winner
All the Pretty Horses
Winner of a national Book Award for Fiction
Life of Pi
Cdn author and winner of 2002 Man Booker Prize
Recommended by a friend
Translated from Portuguese. 65 million copies sold. A modern classic
A Gate at the Stairs
2009. Stunning review in the NY Times. A must read.
Land of Marvels
2009. Well reviewed.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
2008 Pulitzer prize Winner
2010 Giller Prize Winner
2010 Pulitzer prize Winner
The Finkler Question
2010 Man Booker Prize Winner