Browsing Category Books

The Glass Hotel spins the Bernie Madoff story into some unputdownable fiction

This is one of those times I’m tempted to start my book review with a simple, “Wow! That was great!” I’m giving you the spoiler alert right upfront. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel is a current best-seller but it is hard to qualify by genre. It’s a bit mystery, a bit historical fiction and a bit ephemeral in spirit. It’s particularly satisfying for me…

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It’s Not All Downhill From Here . . . a great story about the value of female friendships

For some strange reason, when I downloaded It’s Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillan, I thought the author was a male Canadian humour writer. Obviously I somehow got my wires crossed because Terry McMillan is, in fact, a black American woman who has written several books including the best-sellers Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. You’d have thought the cover art would…

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Big chemical and personal care companies are killing us slowly with their secrets

Last week I watched a horrifying two-hour documentary on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) television called “Toxic Beauty”. I stumbled on it while channel surfing and was stunned by the information imparted. A large portion of the program was dedicated to the coverup by Johnson & Johnson about the dangers of using their baby powder. A class-action suit initiated by thousands of women who developed ovarian cancer…

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There’s nothing like a good murder mystery to help escape the real world

Several things appealed to me about reading The Tenant, a novel by Katrine Engberg. First of all, I’m a recent convert to the murder mystery genre and I love the escapism these books offer. And, one of the main characters has taken up writing in retirement. Also, the story is set in Copenhagen, a city I last visited as a twenty-year-old in 1967 when I…

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Divide Me By Zero sounds like math and is in fact about a love triangle

The book review supplement in the Sunday edition of The New York Times can always be counted on for interesting reading recommendations that aren’t necessarily on the best-seller list. That’s how I found Divide Me By Zero, a novel by Russian-born Lara Vapnyar, who now lives in the United States. Although the book is categorized as fiction I couldn’t help think that the story was largely…

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Fans of Bridget Jones’ Diary will enjoy reading The Flatshare

After waiting several months for my name to come up on the waiting list at the library for The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary, it finally landed in my inbox. I have a thing for British writers and their quirky style. The Flatshare is a combination of light humour and an underlying serious message. The book alternates chapters written in the first person by the two main characters….

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