Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Greetings from Perth!

We've had some great recommendations in the past few weeks...

The moon and sixpence - Somerset Maugham
The amazing (loosely-based) tale of Paul Gaugin, a father and businessman who leaves his life behind to become an artist and live in Tahiti. Great book!

Still Alice - Lisa Genova
Amazing book! This book gives a heartbreaking, real look at the life of a person with Alzheimer's. Could not put it down!

Survival of the sickest [a medical maverick discovers why we need disease - Sharon Moalem]
is a fascinating look into how genes are switched off and on, how these fairly recent discoveries are leading to changes in our understanding of disease and sickness, etc. It's written in a very readable style and would be especially appealing to individuals studying in any of the health professions.

Eat, pray, love (the book) - Elizabeth Gilbert
Ya, I know, there's a movie now But the book was great. Excellent writing, great fleshed out character development and who doesn't like Eating and Loving and...Pray?

All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten [: uncommon thoughts on common things] - Robert Fulghum
"Life altering" - Newsweak
"I love this book" - My Mom
"San Fran-tastic" - Andy Cockburn

Angela's ashes -Frank McCourt

The great gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald!

"Anything" by Alistair MacLeod

Colony of unrequited dreams - great Canadian novel by Wayne Johnston

See a recommended title that you'd like to read? Check our library catalogue to see if we have a copy (and if we don't have a copy, check with the library to see about borrowing a copy from another library!)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Books We Love!

We are scattering journals around the college, called Books We Love. If you find one, write a short review of a book you love and pass it on. We'll publish select entries on our blog.

Here is another review:
"The book, Theories of Relativity, by Barbara Haworth-Attard, opened my eyes to a different level of the cities and towns we live in. The main character is a boy named Dylan who is living on the street. It is not so much Dylan's story, but the interwining lives of the characters he meets, that drew me in. From Twitch, the drug addict, to Amber, soon-to-be single mom, to Vulture, fighting his way to the top of the pile through the manipulation and control of everyone around him; Haworth-Attard's characters drew me into their world of dirt, pain, and desperation. I will never walk down a city street the same way again. Reaslistically portraying a world right under our noses, Theories of Relativity, is a good book to read for anyone wanting a different perspective".

Other suggested books to read are:
1. The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
2. A Fine dark line by Joe Lansdale
3. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
4. Firefly Lane, The Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
6. City of Thieves by David Banioff

Friday, August 20, 2010

Books We Love!

We are scattering journals around the college, called Books We Love. If you find one, write a short review of a book you love and pass it on. We'll publish select entries on our blog.

Here is the first review we received:
"I greatly enjoyed An Acre of Time by Phil Jenkins. This book describes the history of a small part of what is now Ottawa, from the ancient pre-historic past up until very recent times.

I was given this book as a gift, and expected it to be extremely boring... in fact I didn't try reading it for twelve years: Ottawa author, geologic time, slow beginning.

But I was wrong! After a slow beginning, Jenkins gets into fascinating gossip about who did what to whom, and I couldn't put it down.... ended up carrying it around with me everywhere.

Highly Recommended!"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Book trailer

Check out the hilarious book trailer for Holding Still for as Long as Possible.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Announcing Next Year's Book!

We are excited to announce next year’s Algonquin Reads book of choice! The 2010-2011 book is Holding Still for as Long as Possible, by Zoe Whittall. The book revolves around a love triangle of a paramedic, a former teen star and fashionable filmmaker. It describes the lives of twenty-somethings who grew up on anti-anxiety medications, war on terror, SARS and text-messaging. Emerging author Zoe Whittall’s debut novel Bottle Rockets Heart was named a Quill & Quire Best Book and Globe and Mail “Top 100” book.
The book will be available in the First Class bookstore (at Algonquin College) at a reduced rate, especially for Algonquin Reads! Pick up your copy and join in on all the fun, starting August 2010!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Another possibility for next year's book!!

Zoe Whitall - Holding still for as long as possible.

In this robust, scruffy, elegantly plotted, and ultimately life-affirming novel, rising star Zoe Whittall presents a dazzling portrait of a generation we’ve rarely seen in literature — the 25-year-olds who grew up on anti-anxiety meds, text-messaging each other truncated emotional reactions, unsure of what’s public and what’s private. With this extraordinary novel — which offers a thrillingly detailed inside look at the work of paramedics, devastating insight into anxiety disorders, and entertaining celebrity gossip — Zoe Whittall fulfills the promise of her acclaimed first novel, Bottle Rocket Hearts, and proves herself as one of our most talented younger writers.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Next year's book

We are now in the process of choosing the book for next year! Tell us what you think. Which book would you like to read? Please comment!

We are considering:
1. Ottawa writer Rick Mofina and his book Panic Zone, due to come out in June 2010. This is the second in a series (after Vengeance Road) and is a fast paced thriller.

"The Panic Zone is a headlong rush toward Armageddon. It's brisk pace and tight focus remind me of early Michael Crichton."
Dean Koontz #1 New York Times bestselling author.

2. Ottawa writer Phil Jenkins and his book River Song which is a non-fiction book about the history of the St Lawrence River, told in a narrative and personal style.

He was the winner of the Ottawa Citizen Award for Non-Fiction and Winner of the Canadian Authors Association Lela Common Award for Non-Fiction

3. Drew Hayden Taylor and his book Motorcyles and Sweetgrass. It is a story of magic, family, a mysterious stranger . . . and a band of marauding raccoons.

“Drew Hayden Taylor has woven an epic tale of magic, mystery and charm for the world to discover in Motorcycles & Sweetgrass. This is a novel to savor. A complete delight!”— Richard Van Camp, author of The Moon of Letting Go and The Lesser Blessed

4. Ottawa author and winner of the Ottawa Book Award for 2009, Andrew Steinmetz and his book Eva's threepenny theater which tells the story of his great-aunt Eva who performed in the first workshop production of Bertolt Brecht’s masterpiece The Threepenny Opera, in 1928.

5. Tom Henighan's book due out in July 2010 entitled Nightshade.

Deadly nightshade - the poison plant par excellence … and in historic Quebec City at an important scientific conference concerning the genetic manipulation of trees it means murder!

Police, RCMP, and a mysterious FBI agent from Washington converge on the scene. But the sharpest eye belongs to Sam Montcalm, a despised "bedroom snooper" from Ottawa whose primary concern is to clear a First Nations activist of the crime. Sam is middle-aged, tough, and sophisticated, with a taste for classical music and serious art. Yet he's also a lone wolf who feels displaced nearly everywhere, and his relations with his colleagues, the police - and with women - are always complicated. "You're a psychic wound without a health card," a friend comments.

The story moves to its surprising climax as Montcalm follows the trail of murder back to Canada's capital and into the Gatineau Hills, his deep sense of cynicism about human nature confirmed as he closes in on the killer and struggles to come to terms with himself.

Tom Henighan is an Ottawa writer and editor. His fiction includes The Well of Time, shortlisted for the Seal Books First Novel Award; Mercury Man, shortlisted for the Red Maple Award; Viking Quest and Viking Terror, the latter shortlisted for the City of Ottawa Fiction Prize, and Doom Lake Holiday, a teen mystery set in Ontario's Rideau Lakes.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I noticed that I had posted Chapter 18's questions before posting Chapters 15, 16 and 17. Therefore, I'm going to back up a bit. Here are the questions for Chapters 15 and 16, both talking about music:

Chapter 15 – Listen to “Hurt” by Johnny Cash at . Do you agree or disagree that it is “sooo mournful” and “let’s [listeners] release [their] grief in small, beautiful doses”? Do you think it is realistic that fans of Nine Inch Nails (who, incidentally, recorded “Hurt” before Cash) and Marilyn Manson could feel this way about a song recorded by Johnny Cash, mostly known for being a country and western singer?

Chapter 16 – Luke talks about dancing with his mother and says how “. . . the song . . . had somehow become her love for me.” What does this say about Luke’s relationship with his mother? Are you envious of Luke’s relationship with his mother?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Question for Chapter 18

This chapter's question is a two-part question:

1. Why do you think Luke purposely antagonized Mr. Tanner during their meeting?
2. What do you think of Mr. Tanner’s reaction to Luke’s behaviour in this meeting (have you ever had to deal with someone like Mr. Tanner)?

Monday, January 4, 2010

New questions for Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet will begin appearing next week. Please come back and join the discusssion!