Book Reviews


“Blood”, by Lawrence Hill Book Reviews

“Blood” by Lawrence Hill is actually the content of his CBC Massey lecture series on the topic. The book has 5 chapters  which each examine a different theme related to blood. Among many topics, he examines how language around blood has been used in literature and then shifts gears to discuss the history of blood donation and how public biases continue to impact how blood...

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“Happy Cities” by Charles Montgomery Book Reviews

“Happy cities: Transforming our lives through urban design” is both a fascinating tale of the evolution of North American transportation infrastructure and a look at what features of people’s environments (mostly those within cities) seem to make them happy. I know you’re probably like “oooo transportation infrastructure! Yippee, sounds like a page turner,” but I nerd out on this type of stuff as I think North...

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“The Interestings”, by Meg Wolitzer Book Reviews

This book wasn’t recommended to me by anyone which is a deviation from my usual practice of seeking recommendations.  I was randomly cruising the Kobo suggested reads and I noticed this book had accolades by Jeffrey Eugenides so thought I would see how well Kobo’s algorithm was at pegging my taste via their recommended reads. Result? In the ball park. This book was one of...

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The Hypnotist’s Love Story,  By Liane Moriarty Book Reviews

I have always found her books to be snappy page turners with plenty of twists and unexpected outcomes. The Australian setting always adds a little something as well as so many little details are different than novels set in North America. The story is primarily about a stalker told from both perspectives of stalker and stalkee(s). Although one naturally empathizes with the people who are...

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The Josephine B Trilogy, by Sandra Gulland Book Reviews

This recommendation should come with a bit of backstory that may have impacted my enjoyment and evaluation of the book(s). I recently solicited (via Facebook) a list of biographies and memoirs. This book was recommended on that list but it is neither – it is a historical fiction trilogy about Josephine Bonaparte, Napoleon’s first wife. I didn’t really clue into this until I had downloaded...

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“Let’s pretend this never happened”, by Jenny Lawson Book Reviews

This book (memoir-ish) is piss your pants hilarious. I was laughing out loud, pretty much hysterically in the first chapter. The author, who some know as the Bloggess, tells a series of interrelated stories about her upbringing as the daughter of an amateur taxidermist who grows up with a good sense of weird all around her. Her second book , Furiously Happy, is also hilarious...

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“Night Shift” by  Brian Goldman Book Reviews

“Night Shift” is laid out as just that – one ER doctor’s night shift from when he arrives at 7 pm to when he leaves more than 12 hours later. Each chapter will reference a time period during the shift and the patient associated with it. The author is Brian Goldman, an ER doc in Toronto’s Mount Sinai hospital, although likely better known among Canadians...

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“On Beauty”, by Zadie Smith Book Reviews

This book is a family story centred around the father figure who is a 50ish British born white man. This man is  an academic who is married to a Caribbean born black woman and they have three children and live in the Boston area. Woven into the story are some interesting coming of age experiences of the children which include contemporary experiences of being in a...

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“The Dust that Falls From Dreams” by Louis de Bernieres Book Reviews

“The Dust that Falls From Dreams” by Louis de Bernieres, author of “Captain Correlli’s Mandolin” (a better book than movie), is set in England and follows the experiences of one family during WW 1. Love, loss, grief, seances, trauma, family relationships – it’s all in there. A couple of story lines also touch on the social upheaval at the time as shifts in values brought...

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“The Illegal”, by Lawrence Hill Book Reviews

This book, by the author of “The Book of Negros” is set in two fictional places – one which is likely meant to emulate somewhere in east Africa and the other is a little like the USA gone down a very dark path. The book follows a marathon runner whose journalist father disappears during his efforts to expose the corruption in the Zantoroland and Freedom State...

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