Categories: Award Winners, Award Nominees

05/06/13


Categories: Canadian, Award Winners

Saskatchewan Book Awards: Fiction


Winner of the 2013 Fiction Award:

Harriet Richards: The Pious Robber

Publisher's description: In the brilliantly imagined title story two young girls become guardian angels to an emaciated drifter with a very dark secret. Their innocence is an armour against the danger that simmers, below adult knowledge, around a northern lake. Innocence, both tough and vulnerable, is at play in many of these stories: Ava, in “A Great Wrong” carries the guilt of a childhood betrayal and revenge; Olivia’s role as confidante, in “Bagatelle”, channels the absurdities and fragility of clumsy, hopeful lives. “In the Direction of the Three Sisters” is a sad, ironic protest at life’s unfairness.
Trust is the most perilous adventure in Richards’ stories, but every one of her characters takes that risk. Their candour in the face of what follows is the book’s enduring delight.

* * *

Winner of the First Book Award and the Regina Book Award:

Melanie Schnell: While the Sun is Above Us
Summary: In the midst of the bloody civil war in Sudan, Adut is brutally captured and held as a slave for eight years. Sandra, fleeing her life in Canada, travels to South Sudan as an aid worker but soon finds herself unwittingly embroiled in a violent local conflict. When chance brings Adut and Sandra together in a brief but profound moment, their lives change forever.

To see the list of all winners and nominees, go to the All Time Award Nominees List by Year posted by the Saskatchewan Book Awards.


04/30/12


Saskatchewan Book Awards winners

Saskatchewan Book Awards winners were announced on April 28

For the full list of winners, go to the link above:

Fiction Award:

* Harold Johnson,: The Cast Stone
Summary: A dystopian novel in which a First Nations professor confronts and assesses the impact of the US annexation of Canada through an examination of personal values and First Nations social mores.
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First Book Award:

* Anne McDonald: To The Edge Of The Sea
Summary: Alex was in harmony with the water. He taught himself to swim and liked working the sea but always yearned for something more. His brother Reggie despised it all and yearned to escape. Mercy Coles lived in high society and yearned for new experiences. All three would get their wish, but coincidence would shape those wishes in profound ways. Alex finds himself on a circus trapeze. Reggie joins the farmer's protests against tax collectors and battles his own personal demons. Mercy finds herself in the middle of the battle for Canadian confederation with hard-drinking politician John A. MacDonald.

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01/09/12


Categories: Canadian, Award Winners, Lists

The Globe 100: Fiction

To see the complete list of the Globe & Mail's 100 Best Books of 2011, follow this link.

For the Globe & Mail's Top Crime Fiction of 2011, go to this post on the Mystery Fiction blog Murder by the Book :
Margaret Cannon's Best 11 from 2011

The Globe & Mail's Fiction List is divided into Canadian Fiction and Foreign Fiction (includes the U.S.).
Here are some examples from both categories:

Canadian Fiction


The Perfect Order of Things By David Gilmour

Gilmour’s delicious, subversive, self-mocking novel features a narrator who is a composite from all his other books. He revisits the places he has suffered, hoping to balance old scores and relearn early lessons. In the process, he is transformed from a man who likes to watch his own reflection into a man who reflects on his failings and losses. – Aritha van Herk

* * *

A Good Man By Guy Vanderhaeghe

This deeply satisfying novel, dealing with ethics, politics and nationhood, is more entertaining than political historical novels have any business being. It is the kind of impeccably crafted, Dickensian charmer we expect from Vanderhaeghe's now completed “literary western” trilogy, a collection of thematically connected fictions about the death of the wild in the Wild West. – Andrew Pyper

* * *

The Little Shadows By Marina Endicott

Featuring three fatherless sisters and their widowed mother, The Little Shadows is set on vaudeville stages all over the U.S. and Canadian West around the First World War. The novel features Endicott’s trademark wry sensibility and pithy lyricism, and her skill at pulling the rug out from under the reader’s feet. – Katherine Ashenburg

* * *

Infrared By Nancy Huston

Rena, a 45-year-old photographer in Paris, visits Florence with her elderly father and her stepmother, even though she can’t bear to be away from her lover and resents her stepmother. We come to see that her relationship with her father is problematic too. Huston shows her mastery of complicated structure, wide cultural knowledge and brilliant, assured portraiture. – Michel Basilières

* * *

The Time We All Went Marching By Arley McNeney

This small, beautiful book is filled with large themes. Edie and her four-year-old son, Belly, have boarded a train to B.C., leaving Belly’s father passed out in their freezing apartment. On the train, Edie tells Slim’s stories of Depression-era marches to Belly. McNeney layers these stories on Edie’s story with great care. A stunning achievement. – Michelle Berry

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Foreign Fiction (includes the U.S.)


Disaster was My God: A Novel of the Outlaw Life of Arthur Rimbaud by Bruce Duffy

Rimbaud was a 19th-century prodigy who booted poetry into the 20th century before refashioning himself as an arms dealer in Africa. This “teenaged pied piper” lured Paul Verlaine – here a depraved creature Duffy captures in all his spellbinding loathsomeness – over the cliff of propriety, sobriety and solvency. A wonderful story, with a vitality that can’t be suppressed. – Kathleen Byrne

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The Grief of Others By Leah Hager Cohen

Cohen’s deeply affecting novel begins with a woman in a maternity ward, struggling to come to grips with the death of her baby, who lived for only 52 hours. A year later, the family is still reeling. This is a complex and resonant novel, a moving exploration of the ways grief can twist and maim us. – Steven Hayward

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The Emperor of Lies By Steve Sem-Sandberg

This brilliantly constructed novel, massive, detailed, teeming with characters, unfolds from 1940, when the Lodz Ghetto was created by the occupying Germans, to 1944, when the last of its inhabitants were deported to the death camps. During those few years, the ghetto was ruled with ruthless cruelty by Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski. – Anna Porter

* * *

1Q84 By Haruki Murakami translated by Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel

In 1984 Tokyo, Aomame is a fitness instructor, massage therapist and assassin, killing men who commit violence against women. Tengo is an aspiring novelist and amiable loner. All they really need, it turns out, is each other. This colossus is expansive, enthralling, but also an over-long and occasionally exasperating foray into the lure of fanatical beliefs. – Charles Foran

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Ragnarok: The End of the Gods by A.S. Byatt

The premise for Byatt’s retelling of the Norse myths is simple and compelling: A girl is sent from the wartime London blitz to the country. At 3, she is taught to read, and her book-born life of the imagination begins. These imaginings are enormously expanded upon, and influenced forever, when her mother gives her Asgard and the Gods. – Gale Zoë Garnett


11/16/11


Patrick deWitt wins the Governor General's award for fiction for The Sisters Brothers

Go to the Canada Council for the Arts site for the full list of winners.

**
Patrick deWitt
The Sisters Brothers

Brothers Eli and Charlie Sisters are at the centre of this “great greedy heart” of a book. A rollicking tale of hired guns, faithful horses and alchemy. The ingenious prose of Patrick DeWitt conveys a dark and gentle touch.
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11/12/11


Categories: Canadian, Award Winners

2011 Giller winner and shortlist

Update November 8:

The 2011 Giller prize was awarded to:

Esi Edugyan
Half-Blood Blues

Of the winning book, the jurors wrote:

"Imagine Mozart were a black German trumpet player and Salieri a bassist, and 18th century Vienna were WWII Paris; that's Esi Edugyan's joyful lament, Half-Blood Blues. It's conventional to liken the prose in novels about jazz to the music itself, as though there could be no higher praise. In this case, say rather that any jazz musician would be happy to play the way Edugyan writes. Her style is deceptively conversational and easy, but with the simultaneous exuberance and discipline of a true prodigy. Put this book next to Louis Armstrong's "West End Blues" – these two works of art belong together."

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The 2011 Scotiabank Giller prize short list

In the following list, click on the book titles and scroll down the library catalogue page to see the book summary. To read the jurors' comments, click the link 2011 Scotia Giller prize short list

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David Bezmozgis
The Free World

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Lynn Coady
The Antagonist

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**
Patrick deWitt
The Sisters Brothers

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**
Zsuzsi Gartner
Better Living Through Plastic Explosives

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**
Michael Ondaatje
The Cat's Table

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11/04/11


Categories: Award Winners

Man Booker Prize 2011 winner

The Man Booker Prize for 2011 was awarded to

Julian Barnes for
The Sense Of An Ending

Summary: The story of a man coming to terms with the mutable past, Julian Barnes's new novel is laced with his trademark precision, dexterity and insight. It is the work of one of the world's most distinguished writers.

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they navigated the girl drought of gawky adolescence together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they swore to stay friends forever. Until Adrian's life took a turn into tragedy, and all of them, especially Tony, moved on and did their best to forget. Now Tony is in middle age. He's had a career and a marriage, a calm divorce. He gets along nicely, he thinks, with his one child, a daughter, and even with his ex-wife. He's certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer's letter is about to prove. The unexpected bequest conveyed by that letter leads Tony on a dogged search through a past suddenly turned murky. And how do you carry on, contentedly, when events conspire to upset all your vaunted truths? Publisher's description

Click here to see a list of the other books on the short list.


06/25/11


Categories: Award Winners

Orange Prize for Fiction

Serbian/American author Téa Obreht has won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction with her debut novel The Tiger's Wife.

Celebrating its sixteenth anniversary this year, the Prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women's writing from throughout the world.

Book Synopsis:
A tiger escapes from the local zoo, padding through the ruined streets and onwards, to a ridge above the Balkan village of Galina. His nocturnal visits hold the villagers in a terrified thrall. But for one boy, the tiger is a thing of magic - Shere Khan awoken from the pages of The Jungle Book.

Years later, in a Balkan country ravaged by conflict, Natalia, a young doctor, is visiting an orphanage when she receives word of her beloved grandfather's death far from their home in mysterious circumstances. Remembering fragments of the stories her grandfather told her as a child, Natalia becomes convinced that he spent his last days searching for ‘the deathless man' a vagabond who was said to be immortal. As Natalia struggles to understand why her grandfather, a deeply rational man, would go on such a far-fetched journey, she stumbles across a clue that leads her to the extraordinary story of the tiger's wife.

Source: www.orangeprize.co.uk/prize.html


04/01/11


Categories: Chick Lit, Award Winners

2011 Women’s Fiction Reading List Winner

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) announced the winners of its annual Reading List awards in several categories, including Women’s Fiction, for books published last year.

WINNER

Solomon’s Oak by Jo-Ann Mapson

Summary: Recently widowed Glory Solomon collects stray animals and damaged souls. Facing bankruptcy, she creates a new life catering themed weddings. This deeply felt yet unsentimental novel explores grief, healing, and second chances.

Read-Alikes

Shelter Me by Juliette Fay

Summary: Four months after her husband's death, Janie LaMarche remains undone by grief and anger. Her mourning is disrupted, however, by the unexpected arrival of a builder with a contract to add a porch onto her house. Stunned, Janie realizes the porch was meant to be a surprise from her husband—now his last gift to her. As she reluctantly allows construction to begin, Janie clings to the familiar outposts of her sorrow—mothering her two small children with fierce protectiveness, avoiding friends and family, and stewing in a rage she can't release.

The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch by Marsha Moyer

Summary: Lucy Hatch never expected more of life than to spend it on an East Texas farm with her silent and stoic husband, Mitchell. Now that the curtain has abruptly come down, she's back where it all started -- in tiny Mooney -- living in a rundown old house perched on the edge of nowhere, meaning to carry out her widowhood in the manner of her old maid Aunt Dove, in peaceful solitude. But life, and the folks of Mooney, have other plans for Lucy.

The Blessings of the Animals by Katrina Kittle

Summary: Veterinarian Cami Anderson has hit a rough patch. Stymied by her recent divorce, she wonders if there are secret ingredients to a happy, long-lasting marriage or if the entire institution is outdated and obsolete. Couples all around her are approaching important milestones. But as she struggles to come to terms with her own doubts amid this chaotic circus of relationships, Cami finds strange comfort in an unexpected confidant: an angry, unpredictable horse in her care.


03/24/11


Categories: Historical, Award Winners

2011 Historical Fiction Reading List Winner

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) announced the winners of its annual Reading List awards in several categories, including Historical Fiction, for books published last year.

WINNER

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

Summary: In this sweeping yet intimate portrait of a Hungarian Jewish family in Europe, two lovers become enmeshed in the turmoil of the Holocaust. With gorgeous prose and an exquisite evocation of Paris and Budapest, Orringer writes movingly of their strength and the bittersweet power of hope and love.

Read-Alikes

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres

Summary: It is 1941 and Captain Antonio Corelli, a young Italian officer, is posted to the Greek island of Cephallonia as part of the occupying forces. At first he is ostracized by the locals, but as a conscientious but far from fanatical soldier whose main aim is to have a peaceful war, he proves in time to be civilized, humorous – and a consummate musician. When the local doctor’s daughter’s letter to her fiancé – and members of the underground – go unanswered, the working of the eternal triangle seems inevitable.

The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee

Summary: In 1942, Englishman Will Truesdale falls headlong into a passionate relationship with Trudy Liang, a beautiful Eurasian socialite. But their affair is soon threatened by the invasion of the Japanese as World War II overwhelms their part of the world. Ten years later, Claire Pendleton comes to Hong Kong to work as a piano teacher and also begins a fateful affair. As the threads of this spellbinding novel intertwine, impossible choices emerge-between love and safety, courage and survival, the present, and above all, the past.

A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell

Summary: It is September 8, 1943, and fourteen-year-old Claudette Blum is learning Italian with a suitcase in her hand. She and her father are among the thousands of Jewish refugees scrambling over the Alps toward Italy, where they hope to be safe at last, now that the Italians have broken with Germany and made a separate peace with the Allies. The Blums will soon discover that Italy is anything but peaceful, as it becomes overnight an open battleground among the Nazis, the Allies, resistance fighters, Jews in hiding, and ordinary Italian civilians trying to survive.


03/15/11


2011 Adrenaline Reading List Winner

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) announced the winners of its annual Reading List awards in several categories, including Adrenaline, for books published last year.

WINNER

Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer

Summary: Burned-out spy Milo Weaver confronts layers of deceit as his career collides with his desire to reclaim his family and his humanity. The labyrinthine intrigues enhance a building atmosphere of paranoia in this dark and emotionally-charged classic espionage thriller.

READ-ALIKES

The Quiet American by Graham Greene

Summary: Fowler, a seasoned foreign correspondent, observes: 'I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused.' As young Pyle's policies blunder on into bloodshed, the older man finds it impossible to stand aside as an observer. But Fowler's motives for intervening are suspect, both to the police and to himself: for Pyle has robbed him of his Vietnamese mistress.

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carré

Summary: When the last agent under his command is killed and Alec Leamas is called back to London, he hopes to come in from the cold for good. His spymaster, Control, however, has other plans. Determined to bring down the head of East German Intelligence and topple his organization, Control once more sends Leamas into the fray -- this time to play the part of the dishonored spy and lure the enemy to his ultimate defeat.

Night Soldiers by Alan Furst

Summary: Bulgaria, 1934. A young man is murdered by the local fascists. His brother, Khristo Stoianev, is recruited into the NKVD, the Soviet secret intelligence service, and sent to Spain to serve in its civil war. Warned that he is about to become a victim of Stalin’s purges, Khristo flees to Paris. Night Soldiers masterfully re-creates the European world of 1934–45: the struggle between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia for Eastern Europe, the last desperate gaiety of the beau monde in 1937 Paris, and guerrilla operations with the French underground in 1944.


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