Cataract City by Craig Davidson

cataract-city-by-craig-davidsonThis is a real testosterone-filled guy book starting with two 12 year old boys lost in the woods and then progressing to: wrestling, pit bull dog fighting, bare knuckle fighting between men, greyhound dog racing and finally another “lost in the woods” episode. Ultimately the book is about friendship and loyalty. This was a Giller nominee.

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This is the Story of a Happy Marriage – Ann Patchett

this-is-the-story-of-a-happy-marriage-ann-patchettThis is an excellent collection of essays, non-fiction writings in part to pay the bills before and during her subsequent life as a fiction writer. The writing is very insightful, covering important and topical issues like censorship (her brilliant book Truth And Beauty was removed from a University recommended reading list because the book was too graphic in describing drug use, for example). Everything by Patchett is a ‘must read”.

The Weird Sisters – Eleanor Brown

the-weird-sisters-eleanor-brownThis is a magnificent story about 3 sisters reunited in Ohio because of a parental health issue. The book is dominated by Shakespearean quotes and references: the names of the 3 sisters are Rosalind (Rose), Bianca (Bean) and Cordelia (Cordy). The story is about sister relationships and all three are fuck-ups in their own unique fashion. And may I mention that everyone loves to read in this story. Finally, the book is written in an interesting collective voice of all thee sisters (We …). This is a must-read book.

The Orenda – Joseph Boyden

the-orenda-joseph-boydenAt times a slow-moving story of a Jesuit priest inserted into the ongoing conflict between the Huron and Iroquois (Haudenosaunee). The story is bloody to be sure but there is an interesting veneration of violence in how vanquished foes are tortured, using the word “caress”.

Note from Amy: later won 2014 Canada Reads

The Rosie Project – George Simsion

the-rosie-project-george-simsionAn engaging story set in Australia and NY, about difficulties in relationships by someone who probably has Aspergers syndrome. The interesting feature is the degree to which one’s odd personality can be compensated for (sorry for the awkward sentence).

Note from Amy: Sequel is the Rosie Effect.