Page Turners: Oak Bay library staff choose top titles

Recommended reads, fiction and non-fiction, for December

By Joy Huebert

Staff at the Oak Bay Library read a lot, with diverse interests.

For adults who like nonfiction, Joy suggests At the Existentialist Café, about the development of the philosophy of existentialism in Paris after the Second World War.

A big book of fiction this year is Stephen Price’s By Gaslight, a long, atmospheric thriller set in London in 1885, and written by a local author.

Sharlene has  enjoyed Ann Patchett’s new book, Commonwealth, a multigenerational family story.

Ben recently read all the books in the Dune series, by Frank Herbert and his son Brian Herbert, including the prequels, the original books and the sequels. Apparently these books first written in 1965 hold up well and provide science fiction lovers with an entire 10,000-year fantasy world. Another option for the modern sci-fi- loving youth are the book and game Halo series – you play the game and learn more in the enthralling novels.

Health-conscious Savannah recommends Oh She Glows Every Day, by Angela Liddon, How Not to Die, by Michael Greger MD, about what to eat to stay alive, and for vegan ice cream recipes, N’Ice Cream, by Virpi Mikkonen.

From Jessica, a busy mom, comes a recommendation for Fast & Easy Five-Ingredient Recipes, a cookbook for busy people by Philia Keinhofer.

Sharon loved My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante. (If you are really feeling generous, give the whole Neapolitan novels comprising four books to a favourite person for Christmas.)

For a floral fetish, try anything by Paula Pryke. GVPL has in its collections, Wreaths & Bouquets and Wedding Flowers.

Young circulation assistant Matthew enjoyed  The Lies of Locke Lamora, an engaging work of science fiction with good characterization and use of magic.

Barbara was moved by reading Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley (adult fiction), a novel about a beloved dog.  She was inspired by The Kinfolk Home: Interiors for Slow Living by Nathan Williams (adult non-fiction)

Jennifer’s favourites include  My Grape Escape, a memoir by Oak Bay’s Laura Bradbury,  Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza by Ken Forkish, and When the Music’s Over, by Peter Robinson.

Need more ideas? If anyone needs a book to read, the Oak Bay staff can help!

Joy Huebert is a public services librarian at the Oak Bay Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library. She writes here twice a month on top picks for youth and adult readers.