From celebrated new non-fiction to a tasty cookbook perfect for whiling away winter – and a few fascinating fiction titles to fill the long nights – Oak Bay Librarian Sarah Isbister offers her top 10 picks for November.
• Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: decoded, by David Day – We were fortunate enough to have author David Day with us recently for a popular reading event at the Belfry Theatre. His book includes the full text of Lewis Carroll’s novel with its many hidden meanings; Day proposes that Alice is about Victorians of the time, especially those at Oxford University.
• Fifteen Dogs, by Andre Alexis – This unique, thoughtful novel that uses man’s best friend (15 dogs to be exact) to explore what it means to be human has won both the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.
• Hyena Road by, Paul Gross – Based on the new feature film, this novel about the Afghanistan war zone is an action-packed story of on-the-ground combat, impossible choices and the personal costs of war.
• My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes that Saved My Life, by Ruth Reichl – The perfect cookbook and memoir for long, cold winter days, Reichl reminds readers that getting lost in a recipe can be excellent therapy.
• Jeremy Poldark by Winston Graham – The latest in the Poldark series, now the subject of a popular major new series on PBS’s Masterpiece, evokes the period and people of 18th-century Cornwall.
• Purity, by Jonathan Franzen – Franzen’s characters aren’t always likable, but they are always interesting and his complex plots keep his readers guessing. This provocative new novel is a story rich with characters searching for roots and meaning in a complicated world of secrets and betrayal.
• The Reason You Walk, by Wab Kinew – Kinew, popular CBC host, activist and journalist, tells his father’s story in captivating fashion and takes on the most pressing issue in Canada today: reconciliation.
• The Story of the Lost Child, by Elena Ferrante – The fourth and final volume of Ferrante’s Neapolitan series closes the saga of two women: the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery, uncontainable Lila, and how their friendship is transformed over decades.
• Suite Française: Storm in June, a graphic novel by Emmanuel Moynot and Irène Némirovsky – This dramatic and stirring graphic novel, translated from the French and faithful to the spirit of Némirovsky’s story, published to much acclaim 10 years ago, focuses on Book 1, in which a disparate group of Paris citizens flees the city ahead of the advancing German troops.
• Unflinching: the Making of a Canadian Sniper, by Jody Mitic – This new best-selling memoir chronicles the life of Mitic, a member of an elite sniper team with the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan, who lost both his legs when he stepped on a landmine.
Sarah Isbister is the Children & Family Literacy Librarian at the Oak Bay Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library. Watch for her latest children’s picks early next month.