Must-read selections for the spring bookshelf

Librarian offers her book selections from the Oak Bay library shelves

Best Boy, by Eli Gottlieb – Todd Aaron is autistic man who after being in an institution for 40 years, decides to create an escape plan, acting on his yearning to see his childhood home. It is an eloquent, moving and sensitive story told through Todd’s unique voice.

• The Fair Fight, by Anna Freeman – This dynamic historical novel will appeal to fans of Sarah Waters and Judith Flanders. This sweeping story is told by three narrators: Ruth, a prizefighter born into a brothel; George, the youngest son of minor gentry who struggles to make his own way; and Charlotte, the smallpox-scarred sister of Perry, George’s rich, wastrel friend and lover.

Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff – An ambitious story of a complex marriage told through the perspective of both spouses, giving two critically different sets of events. It’s a fascinating character study, and study of how a marriage works.

Hold Onto Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers, by Gordon Neufeld & Gabor Mate – This text by the renowned authors, psychologist Neufeld and Dr. Mate, effectively balances the theoretical with the practical, giving insight into modern parenting. It has simple ideas and steps and is directed to parents, as well as educators, social workers and counsellors.

Hold Still, by Sally Mann – This is a fascinating memoir and family history from the acclaimed photographer. Her luminous photographs have become icons of modern art, but Mann also possesses a fearlessness and clarity of vision in her writing.

Minister Without Portfolio, by Michael Winter – A CBC Canada Reads contender, this is an emotionally affecting work filled with truths about the frailties and miracles of human nature. It tells the story of a Canadian who joins an army-affiliated contracting crew that takes him overseas to a Canadian base in Afghanistan. Upon returning, he must come to grips with how he’s been changed by war.

My Life on the Road, by Gloria Steinem – Told from the unique perspective of one of the feminist icons of the 20th and 21st centuries, this is a political, social and cultural memoir of one woman’s life-long journey.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – First published in 1997, brilliant storyteller Gaiman’s darkly hypnotic first novel, Neverwhere, heralded the arrival of this major talent and became a touchstone of urban fantasy. The republished book has a number of scenes cut from the original.

The Riverton Rifle: My story – Straight Shooting on Hockey and on Life, by Reggie Leach – “It all comes down to making the right life choices,” says the NHL’s legendary Reggie Leach, a Canadian from Berens River First Nation in Manitoba, and this intimate biography lays bare the decisions that led him to become one of the best snipers in hockey history.

Twain’s End, by Lynn Cullen – The extraordinary and unusual relationship between the popular, complicated author Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, and his longtime secretary Isabel Lyon is creatively reimagined in this absorbing novel. The author draws heavily on diary entries and other primary sources.

Sarah Isbister, Children & Family Literacy Librarian for the Oak Bay Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library, shares favourite titles for children and adults twice a month.

 

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