Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson:
Soulful, Wistful and emotionally charged. This book is an alternate coming of age story propelled by loss and redeemed by love with every other range of human emotion in between. Superbly written, it is perhaps one of the very few books that actually explores the idea of growing up as a first nation’s people and what it truly means.
Cold Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay:
Shortlisted for a giller (verify if it won) prize – this book transports you to the harsh terrain of the Northern Tundra in Canada, where the cold seeps into your body as you read. Based on a complex cast of characters, all of whom work at a radio station or are somehow related to people who do, it follows the relationships, bonds, love, betrayal and sorrow experienced by these people. If you are thinking of a book to read this fall, get this one.
Me Talk Pretty One day & When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris :
This is a total tie with one of his earlier and latest work. Attacked under the onslaught of James Frey’s (author of “A Million Little Pieces”) truthiness, Sedaris has been widely accused of embellishment and gross exaggeration of relative events that happened in his life. However, unlike Augusten Burroughs’ (Running with Scissors) stark reality – Sedaris is able to seemingly wrap some not-so-funny moments in his wit and humour that is more human than crass.
Four Blondes by Canadace Bushnell:
Widely hailed as a purveyor of all things commercial and the author of books that have little literary value. Four Blondes still makes the list for being one of the few books that explores the empty vanity of fifth avenue lives and the quiet desperation that is part stepford wives and part Maneater (also the title of a book penned by a Bushnell Wannabe, Gigi Levangie Grazer). ‘Four Blondes’ was a first in creating a viewpoint that was editorial while being entertaining – a diatribe mixed with yearning to move into a fifth avenue apartment and right into manolo blahnik pumps, also loosely the screenplay for much of season 1 of Sex & the City (OFCOURSE)
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri:
Bestselling and multiple literary awards nominated (including the presitigious Booker) – Lahiri is also the author of an exceptional short story collection ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ but The Namesake was her foray into a full length book that explores the struggles of an immigrant couple to the U.S. and the struggle to adapt experienced by their children as they grow up into becoming first generation citizens. It explores the bond of relationships in all its forms. Emotionally raw, the book has a quiet energy to it, that keeps you reading till the very end.