- Category: Ron
Only If We're Caught by Theressa Slind
A debut collection of quirky, wide ranging and darkly comic stories from a Saskatoon Public Library branch manager. I strongly encourage other librarians to take this home themselves, especially for “Crypsis.”
Adult Fiction Paperback pr6315350
The Next Civil War: Dispatches from the American Future by Stephen Marche
Novelist and cultural critic Marche outlines potential scenarios for the next US civil war, arguing that the nation’s “collapse will arrive sooner and more suddenly than anyone expects.”
The brilliance here is how speculation is backed up with current and recent events to show how little imagination is actually required for the nightmarish situations portrayed. This book is enough to turn you into a prepper that bugs out to some isolated safe place. Unfortunately, thanks to climate change and social unrest, safe places are becoming nothing more than a fantasy. While this book is speculative, a fantasy it is not. Easily the most horrifying book I’ve read in years.
Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr6610330
- Category: Ron
The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
The ghost of a former customer haunts an indie bookstore in Minneapolis during the time of COVID-19 and in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.
Erdrich blends myth with horror and contemporary politics while never failing to maintain a mordant sense of humor. Rumaan Alam has observed that Erdrich has a knack for “inventing what is not strictly real to access some place of hidden meaning,” with this talent never more forcibly on display than in this follow up to her Pulitzer Prize winning The Night Watchman.
It’s worth noting that the author does actually own an independent bookstore in Minneapolis – Birchbark Books – the central hub for this work of fiction, and appears briefly at times in the story, simply referred to as “Louise.” This book is a stellar example of the power of fiction to deliver truth through story with more force, clarity and accuracy than non-fiction can.
Adult Fiction Hardcover pr6282004
Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach
Wise cracking and sometimes gross science writer Roach tackles the subject of fraught encounters between nature and humans.
While you can’t help but learn a lot from reading her books (Bonk, “Stiff and “Gulp to name a few), they’re mainly entertainments for non-fiction readers (including those that don’t normally read science books). This book ranges widely, tackling monkeys in Delhi, pigeons in the Vatican, elephants in India and killer trees in the Pacific Northwest. For all her quirky humour, Roach does not gloss over the inevitable tragedies that occur as a result of the steady erosion of wildlife habitat around the world: as funny as it might appear to see a bear in Aspen in front of a Louis Vuitton boutique, she doesn’t pull her punches about the grim fate it awaits.
A member of the Mars Institute’s Advisory Board, Roach’s TED talk, “Ten Things You Didn’t Know About the Orgasm,” made that organization’s list of its most popular talks of all time.
Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr6325222
- Category: Ron
The Dark Remains by William McIlvanney & Ian Rankin
A prequel to the Jack Laidlaw series by William McIlvanney, the father of Tartan Noir, who died in 2015 leaving half a manuscript, completed by Rebus author Ian Rankin.
Set in 1970s Glasgow, the story revolves around the murder of a defense lawyer and two local gangs. Generally speaking, when an author dies I’d prefer if they stayed dead, (spare me the spate of Robert B. Parkers, the Stieg Larssons, the eternal V.C. Andrews) but this reads true, like a respectful yet page turning homage, the exception to the rule.
Adult Fiction Hardcover pr6312495
On Animals by Susan Orlean
A collection of essays from the author of The Library Book and The Orchid Thief, about animals and those that love them.
Highly entertaining, both easy and a joy to read in Orlean’s signature style (she loves deer but refers to them as “cloven hooved disease vectors” for the ticks they carry that have infected her, her husband and dogs with Lyme Disease). Even if you’re not “animalish,” as she calls it, I dare you to read the introduction without laughter and delight.
Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr6288593