Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2009 Halifax Public Libraries Staff Favourites - part one

It's my pleasure each year to survey the staff of Halifax Public Libraries for their nominations for their favourite book published that year. I'm always struck by the diversity of reading interests. Often they say that there is no way they can nominate just one.

This year there were several nominations for the one book. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley was nominated multiple times. I hope you enjoy this list, try a few new authors and let us know your favourite of 2009.

Here is part one of the list:

Atlantic Canada's 100 Greatest Books by Trevor J. Adams and Stephen Patrick Clare. A smorgasbord of awesome books from Atlantic Canada. Terrific Christmas present for the reader on your list. More here.

Bishop's Man by Linden McIntyre. 2009 Giller Prize winner. Explores the scandals, secrets and guilt of Catholic priests.

Broken: A Love Story: Horses, Humans and Redemption on the Wind River Indian Reservation by Lisa Jones. "A journalist suffering from a broken heart documents her spiritual transformation through her work with an Arapahoe medicine man and horse trainer, in this captivating and beautifully rendered memoir." --catalogue

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin Small town Ireland and Brooklyn, New York of the 1950's are contrasted in this novel about a young woman torn between the life she has built and the one she has left behind.

A Brutal Telling by Louise Penny. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache investigates a murder in a tiny Quebec village.

The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt. A portrait of a bohemian family in England as the country moves from the Victorian era through World War 1. More here.

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon. Seventh in the engrossing tale of time traveling Claire and rebel Jamie Fraser.

February by Lisa Moore. "Helen O'Mara's life is divided between her everyday existence as mother and grandmother and her internal memories and reflections on her life with her late husband Cal who died long ago aboard the oil rig Ocean Ranger. Then Helen's wayward son John returns home asking his mother to help him decide how to deal with his girlfriend's pregnancy." --catalogue

Galore by Michael Crummey. "A family saga and love story set in the improbable medievalesque world that was rural Newfoundland. Remote and isolated, exposed to extremes of climate and fate, the people of Paradise Deep persist in a realm where the line between the everyday and the otherworldly is hard to distinguish." --catalogue

The Help by Kathryn Stockett. "Limited and persecuted by racial divides in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, three women, including an African-American maid, her sassy and chronically unemployed friend, and a recently graduated white woman, team up for a clandestine project." --catalogue

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. "After they inherit a London flat near Highgate Cemetery from their aunt Elspeth Noblin, two American twin teenagers move in, but they soon discover that much is still alive at Highgate, including, perhaps, their aunt, who can't seem to leave her old life behind

Hit and Mrs by Lesley Crewe - A trip to New York to celebrate a group of friend's fiftieth birthday goes haywire when they unwittingly smuggle diamonds for the mob and accidentally kill a cabbie with pepper spray.

I'm Down: A Memoir by Mishna Wolff offers big does of humour with the pathos of the memoirist recounting a white childhood with a father who thought he was black.

Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd Century America by Robert Charles Wilson. Sci fi with great discussion items in the realms of society and socialization, idealism and change.

The Last Bridge by Teri Coyne. A mother's suicide forces a family to confront years of abuse and unravel dark secrets.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave. "A haunting novel about the tenuous friendship that blooms between two disparate strangers--one an illegal Nigerian refugee, the other a recent widow from suburban London."--catalogue

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