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March 2017 Staff Picks

Brenda’s Pick: Eight days a week [videorecording] : the touring years

BeatlesMoviePosterWhen the Beatles made their first appearances they arrived at a time of confluence; a mix of world events, a shifting music scene, television appearances, air travel and a population bubble of teenagers. This film/documentary by Ron Howard captures the early years of this influential group in the first wild years of touring…1963-1966. The film itself is an interesting look at the scene of that era and the second disc of extras is equally as good. Of course, it is mostly black and white footage, but if you are of a certain age, the film, newsreel excerpts and photos will trigger a barrage of memories.

David’s Pick: Lincoln in the bardo : a novel by George Saunders

LincolnWho better than George Saunders to put together a tale of love, loss, redemption, and the afterlife, wrapped around a tragedy in the lives of the Lincoln family during the American Civil War? With his usual concision of language, laser-sharp use of dialogue to depict character, and his sense of rueful humour and deep empathy with human suffering, Saunders does a tightrope act without a net and manages to take the reader to places that few other authors would even dream existed. Hilarious & heart-breaking in equal measure.

Deb’s Pick: Days Without End by Sebastion Barry

days without endThis novel is set in the overlap of the American civil and Indian wars, a “critical point of fracture in the U.S. It tells the story of Thomas McNulty, a displaced Irishman, a soldier and, in spite of all odds, a survivor. His story is epic in scope, both tender and brutal. Eric Wagner from the Financial Times has this to say about Barry’s writing in Days Without End:

Days Without End is not only a story of survival, it is a love story too, written in a gorgeous style that blends Barry’s characteristic eloquence with the straight-talk of early America.

Leanne:s Pick: Dark Ambition: The Shocking Crime of Dellen Millard & Mark Smich by Ann Brocklehurst

dark ambitionDark Ambition is a true crime book of an unfathomable killing that made headlines all across Canada. In May 2013, thirty-two year old Tim Bosma put an ad on kijiji to sell his Dodge Ram truck. Late one May evening, Tim took two men for a test drive in the truck. He smiled at his wife and told her he’d be right back. He was never seen again.

This well researched story attempts to answer the question of why a wealthy heir to an aviation fortune and a wanna-be gangster from a middle class family would decide to randomly steal a truck and kill its owner. It’s a question that is never fully answered; even so, veteran journalist and private investigator Ann Brocklehurst provides a thorough look at the crime and the trial.