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August 2021 Staff Picks

Brenda’s Pick: We are all perfectly fine: a memoir of love, medicine and healing by Jillian Horton M.D. 

Cover image for We are all perfectly fine : a memoir of love, medicine and healingThis memoir winds in and out from within the setting of a meditation retreat centre. The attendees are all doctors. Be prepared to get to know your doctor better…much betterJill Horton is a medical educator from the University of Toronto and she enters a program in Chapin Mill N.Yto help doctors on the verge of breakdown. The story as she tells it is funny, touching and sometimes grim but with excellent insight. 

Brenda’s Pick: Islands of abandonment: Nature rebounding in the Post-human landscape by Cal Flyn

Cover image for Islands of abandonment : nature rebounding in the post-human landscapeA fascinating book full of exploration in the forgotten, used-up places of the globe. Flyn is a Scottish investigative journalist and her writing is precise and lyrical. Each place she visits holds revelations of the past and visions for the future…

David’s Pick: Care Of : letters, connections, and cures by Ivan Coyote

Cover image for Care of : letters, connections, and curesDuring the pandemic, as things slowed down and Ivan Coyote’s never-ending road show came to a standstill, they found time to answer some of the emails they had set aside. What emails! and what replies! An extremely personal and revealing book about identity, allyship, love, and struggle, filled with insight and humour.

David’s Pick: This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff

Cover image for This boy's life : a memoirA wonderful memoir of growing up under the shadow of absent or abusive fathers, learning how to keep your head down and create a persona to escape your childhood with minimal damage. Wolff managed to convert his teenage delinquency into an urge to succeed and this book looks unflinchingly at all the places where that could have gone wrong but somehow didn’t.

Jayme’s Pick: Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Cover image for The crossoverA quick, unforgettable read written in hip hope verse. On the surface The Crossover is about sports, but it’s about so much more than that. Josh and his twin Jordan are real ballers. They are the stars of their middle school basketball team and if they weren’t twins they would probably hate each other. Their relationship starts to sour when Jordan starts spending more of his time with a new girl then with Josh or basketball. To top it off he’s worried about his dad and he wants the basketball championship trophy more than anything. Wonderfully written, appealing to boys and girls of all ages as well athletes, poets, and pretty much everyone. Definitely worthy of the Newbery medal.

Jayme’s Pick: Maya was grumpy by Courtney Pippin-Mather

Cover image for Maya was grumpyThis story is funny and entertaining, because it mixes fantasy with reality. Maya feels grouchy and grumpy at home, but it is grandma’s ridiculously silly suggestions for play activities that make her laugh and get Maya out of her grumpy mood.

Mel’s Pick: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

Cover image for City of ghostsDo ghosts like comic books do they have best friends? Cassidy and her ghost best friend Jacob know the answers to those questions are yes and YES! Travel with Cassidy and Jacob to Edinburgh, one of Europe’s most haunted cities in this delightfully spooky tale.

Mel’s Pick: Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Cover image for Firekeeper's daughterFans of Angie Thomas will love this YA Thriller with heart. Daunis faces loss and finds out just how far she will go to protect her community. Daunis learns just who she can trust while discovering what it means to become a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman).

Natalie’s Pick: Slow Days, Fast Company by Eve Babitz

Cover image for Slow days, fast company : the world, the flesh, and L.A.Eve Babitz was a Los Angeles legend during the 60s and 70s, known for her intelligence, femme fatale persona, and dating history with the likes of Jim Morrison, Harrison Ford, and Steve Martin. Her writing has had a recent resurgence, and can be described as Joan Didion meets Anais Nin. Slow Days, Fast Company was originally published in 1977 but her observations of LA decadence and quick wit feel contemporary.

Natalie’s Pick: Rabbit and the Motorbike by Kate Hoefler

Cover image for Rabbit and the motorbikeWhat makes this picture book so endearing is the combination of beautiful watercolour illustrations by Sarah Jacoby, and the theme of overcoming one’s fears and remembering a loved one. Rabbit had always loved listening to dog’s stories of adventures and the open road, living vicariously through him, but when dog passes away and rabbit inherits his motorbike, rabbit must embrace life and see the world for himself.

Sonia’s Pick: Don’t Worry, Little Crab By Chris Haughton

Cover image for Don't worry, little crabThis book is a delightful read-aloud about mustering the courage to venture somewhere big and new for the first time. With simple, stunning graphics, Chris Haughton captures the hugeness of the deep and wavy world beyond Little Crab’s tidepool home and the gentle, loving support of Very Big Crab who is there with Little Crab all the way. Both parents and children will relate and rejoice in Little Crab’s big accomplishment.