August is most certainly here in Winnipeg. The weather is warm, the mosquitoes are out, the BDI is open and construction abounds throughout the city. With these warm summery temperatures it is the perfect time to perhaps sit on a park bench or maybe stay inside and enjoy the air conditioning and read a good book.
Chris Hall from McNalley Robison Booksellers Stopped by our Classic 107 studios to give his book selections for What to Read for August. Here are his choices:
Learned by Heart by Emma Donoghue
Drawing on years of investigation and Anne Lister's five-million-word secret journal, Learned by Heart is the long-buried love story of Eliza Raine, an orphan heiress banished from India to England at age six, and Anne Lister, a brilliant, troublesome tomboy, who meet at the Manor School for Young Ladies in York in 1805 when they are both fourteen.
Emotionally intense, psychologically compelling and deeply researched, Learned by Heart is an extraordinary work of fiction by one of the world's greatest storytellers. Full of passion and heartbreak, the tangled lives of Anne Lister and Eliza Raine form a love story for the ages.
A New Season by Terry Fallis
Jack McMaster seemingly has it all. A beautiful house, a loving son of many talents (including cooking, which is great news for Jack, if not for his waistline), even a special bond with his buddies in his ball hockey league. But he’s also learning to live with loss, leaving a gaping hole in his life—a life that will never be the same as before. Jack passes his days knowing he has the support of his family and his friends, but he can’t shake the feeling that his life has gone gray, and that time is slipping by so quickly.
Then, a short and shocking video from an unexpected source gives him the gumption to make a change and maybe even haul himself out of his melancholia. Inspired by his lifelong fascination with 1920s Paris, Jack finally visits the City of Light, following in the footsteps of Hemingway and Fitzgerald, and wandering the Left Bank. Slowly, the colour seeps back into his life, aided by a chance encounter in a café that leads Jack into the art world, and a Paris mystery nearly a century old.
Full of sincerity and warmth, A New Season shows us all that sometimes, making a change in your life can save your life.
Bookbinder by Pip Williams
It is 1914, and as the war draws the young men of Britain away to fight, women must keep the nation running. Two of those women are Peggy and Maude, twin sisters who live on a narrow boat in Oxford and work in the bindery at the university press.
Ambitious, intelligent Peggy has been told for most of her life that her job is to bind the books, not read them—but as she folds and gathers pages, her mind wanders to the opposite side of Walton Street, where the female students of Oxford’s Somerville College have a whole library at their fingertips. Maude, meanwhile, wants nothing more than what she has: to spend her days folding the pages of books in the company of the other bindery girls. She is extraordinary but vulnerable, and Peggy feels compelled to watch over her.
Then refugees arrive from the war-torn cities of Belgium, sending ripples through the Oxford community and the sisters’ lives. Peggy begins to see the possibility of another future where she can educate herself and use her intellect, not just her hands. But as war and illness reshape her world, her love for a Belgian soldier—and the responsibility that comes with it—threaten to hold her back.
The Bookbinder is a story about knowledge—who creates it, who can access it, and what truths get lost in the process. Much as she did in the international bestseller The Dictionary of Lost Words, Pip Williams thoughtfully explores another rarely seen slice of history through women’s eyes.The Bookbinder is a story about knowledge—who creates it, who can access it, and what truths get lost in the process. Much as she did in the international bestseller The Dictionary of Lost Words, Pip Williams thoughtfully explores another rarely seen slice of history through women’s eyes.
Prairie by Dan Clapson AND Twyla Campbell
Over 100 Proud-to-be-Prairie recipes showcasing the seasons, produce, flavours, and traditions of one of Canada’s most exciting culinary regions.
Dan Clapson and Twyla Campbell take us on a grand tour of the many faces and places that make up the Canadian Prairies. With over 100 delectable recipes, Prairie draws inspiration from the beauty of the changing seasons as well as the many different ingredients and cultures that make the Prairies such a culinary hotspot. The book is filled with
- Tried-and-true seasonal recipes that will introduce Prairie flavours to your home kitchen like Sorrel, Farro, and Chicken Soup and Saskatchewan Succotash Salad
- Ingredients special to the Prairies like Sea Buckthorn, Haskap, and Saskatoon Berry
- Introductions to many of the Prairie’s most exciting chefs and their signature recipes
- A mix of modern and traditional recipes, from perogies to Beet Mezzalune
No matter the season, the Prairies are all about preserving every ounce of food, so of course there’s also tons of helpful tips and tricks on reducing food waste. There’s even a Staples chapter with recipes for stocking your pantry to keep you cooking all year long. Both a love letter to Canada’s grandest provinces and an indispensable collection of recipes, Prairie is as inviting and bountiful as the region it celebrates.
Not Here by Rob Goodman
As a congressional staffer in the United States, Rob Goodman watched firsthand as a rising authoritarian movement disenfranchised voters, sabotaged institutions, and brought America to the brink of a coup. Now, as a political theorist who makes his home in Canada, he has an urgent warning for his adopted country: The same forces that have upended democracy in America and around the world are on the move in Canada, too. But we can protect our democracy by drawing on a set of political, cultural, and historical resources that are distinctly of this place.
In Not Here, Goodman outlines four such resources. First, the rejection of the dangerous idea of one “real” Canadian people. Second, the refusal of political charisma and founder-worship. Third, a set of social programs—embattled but still standing—that empower neighbours to see one another as equals. And fourth, Canada’s longstanding search for an identity separate from the great power with which it shares a continent.
Today, that great power is a democracy in decline, and so defending what makes Canada distinct matters more now than ever before. Canadian difference is not a curiosity, a luxury good, or a vanity item. It is a democratic immune system.
Laying bare the historical roots of today’s politics and making an urgent case for action, Not Here is a roadmap for safeguarding a democracy under unprecedented threat.
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