2021 Holiday Book Wrap-Up

by Jacqueline LaPlante –

“Indian” in the Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power
Jody Wilson-Raybould (Harper Collins)

Wilson-Raybould’s memoir highlights her experiences in federal politics including her appointment as Minister of Justice and Attorney General. Raised with a family respect for fair principles of government, Wilson-Raybould understood the need for Canada to make substantive changes. Her principled stance led to her eventual resignation. Wilson-Raybould tells her story in a warm, clear style that illuminates her personal drive and determination.

Midnight Train to Prague
Carol Windley (Harper Collins)

It is 1927 and Berliner Natalia Faber is rocked by a secret revealed. Natalia marries Miklos, Count Andorjan, and moves to his Hungarian landholdings. When the war begins, Miklos leaves on a secret mission. Natalia goes to Prague to find him, posing as a fortune-teller. A chance connection made during a psychic reading reunites her with someone from her past. Despite hardships suffered during the war, Natalia finds strength through forgiveness and friendship. This Vancouver Island author’s first novel continues the quiet wisdom of her previous short story collections.

Forest Magic: A Guidebook for Little Woodland Explorers
Sarah Grindler (Sandhill)

Children four to eight years old will love the interactive writing and fieldguide-style illustrations that fill this guide. Sarah Grindler was raised on Salt Spring Island and uses words like “lichen” and “tendrils” with an easy familiarity that will have children wanting to add them to their own vocabularies. This book will promote an appreciation of local flora and fauna, and a desire to investigate outdoors.

A Town Called Solace
Mary Lawson (Penguin Random House)

Seven-year-old Clara is sad and confused by the disappearance of her teenage sister. Brushed off by the worried adults in her life, she befriends the neighbour’s cat while the neighbour, Mrs. Orchard, is dying in hospital. When outsider Liam Kane moves into the Orchard house, Mrs. Orchard reveals a long-kept secret that surprises Liam and shakes the townspeople of Solace. Lawson’s skilfully detailed slice of Ontario small town life is intense yet comforting in its familiarity.

Whitewater Cooks: Together Again
Shelley Adams (Sandhill)

Shelley Adams’ sixth cookbook is a visually enticing collection of new recipes, many of which reference Korean and Moroccan meals. The ingredients are easily obtainable and instructions are concise. Photographs of rustic tables holding earthy crockery set in natural vistas are a reminder that the Whitewater Cooks series began in beautiful Nelson, B.C.

The Whisper on the Night Wind
Adam Shoalts (Penguin Random House)

Traverspine, Labrador, is a ghost town now, but in 1900 it was haunted by mysterious creatures. Historian and explorer Adam Shoalts combines documented eyewitness accounts with historical evidence of Viking presence, his own knowledge of folklore and his love of adventure to create a captivating and compelling account.

The Madness of Crowds
Louise Penny (St. Martin’s)

The ever-popular Armand Gamache is back, and his cozy winter in Three Pines is interrupted when the Chief Inspector is asked to provide security for a visiting professor whose agenda turns out to be hate-filled and dangerous. When the university refuses to cancel the lectures, discussions become heated, an intellectual madness takes hold and a murder is committed. Gamache is in his element as he sets out to explore why the professor’s theory has caused such a fracture and, of course, to solve the crime.

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