6. All The Pretty Girls – Now I may be a bit bias on this one, Chandra Mayor is my mentor and friend. She is also however, an amazingly talented author that is not afraid to tell it like it is. What I love most about her writing style is that she can tell a tale of utter brutality with beautiful and poetic words. All The Pretty Girls is a collection of short stories about the lives of a group of women. Some are struggling with poverty or domestic abuse. All are struggling with parts of themselves. I loved all these women, cared about their struggles and admired their strength that we would all hope to have in their situations.
7. Lessons From a Nude Man – Now again with the bias, I know this lady and I’m very proud to know this lady. One of my favourite Winnipeg authors and people, I first read her work in Prairie Fire Magazine and immediately wanted more. I searched out her work high and low and was disappointed to find very little else. Until one glorious day she announces that finally a collection of her endlessly entertaining,beautifully written and at times heard breaking short stories will be published for our reading pleasure! Donna is a Boreal writer, choosing the lush landscape of the Boreal Forest for the setting of these stories. Her affection and deep connection of this place can be felt through out this whole book that I couldn’t put down but at the same time never wanted to finish because I didn’t want to leave the exquisite world she created.
8. The Lucky Ones – This is a very serious book but it is an important book that I believe should be on everyone’s must read list especially in the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis. In this book, African refugees recount their experiences of their birth countries and of immigrating to Canada. In their own words they tell of their losses, their hopes and dreams and their new lives in Canada. I feel like I know all these people personally after reading this book and I’m happy they are here.
9. The Day Tripper’s Guide To Manitoba – There is so much to see in our own back yard! Our province is so diverse from the endless prairie that turns to the rolling hills of the Pembina Valley to the lakes and legends of the Interlake. In The Day Tripper’s Guide To Manitoba Bartley Kives shows us all of the cool places to go and things to do in our own province. And trust me, they are plenty.
10. Dance Gladys Dance – This unique and original novel features the ghost of a lady who just wanted to dance. Unfortunately her well to do husband had other ideas. The ghost of Gladys then begins to “haunt” young woman who’s given up on her dream of being an artist. This is a quirky and very enjoyable story with twists and turns and heart ache a plenty along with good humour (the novel won the Stephen Leacock medal for humour) and very real likeable and unique characters. This is definitely worth reading before you die. Or right now because there’s no better time then the present!
“READING GIVES US SOMEPLACE TO GO WHEN WE HAVE TO STAY WHERE WE ARE.”
I know everyone’s heard of a bucket list, mostly places to go and things to do before you die. There are many destination books out there listing all the places you should go before you kick the proverbial bucket. The adventures sound amazing but how many people can actually afford the luxury of world travel?
Books can transport you on an amazing adventure to. And if you have a library card they’re free! So, I’m making a far more achievable bucket list. Here are my top recommendations of things to read before you die.
– Yes really! If you want to be transported to far away lands, see fierce battles and amazing miracles the Bible has all this and more! It’s the ultimate love story, packed with action and adventure, brave heroes and terrifying creatures straight from the pit of hell there’s even a talking donkey! I personally believe the Bible, believe that all of the events therein are fact and base my life on that truth. However, even if you don’t, it’s still worth a read.
2. The Outsiders
– The ultimate coming of age story! This is my favourite book of all time. This is THE book that got me through my teens! This is THE book that inspired me to write. This is THE book that turned me into the bookworm I am today. Before The Outsiders was assigned as mandatory reading in my eighth grade class I’d never read an entire novel cover to cover. I found books, especially books targeted to my age group boring, stupid and entirely un-relatable. Apparently way back in the sixties tween (before the word tween even existed) books weren’t much different and so sixteen year old S.E. Hinton created this masterpiece which is second on my list of books to read before you die.
P.S. You don’t have to be a tween to enjoy it!
3. The Evolution Of Alice
– I won’t spend too much time on this one as I’ve already delved into it’s fabulousness in my previous book review post but I will tell you this book touched me deeply. It has such a unique and incredible mix of harsh and gritty everyday life with a touch of magic thrown in at just the right spots. And I’m a sucker for a really great friendship story.
4. The Sisters Brothers
– Out of all the books I’m recommending here, this one has the most entertainment value. If your looking for a real escape, I mean lose yourself completely in an utterly weird and crazy tale of two brothers on a mysterious mission then this Governor General award-winning book is for you! Patrick DeWitt is the author and I’d love to live just a day in his imagination! Now there’s something for the bucket list!
5. The Opening Sky
– The description of this book did it so little justice that I actually wasn’t interested in reading it at first. Thank goodness that the book I wanted was checked out at the library and this little gem was staring me in the face practically begging me to take it home. So I did and I found myself entirely wrapped up in the every day life of the Glasgow-Fimeser household, their problems and heartbreaks and their ordinary/extraordinary lives. What’s most amazing about this book is the masterful way in which a pretty everyday kind of family is elevated by the masterful writing talent of Joan Thomas. Life in The Wolsely neighbourhood takes on a life of it’s own and even though it takes place in the same city as I’ve lived my whole life, it transported me, not to a far off land but in to the life of an every day family which can be just as interesting.