by Quentin Mills-Fenn
Bookshelf All My Puny Sorrows (Knopf Canada) by Miriam Toews
Miriam Toews proves she’s one of Canada’s most powerful storytellers with her latest novel. Elfrieda escaped her repressive small town life and now seems to have it all, including a glamourous career and a devoted husband, but she still has her demons. She wants to die, and asks her sister Yolandi to help her. No one balances on the knife-edge of tragedy and comedy like Toews, and she’s at her best here as she explores the limits of love in this heartbreaking, but still terribly funny, novel.
(Douglas & McIntyre) by Peter Norman Lance Blunt can’t read, but for some mysterious reason, he’s offered a job by a dictionary publisher. That’s the start to this wildly imaginative debut novel by Peter Norman. But on his first day on the job, our hero discovers that Emberton Dictionary is a strange workplace indeed, as co-workers disappear, marketers don’t sell anything, and a beautiful young etymologist whispers about dark goings on. Soon, Lance and the reader become enmeshed in an outlandish, delightfully disturbing gothic horror story.
Independence (Harper Collins) by Cecil Foster
In this, his first novel in 12 years, Cecil Foster returns to his birthplace, Barbados, soon after it gains independence from Britain. Young Christopher Lucas’ mother went to Canada to find work but no one has heard from her for a long time, and his father isn’t around either. His best friend Stephanie King is in the same situation, so both are raised by their grandmothers. It’s a touching, witty story, full of the voices of Caribbean English and two wonderful characters in Mrs. Lucas and Mrs. King.
Powwow Counting in Cree (Highwater Press) by Penny M. Thomas
347 William Avenue 204-943-0999 www.totallightingsales.ca PLENTY OF FREE PARKING 36 | STYLE MANITOBA | SUMMER 2014
A powwow is a gathering of North American First Nations people featuring dancing, music, and eating. This charming counting book takes the powwow as a starting point to introduce Cree numbers from one to ten. It’s always a good idea to learn another language, especially one so close to home. Penny Thomas will get your child and you counting peyak, niso, nisto in no time. Featuring colourful illustrations by award-winning artist Melinda Josie.