Monthly Archives: November 2012

Ethnicity, culture, country – Multicultural Fiction

Books that have a story that is influenced by the country in which they are set….  The ethnicity or culture of the main characters helps define the reason for the story….. Multicultural Fiction is a difficult genre for which to provide a single definition. Books in this category serve to transport the reader to another place.  In addition the story might be historical, a mystery, a romance, etc. but the reason that the story works is because of the setting or characters.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese is set in Ethiopia, beginning in the 1940s.  It envelops the reader in the history of the country, the politics of Haile Selassie, the deprivation of the hospitals, and the remnants of the Italian society that ruled the country.  While this book has been on the library shelve for a while now, it remains a powerful read and one not to be missed.

Newly arrived Multicultural Fiction:

Naomi BENARON Running the Rift – A Rwandan runner dreams of being in the Olympics but he is a Tutsi. When the president is assassinated, he must flee for his life. “Audacious and compelling”-Washington Post.

Aminatta FORNAThe Memory of Love – Sierra Leone, before and after civil war… Winner of the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best Book – – – Orange Prize Shortlist 2011

Categories: English, Multicultural | Leave a comment

CRIM on the spine

Crime, mysteries, thrillers –  If you love this genre then there are many reasons for you to visit the library.  Labeled CRIM on the spine, it’s easy to find on the shelves.  Mystery stories can be stand alone books, but often authors will develop a character over a series of books. New on the library shelves:

Daniel SILVAThe Defector, The Rembrandt Affair, Portrait of a Spy – 3 books in the Gabriel Allon series

David BALDACCIThe Innocent – An assassin with a mission

Chris PAVONEThe Expats – Playdates, coffee mornings, weekends away; a suspicious past and looking over her shoulder

Keigo HIGASHINOThe Devotion of Suspect X – “The Japanese Steig Larsson”

Sara HENRYLearning to Swim – 1st of a series – A child is rescued after a fall from a ferry and no one reports him missing

Ransom RIGGSMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Mysterious island, abandoned orphanage, unusual children

Emily BARRStranded – A day trip to an uninhabited island but why has the boat not returned?

Alan TITMARSHThe Haunting – How can a drowning and a disappearance in 1816 have an effect 2 centuries later?

Heather GUDENKAUFOne Breath Away – “One school, One gunman”

Categories: Crime, English | Leave a comment

Governor General’s Awards

The Canada Council for the Arts administers the Governor General literary award. The award provides “not only a chance to honour our very best books, but it is also a chance to pay tribute to Canadians who are rising stars in the world of literature,” Gov. Gen. David Johnson said in a statement.  “I congratulate all the winners who have worked hard to add their tale to our collective memories.”

Each category winner receives $25,000. Publishers of the winning books also receive $3,000.

The English winners are:

  • Fiction: Linda Spalding for her book The Purchase, a historical tale looking back at the lives of slaves and slave owners that was inspired by stories from her ancestors, who were Quakers. The jury praised Spalding’s writing as “warm, dignified prose” in its citation.   “An historical novel about race, religion and family, Linda Spalding’s The Purchase is refreshingly free of retrospective judgment.”
  •  Non-Fiction: Ross King for his book Leonardo and the Last Supper, an examination of the artist’s great fresco and the powerful man who commissioned it.  With “a combination of brilliant storytelling and superlative writing,” U.K.-based, Saskatchewan-raised King “portrays the towering genius of Leonardo in a way that will engage experts and delight a general audience,” the jury said.

The French winners are:

  • Fiction: Pour sur, France Daigle (Moncton, N.B.).
  • Non-fiction: Comment tuer Shakespeare, Normand Chaurette (Montreal).

“The winning titles offer a wealth of reading options for Canadians of all ages and demonstrate once again that Canada punches above its weight in the literary arena,” said Canada Council director Robert Sirman.

Categories: Awards, English, Français | Leave a comment

Corsican tale wins France’s Prix Goncourt

Corsican tale wins France’s Prix Goncourt

A repost from CBC News Posted: Nov 8, 2012 12:13 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 8, 2012 11:53 AM ET

A novel that’s been described as a poetic Corsican epic has won France’s top literary prize, the Prix Goncourt.

French writer and teacher Jérôme Ferrari was named winner of the venerable literary honour on Wednesday for his book Le Sermon sur la Chute de Rome (The Sermon on the Fall of Rome).

Le Sermon follows a young philosophy student who tosses aside his schooling for what he imagines will be a peaceful, easygoing life running a bar with a friend on the island of Corsica. However, the pair’s idealistic dreams are dashed, amid alcohol, sex, corruption and violence.

The French island has made headlines in recent years for its increased violence, with a disproportionate number of murders or attempted murders for its population of about 300,000.

The jury praised Le Sermon as a “fine parable on contemporary hopelessness, but with a hopeful message: the end of a world doesn’t have to spell the end of the world.”

Ferrari, who beat 11 other novelists for the literary prize, named his book after the first of four sermons by ancient philosopher Augustine, made after the fifth century sacking of Rome.

Born into a Corsican family that had relocated to the French mainland, Ferrari returned to the island to teach philosophy to high school students. He continues to teach, now in Abu Dhabi.

First awarded in 1903, the Prix Goncourt is named after French author and publisher Edmond de Goncourt and recognizes “the best and most imaginative prose work of the year.”

Though the winner only receives a nominal cash prize of €10 ($12.72 Cdn), being chosen typically results in a major boost in an author’s prestige as well as in his or her book sales. Past winners have included Marcel Proust, Simone de Beauvoir and Canadian Antonine Maillet, the first non-European recipient of the prize

Categories: Awards, Français | Leave a comment

Prix littéraires 2012 le palmarès 2012

Goncourt, Renaudot, Médicis, Femina … Les jurés des grands prix littéraires dévoilent, entre les mois de septembre et de novembre, leurs palmarès.


Jérôme Ferrari recoit le prix Goncourt 2012 pour Le Sermon sur la chute de Rome (Actes sud).

Le prix Renaudot 2012 revient à la Rwandaise Scholastique Mukasonga pour Notre-Dame du Nil.

La troisième édition du Grand Prix du Roman Métis couronne Tierno Monénembo pour Le terroriste noir(Seuil).

Le prix Médicis 2012 a été attribué à Emmanuelle Pireyre pour Féerie générale (L’Olivier).

Le Médicis étranger va à Avraham Yehoshua pour Rétrospective et le

Médicis essai à David Van Reybrouck, pour Congo, une histoire.

Le prix Femina 2012 va à Peste & Choléra de Patrick Deville

tandis que Julie Otsuka reçoit le Femina étranger pour Certaines n’avaient jamais vu la mer et

Tobie Nathan le Femina essai pour Ethno-roman (Grasset).

Le prix Virilo, dont les jurés doivent voter “en homme” en prétendue réponse au Femina, s’est accordé cette année au Maréchal absolu, de Pierre Jourde.

à noter que vous trouverez au Club :

Peste & Choléra de Patrick Deville   qui avait déjà reçu le prix Fnac et a terminé second du Goncourt! belle performance pour ce roman.

Le précédant livre de Jérôme Ferrari “Où j’ai laissé mon âme” 

bonne lecture



Categories: Awards, Français

Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Award

The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is an annual event, held in Harrogate England.  The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Award is announced at the festival.  Although only worth £3000 and in existence for 8 years, the prize is considered to be one of the most prestigious crime writing awards. Contenders are crime novels, published in paperback during the previous year. The winner is chosen by online public voting in the week prior to the festival at

For 2012 the winning book and author is: Denise Mina – End of Wasp Season

This is the second book in the Alex Morrow series.

Fortunately for members of the ESTEC Library both books of the series – Still Midnight and End of Wasp Season – are available in the library.

Also good to know – titles from the shortlist that are available in the library include:

Steve Mosby – Black Flowers (thriller)

S J Watson – Before I go to Sleep (thriller)

Categories: Awards, Crime, English | Leave a comment

Biographies with a soundtrack

The music industry is huge.  TV shows, weddings, political campaigns, etc all make use of tracks to highlight a message or theme. Radio channels that focus on a particular decade or type of music (jazz, easy listening, rock, etc) are popular.   The Baby Boom generation has gone from listening to music on Hi-Fi’s, stereos, 8 tack cassettes, cassette tapes, mini-discs, CD’s, DVD, etc to a plethora of personal devices that allow our favourites to be available whenever/wherever. Music has the ability to transport the listener and the same can be said of books.

Recently published biographies of musicians that are now available in the ESTEC Leisure Library include:

NEW in November 2012:

BRUCE by Peter Ames Carlin [Bruce Springsteen]

I’M YOUR MAN by Sylvie Simmons [Leonard Cohen]

WAGING HEAVY PEACE by Neil Young [Neil Young]


LIFE by Keith Richards [Keith Richards]




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