It’s time once again to relax with a good book. Passionate page turners, put your feet up and dip into the summer reading selections for the Kootenay Book Weekend.
• All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr — This is a complex and hauntingly beautiful book about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths intertwine during World War II in occupied France. The winner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize for fiction offers a “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Doerr touches the heart by illuminating the ways, against all odds, that people try to be good to one another.
• The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert — Spanning much of the 18th and 19th centuries, this glorious, sweeping novel of desire, ambition and the thirst for knowledge follows the story of the Whittaker family, and in particular, the daughter Alma. She is a botanist, whose trailblazing work goes relatively unrecognized in the face of more famous men. The novel gets us to consider whether a life lived in the shadows, comprised of numerous small actions is worth any less than a life of big gestures and public recognition.
• All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews — This passionate novel tells the riveting story of two sisters who are as unlike as possible. One — a world renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, and happily married — wants to die. The other — divorced, broke, and with a penchant for wrong men — desperately wants to keep her sister alive. The novel offers a profound reflection on the limits of love and explores the frustration and absurdity of caring for someone set on self-destruction.
The final selection is If I Fall. If I Die by guest author Michael Christie — Afflicted by crippling agoraphobia and depression, Will’s mother has not left the confines of her home in years. She has created a world for him that is rich and fun-loving and full of art, science experiments and music — but it is all confined to their small house. Then Will steps into the real world of Thunder Bay. This is a complex story about mothers and sons, fears and uncertainties, and the lengths we’ll go to for those we love.
Enjoy these reads and then come and partake in some lively discussion at the Best Western Baker St. Inn in Nelson, Sept. 16 to 18. For more information and to register for the weekend visit kootenaybookweekend.ca.