When an aspiring young writer in Mississippi decides to research and document the experiences of African American domestic servants in her hometown, she finds out more than she bargained for. With equal parts of humour and sadness, The Help entertains and enlightens readers about life in the old south, and offers a glimmer of hope that barriers can and will be broken.
The Kite Runner follows the story of a young Afghani boy, Amir, whose childhood friendship with a young servant boy, Hassan, goes awry. After years of separation, the now grown Amir has a chance to make amends and pay penance for his guilt over bringing shame to Hassan's name.
Considered to be the first modern Russian novel, Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev explores the growing divide between liberal elitists and the youthful nihilist movement, which despised the old-guard and fought against traditional Orthodox religious views, but -- as the main character Bazarov discovered -- often struggled with reconciling feelings of romantic love.
Cutting for Stone tells the story of Ethiopian twin brothers Marion and Shiva Stone who share an incredible story of survival and ultimate sacrifice. Even though they travel different (yet similar!) paths in life, neither the years spent apart or the ocean that separates them can break their mystical bond or alter their identical DNA. When one of them is in grave need of something that only the other can provide, the true extent of their brotherhood is put to the test.
After being released from a neurology facility, Pat Peoples returns to his parent's home to continue his recovery. Despite returning to familiar surroundings, Pat discovers that a lot has changed and he has actually been away a lot longer than his memory serves. As Pat seeks to put the pieces of his past life back together, he makes some new friends who challenge his well-meaning, but ultimately flawed plans and cause him to envision a new future and silver lining to the movie that is his…
In February 1982 the Ocean Ranger offshore oil platform sunk off the Newfoundland coast, killing all crew members. Among the dead is Helen O'Mara's husband, Cal. While Helen is composed on the exterior and manages to move on and raise her young family, her emotional healing is longer to come by. As the years pass, Helen continually revisits memories of Cal taking her back to the events leading up to the fateful February day when her life changed forever.
It's tough enough being a teenager in small town America, but after your parents commit armed robbery, life as a teenager just gets tougher. For Dell Parsons, this means heading north to Canada only to be caught up in more turmoil with his mysterious guardian, a man struggling with his own demons south of the border. Through it all, Dell manages to find his way and achieve a semblance of normalcy despite a very unconventional upbringing.
The best part of the Rick Mercer Report on CBC is Rick's weekly rant, which typically has to do with the a burning topic in Canadian society. Rick's love for his nativeland is evident in his musings -- both humourous and serious -- that come straight from his heart. Now diehard fans can enjoy Rick's rants for all eternity in hard copy form. A great read from a great Canadian!
As the son of a French-Canadian father and Irish mother, Paul Tallard's childhood in rural Quebec during WWI was a constant struggle owing to his dual French/English roots. As a consequence, Paul never quite fits in and finds himself adrift and aimless in his late 20s, still searching for meaning in his life as another world war threatens to break out again. When Paul reconnects with a childhood friend, Heather, her love, encouragement and support helps him finally find his way home.
OK, so I wasn't an aspiring New Waver like Jian Ghomeshi was in 1982, but this was the era of my youth and the underlying sentiment of wanting to "fit in" rings true. Ghomeshi's candid (and highly comical) account of the extent of his efforts to channel his inner David Bowie and find a voice/place for himself reminds us that sometimes it just wasn't fun being a teenager, but the bad times eventually make way for the good! And, in the case of Ghomeshi, things turned out pretty well!