from the bookshelf {winter 2016}

With school back in session, and the reading list full of philosophy, French, psychology, politics, and economics (at least in our house), the to-be-read fun books are on the back burner. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try. Five minutes before classes start, ten minutes before bed, it all adds up. For the rest of you though, not taking classes and with time to spare, check out some of our favourite reads from the last few months.

Clicking on the cover will take you to Amazon, but please, support your local, independent book seller. For example… Broken Books, St. John’s NLBox of Delights, Wolfville NS or Bookmark, Halifax NS!


The Rise & Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman 

For anyone who has ever wished to own a bookstore, live in the Welsh countryside, and be involved in an international, historical mystery, this is the book for you. Tooly, the female protagonist, takes on the task of figuring out her own history, while reconnecting with her past, and making stops around the globe. All the while, the lovely descriptions of Welsh fields and bookstore shelves give this book a perfect, wintry feel that contrasts with the engaging plot twists.

Know the Night: A Memoir of Survival in the Small Hours by Maria Mutch

I missed hearing Maria Mutch speak at the Box of Delights in Wolfville a couple of years ago, but did not miss this memoir, a must-read for anyone involved with children who have special needs. Mutch combines her attraction to Antarctic explorer Admiral Richard E. Byrd and his many weeks spent in darkness, with her own experience accompanying her young son during the night. A fascinating look into the bond between mother and child, the human brain, and the often-feared night.

Annabel by Kathleen WinterAnnabel

In Labrador in 1968, an ‘intersex’ baby is born, and the decision is made to raise the child as male. Wayne, once grown, discovers the truth of his infancy, and his parents’ choices. In doing so however, he opens the door to what becomes a time of identity-searching, and the challenges that arise when what you were taught to be becomes difficult to maintain. Winter’s content is fresh and relevant, and not often featured in fiction, making this choice a clear winner for us this year.

When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman

This is in no way a cheerful book. There is almost nothing to say about this that won’t give something away, but I for one devoured it in days, and it has stuck with me for the past year. Give it a go when you need a good cry, or when you are clearly being too happy for everyone around you. And yes, there really is a rabbit. It’s one of the most uplifting parts of the whole book. But, truly, the writing is beautiful, and the story will hold you from beginning to end.


We would love to know what you’re reading this winter, or what’s on the top of your to-be-read list. Leave us a note in the comments, or please do connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. Happy reading!



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