Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Princeby J.K. Rowling is the second-to-last book in the seven-part series about the Boy Who Lived. Harry’s sixth year is both his darkest and funniest thus far. Characters that have been part of a brilliant background tapestry spring to life and are given incredible new dimension. Harry and his friends will try to get one step closer to defeating He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, but at what great and terrible cost?

You Made Me Love You

You Made Me Love You by Joanna Goodman is the humourous story of Lilly and Milton Zarr and their three very modern daughters. The reader can easily identify with the three girls, Estelle, Erica and Jessie, as each deals with the ups and downs of life in general. The message in the end is one of hope-hope for love, future career opportunities and renewed relationships. This is a very pleasant read by a young author who is very wise in the way of the modern world.

Small Island

Small Island by Andrea Levy. This novel, set in London in 1948, tells the story of Queenie Bligh, her husband, Bernard, and her Jamaican lodgers, Gilbert Joseph and his wife Hortense. The four narrators reveal their hopes and dreams for a new life. They soon find, however, that the country is changing very slowly. Prejudice, the strength of the empire, love and war are themes which Levy explores as the characters soon come to terms with post-war England.

The Master

The Master by Colm Tobin. This novel reveals the hopes and despair of novelist, Henry James, during five significant years of his life. The loneliness of the writer, his inability to resolve his sexual identity and his search for love are identified and explored. At the conclusion of the novel, the reader has gained a deeper respect and appreciation for this writer and for the times in which he lived.

These Foolish Things

These Foolish Thingsby Deborah Moggach is a funny and touching novel set partly in London and partly in Bangalore, India where British pensioners can enjoy the hot weather and fresh mango juice with their gin at bargain prices.


Maisie Dobbs

Maisie Dobbs

by Jacqueline Winspear is a delight as a character and as a book. The story takes place during the late twenties with flashbacks to the First World War. Socially and historically interesting, it is a delightful, compassionate and satisfactory book to read.


The School At Chartres

The School At Chartres

by David Manicom combines the intrigue of a thriller with the sophistication of a major international literary work reminiscent of A.S. Byatt. Set partly in 1990s Montreal and partly in medieval France, The School At Chartres is a long love-letter – the final letter – from the protagonist, John Wilson, to his lost love.

As exquisitely woven as a medieval tapestry, The School At Chartres will appeal to readers of literary mysteries, such as Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, and A.S. Byatt’s Possession.

The Burning Eaves

The Burning Eaves

In his fourth collection of poems, David Manicom affirms his place as one of the most compelling poets writing in Canada today. The Burning Eaves, a mixture of shorter lyrics and longer sequences, is a meditation on the nature of language and the power of love.


About Alice by Calvin Trillin

Calvin Trillin has been writing for The New Yorker magazine for the last 44 years. Every time you see his byline you are guaranteed a witty, humorous piece, sometimes about family life but touching far and wide in American daily life. Very often he would mention his wife Alice, and in this book we see why.

It is five years now since his wife died and Trillin felt he could write about her and try to talk about his love and also his total dependence on what he calls his “muse”. Although there are funny snatches, this is a deeply sad book. The photograph shows the pair of them, newly married, and Alice is an attractive blonde with a wonderful smile and wise eyes. She wrote a bit herself and also taught at university. They had two daughters, and what Alice cared most about was giving them a good home. Illness struck in l976 when she got lung cancer. She survived until 200l, when she had a bypass operation and died shortly afterward….not however before she got out of bed to attend the wedding of her second daughter.

Although Trillin pictures her as the solid foundation of the whole family, she fought the idea of being a “dietician in sensible shoes” and was known in Greenwich Village, and also Nova Scotia where they spent their summers, as a stunning woman with beautiful clothes. After he met her, he tells us, Trillin spent his whole life trying to impress her, to make her laugh. He says he wrote this book for her, but then adds ” Actually, I wrote everything for Alice”. He has shared a true love story with us.