Wild

Cheryl Strayed recounts her journey down the Pacific Crest Trail.

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her. Wild

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Prudence

Prudence by David Treuer tells the story of Frankie Washburn, a bombardier during WWII, whose family owns a rustic Minnesota resort called the Pines on an Indian reservation. When a prisoner of war camp is established across the river, their tranquility ends. An escaped prisoner sends everyone out to look, including Frankie and his friends. What happens next is a tragedy that will haunt everyone involved for years to come. Treuer handles the subject matter with sensitivity, but gives an honest look at the consequences of decisions made in the face of intolerance, and love.

David Treuer is Ojibwe from the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. He has a Ph.D. in anthropology and teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.9781594633089_custom-1fa385228a023c044c131dad834c412bc6c0598e-s500-c85

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

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Winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards, this science fiction classic novel is exciting and fresh. I was captivated by the premise and it has sufficient action and suspense to keep a reader interested.

In order to develop a secure defence against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut–young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers, Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If the world survives, that is. (amazon description used here) 

The Shipping News

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Edna Annie Proulx is an American journalist and author. Her second novel, The Shipping News (1993), won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for fiction in 1994. Her short story “Brokeback Mountain” was adapted as an Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe Award-winning major motion picture released in 2005. Brokeback Mountain received massive critical acclaim and went on to be nominated for a leading eight Academy Awards, winning three of them. (However, the movie did not win Best Picture, a situation with which Proulx made public her disappointment.) She won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for her first novel, Postcards. She has written most of her stories and books simply as Annie Proulx, but has also used the names E. Annie Proulx and E.A. Proulx. (excerpt from Goodreads)

This is a story set in Newfoundland. Reading this novel brings you right down onto the rock of the island province and gives you a very intimate sense of the heart and soul of the place. The story centres around Quoyle, an eccentric and sensitive character who has trouble grappling with the hardships that life throws at him. Overall a great read.

The Invention of Wings

This novel was inspired by the Grimke sisters of Charleston South Carolina who went against their upbringing and became out-spoken advocates, against slavery and for the equality of women. The story begins when Sarah Grimke is given ten year old Handful as a personal slave from her parents. She immediately wrote up her freedom papers. Her father tore up the papers and Sarah was forced to keep Handful. The story progresses through their complex relationship and Sarah’s struggle to shape her own destiny. The story includes many interesting characters and tells a compelling and historically accurate account of the struggles of both blacks and women in that era.jpeg