The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

51rhyptxuglPaolo Bacigalupi creates a thriller that is based on the premise of severe water shortages across the southern United States. The southern states are fighting over the dwindling shares of the Colorado River and this story revolves around the players and those caught in the cross fire. It is a book that could very possible become true in the not too distant future. A must read for the environmentally aware.

Paolo Bacigalupi’s website.

 

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By Gaslight by Steven Price

51omsiecjml-_sy346_I happened to meet Steven Price at a book reading that he gave at Westdale Secondary School in the fall of 2016. He was a very thoughtful and precise thinker and seemed introspective, but he is a poet after all. The prose in his latest book, By Gaslight, has the imagery and emotion of poetry, but it has also captured the intrigue of an old world detective chasing his prey. I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good detective mystery, but who also loves to have a world created for them in full colour (albeit this novel does have pervasive foggy weather). A review by the Quill & Quire is HERE.

Green Grass, Running Water

green grass running waterThomas King has created an intriguing book that will keep you on the edge of your seat. He combines wit and humour to tell a story that is part mythology, part legend, part mystery, but wholly spiritual and skillfully interweaves Native American and EuroAmerican literatures into this magical tale.

All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot SeeWinner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Anthony Doerr writes an enthralling story about love and empathy amidst the terrors of war and extremism. The story revolves around a blind young girl and her devoted father, who creates an exact replica of her town so that she can easily find her way.

The girl, Marie-Laure, had become blind by the age of six. Her father is a locksmith who works at the Museum of Natural History. As his daughter’s sight finally fails, her father builds her a model of Paris, and in this way she is able to navigate around the city. The Jardin des Plantes is their favourite place, and here Marie-Laure orients herself by counting drain covers and trees and streets, memorising routes and recognising the scents of trees and flowers.

In a parallel story, a young boy in Germany, Werner, an orphan, comes to the notice of the Nazis for his astonishing skill at fixing radios, and this leads to his relocation to an elite school aimed at providing skills for the Reich. Little Werner proves his worth and survives, even though the school is brutal and unrelenting.

When the Nazis arrive in Paris and begin to investigate the museum, demanding keys from Marie’s father, he makes plans to move to his uncle’s house in Saint-Malo. Despite her blindness, the girl is able to visualise the layout of the town when her father makes a small and detailed model of it. Months go by. Werner moves closer to the front as the Germans favour experts who can pick up radio transmissions from the allies. Life in Saint-Malo becomes increasingly difficult as the Germans take full control. Marie-Laure’s father is investigated and taken away, ending up in a German camp. Marie-Laure, virtually all alone with her eccentric great uncle now, joins the resistance and carries messages in baguettes. The Guardian