The Solitude of Prime Numbers

The Solitude of Prime Numbers is about two people, Alice and Mattia, who bear the scars of individual childhood tragedies. They meet as teenagers and seem to instinctively recognize this lonely, damaged quality in each other. Their resulting relationship also defies definition. The book has a beautiful flow and cadence, perfectly peppered with artfully recurring motifs such as scars, twins, and mathematical concepts. But of greatest in import and impact is the concept of absences, and of space.
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Sharp Objects

I picked up and ultimately purchased my copy of Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects on a whim. I was browsing in an airport bookstore when I happened on it, and was tickled by the idea of boarding an airplane holding a book with a razor blade foil-stamped on the cover. What a treat that the book ended up being a great read. . . . → Read More: Sharp Objects

Atonement

One of the most remarkable qualities of Atonement, the decision that the elevates it from the ranks of other moving stories and puts it in the realm of something quite spectacular, is the way that McEwan employs an unusual narrative structure — a narrative structure that becomes a vital component of the narrative itself. . . . → Read More: Atonement

Leeway Cottage

Beth Gutcheon’s Leeway Cottage is a book which is enhanced by the use of a unique narrative structure. It is comprised of a layering and entwining of two fairly disparate stories. One of these stories is among the greatest (and yet, not widely known) triumphs of World War II . The second story is a multigenerational American family epic. . . . → Read More: Leeway Cottage

Deafening

Frances Itani’s Deafening features two highly distinct narrative parts. It begins as the story of a young girl from a small town in Ontario who, after contracting Scarlet Fever, loses her hearing at five years of age. The majority of the first part of the book follows Grania’s struggle to learn language, to develop literacy (both literal and emotional) and, as a result, to learn how to form and maintain relationships after having lost her hearing at such a crucial stage in childhood development. . . . → Read More: Deafening

The Time Traveler’s Wife

The Time Traveler’s Wife is easily one of the best books I’ve ever read. And I’ve read a lot of books. In fact, I was so impressed by this book that I was completely floored to learn that it was Niffenegger’s first novel. . . . → Read More: The Time Traveler’s Wife

Angela’s Ashes

There is something particularly odd about finishing off A Million Little Pieces and then delving directly into Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt. These books would, after all, appear to have a fair bit in common. But there’s a reason why McCourt received a Pulitzer Prize, while Frey got a spanking from Oprah on national television.
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A Million Little Pieces

know I’m heading into tricky territory because for the first time ever, I feel compelled to preface my thoughts about a book with a justification as to why I read the book in the first place. But that’s the thing about James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, isn’t it? The publicity and the controversy have long since overshadowed any consideration of the relative merit of the book as text.
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The Wars

I’m ashamed to admit that my experience with the works of late, great Canadian author Timothy Findley is woefully limited. Previously, I had read only Pilgrim, his penultimate novel. And I was a little disappointed by it. Regardless, I picked up The Wars, which is generally considered to be the book that put Findley on the map, and which I have always heard mentioned in connection with his name over the years. . . . → Read More: The Wars

Alligator

I picked up Lisa Moore’s Alligator as part of a spontaneous decision to read all of the 2005 Giller Prize nominees. As a graphic designer, I had been drawn to the book long before Giller nomination time, though I had some inintial apprehension about this book, owed pretty much entirely to the jacket synopsis. . . . → Read More: Alligator