Thursday, December 31, 2020


Now that I am retired hope to read more fiction books for enjoyment.  But I still enjoy understanding how the world works.  These are the books I enjoyed this past year.  Most of these books were recommendations or suggestions from others and in one sense I am just passing them on with a little push of my own.


"Beartown" (2017) written by Fredrik Backman, best known for "A Man Called Ove."   It was recommended by Chris of the Hamilton Library who made it sound like something I had to read, even though I am not a hockey fan.  Check my review:  It goes into a wide range of social and business connections in a small town revolving around their prospective champion junior hockey team.





"Pride and Prejudice" (1812) by Jane Austen with the classic love story about Mr Darcy and Elizabeth which to me is about a colossal need for an icebreaker.  All romances are based on misunderstandings.  It is unnerving how Austen is able to get inside the heads of her characters.  Her focus is on marriage for money.  Snobbery is common, except with her leading characters.

"City of Thieves" (2008) by David Benioff was recommended by Fareed Zakaria--had written Game of Thrones   based on recollections of a Grandfather who had lived through the Leningrad siege of WW II

The Library closed and I had to look for alternatives.  The library was offering ebooks which I had read before, but due to technical problems gave it up.  Now it seems convenient.

"The Woman in The Window" (2018) by A.J. Finn  Is easy to read as it is m mostly in short paragraphs.  At first it seemed about a person with mental health issues and I wasn't sure if it would be worth while reading it.  There are surprises, a lot of them in that people are not what they seem, including the narrator with mental health issues. 

"Less" (2017) by Andrew San Greer another fiction recommendation by Fareed Zakaria  Quotes for all writers (including bloggers?)  "Boredom is the only real tragedy for a writer; everything else is material"  contrasted in same paragraph, "Boredom is essential for writers; it is the only time they get to write."

"Moon Of the Crusted Snow" (2018) by Waubgeshig Rice was  Hamilton Reads pick  As part of the package the library offered a live online conversation with Waubgeshig and Cherie Dimaline, the author of "Marrow Thieves" (2017) which I read for the Canada Reads program.






"Circling the Sun" (2015) by Paula McLean,  fictional account of Beryl Markham

"The Tatooist of Auschwitz" (20180)by Heather Morris based on a true story including photos of the real people.

"The Fishers of Paradise"(2012)) by Rachel Preston.  I learned about this while walking along the Bayfront Trail on a plaque that stated that there used to be houses along Cootes Paradise and about the book.  It was an interesting story with a ficionalised account of how the houses had been disposed of.   A pleasure reading about streets and buildings I am familiar with.


Michelle Obama's book was long anticipated and worth the wait.  "Becoming' (2020) demonstrates a woman who supported her husband while wishing he didn't get involved with politics.  To her the family was top priority, but as an intelligent, caring person she helped make the world a better place.




"The Great Leveler" (2017) deals with inequality.  Walter Schiedel

"Talking to Strangers" (2019) by Malcolm Gladwell

"Black Berry /sweet Juice" (2001) by Lawrence Hill

"The Education of an Idealist" (2019)

"They know everything about you." (2015) by Robert Scheer

Funny You Don't Look Autistic" (2019) ebook by Michael McCreary

"My Journey" by Olivia Chow(2014)

"The Elephant Company" (2014) by Vicki Croke 

"Trust: Twenty Ways to Build a Better Country" (2018).  Written by David Johnston, a former Governor General of Canada.

Trust is the key necessity in interacting.




"A Good Provider Is One Who Leaves Home" (2019) by Jason De Pare, is about migrant workers starting with a Filipino family that the author interacted with stating in 1986.

"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" (2011)  by Rebecca Skloot  I was able to see a DVD as well as read the book.

"Tough Love" (2020)  by Susan Rice who had been maligned by the right wing and media.  There are a lot of political books out, but this one does not only give interesting information, but also an intelligent perspective. Read more:

Read about last year's selections:

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