The Passage (The Passage #1) By: Justin Cronin Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase
An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy—abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape—but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.
I’ve seen this book around since it was first released, thought to pick it up at some point but of course other books came first to my hands. Anyway, what finally prompted me to pick up the book was seeing the trailer to the television adaptation and a number of friends all reading it around the same time 😛
Okay, so I’m usually pretty slow in watching movies that are just released and whatnot, but I just had to see this movie (and so did my mum–so it became a family event). I still remembered much of the basic plot of this story from the book (review) so I was curious to see how they adapted it.
Just Watch Me: the Life of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, 1968 – 2000 By: Johnny English Format/Source: Paperback; was a Christmas gift
This magnificent second volume, written with exclusive access to Trudeau’s private papers and letters, completes what the Globe and Mail called “the most illuminating Trudeau portrait yet written” — sweeping us from sixties’ Trudeaumania to his final days when he debated his faith.
His life is one of Canada’s most engrossing stories. John English reveals how for Trudeau style was as important as substance, and how the controversial public figure intertwined with the charismatic private man and committed father. He traces Trudeau’s deep friendships (with women especially, many of them talented artists, like Barbra Streisand) and bitter enmities; his marriage and family tragedy. He illuminates his strengths and weaknesses — from Trudeaumania to political disenchantment, from his electrifying response to the kidnappings during the October Crisis, to his all-important patriation of the Canadian Constitution, and his evolution to influential elder statesman.
I made it a point to read the second volume of Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s biography before school started as there was no way I was going to get through the 800+ page volume once the assignments started rolling in.
My Name is Lucy Barton By: Elizabeth Strout Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase
Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.
I can’t remember, was this longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize or the Man Booker or both? Anyway, it was through one of those book awards that I first encountered this novel and it had been on my wishlist since. Also, while I’ve long heard of Elizabeth Strout and her works, this is the first book of hers that I actually read.
Herding Cats By: Sarah Andersen Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
Adjusting to life as a world-famous cartoonist isn’t easy. Terrifying deadlines, piles of junk-food wrappers under a glowing computer screen, and an ever-growing horde of pets….umm, never mind–it’s pretty much the same.
With characteristic wit and charm, Sarah Andersen’s third collection of comics and illustrated personal essays offers a survival guide for frantic modern life: from the importance of avoiding morning people, to Internet troll defense 101, to the not-so-life-changing futility of tidying up. But when all else fails and the world around you is collapsing, make a hot chocolate, count the days until Halloween, and snuggle up next to your furry beacon of hope.
This comic came up as a surprise in that I didn’t know she was releasing a third collection until it was already available! So I snatched it up as soon as I could…Her comics continue to crack me up but at the same time are very relevant in today’s climate with everything that’s happening in the news and how the internet has become something quite harsh (I could totally relate with the comic about how back then the internet was this happy place to escape to, to talk about fandoms and whatnot, and now it’s just this wasteland of trolls and hateful commentary and bad news all around. It’s no wonder I’m not on it very often these days). I also enjoy how this is the second volume now where she’s included a personal essay, this time about creating art in this day and age, especially with the advent and continuing turnover of the internet and social media and how we use it to promote our work. It’s a fascinating piece that left me with much to think about with my own work.