What your neighbours are reading

Please submit titles to Denise Rackus at denise.rackus5@gmail.com. Young readers’ selections are encouraged and welcome.

By Denise Rackus

Manor Park Eclectic Book Club

Her Turn by Katherine Ashenburg

In the autumn of 2015, 40-something journalist Liz is working at a national newspaper in Washington, D.C., where Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency is the talk of the town. The divorced parent of a college-age son, she appears to lead a full, happy life: devoted friends, a job she adores, a breezy dating life. But deep inside, Liz is stalled in neutral, stuck in a clandestine affair with her boss and still brooding on her marriage, which ended in betrayal, hurt and anger 10 years ago.

Readers of Manor Park

The Promise by Damon Galgut

The Promise, published in 2021, is South African writer Damon Galgut’s eighth novel. Galgut’s fiction frequently explores the complicated world of South African society and politics, particularly the legacy of apartheid. The Promise tells the story of the Swarts, a white family descended from Dutch settlers who came to South Africa in the 17th century. The three Swart children come of age as the country undergoes the abolition of apartheid, a system that formally segregated South Africans on the basis of race.

Dunbarton Book Club

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

This book was published in 1985 as El amor en los tiempos del cólera. The story, which treats the themes of love, aging, and death, and very subtly of politics, takes place between the late 1870s and the early 1930s in a South American community troubled by wars and outbreaks of cholera. It is a tale of two lovers, artistic Florentino Ariza and wealthy Fermina Daza, who reunite after a lifetime apart. Their spirit of enduring love contrasts ironically with the surrounding corporeal decay.

Dunbarton Court and Manor Park

The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Submitted by Grazyna von Finckenstein.)

From master storyteller Carlos Ruiz Zafón, author of the international phenomenon The Shadow of the Wind, comes The Angel’s Game — a dazzling new page-turner about the perilous nature of obsession, in literature and in love. In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martin, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city’s underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem.

The Thursday Murder Club: The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman (Submitted by Adele Dion.)

Richard Osman is a BBC producer, host, commentator and author. Four former professionals in an upscale retirement community are bored. The spy has access to ‘cold case’ police files. She, together with a nurse, a psychiatrist and a union leader, meet every Thursday to consider one to re-open. There are many plot twists, including new crimes. This is the second in a series of three, with a fourth underway. Good summer reading–well-crafted, humourous, leaves you wishing for more!

Hornet Flight by Ken Follett (Submitted by Denise Rackus.)

Hornet Flight is a fictionalized retelling of actual events. It is June 1941 and the war is not going well for England. Across the North Sea, 18-year-old Harald Olufsen takes a shortcut on the German-occupied Danish island of Sande and discovers an astonishing sight that will change the momentum of the war. He must get word to England–except that he has no way to get there. He has only an old derelict Hornet Moth biplane rusting away in a ruined church–a plane so decrepit that it is unlikely ever to get off the ground . . . even if Harald knew how to fly it.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (Submitted by Peter Ross.)

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door. Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

When The Body Says No – The Cost of Hidden Stress by Dr. Gabor Maté (Submitted by Allan Martel.)

A compassionate and compelling detailed examination of complex physiological processes that lie behind several chronic diseases. Maté shows that emotion and stress play a powerful role in the onset of breast cancer, prostate cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and many others. Illness can be seen as the body’s way of saying no to what the mind cannot or will not acknowledge. Dr. Maté demystifies medical science and empowers us all to be our own health advocates. Available now in the Cardinal Glen mini-library.

Bytown 1847: Elizabeth Bruyere and the Irish Famine refugees by Michael McBane (Submitted by Helen Zettel.)

Seven years ago, local author and researcher Michael McBane began researching Mother Élisabeth Bruyère. When he began his work, he had no idea how relevant her story of providing health care in an epidemic in 1847 would become today.
His new book, Bytown 1847: Élisabeth Bruyère & the Irish Famine refugees, highlights an incredible moment in Ottawa’s history and, of course, recounts a year in the life of Mother Élisabeth Bruyère.

Father Rick Roamin’ Catholic by Rick Prashaw (Submitted by Bob Zettel.)

As a boy, he played a priest saying Mass. Fast forward to the ’70s–long hair and rock-n-roll, a time for enjoying a new freedom as a budding young journalist at the Vancouver Sun. But after a chance trip to Seattle to visit family at a rectory, his life changed in an instant.

Because when God calls, you answer. Father Rick thrived in the Second Vatican Council Reformation. He helped build communities and opened minds and hearts through his humour, passion, and understanding. Eleven years passed, and Father Rick began to feel the familiar pull of change. Love finds a way. He could no longer deny his new calling—husband to Suzanne and Dad to an irascible Adam who would lead him to forever love.

Father Rick, Roamin’ Catholic is an eye-opening memoir shining a light on faith, religion, and the little-known life of priests. There is joy and mischief in the stories Rick tells a niece in Toronto.