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Old 05-21-2014, 08:02 PM   #16
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As a good Canadian my favourite award is the Giller Prize. I'd like to nominate Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden, the Giller winner in 2008.

From Goodreads:
Will Bird is a legendary Cree bush pilot, now lying in a coma in a hospital in his hometown of Moose Factory, Ontario. His niece Annie Bird, beautiful and self-reliant, has returned from her own perilous journey to sit beside his bed. Broken in different ways, the two take silent communion in their unspoken kinship, and the story that unfolds is rife with heartbreak, fierce love, ancient blood feuds, mysterious disappearances, fires, plane crashes, murders, and the bonds that hold a family, and a people, together. As Will and Annie reveal their secrets-the tragic betrayal that cost Will his family, Annie's desperate search for her missing sister, the famous model Suzanne-a remarkable saga of resilience and destiny takes shape. From the dangerous bush country of upper Canada to the drug-fueled glamour of the Manhattan club scene, Joseph Boyden tracks his characters with a keen eye for the telling detail and a rare empathy for the empty places concealed within the heart. Sure to appeal to readers of Louise Erdrich and Jim Harrison, Through Black Spruce establishes Boyden as a writer of startling originality and uncommon power.

I'd also like to second The Goldfinch
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:10 PM   #17
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Second Through Black Spruce.
Third The Goldfinch.
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Old 05-22-2014, 03:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccowie View Post
I'd like to nominate Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden, the Giller winner in 2008.
I third this.

And thanks to Dazrin and pilotbob!
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Old 05-22-2014, 05:49 AM   #19
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I'll nominate Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese.

Winner of the following awards:

Code:
    Amazon's Best Books of the Year: 2009 (#16)
    Publishers Weekly's Best Books: 2009 (Fiction)
    Indies Choice Book Award (Adult Fiction, 2010)
    New York Times bestseller
From Amazon:

Quote:
A sweeping, emotionally riveting first novel—an enthralling family saga of Africa and America, doctors and patients, exile and home.
Available at libraries everywhere.*
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:07 AM   #20
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I'll give a nod to Starship Troopers as it's in my TBR list for this year.
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:05 AM   #21
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I'd like to nominate The Manual of Detection by Jedidiah Berry.
It won the 2009 Hammett Prize and the 2010 Crawford Award.

The Hammett Prize is awarded annually by the International Association of Crime Writers, North American Branch (IACW/NA).

The Crawford award is a literary award given to a writer whose first fantasy book was published during the preceding 18 months. It's one of several awards presented by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA).

Spoiler:
In a giant and rigidly bureaucratic agency, Charles Unwin is the personal clerk for legendary detective Travis Sivart. The detail-minded Unwin loves his job, but when Sivart suddenly goes missing, Unwin is unwillingly promoted to fill the vacancy. He only wants to solve one case: he wants to find Sivart so he can go back to being a clerk. In his first novel, Berry has created a wonderful and fantastic world, a vintage mystery seen through a hall of fun-house mirrors. Sivart’s cases have names like The Man Who Stole November Twelfth; a villain is the nefarious biloquist Enoch Hoffmann; chapters begin with koan-like excerpts from the Manual of Detection. Unwin’s adventures take him through rain-slicked city streets, to a dilapidated carnival run by criminals, and into the dreams of Sivart’s murdered supervisor. There are false starts and false identities, double crosses and doppelgängers—and there’s far more at stake than Unwin can imagine. Occasionally the story gets a little bit lost inside its own puzzle boxes, but this is a remarkably auspicious debut. --Keir Graff

Spoiler:
Review
Imaginative, fantastical, sometimes inexplicable, labyrinthine and ingenious...Great fun and very clever. My comparison? Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman - which is about as good as it gets --Observer

A wryly cerebral take on noir fiction...Separated conjoined twin gangsters, a duplicitous femme fatale and a nightmarish carnival owner inhabit the nocturnal, rain-soaked city where this clever, postmodern detective story is set --Financial Times

It is an elegant and stunningly imaginative fusion of detective and speculative fiction --Guardian
The plot's bursting with as many twists and surprises as you could hope for...It steams along the smooth rails of Berry's neatly constructed sentences, barrelling round each well-cambered turn with barely a judder --London Review of Books

Like Sin City, this is a noir fairytale, with the grey-scale, drizzly streets and shabby cafes contrasted by fluorescent, primary colour characters...Berry's work is reminiscent of the coolest young American novelists - Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem, Glen David Gold - in its sheer delight at how genre writing can be re-invigorated and re-imagined. The Manual of Detection makes the weird, fantastical world of the unconsciousness seem comically logical - like its subject, it is a dream. -- Scotland on Sunday


You can read the first chapter here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=104310258

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Manual-Detecti...qid=1263834367

Amazon.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Manual-D...l+of+detection

Penguin: http://www.penguin.com/book/the-manu.../9781101019962

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebo...l-of-detection
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:24 AM   #22
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I'd like to nominate another book I've had on my TBR list for a while.

The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss which won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Biography.

Spoiler:

It is the biography of General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, the mixed-race son of a French marquis and a Haitian slave, who became a swashbuckling swordsman in Paris and then a military hero of the French Revolutionary Wars, remaining the highest-ranking black military figure in a Western army until Gen. Colin Powell 200 years later. --Wikipedia

In the 1790s, the son of an aristocratic white father and a black slave woman became a charismatic French general who for a time rivaled Napoleon himself, and afterward languished in an Italian dungeon. His story inspired the novel “The Count of Monte Cristo,” written by his son, Alexandre Dumas, who also drew upon his father’s adventures in “The Three Musketeers.” Posterity remembers this son as Dumas père, to distinguish him from Alexandre Dumas fils, also a writer, whose novel “La Dame aux Camélias” was the source for Verdi’s “La Traviata.” But the general was the first of the three Alexandres (he preferred to be known as Alex), and in “The Black Count,” Tom *Reiss, the author of “The Orientalist,” has recovered this fascinating story with a richly imaginative biography. --NYT, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/bo...pagewanted=all


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Black-Count-Re...=UTF8&sr=&qid=

Amazon.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Black-Co...ds=black+count

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-black-count
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:34 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by BenG View Post
The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss
Seconded! I didn't know or even suspected that Dumas wrote about his father!
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:58 AM   #24
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I'll Third The Black Count.
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:25 PM   #25
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The Black Count looks fascinating! I want to read that one whether or not it wins. The book clubs have been invaluable to me for learning about new books.
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Old 05-23-2014, 05:13 AM   #26
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I'll second Extenuating Circumstances by Jonathan Valin
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:47 PM   #27
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Hmmm most of the award winners on my TBR list for this year are sci-fi/fantasy award winners. I think I'll nominate something different.

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga - Man Booker prize in 2008.

Quote:
Balram Halwai is the White Tiger - the smartest boy in his village. His family is too poor for him to afford for him to finish school and he has to work in a teashop, breaking coals and wiping tables. But Balram gets his break when a rich man hires him as a chauffeur, and takes him to live in Delhi. The city is a revelation. As he drives his master to shopping malls and call centres, Balram becomes increasingly aware of immense wealth and opportunity all around him, while knowing that he will never be able to gain access to that world. As Balram broods over his situation, he realizes that there is only one way he can become part of this glamorous new India - by murdering his master.
The White Tiger presents a raw and unromanticised India, both thrilling and shocking - from the desperate, almost lawless villages along the Ganges, to the booming Wild South of Bangalore and its technology and outsourcing centres. The first-person confession of a murderer, The White Tiger is as compelling for its subject matter as for the voice of its narrator - amoral, cynical, unrepentant, yet deeply endearing.
Amazon (US)
Amazon (UK)
B&N (US)
Google Play (AUS)
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:33 PM   #28
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Second The White Tiger.
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:34 PM   #29
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I nominate The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, which won the Man Booker Prize.

From Goodreads:

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life.

Now Tony is in middle age. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove.

Amazon- Australia Canada UK US
Kobo- US
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:05 PM   #30
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I have updated the summary post through post 29. I may be a little slow the next 2-3 days in updating further due to the holiday weekend, but I will try to get to it at least once a day.
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