Job Title: City Councillor
Best book I read in 2011: The Master , by Colm Toiben is a brilliant, fictionalized account of the life of Henry James, the American-born author who spent most of his life in Europe. In portraying James, the apprentice may well have surpassed the master in his ability to evoke a particular time and place and to delve into the complex and contradictory motives of the human heart.
I will read any book by: Alice Munro. I’m a great fan of Canadian Literature. We have so many excellent writers, but I admire Munro for the same reasons I admire Toiben and James.
Best place to curl up with a book on a rainy day: Middle Beach Lodge, Toffino
Best place to lounge with a book in the sun: I don’t often read outside, especially if it’s sunny. I tend to drowse. Outside, I prefer to be physically active gardening or hiking.
A book I know I should read, but haven’t: There was a time I would have said James Joyce’s Ulysses, but now I would say Marcel Proust’s A le recherché du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time).
A guilty pleasure favourite: Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels are a great escape, for which I do not feel at all guilty.
The book I push on all my friends because it is soooooooo good: Every time I have given away my copy of Helen Humphreys’ The Frozen Thames, I immediately bought another. I love this book. I love its physical features: its small size, its beautiful binding, its superb illustrations. I love the original concept. It begins, “In its long history, the river Thames has frozen solid forty times. These are the stories of that frozen river.” Each chapter, identified by date, beginning with 1142 and ending with 1895, offers a vignette of a brief moment in time, when life in London was transformed dramatically by the icy grip of winter. I could go on and on, but instead I will simply say it is a rare gem.
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