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Our May Author of the Month: VACLAV SMIL

Friday, Apr 29, 2022 at 11:01am

Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. He is the author of over forty books on topics including energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment, and public policy. No other living scientist has had more books (on a wide variety of topics) reviewed in Nature. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, in 2010 he was named by Foreign Policy as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers and is cited by Bill Gates as his favorite author.

We have never had so much information at our fingertips and yet most of us don’t know how the world really works. Smil’s new book, How the World Really Works: The Science Behind How We Got Here and Where We’re Going, explains seven of the most fundamental realities governing our survival and prosperity. From energy and food production, through our material world and its globalization, to risks, our environment and its future, this book offers a much-needed reality check — because before we can tackle problems effectively, we must understand the facts.

Ultimately, Smil answers the most profound question of our age: are we irrevocably doomed or is a brighter utopia ahead? Compelling, data-rich and revisionist, this wonderfully broad, interdisciplinary guide finds faults with both extremes. Looking at the world through this quantitative lens reveals hidden truths that change the way we see our past, present and uncertain future. An essential analysis of the modern science and technology that makes our twenty-first century lives possible — a scientist’s investigation into what science really does, and does not, accomplish.

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month

Our April Author of the Month: EMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2022 at 1:30pm

Emily St. John Mandel's  previous novels include The Glass Hotel and Station Eleven, which was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, has been translated into thirty-five languages, and is the basis for the HBO Max series by the same name.

The award-winning, best-selling author returns with Sea of Tranquility, a novel of art, time, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon five hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space.

Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal — an experience that shocks him to his core.

Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty.Within the text of Olive’s best-selling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.

When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month

Our March Author of the Month: ANNE TYLER

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2022 at 1:28pm

ANNE TYLER was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is the author of more than twenty novels. Her twentieth novel, A Spool of Blue Thread, was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2015. Her eleventh novel, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1989. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

French Braid is a major new novel from the beloved Pulitzer Prize–winning author — a freshly observed, funny, joyful, brilliantly perceptive journey deep into one family’s foibles, from the 1950s up to our pandemic present.

The Garretts take their first and last family vacation in the summer of 1959. They hardly ever venture beyond Baltimore, but in some ways they have never been farther apart. Full of heartbreak and hilarity, French Braid is classic Anne Tyler: a stirring, uncannily insightful novel of tremendous warmth and humour that illuminates the kindnesses and cruelties of our daily lives, the impossibility of breaking free from those who love us, and how close — yet how unknowable — every family is to itself.

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month

Our February Author of the Month: LOUISA MORGAN

Saturday, Jan 29, 2022 at 1:57pm

Louisa Morgan is a pseudonym for award-winning author Louise Marley. She lives in the Pacific Northwest where she and her Border Terrier, Oscar, ramble the beaches and paths of Washington state. A Secret History of Witches was her first book under this pseudonym, followed by The Witch’s Kind, and The Age of Witches.

The Great Witch of Brittany returns to the world of A Secret History of Witches with the bewitching tale of Ursule Orchière and her discovery of magical abilities that will not only change the course of her life but every generation that comes after her.

There hasn’t been a witch born in the Orchière clan for generations. According to the elders, that line is dead, leaving the clan vulnerable to the whims of superstitious villagers and the prejudices of fear mongering bishops. Ursule Orchière has been raised on stories of the great witches of the past. But the only magic she knows is the false spells her mother weaves over the gullible women who visit their fortune-telling caravan. Everything changes when Ursule comes of age and a spark of power flares to life. Thrilled to be chosen, she has no idea how magic will twist and shape her future. Guided by an ancient grimoire and the whispers of her ancestors, Ursule is destined to walk the same path as the great witches of old. But first, the Orchière magical lineage must survive. And danger hovers over her, whether it’s the bloodlust of the mob or the flames of the pyre.

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month

Our October Author of the Month: ELIZABETH STROUT

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 at 4:34pm

Elizabeth Strout is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Olive Kitteridge, winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Olive, Again, an Oprah’s Book Club pick; Anything Is Possible, winner of the Story Prize; My Name is Lucy Barton, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize; The Burgess Boys, named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post and NPR; Abide with Me, a national bestseller; and Amy and Isabelle, winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the International Dublin Literary Award, and the Orange Prize. Her short stories have been published in a number of magazines, including The New Yorker and O: The Oprah Magazine. Elizabeth Strout lives in New York City.

In her new novel, Oh William!, Strout explores the mysteries of marriage and the secrets we keep, as a former couple reckons with where they’ve come from — and what they’ve left behind. Lucy Barton is a writer, but her ex-husband, William, remains a hard man to read. William, she confesses, has always been a mystery to me. Another mystery is why the two have remained connected after all these years. They just are. At the heart of this story is the indomitable voice of Lucy Barton, who offers a profound, lasting reflection on the very nature of existence. “This is the way of life,” Lucy says: “the many things we do not know until it is too late.”

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month
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