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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by
This heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II. In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan's forgotten campaign in Manchuria. Gripping, prophetic, suffused with comedy and menace, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force.
Ms. Alexis' top three favourite books of all time: Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov, Crime and Punishment - Dostoyevsky The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murikami.
The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets by
Mr. Mitruk recommends The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets. You may have watched hundreds of episodes of The Simpsons (and its sister show Futurama) without ever realizing that cleverly embedded in many plots are subtle references to mathematics, ranging from well-known equations to cutting-edge theorems and conjectures.
Written As I Remember It by
Long before vacationers discovered BC's Sunshine Coast, the Sliammon, a Coast Salish people, called the region home. In this remarkable book, Sliammon Elder Elsie Paul collaborates with a scholar, Paige Raibmon, and her granddaughter, Harmony Johnson, to tell her life story and the history of her people, in her own words and storytelling style. Raised by her grandparents who took her on their seasonal travels, Paul spent most of her childhood learning Sliammon ways, teachings, and stories and is one of the last surviving mother-tongue speakers of the Sliammon language. She shares this traditional knowledge with future generations in Written as I Remember It.
The Math Olympian by
Bethany MacDonald has trained six long years for this moment. She'll try to solve five questions in three hours, for one improbable dream: the dream of representing her country, and becoming a Math Olympian. As a small-town girl in Nova Scotia bullied for liking numbers more than boys, and lacking the encouragement of her unsupportive single mother who frowns at her daughter's unrealistic ambition, Bethany's road to the International Math Olympiad has been marked by numerous challenges. Through persistence, perseverance, and the support of innovative mentors who inspire her with a love of learning, Bethany confronts these challenges and develops the creativity and confidence to reach her potential. In training to become a world-champion "mathlete", Bethany discovers the heart of mathematics - a subject that's not about memorizing formulas, but rather about problem-solving and detecting patterns to uncover truth, as well as learning how to apply the deep and unexpected connections of mathematics to every aspect of her life, including athletics, spirituality, and environmental sustainability. As Bethany reflects on her long journey and envisions her exciting future, she realizes that she has shattered the misguided stereotype that only boys can excel in math, and discovers a sense of purpose that through mathematics, she can and she will make an extraordinary contribution to society.
Norwegian Wood by
Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others. A poignant story of one college student's romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man's first, hopeless, and heroic love.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by
At a café table in Lahore, a bearded Pakistani man converses with an uneasy American stranger. As dusk deepens to night, he begins the tale that has brought them to this fateful encounter . . . Changez is living an immigrant’s dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by an elite valuation firm. He thrives on the energy of New York, and his budding romance with elegant, beautiful Erica promises entry into Manhattan society at the same exalted level once occupied by his own family back in Lahore. But in the wake of September 11, Changez finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned, and his relationship with Erica shifting. And Changez’s own identity is in seismic shift as well, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and maybe even love.
Best Summer Reads
Ms. Alexis and Ms. Turner both liked...
The Time Traveler's Wife by
This is the story of Henry and Clare, who have known eachother since Clare was 6 and Henry was 36 and were married when Clare was 20 and Henry 28. This is possible only because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he flashes to other points in time.
Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by
Nathaniel Branden's book is the culmination of a lifetime of clinical practice and study, already hailed in its hardcover edition as a classic and the most significant work on the topic. Immense in scope and vision and filled with insight into human motivation and behavior, "The Six Pillars Of Self-Esteem" is essential reading for anyone with a personal or professional interest in self-esteem. The book demonstrates compellingly why self-esteem is basic to psychological health, achievement, personal happiness, and positive relationships. Branden introduces the six pillars-six action-based practices for daily living that provide the foundation for self-esteem-and explores the central importance of self-esteem in five areas: the workplace, parenting, education, psychotherapy, and the culture at large. The work provides concrete guidelines for teachers, parents, managers, and therapists who are responsible for developing the self-esteem of others. And it shows why-in today's chaotic and competitive world-self-esteem is fundamental to our personal and professional power.
Gone Girl by
Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller. Mrs. Workman had read it twice because she was sure she had missed some things the first time around.
Mrs. Workman also enjoys Guy Gavriel Kay and Ann McDonald.