- Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 10:00amGlobe & Mail Ben McNally Books and Brunch April 26, 2015
- Sunday, May 31, 2015 - 10:00amGlobe & Mail Ben McNally Books and Brunch May 31, 2015
This Just In
Interesting new titles in March
Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller
House of Anansi Press
In the tradition of Winter’s Bone and The Outlander, Our Endless Numbered Days is a powerful and mysterious debut about a father and his eight-year-old daughter who abandon their family to live alone in the forest for nine years.
In 1976 Peggy Hillcoat is eight. She spends her summer camping with her father, playing her beloved record of The Railway Children, and listening to her mother’s grand piano. But her life is about to change.
Her survivalist father, who has been stockpiling provisions to prepare for the end of the world, takes her from London to a cabin in a remote European forest. There he tells Peggy the rest of the world has disappeared. She is not seen again for another nine years.
In 1985, Peggy has returned to the family home. But what happened to her in the forest? And why — and how — has she come back now? Our Endless Numbered Days is the most unputdownable and extraordinary novel you will read this year.
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Destined to be a classic of nature writing, the story of how one woman trained a goshawk.
As a child Helen Macdonald was determined to become a falconer. She learned the arcane terminology and read all the classic books, including T. H. White’s tortured masterpiece, The Goshawk, which describes White’s struggle to train a hawk as a spiritual contest.
When her father dies and she is knocked sideways by grief, she becomes obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. She buys Mabel for £800 on a Scottish quayside and takes her home to Cambridge. Then she fills the freezer with hawk food and unplugs the phone, ready to embark on the long, strange business of trying to train this wildest of animals.
H is for Hawk is a record of a spiritual journey—an unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald’s struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk’s taming and her own untaming. At the same time, it’s a kaleidoscopic biography of the brilliant and troubled novelist T. H. White, best known for The Once and Future King. It’s a book about memory, nature and nation, and how it might be possible to try to reconcile death with life and love.
As John Vaillant’s The Tiger depicted the dangerous collision of people and nature, H is for Hawk evokes our deepest longings for something wild. With stunning language that that resonates long after the book’s conclusion, H is for Hawk is destined to be a classic of nature writing.
Quite a Good Time to be Born by David Lodge
'I drew my first breath on the 28th of January 1935, which was quite a good time for a future writer to be born in England...' The only child in a lower-middle-class London family, who got his artistic genes from his musician father and his Catholic faith from his Irish-Belgian mother, David Lodge was four when World War II began and grew to maturity through decades of great social and cultural change, giving him plenty to write about in his distinguished career.
In this memoir of his life up to the publication of his breakthrough book, Changing Places, David looks back over his childhood and youth, including his undergraduate years at University College London, where he met Mary, his future wife, in freshers' week. After National Service, and two years' postgraduate research, married at last and soon a father, he struggles to make a start as both novelist and academic, until a lucky break brings him a job at the University of Birmingham and a stimulating friendship with a colleague of similar ambition, Malcolm Bradbury. A promising career anchored on a happy marriage opens up, full of opportunities for travel, enjoyment of exciting new trends and interesting new friends, but also intertwined with unexpected setbacks and challenges, both professional and personal.
Candid, witty and insightful, illuminating both the author and his work, Quite a Good Time to be Born gives a fascinating picture of a period of transition in British society and the evolution of a writer who has become a classic in his own lifetime.
Moody Bitches by Julie Holland, M.D.
Women are leaders, breadwinners, and caregivers. We’re leaning in so much we’re about to fall over. To take the edge off, many women pop a pill, eat something sugary, have a drink, or spend mindless time online. These activities quickly become patterns that take an enormous toll on women’s bodies and natural hormonal balance.
Women are made to be moody and, according to Dr. Holland, that’s a strength—not a weakness. Our culture tells us otherwise, but when used properly, moodiness is power.
By design, our hormones ebb and flow over a twenty-eight-day cycle and wax and wane over decades of fertility. Women are naturally emotional and empathetic because of these fluctuations and our evolutionary role as caretakers. Our moods govern our reproductive cycle, but they are also a smart feedback system. They let us know when our bodies are primed to tackle different challenges and when we should be alert to developing problems.
But millions of American women are medicating away their hormones because the culture says that moodiness is a problem to be fixed. One in four American women takes a psychiatric drug, be it an antidepressant, antipsychotic, or antianxiety medication. If you add sleeping pills to the mix, the statistics become considerably higher. In major metropolitan areas, the number of medicated women doubles.
Dr. Julie Holland knows there is a better way. She’s been sharing her frank and funny wisdom with her patients for years, and in Moody Bitches, Dr. Holland offers readers insider information about the pros and cons of the drugs they’re being offered, as well as some surprising and highly effective, individual, natural therapies that can help them press the reset button in their own bodies and minds.