Need some last-minute gift ideas for the bookworm(s) of your family?

Bowen's librarian has you covered with these recommendations.

There is never enough time to read all the fabulous new, classic and undiscovered books at our disposal. But during the holiday season, or when you’re off relaxing in warmer climes, take a break from your busy lives and give yourself the gift of reading just for pleasure.

Some recommended titles from library staff are listed below, but ask your friends what they’ve read and loved recently or remind yourself of those classics you’ve always meant to read – this might be your chance.

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Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny

Louise Penny is Canadian mystery author whose series of books feature the kind, clever, astute detective Armand Gamache. Set in Quebec small towns and Montreal, the books can be read individually, or you can start with the first in the series (Still Life) and work your way up to this year’s Kingdom of the Blind.

Freshly Picked : a Locavore’s Love Affair with BC’s Bounty by Jane Reid

Freshly Picked is an exploration of the fascinating and plentiful harvest from B.C. farms, interspersed with surprising facts about “the sex life of corn, the checkered reputation of garlic, how beans saved mankind, and more.”  Jane Reid is a committed locavore from Whistler and will be giving a book talk on Freshly Picked at the library on March 10. A great gift for the foodies, locavores and gardeners on your list. 

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

Penelope Fitzgerald was a British author who died in 2002. Her works are still reprinted today and highly regarded by other writers and by many readers. The Bookshop topped Michael Ondaatje’s list of books he loves to re-read, and he calls it “simultaneously the funniest and saddest book I have read.” Many consider Penelope Fitzgerald to be one of the great English writers of the 20th century. 

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

And speaking of Michael Ondaatje…his latest novel Warlight, is a hidden, circumspect memory of a young boy growing up through the First World War and coming out of the war as an adult trying to piece together the unknowns of his childhood. The novel looks at the world just after a war when much of the war’s hidden machinations are still unravelling. 


And for the younger set:

The Train to Impossible Places: a Cursed Delivery  by P.G. Bell

This middle-grade novel has received high praise and recommendations from many children’s review journals. From the jacket: “A train that travels through impossible places. A boy trapped in a snow globe and a girl who’s about to go on the adventure of a lifetime.” Humour laced with irony, unforgettable characters and a rollicking adventure. 

First Light, First Life: a Worldwide Creation Story by Paul Fleischman

A wonderful picture book looking at the similarities between various creation stories from around the world, but woven into a single narrative. A celebration of the diversity and the intertwining of many cultures and beliefs, visually connected with beautiful illustrations. 

A Wrinkle in Time  Graphic novel edition adapted and illustrated by Hope Larson

While not everyone wants a novel to be fully illustrated or made into a movie, new adaptations of books like Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time can introduce classics to an entirely new audience. This adaptation stays true to the original story while presenting a fresh take for today’s readers. Many classics, for kids and adults, are being redone as graphic novels, and the format offers a new view for those re-reading and for those picking it up for the first time.

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