What We're Reading 

Hidden gems, hot favourites, slow burners and the odd guest columnist.

May 2018

 - Tuesday, May 15, 2018
A Gentleman in Moscow,  Amor Towles. Set in Moscow from the early 1900’s the story spans decades drawing the reader through the political upheavals of Russia. Count Alexander Rostov, recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt is an unrepentant aristocrat who has just been sentenced to house arrest indefinitely. His crime—to be born into a family of independent means and a life of leisure. As the Count adjusts to his new life in the hotel Metropol, no longer in his comfortable, elegant and spacious suite on the third floor, his new home is now a small attic room with just one small window, barely high enough for the Count to stand upright. But instead of his world shrinking and diminishing it becomes rich and expansive—as the years tick by the Count  forms deep and lasting friendships within the Hotel Metropol, accepting his changing circumstances, rising to the daily challenges and never losing hope or his optimism for mankind and the good of the world. This is truly an extraordinary novel—a pure joy to read - Stef 

 I picked up King Zeno by Nathaniel Rich after a chat one of our customers who had ordered the book after reading a glowing review in the New York Review. I was just about to have a week off, and King Zeno sounded like a good book to take with me. Nathaniel Rich weaves a story around New Orleans in 1918—about music, corruption, soldiers returning from the war in Europe, what the war has done to them and the Spanish Flu that has come to New Orleans with them. It is also story about murder, but its not a crime novel. Some of Rich’s best writing is in his description of the digging of a new canal, and his writing about the emergence of Jazz makes you feel like you’re there. King Zeno is multi-layered with each layer adding to a turbulent tale that’s about many things—but in which New Orleans as a character looms large. Highly recommended.  - John