Book Nook – Free Book Exchange

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Date(s) - 13/01/2021 - 16/06/2021
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In this time of pandemic, reading has become more than ever a nourishing activity, connecting us to worlds and emotions beyond our living rooms.

With Board approval, I am launching an experiment in sharing our favorite books.

Below is a list of members’ books on offer at no cost.  If you’d like to like to acquire a book, please just write it in the Comment section below.  I’ll send your request to the book’s owner and they will contact you about pick up or drop off. It’s first come, first served so I’ll drop a title from the list as soon as it is requested by someone.

If you have a favorite book you’d like to pass on to the community, as a LOAN or a GIFT, just write its title, author and a sentence or two summary in the Comment section below, and I will add your offer to the TOP of the list. Please let me know of you are gifting the book or simply lending it.

Defiance by Nechama Tec 1993 [NON-FICTION]  A decade ago, I saw a stirring film called Defiance starring Daniel Craig about Tuvia Bielski who led the largest armed rescue of Jews by Jews during WW2.  In the book which inspired the film, we discover how Tuvia and his two brothers built a Jewish partisan unit against all odds, facing German patrols, the ambient antisemitism among many of the local peasants, the skepticism of other Communist partisan units and the struggle of largely city-dwelling Jews to adapt to the forest.  Under Tuvia’s leadership, the unit eventually set up a community of over 1200 souls of all ages deep in the forests of what is now Belarus. (Christopher Thomson)

Roughing it in the Bush, or Forest Life in Canada by Susanna Moodie 2011 [MEMOIR] First published in 1852, it chronicles [Moodie’s] first 7 years of struggles, adventures and reflections as settlers in the region now known as Ontario. She and her husband came to Canada from England in 1831. … It is not an “easy read”, and her language and reflections are seen now as offensive and judgmental at times, but it definitely immersed me into the unvarnished daily challenges such families faced to survive as early European settlers. (Sheila Laursen) [LOAN]

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr 2014 [Pulitzer Prize 2015] The story is about a blind French girl (Marie-Laure) and a German boy (Werner) whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. It alternates between multiple perspectives but mainly we read it from their point of views. … an epic work of historical fiction. (

Death Comes for the Fat Man by Reginald Hill 2007 [Dalziel and Pascoe Mystery] The title … establishes the fear that the author, with the help of some terrorist bombers, will kill off Andrew Dalziel, the gargantuan eminence of the Mid-Yorkshire CID. Hill … produces a work as richly satisfying as steak-and-kidney pudding. (Kirkus Review)

The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny 2015 [Chief Inspector Gamache is] … pulled out of retirement after a murder is committed right in his adopted hometown, the bucolic Eastern Townships village of Three Pines. The victim is nine-year- old Laurent Lepage, an active kid with a hyperactive imagination. (Montréal Review of Books)

Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin 2016 [Inspector Rebus] Superbly told, impossible to put down, and laced with Rankin’s unmistakeable laconic wit it precisely underlines the treasure that Rebus has become. (Daily Mail)  Though it moves at pace, what makes this tale so satisfying is that its protagonists have had time to develop. Rebus’s input serves to highlight the benefits of age, experience and keeping a sense of community. (Guardian)

The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor by Sally Armstrong 2008 [NON-FICTION]  Based on a true story of an English woman who came to the Miramichi in the late 1700s – where, as one of the first white women in that vast area, she endured the many hardships of clearing land, cruel winters, epidemics – all the time producing nine children and catering to them. She befriended the Mi’kmaq Indians who showed her how to store food for the long winters and taught her their herbal-medicine arts. …  It’s a very readable book on the lives of those brave pioneers who came to the wilds of Canada to settle the land – and unfortunately, unsettle the local indigenous tribes. (Heather, reviewing Sheila’s book) [LOAN]

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer  2020 [NON-FICTION]  It is all of that. I also found it brought me a sense of peace, and hope that we can learn, and change, so we will be able heal ourselves – and our wounded planet. (Sheila Laursen) [LOAN]

Forever Terry: A Legacy in Letters edited by Darrell Fox 2020 [NON-FICTION] [A collection] of 40 letters written by celebrated Canadians who pay tribute to Terry’s legacy. … It is 40 years since Terry Fox … pledged to run across the country to the Pacific Ocean in an effort to raise money for cancer. … [But he] was forced to end his quest at Thunder Bay, Ontario. His Marathon of Hope lived on and today $800 million has been raised in his name. (Heather Falconer) [LOAN]

Good reading!

  • Christopher Thomson, 2021-01-12

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