Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Journey to the Heart of Making - David Esterly

Usually when I read non-fiction I read a novel in between sections - I seem to need a break from it. With this book I just had to keep turning the pages. David Esterly took on a contract in the 1980s to replace a fantastically detailed 17th century Grinling Gibbons limewood carving destroyed by a fire in Hampton Court Palace. You would think that a book about woodcarving would be boring to someone who knows nothing about it - but along with talk about chisels and wood Esterly shares what he learned over the years about the passion for creating and the commitment to be true to the past. A beautifully written book by a man who balances the intellectual and the physical by working always from his heart.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fall from Grace
-Wayne Arthurson

A promising debut novel introducing formerly down and out reporter Leo Desrochers at an Edmonton has him inadvertently thrust into solving the murder of an aboriginal prostitute whose body is found abandoned in a field outside the city. Leo battles gambling addiction demons, tries to re-establish a connection with his children, and begins to acknowledge the Cree side of his heritage during the novel. The middle of the novel drags a bit and the solving of the crime seems a bit sudden... but Leo is a great character and I am chalking those negatives up to Arthurson being a first-timer in the mystery game. Looking forward to reading the second in the series.