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Top reads of 2021 from OPL's CEO

book titles cover

Mon, Dec 20, 2021

I am pleased to share with readers in Ottawa my top reads of 2021!  There is still at least a few weeks left in the year and more reading time between Christmas and New Year’s but these are my 2021 favourites so far:  

Four Windsby Kristin Hannah

  • This is a wonderful, wonderful book that is set during the Great Depression. The main character is so inspiring and such a person of character – her strength blew me away.   I learned a bit more about that time in history and was in awe at what people did to survive.  I clearly would not have survived and realized that I have come to enjoy modern day comforts! It’s a well written book, beautifully written in fact,  but you do need some Kleenex on hand when reading.

The Rose Codeby Kate Quinn

  • Another great read from Kate Quinn.  If you liked  The Alice Network and The Huntress you will also enjoy The Rose Code.  I found that I learned a lot about what went into trying to break military codes during the war. The book takes place in Bletchley Park but focuses on the role that women played during this time. I would encourage everyone to read the author’s notes at the end because she provides some excellent insights as to why and how her characters were selected and developed.

The Lost Girls of Parisby Pam Jenoff

  • I really enjoyed this book – a story about women who helped win the war and the courage they exhibited.  It really keeps you going, and has some elements of Kate Quinn’s The Alice Network in it as well.  I ended up reading almost all of Pam Jenoff’s books because they were just excellent. Other reads by Pam Jenoff include: The Orphan’s Tale, The Diplomat’s Wife, The Kommandant’s Girl (really good!); and The Ambassador’s Daughter. Most of these stories take place during war time but they are well done and worth the read.

Vi  by Kim Thúy

  • I really enjoyed this story and appreciated all the details shared by this author that provided insights into her life, the challenges she faced and how she adapted to a new country. Of course I truly appreciated OPL’s partnership with CULC and CBC that allowed us to offer interviews with the author which just provided even more insights into the book.

Denial by Beverley McLachlin

  • I love a good mystery where it isn’t so easy to determine who did it!  This is the second book that this famous author and our Honorary Campaign Chair has written (her first one was Full Disclosure).  The book takes place in Vancouver and involves a strong female character who is a lawyer.  I thought that I had things figured out until I realized that I didn’t! All I can say is that I really love the main character Jilly Truitt and cannot wait until another novel comes out!!

Unreconciledby Jesse Wente

  • I am currently halfway through this book and have to say that I am enjoying Jesse Wente’s story. I am learning a lot and feel that the book is increasing my appreciation for Indigeneous issues!