Cover art for The Boat People

The Boat People

208 ratings

Summary

By the winner of The Journey Prize, and inspired by a real incident, The Boat People is a gripping and morally complex novel about a group of refugees who survive a perilous ocean voyage to reach Canada - only to face the threat of deportation and accusations of terrorism in their new land. When the rusty cargo ship carrying Mahindan and 500 fellow refugees reaches the shores of British Columbia, the young father is overcome with relief: he and his six-year-old son can finally put Sri Lanka's bloody civil war behind them and begin new lives. Instead, the group is thrown into prison, with government officials and news headlines speculating that hidden among the "boat people" are members of a terrorist militia. As suspicion swirls and interrogation mounts, Mahindan fears the desperate actions he took to survive and escape Sri Lanka now jeopardize his and his son's chances for asylum. Told through the alternating perspectives of Mahindan; his lawyer Priya, who reluctantly represents the migrants; and Grace, a third-generation Japanese-Canadian adjudicator who must decide Mahindan's fate, The Boat People is a high-stakes novel that offers a deeply compassionate lens through which to view the current refugee crisis. Inspired by real events, with vivid scenes that move between the eerie beauty of northern Sri Lanka and combative refugee hearings in Vancouver, where life and death decisions are made, Sharon Bala's stunning debut is an unforgettable and necessary story for our times.

©2018 Sharon Bala (P)2018 McClelland & Stewart

Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Growing Young

Growing Young

4 ratings

Summary

National best seller A smart, research-driven case for why optimism, kindness, and strong social networks will help us live to 100. From the day her daughter was born, science journalist Marta Zaraska fretted about what she and her family were eating. She fasted, considered adopting the keto diet, and ran a half-marathon. She bought goji berries and chia seeds and ate organic food.  But then her research brought her to read countless scientific papers and to interview dozens of experts in various fields of study, including molecular biochemistry, epidemiology, and neuroscience. What Marta discovered shattered her long-held beliefs about aging and longevity. A strong support network of family and friends, she learned, lowers mortality risk by about 45 percent, while exercise only lowers it by about 23 percent. Volunteering your free time lowers it by 22 percent or so, while certain health fads like turmeric haven't been shown to help at all. These revelations led Marta Zaraska to a simple conclusion: In addition to healthy nutrition and physical activity, deepening friendships, practicing empathy, and contemplating your purpose in life can improve your lifespan.  Through 11 chapters that take her around the world, from catching wild mice in the woods of Central England to flower arranging with octogenarians in Japan, from laboratories to "hugging centres", Marta embarks on an absorbing, entertaining, and insightful journey to determine the habits that will have the greatest impact on our longevity.  Deeply researched and expertly reported, Growing Young will dramatically change the way you seek a longer, happier life.

©2020 Marta Zaraska (P)2020 Penguin Random House Canada

Narrator: Athena Karkanis
Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Unlocking Season

The Unlocking Season

2 ratings

Summary

Arthur Ellis Award-winning author Grand Master Award of Crime Writers of Canada (2018) The “queen of Canadian crime fiction” (Winnipeg Free Press) returns with a new installment in the Joanne Kilbourn series that is perfect for fans of Louise Penny, Ruth Rendell, and Peter Robinson. On a Saturday bright with harbingers of spring, Joanne Kilbourn-Shreve, her husband, Zack, and their family prepare to celebrate the season. Joanne’s life is full, and at 60, she has been given the chance to understand a part of her history that for years was shrouded in secrecy. Living Skies is producing Sisters and Strangers, a six-part TV series about the tangled relationships between the families of Douglas Ellard, the father who raised Joanne, and Desmond Love, her biological father. Joanne is working on the script with Roy Brodnitz, a brilliant writer and friend. The project’s future seems assured, but before the script is completed, Brodnitz disappears while scouting locations in Northern Saskatchewan. Hours later, he’s found - sweat-drenched, clawing at the ground, and muttering gibberish. He dies in a state of mortal terror.  Heartsick and perplexed, Joanne resolves to learn what happened in the last hours of Roy’s life. What Joanne discovers threatens Brodnitz’s legacy, and the decision about whether or not to reveal the truth is hers to make. The Unlocking Season is another deeply satisfying and thought-provoking novel from one of Canada’s finest crime writers.

©2020 Gail Bowen (P)2020 ECW Press

Narrator: Athena Karkanis
Author: Gail Bowen
Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Speak, Silence

Speak, Silence

Summary

From the internationally best-selling and Giller-shortlisted author of The Disappeared, an astounding, poetic novel about war and loss, suffering and courage, and the strength of women through it all. It’s been 11 years since Gota has seen Kosmos, yet she still finds herself fantasizing about their intimate year together in Paris. Now it’s 1999 and, working as a journalist, she hears about a film festival in Sarajevo, where she knows Kosmos will be with his theatre company. She takes the assignment to investigate the fallout of the Bosnian war - and to reconnect with the love of her life.  But when they are reunited, she finds a man, and a country, altered beyond recognition. Kosmos introduces Gota to Edina, the woman he has always loved. While Gota treads the precarious terrain of her evolving connection to Kosmos, she and Edina forge an unexpected bond. A lawyer and a force to be reckoned with, Edina exposes the sexual violence that she and thousands of others survived in the war. Before long, Gota finds her life entwined with the community of women and travels with them to The Hague to confront their abusers. The events she covers - and the stories she hears - will change her life forever.  Written in Kim Echlin’s masterfully luminescent prose, Speak, Silence weaves together the experiences of a resilient sisterhood and tells the story of the real-life trial that would come to shape history. In a heart-wrenching tale of suffering and loss and a beautiful illustration of power and love, Echlin explores what it means to speak out against the very people who would do anything to silence you.

©2021 Kim Echlin (P)2021 Hamish Hamilton

Narrator: Athena Karkanis
Author: Kim Echlin
Length: 5 hrs and 43 mins
Available on Audible