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posted Jan 08, 2013 in Books / by Terry Pithers / 0 comments

Our Favorite Books of 2012

Joanne and Terry Share Their Favorite Book Picks of the Year

If you've attended one of our business etiquette or networking courses, you know we like to read.

Joanne’s favorite(s)

I heard Jeanette Winterson interviewed by Eleanor Wachtel on CBC radio’s Writers and Company. (one of our favorite radio interview shows)

I was so moved by her story that I had to rush out and get two of her books: Oranges are Not the Only Fruit - her memoir and Why Be Happy When You Could be Normal - a novel closely based on her life.  

why be happy when you could be normalOranges was heartbreaking because it was so raw – imagine having an adopted evangelical mother that locks you out of the house and forces you to sleep on the front porch when all you’ve done is being caught reading the classics. And it’s gets more gruesome from there. Hard to fathom that one could survive that kind of upbringing and remain sane – sort of.

Why Be Happy was tempered with humour and some characters like a school teacher that supported her love of learning. She wasn’t quite so fortunate in her own life as no mentors showed up to save her and so she saved herself. 

Two truly remarkable books and an even more remarkable woman. 2 thumbs up (actually 4 as Terry read and enjoyed them too)

Terry’s favorite(s)

(Of course if Joanne doesn't follow the instructions – "pick one book" he decided he could include 3 books by one author. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.)

I loved J.G Farrell’s The Troubles, which puts a dramatic and hThe Siege of Krishnapur umorous story about anglo Irish Hotel residents against the background of Ireland’s fight for independence in 1919. Dare I say it’s close to an Irish Downton Abbey, only with more laughter along with the pathos. (The Troubles was a PBS TV movie as well) 

Two of Farrell’s books won Booker prizes

I enjoyed it so much I read the rest of Farrell’s so called Empire Trilogy (none of which has to be read in order) They are very much 3 separate books.

The Siege of Krishnapur, dealing with the Indian Sepoy rebellion of 1857, won the Booker Prize in 1973. And I also greatly enjoyed The Singapore Grip an account of British life in Singapore before and during the WWII Japanese invasion.

What makes these 3 books so interesting and hard to put down is the human stories that reveal themselves in the history.  They are seen through the eye’s of colonialism, warts and all. Gives real insights into the events and attitudes of the times. 2 thumbs up (as Joanne didn't read them)

Posted by Terry Pithers - the Canadian business etiquette expert and book lover
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Terry Pithers

About Terry Pithers

Canadian speaker, humorist and business etiquette expert. If you are interested in booking me (Terry Pithers) for a presentation, keynote or workshop contact me or visit my conference page. Based in the Calgary / Edmonton, Alberta area of western Canada.

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