British Columbia Library Association

BCLA Readers Advisory Interest Group: Titles to talk about

By Tara Matsuzaki

BCLA Readers Advisory Interest Group has three titles to recommend to patrons who ask the dreaded question, “What do you have that’s good?”

The poignancy of Paul Kalanithi’s memoir When Breath Becomes Air is deeply affecting.  At age 36, nearly at the end of training as a neurosurgeon, Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. When Breath Becomes Air is his contemplation of his profession; his path not taken; his experience as a patient; and his thoughts on marriage, new fatherhood, and death.

Former University of Toronto librarian and Japanese literature translator Lynne Kutsukake is the debut author of The Translation of Love. Following their internment in a Canadian camp, 13-year-old Aya and her father are faced with the choice to move west of the Rockies or to Japan. Their decision to repatriate plunges them into the devastation of post-World War II occupied Tokyo. This is the story of mystery and of outsiders, identities in flux, redemption and healing. It is historical fiction at its best.

The Broadway musical Hamilton about America’s founding father Alexander Hamilton has become a powerful cultural phenomenon. It sells out every venue it graces, has garnered a multiplicity of awards from a Grammy to the Pulitzer Prize for drama, and now has begat a bestselling book. Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter is a history and a playbook that features tales from the life of Alexander Hamilton with commentary from the creative team and performers on the musical’s rise to fame. See also Alexander Hamilton, the biography by Ron Chernow, which was the inspiration for the musical.


Tara Matsuzaki is a librarian at the West Vancouver Memorial Library. 

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