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Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady."

WATCH LIST: January 2012

Have you read or watched any of these new releases? Would you recommend them to others? Share your comments with us.

By Observer Staff

The Iron Lady
Directed by Phyllida Lloyd, starring Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent (Pathé/Film4/UK Film Council)

In a role that is already creating Oscar buzz, Meryl Streep stars as Margaret Thatcher, the first and only female prime minister of the United Kingdom. The Iron Lady follows Thatcher’s rise to power and her fight for control in a male-dominated political world. The film also examines the personal life behind the political figure.  Wide release Jan. 13

A New Leaf: Growing with My Garden
By Merilyn Simonds (Anchor Canada)

In the paperback release of her most recent work of non-fiction, Merilyn Simonds traces a year of growing seasons at the Leaf, her acreage in eastern Ontario. As she works with both the soil and her soul, her revelations range from flowers that keep time to the strange gift of compost, and from the world’s great gardens to things lost and found underground. Jan. 3

Be the Miracle: 50 Lessons for Making the Impossible Possible
By Regina Brett (Grand Central Publishing)

Drawing from the stories she gathered over her 24 years as a journalist, Regina Brett shares lessons that will help people make a difference in the world in this collection of inspirational essays. Her upbeat, positive lessons range from “Do your best and forget the rest” to “Sometimes it’s enough to make one person happy.”  Jan. 6

By Kim Thúy, translated by Sheila Fischman (Random House Canada)

The English translation of the novel that won the 2010 Governor General’s Literary Award for French-language fiction, Ru is the story of a journey. It follows a young girl from her palatial residence in Saigon to a crowded Malaysian refugee camp, and on to her new life as the mother of an autistic son in Quebec. The book celebrates life and its moments of beauty and brutality.  Jan. 17

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