New Releases- October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017

New books come into the store every weekday.
Hardcovers; paperbacks; books for adults, teens, young readers and children;
fiction; non-fiction; poetry; and more. View a small sampling of the latest additions.

Hardcover

Brother
by David Chariandy
McClelland & Stewart  $25.00
Fiction
Canadian

Longlisted for the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize
Shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize

The long-awaited second novel from David Chariandy, whose debut, Soucouyant, was nominated for nearly every major literary prize in Canada and published internationally.

An intensely beautiful, searingly powerful, tightly constructed novel, Brother explores questions of masculinity, family, race, and identity as they are played out in a Scarborough housing complex during the sweltering heat and simmering violence of the summer of 1991.

With shimmering prose and mesmerizing precision, David Chariandy takes us inside the lives of Michael and Francis. They are the sons of Trinidadian immigrants, their father has disappeared and their mother works double, sometimes triple shifts so her boys might fulfill the elusive promise of their adopted home.

Coming of age in The Park, a cluster of town houses and leaning concrete towers in the disparaged outskirts of a sprawling city, Michael and Francis battle against the careless prejudices and low expectations that confront them as young men of black and brown ancestry — teachers stream them into general classes; shopkeepers see them only as thieves; and strangers quicken their pace when the brothers are behind them. Always Michael and Francis escape into the cool air of the Rouge Valley, a scar of green wilderness that cuts through their neighbourhood, where they are free to imagine better lives for themselves.

Propelled by the pulsing beats and styles of hip hop, Francis, the older of the two brothers, dreams of a future in music. Michael’s dreams are of Aisha, the smartest girl in their high school whose own eyes are firmly set on a life elsewhere. But the bright hopes of all three are violently, irrevocably thwarted by a tragic shooting, and the police crackdown and suffocating suspicion that follow.

With devastating emotional force David Chariandy, a unique and exciting voice in Canadian literature, crafts a heartbreaking and timely story about the profound love that exists between brothers and the senseless loss of lives cut short with the shot of a gun.

Please join us on Tuesday, October 24th to hear David Chariandy in conversation with Lawrence Hill. See our events page for details.

 

The Patch: The People, Pipelines, and Politics of the Oil Sands
by Chris Turner
Simon & Schuster  $34.99
Political Science / Geopolitics
Canadian

Bestselling author Chris Turner brings readers onto the streets of Fort McMurray, showing the myriad ways the oil sands impact our lives and demanding that we ask the question: To both fuel the world and to save it, what do we do about the Patch?

The Patch is the story of Fort McMurray and the oil sands in northern Alberta, the world’s second largest proven reserve of oil. But this is no conventional story about the oil business. Rather, it is a portrait of the life cycle of the Patch, showing just how deeply it continues to impact the lives of everyone around the world.

In its heyday, the oil sands represented an industrial triumph and the culmination of a century of innovation, experiment, engineering, policy, and finance. Fort McMurray was a boomtown, the centre of a new gold rush, and the oil sands were reshaping the global energy, political, and financial landscapes. But in 2008, a new narrative emerged. As financial markets collapsed and the cold, hard, scientific reality of the Patch’s effect on the environment became clear, the region turned into a boogeyman and a lightning rod for the global movement combating climate change. Suddenly, the streets of Fort McMurray were the front line of a high-stakes collision between two conflicting worldviews–one of industrial triumph and another of environmental stewardship–each backed by major players on the world stage.

The Patch is a narrative-driven account of this ongoing conflict. It follows a select group of key characters whose experiences in and with the oil sands overlap in concentric narrative arcs. Through this insightful combination of global perspective and on-the-ground action, The Patch will show how the reach of the oil sands extends to all of us. From Fort Mac to the Bakken shale country of North Dakota, from Houston to London, from Saudi Arabia to the shores of Brazil, the whole world is connected in this enterprise. And it demands that we ask the question: In order to both fuel the world and to save it, what do we do about the Patch?

 

Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks.
A Librarian’s Love Letters and Break Up Notes to the Books In Her Life

by Annie Spence
Flatiron Books  $27.99
Literary Criticism / Humour

A librarian’s laugh-out-loud funny, deeply moving collection of love letters and breakup notes to the books in her life.

If you love to read, you know that some books affect you so profoundly they forever change the way you think about the world. Some books, on the other hand, disappoint you so much you want to throw them against the wall. Either way, it’s clear that a book can be your new soul mate or the bad relationship you need to end.

In Dear Fahrenheit 451, librarian Annie Spence has crafted love letters and breakup notes to the iconic and eclectic books she has encountered over the years. From breaking up with The Giving Tree (a dysfunctional relationship book if ever there was one), to her love letter to The Time Traveler’s Wife (a novel less about time travel and more about the life of a marriage, with all of its ups and downs), Spence will make you think of old favorites in a new way. Filled with suggested reading lists, Spence’s take on classic and contemporary books is very much like the best of literature—sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes surprisingly poignant, and filled with universal truths.

A celebration of reading, Dear Fahrenheit 451 is for anyone who loves nothing more than curling up with a good book…and another, and another, and another!

 

Trudeau’s World: Insiders Reflect on Foreign Policy, Trade and Defence, 1968-1984
by Robert Bothwell and J.L. Granatstein
UBC Press  $45.00
History / Politics
Canadian

Pierre Trudeau and most of his contemporaries at home and abroad are now dead. This book offers critical reflections on Canadian foreign, trade, and defence policies from interviews with most of the key policy makers, diplomats, and military officers in the Trudeau government and of that era.

Conducted more than three decades ago, the interviews are informative and revealingly frank. There is much on the enormous difficulties in dealing with the United States, Europe, NATO, the Soviet Union, and Communist China in the era dominated by the Cold War. There are also varied personal insights into Trudeau himself, including a lengthy conversation with the authors. That Trudeau was a man of great “esprit,” who seemed destined to change Canadian policy in a dramatic fashion, is commonly voiced throughout the interviews. But he was also a man who embodied contradiction and, over time as his interests fluctuated, many of his foreign policies reverted towards the norm. In the end, patriating the Constitution from the United Kingdom, covered in detail here, remains his legacy in a way that his foreign and defence policies do not.

A unique resource, Trudeau’s World adds immeasurably to our understanding of the Trudeau era. It also has much to tell us about Canada and the world from 1968 to 1984.

The Serendipity Foundation
by Sam Smit
Random House UK  $27.99
Fiction

The Serendipity Foundation demands anarchy over apathy. They deal in terrorism with a social conscience. And they’re going to make the British government play along.

When four British citizens are kidnapped in Cairo, they soon realize this is no ordinary hostage situation: the accommodation is three star and the menu à la carte. Without the deep regrets and thwarted ambitions of their lives back home, they soon come to view their kidnapping as a welcome escape.

They are the captives of the Serendipity Foundation, a tiny collective with a millennium-old prophecy to fulfill and a rather redeeming quality: they only demand ransoms that people would want to give.

As the ransom demands begin, the British government has no choice but to play along… can they really allow four men to die because parliament refuses to conduct Prime Minister’s Questions in Haiku? As the threats and demands escalate, so does the tension, until they challenge the very foundations and assumptions of the media, industry and society.

The Serendipity Foundation, bursting with the satirical deftness of a Douglas Coupland and the subversive intensity of an Owen Jones, is a thrilling yet endearing satirical novel for the new political generation that will make us question why we settle for a lesser world when we have the power to make it better.

Young Adult

That Inevitable Victorian Thing
by E.K. Johnston
Dutton Children’s Books   $23.99
Fiction  Ages 12+
Canadian

Speculative fiction from the acclaimed bestselling author of Exit, Pursued by a Bear and Star Wars: Ahsoka.

Victoria-Margaret is the crown princess of the empire, a direct descendant of Victoria I, the queen who changed the course of history. The imperial tradition of genetically arranged matchmaking will soon guide Margaret into a politically advantageous marriage. But before she does her duty, she’ll have one summer of freedom and privacy in a far corner of empire. Posing as a commoner in Toronto, she meets Helena Marcus, daughter of one of the empire’s greatest placement geneticists, and August Callaghan, the heir to a powerful shipping firm currently besieged by American pirates. In a summer of high-society debutante balls, politically charged tea parties, and romantic country dances, Margaret, Helena, and August discover they share an extraordinary bond and maybe a one-in-a-million chance to have what they want and to change the world in the process.

Set in a near-future world where the British Empire was preserved not by the cost of blood and theft but by the effort of repatriation and promises kept, That Inevitable Victorian Thing is a surprising, romantic, and thought-provoking story of love, duty, and the small moments that can change people and the world.

 

Young Reader:

 

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
by Katrina Yan Glaser
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  $23.99
Fiction  Ages 7-10

A modern classic in the making reminiscent of the Penderwicks series, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street is about the connections we make and the unexpected turns life can take.

The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It’s practically another member of the family. So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home.

 

Children:

If Picasso Painted a Snowman
by Amy & Greg Newbold
Tilbury House  $26.95
Fiction / Art  Ages 4-9

“If someone asked you to paint a snowman, you would probably start
with three white circles stacked one upon another. Then you would add
black dots for eyes, an orange triangle for a nose, and a black dotted

smile. But if Picasso painted a snowman….”

From that simple premise flows this delightful, whimsical, educational picture book that shows how the artist’s imagination can summon magic from a prosaic subject. Greg Newbold’s chameleon-like artistry shows us Roy Lichtenstein’s snow hero saving the day, Georgia O’Keefe’s snowman blooming in the desert, Claude Monet’s snowmen among haystacks, Grant Wood’s American Gothic snowman, Jackson

Pollock’s snowman in ten thousand splats, Salvador Dali’s snowmen dripping like melty cheese, and snowmen as they might have been rendered by J. M. W. Turner, Gustav Klimt, Paul Klee, Marc Chagall,

Georges Seurat, Pablita Velarde, Piet Mondrian, Sonia Delaunay, Jacob Lawrence, and Vincent van Gogh. Our guide for this tour is a lively hamster who—also chameleon-like—sports a Dali mustache on one spread, a Van Gogh ear bandage on the next.

“What would your snowman look like?” the book asks, and then offers a page with a picture frame for a child to fill in. Thumbnail biographies of the artists complete this highly original tour of the creative imagination that will delight adults as well as children.

Paperback:

 

Voodoo Hypothesis
by Canisia Lubrin
Wolsak & Wynn  $18.00
Poetry
Canadian

Voodoo Hypothesis is a subversion of the imperial construct of “blackness” and a rejection of the contemporary and historical systems that paint black people as inferior, through constant parallel representations of “evil” and “savagery.” Pulling from pop culture, science, pseudo-science and contemporary news stories about race, Lubrin asks: What happens if the systems of belief that give science, religion and culture their importance were actually applied to the contemporary “black experience”?

With its irreverence toward colonialism, and the related obsession with post-colonialism and anti-colonialism, and her wide-ranging lines, deftly touched with an intermingling of Caribbean Creole, English patois and baroque language, Lubrin has created a book that holds up a torch to the narratives of the ruling class, and shows us the restorative possibilities that exist in language itself.

 

Polish(ed): Poland Rooted in Canadian Fiction
edited by Kasia Jaronczyk and Małgorzata Nowaczyk
Guernica Editions  $25.00
Fiction / Anthology
Canadian

Polish(ed): Poland Rooted in Canadian Fiction is the only anthology of Polish-Canadian writing in Canada and includes many internationally acclaimed and award-winning Canadian writers.

What is the literary and cultural benefit of a diaspora anthology? It presents work from a community, a family of writers. It represents a cultural contribution to Canadian literature. It makes it known where they come from personally and metaphorically, what inspires them.

The contributors to Polish(ed) are all writers who share Polish-ness, in whatever ways they define it: as a part of their personal story, be it through similar experiences or influences; as a perspective on the world; as a sense of history and of who they are. The collection also features Canadian writers who have no Polish roots, but are interested in various aspects of Poland and Polish culture.

Join us on Wednesday, November 8th to hear contributors to the Polish(ed) collection read and discuss their work. See our events page for details.

 

Malagash
by Joey Comeau
ECW Press   $15.95
Fiction
Canadian

A precisely crafted, darkly humorous portrait of a family in mourning.

Sunday’s father is dying of cancer. They’ve come home to Malagash, on the north shore of Nova Scotia, so he can die where he grew up. Her mother and her brother are both devastated. But devastated isn’t good enough. Devastated doesn’t fix anything. Sunday has a plan.

She’s started recording everything her father says. His boring stories. His stupid jokes. Everything. She’s recording every single “I love you” right alongside every “Could we turn the heat up in here?” It’s all important.

Because Sunday is writing a computer virus. A computer virus that will live secretly on the hard drives of millions of people all over the world. A computer virus that will think her father’s thoughts and say her father’s words. She has thousands of lines of code to write. Cryptography to understand. Exploits to test. She doesn’t have time to be sad. Her father is going to live forever.