New Releases- Nov 7, 2017

November 7, 2017

 Hardcover

It Can’t Last Forever: The 19th Battalion and the Canadian Corps in the First World War
by David Campbell
Wilfrid Laurier University Press  $49.99
History
Canadian / Hamilton content

The 19th Battalion (which included members of Hamilton’s Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders) was an infantry unit that fought in many of the deadliest battles of the First World War. Hailing from Hamilton, Toronto, and other communities in southern Ontario and beyond, its members were ordinary men facing extraordinary challenges at the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, Amiens, and other battlefields on Europe’s Western Front.

Through his examination of official records and personal accounts, the author presents vivid descriptions and assessments of the rigours of training, the strains of trench warfare, the horrors of battle, and the camaraderie of life behind the front lines. From mobilization in 1914 to the return home in 1919, Campbell reveals the unique experiences of the battalion’s officers and men and situates their service within the broader context of the battalion’s parent formations—the 4th Infantry Brigade and the 2nd Division of the Canadian Corps. Readers will gain a fuller appreciation of the internal dynamics of an infantry battalion and how it functioned within the larger picture of Canadian operations.

 

Mrs Osmond
by John Banville
Knopf  $36.95
Fiction

From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea, a dazzling and audacious new novel that extends the story of Isabel Archer, the heroine of Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady, into unexpected territory.

Isabel Archer is a young American woman, swept off to Europe in the late nineteenth century by an aunt who hopes to round out the impetuous but naïve girl’s experience of the world.

When Isabel comes into a large, unexpected inheritance, she is finagled into a marriage with the charming, penniless, and—as Isabel finds out too late—cruel and deceitful Gilbert Osmond, whose connection to a certain Madame Merle is suspiciously intimate. On a trip to England to visit her cousin Ralph Touchett on his deathbed, Isabel is offered a chance to free herself from the marriage, but nonetheless chooses to return to Italy.

Banville follows James’s story line to this point, but Mrs. Osmond is thoroughly Banville’s own: the narrative inventiveness; the lyrical precision and surprise of his language; the layers of emotional and psychological intensity; the subtle, dark humor. And when Isabel arrives in Italy—along with someone else!—the novel takes off in directions that James himself would be thrilled to follow.

 

Travellers Through Empire: Indigenous Voyage from Early Canada
by Cecilia Morgan
McGill Queens University Press   $39.95
History / Indigenous Studies

In the late eighteenth century and throughout the nineteenth century, an unprecedented number of Indigenous people – especially Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabeg, and Cree – travelled to Britain and other parts of the world. Who were these transatlantic travellers, where were they going, and what were they hoping to find?

Travellers through Empire unearths the stories of Indigenous peoples including Mississauga Methodist missionary and Ojibwa chief Reverend Peter Jones, the Scots-Cherokee officer and interpreter John Norton, Catherine Sutton, a Mississauga woman who advocated for her people with Queen Victoria, E. Pauline Johnson, the Mohawk poet and performer, and many others. Cecilia Morgan retraces their voyages from Ontario and the northwest fur trade and details their efforts overseas, which included political negotiations with the Crown, raising funds for missionary work, receiving an education, giving readings and performances, and teaching international audiences about Indigenous cultures. As they travelled, these remarkable individuals forged new families and friendships and left behind newspaper interviews, travelogues, letters, and diaries that provide insights into their cross-cultural encounters.

Chronicling the emotional ties, contexts, and desires for agency, resistance, and negotiation that determined their diverse experiences, Travellers through Empire provides surprising vantage points on First Nations travels and representations in the heart of the British Empire.

 

When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife
by Meena Kandasamy
Atlantic Books  $24.95
Fiction

Seduced by politics and poetry, the unnamed narrator falls in love with a university professor and agrees to be his wife, but what for her is a contract of love is for him a contract of ownership. As he sets about reducing her to his idealized version of a kept woman, bullying her out of her life as an academic and writer in the process, she attempts to push back—a resistance he resolves to break with violence and rape.
Smart, fierce and courageous, When I Hit You is a dissection of what love meant, means and will come to mean when trust is undermined by violence; a brilliant, throat-tightening feminist discourse on battered faces and bruised male egos; and a scathing portrait of traditional wedlock in modern India.

 

Sculpture in Canada: A History
Maria Tippett
Douglas & McIntyre  $39.95
Art
Canadian

Found in public spaces and parks, art galleries and university buildings, along riverbanks as well as in city squares, private gardens and even underwater, Canadian sculpture encompasses a range of materials and styles from traditional bone and bronze to postmodern multimedia installations. As this book demonstrates, artistic intentions among the nation’s sculptors, whether political, social, theoretical or aesthetic, are as diverse as Canada itself.

The distinguished cultural historian Maria Tippett begins this richly illustrated study of Canadian sculpture in 13,000 BCE by examining a handcrafted shard found in the Bluefish Caves of the Yukon and proceeds to consider Inuit and First Nations sculptural practices alongside those of Euro-Canadians. Dr. Tippett begins with traditional forms such as totem poles and liturgical carvings before moving along to the landmark EXPO 67 exhibition and other significant events, concluding with the postmodern artists who, with “a relentless striving for the new” work within new technological realms such as 3D modelling and virtual reality spaces.

Dr. Tippett’s survey evinces an avid interest in the logistics of sculpture, exploring the ways in which the medium demands more space, time, money and material to produce and exhibit than disciplines like drawing and painting. The result is that in Canadian sculpture, more than in other artistic practices, complex social, economic and cultural forces have interacted with the pure inspiration of artists in their studios.

Sculpture in Canada is a groundbreaking work that will have a profound impact in introducing readers to the underappreciated wealth of this most public of Canadian arts

Young Adult

This Mortal Coil
by Emily Suvada
Simon Pulse   $25.99
Fiction   Ages 14+

In this gripping debut novel, seventeen-year-old Cat must use her gene-hacking skills to decode her late father’s message concealing a vaccine to a horrifying plague.

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.

That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.

When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself.

 

Young Reader:

Slug Days
by Sarah Leach, Illustrated by Rebecca Bender
Pajama Press   $17.95
Fiction  Ages 7-10
Canadian

On slug days Lauren feels slow and slimy. She feels like everyone yells at her, and that she has no friends. Today there is a different bus driver; Dan and Sachi are sitting in Lauren’s seat on the bus; and Lauren’s teacher interrupts her reading time. It is definitely a slug day. But not every day is like this. On butterfly days Lauren makes her classmates laugh, or goes to get ice cream, or works on a special project with Mom.

Lauren has Autism Spectrum Disorder (an umbrella term that has included Asperger Syndrome since 2013), and she sees the world differently from many people. Sometimes this can be frustrating and makes Lauren want to flip her lid, especially at school where she learns differently from her classmates. But with support and stubbornness and a flair that’s all her own, Lauren masters tricks to stay calm, to understand others’ feelings, and to let her personality shine. She even manages to find common ground with her sticky, slobbery baby sister. Best of all, it is being different that gives Lauren insight into the insecurities of the new student, Irma.

Award-winning author Sara Leach writes Lauren’s endearing story with empathy and humor, and sends her flying off like a butterfly into a new chapter of life with a new friend

Children:

Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth
by Nicola Davies, Illustrated by Emily Sutton
Candlewick  $21.99
Science / Nature  Ages 4-8

After magnifying the beauty of unseen organisms in Tiny Creatures, Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton turn their talents to the vast variety of life on Earth.

The more we study the world around us, the more living things we discover every day. The planet is full of millions of species of plants, birds, animals, and microbes, and every single one — including us — is part of a big, beautiful, complicated pattern. When humans interfere with parts of the pattern, by polluting the air and oceans, taking too much from the sea, and cutting down too many forests, animals and plants begin to disappear. What sort of world would it be if it went from having many types of living things to having just one?

In a beautiful follow-up, the creators of the award-winning Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes deliver an inspiring look at the extraordinary diversity of Earth’s inhabitants — and the importance of their preservation.

Paperback:

 

Wherever We Mean to Be: Selected Poems 1975-2015
by Robyn Sarah
Biblioasis  $19.95
Poetry
Canadian

Spanning forty years and ten previously published collections, Wherever We Mean to Be is the first substantial selection of Robyn Sarah’s poems in twenty-five years. This new volume showcases the versatility of a poet who moves easily between free verse, traditional forms, and prose poems. Familiar favourites are here, along with lesser-known poems that collectively illuminate and round out a retrospective of the thematic and formal concerns that have characterized Robyn Sarah’s poetry from the start.

Warm, direct, and intimate, accessible even at their most enigmatic, seemingly effortless in their musicality, her poems are a meditation on the passage of time, transience, and mortality. Natural and seasonal cycles are a backdrop to human hopes and longings, to the mystery and grace to be found in ordinary moments, and the pleasures, sorrows, and puzzlements of being human in the world.

 

Is This the End of the Liberal International Order?
The Monk Debate on Geopolitics

by Niall Ferguson vs Fareed Zakaria
House of Anansi  $14.95
Political Science
Canadian

Be it resolved, the liberal international order is over…

Since the end of World War II, global affairs have been shaped by three broad trends: the increasing free movement of people and goods, international rules setting, and a broad appreciation of the mutual benefits of a more interconnected, interdependent world. Together these factors defined the liberal international order and sustained an era of rising global prosperity and declining international conflict. But is this order now being supplanted by a new global reality; one defined by the assertion of national borders, national interests and protectionist trade polices? More fundamentally, is liberal internationalism a historical aberration; the product of a unique set of forces that are now in retreat? Or, can it survive these challenges and remain the defining rules-based system of the future?

The twentieth semi-annual Munk Debate, held on April 28th, 2017, pits prominent historian Niall Ferguson against CNN’s Fareed Zakaria to debate the future of liberal internationalism.

 

Munich
by Robert Harris
Random House of Canada   $24.95
Fiction

Following the success of Conclave comes Robert Harris’s new novel, bound for bestseller-dom as he returns to the historical terrain of his best-known book, Fatherland.

September 1938. Hitler is determined to start a war. Chamberlain is desperate to preserve the peace.

The issue is to be decided in a city that will forever afterwards be notorious for what takes place there. Munich.

As Chamberlain’s plane judders across the Channel and the Fürher’s train steams relentlessly south from Berlin, two young men travel with secrets of their own. Hugh Legat is one of Chamberlain’s private secretaries, Paul Hartmann a German diplomat and member of the anti-Hitler resistance. Great friends at Oxford before Hitler came to power, they haven’t seen one another since they were last in Munich together six years earlier. Now, as the future of Europe hangs in the balance, their paths are destined to cross again.

When the stakes are this high, who are you willing to betray? Your friends, your family, your country or your conscience?

 

Save

Save