New Releases: November 15, 2017

November 15, 2017

 Hardcover

Best Canadian Stories 2017
edited by John Metcalf
Biblioasis  $29.95
Fiction
Canadian

Now in its 47th year, Best Canadian Stories has long championed the short story form and highlighted the work of many of the writers, throughout their respective careers, who have gone on to shape the Canadian literary canon. Caroline Adderson, Margaret Atwood, Clark Blaise, Lynn Coady, Mavis Gallant, Zsuzsi Gartner, Douglas Glover, Steven Heighton, Isabel Huggan, Mark Anthony Jarman, Norman Levine, Rohinton Mistry, Alice Munro, Leon Rooke, Diane Schoemperlen, Russell Smith, Linda Svendsen, Kathleen Winter, and many others have appeared in its pages over the years and decades, making Best Canadian Stories the go-to source for what’s new in Canadian fiction writing for close to five decades.

The short story is perhaps Canada’s greatest contribution to literature, and in this edition established practitioners of the form—including Tamas Dobozy, Cynthia Flood, K.D. Miller, and Lisa Moore—are joined by powerful emerging talents—like Paige Cooper and CBC Short Story Prize winner David Huebert—in a continuation of not only a series, but a legacy in Canadian letters.

 

Wild Beauty: New and Selected Poems
by Ntozake Shange
Atria  $33.00
Poetry

From the poet, novelist, and cultural icon behind the award-winning and celebrated Broadway play, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, comes an evocative and moving bilingual collection of new and beloved poems.

In this stirring collection of more than sixty original and selected poems in both English and Spanish, Ntozake Shange shares her utterly unique, unapologetic, and deeply emotional writing that has made her one of the most iconic literary figures of our time.

With a clear, raw, and affecting voice, Shange draws from her experience as a feminist black woman in American to craft groundbreaking poetry about pain, beauty, and color. In the bestselling tradition of Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey, Wild Beauty is more than a poetry collection; it is an exquisite call to action for a new generation of women, people of color, feminists, and activists to follow in the author’s footsteps in the pursuit of equality and understanding. As The New York Times raves, “Ntozake Shange writes with such exquisite care and beauty that anyone can relate to her message.”

 

Original Highways: Travelling the Great Rivers of Canada
by Roy MacGregor
Random House Canada  $36.00
History / Nature
Canadian

Expanding on his landmark Globe and Mail series in which he documented his travels down 16 of Canada’s great rivers, Roy MacGregor tells the story of our country through the stories of its original highways, and how they sustain our spirit, identity and economy–past, present and future.

No country is more blessed with fresh water than Canada. From the mouth of the Fraser River in BC, to the Bow in Alberta, the Red in Manitoba, the Gatineau, the Saint John and the most historic of all Canada’s rivers, the St. Lawrence, our beloved chronicler of Canadian life, Roy MacGregor, has paddled, sailed and traversed their lengths, learned their stories and secrets, and the tales of centuries lived on their rapids and riverbanks. He raises lost tales, like that of the Great Tax Revolt of the Gatineau River, and reconsiders histories like that of the Irish would-be settlers who died on Grosse Ile and the incredible resilience of settlers in the Red River Valley. Along the Grand, the Ottawa and others, he meets the successful conservationists behind the resuscitation of polluted wetlands, including even Toronto’s Don, the most abused river in Canada (where he witnesses families of mink, returned to play on its banks).

Long before our national railroad was built, our rivers held Canada together; in these sixteen portraits, filled with yesterday’s adventures and tomorrow’s promise, MacGregor weaves together a story of Canada and its ongoing relationship with its most precious resource.

 

Chronicles of a Liquid Society
by Umberto Eco
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt   $34.00
Philosophy / Essays

A posthumous collection of essays about the modern world from one of Europe’s greatest, and best-selling, literary figures.

Umberto Eco was an international cultural superstar. In this, his last collection, the celebrated essayist and novelist observes the changing world around him with irrepressible curiosity and profound wisdom. He sees with fresh eyes the upheaval in ideological values, the crises in politics, and the unbridled individualism that have become the backdrop of our lives—a “liquid” society in which it’s not easy to find a polestar, though stars and starlets abound.

In these pieces, written for his regular column in L’Espresso magazine, Eco brings his dazzling erudition and keen sense of the everyday to bear on topics such as popular culture and politics, being seen, conspiracies, the old and the young, new technologies, mass media, racism, and good manners. It is a final gift to his reader—astute, witty, and illuminating.

 

Artemis
by Andy Weir
Crown  $36.00
Science Fiction

The bestselling author of The Martian returns with an irresistible new near-future thriller—a heist story set on the moon.

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

 

Young Adult

Renegades
by Marissa Meyer
Feiwel and Friends   $25.99
Fiction / Science Fiction  Ages 12-18

From#1 New York Times-bestselling authorMarissa Meyer, comes a high-stakes world of adventure, passion, danger, and betrayal.

Secret Identities.
Extraordinary Powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to the villains who have the power to end them both.

 

Young Reader:

The Last Firehawk #2: The Crystal Caverns
by Katrina Charman, Illustrated by Jeremy Norton
Scholastic    $6.99
Fiction / Adventure  Ages 6-9

An exciting fantasy world, a powerful dark magic, epic animal battles: The Last Firehawk series has it all!

In the second book in this page-turning series, Tag, Skyla, and Blaze journey north to the Crystal Caverns. They are searching for a piece of the magical Ember Stone. But they do not know exactly where it is, and they are not the only ones searching for it . . . The powerful vulture Thorn is also after the stone — and after Blaze! Thorn’s dark magic, The Shadow, is quickly spreading across Perodia, so the friends must move fast to reach the stone! This action-packed series makes a great introduction to fantasy and quest stories for newly independent readers. Realistic black-and-white artwork appears on every page.

This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!


Children:

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth
by Oliver Jeffers
HarperCollins  $22.99
Science / Nature  Ages 3+

Oliver Jeffers, arguably the most influential creator of picture books today, offers a rare personal look inside his own hopes and wishes for his child–and in doing so gifts children and parents everywhere with a gently sweet and humorous missive about our world and those who call it home.

Insightfully sweet, with a gentle humor and poignancy, here is Oliver Jeffers’ user’s guide to life on Earth. He created it specially for his son, yet with a universality that embraces all children and their parents. Be it a complex view of our planet’s terrain (bumpy, sharp, wet), a deep look at our place in space (it’s big), or a guide to all of humanity (don’t be fooled, we are all people), Oliver’s signature wit and humor combine with a value system of kindness and tolerance to create a must-have book for parents.

Paperback:

Granta 141: Canada
Edited by Catherine Leroux and Madeleine Thien
Granta  $21.95
Fiction
Canadian / Hamilton contributors

This special issue of Granta celebrates the diversity of social, political and literary life in Canada.

This special issue unravels the idea of Canada, a young nation settled on land that carries 14,000 years of Indigenous history. From its global cities to the Arctic Circle, from the ongoing story of Indigenous civil rights movements to the state of languages under pressure, the writers in Granta 141 upend the ways we imagine land, reconciliation, truth and belonging, revealing the histories of a nation’s future.

One hundred and fifty years after its confederation, Canada, spanning six time zones and a vast geography dramatically impacted by climate change, is embarking on a charged conversation to uncover what has been, and what begins.

Includes Hamilton writers Krista Foss and Gary Barwin.

 

Let Darkness Bury the Dead
by Maureen Jennings
McClelland & Stewart  $24.95
Mystery
Canadian

Canada’s premier author of historical mystery fiction returns with a brand new and highly anticipated Murdoch Mystery, with an older and wiser Detective Murdoch.

It is November 1917. The Great War is grinding on, chewing up young men by the thousands. Initially, in the loyal Dominion of Canada, people are mostly eager to support the Motherland and fight for the Empire. Men perceived as slackers or cowards are shunned. But the carnage is horrendous and with enforced conscription, the enthusiasm for war is dimming.

William Murdoch is a widower, a senior detective who, thanks to the new temperance laws, spends his time tracking down bootleggers and tipplers; most unsatisfying. His wife, Amy, died giving birth to their second child, a girl who lived only a few hours more. Murdoch, racked by grief, withdrew from four-year-old, Jack. This he regrets and would dearly love to make up for his negligence.

As we enter the story, Jack, now twenty-one, has returned from France after being wounded and gassed at the Battle of Passchendaele. It is soon apparent that he is deeply troubled but he’s not confiding in his father. He does, however, seem to be bound by shared secrets to another wounded former soldier, Percy McKinnon.

Murdoch suddenly has much more serious crimes than rum-running on his hands. The night after Jack and McKinnon arrive home, a young man is found stabbed to death in the impoverished area of Toronto known as the Ward. Soon after, Murdoch has to deal with a tragic suicide, also a young man. Two more murders follow in quick succession. The only common denominator is that all of the men were exempted from conscription.

Increasingly worried that Jack knows more than he is letting on, Murdoch must solve these crimes before more innocents lose their lives. It is a solution that will give him only sorrow.

 

How to Find a Black Cat in a Dark Room: The Psychology of Intuition, Influence, Decision Making and Trust
by Jacob Burak
Watkins Publishing   $13.95
Psychology / Computer Engineering

An inquiry into what it is about our experiences and cultures that brings out the differences and reveals the similarities in us as humans beings, in the vein of Malcolm Gladwell and Daniel Kahneman.

Jacob Burak is on a quest to answer the question “are we as human beings, who are separated by different cultures and experiences, similar or different?” Through the lens of behavioural studies, we see how, while our approaches differ and often conflict, we all strive for similar things: love, acceptance, power and understanding. How to Find a Black Cat in a Dark Room offers the latest scientific studies of human behaviour alongside accessible anecdotes to examine the universal human experiences of comparing ourselves to others, the need to belong, the urge to achieve and the anxiety and uncertainty of life itself.
More importantly, Burak shows us how, in understanding these behavioural patterns, we learn that we are actually more alike than we are different; that our rivals often make us stronger; and that being trusting can help us live longer. With his inquisitive nature, logical thinking and engaging style, Burak examines whether it is destiny or personality that controls our lives, through intriguing subjects such as:

• What are the ten rules for happiness that are entirely under our control?
• Why do smart people make stupid mistakes?
• What distinguishes bureaucrats and entrepreneurs?
• What are the psychological differences between liberals and conservatives?
• In what circumstances is it right to surrender our privacy?
• Does it pay to trust people

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