New Releases: November 23, 2017
November 23, 2017
Beautiful Scars: Steeltown Secrets, Mohawk Skywalkers and the Road Home
by Tom Wilson
Doubleday Canada $29.95
Canadian / Hamilton author (and musician)
“I’m scared and scarred but I’ve survived”
Tom Wilson was raised in the rough-and-tumble world of Hamilton—Steeltown— in the company of World War II vets, factory workers, fall-guy wrestlers and the deeply guarded secrets kept by his parents, Bunny and George. For decades Tom carved out a life for himself in shadows. He built an international music career and became a father, he battled demons and addiction, and he waited, hoping for the lies to cease and the truth to emerge. It would. And when it did, it would sweep up the St. Lawrence River to the Mohawk reserves of Quebec, on to the heights of the Manhattan skyline.
With a rare gift for storytelling and an astonishing story to tell, Tom writes with unflinching honesty and extraordinary compassion about his search for the truth. It’s a story about scars, about the ones that hurt us, and the ones that make us who we are.
We are delighted to be participating in the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra Literary Recital with Tom Wilson on January 26, 2018. Please see here for tickets and special book-with-ticket options.
by Michele Roberts
From the Booker-shortlisted author comes a sensuous, evocative novel exploring the lives of women in Victorian London, for fans of Sarah Waters, Emma Donoghue, and Kate Atkinson.
2011: When Madeleine loses her job as a lecturer, she decides to leave her London flat for the swelling city’s outskirts, moving to the quiet Walworth cul-de-sac of Apricot Place. Immersing herself in local history, she reads the work of Henry Mayhew, who documented Victorian working class life, and she senses the past encroaching: a shifting in the atmosphere, a current of unseen life.
1851: Joseph Benson has been employed by Henry Mayhew to help research his articles on the London poor. A family man with mouths to feed, Joseph is tasked with coaxing testimony from prostitutes. They resent his scientific distance, and he strains to keep it, not immune to their temptations. Roaming the Southwark streets for answers that will let him keep his job, he finds Apricot Place, where the elegant and enigmatic Mrs. Dulcimer runs a boarding house.
As these entwined stories unfold, alive with the sensations of London past and present, the two eras brush against each other–a breath at Madeleine’s neck, a voice in her head-ghostly murmurs echoing through time. Rendered in immediate, intoxicating prose,The Walworth Beauty is a haunting tale of desire and exploitation, isolation and loss, and the faltering search for human connection; this is Michele Roberts at her masterful best
Abandoned: The Most Beautiful Forgotten Places from Around the World
by Ebury Press
Ebury Press $27.99
From the empty magical theatres of Detroit to the lost playgrounds of Chernobyl, there are places across the globe that were once a hub of activity, but are now abandoned and in decay. With nature creeping in and reclaiming these spots, we are left with eerie crumbling ruins and breath-taking views of deserted places, that offer us a window into past and capture our imagination. Abandoned showcases the very best photographs from around the world documenting this phenomenon.
More immersive than a museum and more human that a lecture, abandoned photography has given the world an exciting way to look at our history and the places we have long neglected.
Reading the Rocks: How Victorian Geologists Discovered the Secret of Life
by Brenda Maddox
Geology / History
A rich and exuberant group biography of the early geologists, the people who were first to excavate from the layers of the world its buried history.
The birth of geology was fostered initially by gentlemen whose wealth supported their interests, but in the nineteenth century, it was advanced by clergymen, academics, and women whose findings expanded the field. Reading the Rocks brings to life this eclectic cast of characters who brought passion, eccentricity, and towering intellect to the discovery of how Earth was formed.
Geology opened a window on the planet’s ancient past. Contrary to the Book of Genesis, the rocks and fossils dug up showed that Earth was immeasurably old. Moreover, fossil evidence revealed progressive changes in life forms. It is no coincidence that Charles Darwin was a keen geologist.
Acclaimed biographer and science writer Brenda Maddox’s story goes beyond William Smith, the father of English geology; Charles Lyell, the father of modern geology; and James Hutton, whose analysis of rock layers unveiled what is now called “deep time.” She also explores the lives of fossil hunter Mary Anning, the Reverend William Buckland, Darwin, and many others–their triumphs and disappointments, and the theological, philosophical, and scientific debates their findings provoked. Reading the Rocks illustrates in absorbing and revelatory details how this group of early geologists changed irrevocably our understanding of the world.
Here in Berlin
by Cristina Garcia
Long-listed for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence.
“Garcia, a transcendentally imaginative, piquantly satiric, and profoundly compassionate novelist, dramatizes the helter-skelter of lives ruptured by tyranny, war, and political upheavals with sharp awareness of unlikely multicultural alliances . . . With echoes of W. G. Sebald and Gunter Grass, Garcia has created an intricate, sensitive, and provocative montage revolving around the question: ‘Do people remember only what they can endure, or distort memories until they can endure them?'” —Booklist (starred review)
Here in Berlin is a portrait of a city through snapshots, an excavation of the stories and ghosts of contemporary Berlin—its complex, troubled past still pulsing in the air as it was during World War II. Critically acclaimed novelist Cristina Garcia brings the people of this famed city to life, their stories bristling with regret, desire, and longing.
An unnamed Visitor travels to Berlin with a camera looking for reckonings of her own. The city itself is a character—vibrant and post-apocalyptic, flat and featureless except for its rivers, its lakes, its legions of bicyclists. Here in Berlin she encounters a people’s history: the Cuban teen taken as a POW on a German submarine only to return home to a family who doesn’t believe him; the young Jewish scholar hidden in a sarcophagus until safe passage to England is found; the female lawyer haunted by a childhood of deprivation in the bombed-out suburbs of Berlin who still defends those accused of war crimes; a young nurse with a checkered past who joins the Reich at a medical facility more intent to dispense with the wounded than to heal them; and the son of a zookeeper at the Berlin Zoo, fighting to keep the animals safe from both war and an increasingly starving populace.
A meditation on war and mystery, this an exciting new work by one of our most gifted novelists, one that seeks to align the stories of the past with the stories of the future.
Siege of Shadows
by Sarah Raughley
Simon & Schuster Canada $25.99
Fiction / Science Fiction Ages 12+
Maia and the other Effigies seek out the true origins of the Phantoms that terrorize their world in this thrilling follow-up to Fate of Flames.
There’s nowhere to hide. Not when you’re an Effigy. No matter where they go, Maia and the other Effigies can’t escape the eyes of the press—especially not after failing to capture Saul, whose power to control the monstrous Phantoms has left the world in a state of panic. It’s been two months since Saul’s disappearance, and there’s still no sign of him, leaving the public to wonder whether the Sect—and the Effigies—are capable of protecting anyone.
When Saul suddenly surfaces in the middle of the Sahara desert, the Sect sends Maia and her friends out after him. But instead of Saul, they discover a dying soldier engineered with Effigy-like abilities. Even worse, there may be more soldiers like him out there, and it looks like the Effigies are their prime targets.
Yet the looming danger of Saul and this mysterious new army doesn’t overshadow Maia’s fear of the Sect, who ordered the death of the previous Fire Effigy, Natalya. With enemies on all sides and the world turning against them, the Effigies have to put their trust in each other—easier said than done when secrets threaten to tear them apart.
Eerie Elementary #7: Classes are Cancelled
by Jack Chabert
Fiction / Adventure Ages 6-9
Eerie Elementary is falling apart! Floors are splitting, walls are crumbling, and students are in serious danger! Principal Winik announces that the school must be torn down. But Sam, Lucy, and Antonio are not sure that is the answer . . . Could this all be part of Orson Eerie’s plan to live forever? Sam and his friends must work fast to find out!
The Spirit Trackers
by Jan Bourdeau Waboose, Illustrated by Francois Thisdale
Fifth House Publishers $18.95
Fiction Ages 5-9
Cousins Will and Tom have always wanted to become Trackers just like their uncle.
While spending time with Uncle he shares the story of the Windigo with the boys. A story that seems to be coming true when Will and Tom hear strange noises outside of their bedroom window. And then they find the huge tracks in the snow. It has to be the Windigo – the Wandering Night Spirit of Winter! The boys know what good trackers would do so they follow the trail deep into the dark forest to uncover the mystery.
Young readers will be able to improve their tracking skills as they find clues hidden in the illustrations along with Will and Tom.
This Long Pursuit
by Richard Holmes
William Collins $18.99
In this kaleidoscope of stories spanning art, science and poetry, award-winning writer Richard Holmes travels across three centuries, through much of Europe and into the lively company of many earlier biographers.
Central to this pursuit is a powerful evocation of the lives of women both scientific and literary, some well-known and others almost lost: Margaret Cavendish, Mary Somerville, Germaine de Stal, Mary Wollstonecraft and Zlide. He investigates the love-stunned John Keats, the waterlogged Percy Bysshe Shelley, the chocolate-box painter Thomas Lawrence, the opium-soaked genius Coleridge, and the mad-visionary bard William Blake.
The diversity of Holmes’s material is testimony to his empathy, erudition and at times his mischievous streak. This is his most personal and seductive writing yet.
That Dammed Beaver: Canadian Humour, Laughs and Gaffs
Selected by Bruce Meyer
Exile Editions $24.95
A unique collection of stories and art: Margaret Atwood, Austin Clarke, Leon Rooke, Priscila Uppal, Jonathan Goldstein, Paul Quarrington, Morley Callaghan, Jacques Ferron, Marsha Boulton, Joe Rosenblatt, Barry Callaghan, Linda Rogers, Steven Hayward, Andrew Borkowski, Helen Marshall, Gloria Sawai, David McFadden, Myna Wallin, Gail Prussky, Louise Maheux-Forcher, Shannon Bramer, James Dewar, Bob Armstrong, Jamie Feldman, Claire Dé, Christine Miscione, Larry Zolf, Anne Dandurand, Julie Roorda, Mark Paterson, Karen Lee White, Heather Wood, Marty Gervais, Alexandre Amprimoz, Matt Shaw, Darren Gluckman, Gustave Morin, and the country’s greatest cartoonist, Aislin.
Humor is an integral part of the Canadian identity, and we have a truly unique way of looking at ourselves, poking fun at our own stereotypes with irony, parody, and satire. What a nation finds funny, and how it embraces humor, is key to what makes a nation great. And we are a great nation.
Includes Hamilton authors Christine Miscione and David McFadden.
Future Home of the Living God
by Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich, the New York Times bestselling, National Book Award-winning author of LaRose and The Round House, paints a startling portrait of a young woman fighting for her life and her unborn child against oppressive forces that manifest in the wake of a cataclysmic event.
The world as we know it is ending. Evolution has reversed itself, affecting every living creature on earth. Science cannot stop the world from running backwards, as woman after woman gives birth to infants that appear to be primitive species of humans. Twenty-six-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, adopted daughter of a pair of big-hearted, open-minded Minneapolis liberals, is as disturbed and uncertain as the rest of America around her. But for Cedar, this change is profound and deeply personal. She is four months pregnant.
Though she wants to tell the adoptive parents who raised her from infancy, Cedar first feels compelled to find her birth mother, Mary Potts, an Ojibwe living on the reservation, to understand both her and her baby’s origins. As Cedar goes back to her own biological beginnings, society around her begins to disintegrate, fueled by a swelling panic about the end of humanity.
There are rumors of martial law, of Congress confining pregnant women. Of a registry, and rewards for those who turn these wanted women in. Flickering through the chaos are signs of increasing repression: a shaken Cedar witnesses a family wrenched apart when police violently drag a mother from her husband and child in a parking lot. The streets of her neighborhood have been renamed with Bible verses. A stranger answers the phone when she calls her adoptive parents, who have vanished without a trace. It will take all Cedar has to avoid the prying eyes of potential informants and keep her baby safe.
A chilling dystopian novel both provocative and prescient, Future Home of the Living God is a startlingly original work from one of our most acclaimed writers: a moving meditation on female agency, self-determination, biology, and natural rights that speaks to the troubling changes of our time.