New Releases- January 16, 2018

January 16, 2018

 Hardcover

At the End of the Century: Stories
by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, introduction by Anita Desai
Little Brown & Company  $34.99
Fiction

“The laser-sharp intelligence of award-winning novelist and short story writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala is etched into these 17 compelling tales, which are drawn from previous collections. Jhabvala, who died in 2013, was also a prolific screenwriter (winning Oscars for adaptations of A Room With a View and Howards End), and her cinematic eye roams widely, from Indian village life to the streets of European cities and New York. Desai describes how Jhabvala explores passion’s “immense potential for both joy and destruction”. Such emotions range from the pining of an elderly woman for a younger man in The Widow to a fear of loneliness in Great Expectations. The writer’s talent is best on display in the tension she creates between the pleasures and pains of passion and the slick composure of her prose” – Anita Sethi, The Guardian.

 

The Stowaway: A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica
by Laurie Gwen Shapiro
Simon & Schuster  $35.00
Biography / History

The spectacular, true story of a scrappy teenager from New York’s Lower East Side who stowed away on the Roaring Twenties’ most remarkable feat of science and daring: an expedition to Antarctica.

It was 1928: a time of illicit booze, of Gatsby and Babe Ruth, of freewheeling fun. The Great War was over and American optimism was higher than the stock market. What better moment to launch an expedition to Antarctica, the planet’s final frontier? There wouldn’t be another encounter with an unknown this magnificent until Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon.

Everyone wanted in on the adventure. Rockefellers and Vanderbilts begged to be taken along as mess boys, and newspapers across the globe covered the planning’s every stage. And then, the night before the expedition’s flagship set off, Billy Gawronski—a mischievous, first-generation New York City high schooler desperate to escape a dreary future in the family upholstery business—jumped into the Hudson River and snuck aboard. Could he get away with it?

From the soda shops of New York’s Lower East Side to the dance halls of sultry Francophone Tahiti, all the way to Antarctica’s blinding white and deadly freeze, Laurie Gwen Shapiro’s The Stowaway takes you on the unforgettable voyage of a plucky young stowaway who became a Jazz Age celebrity, a mascot for an up-by-your bootstraps era.

 

Winter: A Novel
by Ali Smith
Hamish Hamilton  $30.00
Fiction

The dazzling second novel in Ali Smith’s essential Seasonal Quartet–from the Baileys Prize-winning, Man Booker-shortlisted author of Autumn and How to be Both.

Winter. Bleak. Frosty wind, earth as iron, water as stone, so the old song goes. And now Art’s mother is seeing things.

Come to think of it, Art’s seeing things himself.
When four people, strangers and family, converge on a 15 bedroom house in Cornwall for Christmas, will there be enough room for everyone?

Winter. It makes things visible. In Ali Smith’s Winter, life-force matches up to the toughest of the seasons. In this second novel in her Seasonal cycle, the follow-up to her sensational Autumn, Smith’s shapeshifting novel casts a warm, wise, merry and uncompromising eye over a post-truth era in a story rooted in history and memory and with a taproot deep in the evergreens, art and love.

 

The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power,  from the Freemasons to Facebook
by Niall Ferguson
Penguin Press  $40.00
History

Most history is hierarchical: it’s about emperors, presidents, prime ministers and field marshals. It’s about states, armies and corporations. It’s about orders from on high. Even history “from below” is often about trade unions and workers’ parties. But what if that’s simply because hierarchical institutions create the archives that historians rely on? What if we are missing the informal, less well documented social networks that are the true sources of power and drivers of change?

The 21st century has been hailed as the Age of Networks. However, in The Square and the Tower, Niall Ferguson argues that networks have always been with us, from the structure of the brain to the food chain, from the family tree to freemasonry. Throughout history, hierarchies housed in high towers have claimed to rule, but often real power has resided in the networks in the town square below. For it is networks that tend to innovate. And it is through networks that revolutionary ideas can contagiously spread. Just because conspiracy theorists like to fantasize about such networks doesn’t mean they are not real.

From the cults of ancient Rome to the dynasties of the Renaissance, from the founding fathers to Facebook, The Square and the Tower tells the story of the rise, fall and rise of networks, and shows how network theory–concepts such as clustering, degrees of separation, weak ties, contagions and phase transitions–can transform our understanding of both the past and the present.

Just as The Ascent of Money put Wall Street into historical perspective, so The Square and the Tower does the same for Silicon Valley. And it offers a bold prediction about which hierarchies will withstand this latest wave of network disruption–and which will be toppled.

 

So You Want to Talk About Race
by Ijeoma Oluo
Seal Press   $35.00
Political Science

In this breakout book, Ijeoma Oluo explores the complex reality of today’s racial landscape–from white privilege and police brutality to systemic discrimination and the Black Lives Matter movement–offering straightforward clarity that readers need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide.

In So You Want to Talk About Race, Editor at Large of The Establishment Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the “N” word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo answers the questions readers don’t dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.

Oluo is an exceptional writer with a rare ability to be straightforward, funny, and effective in her coverage of sensitive, hyper-charged issues in America. Her messages are passionate but finely tuned, and crystalize ideas that would otherwise be vague by empowering them with aha-moment clarity. Her writing brings to mind voices like Ta-Nehisi Coates and Roxane Gay, and Jessica Valenti in Full Frontal Feminism, and a young Gloria Naylor, particularly in Naylor’s seminal essay “The Meaning of a Word.”

Young Adult:

Unearthed
by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Hyperion  $18.99
Science Fiction  Ages 14+

From the New York Times best-selling author duo Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner comes a “literally breathtaking” new sci-fi series about a death-defying mission on an alien planet.

When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution humanity has been waiting for. The Undying’s advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and their message leads to the planet Gaia, a treasure trove waiting to be explored.

For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an ancient alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study… as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don’t loot everything first. Despite their opposing reasons for smuggling themselves onto the alien planet’s surface, they’re both desperate to uncover the riches hidden in the Undying temples. Beset by rival scavenger gangs, Jules and Mia form a fragile alliance… but both are keeping secrets that make trust nearly impossible.

As they race to decode the ancient messages, Jules and Mia must navigate the traps and trials within the Undying temples and stay one step ahead of the scavengers on their heels. They came to Gaia certain that they had far more to fear from their fellow humans than the ancient beings whose mysteries they’re trying to unravel. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more Jules and Mia start to feel like their presence in the temple is part of a grand design–one that could spell the end of the human race.

 

Young Reader:

Wolfie & Fly: Band on the Run
by Cary Fagan
Tundra Books    $16.99
Fiction / Music Ages 7-10
Canadian

A classic story of imagination, friendship, rock bands and high-speed helicopter chases. For fans of Ivy & Bean, Judy Moody or Nate the Great.

Everyone’s favorite odd couple is back. Our heroine, Renata Wolfman (Wolfie) does everything by herself. Friends just get in the way, and she only has time for facts and reading. But friendship finds her in the form of Livingston Flott (Fly), the slightly weird and wordy boy from next door. This time, Fly has convinced Wolfie to join him in his one-man band. Before they know it, they’re playing live onstage in front of a stadium of screaming fans. But these fans are about to get out of control–and Wolfie and Fly have to make a daring escape!

Even though Wolfie thinks she’d rather be at home reading by herself, playing the drums in a rock band is actually pretty fun. Maybe there is something to this friend thing…

 


Children:

Mae Among the Stars
by Roda Ahmed, Illustrated by Stasia Burrington
HarperCollins  $21.99
Fiction / Biography Ages 4-8

A beautiful picture book for sharing, inspired by the life of the first African American woman to travel in space, Mae Jemison.

A great classroom and bedtime read-aloud, Mae Among the Stars is the perfect book for young readers who have big dreams and even bigger hearts!

When Little Mae was a child, she dreamed of dancing in space. She imagined herself surrounded by billions of stars, floating, gliding, and discovering. She wanted to be an astronaut. Her mom told her, “If you believe it, and work hard for it, anything is possible.”

Little Mae’s curiosity, intelligence, and determination, matched with her parents’ encouraging words, paved the way for her incredible success at NASA as the first African American woman to travel in space.

This book will inspire other young girls to reach for the stars, to aspire for the impossible, and to persist with childlike imagination.

 

Paperback:

Carl Dair & the Cartier Typeface: Selected Correspondence
Edited by Kristine Tortora
Gaspereau Press  $32.95
Typography
Canadian

This collection assembles all of the known correspondence of Canadian typographer and type designer Carl Dair (1912–67) concerning the conception, development and reception of his Cartier typeface. The letters span two decades, from Dair’s 1956–57 studies under the punchcutter P.H. Rädisch at the Enschedé typefoundry in Holland, to the voluminous response to the release of the First Proof of Cartier in 1966 until his sudden death in 1967, including candid criticisms and detailed critiques from some of the twentieth century’s foremost typographic minds–Sem Hartz, John Dreyfus, Paul Standard, Beatrice Warde, Hermann Zapf and others.

Together with annotated transcriptions of all of Dair’s surviving “Epistles to the Torontonians,” this collection gathers lively, thoughtful and timely communications to and from typographers, designers, tradesmen and scholars across Canada and the world. An informative and entertaining resource for enthusiasts of typography and history alike.

We are delighted to be hosting a launch to celebrate the release of Kristine’s new book. Please join us on Saturday, January 27 at 2pm. See our events page for details.

 

Liminal
by Jordan Tannahill
House of Anansi Press  $22.95
Fiction
Canadian

At 11:04 a.m. on January 21st, 2017, Jordan opens the door to his mother’s bedroom. As his eyes adjust to the half-light, he finds her lying in bed, eyes closed and mouth agape. In that instant he cannot tell whether she is asleep or dead. The sight of his mother’s body, caught between these two possibilities, causes Jordan to plunge headlong into the uncertain depths of consciousness itself.

From androids to cannibals to sex clubs, an unforgettable personal odyssey emerges, populated by a cast of sublime outsiders in search for the ever-elusive nature of self. Part ontological thriller, part millennial saga, Liminal is a riotous and moving portrait of a young man in volatile times, a generation caught in suspended animation, and a son’s enduring love for his mother.

 

The Ruin of Kasch
by Roberto Calasso
Farrar, Strauss & Giroux   $26.00
History

he Ruin of Kasch takes up two subjects-“the first is Talleyrand, and the second is everything else,” wrote Italo Calvino when the book first appeared in 1983. Hailed as one of those rare books that persuade us to see our entire civilization in a new light, its guide is the French statesman Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, who knew the secrets of the ancien régime and all that came after, and was able to adapt the notion of “legitimacy” to the modern age. Roberto Calasso follows him through a vast gallery of scenes set immediately before and after the French Revolution, making occasional forays backward and forward in time, from Vedic India to the porticoes of the Palais-Royal and to the killing fields of Pol Pot, with appearances by Goethe and Marie Antoinette, Napoleon and Marx, Walter Benjamin and Chateaubriand. At the center stands the story of the ruin of Kasch, a legendary kingdom based on the ritual killing of the king and emblematic of the ruin of ancient and modern regimes.

Offered here in a new translation by Richard Dixon, The Ruin of Kasch is, as John Banville wrote, “a great fat jewel-box of a book, gleaming with obscure treasures.”

 

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