These were the books this year that broke our hearts, made us laugh, posed the difficult questions, made us think, showed us how to connect the dots, provided hours of entertainment, and swept us away to all kinds of fascinating times and places—including (and maybe even especially) right now!
And best of all? Every single title is up for giveaway right now.
Dishonour in Camp 33, by Wayne Arthurson
About the book: Sergeant Neumann and the inmates of Camp 133 are back!
Even thousands of miles from the front lines, locked into a Canadian prisoner-of-war camp at the base of the Canadian Rockies, death isn't far away. For August Neumann, head of Camp Civil Security and decorated German war hero, this is the reality. Chef Schlipal has been found dead in Mess #3, a knife in his back.
Now it's up to Neumann to find out what would drive the men of the camp, brothers-in-arms, to turn on each other. He's learned, of course, that beneath the veneer of duty and honour, the camp is anything but civi …
Part three of our Fall Preview is poetry, a mixture of impressive debuts and releases by favourites.
The constraint-based poems in the debut collection, A Future Perfect (August), by Razielle Aigen, are written in the future-perfect tense, used as a way of bending time and playing with non-linearity. (Re)Generation (August) contains selected poetry by Anishinaabe writer Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm that deals with a range of issues, from violence against Indigenous women and lands, to Indigenous erotica and the joyous intimate encounters between bodies. And Make the World New (August) brings together some of the highlights of the work of Lillian Allen, one of the leading creative Black feminist voices in Canada, and is the first book of her poems to be published in over 20 years, edited by Ronald Cummings.
With echoes of Jacques Brault, Simone Weil, Baudelaire and Petrarch, in Of Love (October), Paul Bélanger continues his poetic quest for the sources of spiritual ecstasy. The Answer to Everything (September) showcases the definitive works of Ken Belfo …
With new books by Miriam Toews, Dawn Dumont, Douglas Coupland, Marie-Renee Lavoie, Omar El Akkad, Zoe Whittall, Trudy Morgan-Cole, and other literary faves, the season is shaping up beautifully—and there are so many exciting debuts!
There are the books you're going to be loving in the second half of 2021.
Following on the heels of Pastoral, Fifteen Dogs, The Hidden Keys, and Days by Moonlight, Ring (September) completes André Alexis’s quincunx, a group of five genre-bending, and philosophically sophisticated novels. For fans of Nora Ephron and Jennifer Weiner, Her Turn (July) is Katherine Ashenburg’s witty, contemporary new novel about a forty-something newspaper columnist navigating her bold next chapter, set in Washington against the 2015 US presidential primary. A hilarious and profound debut, Everyone in This Room Will One Day Be Dead (July) by Emily Austin, follows a morbidly anxious young woman who stumbles into a job as a receptionist at a Catholic church and becomes obsessed with her predecessor’s mysterious death.
Todd Babiak’ …
Looking forward to some of the books for young readers (and readers of all ages) that we're going to be falling in love with in the first half of 2021.
Seeing Stars (April), by Denise Adams, is a quirky, fun book exploring the secret underwater life of starfish, in the style of The Secret Life of Squirrels. Told half in French and half in English, Pierre and Paul: Dragon (April), by Caroline Adderson and Alice Carter, the second book in the Pierre & Paul series, uses simple phrases and clues in the illustrations to make the story accessible to readers in both languages. The Covid-19 pandemic, which seems to be taking some time to go away, has meant big changes for one little girl’s family in When Mom’s Away, (April), by Layla Ahmad and Farida Zaman. Outside, You Notice (April), by Erin Alladin, illustrated by Andrea Blinick, is a lyrical celebration of the outdoors pairing childlike observation with facts about the natural world. Maya’s imagination sets the stage for her friends to act out her feminist play. Can she make room in her queendom for the will of the people? Maya's Big Scene (February), by Isabelle Arsenault, is a funny picture book about leadership and fair play for fans of King Baby and Olivia. And a young boy discovers strang …
Our Spring Preview continues with an amazing selection of new and forthcoming poetry.
The Montreal Prize Anthology 2020 (April), by Jordan Abel, Kaveh Akbar and Wendy Cope, explodes with talent, combining radiant vision with striking invention in form. Andrea Actis's Grey All Over (April) not only celebrates a rare, close, complicated father-daughter bond, it also boldly expands the empathetic and critical capacities of poetry itself. Make the World New (April) brings together in a single volume some of the highlights of work by Lillian Allen, one of the leading creative Black feminist voices in Canada, and is the first book of her poems to be published in over 20 years. Selina Boan’s debut poetry collection, Undoing Hours (March), considers the various ways we undo, inherit, reclaim and (re)learn. And Shane Book, the author of the acclaimed 2014 collection Congotronic, returns with All Black Everything (June), a collection of urgent, forceful, and energetic new poems.
Set in a small-town, sub-Arctic dive bar, Tara Borin’s debut collection The …