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Quick Hits: Books of the Year and Books for Right Now

In Quick Hits, we look through our stacks to bring you books that, when they were published, elicited a lot of reaction and praise. Our selections will include books published this year, last year, or any year. They will be from any genre. The best books are timeless, and they deserve to find readers whenever and wherever.

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Sweet Jesus, by Christine Pountney

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

What It's About

Set mainly on Vancouver Island, in Toronto, and in the American Midwest, Sweet Jesus tells the story of three siblings who, in the week before the 2012 US Presidential election, reunite and set off on a journey that will transform their lives.

Connie Foster, a mother of three young children, learns that her husband’s attempt to maintain their lifestyle has led them to financial ruin. Her sister, Hannah Crowe, a writer, desperately wants to have a child but the man she loves is determined not to. Zeus Ortega, their much younger adopted brother, who left the family home when he was only fifteen, is living in Chicago with his boyfriend and working as a therapeutic clown in a children’s hospital. Prompted by a heartbreaking loss, he quits his job and decides to search for his birth parents in New Mexico. Together, the three siblings head south and, …

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Shelf Talkers: May 2015

Hark!

What is that, in the sky? Is it spring, unfolding all around us, after what was, for much of the country, a long and brutal winter?

Is that the scent of flowers on the breeze?

May is upon us, and in the wake of the amazing experience of Authors for Indies Day, we have a selection of recommendations from a handful of Canada’s foremost independent booksellers. Fiction and poetry, adult books and a kids book, this installment of Shelf Talkers is a veritable bouquet of spring blooms. And what better way to spend an afternoon than to visit your local independent bookseller, list in hand, then find a sunny spot to spend a few quality hours with a quality book.

Enjoy! And happy spring!

 

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The Bookseller: Mary-Ann Yazedjian, Book Warehouse Main Street (Vancouver, BC)

The Pick: The Mountain Story, by Lori Lansens

Without a doubt, this is the best book I have read so far in 2015. It is a story of survival, friendships, family relationships, adversity, resilience, and love. Our 18-year-old narrator Wolf Truly takes the tram up the mountainside near Palm Springs with no intention of coming back. When he meets three enigmatic women on the mountain and becomes lost with them, he has to re-evaluate his priorities if any of them are going to survive. I loved this novel and I …

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On Our Radar: Olesen, Berkhout, Tsiang, Stratton, and Crozier

"On Our Radar" is a monthly series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet.

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Kinds of Winter: Four Solo Journeys by Dogsled Through Canada's Northwest Territories, by Dave Olesen

The Lucky Seven Interview, Open Book Toronto:

"The central question of the book is not a question but a quest. One man’s quest for a deeper appreciation of his chosen home place in the Far North. Northern Canada is a place so fraught with clichés and stereotypes that it rarely emerges honestly in written descriptions. Throughout my years in the north I have always chafed against those sappy portrayals which constrain and alter perceptions of the North. As I got farther into the writing I also came to grips with my own lifelong fascination with North and with 'north-ness.' What was driving me out the door into the cold at 40 below zero? Why this lifelong fixation on North? Those are questions that emerged as I wrote, and I try to answer them in the book."

Read the entire interview here. 

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Lorna Crozier's The Book of Marvels: Excerpts

Mirror

Mirror
A mirror is a pond that hardened into ice and moved inside. The frame around it stops its melt. Weary of gazing at the sky, it needed something else to look at, something that looked back. For this, it sets a blank expression; it never interrupts or shivers or allows its desires to dart like silver minnows across a face. However, in the world of the house, it is dying of boredom and regret. It longs to see a damselfly, to taste the rain, to feel the weight of water lilies as the buds thicken with the imperative to bloom. Servant to the occupants, the mirror is dying of holding everything inside. Like Cassandra, it’s been granted the ruthless grace of accuracy, though it must appear undis¬cerning, unable to separate the beauty from the ugliness in ordinary life. Though more attention is paid to it than any other object in the room, it is strangely invisible. People stare into it several times a day with deepening attention, noting bristles on a chin, a tremor in the upper lip, the eyes’ dissemblance. They never see the mirror.

Navel

Navel
A man-s …

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