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A Taster: Spring 2021 Nonfiction Preview

Life stories, family, baseball, and retreat. These highlight the nonfiction we're most looking forward to this spring,

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Her Name Was Margaret (February), by Denise Davy

About the book: Margaret Jacobson was a sweet-natured young girl who played the accordion and had dreams of becoming a teacher until she had a psychotic break in her teens, which sent her down a much darker path. Her Name Was Margaret traces Margaret's life from her childhood to her death as a homeless woman on the streets of Hamilton, Ontario. With meticulous research and deep compassion author Denise Davy analyzed over 800 pages of medical records and conducted interviews with Margaret's friends and family, as well as those who worked in psychiatric care, to create this compelling portrait of a woman abandoned by society.

Through the revolving door of psychiatric admissions to discharges to rundown boarding homes, Davy shows us the grim impact of deinstutionalization: patients spiralled inexorably toward homelessness and death as psychiatric beds were closed and patients were left to fend for themselves on the streets of cities across North America. Today there are more 235,000 people in Canada who are counted among the homeless annually and 35,000 who are homeless on any given night. Most of t …

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Most Anticipated: Our 2021 Spring Fiction Preview

Our Spring Preview begins with the fiction you're going to be falling in love with in 2021.

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Caught between cultures and identities, immigrant families from a Bengali neighbourhood in Toronto strive to navigate their home, relationships, and happiness in Silmy Abdullah’s debut, Home of the Floating Lily (June). Pyromaniacs, vigilantes, mysterious phenomena, prehistoric beasts, cryptid species, grave robbers and ghosts... the stories of Nathan Adler's Ghost Lake (December) feature a cast of interrelated characters and their brushes with the supernatural, creatures of Ojibwe cosmology, the Spirit World, and with monsters, both human and otherwise. Four writers and four different perspectives on the problematic notion of purity in Disintegration in Four Parts (June), a collection of novellas by Jean-Marc Ah-Sen, Emily Anglin, Devon Code, and Lee Henderson. And Sergeant Roxanne Calloway of the RCMP finds herself investigating the death of the Artistic Director of a prairie theatre company about to put on Macbeth (of course!) in And Then is Heart No More (April), by Raye Anderson.

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Most Anticipated: Our Fall 2020 Books for Young Readers Preview

New books for young readers...and readers of all ages!

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Picture Books

Told in rhyming verse, The Old Man and the Penguin (October), by Julie Abery and illustrated by Pierre Pratt, is the touching true story of an oil-soaked penguin, the man who rescues him and an unlikely friendship. Cakes, cookies or pie? A rivalry among local bakers is the basis for the deliciously sweet, off-the-wall picture book It Happened On Sweet Street (July), by Caroline Adderson, illustrated by Stephane Jorisch. Bed has something to say. Bed knows you do not like bedtime. Bed gets it. But look ... YOU are not so great, either: Monica Arnaldo provides the other side of the story in Time for Bed's Story (September). And a young girl discovers nature’s surprising beauty in The Most Amazing Bird (November), from renowned Inuit storyteller Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak, illustrated by Andrew Qappik.

Book Cover Princesses Vs Dinosaurs

Two popular storybook titans, princesses and dinosaurs, battle to determine who should star in Linda Bailey's new laugh-out-loud picture book, Princesses Versus Dinosaurs (September), …

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Most Anticipated: Our 2020 Fall Poetry Preview

Our Fall Preview continues with poetry, with an intriguing selection of debuts, selected/collected works, and other excellent new releases.

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(Re)Generation (January) 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. Susan Alexander’s Nothing You Can Carry (September) is rooted in a keen, even holy, sense of place within the natural world. Text Messages (September) is the first multi-genre collection by Montreal-based Iraqi hip-hop artist, activist, and professor Yassin “Narcy” Alsalman. And Dearly (November) is Margaret Atwood’s first collection in over a decade, bringing together many of her most recognizable and celebrated themes, but distilled.

The concerns of Swivelmount (September)—the collapse of subject and world, eros and law, knowledge and bafflement—gain new urgency as Ken Babstock fiercely reimagines and reassembles the remnants into a viable order. A b …

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Most Anticipated: Our 2020 Fall Nonfiction Preview

We're looking forward to books about history, true crime, memoir, nature, music, dance, food, and so much more. There's something for everyone looking for fantastic nonfiction in Fall 2020.

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Wish You Were Here: A Murdered Girl, a Brother's Quest and the Hunt for a Serial Killer (September), by John Allore and Patricia Pearson, is the story of a brother’s lifelong determination to find the truth about his sister’s death, a police force that was ignoring the cases of missing and murdered women, and, to the surprise of everyone involved, a previously undiscovered serial killer. Barbara Amiel’s memoir Friends and Enemies (October) is not a book of vengeance (though that this needs to be denied is intriguing!) but an attempt to find her own truth: a life that reads like a novel. Jann Arden—bestselling author, recording artist and late-blooming TV star—is back with If I Knew Then (October), a funny, heartfelt and fierce memoir on becoming a woman of a certain age. And Bill Arnott guides readers on an epic literary odyssey following history’s most feared and misunderstood voyageurs in Gone Viking (September).

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Most Anticipated: Our 2020 Fall Fiction Preview

New books by old favourites, sparkling debuts, and more than a few timely books about pandemics are among the titles that are going to be some of your favourite reads of 2020.

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Caroline Adderson’s A Russian Sister (August) gives a glimpse behind the curtain to reavel the fascinating real-life people who inspired Chekhov’s The Seagull and the tragedy that followed its premiere. Award-winner Edem Awumey's Mina Among the Shadows (October), translated by Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott, is a hymn to immutable desire, the power of beauty, and the courage of women. The Night Piece (October) is a career-spanning collection of stories from Andre Alexis, award-winning author of Fifteen DogsEvery Step She Takes is a gripping new thriller by bestselling author K.L. Armstrong. And Ashley Audrain’s much anticipated debut is The Push (January), a tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family, told through the eyes of a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for—and everything she feared.

Book Cover Neighbourhood Watch

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Most Anticipated: Spring 2020 Fiction Preview

 The fiction selection for the first half of 2020 is shaping up beautifully! Here's what we're excited about.

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Part literary Western and part historical mystery, Ridgerunner (May) is the follow-up to Gil Adamson’s award-winning and critically acclaimed novel The Outlander. Jean Marc Ah-Sen’s second book, after Grand Menteur, is the story collection In the Beggarly Style of Imitation (April). Keepers of the Faith (April), by Shaukat Ajmeri, is a Romeo and Juliet story with a twist, set in modern India, in a Shia Muslim community that lives under the thumb of a clergy dictating every facet of their lives. Marianne Apostolides’ latest novel is I Can’t Get You Out of My Mind (April), a book that asks what it means to be human—to be physical creatures endowed with a conscious mind, aware of our finitude—and to love. And in Alone in the Wild (February), Kelley Armstrong’s latest thriller, the hidden town of Rockton is about to face a challenge none of them saw coming: a baby.

Set in the mid-1930s, Filthy Sugar (May), by Heather Babcock, te …

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Most Anticipated: 2019 Fall Poetry Preview

Our fall preview continues with poetry!

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Poet and intermedia artist Oana Avasilichioaei’s follow-up to Limbinal is Eight-Track (November), a transliterary exploration composed of eight “tracks” plus two bonus tracks, each of which explores one of the various meanings of the word “track”: musical track, a physical path, marks left by a person or animal, speech tracking, animal and human tracking, and systems of surveillance. The National Gallery (September), Jonathan Ball’s fourth poetry book and his first in seven years, swirls chaos and confession together, and at the book’s heart is a question: Why create art? Whether calling a tree “an anthology of leaves” or describing time as “a Fisher-Price View Master of ‘first kisses’ and ‘no return’ policies,” Chris Banks approaches writing as if anything might make for alarming, strange, and dizzying verse in Midlife Action Figure (September). 

Book Cover NDN coping Mechanisms

Building on the dreamy emotional landscapes she plumbed in If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You, Adèle Barclay navigates even …

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Most Anticipated: 2019 Fall Fiction Preview

Get ready to have your TBR lists grow! These are the novels, story collections, and drama that readers will be loving in the second half of 2019. 

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Nur Abdi's first novel is The Somali Camel Boy (September), which is about a young man who tries to escape Somalia's clan culture by fleeing to Toronto. Night of Power (August), by Anar Ali, is a portrait of a Muslim family—from the heady days in Uganda to hard times in a new country and the tragic accident that forces them to confront the ghosts of the past. Wayne Arthurson's new mystery is The Red Chesterfield (October), a novel that upends the tropes and traditions of crime fiction while asking how far one person is willing to go to solve a crime, be it murder or the abandonment of a piece of furniture. Samantha Bailey's debut novel is Woman on the Edge (November), about a moment on the subway platform that changes two women’s lives forever. In Elevator Pitch (September), a chilling new thriller from blockbuster author Linwood Barclay, one too many freak “accidents” force residents in New York to wonder if they’re being targeted—and by whom. Set in the throes of a bone-chilling Edmonton winter, comedian Carolyn Bennett's Please Stand By (October) lays to waste CanCon, the east-west divide, and secret …

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Most Anticipated: Our 2019 Books for Young Readers Spring Preview

Last but certainly not least in our 2019 Spring Preview is our Books for Young Readers list, featuring books that are sure to delight readers of all ages. 

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Picture Books

A little girl growing up on the prairies stands at the window and waves to the train engineer going by in A Little House in a Big Place, by Alison Acheson, illustrated by Valériane LeBlond, a book that explores the magic of a connection made between strangers while also pondering the idea of growing up. Albert just wants to read his book in peace—why won't his friends give him some quiet? Isabelle Arsenault's latest is Albert's Quiet Quest (May), and it  explores the importance of finding alone time. Cale Atkinson's Where Oliver Fits (April) looks at the highs and lows of learning to be yourself and shows that fitting in isn't always the best fit. Based on author Susan Avingaq’s childhood memories of growing up in an iglu,The Pencil introduces young readers to the idea of using things wisely. Saumiya Balasubramaniam’s When I Found Grandma (March), illustrated by Qin Leng, is an insightful and endearing portrayal of a cross-cultural grandparent-grandchild relationship that is evolving and deeply loving. Summer North Coming-Winter North Coming (March), by Doris Bentley and Jessica Bromley …

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Most Anticipated: Our 2019 Spring Poetry Preview

Post-Groundhog Day, we're looking forward to spring with our Poetry Preview, featuring new books by established poets and exciting debuts. 

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Set against a backdrop of political turmoil in the United States, James Arthur’s The Suicide's Son (April) is about the complicated personal histories that parents inherit, add to, and pass on to their children. Gathering narratives that feel both ancient and modern, John Wall Barger forges an apocalyptic vision without sacrificing poetry's underlying sense of joy, humour, and revelation in The Mean Game (April). Mike Barnes' Braille Rainbow (April) is about perception across the sensory spectrum and the arc of learning about the world and about oneself. And breth (April) presents both new and selected poems from legendary Canadian sound, visual, and performance poet bill bissett. 

Cass Blanchard’s Fresh Pack of Smokes (April) is a collection of direct and honest first-person narrative poems about the author’s experiences living homeless in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Award-winner Ali Blythe’s secon …

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Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2019 Nonfiction Preview

Our 2019 Spring Preview continues with nonfiction, featuring books on infertility and parenting, trans experience, island life, creativity, grief and art, nature, Chinese restaurants, menstruation, microbes, poetry and cod. And (obviously!) so much more. 

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Through Not Around (January), edited by Allison McDonald Ace, Ariel Ng Bourbonnais, and Caroline Starr, offers personal stories about what it's like to go through the emotional and physical facets of infertility, miscarriage, and pregnancy loss. Constance Backhouse tells the story of Canada’s first two female Supreme Court judges in Two Firsts: Bertha Wilson and Claire L'Heureux-Dubé at the Supreme Court of Canada (March). With seven kids between them and millions of fans on social media, Catherine Belknap and Nathalie Telfer get real about the parts of parenting that somehow don’t make the Instagram feed in Cat and Nat’s Mom Truths (April). Joan Boxall’s DrawBridge (May) is a sister’s discovery of the healing power of art as she searches for connection with her schizophrenic brother. And Most of What Follows Is True (February), by Michael Crummey, is an examination of the complex relationship between fact and fiction, between the “real world” and the stories we tell to explain the world to ou …

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