Author: Book Store

The Certainties Book Cover The Certainties
Aislinn Hunter
Fiction
Knopf Canada
In store now!

A vivid, moving novel reminiscent of Anthony Doerr and Michael Ondaatje, about the entwined fates of two very different refugees.

In 1940, as the shadow of war lengthens over Europe, three mysterious travelers enter a village in Spain. They have the appearance of Parisian intellectuals, but the trio of two men and a woman are starving and exhausted from crossing illegally through the Pyrenees. Their story, told over a period of 48 tense hours, is narrated by one of the men, who slowly accepts his unthinkable fate. In a voice despairing and elegant, he calmly considers what he should do, and weighs what any one life means. As he does so, his attention is caught by a five-year-old named Pia who wanders near his cafe table. To Pia he begins to address all that he thinks and feels in his final hours--envisioning a rich future life for her that both reflects and contrasts with his own.

Meanwhile, in the 1980s, a woman named Pia seeks solitude on a remote island in the Atlantic, where she works at an inn and reflects on her chaotic childhood. As Pia's story begins, a raging storm engulfs the island and a boat flounders offshore. Pia and her fellow islanders rush to help--and past and present calamities collide.

By turns elegiac and heart-pounding, a love letter in the guise of a song of despair, The Certainties is a moving and transformative blend of historical and speculative fiction--a novel that shows us what it means to bear witness, and to attend to those who seek refuge, past and present.

True Crimes and Misdemeanors Book Cover True Crimes and Misdemeanors
Jeffrey Toobin
Politics
Doubleday
In store now!

From CNN chief legal analyst and bestselling author Jeffrey Toobin, a real-life legal thriller about the prosecutors and congressional investigators pursuing the truth about Donald Trump's complicity in several crimes--and why they failed.

Donald Trump's campaign chairman went to jail. So did his personal lawyer. His long-time political consigliere was convicted of serious federal crimes, and his national security advisor pled guilty to others. Several Russian spies were indicted in absentia. Career intelligence agents and military officers were alarmed enough by the president's actions that they alerted senior government officials and ignited the impeachment process.

Yet despite all this, a years-long inquiry led by special counsel Robert Mueller, and the third impeachment of a president in American history, Donald Trump survived to run for re-election. Why?

Jeffrey Toobin's highly entertaining definitive account of the Mueller investigation and the impeachment of the president takes readers behind the scenes of the epic legal and political struggle to call Trump to account for his misdeeds. With his superb storytelling and analytic skills Toobin recounts all the mind-boggling twists and turns in the case--Trump's son met with a Russian operative promising Kremlin support! Trump paid a porn star $130,000 to hush up an affair! Rudy Giuliani and a pair of shady Ukrainian-American businessmen got the Justice Department to look at Russian-created conspiracy theories! Toobin shows how Trump's canny lawyers used Mueller's famous integrity against him, and how Trump's bullying and bluster cowed Republican legislators into ignoring the clear evidence of the impeachment hearings.

Based on dozens of interviews with prosecutors in Mueller's office, Trump's legal team, Congressional investigators, White House staffers, and several of the key players, including some who are now in prison, True Crimes and Misdemeanors is a revelatory narrative that makes sense of the seemingly endless chaos of the Trump years. Filled with never-before-reported details of the high-stakes legal battles and political machinations, the book weaves a tale of a rogue president guilty of historic misconduct, and how he got away with it.

Talking to a Portrait Book Cover Talking to a Portrait
Rosalind M. Pepall
Art
Véhicule Press
In store now!

The unexpected turns and obsessions of a curator's job.

This is a collection of stories about art works--whether an oil portrait, a wilderness explorer's sketchbook or a Tiffany lamp--and how the author fell under their spell. Few people are aware of the work, the emotion, and the obsessions of a curator's job. Exhibitions come and go; they are forgotten after a few years, but they live on in the curator's memory.

In these fifteen essays we encounter artists falling in and out of love, family tragedies, the creation of the Stanley Cup, the secrets of Tiffany, Antiques Roadshow, a rootless baroness, the design craze for aluminum, small Japanese boxes called kogos, watercolour sketchbooks of the Canadian north, a beautiful prayer room in Montreal, gondolas flying through windows in Venice, and Moscovites who love Goldfinger.

Pepall’s stories sparkle with clarity and leave one with a sense that art is an amazing, worthwhile, occasionally mysterious human activity.

Archival black and white photographs and colour plates—including Edwin Holgate’s Ludivine, one of the most beloved and recognizable Canadian portraits ever painted—make this book a must-have for art lovers, students, academics, museum-goers and readers interested in the role art plays in the creation of our lives.

Twilight of Democracy Book Cover Twilight of Democracy
Anne Applebaum
History
Signal
In store now

A Pulitzer Prize–winning historian explains, with electrifying clarity, why elites in democracies around the world are turning toward nationalism and authoritarianism.

From the United States and Britain to continental Europe and beyond, liberal democracy is under siege, while authoritarianism is on the rise. In Twilight of Democracy, Anne Applebaum, an award-winning historian of Soviet atrocities who was one of the first American journalists to raise an alarm about antidemocratic trends in the West, explains the lure of nationalism and autocracy. In this captivating essay, she contends that political systems with radically simple beliefs are inherently appealing, especially when they benefit the loyal to the exclusion of everyone else.

Despotic leaders do not rule alone; they rely on political allies, bureaucrats, and media figures to pave their way and support their rule. The authoritarian and nationalist parties that have arisen within modern democracies offer new paths to wealth or power for their adherents. Applebaum describes many of the new advocates of illiberalism in countries around the world, showing how they use conspiracy theory, political polarization, social media, and even nostalgia to change their societies.

Elegantly written and urgently argued, Twilight of Democracy is a brilliant dissection of a world-shaking shift and a stirring glimpse of the road back to democratic values.

Fresh Water for Flowers Book Cover Fresh Water for Flowers
Valérie Perrin (trans. Hildegarde Serle)
Fiction
Europa
July 2

A poignant runaway bestseller full of French charm and memorable characters, Fresh Water for Flowers is Valérie Perrin’s English debut.

Violette Toussaint is the caretaker at a cemetery in a small town in Bourgogne. Casual mourners, regular visitors, and sundry colleagues—gravediggers, groundskeepers, and a priest—visit her to warm themselves in her lodge, where laughter, companionship, and occasional tears mix with the coffee she offers them. Her life is lived to the rhythms of their funny, moving confidences.

Violette’s routine is disrupted one day by the arrival of Julien Sole—local police chief—who insists on scattering the ashes of his recently deceased mother on the gravesite of a complete stranger. It soon becomes clear that Julien’s inexplicable gesture is intertwined with Violette’s own difficult past.

With Fresh Water for Flowers, Valérie Perrin has given readers an intimately told story that tugs on the heartstrings about a woman who believes obstinately in happiness, despite it all. A number one bestseller in France, Fresh Water for Flowers is a heartwarming and tender story that will stay will readers for years after the final page is turned.

Love Book Cover Love
Roddy Doyle
Fiction
Knopf
In store now!

Two old friends reconnect in Dublin for a dramatic, revealing evening of confidences--some planned, some spontaneous--in this captivating new book from the author of the Booker Prize-winning Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.

Old friends meet up on a summer's evening at a Dublin restaurant. Both are now married with grown-up children, and their lives have taken seemingly similar paths. But Joe has a secret he has to tell Davy, and Davy, a grief he wants to keep from Joe. Both are not the men they used to be.

Neither Davy nor Joe know what the night has in store, but as two pints turns to three, then five, and the men set out to revisit the haunts of their youth, the ghosts of Dublin entwine around them. Their first buoyant forays into adulthood, the pubs, the parties, broken hearts and bungled affairs, as well as the memories of what eventually drove them apart.

As the two friends try to reconcile their versions of the past over the course of one night, Love offers a moving portrait of what it means to put into words the many forms love can take throughout our lives.

The Dragons, the Giant, the Women Book Cover The Dragons, the Giant, the Women
Wayétu Moore
Memoir
Graywolf Press
In store now!

An engrossing memoir of escaping the First Liberian Civil War and building a life in the United States.

When Wayétu Moore turns five years old, her father and grandmother throw her a big birthday party at their home in Monrovia, Liberia, but all she can think about is how much she misses her mother, who is working and studying in faraway New York. Before she gets the reunion her father promised her, war breaks out in Liberia. The family is forced to flee their home on foot, walking and hiding for three weeks until they arrive in the village of Lai. Finally, a rebel soldier smuggles them across the border to Sierra Leone, reuniting the family and setting them off on yet another journey, this time to the United States.

Spanning this harrowing journey in Moore’s early childhood, her years adjusting to life in Texas as a black woman and an immigrant, and her eventual return to Liberia, The Dragons, the Giant, the Women is a deeply moving story of the search for home in the midst of upheaval. Moore has a novelist’s eye for suspense and emotional depth, and this unforgettable memoir is full of imaginative, lyrical flights and lush prose. In capturing both the hazy magic and stark realities of what is becoming an increasingly pervasive experience, Moore shines a light on the great political and personal forces that continue to affect many migrants around the world, and calls us all to acknowledge the tenacious power of love and family.

The Beauty and the Terror Book Cover The Beauty and the Terror
Catherine Fletcher
History
Bodley Head
In store now!

The Italian Renaissance shaped western culture – but it was far stranger and darker than many of us realise.

We revere Leonardo da Vinci for his art but few now appreciate his ingenious designs for weaponry. We know the Mona Lisa for her smile but not that she was married to a slave-trader. We visit Florence to see Michelangelo's David but hear nothing of the massacre that forced the republic’s surrender. In focusing on the Medici in Florence and the Borgias in Rome, we miss the vital importance of the Genoese and Neapolitans, the courts of Urbino and Mantua. Rarely do we hear of the women writers, Jewish merchants, the mercenaries, engineers, prostitutes, farmers and citizens who lived the Renaissance every day.

In fact, many of the most celebrated artists and thinkers that have come to define the Renaissance – Leonardo and Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian, Machiavelli and Castiglione – emerged not during the celebrated ‘rebirth’ of the fifteenth century but amidst the death and destruction of the sixteenth century. For decades, a series of savage wars dominated Italy’s political, economic and daily life, generating fortunes and new technologies, but also ravaging populations with famine, disease and slaughter. In this same short time, the birth of Protestantism, Spain’s colonisation of the Americas and the rise of the Ottoman Empire all posed grave threats to Italian power, while sparking debates about the ethics of government and enslavement, religious belief and sexual morality.

In The Beauty and the Terror, Catherine Fletcher provides an enrapturing narrative history that brings all of this and more into view. Brimming with life, it takes us closer than ever before to the lived reality of this astonishing era and its meaning for today.

Exciting Times Book Cover Exciting Times
Naoise Dolan
Ecco

An intimate, bracingly intelligent debut novel about a millennial Irish expat who becomes entangled in a love triangle with a male banker and a female lawyer

Ava, newly arrived in Hong Kong from Dublin, spends her days teaching English to rich children.

Julian is a banker. A banker who likes to spend money on Ava, to have sex and discuss fluctuating currencies with her. But when she asks whether he loves her, he cannot say more than "I like you a great deal."

Enter Edith. A Hong Kong–born lawyer, striking and ambitious, Edith takes Ava to the theater and leaves her tulips in the hallway. Ava wants to be her—and wants her.

And then Julian writes to tell Ava he is coming back to Hong Kong... Should Ava return to the easy compatibility of her life with Julian or take a leap into the unknown with Edith?

Politically alert, heartbreakingly raw, and dryly funny, Exciting Times is thrillingly attuned to the great freedoms and greater uncertainties of modern love. In stylish, uncluttered prose, Naoise Dolan dissects the personal and financial transactions that make up a life—and announces herself as a singular new voice.

Nothing Left to Lose Book Cover Nothing Left to Lose
Philip Slayton
Sutherland House

Canadians like to think that our lack of political drama in comparison to Trump-era America and Brexit-crazed UK is indicative of our civic virtue. But what if our relative calm is really evidence of less admirable qualities: excessive deference and obedience, and outright servility? In this no-holds-barred essay, acclaimed legal expert and author Philip Slayton (Lawyers Gone Bad) lays bare the unpleasant reality of public life in Canada: that the freedoms necessary for the survival of liberal democracy are eroding and disappearing within our borders. Ranging from universities to law courts, from Parliament to Canadian literature, Slayton’s sharp insights spare no quarter of Canadian society. Nothing Left to Lose has something to delight and offend everyone. Its fiery call for action to rescue freedom in Canada is certain to spark a national conversation.