Author: Book Store

We thought that this week we’d show a bit of a different side of what’s available at the shop. There are some art books here, some beautiful classic editions, and some puzzles! A collection of things we thought might make the perfect gift as we head into the holiday season.

 

 

What Comes From Spirit by Richard Wagamese

 

 

Drawing from Wagamese’s essays and columns, along with preserved social media and blog posts, this beautifully designed volume is a tribute to Wagamese’s literary legacy.

 


 

On Cats: An Anthology

 

 

 

This beautiful gift book contains a selection of essays, stories and poems on cats, by writers from across the centuries, revealing that cats have been worshipped, adored, and mistrusted in equal measure.

 


 

The New York Times Book Review: 125 Years of Literary History

 

 

From the longest-running, most influential book review in America, here is its best, funniest, strangest, and most memorable coverage over the past 125 years.

 


 

 

A History of Canadian Fiction by David Staines

 

 

Highlighting the people who have shaped and are shaping Canadian literary culture, the book examines such major figures as Mavis Gallant, Mordecai Richler, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, and Thomas King, concluding with young authors of today whose major successes reflect their indebtedness to their Canadian forbearers.

 


 

Original Sisters by Anita Kunz

 

 

From the internationally acclaimed artist, a stunning collection of portraits of ground-breaking women—Joan of Arc, Josephine Baker, Greta Thunberg, Misty Copeland, and many more history-making women whose names have been forgotten and are finally being brought to light. With a Foreword by Roxane Gay.

 


Hayao Miyazaki 

 

 

This book is published on the occasion of the 2021 inaugural exhibition at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, in collaboration with Studio Ghibli in Tokyo. It accompanies the first ever retrospective dedicated to the legendary filmmaker in North America and introduces hundreds of original production materials, including artworks never before seen outside of Studio Ghibli’s archives.

 


 

Pierre the Maze Detective by Hiro Kamigaki

 

 

A thrilling new maze challenge adventure for Pierre the Maze Detective and all detectives aged 8+. Follow Pierre and Carmen to Canal City for hours of puzzle fun in this crazy and colourful activity book!

 


 

The Language Lover’s Puzzle Book by Alex Bellos

 

 

100 wonder-filled word puzzles that thrill and tantalize with the beauty, magic, and weirdness of world language.

 


 

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

 

 

For the first time ever, a very special edition of the classic masterpiece, illustrated throughout in colour by the author himself and with the complete text printed in two colours. 

Sympathetically packaged to reflect the classic look of the first edition, this new edition of the bestselling hardback will prove irresistible to collectors and new fans alike.

 


Treasure Island and Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

 

 

Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic adventure stories, with N. C. Wyeth’s iconic illustrations—now available in a collectible two-volume set.

 


 

The World of Jane Austen 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

 

Piece together the world of Jane Austen, from the rolling hills of Derbyshire, via Hampshire and Lyme Regis, to the golden stone of the Bath skyline. As you immerse yourself in the proposals and balls of nineteenth-century England, why not take a turn around the garden with Mr Knightly, surprise Mr Darcy at Pemberley or escape to the seaside with Anne Elliot? Austen and her real-life contemporaries can be found amongst unforgettable characters from all six of her novels.

 


 

Michael Storrings A Day at the Bookstore 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

 

 

Soothing watercolors from award-winning designer, illustrator, and creative director Michael Storrings thoroughly capture the wonder and delight that can be found inside a bookstore.

 


 

With what promises to be our last list of Keenly Anticipated titles this season, it is important to remember that we’ve already seen postponements, and with books due out so late in the year, we can only try our best to get them before the holidays.

 

Call us or email us to pre-order anything that catches your eye!

 

Twelve Caesars by Mary Beard

 

 

From the bestselling author of SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, the fascinating story of how images of Roman autocrats have influenced art, culture, and the representation of power for more than 2,000 years.

 

Expected in store soon!


Essential New York Times Cook Book by Amanda Hesser

 

 

All the best recipes from 150 years of distinguished food journalism—a volume to take its place in America’s kitchens alongside Mastering the Art of French Cooking and How to Cook Everything.

 

Due Nov. 9


Brothers in Arms by James Holland

 

 

In the spirit of Stephen Ambrose’s famed bestselling book Band of Brothers, celebrated military historian James Holland chronicles the experiences in WWII of the legendary tank regiment, the Sherwood Rangers.

 

Due Nov. 16


North American Maps for Curious Minds

 

 

The Maps for Curious Minds series is back-with 100 vivid infographic maps that transform the way we understand the cultural and geographical wonders of North America.

 

Due Nov. 23


These Precious Days: Essays by Ann Patchett

 

 

The beloved New York Times bestselling author reflects on home, family, friendships and writing in this deeply personal collection of essays.

 

Due Nov. 23


A Cook’s Book by Nigel Slater

 

 

From the first jam tart Nigel made with his mum standing on a chair trying to reach the Aga, through to what he is cooking now, this is the ultimate Nigel Slater collection brimming with over 200 recipes.

 

Due Nov. 30


Essays Two by Lydia Davis

 

 

A collection of essays on translation, foreign languages, Proust, and one French city, from the master short-fiction writer and acclaimed translator Lydia Davis.

 

Due Nov. 30


 

The Churchill Sisters by Rachel Trethewey

 

 

As complex in their own way as their Mitford cousins, Winston and Clementine Churchill’s daughters each had a unique relationship with their famous father. Rachel Trethewey’s biography, The Churchill Sisters, tells their story.

 

Due Dec. 7


 

The Bright Ages by Matthew Gabriele and David Perry

 

 

A lively and magisterial popular history that refutes common misperceptions of the European Middle Ages, showing the beauty and communion that flourished alongside the dark brutality—a brilliant reflection of humanity itself.

 

Due Dec. 7


The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed

 

 

Booker Prize finalist and based on a true event: The Fortune Men is an intimate and harrowing novel about the last man in Cardiff to be sentenced to death.

 

Due Dec. 14


 

From the invisible to the easily-seen in this newest set of anticipated reads!

 

Ben Anticipates

The Amur River by Colin Thubron

 

 

The Amur River is almost unknown. Yet it is the tenth longest river in the world, rising in the Mongolian mountains and flowing through Siberia to the Pacific to form the tense, highly fortified border between Russia and China.

In his eightieth year, Colin Thubron takes a dramatic 3,000-mile long journey from the Amur’s secret source to its giant mouth. Harassed by injury and by arrest from the local police, he makes his way along both the Russian and Chinese shores on horseback, on foot, by boat and via the Trans-Siberian Railway, talking to everyone he meets. By the time he reaches the river’s desolate end, where Russia’s nineteenth-century imperial dream petered out, a whole, pivotal world has come alive.

 

Due Oct. 26

 

Atlas of the Invisible by James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti

 

 

Award-winning geographer-designer team James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti transform enormous datasets into rich maps and cutting-edge visualizations. In this triumph of visual storytelling, they uncover truths about our past, reveal who we are today, and highlight what we face in the years ahead. With their joyfully inquisitive approach, Cheshire and Uberti explore happiness levels around the globe, trace the undersea cables and cell towers that connect us, examine hidden scars of geopolitics, and illustrate how a warming planet affects everything from hurricanes to the hajj. Years in the making, Atlas of the Invisible invites readers to marvel at the promise and peril of data, and to revel in the secrets and contours of a newly visible world.

 

Due Nov. 9


Rupert Anticipates

The Rule of Laws by Fernanda Pirie

 

Rulers throughout history have used laws to impose order. But laws were not simply instruments of power and social control. They also offered ordinary people a way to express their diverse visions for a better world.

In The Rule of Laws, Oxford scholar Fernanda Pirie traces the rise and fall of the sophisticated legal systems underpinning ancient empires and religious traditions, while also showing how common people—tribal assemblies, merchants, farmers—called on laws to define their communities, regulate trade, and build civilizations. Although legal principles originating in Western Europe now seem to dominate the globe, the variety of the world’s laws has long been almost as great as the variety of its societies. What truly unites human beings, Pirie argues, is our very faith that laws can produce justice, combat oppression, and create order from chaos.

 

Due Nov. 9

 

The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven by Nathaniel Ian Miller

 

 

In 1916, Sven Ormson leaves a restless life in Stockholm to seek adventure in Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago where darkness reigns four months of the year and he might witness the splendor of the Northern Lights one night and be attacked by a polar bear the next. But his time as a miner ends when an avalanche nearly kills him, leaving him disfigured, and Sven flees even further, to an uninhabited fjord. There, with the company of a loyal dog, he builds a hut and lives alone, testing himself against the elements.

The teachings of a Finnish fur trapper, along with encouraging letters from his family and a Scottish geologist who befriended him in the mining camp, get him through his first winter. Years into his routine isolation, the arrival of an unlikely visitor salves his loneliness, sparking a chain of surprising events that will bring Sven into a family of fellow castoffs and determine the course of the rest of his life.

 

Due Oct. 26


Danielle Anticipates

Burntcoat by Sarah Hall

 

 

In the bedroom above her immense studio at Burntcoat, the celebrated sculptor Edith Harkness is making her final preparations. The symptoms are well known: her life will draw to an end in the coming days.

Downstairs, the studio is a crucible glowing with memories and desire. It was here, when the first lockdown came, that she brought Halit. The lover she barely knew. A presence from another culture. A doorway into a new and feverish world.

 

Due Nov. 9

 

Suiza by Bénédicte Belpois

 

Across the Galician countryside, where there are just as many rain-soaked days as not, villagers face hardships armed with hope and solidarity. Tomás is a successful farmer in this small village, but he’s not happy. His days are busy with work. His nights are a drunken spiral into self-pity and despair. A widower plagued with guilt, his life has been tarnished by tragedy that has pushed him into isolation and loneliness. All of that changes when he sees Suiza.

Warm-hearted and sensual, Suiza lands in the village en route to visit the sea. Her innocently provocative manner disturbs the tranquility of this town. Like all the men who meet her, Tomás is immediately crazy about her. What is initially a simple carnal desire will gradually transform into love and offer the possibility of personal transformation as well.

 

Due Nov. 12


Olivia Anticipates

Trust by Domenico Starnone

 

 

Pietro and Teresa’s love affair is tempestuous and passionate. After yet another terrible argument, she gets an idea: they should tell each other something they’ve never told another person, something they’re too ashamed to tell anyone. They will hear the other’s confessions without judgment and with love in their hearts. In this way, Teresa thinks, they will remain united forever, more intimately connected than ever.

A few days after sharing their shameful secrets, they break up. Not long after, Pietro meets Nadia, falls in love, and proposes. But the shadow of the secret he confessed to Teresa haunts him, and Teresa herself periodically reappears, standing at the crossroads, it seems, of every major moment in his life. Or is it he who seeks her out?

 

Due Nov. 19

 

Still Life by Sarah Winman

 

 

Set between World War II and the 1980s, Still Life is a beautiful, big-hearted story of strangers brought together by love, war, art, flood, and the ghost of E. M. Forster.
In the wine-cellar of a Tuscan villa, as the Allies advance and bombs fall around them, two people meet and share an extraordinary evening: Ulysses Temper is a young British soldier from London’s East End; Evelyn Skinner is a worldly older art historian and possible spy. She has come to Italy to rescue paintings from the ruins and relive her memories of the time she encountered E.M. Forster and had her heart stolen by an Italian maid in a particular Florentine room with a view. Evelyn’s talk of truth and beauty plants a seed in Ulysses’s mind that night, one that will shape the trajectory of his life–and the lives of those who love him–for the next four decades. Moving from war-ravaged Tuscany to the boozy confines of The Stoat and Parrot pub in London and the piazzas of post-war Florence, Still Life is both sweeping and intimate, mischievous and deeply felt. It is a novel about beauty, love and fate, about the things that make life worth living, and the things we’re prepared to die for.
Due Nov. 9

Patti Anticipates

Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King

 

Told in the intimate voices of unique and endearing characters of all ages, these tales explore desire and heartache, loss and discovery, moments of jolting violence and the inexorable tug toward love at all costs. A bookseller’s unspoken love for his employee rises to the surface, a neglected teenage boy finds much-needed nurturing from an unlikely pair of college students hired to housesit, a girl’s loss of innocence at the hands of her employer’s son becomes a catalyst for strength and confidence, and a proud nonagenarian rages helplessly in his granddaughter’s hospital room. Romantic, hopeful, brutally raw, and unsparingly honest, some even slipping into the surreal, these stories are, above all, about King’s enduring subject of love.

 

In store now!

 

A Net for Small Fishes by Lucy Jago

 

 

When Frances Howard, beautiful but unhappy wife of the Earl of Essex, meets the talented Anne Turner, the two strike up an unlikely, yet powerful, friendship. Frances makes Anne her confidante, sweeping her into a glamorous and extravagant world, riven with bitter rivalry.

As the women grow closer, each hopes to change her circumstances. Frances is trapped in a miserable marriage while loving another, and newly-widowed Anne struggles to keep herself and her six children alive as she waits for a promised proposal. A desperate plan to change their fortunes is hatched. But navigating the Jacobean court is a dangerous game and one misstep could cost them everything.

 

Due Nov. 16


 

This is our second instalment of some books we’re anticipating in the next month and which we’re worried might prove difficult to get in the coming months. Supply chains for retail in general are threatened, and particularly acute for the book industry. So, please let us know if there are any books you’d like to order, either from those listed here, or any book in general!

 

The Gilded Page by Mary Wellesley

 

 

A breathtaking journey into the hidden history of medieval manuscripts, from the Lindisfarne Gospels to the ornate Psalter of Henry VIII.

Due Oct. 12


Gastro Obscura by Cecily Wong & Dylan Thuras

 

 

It’s truly a feast of wonder: Created by the ever-curious minds behind Atlas Obscura, this breathtaking guide transforms our sense of what people around the world eat and drink.

Due Oct. 12


The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield

 

 

The #1 bestselling Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is back with an exceptional Cold War thriller from the dark heart of the Space Race.

Due Oct. 12


Hunting by Stars by Cherie Dimaline

 

 

The thrilling follow-up to the bestselling, award-winning novel The Marrow Thieves, about a dystopian world where the Indigenous people of North America are being hunted for their bone marrow and ability to dream.

Due Oct. 19


Together by Jamie Oliver

 

 

Inspirational but practical, Together is about comfort, celebration, creating new memories and, above all, sharing fantastic food. This is about memorable meals, made easy. Let’s tuck in – together!

Due Oct. 26


Ottolenghi Test Kitchen by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi

 

 

From the New York Times bestselling author and his superteam of chefs, this is Ottolenghi, unplugged: 86 irresistible recipes for relaxed, flexible home cooking that will bring the love to every shelf in your pantry, fridge, and freezer.

Due Nov. 2


Talking to Canadians by Rick Mercer

 

 

Canada’s beloved comic genius tells his own story for the first time.

Due Nov. 2


The Lyrics: 1956-the Present by Paul McCartney

 

 

A work of unparalleled candor and splendorous beauty, The Lyrics celebrates the creative life and the musical genius of Paul McCartney through 154 of his most meaningful songs.

Due Nov. 2


The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

 

 

A rich, magical new novel on belonging and identity, love and trauma, nature and renewal, from the Booker-shortlisted author of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World.

Due Nov. 2


The Correspondents by Judith Mackrell

 

 

The riveting, untold history of a group of heroic women reporters who revolutionized the narrative of World War II from the author of The Unfinished Palazzo—from Martha Gellhorn, who out-scooped her husband, Ernest Hemingway, to Lee Miller, a Vogue cover model turned war correspondent.

Due Nov. 2

Misfits, mammals, and a couple of Booker Prize potentials in this week’s list of books we’ve enjoyed reading recently.

 

Ben Recommends

Fuzz by Mary Roach

 

 

What’s to be done about a jaywalking moose? A bear caught breaking and entering? A murderous tree? Three hundred years ago, animals that broke the law would be assigned legal representation and put on trial. These days, as New York Times best-selling author Mary Roach discovers, the answers are best found not in jurisprudence but in science: the curious science of human-wildlife conflict, a discipline at the crossroads of human behavior and wildlife biology.

Roach tags along with animal-attack forensics investigators, human-elephant conflict specialists, bear managers, and “danger tree” faller blasters. Intrepid as ever, she travels from leopard-terrorized hamlets in the Indian Himalaya to St. Peter’s Square in the early hours before the pope arrives for Easter Mass, when vandal gulls swoop in to destroy the elaborate floral display. She taste-tests rat bait, learns how to install a vulture effigy, and gets mugged by a macaque.

 

April in Spain by John Banville

 

 

On the idyllic coast of San Sebastian, Spain, Dublin pathologist Quirke is struggling to relax, despite the beaches, cafés and the company of his disarmingly lovely wife. When he glimpses a familiar face in the twilight at Las Acadas bar, it’s hard at first to tell whether his imagination is just running away with him.

Because this young woman can’t be April Latimer. She was murdered by her brother, years ago—the conclusion to an unspeakable scandal that shook one of Ireland’s foremost political dynasties.

Unable to ignore his instincts, Quirke makes a call back home to Ireland and soon Detective St. John Strafford is dispatched to Spain. But he’s not the only one en route. A relentless hit man is on the hunt for his latest prey, and the next victim might be Quirke himself.

 


Rupert Recommends

Antwerp: The Glory Years by Michael Pye

 

 

Antwerp was sensational like nineteenth-century Paris or twentieth-century New York, somewhere anything could happen or at least be believed: killer bankers, easy kisses, a market in secrets and every kind of heresy. For half the sixteenth century, it was the place for breaking rules – religious, sexual, intellectual.

In Antwerp, things changed. One man cornered all the money in the city and reinvented ideas of what money meant. Another gave Antwerp a new shape purely out of his own ambition. Jews fleeing the Portuguese Inquisition needed Antwerp for their escape, thanks to the remarkable woman at the head of the grandest banking family in Europe.

But when Antwerp rebelled with the Dutch against the Spanish and lost, all that glory was buried and its true history rewritten. The city that unsettled so many now became conformist. Mutinous troops burned the city records. Michael Pye sets out to rediscover the city that was lost and bring its wilder days to life using every kind of clue: novels, paintings, songs, schoolbooks, letters and the archives of Venice, London and the Medici. He builds a picture of a city haunted by fire, plague and violence, but learning how to be a power in its own right in the world after feudalism.

 

Cuba: An American History by Ada Ferrer

 

 

Spanning more than five centuries, Cuba: An American History provides us with a front-row seat as we witness the evolution of the modern nation, with its dramatic record of conquest and colonization, of slavery and freedom, of independence and revolutions made and unmade.

Along the way, Ferrer explores the sometimes surprising, often troubled intimacy between the two countries, documenting not only the influence of the United States on Cuba but also the many ways the island has been a recurring presence in US affairs. This, then, is a story that will give American readers unexpected insights into the history of their own nation and, in so doing, help them imagine a new relationship with Cuba.

Filled with rousing stories and characters, and drawing on more than thirty years of research in Cuba, Spain, and the United States—as well as the author’s own extensive travel to the island over the same period—this is a stunning and monumental account like no other.

 


Danielle Recommends

Misfits by Michaela Coel

 

 

When invited to deliver the MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Michaela Coel touched a lot of people with her striking revelations about race, class and gender, but the person most significantly impacted was Coel herself. Building on her celebrated speech, Misfits immerses readers in her vision through powerful allegory and deeply personal anecdotes—from her coming of age in London public housing to her discovery of theater and her love for storytelling. And she tells of her reckoning with trauma and metamorphosis into a champion for herself, inclusivity, and radical honesty.

With inspiring insight and wit, Coel lays bare her journey so far and invites us to reflect on our own. By embracing our differences, she says, we can transform our lives. An artist to her core, Coel holds up the path of the creative as an emblem of our need to regard one another with care and respect—and transparency.

 

As You Were by Elaine Feeney

 

 

Sinead Hynes is a tough, driven, funny young property developer with a terrifying secret. No-one knows it: not her fellow patients in a failing hospital, and certainly not her family. She has confided only in Google and a shiny magpie. But she can’t go on like this, tirelessly trying to outstrip her past and in mortal fear of her future. Across the ward, Margaret Rose is running her chaotic family from her rose-gold Nokia. In the neighbouring bed, Jane, rarely but piercingly lucid, is searching for a decent bra and for someone to listen. And Sinead needs them both.

As You Were is about intimate histories, institutional failures, the kindness of strangers, and the darkly present past of modern Ireland; about women’s stories and women’s struggles; about seizing the moment to be free. Wildly funny, desperately tragic, inventive and irrepressible, As You Were introduces a brilliant voice in Irish fiction with a book that is absolutely of our times.

 


Olivia Recommends

Matrix by Lauren Groff

 

 

Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn for marriage or courtly life, seventeen-year-old Marie de France is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey, its nuns on the brink of starvation and beset by disease.

At first taken aback by the severity of her new life, Marie finds focus and love in collective life with her singular and mercurial sisters. In this crucible, Marie steadily supplants her desire for family, for her homeland, for the passions of her youth with something new to her: devotion to her sisters, and a conviction in her own divine visions. Marie, born the last in a long line of women warriors and crusaders, is determined to chart a bold new course for the women she now leads and protects. But in a world that is shifting and corroding in frightening ways, one that can never reconcile itself with her existence, will the sheer force of Marie’s vision be bulwark enough?

 

Jane of Battery Park by Jaye Viner

 

 

Jane is a Los Angeles nurse who grew up in a Christian cult that puts celebrities on trial for their sins. Daniel is a has-been actor whose career ended when the cult family members nearly killed him for flirting with her. Eight years after a romantic meet-cute in Battery Park, both search for someone to fill the gap they imagine the other could’ve filled if given the chance. Jane compulsively goes on dates with every self-professed expert in art, music, and food hoping they will teach her the nuances of the culture she couldn’t access in her youth. Daniel looks for a girlfriend who will accept the disabilities left from the cult attack. A loving woman will prove to Daniel’s blockbuster star brother, Steve, that he’s capable of a supporting role in Steve’s upcoming movie and relaunching Daniel’s career.

When a chance encounter unexpectedly reunites them, Jane and Daniel not only see another chance at the love they lost, but an opportunity to create the lives they’ve always wanted. The only question is whether their families will let them.

 


Patti Recommends

A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam

 

 

A Passage North begins with a message from out of the blue: a telephone call informing Krishan that his grandmother’s caretaker, Rani, has died under unexpected circumstances—found at the bottom of a well in her village in the north, her neck broken by the fall. The news arrives on the heels of an email from Anjum, an impassioned yet aloof activist Krishnan fell in love with years before while living in Delhi, stirring old memories and desires from a world he left behind.

As Krishan makes the long journey by train from Colombo into the war-torn Northern Province for Rani’s funeral, so begins an astonishing passage into the innermost reaches of a country. At once a powerful meditation on absence and longing, as well as an unsparing account of the legacy of Sri Lanka’s thirty-year civil war, this procession to a pyre “at the end of the earth” lays bare the imprints of an island’s past, the unattainable distances between who we are and what we seek.

 

The Promise by Damon Galgut

 

 

Haunted by an unmet promise, the Swart family loses touch after the death of their matriarch. Adrift, the lives of the three siblings move separately through the uncharted waters of South Africa; Anton, the golden boy who bitterly resents his life’s unfulfilled potential; Astrid, whose beauty is her power; and the youngest, Amor, whose life is shaped by a nebulous feeling of guilt.

Reunited by four funerals over three decades, the dwindling family reflects the atmosphere of its country—one of resentment, renewal, and, ultimately, hope. The Promise is an epic drama that unfurls against the unrelenting march of national history, sure to please current fans and attract many new ones.

 


 

Everything from the serious to the goofy in this week’s anticipated reads.

 

Ben Anticipates

Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli by Mark Seal

 

 

The story of how The Godfather was made is as dramatic, operatic, and entertaining as the film itself. Over the years, many versions of various aspects of the movie’s fiery creation have been told—sometimes conflicting, but always compelling. Mark Seal sifts through the evidence, has extensive new conversations with director Francis Ford Coppola and several heretofore silent sources, and complements them with colorful interviews with key players including actors Al Pacino, James Caan, Talia Shire, and others for irresistible insights into how the movie whose success some initially doubted roared to glory.

On top of the usual complications of filmmaking, the creators of The Godfather had to contend with the real-life members of its subject matter: the Mob. During production of the movie, location permits were inexplicably revoked, author Mario Puzo got into a public brawl with an irate Frank Sinatra, producer Al Ruddy’s car was found riddled with bullets, men with “connections” vied to be in the cast, and some were given film roles.

 

Due October 19

 

Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout

 

 

Through her “careful words and reverberating silences” (The New York Times), Elizabeth Strout has long captured readers’ hearts with her spare, exquisite insights on family, relationships, and loss. And never has her “perfect attunement to the human condition” (Hilary Mantel) been so evident as in these pages, as Strout’s iconic heroine Lucy Barton, of My Name Is Lucy Barton, recounts her complex, tender relationship with William, her first husband–and longtime, on-again-off-again friend and confidant. Recalling their college years, through the birth of their daughters, the painful dissolution of their marriage, and the lives they built with other people, Strout weaves a portrait, stunning in its subtlety, of a decades-long partnership.

A masterful exploration of human empathy, Oh William! captures the joy and pain of watching children grow up and start families of their own; of discovering family secrets, late in life, that rearrange everything we think we know about those closest to us; and the way people live and love, despite the variety of obstacles we face in doing so. And at the heart of this story is the unforgettable, indomitable voice of Lucy Barton, who once again offers a profound, lasting reflection on the very nature of existence. “This is the way of life,” Lucy says. “The many things we do not know until it is too late.”

 

Due October 19


 

Rupert Anticipates

The Long War by David Loyn

 

 

Three American presidents tried to defeat the Taliban—sending 150,000 international troops at the war’s peak with a trillion-dollar price tag. But early policy mistakes that allowed Osama bin Laden to escape made the task far more difficult. Deceived by easy victories, they backed ruthless corrupt local allies and misspent aid.

The story of The Long War is told by the generals who led it through the hardest years of combat as surges of international troops tried to turn the tide. Generals, which include David Petraeus, Stanley McChrystal, Joe Dunford and John Allen, were tested in battle as never before. With the reputation of a “warrior monk,” McChrystal was considered one of the most gifted military leaders of his generation. He was one of two generals to be fired in this most public of commands.

The fourth president to take on the war, Joe Biden ordered troops to withdraw in 2021, twenty years after 9/11, just as the Taliban achieved victory, leaving behind an unstable nation and an unforeseeable future.

 

Due September 21

 

Reprieve by James Han Mattson

 

 

On April 27, 1997, four contestants make it to the final cell of the Quigley House, a full-contact haunted escape room in Lincoln, Nebraska, made famous for its monstrosities, booby-traps, and ghoulishly costumed actors. If the group can endure these horrors without shouting the safe word, “reprieve,” they’ll win a substantial cash prize—a startling feat accomplished only by one other group in the house’s long history. But before they can complete the challenge, a man breaks into the cell and kills one of the contestants.

Those who were present on that fateful night lend their points of view: Kendra Brown, a teenager who’s been uprooted from her childhood home after the sudden loss of her father; Leonard Grandton, a desperate and impressionable hotel manager caught in a series of toxic entanglements; and Jaidee Charoensuk, a gay international student who came to the United States in a besotted search for his former English teacher. As each character’s journey unfurls and overlaps, deceit and misunderstandings, fuelled by obsession and prejudice, are revealed, forcing all to reckon with the ways in which their beliefs and actions contributed to a horrifying catastrophe.

 

Due October 5


 

Danielle Anticipates

Black Paper by Teju Cole

 

 

“Darkness is not empty,” writes Teju Cole in Black Paper, a book that meditates on what it means to sustain our humanity—and witness the humanity of others—in a time of darkness. One of the most celebrated essayists of his generation, Cole here plays variations on the essay form, modeling ways to attend to experience—not just to take in but to think critically about what we sense and what we don’t.

Wide-ranging but thematically unified, the essays address ethical questions about what it means to be human and what it means to bear witness, recognizing how our individual present is informed by a collective past. Cole’s writings in Black Paper approach the fractured moment of our history through a constellation of interrelated concerns: confrontation with unsettling art, elegies both public and private, the defense of writing in a time of political upheaval, the role of the color black in the visual arts, the use of shadow in photography, and the links between literature and activism. Throughout, Cole gives us intriguing new ways of thinking about blackness and its numerous connotations. As he describes the carbon-copy process in his epilogue: “Writing on the top white sheet would transfer the carbon from the black paper onto the bottom white sheet. Black transported the meaning.”

 

Due October 22

 

Exteriors by Annie Ernaux

 

 

In this novel, which takes the form of journal entries made over the course of seven years, Annie Ernaux concentrates on the ephemeral encounters that take place just on the periphery of a person’s lived environment. She captures the feeling of contemporary living on the outskirts of a great city: tortured, chaotic, lyrical, and powerfully alive.

Exteriors is in many ways the most ecstatic of Ernaux’s books–the first in which she appears largely free of the haunting personal relationships she has written about so powerfully elsewhere, and the first in which she is able to leave the past behind her.

 

Due October 19


 

Olivia Anticipates

Disorientation by Ian Williams

 

 

With that one eloquent word, disorientation, Ian Williams captures the impact of racial encounters on racialized people—the whiplash of race that occurs while minding one’s own business. Sometimes the consequences are only irritating, but sometimes they are deadly. Spurred by the police killings and street protests of 2020, Williams realized he could offer a perspective distinct from the almost exclusively America-centric books on race topping the bestseller lists, because of one salient fact: he has lived in Trinidad (where he was never the only Black person in the room), in Canada (where he often was), and in the United States (where as a Black man from the Caribbean, he was a different kind of “only”).

Inspired by the essays of James Baldwin, in which the personal becomes the gateway to larger ideas, Williams explores such things as the unmistakable moment when a child realizes they are Black; the ten characteristics of institutional whiteness; how friendship forms a bulwark against being a target of racism; the meaning and uses of a Black person’s smile; and blame culture—or how do we make meaningful change when no one feels responsible for the systemic structures of the past. With these essays, Williams wants to reach a multi-racial audience of people who believe that civil conversation on even the most charged subjects is possible. Examining the past and the present in order to speak to the future, he offers new thinking, honest feeling, and his astonishing, piercing gift of language.

 

Due September 21

 

I Will Die in a Foreign Land by Kalani Pickhart

 

 

 

In 1913, Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring premiered at the new Théâtre de Champs-Elysées in Paris. The work so perplexed audiences that a riot broke out. “Only a Russian could do that,” says Aleksandr Ivanovich. “Only a Russian could make the whole world go mad.”

A century later, in November 2013, thousands of Ukrainian citizens gathered at Independence Square in Kyiv to protest then-President Yanukovych’s failure to sign a referendum with the European Union, opting instead to forge a closer alliance with President Vladimir Putin and Russia. The peaceful protests turned violent when military police shot live ammunition into the crowd, killing over a hundred civilians.

I Will Die in a Foreign Land follows four individuals over the course of a volatile Ukrainian winter, as their lives are forever changed by the Euromaidan protests. Katya is a Ukrainian-American doctor stationed at a makeshift medical clinic in St. Michael’s Monastery; Misha is an engineer originally from Pripyat, who has lived in Kyiv since his wife’s death; Slava is a fiery young activist whose past hardships steel her determination in the face of persecution; and Aleksandr Ivanovich, a former KGB agent, climbs atop a burned-out police bus at Independence Square and plays the piano.

As Katya, Misha, Slava, and Aleksandr’s lives become intertwined, they each seek their own solace during an especially tumultuous and violent period.

 

Due October 29


 

Patti Anticipates

Permanent Astonishment by Tomson Highway

 

 

Tomson Highway was born in a snowbank on an island in the sub-Arctic, the eleventh of twelve children in a nomadic, caribou-hunting Cree family. Growing up in a land of ten thousand lakes and islands, Tomson relished being pulled by dogsled beneath a night sky alive with stars, sucking the juices from roasted muskrat tails, and singing country music songs with his impossibly beautiful older sister and her teenaged friends. Surrounded by the love of his family and the vast, mesmerizing landscape they called home, his was in many ways an idyllic far-north childhood.

But five of Tomson’s siblings died in childhood, and Balazee and Joe Highway, who loved their surviving children profoundly, wanted their two youngest sons, Tomson and Rene, to enjoy opportunities as big as the world. And so when Tomson was six, he was flown south by float plane to attend a residential school. A year later Rene joined him to begin the rest of their education. In 1990 Rene Highway, a world-renowned dancer, died of an AIDS-related illness.

Permanent Astonishment is Tomson’s extravagant embrace of his younger brother’s final words: “Don’t mourn me, be joyful.”

 

Due September 28

 

Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth by Wole Soyinka

 

 

In an imaginary Nigeria, a cunning entrepreneur is selling body parts stolen from Dr. Menka’s hospital for use in ritualistic practices. Dr. Menka shares the grisly news with his oldest college friend, bon viveur, star engineer, and Yoruba royal, Duyole Pitan-Payne. The life of every party, Duyole is about to assume a prestigious post at the United Nations in New York, but it now seems that someone is determined that he not make it there. And neither Dr. Menka nor Duyole knows why, or how close the enemy is, or how powerful.

Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth is a stirring call to arms against the abuse of power from one of our fiercest political activists, who also happens to be a global literary giant.

 

Due September 28

We’ve been hearing worried rumours about the difficulties that lay ahead this season for publishers and printers. So, in an attempt to get ahead of books going out of stock, and supply chain issues, we’ve put together a list of some of the books we thought you might want to know about, and which could prove difficult to get in the coming month.

 

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

 

 

Here is the extraordinary, thrilling new novel from Sally Rooney, author of the internationally bestselling Normal People and Conversations with Friends.

Due Sept. 7


Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

 

 

From two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead, a gloriously entertaining novel of heists, shakedowns and rip-offs set in Harlem in the 1960s.

Due Sept. 14


Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

 

 

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of All the Light We Cannot See, perhaps the most bestselling and beloved literary fiction of our time, comes the highly anticipated Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Due Sept. 28


Out of the Sun (New Massey Lecture) by Esi Edugyan

 

 

An insightful exploration and moving meditation on identity, art, and belonging from one of the most celebrated writers of the last decade.

Due Sept. 28


The Strangers by Katherena Vermette

 

 

From the bestselling author of The Break comes a staggering intergenerational saga that explores how connected we are, even when we’re no longer together—even when we’re forced apart.

Due Sept. 28


The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

 

 

The second gripping novel in the New York Times bestselling Thursday Murder Club series, the first of which Kate Atkinson called “A little beacon of pleasure in the midst of the gloom. . .”

Due Sept. 28


The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

 

 

The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America.

Due Oct. 5


April in Spain by John Banville

 

 

Booker Prize winner John Banville returns with a dark and evocative new mystery set on the Spanish coast.

Due Oct. 5


State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Clinton

 

 

From the #1 bestselling authors Hillary Clinton and Louise Penny comes a novel of unsurpassed thrills and incomparable insider expertise—State of Terror.

Due Oct. 12


Silverview by John Le Carre

 

 

In Silverview, John le Carré turns his focus to the world that occupied his writing for the past sixty years—the secret world itself.

Due Oct. 12


Poets, princes, and personalities find themselves in this week’s recommendations of books which see us travel from Cyprus to Tuscany, from Belarus to Cornwall, and then all the way back to Toronto.

 

Ben Recommends

Latitude by Nicholas Crane

 

 

They needed to know because accurate maps saved lives at sea and made money on land. But measuring the earth was so difficult that most thought it impossible.

The world’s first international team of scientists was sent to a continent of unmapped rainforests and ice-shrouded volcanoes where they attempted to measure the length on the ground of one degree of latitude.

Beset by egos and disease, storms and earthquakes, mutiny and murder, they struggled for ten years to reach the single figure they sought.

 

A Prince and a Spy by Rory Clements

 

 

Two old friends meeting in a remote castle in Sweden. They are cousins.

One is Prince George, brother of the king of England, and the other Prince Philipp von Hesse, a close friend of Adolf Hitler and a committed Nazi. Days later Prince George is killed in a plane crash and the country weeps, but not everyone believes that it was an accident.

When FDR, who happens to be a good friend of the prince, hears the tragic news, he wants to find out exactly what happened. The American OSS doesn’t believe the story that MI5 are pedalling. The situation is delicate. Professor Tom Wilde, Cambridge don, is called in to uncover the truth—but what he discovers is far more than he bargained for.

 


 

Rupert Recommends

Poet Warrior by Joy Harjo

 

 

Joy Harjo, the first Native American to serve as U.S. poet laureate, invites us to travel along the heartaches, losses, and humble realizations of her “poet-warrior” road.

Harjo listens to stories of ancestors and family, the poetry and music that she first encountered as a child, and the messengers of a changing earth—owls heralding grief, resilient desert plants, and a smooth green snake curled up in surprise. She celebrates the influences that shaped her poetry, among them Audre Lorde, N. Scott Momaday, Walt Whitman, Muscogee stomp dance call-and-response, Navajo horse songs, rain, and sunrise. In absorbing, incantatory prose, Harjo grieves at the loss of her mother, reckons with the theft of her ancestral homeland, and sheds light on the rituals that nourish her as an artist, mother, wife, and community member.

 

At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop

 

 

Alfa Ndiaye is a Senegalese man who, never before having left his village, finds himself fighting as a so-called “Chocolat” soldier with the French army during World War I. When his friend Mademba Diop, in the same regiment, is seriously injured in battle, Diop begs Alfa to kill him and spare him the pain of a long and agonizing death in No Man’s Land.

Unable to commit this mercy killing, madness creeps into Alfa’s mind as he comes to see this refusal as a cruel moment of cowardice. Anxious to avenge the death of his friend and find forgiveness for himself, he begins a macabre ritual: every night he sneaks across enemy lines to find and murder a blue-eyed German soldier, and every night he returns to base, unharmed, with the German’s severed hand. At first his comrades look at Alfa’s deeds with admiration, but soon rumors begin to circulate that this super soldier isn’t a hero, but a sorcerer, a soul-eater. Plans are hatched to get Alfa away from the front, and to separate him from his growing collection of hands, but how does one reason with a demon, and how far will Alfa go to make amends to his dead friend?

 


 

Danielle Recommends

On Freedom by Maggie Nelson

 

 

So often deployed as a jingoistic, even menacing rallying cry, or limited by a focus on passing moments of liberation, the rhetoric of freedom both rouses and repels. Does it remain key to our autonomy, justice, and well-being, or is freedom’s long star turn coming to a close? Does a continued obsession with the term enliven and emancipate, or reflect a deepening nihilism (or both)? On Freedom examines such questions by tracing the concept’s complexities in four distinct realms: art, sex, drugs, and climate.

Drawing on a vast range of material, from critical theory to pop culture to the intimacies and plain exchanges of daily life, Nelson explores how we might think, experience, or talk about freedom in ways responsive to the conditions of our day. Her abiding interest lies in ongoing “practices of freedom” by which we negotiate our interrelation with–indeed, our inseparability from–others, with all the care and constraint that relation entails, while accepting difference and conflict as integral to our communion.

 

The Singing Forest by Judith McCormack

 

 

In a quiet forest in Belarus, two boys make a gruesome find that reveals a long-kept secret: the mass grave where Stalin’s police buried thousands of murder victims in the 1930s. The results of the subsequent investigation—30,000 dead—has far-reaching effects, and across the Atlantic in Toronto, young lawyer Leah Jarvis finds herself tasked with an impossible case: the trial of elderly Stefan Drozd, a former member of Stalin’s forces, who fled his crimes in Kurapaty for a new identity in Canada.

Though Leah is convinced of Drozd’s guilt, she needs hard facts. Determined to bring him to justice, she travels to Belarus in search of witnesses—and finds herself piecing together another set of evidence: her mother’s death, her father’s absence, the shadows of her Jewish heritage. Lyrical and wrenching by turns, The Singing Forest is a profound investigation of memory, truth, and the stories that tell us who we are.

 


 

Olivia Recommends

Songbirds by Christy Lefteri

 

 

Yiannis is a poacher, trapping the tiny protected songbirds that stop in Cyprus as they migrate each year from Africa to Europe and selling them on the illegal market. He dreams of finding a new way of life, and of marrying Nisha.

But one night, Nisha makes dinner, an aromatic dahl curry, for the family who pays her: Petra and her daughter Aliki. Then, after she cleans the kitchen and tucks Aliki into bed, Nisha goes out on a mysterious errand, and vanishes.

When the police refuse to pursue the case, Petra takes on the investigation herself, a path that leads her to Nisha’s friends—other workers in the neighborhood—and to the darker side of a migrant’s life, where impossible choices leave them vulnerable, captive, and worse.

 

Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford

 

 

Lunchtime on a Saturday, 1944: the Woolworths on Bexford High Street in South London receives a delivery of aluminum saucepans. A crowd gathers to see the first new metal in ages—after all, everything’s been melted down for the war effort. An instant later, the crowd is gone; incinerated. Among the shoppers were five young children.

Who were they? What futures did they lose? This brilliantly constructed novel, inspired by real events, lets an alternative reel of time run, imagining the lives of these five souls as they live through the extraordinary, unimaginable changes of the bustling immensity of twentieth-century London. Their intimate everyday dramas, as sons and daughters, spouses, parents, grandparents; as the separated, the remarried, the bereaved. Through decades of social, sexual, and technological transformation, as bus conductors and landlords, as swindlers and teachers, patients and inmates. Days of personal triumphs and disasters; of second chances and redemption.

 


 

Patti Recommends

The Feast by Margaret Kennedy

 

 

Celebrated by Cathy Rentzenbrink, this glorious rediscovered classic exploring the mystery of a buried Cornish hotel is perfect for Agatha Christie and Daphne du Maurier fans.

Cornwall, Midsummer 1947. Pendizack Manor Hotel is buried in the rubble of a collapsed cliff. Seven guests have perished, but what brought this strange assembly together for a moonlit feast before this Act of God – or Man? Over the week before the landslide, we meet the hotel guests in all their eccentric glory: and as friendships form and romances blossom, sins are revealed, and the cracks widen.

 

The Echo Chamber by John Boyne

 

 

The Cleverley family live a gilded life, little realising how precarious their privilege is, just one tweet away from disaster. George, the patriarch, is a stalwart of television interviewing, a ‘national treasure’ (his words), his wife Beverley, a celebrated novelist (although not as celebrated as she would like), and their children, Nelson, Elizabeth, Achilles, various degrees of catastrophe waiting to happen.

Together they will go on a journey of discovery through the Hogarthian jungle of the modern living where past presumptions count for nothing and carefully curated reputations can be destroyed in an instant. Along the way they will learn how volatile, how outraged, how unforgiving the world can be when you step from the proscribed path.

 

Due Sept. 21

 


 

A book about aristocracy, a book about authors, and the book of form and emptiness in the newest instalment of what we’re keen to read.

 

Ben Anticipates

The Mountbattens by Andrew Lownie

 

 

Dickie Mountbatten: A major figure behind his nephew Philip’s marriage to Queen Elizabeth II and instrumental in the royal family taking the Mountbatten name, he was Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia during World War II and the last Viceroy of India.

Edwina Mountbatten: Once the richest woman in Britain—and a playgirl who enjoyed numerous affairs—she emerged from World War II as a magnetic and talented humanitarian worker who was loved throughout the­ world.

From British high society to the South of France, from the battlefields of Burma to the Viceroy’s House, The Mountbattens is a rich and filmic story of a powerful partnership, revealing the truth behind a carefully curated legend.

 

Due Sept. 7

 

The Magician by Colm Tóibín

 

 

When the Great War breaks out in 1914 Thomas Mann, like so many of his fellow countrymen, is fired up with patriotism. He imagines the Germany of great literature and music, that had drawn him away from the stifling, conservative town of his childhood, might be a source of pride once again. But his flawed vision will form the beginning of a dark and complex relationship with his homeland, and see the start of great conflict within his own brilliant and troubled family.

Colm Tóibín’s epic novel is the story of a man of intense contradictions. Although Thomas Mann becomes famous and admired, his inner life is hesitant, fearful and secretive. His blindness to impending disaster in the Great War will force him to rethink his relationship to Germany as Hitler comes to power. He has six children with his clever and fascinating wife, Katia, while his own secret desires appear threaded through his writing. He and Katia deal with exile bravely, doing everything possible to keep the family safe, yet they also suffer the terrible ravages of suicide among Thomas’s siblings and their own children.

 

Due Sept. 28

 


 

Rupert Anticipates

Bright Star, Green Light by Jonathan Bate

 

 

In this radiant dual biography, Jonathan Bate explores the fascinating parallel lives of John Keats and F. Scott Fitzgerald, writers who worked separately—on different continents, a century apart, in distinct genres—but whose lives uncannily echoed.

Not only was Fitzgerald profoundly influenced by Keats, titling Tender is the Night and other works from the poet’s lines, but the two shared similar fates: both died young, loved to drink, were plagued by tuberculosis, were haunted by their first love, and wrote into a new decade of release, experimentation, and decadence. Both were outsiders and Romantics, longing for the past as they sped blazingly into the future.

Using Plutarch’s ancient model of “parallel lives,” Jonathan Bate recasts the inspired lives of two of the greatest and best-known Romantic writers.

 

Due Sept. 7

 

The Sea is Not Made of Water by Adam Nicolson

 

 

In The Sea is Not Made of Water, Adam Nicolson explores the natural wonders of the intertidal and our long human relationship with it. The physics of the seas, the biology of anemone and limpet, the long history of the earth, and the stories we tell of those who have lived here: all interconnect in this zone where the philosopher, scientist and poet can meet and find meaning.

In this blend of fascinating, surprising ecology and luminous human history, Adam Nicolson gives an invitation to the shoreline. Anyone who chooses can look beyond their own reflection and find the marvellous there, waiting an inch beneath their nose.

 

Due Sept. 7

 


 

Danielle Anticipates

No. 91/92 by Lauren Elkin

 

 

In fall 2014 Lauren Elkin began keeping a diary of her bus commutes in the Notes app on her iPhone 5c, writing down the interesting things and people she saw in a Perecquian homage to Bus Lines 91 and 92, which she took from her apartment in the 5th Arrondissement to her teaching job in the 7th. Reading the notice, she decided to be vigilant when using her phone: she would carry out a public transport vigil, using it to take in the world around her and notice all the things she would miss if she continued using it the way she had been, the way everyone does—to surf the web, check social media, maintain her daily sense of self through digital interaction. Her goal became to observe the world through the screen of her phone, rather than using her phone to distract from the world.

During the course of that academic year, the Charlie Hebdo attacks occurred and Elkin had an ectopic pregnancy, requiring emergency surgery. At that point, her diary of dailiness became a study of the counterpoint between the everyday and the Event, mediated through early twenty-first century technology, and observed from the height of a bus seat.

 

Due Sept. 14

 

Assembly by Natasha Brown

 

 

Come of age in the credit crunch. Be civil in a hostile environment. Go to college, get an education, start a career. Do all the right things. Buy an apartment. Buy art. Buy a sort of happiness. But above all, keep your head down. Keep quiet. And keep going.

The narrator of Assembly is a black British woman. She is preparing to attend a lavish garden party at her boyfriend’s family estate, set deep in the English countryside. At the same time, she is considering the carefully assembled pieces of herself. As the minutes tick down and the future beckons, she can’t escape the question: is it time to take it all apart?

Assembly is a story about the stories we live within – those of race and class, safety and freedom, winners and losers.And it is about one woman daring to take control of her own story, even at the cost of her life. With a steely, unfaltering gaze, Natasha Brown dismantles the mythology of whiteness, lining up the debris in a neat row and walking away.

 

Due Sept. 14

 


 

Olivia Anticipates

Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

 

 

To his customers and neighbours on 125th street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably priced furniture, making a life for himself and his family. Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger and bigger all the time.

See, cash is tight, especially with all those installment-plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace at the furniture store, Ray doesn’t see the need to ask where it comes from. He knows a discreet jeweller downtown who also doesn’t ask questions. Then Freddie falls in with a crew who plans to rob the Hotel Theresa–the “Waldorf of Harlem”–and volunteers Ray’s services as the fence. The heist doesn’t go as planned; they rarely do, after all. Now Ray has to cater to a new clientele, one made up of shady cops on the take, vicious minions of the local crime lord and numerous other Harlem lowlifes. Thus begins the internal tussle between Ray the striver and Ray the crook. As Ray navigates this double life, he starts to see the truth about who actually pulls the strings in Harlem. Can Ray avoid getting killed, save his cousin and grab his share of the big score, all while maintaining his reputation as the go-to source for all your quality home furniture needs?

 

Due Sept. 14

 

Snowflake by Louise Nealon

 

 

Eighteen-year-old Debbie was raised on her family’s rural dairy farm, forty minutes and a world away from Dublin. She lives with her mother, Maeve, a skittish woman who takes to her bed for days on end, claims not to know who Debbie’s father is, and believes her dreams are prophecies. Rounding out their small family is Maeve’s brother Billy, who lives in a caravan behind their house, drinks too much, and likes to impersonate famous dead writers online. Though they may have their quirks, the Whites’ fierce love for one another is never in doubt.

But Debbie’s life is changing. Earning a place at Trinity College Dublin, she commutes to her classes a few days a week. Yet just as she begins to ponder the possibilities the future holds, a resurgence of strange dreams raises her fears that she may share Maeve’s fate. Then a tragic accident upends the family’s equilibrium, and Debbie discovers her next steps may no longer be hers to choose.

 

Due Sept. 14

 


 

Patti Anticipates

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

 

 

Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend Eileen is getting over a break-up and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood.

Alice, Felix, Eileen and Simon are still young—but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they worry about sex and friendship and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?

 

Due Sept. 7

 

The Book of Form and Emptiness  by Ruth Ozeki

 

 

One year after the death of his beloved musician father, thirteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house—a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn’t understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous.

At first, Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world. He falls in love with a mesmerizing street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many.   And he meets his very own Book—a talking thing—who narrates Benny’s life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.

 

Due Sept. 21

 


 

Fiction is predominant as we were spending most of the last couple weeks in the sun. We’re hoping this trend continues!

 

Ben Recommends

Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka

 

 

Nanao, nicknamed Lady Bird—the self-proclaimed “unluckiest assassin in the world”—boards a bullet train from Tokyo to Morioka with one simple task: grab a suitcase and get off at the next stop. Unbeknownst to him, the deadly duo Tangerine and Lemon are also after the very same suitcase—and they are not the only dangerous passengers onboard. Satoshi, “the Prince,” with the looks of an innocent schoolboy and the mind of a viciously cunning psychopath, is also in the mix and has history with some of the others. Risk fuels him as does a good philosophical debate . . . like, is killing really wrong? Chasing the Prince is another assassin with a score to settle for the time the Prince casually pushed a young boy off of a roof, leaving him comatose.

When the five assassins discover they are all on the same train, they realize their missions are not as unrelated as they first appear.

 

Barcelona Dreaming by Rupert Thomson

 

 

Barcelona Dreaming is narrated, in turn, by an English woman who runs a gift shop, an alcoholic jazz pianist, and a translator tormented by unrequited love, all of whose lives will be changed forever. Underpinning the novel, and casting a long shadow, is a crime committed against a young Moroccan immigrant.

Exploring themes of addiction, racism, celebrity, immigration, and self-delusion, and fueled by a longing for the unattainable and a nostalgia for what is about to be lost, Barcelona Dreaming is a love letter to one of the world’s most beautiful cities and a powerful and poignant fable for our uncertain times.

 


 

Rupert Recommends

Blood Royal by Robert Bartlett

 

 

Throughout medieval Europe, for hundreds of years, monarchy was the way that politics worked in most countries. This meant power was in the hands of a family – a dynasty; that politics was family politics; and political life was shaped by the births, marriages and deaths of the ruling family. How did the dynastic system cope with female rule, or pretenders to the throne? How did dynasties use names, the numbering of rulers and the visual display of heraldry to express their identity? And why did some royal families survive and thrive, while others did not? Drawing on a rich and memorable body of sources, this engaging and original history of dynastic power in Latin Christendom and Byzantium explores the role played by family dynamics and family consciousness in the politics of the royal and imperial dynasties of Europe. From royal marriages and the birth of sons, to female sovereigns, mistresses and wicked uncles, Robert Bartlett makes enthralling sense of the complex web of internal rivalries and loyalties of the ruling dynasties and casts fresh light on an essential feature of the medieval world.

 

The Manningtree Witches by A.K. Blakemore

 

 

England, 1643. Puritanical fervor has gripped the nation. And in Manningtree, a town depleted of men since the wars began, the hot terror of damnation burns in the hearts of women left to their own devices.

Rebecca West, fatherless and husbandless, chafes against the drudgery of her days, livened only occasionally by her infatuation with the handsome young clerk John Edes. But then a newcomer, who identifies himself as the Witchfinder General, arrives. A mysterious, pious figure dressed from head to toe in black, Matthew Hopkins takes over the Thorn Inn and begins to ask questions about what the women on the margins of this diminished community are up to. Dangerous rumors of covens, pacts, and bodily wants have begun to hang over women like Rebecca—and the future is as frightening as it is thrilling.

 


 

Danielle Recommends

To Write as if Already Dead by Kate Zambreno

 

 

To Write As If Already Dead circles around Kate Zambreno’s failed attempts to write a study of Hervé Guibert’s To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life. In this diaristic, transgressive work, the first in a cycle written in the years preceding his death, Guibert documents with speed and intensity his diagnosis and disintegration from AIDS and elegizes a character based on Michel Foucault.

Throughout this rigorous, mischievous, thrilling not-quite study, Guibert lingers as a ghost companion. Zambreno, who has been pushing the boundaries of literary form for a decade, investigates his methods by adopting them, offering a keen sense of the energy and confessional force of Guibert’s work, an ode to his slippery, scarcely classifiable genre.

 

Permafrost by Eva Baltasar

 

 

Permafrost’s no-bullshit lesbian narrator is an uninhibited lover and a wickedly funny observer of modern life. Desperate to get out of Barcelona, she goes to Brussels, ‘because a city whose symbol is a little boy pissing was a city I knew I would like’; as an au pair in Scotland, she develops a hatred of the colour green. And everywhere she goes, she tries to break out of the roles set for her by family and society, chasing escape wherever it can be found: love affairs, travel, thoughts of suicide.

Full of powerful, physical imagery, this prize-winning debut novel by acclaimed Catalan poet Eva Baltasar was a word-of-mouth hit in its own language.

 


 

Olivia Recommends

Becoming Leidah by Michelle Grierson

 

 

In the hinterlands of old Norway, Leidah Pietersdatter is born blue-skinned, with webbed hands and feet. Upon every turn of season, her mother, Maeva, worries as her daughter’s peculiarities blossom—inside the root of the tiny child, a strange power is taking hold.

Maeva tries to hide the girl from the suspicious townsfolk of the austere village of Ørken, just as she conceals her own magical ancestry from her daughter. And Maeva’s adoring husband, Pieter, wants nothing more than for his new family to be accepted by all. But unlike Pieter, who is blinded by love, Maeva is aware that the villagers, who profess a rigid faith to the new God and claim to have abandoned the old ways, are watching for any sign of transgression—and are eager to pounce and punish.

 

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

 

 

Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust.

Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.

It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career.

 


 

Patti Recommends

Virtue by Hermione Hoby

 

 

Arriving in New York City for an internship at an elite but fading magazine, Luca feels invisible: smart but not worldly, privileged but broke, and uncertain how to navigate a new era of social change. Among his peers is Zara, a young Black woman whose sharp wit and frank views on injustice create tension in the office. Luca is equally drawn to an attractive and wealthy white couple—a prominent artist and her filmmaker husband—whose lifestyle he finds alien and alluring. As summer arrives, Luca is swept up in the fever dream of their marriage, joining them at their beach house, and nurturing an infatuation both frustrating and dangerous. Only after he learns of a spectacular tragedy in the city he has left behind does he begin to realize the moral consequences of his allegiances.

 

How to Kidnap the Rich by Rahul Raina

 

 

Brilliant yet poor, Ramesh Kumar grew up working at his father’s tea stall in the Old City of Delhi. Now, he makes a lucrative living taking tests for the sons of India’s elite—a situation that becomes complicated when one of his clients, the sweet but hapless eighteen-year-old Rudi Saxena, places first in the All Indias, the national university entrance exams, thanks to him.

Ramesh sees an opportunity—perhaps even an obligation—to cash in on Rudi’s newfound celebrity, not knowing that Rudi’s role on a game show will lead to unexpected love, followed by wild trouble when both young men are kidnapped.