We Recommend

I Am a Truck, by Michelle Winters
Michelle Winters

Agathe and Réjean Lapointe are about to celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary when Réjean's beloved Chevy Silverado is found abandoned at the side of the road – with no trace of Réjean. Agathe handles her grief by fondling the shirts in the Big and Tall department at Hickey's Family Apparel and carrying on a relationship with a cigarette survey. As her hope dwindles, Agathe falls in with her spirited coworker, Debbie, who teaches Agathe about rock and roll, and with Martin Bureau, the one man who might know the truth about Réjean's fate.

Dear Ijeawele, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

How can I raise my child to be a feminist? This seemingly simple question, an intensely personal plea from a devoted mother cradling her newborn little girl is the starting point for an inspiring letter that offers fifteen world-changing yet supremely practical suggestions. In her letter, Chimamanda speaks to the important work of raising a girl in today's world, and provides her readers with a clear proposal for inclusive, nuanced thinking. Here we have not only a rousing manifesto, but a powerful gift for all people invested in the idea of creating a just society – an endeavour now more urgent and important than ever.      

Gates of Fire, by Steven Pressfield
Steven Pressfield

The Gates of Fire is a historical fiction epic about the infamous battle of Thermopylae. A small army of Spartans, bolstered by a larger force from other smaller Greek states, were able to temporarily hold back a Persian army that greatly outnumbered them. Although the book is a work of fiction, the content of the book is largely informed by historical research. The result is a beautifully gritty story that not only takes you amid the sweat and blood of the phalanx press at the Hot Gates but also delves into the small Greek border wars that led up to the battle. It also provides an unflinching look at the norms and traditions of Spartan society, including social hierarchy, military training, and slavery.

We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe, by Jorge Cham
Jorge Cham

We Have No Idea mixes science with humour to frame the biggest scientific questions of our modern age in a way that is accessible to the average reader. Cham provides a primer on topics such as dark matter, gravitational waves, quarks and many more, presenting what we know, and even more interestingly, what we don't know.

Long Way Down, by Jason Reynolds
Jason Reynolds

As Will, fifteen, sets out to avenge his brother Shawn's fatal shooting, seven ghosts who knew Shawn board the elevator and reveal truths Will needs to know.

Vacationland, by John Hodgman
John Hodgman

Presents a memoir of the author's cursed travels through the woods of Massachusetts and coastal Maine, describing his midlife transformation from an idealistic youth to an eccentric family man.

Brother, by David Chariandy
David Chariandy

With shimmering prose and mesmerizing precision, David Chariandy takes us inside the lives of two young men – sons of Trinidadian immigrants, whose father has disappeared and their mother works double, sometimes triple shifts so her boys might fulfill the elusive promise of their adopted home. Coming of age in The Park, a cluster of town houses and leaning concrete towers in the disparaged outskirts of a sprawling city, they battle against the careless prejudices and low expectations that confront them as young men of black and brown ancestry. Brother explores questions of masculinity, family, race, and identity as they are played out in a Scarborough housing complex during the sweltering heat and simmering violence of the summer of 1991.

 

Logical Family: A Memoir, by Armistead Maupin
Armistead Maupin

With humor and unflinching honesty, Maupin brings to life flesh-and-blood characters every bit as endearing and indelible as the vivid men and women who populate his Tales of the City novels. Logical Family offers an unforgettable portrait of the man who chronicled the liberation and evolution of America's queer community over the last four decades with honesty and compassion and inspired millions to claim their own lives.

The Parcel, by Anosh Irani
Anosh Irani

The Parcel's astonishing heart, soul and unforgettable voice is Madhu – born a boy, but a eunuch by choice – who has spent most of her life in a close-knit clan of transgender sex workers in Kamathipura, the notorious red-light district of Bombay. Madhu identifies herself as a "hijra" – a person belonging to the third sex, neither here nor there, man nor woman. Now, at 40, she has moved away from prostitution, her trade since her teens, and is forced to beg to support the charismatic head of the hijra clan, Gurumai. One day Madhu receives a call from Padma Madam, the most feared brothel owner in the district: a "parcel" has arrived – a young girl from the provinces, betrayed and trafficked by her aunt – and Madhu must prepare it for its fate.

Future Sex, by  Emily Witt
Emily Witt

Witt explores Internet dating, Internet pornography, polyamory, and avant-garde sexual subcultures as she observes these scenes from within, capturing them in all their strangeness, ridiculousness, and beauty. The result is an open-minded, honest account of the contemporary pursuit of connection and pleasure.

All that man is, by David Szalay
David Szalay

From billionaire to bodyguard to father-to-be, this collection of linked short stories about existentially marooned men, was short-listed for the Man Booker prize for literature. 

The Costume Making Guide, by Svetlana Quindt
Svetlana Quindt

Bring your cosplay dreams to life with your own two hands. Get ready to impress ordinary mortals with your superhuman costume-making skills. You can do it no matter what your experience level with this, the first full step-by-step technique book on cosplay – with no sewing. The author shows you how to easily create elaborate costumes and successful props out of items available at your local arts and craft or hardware stores: turn foam into a realistic axe, create a breastplate from scratch and use a glue gun to modify just about anything.

the idiot, by Elif Batuman
Elif Batuman

A portrait of the artist as a young woman. This tartly told first novel examines what happens to Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, when she lands at Harvard in 1995 and gradually reimagines herself through first love and an equally important new passion, writing.

Vanity Fair Diaries, by Tina Brown
Tina Brown

The diaries of the author's years as editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair magazine provide a portrait of the 1980s in New York and Hollywood, describing her summons from London to save Condé Nast's troubled periodical and her experiences within the cutthroat world of glamour magazines.

First bad man, by Miranda July
Miranda July

Here is Cheryl, a tightly-wound, vulnerable woman who lives alone, with a perpetual lump in her throat. Cheryl is obsessed with Phillip, a philandering board member at the women's self-defense nonprofit where she works. She believes they've been making love for many lifetimes, though they have yet to consummate in this one. When Cheryl's bosses ask if their twenty-one-year-old daughter, Clee, can move into her house for a little while, Cheryl's eccentrically ordered world explodes. And yet it is Clee – the selfish, cruel blond bombshell – who bullies Cheryl into reality and, unexpectedly, provides her the love of a lifetime.

Paperbacks from Hell, by Grady Hendrix
Grady Hendrix

A nostalgic and unflinchingly funny celebration of the horror fiction boom of the 1970's and 1980's, complete with story summaries and artist and author profiles.

First Love, by Gwendoline Riley
Gwendoline Riley

Catastrophically ill-suited for each other, Neve and her husband, Edwyn, live together in London. As Neve recalls the decisions that brought her to Edwyn, she describes other loves and other debts-from her bullying father and her self-involved mother. Drawing us into the battleground of this marriage, Gwendoline Riley tells a transfixing story of mistakes and misalliances, of helplessness and hostility, in which both husband and wife have played a part. Could this possibly be, nonetheless, a story of love?

Unfu*k Yourself, by Gary John Bishop
Gary John Bishop

Through decades of working with people as a personal development coach, Bishop has discovered that the barrier in the way of living your best life is one thing only: you. If you're easily offended, stop reading now. This isn't the book for you. But if you're looking for a book that gives you the power to find everything you ever wanted residing within you like a well of potential, waiting to be expressed, you're in luck. This is the handbook for the resigned and defeated, a manifesto for real life change and unleashing your own greatness.

Celine, by Peter Heller
Peter Heller

The story of Celine, an elegant, aristocratic private eye who specializes in reuniting families, trying to make amends for a loss in her own past.

Explorers' Sketchbooks: the Art of Discovery & Adventure, by Huw Lewis-Jones
Huw Lewis-Jones

One vital piece of equipment has been a constant in explorers' kits for centuries of adventure – the sketchbook or journal.  Here are carefully selected excerpts from 70 such sketchbooks from explorers through history to the present, records by men and women who journeyed into frozen wastelands, high mountains, barren deserts, and dense rainforests with their senses and curiosity about the world wide open.

The Essex Serpent, by Sarah Perry
Sarah Perry

Set in Victorian London and an Essex village in the 1890's, this book has at its heart the story of two extraordinary people who fall for each other, but not in the usual way. They are Cora, a London widow who moves to the Essex parish of Aldwinter, and Will the local vicar. They meet as their village is engulfed by rumours that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming human lives, has returned. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist is enthralled, but Will sees his parishioners' agitation as a deviation from true faith.  Although they can agree on absolutely nothing, as the seasons turn around them in this quiet corner of England, they find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart. 

Born to run, by Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen

Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song "Born to Run" reveals more than we previously realized.

The Party, by Elizabeth Day
Elizabeth Day

Martin Gilmour is an outsider. When he wins a scholarship to Burtonbury School, he doesn't wear the right clothes or speak with the right kind of accent. But then he meets the dazzling, popular and wealthy Ben Fitzmaurice, and gains admission to an exclusive world. But Martin knows something about Ben, a secret that will bind the two of them together for the best part of 25 years. At Ben's 40th birthday party amid the hundreds of guests – the politicians, the celebrities, the old-money and newly rich – Martin once again feels that disturbing pang of not-quite belonging. There is disquiet in the air. But Ben wouldn't do anything to damage their friendship. Would he?

The last gang in town, by Aaron Chapman
Aaron Chapman

A riot at a Rolling Stones concert opens this compelling story of a year-long confrontation in 1972 between the Vancouver police and the Clark Park gang, a band of unruly characters who ruled the city's east side. Corrupt cops, hapless criminals, and murder figure in this raucous history with contemporary overtones that questions which gang was tougher: the petty criminals, or the police themselves.

In sunlight or in shadow: stories inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper
Lawrence Block (editor)

In this anthology of seventeen superbly crafted stories inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper and commissioned by Lawrence Block, he tells us that Hopper was neither an illustrator nor a narrative painter. His paintings don’t tell stories. What they do is suggest – powerfully, irresistibly – that there are stories within them, waiting to be told. He shows us a moment in time, arrayed on a canvas; there’s clearly a past and a future, but it’s our task to find it for ourselves.