We Recommend

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.

1066: year of the conquest, by David Howarth
David Howarth

The year 1066 is one of the most important dates in the history of the Western world: the year William the Conqueror defeated the English at the Battle of Hastings and changed England and the English forever. Drawing on a wealth of contemporary sources, Howarth gives us memorable portraits of the kings as well as the English commoners: describing how they worked, fought, died, and how they perceived the overthrow of their world from their isolated shires.

The trout, by Peter Cunningham
Peter Cunningham

Alex and Kay began their relationship years ago in Ireland where Alex was destined to become a priest. His father, a well-respected doctor, is immensely proud of him until the day Alex meets Kay, a meeting which changes Alex's life and his relationship with his father forever. Rejected by his father and his friends, Alex and Kay eventually settle in Canada to lead a normal family life, until a letter arriving out of the blue triggers a long-buried guilt in Alex.

Discovering the Hidden Wisdom of the Little Prince, by Pierre Lassus
Pierre Lassus

In this elegant, carefully argued book, Pierre Lassus reexamines the story of The Little Prince against the facts of Saint-Exupery's own extraordinary life, from his cherished but fatherless childhood in aristocratic poverty to his career as a pioneering pilot. His plane had broken down in the desert before. He had known the world of business before becoming a pilot; he had also known unrequited love. Like his little protagonist's, his body was never found after his plane disappeared in World War II. He was working on his spiritual autobiography when he died, and there too, Lassus finds resonances and keys to the understated spirituality of his last great book.    

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney
Kathleen Rooney

Lillian Boxfish took 1930s New York by storm, working her way up writing copy to become the highest paid advertising woman in the country. Now it's the last night of 1984 and Lillian, 85 years old but just as sharp and savvy as ever, is on her way to a party. Manhattan is grittier now, but the quick-tongued poetess has never been one to scare easily. On a walk that takes her over 10 miles around the city, she meets bartenders, bodega clerks, security guards, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be, while reviewing a life of excitement and adversity, passion and heartbreak, illuminating all the ways New York has changed – and has not.

Collected Tarts & Other Indelicacies, by Tabatha Southey
Tabatha Southey

Former Globe and Mail columnist Tabatha Southey showcases a decade of writings that offer the perfect balance of light and darkness, frivolity and knife-sharp wit.

Winner's Circle, by Gail Bowen
Gail Bowen

As Joanne Kilbourn-Shreve, her husband and daughter rush through the rain from their cottage to their car, the Thanksgiving weekend they just spent at the lake with Zack's law partners is already slipping away. Within weeks, a triple homicide will rip apart the lives of those related to the lawyers who styled themselves 'The Winners' Circle.' The facts behind the suicide of Christopher Altieri, known by his law partners as 'the conscience of The Winners' Circle,' appear to provide insights, but for Joanne those insights raise new, unsettling questions. Knitting this powerful narrative together is Joanne's unshakeable belief that the only thing worse than knowing is not knowing.

Walking the Bible, by Bruce Feiler
Bruce Feiler

Both a heart-racing adventure and an uplifting quest, this book describes one man's epic odyssey – by foot, jeep, rowboat, and camel – through the greatest stories every told. From crossing the Red Sea to climbing Mount Sinai to touching the burning bush, Bruce Feiler's inspiring journey will forever change your view of some of history's most storied events.

Goodbye Vitamin, by Rachel Khong
Rachel Khong

A few days after Christmas in a small suburb outside of L.A., pairs of a man's pants hang from the trees. The pants belong to Howard Young, a prominent history professor, recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Howard is erratically lucid and his wife, a devoted and creative cook, sees the sources of memory loss in every pot and pan. But as Howard's condition intensifies, the comedy in Ruth's situation takes hold, gently transforming her grief. Told in captivating glimpses and drawn from a deep well of insight, humor, and unexpected tenderness, this book pilots through the loss, love, and absurdity of finding a one's footing in this life.

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me, by Sherman Alexie
Sherman Alexie

A literary memoir of poems, essays, and intimate family photos that reflect on the author's complicated relationship with his mother and his disadvantaged childhood on a Native American reservation.

Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury

A strange carnival brings terror to the population of a small midwestern town. It rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time. A calliope's shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained.  And two inquisitive boys standing precariously on the brink of adulthood will soon discover the secret of the satanic rare show's smoke, mazes, and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes, and the stuff of nightmare..

In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
Truman Capote

On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.

Scarborough, by Catherinine Hernandez
Catherinine Hernandez

A poignant, multi-voiced novel about life in the inner city. Scarborough is a low-income, culturally diverse neighbourhood east of Toronto, the fourth largest city in North America. Like many inner-city communities, it suffers under the weight of poverty, drugs, crime, and urban blight. Scarborough the novel employs a multitude of voices to tell the story of a tight-knit neighbourhood under fire.

Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Life, by Claire Harman
Claire Harman

A groundbreaking biography that places an obsessive, unrequited love at the heart of the writer's life story, transforming her from the tragic figure we have previously known into a smoldering Jane Eyre.

No One Can Pronounce My Name, by Rakesh Satyal
Rakesh Satyal

In an American suburb, a community of newcomers has settled into living between Eastern and Western cultures. Harit, a lonely Indian immigrant lives with his mother who mourns the death of Harit's sister. In a misguided attempt to keep both himself and his mother sane, Harit has taken to dressing up in a sari every night to pass as his sister. Meanwhile, Ranjana, also an Indian immigrant, has just seen her only child off to college. Worried that her husband has begun an affair, she seeks solace by writing paranormal romances in secret. When Harit and Ranjana's paths cross, they begin a strange yet necessary friendship that brings to light their own passions and fears.

The Arab of the Future: A graphic memoir, by Riad Sattouf
Riad Sattouf

In striking, virtuoso graphic style that captures both the immediacy of childhood and the fervor of political idealism, Riad Sattouf recounts his nomadic childhood growing up in rural France, Gaddafi's Libya, and Assad's Syria – but always under the roof of his father, a Syrian Pan-Arabist who drags his family along in his pursuit of grandiose dreams for the Arab nation. Brimming with life and dark humor, this book reveals the truth and texture of one eccentric family in an absurd Middle East. In Volume 2 Riad, now settled in his fathers hometown of Horms, gets to go to school, where he dedicates himself to becoming a true Syrian in the country of the dictator Hafez Al-Assad.

Memory's last breath, by Gerda Saunders
Gerda Saunders

Based on the "field notes" she keeps in her journal, this is Saunders' astonishing window into a life distorted by dementia. She writes about shopping trips cut short by unintentional shoplifting, car journeys derailed when she loses her bearings, and the embarrassment of forgetting what she has just said to a room of university colleagues. Coping with the complications of losing short-term memory, Saunders nonetheless embarks on a personal investigation of the brain and its mysteries, examining science and literature, and immersing herself in vivid memories of her childhood in South Africa.

Kay's Lucky Coin variety, by Anne Y.K. Choi
Anne Y.K. Choi

Mary, a Korean girl growing up with her brother above her parents' convenience store in 1980s Toronto, is caught between the traditional culture of her parents and her desire to be a Canadian.

Multiculturalism:examining the politics of integration, by Charles Taylor
Charles Taylor

In this book Charles Taylor offers a historically informed, philosophical perspective on what is at stake in the demand made by many people for recognition of their particular group identities by public institutions. His thoughts serve as a point of departure for commentaries by other leading thinkers. In his essay Taylor compares two competing forms of liberal government: one that protects no particular culture but ensures the rights and welfare of all its citizens, and one that nurtures a particular culture yet also protects the basic rights and welfare of nonconforming citizens. Questioning the desirability and possibility of the first conception, Taylor defends a version of the second.

The dancehall years, by Joan Haggerty
Joan Haggerty

This family saga begins one summer on Bowen Island and in Vancouver during the Depression and moves through Pearl Harbour, the evacuation of the Japanese and three generations into the 1980s. Gwen Killam is a child whose idyllic island summers are obliterated by the war and consequent dramatically changed behavior of the adults around her. Her swimming teacher, Takumi, disappears along with his parents. The Lower Mainland is in blackout, and Gwen’s beloved Aunt Isabelle painfully realizes she must make an unthinkable sacrifice. The island’s dance hall, a well-known destination for both soldiers on leave and summer picnickers, becomes the emotional landmark for time passing and time remembered.

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine, by Gail Honeyman
Gail Honeyman

Quirky Eleanor struggles to relate to other people and lives a very solitary life. When she and the new work IT guy happen to be walking down the street together, they witness an elderly man collapse on the sidewalk and suddenly Eleanor's orderly routines are disrupted. A novel about loneliness and how a little bit of kindness can change a person forever.

The Promise of Canada, by Charlotte Grey
Charlotte Gray

What does it mean to be a Canadian? What great ideas have changed our country? An award-winning writer casts her eye over 150 years of Canadian history.

The Changeling, Victor D. LaValle
Victor D. LaValle

A wildly imaginative, dark fairy tale of one man's thrilling odyssey through an enchanted world to find his wife, who has disappeared after having seemingly committed an unforgivable act of violence.

Mozart's Starling, by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
Lyanda Lynn Haupt

In 1784 Mozart met a flirtatious little starling in a Viennese shop who sang an improvised version of the theme from his Piano Concerto no. 17 in G major. Sensing a kindred spirit in the plucky young bird, Mozart bought him and took him home to be a family pet. For three years, the starling lived with Mozart, influencing his work and serving as his companion, distraction, consolation, and muse. Two centuries later, seasoned birder and naturalist Lyanda Haupt rescues a baby starling and found herself enchanted by the same intelligence and playful spirit that had so charmed her favorite composer.

The Heaviness of Things That Float, by Jennifer Manuel
Jennifer Manuel

Bernadette has spent the last forty years living alone on the periphery of a remote West Coast First Nations reserve, serving as a nurse for the community. Only weeks from retirement, she finds herself unsettled, with no immediate family of her own. And then a shocking announcement crackles over the VHF radio of the remote medical outpost: Chase Charlie, the young man that Bernadette loves like a son, is missing.