We Recommend

The Ruin, by Dervla McTiernan
Dervla McTiernan

It's been twenty years since Irish Garda Cormac Reilly discovered the body of Hilaria Blake in her crumbling Georgian home. But he's never forgotten the two children he found in her house. Twenty years later one of them is found dead – a suspected suicide and Reilly is the detective assigned with the re-investigation of a seemingly accidental overdose twenty years ago.

A Lush and Seething Hell, by John Jacobs
John Horner Jacobs

The author turns his fertile imagination to the evil that breeds within the human soul with this brilliant mix of the psychological and supernatural in two short novels. One is centered on the journal of a poet-in-exile and his failed attempts at translating a maddening text  – told by a young woman trying to come to grips with a country that nearly devoured itself. In another, a librarian discovers a recording from the Deep South – which may be the musical stylings of the Devil himself.

Olive, again, by Elizabeth Strout
Elizabeth Strout

Elizabeth Strout has achieved greatness by brilliantly laying bare the inner lives of ordinary people, by focusing on the small moments of connection which can dislodge lifelong grief and longing, and unite her characters through moments of transcendent grace. Olive, Again is another lasting work of fiction by this remarkable writer, and a cause for celebration among readers everywhere.

Genius of birds, by Jennifer Ackerman
Jennifer Ackerman

Like humans, many birds have enormous brains relative to their size. Although small, bird brains are packed with neurons that allow them to punch well above their weight. Ackerman explores the newly discovered brilliance of birds and how it came about. As she travels around the world to the most cutting-edge frontiers of research, she not only tells the story of the recently uncovered genius of birds, but also delves deeply into the latest findings about the bird brain itself that are revolutionizing our view of what it means to be intelligent.

Genius of birds, by Jennifer Ackerman
Jennifer Ackerman

Like humans, many birds have enormous brains relative to their size. Although small, bird brains are packed with neurons that allow them to punch well above their weight. Ackerman explores the newly discovered brilliance of birds and how it came about. As she travels around the world to the most cutting-edge frontiers of research, she not only tells the story of the recently uncovered genius of birds, but also delves deeply into the latest findings about the bird brain itself that are revolutionizing our view of what it means to be intelligent.

The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone, Felicity McLean
Felicity McLean

Tikka Molloy was eleven years old during the long hot summer of 1992 – the summer the Van Apfel sisters disappeared. Hannah, beautiful Cordelia and Ruth vanished during the night of the school's Showstopper concert at the amphitheatre by the river, surrounded by encroaching bushland. Now, years later, Tikka has returned home to try and make sense of the summer that shaped her, and the girls that she never forgot.

Vancouver after dark, by Aaron Copeland
Aaron Copeland

A look back at the most famous music entertainment venues in Vancouver, a city that's transforming so fast it has somehow lost some of its favourite nightspots along the way. Archival posters and photos, many published for the first time, chronicle how the city's nightlife changed with the times, and how some of these nightspots ushered in changes to Vancouver. Are the great days of Vancouver's nightlife behind us? Or does it endure in new side streets and new spaces and new forms that have resisted the changes in other parts of the city?

The Carer, by Deborah Moggach
Deborah Moggach

Phoebe and Robert, the middle-aged children of an elderly widower father, employ Mandy, who seems willing to take him off their hands. But as he regales his family with tales of shopping trips, and  journeys to garden centres, Phoebe and Robert sense something is amiss. Is this really their father, the distant figure who never once turned up for a sports day, now happily chortling over cuckoo clocks and television soaps? Then something happens that throws everything into new relief, and Phoebe and Robert discover that life most definitely does not stop for the elderly. It just moves onto a very different plane – changing all the stories they thought they knew so well.

Epilogue, by Will Boast
Will Boast

While settling his father's estate Will Boast discovers that he had another another family before Will's--a wife and two sons in England. Setting out in search of his half brothers, he attempts to reconcile their family history with his own, testing each childhood memory under the weight of his father's secret. Moving between the Midwest and England, Boast writes with visceral beauty about grief, memory, and his slow and tender journey to a new kind of love that transforms the pain and confusion of his family history into an achingly poignant portrait of resilience.

Bitter Orange, by Claire Fuller
Claire Fuller

It is 1969 and Cara and Peter are spending the summer in a crumbling English mansion while Frances writes a report on the follies in the garden. To Frances' surprise, the glamorous couple seeks her out and it is the first time in her life that she has had anybody to call a friend. But as the hot summer rolls lazily on, it becomes clear that not everything is right between Cara and Peter and as Frances becomes increasingly entangled in the lives of the hedonistic couple, the boundaries between truth and lies, right and wrong, begin to blur. 

The snow geese, by William Fiennes
William Fiennes

Combining elements of natural history, memoir, and travelogue, the author describes how, while recuperating following a long illness, he embarked on a three-thousand-mile journey following the northern migration of the snow geese from the southern United States to the Arctic Circle as he reflects on the powerful lure of home.

Akin, by Emma Donoghue
Emma Donoghue

Noah is only days away from his first trip back to Nice since he was a child when a social worker calls looking for a temporary home for Michael, his eleven-year-old great-nephew. Though he has never met the boy, he gets talked into taking him along to France. This odd couple, suffering from jet lag and culture shock, argue about everything from steak haché to screen time, and the trip is looking like a disaster. But as Michael's ease with tech and sharp eye help Noah unearth troubling details about their family's past, both of them come to grasp the risks that people in all eras have run for their loved ones, and find they are more akin than they knew.

Say nothing, by Patrick Radden Keefe
Patrick Radden Keefe

A stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions. In 1972, Jean McConville was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders and was never seen again. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the I.R.A. was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. In 2003, five years after an accord brought an uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a set of human bones was discovered on a beach. McConville's children knew it was their mother when they were told a blue safety pin was attached to the dress.

Dual Citizens, by Alix Ohlin
Alix Ohlin

In this gripping, unforgettable novel about art, ambition, sisterhood, motherhood, and self-knowledge, Alix Ohlin traces the rich and complicated lives of two indelible women. Dazzlingly insightful and beautifully crafted, the book captures the unique language of sisters and makes visible the imperceptible strings that bind us to the ones we love for good.

Pale Horse Rider, by Mark Jacobson
Mark Jacobson

We are living in a time of unprecedented distrust in America. This book is about the greatest conspiracist of this generation and a man you may not have heard of. A former U.S. naval intelligence worker, Milton William Cooper published his first manifesto in 1991 and since then it has gone on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies, becoming the number-one bestseller in the American prison system. Cooper died in a shootout with Apache County police in 2001, one month after September 11, in the year in which he had predicted catastrophe.

The Orphan of Salt Winds, by Elizabeth Brooks
Elizabeth Brooks

England, 1939. Ten-year-old Virginia Wrathmell arrives at Salt Winds, a secluded house on the edge of a marsh, to meet her adoptive parents: practical, dependable Clem and glamorous, mercurial Lorna.  Virginia's new parents' marriage is full of secrets and tensions she doesn't quite understand, and their wealthy neighbor, Max Deering, drops by too often, taking an unwholesome interest in the family's affairs. War feels far away until the day a German fighter plane crashes into the marsh, and Clem ventures out to rescue the airman. What happens next sets into motion a crime so devastating it will haunt Virginia for the rest of her life. 

How to disappear, by Akiko Busch
Akiko Busch

Vivid, surprising, and utterly timely, this book explores the idea of invisibility in nature, art, and science, in search of a more joyful and peaceful way of living in today's increasingly surveilled and publicity-obsessed world. In our increasingly networked and image-saturated lives, the notion of disappearing has never been both more enchanting and yet fanciful.  A lifelong student and observer of the natural world, Busch sets out to explore her own uneasiness with this arrangement, and what she senses is a widespread desire for a less scrutinized way of life. How to disappear is a shimmering collage of poetry, cinema, memoir, myth, and much more, which overturns the dangerous modern assumption that somehow fame and visibility equate to success and happiness.

Aria, by Nazanine Hozar
Nazanine Hozar

This extraordinary, gripping debut is a rags-to-riches-to-revolution tale about an orphan girl's coming-of-age in Iran. It is the mid-1950s in a democratic but restless Iran, a country newly powerful with oil wealth but unsettled by class and religious divides and by the politics of a larger world hungry (especially the West) for its resources. One night, a humble driver in the Iranian army is walking through a rough area of Tehran when he comes upon a newborn baby abandoned by the side of the road. He snatches up the child – and forever alters his own destiny and that of the little girl, whom he names Aria. Thus begins a stunning and revelatory debut that takes us inside the Iranian revolution – but as seen like never before, through the eyes of an orphan girl. 

Away with words, by Joe Berkowitz
Joe Berkowitz

In this immersive ride into the subversive world of pun competitions, we meet punsters weird and wonderful and Berkowitz is our tour guide. Puns may show up in life in subtle ways sometimes, but once you start thinking in puns you discover they're everywhere. Berkowitz's search to discover who makes them the most, and why, leads him to the professional comedian competitors on @Midnight, a TV show with a pun competition built into it, the writing staff of Bob's Burgers, the punniest show on TV, and even a humor research conference.

The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
Ann Patchett

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves. Cyril's son Danny and his older sister Maeve are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another.

Bluets, by Maggie Nelson
Maggie Nelson

Bluets is a meditation on love and grief; an exploration of loss; a reverie of blue. The propositions that compose Bluets were collected across three years of slowly dwindling sadness, as Nelson recovered from a heartbreak while caring for a close friend rendered quadriplegic.

River Road, by Carol Goodman
Carol Goodman

Wrongly accused in the hit-and-run accident that has killed a favorite student, a creative writing professor is shunned by the same community that once rallied around her when her own daughter was killed in an eerily similar accident six years earlier.

Beyond the body farm, by Bill Bass
Bill Bass

The forensic anthropologist author of Death's Acre tracks the field's increasing sophistication as reflected by a cross-section of cases throughout the writer's career, in an account that describes such newer technologies as DNA processing, electron microscopy, and MRI while reopening past cases in which new developments proved pivotal.

The Invited, by Jennifer McMahon
Jennifer McMahon

A chilling ghost story with a twist. In the woods of Vermont a husband and wife don't simply move into a haunted house, they start building one from scratch, without knowing it, until it's too late. In 1924, Hattie Breckenridge is hanged from a tree in her yard by the town mob, accused of a crime that was actually committed by her daughter. Nearly a century later, a young couple abandon the comforts of suburbia to begin building the house of their dreams on the same rural land where Hattie once lived. When they discover that the property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by Hattie's story and the tragic legend of her descendants, three generations of "Breckenridge women," each of whom died amid suspicion, and who seem to still be seeking something elusive and dangerous in the present day.

The salt path, by Raynor Winn
Raynor Winn

Just days after Raynor Winn learns that Moth, her husband of thirty-two years, is terminally ill, their house and farm are taken away, along with their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, through Devon and Cornwall. Carrying only the essentials for survival on their backs, they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea, and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter, and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable and life-affirming journey.