The top books chosen by Canadian library staff

December 2019 Adult List

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  1. To Be Taught, If Fortunate
    by Becky Chambers
    Hodder & Stoughton
    Dec 24, 2019
    FICTION / Science Fiction / Space Exploration
    Hardcover

    Description

    Adriane is one such explorer. As an astronaut on an extrasolar research vessel, she and her fellow crewmates sleep between worlds, and wake up each time with different features. Her experience is one of fluid body and stable mind, and of a unique perspective on the passage of time. Back on Earth, society changes dramatically from decade to decade, as it always does. Ariadne may awaken to find that support for space exploration back home has waned, or that her country of birth no longer exists, or that a cult has arisen around their cosmic findings, only to dissolve once more by the next waking. But the moods of Earth have little bearing on their mission: to explore, to study, and to send their learnings home.

    Carrying all the trademarks of her other beloved works, including brilliant writing, fantastic world-building and exceptional, diverse characters, Becky's first book outside of the Wayfarer's series is sure to capture the imagination readers all over the world.

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  2. This Is Going to Hurt
    by Adam Kay
    Little, Brown Spark
    Dec 03, 2019
    BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
    Hardcover

    Description

    Bestselling author Adam Kay channels Henry Marsh and David Sedaris to tell us the "darkly funny" (The New Yorker) -- and sometimes horrifying -- truth about life and work in a hospital.

    Welcome to 97-hour weeks. Welcome to life and death decisions. Welcome to a constant tsunami of bodily fluids. Welcome to earning less than the hospital parking meter. Wave goodbye to your friends and relationships. Welcome to the life of a first-year doctor.

    Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, comedian and former medical resident Adam Kay's This Is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the front lines of medicine.

    Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking by turns, this is everything you wanted to know -- and more than a few things you didn't -- about life on and off the hospital ward. And yes, it may leave a scar.
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  3. Just Watch Me
    by Jeff Lindsay
    Dutton
    Dec 03, 2019
    FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
    Hardcover

    Description

    A masterful thief plots an impossible crime—stealing the Iranian Crown Jewels.

    From the author of the wildly successful Dexter series comes a new, mesmerizing bad guy we can root for: Riley Wolfe. He’s a master thief, expert at disguise, and not averse to violence when it’s needed. It’s no accident, though, that Riley targets the wealthiest 0.1 percent and is willing to kill them when they’re in his way: he despises the degenerate and immoral rich and loves stealing their undeserved and unearned valuables.

    In this series launch, Riley aims for an extraordinary target in a heist that will make history. Riley will try to steal the Crown Jewels of Iran. Yes, these jewels are worth billions, but the true attraction for grabbing them comes down to one simple fact: it can’t be done. Stealing these jewels is absolutely impossible. The collection is guarded by space-age electronics and two teams of heavily armed mercenaries. No one could even think of getting past the airtight security and hope to get away alive, let alone with even a single diamond from the Imperial Collection.

    No one but Riley Wolfe. He’s always liked a challenge.

    But this challenge may be more than even he can handle. Aside from the impenetrable security, Riley is also pursued by a brilliant and relentless cop who is barely a step behind him.

    With the aid of his sometime ally, a beautiful woman who is a master art forger, Riley Wolfe goes for the prize that will either make him a legend—or, more likely, leave him dead.
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  4. Meg and Jo
    by Virginia Kantra
    Berkley
    Dec 03, 2019
    FICTION / Women
    Paperback

    Description

    The timeless classic Little Women inspired this heartwarming modern tale of four sisters from New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra.

    The March sisters—reliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Beth—have grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing down, leaving her struggling to stay afloat in a gig economy as a prep cook and secret food blogger.

    Meg appears to have the life she always planned—the handsome husband, the adorable toddlers, the house in a charming subdivision. But sometimes getting everything you’ve ever wanted isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

    When their mother’s illness forces the sisters home to North Carolina for the holidays, they’ll rediscover what really matters.

    One thing’s for sure—they’ll need the strength of family and the power of sisterhood to remake their lives and reimagine their dreams.
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  5. The Glittering Hour
    by Iona Grey
    Thomas Dunne Books
    Dec 10, 2019
    FICTION / Romance / Historical / 20th Century
    Hardcover

    Description

    Award-winning author Iona Grey's next unforgettable historical about true love found and lost and the secrets we keep from one another

    Selina Lennox is a Bright Young Thing. Her life is a whirl of parties and drinking, pursued by the press and staying on just the right side of scandal, all while running from the life her parents would choose for her.

    Lawrence Weston is a penniless painter who stumbles into Selina's orbit one night and can never let her go even while knowing someone of her stature could never end up with someone of his. Except Selina falls hard for Lawrence, envisioning a life of true happiness. But when tragedy strikes, Selina finds herself choosing what's safe over what's right.

    Spanning two decades and a seismic shift in British history as World War II approaches, Iona Grey'sThe Glittering Hour is an epic novel of passion, heartache and loss.

    "An absorbing tale of love, loss, and the ties that bind... A sweeping historical saga that captures the desires and dilemmas of the heart." —Booklist

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  6. Now You See Them
    by Elly Griffiths
    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    Dec 03, 2019
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Historical
    Hardcover

    Description

    The fifth book in the Magic Men series,Now You See Them is a wild mystery with detective Edgar Stephens and the magician Max Mephisto, as they investigate a string of presumed kidnappings in the swinging 1960s.

    The new decade is going well for Edgar Stephens and his good friend the magician Max Mephisto. Edgar is happily married, with children, and promoted to Superintendent. Max has found fame and stardom in America, though is now back in England for a funeral, and a prospective movie job. Edgar’s new wife, though—former detective Emma—is restless and frustrated at home, knowing she was the best detective on the team.

    But when an investigation into a string of disappearing girls begins, Emma sees her chance to get back in the action. She begins her own hunt, determined to prove, once and for all that she’s better than the boys. Though she’s not the only one working toward that goal—there’s a new woman on the force, and she’s determined to make detective. When two more girls go missing, both with ties to the group, the stakes climb ever higher, and Max finds himself drawn into his own search.

    Who will find the girls first? And will they get there in time?
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  7. The Book of Science and Antiquities
    by Thomas Keneally
    Atria Books
    Dec 10, 2019
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover

    Description

    Thomas Keneally, the bestselling author of The Daughters of Mars and Schindler’s List, returns with an exquisite exploration of community and country, love and morality, taking place in both prehistoric and modern Australia.

    An award-winning documentary filmmaker, Shelby Apple is obsessed with reimagining the full story of the Learned Man—a prehistoric man whose remains are believed to be the link between Africa and ancient Australia. From Vietnam to northern Africa and the Australian Outback, Shelby searches for understanding of this enigmatic man from the ancient past, unaware that the two men share a great deal in common.

    Some 40,000 years in the past, the Learned Man has made his home alongside other members of his tribe. Complex and deeply introspective, he reveres tradition, loyalty, and respect for his ancestors. Willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good, the Learned Man cannot conceive that a man millennia later could relate to him in heart and feeling.

    In this “meditation on last things, but still electric with life, passion and appetite” (The Australian), Thomas Keneally weaves an extraordinary dual narrative that effortlessly transports you around the world and across time, offering “a hymn to idealism and to human development” (Sydney Morning Herald).
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  8. How The Dead Speak
    by Val McDermid
    Atlantic Monthly Press
    Dec 03, 2019
    FICTION / Thrillers / General
    Hardcover

    Description

    Val McDermid is an award-winning, crime-writing powerhouse, and now she returns to her explosive, thrilling series featuring psychological profiler Tony Hill and ex-DCI Carol Jordan in her latestHow The Dead Speak

    With Tony behind bars and Carol finally out of road as a cop, he’s finding unexpected outlets for his talents in jail and she’s joined forces with a small informal group of lawyers and forensics experts looking into suspected miscarriages of justice. But they’re doing it without each other; being in the same room at visiting hour is too painful to contemplate. Meanwhile, construction is suddenly halted on the redevelopment of an orphanage after dozens of skeletons are found buried in the grounds. Forensic examination reveals they date from between twenty and forty years ago, when the nuns were running their repressive regime. But then a different set of skeletons are discovered in a far corner, young men from as recent as ten years ago.

    When newly promoted DI Paula McIntyre discovers that one of the male skeletons is that of a killer who is supposedly alive and behind bars—and the subject of one of Carol’s miscarriage investigations—it brings Tony and Carol irresistibly into each other’s orbit once again. A shocking, masterfully plotted novel that will leave readers breathless,How The Dead Speak is McDermid at her best and a can’t miss read long-time fans and new readers alike.

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  9. Trace of Evil
    by Alice Blanchard
    Minotaur Books
    Dec 03, 2019
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
    Hardcover

    Description

    From Alice Blanchard, the author of theNew York TimesNotable mystery novelDarkness Peering comesTrace of Evil, first in an evocative new series about a small New York town, its deeply held secrets, and the woman determined to uncover them, no matter what the cost.

    There’s something wicked in Burning Lake…

    Natalie Lockhart is a rookie detective in Burning Lake, New York, an isolated town known for its dark past. Tasked with uncovering the whereabouts of nine missing transients who have disappeared over the years, Natalie wrestles with the town’s troubled history – and the scars left by her sister’s unsolved murder years ago.

    Then Daisy Buckner, a beloved schoolteacher, is found dead on her kitchen floor, and a suspect immediately comes to mind. But it’s not that simple. The suspect is in a coma, collapsed only hours after the teacher’s death, and it turns out Daisy had secrets of her own. Natalie knows there is more to the case, but as the investigation deepens, even she cannot predict the far-reaching consequences – for the victim, for the missing of Burning Lake, and for herself.

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  10. The Thank-You Project
    by Nancy Davis Kho
    Running Press Adult
    Dec 03, 2019
    SELF-HELP / Personal Growth / Happiness
    Hardcover

    Description

    Gratitude and happiness go hand-in-hand -- and The Thank-You Project provides an easy-to-follow approach for creating more of both.

    Who helped you become the person you are today? As Nancy Davis Kho approached a milestone birthday, she decided to answer that question by sending thank-you letters to the many people who had influenced her, helped her, and inspired her over the years: family, friends, mentors, teachers, co-workers, even a couple of former friends and exes. While her recipients always seemed genuinely pleased to read the letters, what Nancy never expected was the profound and positive effect the process would have on her. As it turns out, emerging research proves that actively appreciating the formative people in your life, past and present, can lead to a lasting increase in your happiness levels--and The Thank-you Project offers a charming, entertaining roadmap to see, say and savor your way there.
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November & December 2019 Juvenile and Young Adult List

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  1. Children of Virtue and Vengeance
    by Tomi Adeyemi
    Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
    Dec 03, 2019
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Fantasy / General
    Hardcover

    Description

    “Meet Tomi Adeyemi—the new J.K. Rowling. (Yep, she’s that good).”—Entertainment Weekly

    After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

    Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari's right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy's wrath.

    With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

    Children of Virtue and Vengeanceis the stunning sequel to Tomi Adeyemi'sNew York Times-bestselling debutChildren of Blood and Bone, the first book in the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy.

    Praise forChildren of Blood and Bone:

    “Poses thought-provoking questions about race, class and authority that hold up a warning mirror to our sharply divided society.”–The New York Times

    “The next big thing in literatureandfilm.”Ebony

    “A fast-paced, excellently crafted hero's journey…populated with compelling and nuanced black characters.”–NPR

    “A debut novel that is nearly impossible to put down.”–USA Today

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  2. Love from the Crayons
    by Drew Daywalt
    Penguin Workshop
    Dec 24, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / Holidays & Celebrations / Valentine's Day
    Hardcover

    Description

    Ring in Valentine's Day--and love--with the New York Times Best-Selling Crayons! This charming new title featuring everyone's favorite coloring crew is the perfect gift for that special someone on Valentine's Day--or any day of the year.

    Love is yellow and orange. Because love is sunny and warm.
    Love is purple. Because it's okay to love outside the lines.

    This special gift book, featuring all the The Crayons from The Day the Crayons Quit, explores the bright colors and subtle shades of love. This is a must-have for fans of The Crayons, and the perfect gift for that special someone.
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  3. The Princess in Black and the Bathtime Battle
    by Shannon Hale
    Candlewick
    Nov 26, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / Superheroes
    Hardcover

    Description

    Something smells like trouble! Can five princess heroes and one Goat Avenger pool their talents to vanquish a monstrous stink?

    The Princess in Black is in a very stinky situation. A foul cloud is plaguing the goat pasture, and it smells worse than a pile of dirty diapers or a trash can on a hot summer day. But every time the Princess in Black and her friend the Goat Avenger manage to get rid of the odor, they accidentally blow it to another kingdom! Other masked heroes and their trusty companions show up to help, but how do you battle a stench when your ninja moves fail? Fans with a nose for slapstick will be tickled to see the six stalwart friends join their wits to take on an impossibly beastly stink.
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  4. Ada Lovelace Cracks the Code
    by Rebel Girls
    Rebel Girls
    Nov 12, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / Girls & Women
    Hardcover

    Description

    From the world of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls comes a story based on the exciting adventures of Ada Lovelace: one of the world’s first computer programmers.

    Growing up in nineteenth century London, England, Ada is curious about absolutely everything. She is obsessed with machines and with creatures that fly. She even designs her own flying laboratory!

    According to her mother, Ada is a bit too wild, so she encourages Ada to study math. At first Ada thinks: Bleh! Who can get excited about a subject without pictures? But she soon falls in love with it. One day she encounters a mysterious machine, and from that moment forward Ada imagines a future full of possibility—one that will eventually inspire the digital age nearly two hundred years later.

    Ada Lovelace Cracks the Code is the story of a pioneer in the computer sciences, and a testament to women’s invaluable contributions to STEM throughout history.

    Includes additional text on Ada Lovelace’s lasting legacy, as well as educational activities designed to teach simple coding and mathematical concepts.
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  5. P Is for Poppadoms!
    by Kabir Sehgal
    Beach Lane Books
    Nov 05, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / Concepts / Alphabet
    Lexile measure AD780L
    Hardcover

    Description

    From New York Times bestselling authors Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal comes a charming and unique alphabet book celebrating the rich culture, delicious foods, and fascinating animals of India.

    From C for chai to Y for yoga, this fresh alphabet book takes young readers on a spirited journey to discover the people, places, lifestyles, and language of India. Lush illustrations from debut illustrator Hazel Ito bring to life the beauty, wonder, and diversity of this vast and vibrant country.
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  6. Songs from the Deep
    by Kelly Powell 'Canada'
    Margaret K. McElderry Books
    Nov 05, 2019
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Mermaids
    Lexile measure HL720L
    Hardcover

    Description

    A girl searches for a killer on an island where deadly sirens lurk just beneath the waves in this gripping, atmospheric debut novel.

    The sea holds many secrets.

    Moira Alexander has always been fascinated by the deadly sirens who lurk along the shores of her island town. Even though their haunting songs can lure anyone to a swift and watery grave, she gets as close to them as she can, playing her violin on the edge of the enchanted sea. When a young boy is found dead on the beach, the islanders assume that he's one of the sirens’ victims. Moira isn’t so sure.

    Certain that someone has framed the boy’s death as a siren attack, Moira convinces her childhood friend, the lighthouse keeper Jude Osric, to help her find the real killer, rekindling their friendship in the process. With townspeople itching to hunt the sirens down, and their own secrets threatening to unravel their fragile new alliance, Moira and Jude must race against time to stop the killer before it’s too late—for humans and sirens alike.
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  7. I Am Perfectly Designed
    by Karamo Brown
    Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
    Nov 05, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Parents
    Hardcover

    Description

    I Am Perfectly Designedis an exuberant celebration of loving who you are, exactly as you are, from Karamo Brown, the Culture Expert of Netflix's hit seriesQueer Eye, and Jason Brown—featuring illustrations by Anoosha Syed.

    In this empowering ode to modern families, a boy and his father take a joyful walk through the city, discovering all the ways in which they are perfectly designed for each other.

    "With tenderness and wit, this story captures the magic of building strong childhood memories. The Browns and Syed celebrate the special bond between parent and child with joy and flair...Syed's bright, cartoon illustrations enrich the tale with a meaningful message of kindness and inclusion."—Kirkus

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  8. Bad Kitty Joins the Team
    by Nick Bruel
    Roaring Brook Press
    Dec 31, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Cats
    Hardcover

    Description

    See Kitty as you've never seen her before: EXERCISING (reluctantly) inBad Kitty Joins the Team, the latest installment of Nick Bruel's phenomenally successfulNew York Times bestselling series.

    Kitty is terribly out of shape—she can barely torment Puppy without needing a break to huff and puff! When Kitty's owner catches her wheezing, Kitty is told it's time to EXERCISE.

    It takes some serious convincing, a high-stakes competition, and a little bit of trickery but eventually Kitty gets into the competitive spirit . . . albeit reluctantly. What did you expect?

    Will our favorite feline friend learn what it means to be a good sport? Find out in this hilarious addition to the Bad Kitty series.

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  9. Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii
    by Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson 'Canada'
    Heritage House
    Nov 19, 2019
    JUVENILE NONFICTION / People & Places / Canada / Native Canadian
    Hardcover

    Description

    Based on ancient Haida narratives, this vibrantly illustrated children's book empowers young people and teaches them to live in harmony with nature.

    Haida Gwaii is home to a rich and vibrant culture whose origins date back thousands of years. Today, the Haida People are known throughout Canada and the world for their artistic achievements, their commitment to social justice and environmental protection, and their deep connection to the natural world. Embedded in Haida culture and drawn from ancient oral narratives are a number of Supernatural Beings, many of them female, who embody these connections to the land, the sea, and the sky. Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii features ten of these ancient figures and presents them to children as visually engaging, empowering, and meaningful examples of living in balance with nature. Developed by renowned Haida activist, lawyer, performer, and artist Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson and Haida educator Sara Florence Davidson, this book challenges stereotypes, helps advance reconciliation, and celebrates Indigenous identity and culture.

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  10. Aesop's Fables
    by Elli Woollard
    Macmillan Children's Books
    Nov 19, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / Classics
    Hardcover

    Description

    Charmingly retold in rhyming verse, with enchanting illustrations throughout, this is a retelling of a selection of Aesop's Fables. In this wonderfully illustrated collection, meet the vain peacock and the wise crane, discover what happens to the boy who cried wolf one too many times, and find out what the bear whispered to the traveller. Combining the brilliant rhyming talents of Elli Woollard with stunning illustrations from the award-winning Marta Altés, this collection is one children and adults alike will truly treasure. Stories include: The Travellers and the Bear The Hare and the Tortoise Peter and the Wolf The Ape and the Fox The Dog and the Bone The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse The Peacock and the Crane The Donkey in Lion's Skin
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