The top books chosen by Canadian library staff

March 2020 Adult List

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  1. A Good Neighborhood
    by Therese Anne Fowler
    St. Martin's Press
    Mar 10, 2020
    FICTION / Family Life / General
    Hardcover

    Description

    “A feast of a read... I finishedA Good Neighborhood in a single sitting. Yes, it’s that good.” —Jodi Picoult, #1New York Times bestselling author ofSmall Great ThingsandA Spark of Light

    In Oak Knoll, a verdant, tight-knit North Carolina neighborhood, professor of forestry and ecology Valerie Alston-Holt is raising her bright and talented biracial son, Xavier, who’s headed to college in the fall. All is well until the Whitmans—a family with new money and a secretly troubled teenage daughter—raze the house and trees next door to build themselves a showplace.

    With little in common except a property line, these two families quickly find themselves at odds: first, over an historic oak tree in Valerie's yard, and soon after, the blossoming romance between their two teenagers.

    A Good Neighborhoodasks big questions about life in America today—what does it mean to be a good neighbor? How do we live alongside each other when we don't see eye to eye?—as it explores the effects of class, race, and heartrending love in a story that’s as provocative as it is powerful.

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  2. Baby Food in an Instant Pot
    by Jennifer House MSc, RD 'Canada'
    Robert Rose
    Mar 15, 2020
    COOKING / Baby Food
    Paperback

    Description

    Baby Food in an Instant Pot is postponed until early 2020.

    Short on time and sleep? Need baby food in an instant? Try baby food in an Instant Pot!

    For new moms and dads it's not always easy to prepare nutritious homemade baby food. The most popular and bestselling kitchen appliance of the last several years, the Instant Pot, will be a parent's new best friend and new favorite kitchen sidekick because of how quickly and easily it can help to get healthy and delicious food into the mouths of little ones -- even the picky ones.

    Here, parents will find everything they need to know to ensure that their baby's nutrient needs are being met, prevent choking, and handle picky eating. Included in the book are 125 balanced recipes for babies and toddlers at every age and stage of development. Recipes include 50 purées, 25 finger foods and 50 family-friendly recipes along with tips on storage times, serving fresh or freezing, and nutritional benefits of individual ingredients. The book even includes sample meal plans, tips on storage in the fridge and freezer, and frequently asked questions with answers from a pediatric dietitian.

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  3. An Embarrassment of Witches
    by Sophie Goldstein
    Top Shelf Productions
    Mar 03, 2020
    COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS / Contemporary Women
    Paperback

    Description

    A coming-of-age urban fantasy set in a world full of animal familiars, enchanted plants, and spell-casting that explores the mundane horrors of breakups, job searches, and post-graduate existential angst.

    Life after college isn't turning out exactly as Rory and Angela had planned. Rory, recently dumped at the gate of her flight to Australia, needs to find a new life path ASAP. What do you do with a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Southeast Asian Spellcraft? Maybe her cute new housemate Guy is the answer she's looking for (spoiler alert: he isn't).

    Meanwhile, Angela is buckling under the pressure of a high-stakes internship in a cutting-edge cryptopharmocology lab run by Rory's controlling mother, who doesn't know Rory is still in town... and Angela hates keeping secrets.

    An Embarrassment of Witches is the story of two childhood friends learning how to be adults--and hoping their friendship can survive the change.
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  4. You Are Not Alone
    by Greer Hendricks
    St. Martin's Press
    Mar 03, 2020
    FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
    Paperback

    Description

    The thrilling new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling authors of An Anonymous Girl and The Wife Between Us. Shay Miller has three strikes against her: no job, no apartment, no love in her life. But when she witnesses a perfectly normal looking young woman about her age make the chilling decision to leap in front of an ongoing subway train, Shay realizes she could end up in the same spiral. She is intrigued by a group of women who seem to have it all together, and they invite her with the promise: "You are not alone." Why not align herself with the glamorous and seductive Moore sisters, Cassandra and Jane? They seem to have beaten back their demons, and made a life on their own terms--a life most people can only ever envy. They are everything Shay aspires to be, and they seem to have the keys to getting exactly what they want. As Shay is pulled deeper and deeper under the spell of the Moore sisters, she finds her life getting better and better. But what price does she have to pay? What do Cassandra and Jane want from her? And what secrets do they, and Shay, have that will come to a deadly confrontation? You are not alone: Is it a promise? Or a threat?
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  5. How a Woman Becomes a Lake
    by Marjorie Celona 'Canada'
    Hamish Hamilton
    Mar 03, 2020
    FICTION / Literary
    Paperback

    Description

    From the Giller-nominated author of Y comes a suspenseful novel about the dark corners of a small town

    It's New Year's Day and the residents of a small fishing town are ready to start their lives anew. Leo takes his two young sons out to the lake to write resolutions on paper boats. That same frigid morning, Vera sets out for a walk with her dog along the lake, leaving her husband in bed with a hangover.

    But she never returns. She places a call to the police saying she's found a boy in the woods, but the call is cut short by a muffled cry. Did one of Leo's sons see Vera? What are they hiding from the police? And why are they so scared of their own father?

    In the months ahead, Vera's absence sets off a chain of reverberating events in Whale Bay. Her apathetic husband succumbs to grief. Leo heads south and remarries. And the cop investigating the case falls for Leo's ex-wife but finds himself slipping further away from the truth.

    Told from shifting perspectives, How a Woman Becomes a Lake is about childhood, familial bonds, new beginnings, and costly mistakes. A literary novel with the pull and pace of a thriller, told in taut illuminating prose, it asks, what do you do when the people who are supposed to love you the most fail?
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  6. Overdose
    by Benjamin Perrin 'Canada'
    Viking
    Mar 31, 2020
    HEALTH & FITNESS / Health Care Issues
    Hardcover

    Description

    Overdose is a necessary and searching investigation into a devastating epidemic that should never have happened. Benjamin Perrin painstakingly shows that it need not continue if we, as a society, heed the evidence.”
    —Gabor Maté M.D., author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

    A powerful look at the worst epidemic in a generation—the opioid crisis.


    North America is in the middle of a health emergency. Life expectancies are declining. Someone is dying every two hours in Canada from illicit drug overdose. Fentanyl has become a looming presence—an opioid more powerful, pervasive, and deadly than any previous street drug.

    The victims are many—and often not whom we might expect. They include the poor and forgotten but also our neighbours: professionals, students, and parents. Despite the thousands of deaths, these victims have remained largely invisible.

    But not anymore. Benjamin Perrin, a law and policy expert, shines a light in this darkest of corners—and his findings challenge many assumptions about the crisis. Why do people use drugs despite the risk of overdosing? Can we crack down on the fentanyl supply? Do supervised consumption sites and providing “safe drugs” enable the problem? Which treatments work? Would decriminalizing all drugs help or do further harm?

    In this urgent and humane look at a devastating epidemic, Perrin draws on behind-the-scenes interviews with those on the frontlines, including undercover police officers, intelligence analysts, border agents, prosecutors, healthcare professionals, Indigenous organizations, activists, and people who use drugs. Not only does he unveil the many complexities of this situation, but he also offers a new way forward—one that may save thousands of lives.
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  7. Coming Up for Air
    by Sarah Leipciger 'Canada'
    House of Anansi Press
    Mar 03, 2020
    FICTION / Literary
    Paperback

    Description

    A lyrical, powerful, and richly textured novel about three lives that intertwine across oceans and time.

    On the banks of the River Seine in 1899, a young woman takes her final breath before plunging into the icy water. Although she does not know it, her decision will set in motion an astonishing chain of events. It will lead to 1950s Norway, where a grieving toy-maker is on the cusp of a transformative invention, all the way to present-day Ottawa Valley in Canada, where a journalist, battling a terrible disease, risks everything for one last chance to live.

    Taking inspiration from a remarkable true story, Coming Up for Air is a bold, richly imagined novel about the transcendent power of storytelling and the immeasurable impact of every human life. The legacy of the woman at its heart touches the lives of us all today, and this book reveals just how.

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  8. The City We Became
    by N. K. Jemisin
    Orbit
    Mar 24, 2020
    FICTION / Fantasy / Contemporary
    Hardcover

    Description

    Five New Yorkers must come together to defend their city from an ancient evil in this stunning new novel by Hugo Award-winner and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin.

    Every great city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She's got six.

    But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs in the halls of power, threatening to destroy the city and her six newborn avatars unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.

    For more from N. K. Jemisin, check out:

    The Inheritance Trilogy
    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
    The Broken Kingdoms
    The Kingdom of Gods

    The Inheritance Trilogy (omnibus edition)
    Shades in Shadow: An Inheritance Triptych (e-only short fiction)
    The Awakened Kingdom (e-only novella)

    Dreamblood Duology
    The Killing Moon
    The Shadowed Sun

    The Dreamblood Duology (omnibus)

    The Broken Earth
    The Fifth Season
    The Obelisk Gate
    The Stone Sky

    How Long 'til Black Future Month? (short story collection)
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  9. Recollections of My Nonexistence
    by Rebecca Solnit
    Viking
    Mar 10, 2020
    BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Women
    Hardcover

    Description

    "A marvel: a memoir that details her awakening as a feminist, an environmentalist, and a citizen of the world. Every single sentence is exquisite." --Maris Kreizman, Vulture

    An electric portrait of the artist as a young woman that asks how a writer finds her voice in a society that prefers women to be silent


    In Recollections of My Nonexistence, Rebecca Solnit describes her formation as a writer and as a feminist in 1980s San Francisco, in an atmosphere of gender violence on the street and throughout society and the exclusion of women from cultural arenas. She tells of being poor, hopeful, and adrift in the city that became her great teacher, and of the small apartment that, when she was nineteen, became the home in which she transformed herself. She explores the forces that liberated her as a person and as a writer--books themselves; the gay community that presented a new model of what else gender, family, and joy could mean; and her eventual arrival in the spacious landscapes and overlooked conflicts of the American West.

    Beyond being a memoir, Solnit's book is also a passionate argument: that women are not just impacted by personal experience, but by membership in a society where violence against women pervades. Looking back, she describes how she came to recognize that her own experiences of harassment and menace were inseparable from the systemic problem of who has a voice, or rather who is heard and respected and who is silenced--and how she was galvanized to use her own voice for change.
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  10. Deacon King Kong
    by James McBride
    Riverhead Books
    Mar 03, 2020
    FICTION / African American / General
    Hardcover

    Description

    From James McBride, author of the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird, one of the most anticipated novels of the year: a wise and witty tale about what happens to the witnesses of a shooting.

    In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .38 from his pocket, and in front of everybody shoots the project's drug dealer at point-blank range.

    The reasons for this desperate burst of violence and the consequences that spring from it lie at the heart of Deacon King Kong, James McBride's funny, moving novel and his first since his National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird. In Deacon King Kong, McBride brings to vivid life the people affected by the shooting: the victim, the African-American and Latinx residents who witnessed it, the white neighbors, the local cops assigned to investigate, the members of the Five Ends Baptist Church where Sportcoat was deacon, the neighborhood's Italian mobsters, and Sportcoat himself.

    As the story deepens, it becomes clear that the lives of the characters--caught in the tumultuous swirl of 1960s New York--overlap in unexpected ways. When the truth does emerge, McBride shows us that not all secrets are meant to be hidden, that the best way to grow is to face change without fear, and that the seeds of love lie in hope and compassion.

    Bringing to these pages both his masterly storytelling skills and his abiding faith in humanity, James McBride has written a novel every bit as involving as The Good Lord Bird and as emotionally honest as The Color of Water. Told with insight and wit, Deacon King Kong demonstrates that love and faith live in all of us.
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January & February 2020 Juvenile and Young Adult List

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  1. One of Us Is Next
    by Karen M. McManus
    Delacorte Press
    Jan 07, 2020
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Thrillers & Suspense
    Lexile measure HL740L
    Hardcover

    Description

    The highly anticipated, #1 New York Times bestselling sequel to One of Us Is Lying! There's a new mystery to solve at Bayview High, and there's a whole new set of rules.

    Come on, Bayview, you know you've missed this.

    A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one's been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.

    Until now.

    This time it's not an app, though—it's a game.

    Truth or Dare.

    Phoebe's the first target. If you choose not to play, it's a truth. And hers is dark.

    Then comes Maeve and she should know better—always choose the dare.

    But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it's that they can't count on the police for help. Or protection.

    Simon's gone, but someone's determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there's a whole new set of rules.

    And don't miss Two Can Keep a Secret, another "must-read YA thriller" from Karen M. McManus (Bustle)!

    Praise for One of Us Is Next:

    ?"Full of exciting and unexpected twists and racing toward a shocking conclusion, McManus’s tale will not disappoint fans, and those unfamiliar with her previous work will inhale this complicated story of friendship and revenge." —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

    "A thrilling read...[that] has all the twists and turns that readers love."—Booklist

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  2. The Bat
    by Elise Gravel 'Canada'
    Tundra Books
    Feb 04, 2020
    JUVENILE NONFICTION / Animals / Nocturnal
    Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient L, Lexile measure 610L
    Hardcover

    Description

    Hilarious illustrated nonfiction about bats perfect for beginning readers. Conversational text and silly illustrations will have you up all night reading about the only flying mammal on Earth!

    Fast bat facts:
    • Distinctive trait: The only flying mammal
    • Diet: Insects, fruit and even animal blood
    • Special talent: Sleeping upside down

    The Bat covers habitat (bats live everywhere except Antarctica!), species (there are over 1,200 kinds of bats), echolocation, hibernation (bats hibernate just like bears!), conservation (don't disturb a sleeping bat!) and much more. Although silly and off-the-wall, The Bat contains factual information that will both amuse and teach at the same time.
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  3. The Conference of the Birds
    by Ransom Riggs
    Dutton Books for Young Readers
    Jan 14, 2020
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural
    Hardcover

    Description

    The brand-new book in the #1 bestselling Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series!

    With his dying words, H—Jacob Portman’s final connection to his grandfather Abe’s secret life entrusts Jacob with a mission: Deliver newly con­tacted peculiar Noor Pradesh to an operative known only as V. Noor is being hunted. She is the subject of an ancient prophecy, one that foretells a looming apocalypse. Save Noor—Save the future of all peculiardom.

    With only a few bewildering clues to follow, Jacob must figure out how to find V, the most enigmatic, and most powerful, of Abe’s former associates. But V is in hiding and she never, ever, wants to be found.

    With enemies behind him and the unknown ahead, Jacob Portman’s story continues as he takes a brave leap forward into The Conference of the Birds, the newest installment of the beloved, #1 bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.
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  4. The Cockroach
    by Elise Gravel 'Canada'
    Tundra Books
    Feb 04, 2020
    JUVENILE NONFICTION / Animals / Insects, Spiders, etc.
    Lexile measure 760L, Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient M
    Hardcover

    Description

    Hilarious illustrated non-fiction about cockroaches perfect for beginning readers. You'll bug out over this perfect pairing of humorous text and funny illustrations about this insect that's been around for over 335 million years!

    Fast cockroach facts:
    • Distinctive trait: Flat and oval-shaped body
    • Diet: Everything! (Especially if it's greasy and sweet . . .)
    • Special talent: Running

    The Cockroach covers lifestyle (cockroaches prefer the dark and only come out during the day when their colonies get big enough), anatomy (cockroaches have wings but rarely fly), habitat (they prefer heat to cold), life cycle (a female can give birth to up to 350 babies during her lifetime) and much more. Although silly and off-the-wall, The Cockroach contains factual information that will both amuse and teach at the same time.
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  5. Swim Swim Sink
    by Jenn Harney
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
    Jan 21, 2020
    JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Birds
    Hardcover

    Description

    Three tiny ducks. One straight line.
    New happy flock. All feeling fine.

    Until, that is, the last ducking sinks when she should swim. Let's try that again . . . and again and again. All this sinking is ruining the rhyme!

    Little ones will love following the antics of these adorable ducklings, and parents will enjoy the way the book goes off the rails halfway through. Everyone will laugh at the tiny ducky's string of failures and cheer when it comes up with the best solution of all.
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  6. Northwest Resistance
    by Katherena Vermette 'Canada'
    HighWater Press
    Feb 25, 2020
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / People & Places / Aboriginal & Indigenous
    Book

    Description

    Echo Desjardins just can't stop slipping back and forth in time.

    In Northwest Resistance, Echo travels to 1885, a period of turmoil. The bison are gone, settlers from the East are arriving daily, and the Métis and First Nations of the Northwest face hunger and uncertainty as their traditional way of life is threatened. The Canadian government has ignored their petitions, but hope rises when Louis Riel returns to help. However, battles between Canadian forces and the Métis and their allies lead to defeat at Batoche. Through it all, Echo gains new perspectives about where she came from and what the future may hold.

    Northwest Resistance is volume three in the graphic novel series, A Girl Called Echo.

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  7. Belle Revolte
    by Linsey Miller
    Sourcebooks Fire
    Feb 04, 2020
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Fantasy / Epic
    Hardcover

    Description

    From the author of the Mask of Shadows duology comes a standalone fantasy where two young women must trade lives, work together to stay alive, and end a war caused by magic and greed.

    Emilie des Marais is more at home holding scalpels than embroidery needles and is desperate to escape her noble roots to serve her country as a physician. But society dictates a noble lady cannot perform such gruesome work.

    Annette Boucher, overlooked and overworked by her family, wants more from life than her humble beginnings and is desperate to be trained in magic. So when a strange noble girl offers Annette the chance of a lifetime, she accepts.

    Emilie and Annette swap lives—Annette attends finishing school as a noble lady to be trained in the ways of divination, while Emilie enrolls to be a physician's assistant, using her natural magical talent to save lives.

    But when their nationinstigates a terrible war, Emilie and Annette come together to help the rebellion unearth the truth before it's too late.

    "A bursting-at-the-seams stand-alone empowerment story."—Kirkus Reviews
    "Hand to any lover of magic, rebellion, secrets, and self-discovery."—Booklist

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  8. Bent Heavens
    by Daniel Kraus
    Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
    Feb 25, 2020
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Thrillers & Suspense
    Hardcover

    Description

    “Kraus gets under your skin with brutal, elegant efficiency. Necessarily horrifying, devastatingly timely.”—Kiersten White,New York Times-bestselling author ofThe Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein andSlayer

    FromNew York Times-bestselling author Daniel Kraus comes a breakneck, genre-defying YA thriller perfect for fans of Kiersten White, Neal Shusterman, and M. T. Anderson.

    Liv Fleming’s father went missing more than two years ago, not long after he claimed to have been abducted by aliens. Liv has long accepted that he’s dead, though that doesn’t mean she has given up their traditions. Every Sunday, she and her lifelong friend Doug Monk trudge through the woods to check the traps Lee left behind, traps he set to catch the aliens he so desperately believed were after him.

    But Liv is done with childhood fantasies. Done pretending she believes her father’s absurd theories. Done going through the motions for Doug’s sake. However, on the very day she chooses to destroy the traps, she discovers in one of them a creature so inhuman it can only be one thing. In that moment, she’s faced with a painful realization: her dad was telling the truth. And no one believed him.

    Now, she and Doug have a choice to make. They can turn the alien over to the authorities…or they can take matters into their own hands.

    On the heels of the worldwide success ofThe Shape of Water, Daniel Kraus returns with a horrifying and heartbreaking thriller about the lengths people go to find justice and the painful reality of grief.


    Bent Heavens is the darkest, angriest alien horror story that I've ever encountered. Hell. Yes.”—Stephanie Perkins,New York Times-bestselling author ofThere's Someone Inside Your House

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  9. Llamaste and Friends
    by Pat-A-Cake
    Rodale Kids
    Feb 25, 2020
    JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Friendship
    Board book

    Description

    Practice yoga with your little ones with Llamaste and Friends, a yoga book about being kind.

    Meet Llamaste, a llama who loves yoga! Join her in this funny, sweet story as she helps Tiger calm down and Koala be brave by showing them simple, practical yoga poses. The easy-to-use text also encourages children to explore their emotions and develop empathy skills.

    All of Llamaste's poses are designed to help parents and children to begin their own yoga practice at home!
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  10. Straight On Till Morning
    by Liz Braswell
    Disney-Hyperion
    Feb 04, 2020
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Fairy Tales & Folklore / Adaptations
    Hardcover

    Description

    What if Wendy first traveled to Neverland . . . with Captain Hook?

    Sixteen-year-old Wendy Darling's life is not what she imagined it would be. The doldrums of an empty house after her brothers have gone to school, the dull parties where everyone thinks she talks too much, and the fact that her parents have decided to send her away to Ireland as a governess-it all makes her wish things could be different.

    Wendy's only real escape is in writing down tales of Never Land. After nearly meeting her hero, Peter Pan, four years earlier, she still holds on to the childhood hope that his magical home truly exists. She also holds on to his shadow.

    So when an opportunity to travel to Never Land via pirate ship presents itself, Wendy makes a deal with the devil. But Never Land isn't quite the place she imagined it would be. Unexpected dangers and strange foes pop up at every turn, and a little pixie named Tinker Bell seems less than willing to help.

    But when Captain Hook reveals some rather permanent and evil plans for Never Land, it's up to the two of them to save Peter Pan-and his world.

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