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The top books chosen by Canadian library staff

October 2020 Adult List

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  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
    by V. E. Schwab
    Tor Books
    Oct 06, 2020
    FICTION / Fantasy / Historical
    Hardcover

    Description

    In the vein ofThe Time Traveler’s Wife andLife After Life,The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue isNew York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab’s genre-defying tour de force.

    A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.


    France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever—and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

    Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

    But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

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  2. Magic Lessons
    by Alice Hoffman
    Simon & Schuster
    Oct 06, 2020
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover

    Description

    In an unforgettable novel that traces a centuries-old curse to its source, beloved author Alice Hoffman unveils the story of Maria Owens, accused of witchcraft in Salem, and matriarch of a line of the amazing Owens women and men featured in Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic.

    Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

    When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.

    Magic Lessons is a celebration of life and love and a showcase of Alice Hoffman’s masterful storytelling.
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  3. The Searcher
    by Tana French
    Viking
    Oct 06, 2020
    FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
    Hardcover

    Description

    A spellbinding, propulsive new novel from the bestselling mystery writer who "is in a class by herself." (The New York Times)

    Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a bucolic Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens. But when a local kid whose brother has gone missing arm-twists him into investigating, Cal uncovers layers of darkness beneath his picturesque retreat, and starts to realize that even small towns shelter dangerous secrets.

    "One of the greatest crime novelists writing today" (Vox) weaves a masterful, atmospheric tale of suspense, asking what we sacrifice in our search for truth and justice, and what we risk if we don't.
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  4. The Night Piece
    by Andre Alexis 'Canada'
    McClelland & Stewart
    Oct 13, 2020
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover

    Description

    A career-spanning collection of stories from the author of Fifteen Dogs, winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and Canada Reads.

    Vivid, profound, moving, and with moments of sly humour, the stories in The Night Piece reveal worlds both familiar and deeply strange. Drawing from Alexis's acclaimed debut collection, Despair and Other Stories of Ottawa, and the highly original Beauty and Sadness, and including previously uncollected stories, here is the surreal and brilliant short fiction of André Alexis--one of Canada's most extraordinary writers.

    With an Afterword by Madeleine Thien
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  5. The Once and Future Witches
    by Alix E. Harrow
    Redhook
    Oct 13, 2020
    FICTION / Alternative History
    Hardcover

    Description

    In the late 1800s, three sisters use witchcraft to change the course of history in a Hugo award-winning author's powerful novel of magic amid the suffragette movement.

    In 1893, there's no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

    But when the Eastwood sisters -- James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna -- join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women's movement into the witch's movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote -- and perhaps not even to live -- the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

    There's no such thing as witches. But there will be.

    For more from Alix E. Harrow, check out The Ten Thousand Doors of January.
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  6. Baking Day with Anna Olson
    by Anna Olson 'Canada'
    Appetite by Random House
    Oct 27, 2020
    COOKING / Methods / Baking
    Hardcover

    Description

    Canada's baking sweetheart, Anna Olson, returns with an essential guide to baking for and with those you love.

    Baking Day is the book we have all been waiting for. In this new cookbook, Anna Olson encourages you to spend time with your loved ones, baking along with her easy-to-follow, delicious recipes for all your favourite treats. This is a cookbook to bring family and friends together, and to bond over quality time spent baking. With over 120 recipes for all skill levels, there is a baking project in Baking Day for everyone.

    Anna helps you find the right recipe by marking each one with difficulty level, necessary time commitment, required tools, and modifications for allergies or dietary restrictions. Anna's savoury and sweet recipes are suitable for every level of home baker, as she encourages you to challenge yourself and develop new skills in the kitchen. Her voice is truly encouraging, as she coaches you through each step, hoping to pass on the expertise she has learned throughout her 20-year career. She is especially mindful of her younger readers, or those of you baking with kids, making sure to point out the most important details for younger budding bakers. Step back from the craziness of life and connect with those you love over shared time in the kitchen. Very soon, "baking day" will become your favourite day of the week.

    Try making your own "Gourmet Goo" Skillet Brownies, Classic No-Bake Vanilla Cheesecake with Raspberry Coulis, or Toffee Pretzel Baklava. Anna also brings together comforting classics including Dutch Baby, Giant Glazed Cinnamon Bun, and her Signature Chocolate Chip Cookies, and recipes to show your loved ones how much you care--breakfast in bed for Father's Day, maybe, or a special homemade birthday cake for your best friend. There are even treats for your pets!
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  7. Confessions on the 7:45: A Novel
    by Lisa Unger
    Park Row
    Oct 06, 2020
    FICTION / Thrillers / Psychological
    Hardcover

    Description

    “[A] taut, beautifully-written novel.” —Sarah Pekkanen, #1 New York Times bestselling author of An Anonymous Girl

    From master of suspense Lisa Unger comes a riveting thriller about a chance encounter that unravels a stunning web of lies and deceit.

    Be careful to whom you tell your darkest secrets…

    Selena Murphy is commuting home from her job in the city when the train stalls out on the tracks. She strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat, and their connection is fast and easy. The woman introduces herself as Martha and confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again.

    But days later, Selena’s nanny disappears.

    Soon Selena finds her once-perfect life upended. As she is pulled into the mystery of the missing nanny, and as the fractures in her marriage grow deeper, Selena begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover.

    Expertly plotted and reminiscent of the timeless classic Strangers on a Train, Confessions on the 7:45 is a gripping thriller about the delicate facades we create around our lives.
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  8. Black Matters
    by Afua Cooper 'Canada'
    Roseway Publishing
    Oct 12, 2020
    POETRY / American / African American
    Paperback

    Description

    Halifax’s Poet Laureate Afua Cooper and photographer Wilfried Raussert collaborate in this book of poems and photographs focused on everyday Black experiences. The result is a jambalaya — a dialogue between image and text. Cooper translates Raussert’s photos into poetry, painting a profound image of what disembodied historical facts might look like when they are embodied in contemporary characters. This visual and textual conversation honours the multiple layers of Blackness in the African diaspora around North America and Europe. The result is a work that amplifies black beauty and offers audible resistance.

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  9. Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories
    by Michael Posner 'Canada'
    Simon & Schuster
    Oct 20, 2020
    BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Music
    Hardcover

    Description

    The extraordinary life of one of the world’s greatest music and literary icons, in the words of those who knew him best.

    Poet, novelist, singer-songwriter, artist, prophet, icon—there has never been a figure like Leonard Cohen. He was a true giant in contemporary western culture, entertaining and inspiring people everywhere with his work. From his groundbreaking and bestselling novels, The Favourite Game and Beautiful Losers, to timeless songs such as “Suzanne,” “Dance Me to the End of Love,” and “Hallelujah,” Cohen is a cherished artist. His death in 2016 was felt around the world by the many fans and followers who would miss his warmth, humour, intellect, and piercing insights.

    Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories chronicles the full breadth of his extraordinary life. The first of three volumes—The Early Years—follows him from his boyhood in Montreal to university, and his burgeoning literary career to the world of music, culminating with his first international tour in 1970.

    Through the voices of those who knew him best—family and friends, colleagues and contemporaries, rivals, business partners, and his many lovers—the book probes deeply into both Cohen’s public and private life. It also paints a portrait of an era, the social, cultural, and political revolutions that shook the 1960s.

    In this revealing and entertaining first volume, bestselling author and biographer Michael Posner draws on hundreds of interviews to reach beyond the Cohen of myth and reveal the unique, complex, and compelling figure of the real man.
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  10. If I Knew Then
    by Jann Arden 'Canada'
    Random House Canada
    Oct 27, 2020
    BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Women
    Hardcover

    Description

    Jann Arden--bestselling author, recording artist and late-blooming TV star--is back with this funny, heartfelt and fierce memoir on becoming a woman of a certain age. The power, gravity and freedom she's found at fifty-seven are superpowers she believes all of us can unleash.

    Digging deep into her strengths, her failures and her losses, Jann Arden brings us an inspiring account of how she has surprised herself, in her fifties, by at last becoming completely her own person. Like many women, it took Jann a long time to realize that trying to be pleasing and likeable and beautiful in the eyes of others was a loser's game. Letting it rip, and damning the consequences, is not only liberating, it's a hell of a lot of fun: "Being the age I am--that so many women are--is just the best time of my life."

    Jann weaves her own story together with tales of her mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, and the father she came close to hating, to show her younger self--and all of us--that fear and avoidance is no way to live. "What I'm thinking about now aren't all the ways I can try to hang on to my youth or all the seconds ticking by in some kind of morbid countdown to death," she writes, "but rather how I keep becoming someone I always hoped I could be. If I'm lucky one day a very old face will look back at me from the mirror, a face I once shied away from. I will love that old woman ferociously, because she has finally figured out how to live a life of purpose--not in spite of but because of all her mistakes and failures."
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Summer 2020 Junior

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  1. Monsters 101
    by Cale Atkinson 'Canada'
    Tundra Books
    Aug 04, 2020
    JUVENILE FICTION / Monsters
    Hardcover

    Description

    Readers who loved Unicorns 101 will love this laugh-out-loud picture book that finally sets the record straight about monsters!

    Monsters! They're so much more than just that scary thing under your bed. Join Professors Vampire, Blob and Werewolf, and their trusty lab assistant--a zombie named Tina--as they reveal eerie and frankly ridiculous monsters facts never uttered outside a crypt! For example:

    Monsters love competitive board game nights!
    Favorite monster foods include clam pudding with fish heads and pickled ant ice cream!
    In addition to cauldrons and spider gardens, monster homes often include homemade collages!
    Werewolves hate the sound of vacuum cleaners!
    Monsters aren't all scary! Try being nice to one for a change! Offer them a compliment!

    Full of eye-popping illustrations and a story with nonstop sidesplitting laughs, plus a removable Professor of Monstrology diploma at the end of the book, Monsters 101 will have children--and adults--eager to enroll, time and time again!
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  2. Every Little Letter
    by Deborah Underwood
    Dial Books
    Aug 04, 2020
    JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Prejudice & Racism
    Hardcover

    Description

    For fans of The Word Collector and Be Kind comes a story of words, walls, and widening your world, by New York Times bestselling author Deborah Underwood

    Small h has always lived with the other H's in a city surrounded by walls that keep them safe. At least, that's what the big H's say. But one day, a hole in the wall reveals someone new on the other side. When little h and little i meet, they make a small word with big meaning: "hi!" The other H's find out, though. They fill the hole. But it won't be enough to keep these little letters apart--or twenty-four of their newest friends. Every Little Letter shows how even the smallest among us can make a big impact, and how a single act of friendship can inspire whole communities to come together. How do you tear down walls? With words, at first. Then brick by brick.
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  3. A Little Book About Opposites
    by Leo Lionni
    Random House Books for Young Readers
    Jun 23, 2020
    JUVENILE FICTION / Concepts / Opposites
    Board book

    Description

    A new board book about opposites for the youngest fans of Leo Lionni--inspired by his bestselling books!

    Up, down (and fast, slow) are simple concepts every child should know. Now little ones can learn about opposites with this playful board book, inspired by the works of legendary children's book author-illustrator Leo Lionni! With sturdy pages and colorful collage-style artwork, this book is perfect for boys and girls ages 0 to 5.

    Other LEO LIONNI'S FRIENDS Board Books:
    A Little Book About Spring
    A Little Book About ABCs
    A Little Book About Colors
    A Little Book About 123s
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  4. All Welcome Here
    by James Preller
    Feiwel & Friends
    Jun 16, 2020
    JUVENILE FICTION / Poetry
    Hardcover

    Description

    With gorgeous multimedia paintings-and-collages by acclaimed artist Mary GrandPre, James Preller'sAll Welcome Here promises to be an evergreen gift picture book for children about to take the big leap into their first days of school.

    The bus door swishes
    Open, an invitation.
    Someone is not sure . . .


    The first day of school and all its excitement, challenges, and yes, anxieties, are celebrated here in connected haiku poems. A diverse cast of characters all start—and finish—their first days of school, and have experiences that all children will relate to.

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  5. Big Nate Stays Classy
    by Lincoln Peirce
    Andrews McMeel Publishing
    Jun 02, 2020
    JUVENILE FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / Humorous
    Paperback

    Description

    A special hardcover volume including all of the comics from Big Nate: From the Top and Big Nate Out Loud.


    Big Nate is in a class by himself. Middle-grade kids everywhere can relate to Nate as he survives the terrors of sixth grade, facing off against overzealous teachers, under-cooked cafeteria food, and grade-grubbing classmates. Nate may be a troublemaker and the all-time record holder for most detentions in school history, but he gets there in style—taking on everything from glory on the sports field to becoming the lead singer in his friends’ band, with hilariously unexpected results along the way. Grab your backpack and join Big Nate in this extra-amusing collection, as he blazes through the halls of P.S. 38, leaving a trail of destruction, detention slips, and many, many laughs in his wake.
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  6. Little White Fish Deep Beneath the Sea
    by Guido Van Genechten
    Clavis
    Jun 19, 2020
    JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Marine Life
    Board book

    Description

    A new book in the Little White Fish series, which has sold over 600,000 copies in twenty countries!

    How deep is the sea? Little White Fish is curious. But his friends Little Goldfish, Little Turtle and Octopus warn him: the sea is very deep and very dangerous. Yet Little White Fish wants to know...

    An adventurous story about the deep sea for little daredevils ages 2.5 and up

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  7. What Is a Family?
    by Annette Griffin
    Familius
    Jul 07, 2020
    JUVENILE NONFICTION / Animals / Baby Animals
    Board book

    Description

    Ants have a colony.

    Bats have a cloud.

    Chickens have peeps,

    where they can get loud.

    All the way from A to Z, this colorful primer celebrates all kinds of families, giving each animal family a name. With dolphins and their pods, iguanas and their messes, and kitties and their litters, it’s easy to learn about what makes a family . . . well, a family!

    Families are groups that take care of their own.

    They all stick together to help make a home.

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  8. How to Doodle Year-Round
    by Kamo
    Tuttle Publishing
    Aug 04, 2020
    JUVENILE NONFICTION / Art / Cartooning
    Paperback

    Description

    Create simple seasonal and holiday doodles using multicolored pens!

    Want to draw a jack-o'-lantern with a toothy smile? How about a silly Santa out cruising in his sleigh?How to Doodle Year-Round helps you create these sweet and sensational designs—no previous artistic training required!

    Kamo provides hundreds of examples, unlocking the simple secrets to drawing freewheeling, lively and amusing doodles. Unlike fine-art or manga, there are no rules and no art-school techniques to master. All you need is a free hand and a free spirit.

    This book encourages doodlers to pick up a pen and start artfully scribbling whenever and wherever they are. Doodles can be dashed off on a piece of scrap paper or permanently enshrined on a T-shirt, bookmark, invitation or gift.
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  9. The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt
    by Riel Nason 'Canada'
    Tundra Books
    Sep 01, 2020
    JUVENILE FICTION / Ghost Stories
    Hardcover

    Description

    When you're a quilt instead of a sheet, being a ghost is hard! An adorable picture book for fans of Stumpkin and How to Make Friends with a Ghost.

    Ghosts are supposed to be sheets, light as air and able to whirl and twirl and float and soar. But the little ghost who is a quilt can't whirl or twirl at all, and when he flies, he gets very hot.

    He doesn't know why he's a quilt. His parents are both sheets, and so are all of his friends. (His great-grandmother was a lace curtain, but that doesn't really help cheer him up.) He feels sad and left out when his friends are zooming around and he can't keep up.

    But one Halloween, everything changes. The little ghost who was a quilt has an experience that no other ghost could have, an experience that only happens because he's a quilt . . . and he realizes that it's OK to be different.
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  10. The Paper Boat
    by Thao Lam 'Canada'
    Owlkids
    Sep 15, 2020
    JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Emigration & Immigration
    Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient WB
    Hardcover

    Description

    A Kirkus Reviews most anticipated picture book of fall 2020 with starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, School Library Journal and the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books — a heartfelt and personal immigration story, new from critically acclaimed author Thao Lam

    New from Thao Lam, the award-winning author of picture books My Cat Looks Like My Dad, Wallpaper, and Skunk on a String, comes a personal story inspired by her family’s refugee journey.

    In The Paper Boat, Thao’s signature collage art tells the wordless story of one family’s escape from Vietnam—a journey intertwined with an ant colony’s parallel narrative.

    At her home in Vietnam, a girl rescues ants from the sugar water set out to trap them. Later, when the girl’s family flees war-torn Vietnam, ants lead them through the moonlit jungle to the boat that will take them to safety. Before boarding, the girl folds a paper boat from a bun wrapper and drops it into the water, and the ants climb on. Their perilous journey, besieged by punishing weather, predatory birds, and dehydration, before reaching a new beginning, mirrors the family’s own. Impressionistic collages and a moving, Own Voices narrative make this a one-of-a-kind tale of courage, resilience, and hope.
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