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The top books chosen by Canadian library staff

June 2021 Adult List

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  1. The Maidens
    by Alex Michaelides
    Celadon Books
    Jun 15, 2021
    FICTION / Thrillers / Psychological
    Paperback

    Description

    "Stunning... The intelligent, cerebral plot finds contemporary parallels in Euripides's tragedies, Jacobean dramas such as The Duchess of Malfi, and Tennyson's poetry. The devastating ending shows just how little the troubled Mariana knows about the human psyche or herself. Michaelides is on a roll."
    —Publishers Weekly, starred review

    "A deliciously dark, elegant, utterly compulsive readwith a twist that blew my mind. I loved this even more than I lovedThe Silent Patient and that's saying something!"
    Lucy Foley,New York Timesbestselling author ofThe Guest List

    From the #1New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient comes a spellbinding tale of psychological suspense, weaving together Greek mythology, murder, and obsession, that further cements “Michaelides as a major player in the field” (Publishers Weekly).


    Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.

    Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.

    Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?

    When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything—including her own life.

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  2. Malibu Rising
    by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    Doubleday Canada
    Jun 01, 2021
    FICTION / Women
    Paperback

    Description

    Malibu 1983. Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of one night, each of their lives will be changed forever in this propulsive novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six.

    Malibu is buzzing with anticipation for Nina Riva's annual party. Everyone wants to be in the company of the famous Rivas: Nina, the surfer and model; her brothers, Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other his renowned photographer; and Kit, the adored baby of the family. As if that picture-perfect family isn't enough, their father is Mick Riva, the legendary singer.

    By morning, the Riva mansion will have burned to the ground. And no one will know how the fire started. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play and the loves and secret yearnings that shaped this family across generations will all come bubbling to the surface to make for a night no one will ever forget.

    This is a story about family: about what you choose to keep from the people who made you, and what you must leave behind.
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  3. The Personal Librarian
    by Marie Benedict
    Berkley
    Jun 29, 2021
    FICTION / Biographical
    Hardcover

    Description

    The remarkable story of J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation, from New York Times author Marie Benedict, and acclaimed author Victoria Christopher Murray.

    In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture in New York City society and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps create a world-class collection.

    But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She was born not Belle da Costa Greene but Belle Marion Greener. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality. Belle’s complexion isn’t dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white—her complexion is dark because she is African American.

    The Personal Librarian tells the story of an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style, and wit, and shares the lengths she must go to—for the protection of her family and her legacy—to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives.
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  4. Survive the Night
    by Riley Sager
    Dutton
    Jun 29, 2021
    FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
    Hardcover

    Description

    It’s November 1991. George H. W. Bush is in the White House, Nirvana's in the tape deck, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer.

    Josh Baxter, the man behind the wheel, is a virtual stranger to Charlie. They met at the campus ride board, each looking to share the long drive home to Ohio. Both have good reasons for wanting to get away. For Charlie, it’s guilt and grief over the murder of her best friend, who became the third victim of the man known as the Campus Killer. For Josh, it’s to help care for his sick father. Or so he says. Like the Hitchcock heroine she’s named after, Charlie has her doubts. There’s something suspicious about Josh, from the holes in his story about his father to how he doesn’t seem to want Charlie to see inside the car’s trunk. As they travel an empty highway in the dead of night, an increasingly worried Charlie begins to think she’s sharing a car with the Campus Killer. Is Josh truly dangerous? Or is Charlie’s suspicion merely a figment of her movie-fueled imagination?

    What follows is a game of cat and mouse played out on night-shrouded roads and in neon-lit parking lots, during an age when the only call for help can be made on a pay phone and in a place where there's nowhere to run. In order to win, Charlie must do one thing—survive the night.
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  5. The Road Trip
    by Beth O'Leary
    Berkley
    Jun 01, 2021
    FICTION / Romance / Romantic Comedy
    Paperback

    Description

    Two exes reach a new level of awkward when forced to take a road trip together in this endearing and humorous novel by the author of the international bestseller The Flatshare.

    What if the end of the road is just the beginning?

    Four years ago, Dylan and Addie fell in love under the Provence sun. Wealthy Oxford student Dylan was staying at his friend Cherry’s enormous French villa; wild child Addie was spending her summer as the on-site caretaker. Two years ago, their relationship officially ended. They haven’t spoken since.

    Today, Dylan’s and Addie’s lives collide again. It’s the day before Cherry’s wedding, and Addie and Dylan crash cars at the start of the journey there. The car Dylan was driving is wrecked, and the wedding is in rural Scotland—he’ll never get there on time by public transport.

    So, along with Dylan’s best friend, Addie’s sister, and a random guy on Facebook who needed a ride, they squeeze into a space-challenged Mini and set off across Britain. Cramped into the same space, Dylan and Addie are forced to confront the choices they made that tore them apart—and ask themselves whether that final decision was the right one after all.
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  6. For the Wolf
    by Hannah Whitten
    Orbit
    Jun 01, 2021
    FICTION / Fantasy / Epic
    Paperback

    Description

    The first daughter is for the Throne.
    The second daughter is for the Wolf.

    For fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale comes a dark, sweeping debut fantasy novel about a young woman who must be sacrificed to the legendary Wolf of the Wood to save her kingdom. But not all legends are true, and the Wolf isn't the only danger lurking in the Wilderwood.

    “A masterful debut from a must-read new voice in epic fantasy”—Kirkus (starred review)

    As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose—to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he'll return the world's captured gods.

    Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can't control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can't hurt those she loves. Again.

    But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn't learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood—and her world—whole.

    "A brilliant dark fantasy debut!" —Jodi Picoult, NYT bestselling author
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  7. The Layover
    by Lacie Waldon
    G.P. Putnam's Sons
    Jun 15, 2021
    FICTION / Romance / General
    Paperback

    Description

    An unexpected tropical layover with her nemesis turns a flight attendant's life upside down in this witty, breezy debut romantic comedy about life--and love--30,000 feet above the ground.

    After ten years as a flight attendant, Ava Greene is poised to hang up her wings and finally put down roots. She's got one trip left before she bids her old life farewell, and she plans to enjoy every second of it. But then she discovers that former pilot Jack Stone--the absurdly gorgeous, ridiculously cocky man she's held a secret grudge against for years--is on her flight. And he has the nerve to flirt with her, as if he doesn't remember the role he played in the most humiliating night of her life. Good thing she never has to see him again after they land....

    But when their plane encounters mechanical problems, what should have been a quick stop at the Belize airport suddenly becomes a weekend layover. Getting stuck on a three-hour flight with her nemesis was bad enough. Being stranded with him at a luxury resort in paradise? Even with the sultry breeze and white sand to distract her, it will take all the rum punch in the country to drown out his larger-than-life presence.

    Yet the more time Ava spends with him under the hot Caribbean sun, the more she begins to second-guess everything she thought she knew about him...and everything she thought she wanted from her life. And all too soon, she might have to choose between keeping her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds....
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  8. Care Of
    by Ivan Coyote 'Canada'
    McClelland & Stewart
    Jun 08, 2021
    LITERARY COLLECTIONS / LGBT
    Hardcover

    Description

    Beloved storyteller Ivan Coyote returns with their most intimate and moving book yet.


    Writer and performer Ivan Coyote has spent decades on the road, telling stories around the world. For years, Ivan has kept a file of the most special communications received from readers and audience members—letters, Facebook messages, emails, soggy handwritten notes tucked under the windshield wiper of their truck after a gig. Then came Spring, 2020, and, like artists everywhere, Coyote was grounded by the pandemic, all their planned events cancelled. The energy of a live audience, a performer’s lifeblood, was suddenly gone. But with this loss came an opportunity for a different kind of connection. Those letters that had long piled up could finally begin to be answered.

    Care Of combines the most powerful of these letters with Ivan’s responses, creating a body of correspondence of startling intimacy, breathtaking beauty, and heartbreaking honesty and openness. Taken together, they become an affirming and joyous reflection on many of the themes central to Coyote’s celebrated work—compassion and empathy, family fragility, non-binary and Trans identity, and the unending beauty of simply being alive, a giant love letter to the idea of human connection, and the power of truly listening to each other.
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  9. Songs in Ursa Major
    by Emma Brodie
    Knopf
    Jun 22, 2021
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover

    Description

    The year is 1969, and the Bayleen Island Folk Fest is abuzz with one name: Jesse Reid. Tall and soft-spoken, with eyes blue as stone-washed denim, Jesse Reid’s intricate guitar riffs and supple baritone are poised to tip from fame to legend with this one headlining performance. That is, until his motorcycle crashes on the way to the show.

    Jane Quinn is a Bayleen Island local whose music flows as naturally as her long blond hair. When she and her bandmates are asked to play in Jesse Reid’s place at the festival, it almost doesn’t seem real. But Jane plants her bare feet on the Main Stage and delivers the performance of a lifetime, stopping Jesse’s disappointed fans in their tracks: A star is born.

    Jesse stays on the island to recover from his near-fatal accident and he strikes up a friendship with Jane, coaching her through the production of her first record. As Jane contends with the music industry’s sexism, Jesse becomes her advocate, and what starts as a shared calling soon becomes a passionate love affair. On tour with Jesse, Jane is so captivated by the giant stadiums, the late nights, the wild parties, and the media attention, that she is blind-sided when she stumbles on the dark secret beneath Jesse’s music. With nowhere to turn, Jane must reckon with the shadows of her own past; what follows is the birth of one of most iconic albums of all time.

    Shot through with the lyrics, the icons, the lore, the adrenaline of the early 70s music scene, Songs in Ursa Major pulses with romantic longing and asks the question so many female artists must face: What are we willing to sacrifice for our dreams?
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  10. The Sweetness of Water
    by Nathan Harris
    Little, Brown and Company
    Jun 15, 2021
    FICTION / African American / Historical
    Hardcover

    Description

    A profound debut about the unlikely bond between two freedmen who are brothers and the Georgia farmer whose alliance will alter their lives, and his, forever.

    In the waning days of the Civil War, brothers Prentiss and Landry—freed by the Emancipation Proclamation—seek refuge on the homestead of George Walker and his wife, Isabelle. The Walkers, wracked by the loss of their only son to the war, hire the brothers to work their farm, hoping through an unexpected friendship to stanch their grief. Prentiss and Landry, meanwhile, plan to save money for the journey north and a chance to reunite with their mother, who was sold away when they were boys.

    Parallel to their story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers. The young men, recently returned from the war to the town of Old Ox, hold their trysts in the woods. But when their secret is discovered, the resulting chaos, including a murder, unleashes convulsive repercussions on the entire community. In the aftermath of so much turmoil, it is Isabelle who emerges as an unlikely leader, proffering a healing vision for the land and for the newly free citizens of Old Ox.

    With candor and sympathy, debut novelist Nathan Harris creates an unforgettable cast of characters, depicting Georgia in the violent crucible of Reconstruction. Equal parts beauty and terror, as gripping as it is moving, The Sweetness of Water is an epic whose grandeur locates humanity and love amid the most harrowing circumstances.
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May & June 2021 Juvenile and Young Adult List

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  1. The Tea Dragon Tapestry
    by K. O'Neill
    Oni Press
    Jun 01, 2021
    JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Dragons, Unicorns & Mythical
    Hardcover

    Description

    Join Greta and Minette once more for the heartwarming conclusion of the award-winning Tea Dragon series!

    Over a year since being entrusted with Ginseng's care, Greta still can't chase away the cloud of mourning that hangs over the timid Tea Dragon. As she struggles to create something spectacular enough to impress a master blacksmith in search of an apprentice, she questions the true meaning of crafting, and the true meaning of caring for someone in grief. Meanwhile, Minette receives a surprise package from the monastery where she was once training to be a prophetess. Thrown into confusion about her path in life, the shy and reserved Minette finds that the more she opens her heart to others, the more clearly she can see what was always inside.

    Told with the same care and charm as the previous installments of the Tea Dragon series, The Tea Dragon Tapestry welcomes old friends and new into a heartfelt story of purpose, love, and growth.
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  2. Stamped (For Kids)
    by Jason Reynolds
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
    May 11, 2021
    JUVENILE NONFICTION / People & Places / United States / African American
    Hardcover

    Description

    This chapter book edition of the #1 New York Times bestseller by luminaries Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds is an essential introduction to the history of racism and antiracism in America

    RACE. Uh-oh. The R-word.
    But actually talking about race is one of the most important things to learn how to do.

    Adapted from the groundbreaking bestseller Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, this book takes readers on a journey from present to past and back again. Kids will discover where racist ideas came from, identify how they impact America today, and meet those who have fought racism with antiracism. Along the way, they’ll learn how to identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their own lives.

    Ibram X. Kendi’s research, Jason Reynolds’s and Sonja Cherry-Paul’s writing, and Rachelle Baker’s art come together in this vital read, enhanced with a glossary, timeline, and more.
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  3. We Are All Under One Wide Sky
    by Deborah Wiles
    Sounds True
    Jun 15, 2021
    JUVENILE FICTION / Diversity & Multicultural
    Hardcover

    Description

    Children will learn to both celebrate diversity and embrace how much we all have in common.

    InWe Are All Under One Wide Sky, Deborah Wiles beautifully weaves together images from the natural world in a lovely, lyrical poem. Andrea Stegmaier’s fresh and captivating illustrations feature children from around the globe and celebrate different architecture, landscapes, and activities.

    By the end of the book, children will have internalized the message that although we are from different places, we are the same in so many ways. What we have in common is what is most important—family, laughter, love, nature, and friendship. We all share the same wide sky.

    We Are All Under One Wide Skyis a peace anthem with a timely and important message for children: to both celebrate diversity and embrace how much we all have in common.

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  4. Time for School, Little Blue Truck
    by Alice Schertle
    HMH Books for Young Readers
    Jun 22, 2021
    JUVENILE FICTION / Transportation / Cars & Trucks
    Hardcover

    Description

    Ride along to school with the #1New York Times best-selling Little Blue Truck and meet Blue's new friend: a bright yellow school bus.Beep-beep!

    Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are excited to meet a bright yellow school bus on the road. They see all the little animals lined up in the school bus’s many windows, and Blue wishes he could be a school bus too. What a fun job—but much too big for a little pickup like Blue. Or is it? When somebody misses the bus, it’s up to Blue to get his friend to school on time. Beep! Beep! Vroom!

    Also enjoy Blue’s bedtime ride inGood Night, Little Blue Truck and his trip to the city inLittle Blue Truck Leads the Way.
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  5. My Daddies!
    by Gareth Peter
    Puffin
    Jun 29, 2021
    JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Parents
    Paperback

    Description

    A funny, heartfelt picture-book: perfect for introducing children to the different kinds of family there are in the world today, and celebrating story time together.

    Set off on a series of incredible adventures with an adorable family as the stories they read burst into colourful life. Battle dragons, dodge deadly dinosaurs, zoom to the moon and explore the world in a hot air balloon, before winding down in a wonderfully cosy bedtime ending.

    The bouncy, rhyming, read-aloud text is brought to life by bestselling, award-winning illustrator Garry Parsons, illustrator of The Dinosaur that Pooped series.
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  6. Animal Rescue Friends
    by Gina Loveless
    Andrews McMeel Publishing
    Jun 15, 2021
    JUVENILE FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / Animals
    Paperback

    Description

    At the Animal Rescue Friends shelter, everyone is looking for a way to belong—kids and animals alike. From Epic! Originals, Animal Rescue Friends is a heartwarming, three-book graphic novel series filled with humor and furry friendships.

    Welcome to Animal Rescue Friends, where any stray can find a friendly face—furry or otherwise. This first collection of middle-grade comics includes five tales of found family: A lonely girl living in the suburbs finds happiness with a stray pit bull; a protective mama ferret and her six kits learn to trust a shelter volunteer; a shy boy stands up for himself with the help of a strong-willed bunny; a cantankerous cat helps to mend a troubled relationship; and the shelter's unofficial mascot eventually finds a home. Perfect for animal-loving kids, this adorable comics series will inspire and uplift.
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  7. Fly, Tiger, Fly!
    by Rikin Parekh
    Hachette Children's
    Jun 15, 2021
    JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Lions, Tigers, Leopards, etc.
    Paperback

    Description

    Riku's family have all achieved something special - and Riku wants to be special too. His dream? To be the world's first ever flying tiger!

    Only Riku's friend Jim has doubts . . . Tigers don't have wings. (And Jim should know - he's a parrot!) But Riku is one determined little tiger. With help from Jim and some feathered friends, will Riku make it off the ground and into the air?

    This hilariously funny book from Rikin Parekh celebrates dreams, determination and the power of friendship. It's a must-read for any little person with BIG ambition!

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  8. I Want to Be...a Teacher
    by Becky Davies
    Random House Books for Young Readers
    Jun 29, 2021
    JUVENILE FICTION / Business, Careers, Occupations
    Board book

    Description

    Do you want to be a teacher? Open this book to find out what adventures await!

    This inspirational board book invites curious little ones to spend a day in a teacher's shoes, from getting ready for lessons to teaching art, science, and music classes. The surprise mirror at the end provides a fun, interactive bonus!

    Don't miss these other I Want to Be... books: I Want to Be... a Firefighter and I Want to Be... an Astronaut!
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  9. Llama Llama Seasons of Fun!: A Push-and-Pull Book
    by Anna Dewdney
    Grosset & Dunlap
    Jun 29, 2021
    JUVENILE FICTION / Imagination & Play
    Board book

    Description

    Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall! Join Llama and all his friends as they discover all the seasons in this push-and-pull board book! Push and pull the interactive slides to discover new pieces of the story!

    Llama Llama's in a brand-new format in this push-and-ull book. Help Llama experience all the different seasons by pushing and pulling the slides on every page! Perfect for the youngest of readers curious about Llama Llama's world!
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  10. Meet Your School!
    by Cindy Jin
    Little Simon
    Jun 29, 2021
    JUVENILE FICTION / School & Education
    Board book

    Description

    Welcome to the first day of school! Go on a lift-the-flap adventure to discover the fun surprises waiting for kids on their first day of school!

    School is in session! It’s time to begin
    a full day of fun, so come right on in!

    This shaped board introduces young readers to all the different classrooms and activities a child can look forward to at school. From a typical kindergarten classroom, to the art room, music room, gymnasium, and cafeteria, little ones can lift the sturdy flaps to reveal a bunch of fun school day surprises!
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