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The 10 hottest books published monthly, as voted by library staff across Canada.

Loan Stars is a readers’ advisory service that allows library staff across Canada to collaboratively select their favourite forthcoming titles. Using CataList, the online catalogue tool available free to libraries, library staff can request forthcoming adult titles and vote on their favourites. The top 10 picks each month will be marketed to libraries and library users alike.

Want to know more about the books Canadian library staff love? Join our mailing list

Top Picks for May 2018

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  1. Limelight
    by Amy Poeppel
    Atria/Emily Bestler Books
    May 01, 2018
    FICTION / Women

    Description

    “Outstanding...A tribute to Broadway, teen celebrity life, and a mother who has now seen it all, this work is tough love at its finest and a great read for those wanting a ride on the wild side.”—Booklist (starred review)

    Best New Books You Should Read This Spring—PopSugar

    In a smart and funny new novel by the author of the critically acclaimed, “big-hearted, charming” (The Washington Post) Small Admissions, a family’s move to New York City brings surprises and humor as their lives merge with the captivating world of Broadway.

    Allison Brinkley—wife, mother, and former unflappable optimist—discovers that a carefully weighed decision to pack up and move her family from suburban Dallas to the glittery chaos of Manhattan may have been more complicated than she and her husband initially thought.

    Allison learns that New York is unruly and bewildering, defying the notions she developed from romantic movies and a memorable childhood visit. After a humiliating call from the principal’s office and the loss of the job she was counting on, Allison begins to accept that New York may not suit her after all.

    When Allison has a fender-bender, witnessed by a flock of mothers at her son’s new school, she is led to the penthouse apartment of a luxurious Central Park West building and encounters a spoiled, hungover, unsupervised teenager who looks familiar. It doesn’t take long to recognize him as Carter Reid—a famous pop star who has been cast in a new Broadway musical. Through this brush with stardom, Allison embraces a unique and unexpected opportunity that helps her find her way in the heart of Manhattan.

    In a book that delivers laughs, warmth, and delightful wish fulfillment, Poeppel dives into celebrity culture and modern motherhood with her trademark “quick-witted and razor-sharp” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Maybe in Another Life) style.
  2. Adjustment Day
    by Chuck Palahniuk
    WW Norton
    May 01, 2018
    FICTION / Literary

    Description

    People pass the word only to those they trust most: Adjustment Day is coming. They’ve been reading a mysterious book and memorizing its directives. They are ready for the reckoning.

    Adjustment Day, the author’s first novel in four years, is an ingeniously comic work in which Chuck Palahniuk does what he does best: skewer the absurdities in our society. Smug, geriatric politicians bring the nation to the brink of a third world war in an effort to control the burgeoning population of young males; working-class men dream of burying the elites; and professors propound theories that offer students only the bleakest future.

    Into this dyspeptic time a blue-black book is launched carrying such wisdom as:

    Imagine there’s no God. There is no Heaven or Hell. There is only your son and his son and his son and the world you leave for them.

    The weak want you to forgo your destiny just as they’ve shirked theirs.

    A smile is your best bulletproof vest.

    When Adjustment Day arrives, it fearlessly makes real the logical conclusion of every separatist fantasy, alternative fact, and conspiracy theory lurking in the American psyche.

  3. Warlight
    by Michael Ondaatje 'Canada'
    McClelland & Stewart
    May 08, 2018
    FICTION / Literary

    Description

    From the internationally acclaimed, bestselling author of The English Patient: a mesmerizing new novel that tells a dramatic story set in the decade after World War II through the lives of a small group of unexpected characters and two teenagers whose lives are indelibly shaped by their unwitting involvement.

    In a narrative as beguiling and mysterious as memory itself--shadowed and luminous at once--we read the story of fourteen-year-old Nathaniel, and his older sister, Rachel. In 1945, just after World War II, they stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and they grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women joined by a shared history of unspecified service during the war, all of whom seem, in some way, determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? And what does it mean when the siblings' mother returns after months of silence without their father, explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all that he didn't know and understand in that time, and it is this journey--through facts, recollection, and imagination--that he narrates in this masterwork from one of the great writers of our time.
  4. The Figgs
    by Ali Bryan 'Canada'
    Freehand Books
    May 01, 2018
    FICTION / Family Life / General

    Description

    Meet the Figgs. June, the family's matriarch, looks forward to a quiet retirement - if only she can get her three adult children to finally, finally, move out of the house. But her dreams are shattered when her son Derek unexpectedly becomes a single father. Now there's a newborn baby at home, and Derek's older siblings are showing no sign of going anywhere either. In the midst of the chaos, June's husband, Randy, has a shocking revelation.

    With family life flying fast and furious around her, June finds herself thinking about her parents - adoptive and biological. Where did she come from? Will her new grandson be traumatized without his mother? And why in the world are all the kids still at home, anyway?

    The Figgs combines the quirkiness of Miriam Toews, the startling humour and fierce energy of Heather O'Neill, the heart of Little Miss Sunshine, and the unruly family dynamics of Jonathan Tropper's This Is Where I Leave You into one hilarious, immensely fun novel.

  5. Mr. Flood's Last Resort
    by Jess Kidd
    Atria Books
    May 01, 2018
    FICTION / Literary

    Description

    From the award-winning author of Himself, the spellbinding tale of a lonely caregiver and a cranky hoarder with a house full of secrets.

    “A magically entertaining read…Jess Kidd has a gift for creating characters you’ll love with a few cleverly chosen words.” —Good Housekeeping (UK), Book of the Month

    “A rare delight.” —Cosmopolitan (UK)

    Maud Drennan is a dedicated caregiver whose sunny disposition masks a deep sadness. A tragic childhood event left her haunted, in the company of a cast of prattling saints who pop in and out of her life like tourists. Other than visiting her agoraphobic neighbor, Maud keeps to herself, finding solace in her work and in her humble existence–until she meets Mr. Flood.

    Cathal Flood is a menace by all accounts. The lone occupant of a Gothic mansion crawling with feral cats, he has been waging war against his son’s attempts to put him into an old-age home and sent his last caretaker running for the madhouse. But Maud is this impossible man’s last chance: if she can help him get the house in order, he just might be able to stay. So the unlikely pair begins to cooperate, bonding over their shared love of Irish folktales and mutual dislike of Mr. Flood’s overbearing son.

    Still, shadows are growing in the cluttered corners of the mansion, hinting at buried family secrets, and reminding Maud that she doesn’t really know this man at all. When the forgotten case of a missing schoolgirl comes to light, she starts poking around, and a full-steam search for answers begins. Packed with eccentric charms, twisted comedy, and a whole lot of heart, Mr. Flood’s Last Resort is a mesmerizing tale that examines the space between sin and sainthood, reminding us that often the most meaningful forgiveness that we can offer is to ourselves.
  6. The Death of Mrs. Westaway
    by Ruth Ware
    Simon & Schuster
    May 29, 2018
    FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense

    Description

    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, and The Lying Game comes Ruth Ware’s highly anticipated fourth novel.

    On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

    Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

    Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.
  7. The Greek Escape
    by Karen Swan
    Macmillan
    May 01, 2018
    FICTION / Women

    Description

    A scorching and sensational summer novel from the Globe and Mail bestselling author of The Paris Secret and The Rome Affair. Set between the skyscrapers of Manhattan and the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean, The Greek Escape will leave you breathless as each twist unfolds. Running from heartbreak, Chloe Marston leaves her old life in London for a fresh start in New York. Working at a luxury concierge company, she makes other people's lives run perfectly, even if her own has ground to a halt. But a terrible accident forces her to step into a new role, up close and personal with the company's most esteemed and powerful clients. Charismatic Joe Lincoln is one of them and his every wish is her command, so when he asks her to find him a secluded holiday home in the Greek Islands, she sets about sourcing the perfect retreat. But when Tom, her ex, unexpectedly shows up in Manhattan and the stability of her new life is thrown off-balance again, Chloe jumps at the chance to help Joe inspect the holiday house. Escaping to Greece will give her the time and space to decide where her future truly lies. Tom is the man she has loved for so long but he has hurt her before - can she give him another chance? And as she draws closer to Joe, does she even want to? As magnetic as he is mysterious, there's an undeniable chemistry between them that she can't resist. But whatever her heart is telling her, she's in over her head - another client's wife has mysteriously disappeared and seriously allegations about Joe threaten more than just her happiness. Who can she trust? And will Chloe uncover the truth in time?
  8. Little Disasters
    by Randall Klein
    Viking
    May 22, 2018
    FICTION / Family Life / General

    Description

    A gripping novel about two young married couples--expectant parents and new friends--whose lives collide in a pile-up of deceits and indiscretions

    It was the exhilaration of new parenthood that first united Michael and Paul, outside the Brooklyn hospital where their wives, Rebecca and Jenny, had exiled them from the delivery room. For Paul, though, tragedy swiftly followed that euphoria. Hoping to speed his and Jenny's recovery, he turns to Michael for a favor, unwittingly kindling the spark of connection between these couples into the affair that will blow them apart.

    One year later, on the same morning that the catastrophes of their personal lives come to an explosive head, a mysterious crisis in Midtown Manhattan all but shuts down the city, leaving both men stranded--Michael at the northernmost tip of the island and Paul in a dark subway tunnel under the East River. Each must make the arduous trek home through record-breaking heat, nervously eyeing the thin plume of smoke above the skyline, though it's their private turmoils that loom largest. Told in the alternating voices of these charismatic but deeply flawed men, Little Disasters deftly cuts between the suspense of the citywide disaster and the history of secrets, lies, and losses that has brought these four intertwined lives to the brink. Smart, unsparing, and bitingly funny, Randall Klein's debut is an engrossing story of the bonds of love and family--and our unending urges to test them, even when we need them most.
  9. 84K
    by Claire North
    Orbit
    May 22, 2018
    FICTION / Literary

    Description

    From one of the most powerful writers in modern fiction comes a dystopian vision of a world where money reigns supreme, and nothing is so precious that it can't be bought....

    The penalty for Dani Cumali's murder: £84,000.

    Theo works in the Criminal Audit Office. He assesses each crime that crosses his desk and makes sure the correct debt to society is paid in full.

    These days, there's no need to go to prison - provided that you can afford to pay the penalty for the crime you've committed. If you're rich enough, you can get away with murder.

    But Dani's murder is different. When Theo finds her lifeless body, and a hired killer standing over her and calmly calling the police to confess, he can't let her death become just an entry on a balance sheet.

    Someone is responsible. And Theo is going to find them and make them pay.

    Perfect for fans of speculative fiction such as The Handmaid's Tale and Never Let Me Go, Claire North's moving and unnerving new novel will resonate with readers around the world.

    Previous books by Claire North:
    The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
    Touch
    The Sudden Appearance of Hope
    The End of the Day

    By the same author, writing as Kate Griffin:
    A Madness of Angels
    The Midnight Mayor
    The Neon Court
    The Minority Council
    The Glass God
    Stray Souls

  10. A Feast of Science
    by Dr. Dr. Joe Schwarcz 'Canada'
    ECW Press
    May 22, 2018
    SCIENCE / Chemistry / General

    Description

    An entertaining and digestible volume that demystifies science, from the author of 16 bestselling popular science books

    Crave answers? A Feast of Science demystifies the chemistry of everyday life, serving up practical knowledge to both inform and entertain. Guaranteed to satiate your hunger for palatable and relevant scientific information, Dr. Joe Schwarcz proves that “chemical” is not necessarily synonymous with “toxic.” Are there fish genes in tomatoes? Can snail-slime cream and bone broth really make your wrinkles disappear? What’s the problem with sugar, resistant starch, hops in beer, microbeads, and “secret” cancer cures? Are “natural” products the key to good health? And what is “fake news” all about? Dr. Joe answers these questions and more. Cutting through the fat of story, suggestion, and social-media speculation, A Feast of Science gets to the meat of the chemical reactions that make up our daily lives.

What is Loan Stars?

Loan Stars is the readers’ advisory service that allows library staff across Canada to collaboratively select their favourite forthcoming titles. Using CataList, the online catalogue tool available free to libraries, library staff can nominate their favourite adult titles, the most popular of which will be marketed to libraries and library users alike. Loan Stars is a joint collaboration between the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC), BookNet Canada, the British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) Readers’ Advisory Committee, the Ontario Library Association (OLA) Readers’ Advisory Committee, library vendors, independent Canadian publishers, multi-national publishers, and more.

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Vote for Loan Stars

How It Works

Librarians, as well as other library staff, can vote for titles using CataList, a free tool that provides access to the most up-to-date publisher catalogues. To start voting:
  1. Sign up for your free CataList account by emailing catalist@booknetcanada.ca from your library email account. Only titles listed in CataList are eligible for voting.
  2. Log in to CataList to start browsing catalogues. Since the voting period for a particular book will close at least two months prior to its publication date, focus on adult fiction and non-fiction titles that come out in the future. For example, the last day to vote on a title published anytime in October is August 31.
  3. Start reading! There are two ways to get free reader copies:
    1. Sign up for NetGalley, an online resource that allows libraries to access digital galleys.
    2. Send a direct request for a title through CataList. Start by looking for the “READ ME” button next to eligible titles, then select “Request from Publisher” from the drop-down menu. (Please note that not all publishers have enabled this function.)
    For more tips on how to obtain free reader copies, check out the links below:
    How NetGalley works (bit.ly/1W6pypi)Getting started (bit.ly/1MGopQl)Tips to improve librarian profiles for ARC approvals (bit.ly/2b8qXfA)
  4. To vote, simply look for the “Vote” button next to eligible titles in CataList and click it to nominate your favourites. When casting your vote, you also have the option to create or link to an online review that can be used to promote the title of your choice. This is your chance to promote your favourite books! Each month, a new list of the top picks will be circulated. Be sure to sign up for our mailing list to be immediately notified of the newest, most-loved titles.

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