The top books chosen by Canadian library staff

January & February 2019

Sign up for our mailing list
  1. The Golden Tresses of the Dead
    by Alan Bradley 'Canada'
    Doubleday Canada
    Jan 22, 2019
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / General
    Hardcover

    Description

    The spectacular final novel starring Flavia de Luce--"the world's greatest adolescent British chemist/busybody/sleuth" (The Seattle Times)--from award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Alan Bradley.

    Flavia de Luce, the twelve-year-old chemist and amateur detective, is eager to turn professional. She and her father's valet, Dogger, have founded a detective agency, Arthur Dogger & Associates, and unexpectedly cut into their first case during the revelry at her sister Ophelia's wedding reception. After an eventful ceremony with a missing best man and spontaneous ventriloquist act, spirits are high as Feely and her new husband head for the towering and beautifully iced wedding cake. But as Feely slices into the first piece, a scream rings out--the bridal cake contains a severed human finger. Delighted, Flavia wraps the finger in a napkin and whisks it away to her chemical laboratory. By studying the embalmed skin, the indentation of a ring and the slope of the fingernail, she'll not only be able to determine the identity of the victim--but also point a finger at a killer.
    MORE
  2. The Silent Patient
    by Alex Michaelides
    Celadon Books
    Feb 05, 2019
    FICTION / Thrillers / Psychological
    Hardcover

    Description

    "That rarest of beasts: the perfect thriller. This extraordinary novel set my blood fizzing—I quite literally couldn’t put it down. I told myself I'd just dip in; eleven hours later—it's now 5:47 a.m.—I've finished it, absolutely dazzled."
    —A. J. Finn, #1New York Times bestselling author ofThe Woman in the Window

    Promising to bethedebut novel of the seasonThe Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive…

    Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

    Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

    Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him....

    MORE
  3. Black Leopard, Red Wolf
    by Marlon James
    Bond Street Books
    Feb 05, 2019
    FICTION / Fantasy / Historical
    Hardcover

    Description

    The epic new novel from Marlon James, the Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings: an African Game of Thrones.

    In the first novel in Marlon James' Dark Star trilogy, African myth, fantasy and history come together in the story of a band of mercenaries hired to find a missing child.

    Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: "He has a nose," people say. Engaged by a mysterious slave trader to track down a boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to find the boy. The band is a hodge-podge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.

    As Tracker follows the boy's scent--from one ancient city to the next, through dense forests and across deep rivers--the band is set upon by creatures intent on destroying Tracker and his cohorts. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important question of all: who is telling the truth and who is lying?

    Combining African history and mythology and his own rich imagination, Marlon James has written an immersive saga of breathtaking adventure that's also a deeply involving novel. Black Leopard, Red Wolf is both an addictive page-turner and a genre-defying epic. Bold, ambitious and captivating, it's a literary event that's great fun to read.
    MORE
  4. The Winter of the Witch
    by Katherine Arden
    Del Rey
    Jan 08, 2019
    FICTION / Fantasy / Action & Adventure
    Hardcover

    Description

    Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.

    “A tale both intimate and epic, featuring a heroine whose harrowing and wondrous journey culminates in an emotionally resonant finale.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    Reviewers called Katherine Arden’s novels The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower “lyrical,” “emotionally stirring,” and “utterly bewitching.” The Winternight Trilogy introduced an unforgettable heroine, Vasilisa Petrovna, a girl determined to forge her own path in a world that would rather lock her away. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse.

    Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.

    Praise for Winter of the Witch

    “Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy isn’t just good—it’s hug-to-your-chest, straight-to-the-favorites-shelf, reread-immediately good, and each book just gets better. The Winter of the Witch plunges us back to fourteenth-century Moscow, where old gods and new vie for the soul of Russia and fate rests on a witch girl’s slender shoulders. Prepare to have your heart ripped out, loaned back to you full of snow and magic, and ripped out some more.”—Laini Taylor

    “Luxuriously detailed yet briskly suspenseful . . . A striking literary fantasy informed by Arden’s deep knowledge.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    “Visceral descriptions of battle, an atmospheric sense of place, and some truly heartbreaking moments of loss make this a gut-wrenching read, but there’s ample hope and satisfaction to be found as Vasya chooses her own unique path to triumph.”Booklist
    MORE
  5. An Anonymous Girl
    by Greer Hendricks
    St. Martin's Press
    Jan 08, 2019
    FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
    Hardcover

    Description

    The next novel of psychological suspense and obsession from the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us

    Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

    When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.

    Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?

    But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding.

    Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?

    As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

    Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?

    From the authors of the blockbuster bestsellerThe Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

    Praise forThe Wife Between Us:

    "A fiendishly smart cat-and-mouse thriller" —New York Times Book Review

    "[A]seamless thriller that will keep readers on their toes to the very end...Readers will enjoy the dizzying back-and-forth as they attempt to figure out just who to root for and asthe suspense ratchets up to one hell of a conclusion." —Booklist

    MORE
  6. Black Writers Matter
    by Whitney French
    University of Regina Press
    Feb 02, 2019
    LITERARY COLLECTIONS / General
    Paperback

    Description

    An anthology of African-Canadian writing, Black Writing Matters offers a cross-section of established writers and newcomers to the literary world who tackle contemporary and pressing issues with beautiful, sometimes raw, prose. As Whitney French says in her introduction, Black Writing Matters “injects new meaning into the word diversity [and] harbours a sacredness and an everydayness that offers Black people dignity.” An “invitation to read, share, and tell stories of Black narratives that are close to the bone,” this collection feels particular to the Black Canadian experience.
    MORE
  7. The Age of Light
    by Whitney Scharer
    Little, Brown and Company
    Feb 05, 2019
    FICTION / Historical / World War II
    Hardcover

    Description

    A captivating debut about Vogue model turned renowned photographer Lee Miller, and her passionate affair with the artist Man Ray in 1930s Paris.

    "I'd rather take a picture than be one," says Lee Miller after she arrives in Paris in 1929. Yearning for a different life and haunted by her past, Lee leaves behind a successful modeling career to pursue her dream of being an artist. She catches the eye of the famous Surrealist Man Ray, and though he wants to use her only as a model, Lee convinces him to teach her photography as well. Man Ray is an egotistical, charismatic force, and their personal and professional lives become intimately entwined as the lines between maker and muse begin to blur.

    Lee's story unfolds against the sumptuous backdrop of bohemian Paris, with nights spent at smoky cabarets, opium dens, and wild parties, and days spent working with Man Ray to discover radical new photography techniques. But as Lee begins to find success as an artist in her own right, Man Ray's jealousy spirals out of control, and soon their mutual betrayals threaten to destroy them both.

    Told in interweaving timelines of 1930s Paris and war-torn Europe during WWII, this sensuous, richly detailed debut by Whitney Scharer brings Lee Miller-- a brilliant and pioneering artist --out of the shadows of a man's legacy and into the light.



    MORE
  8. The Paragon Hotel
    by Lyndsay Faye
    G.P. Putnam's Sons
    Jan 08, 2019
    FICTION / Thrillers / Historical
    Hardcover

    Description

    The new and exciting historical thriller by Lyndsay Faye, author of Edgar-nominated Jane Steele and Gods of Gotham, which follows Alice "Nobody" from Prohibition-era Harlem to Portland's the Paragon Hotel.

    The year is 1921, and "Nobody" Alice James is on a cross-country train, carrying a bullet wound and fleeing for her life following an illicit drug and liquor deal gone horribly wrong. Desperate to get as far away as possible from New York City and those who want her dead, she has her sights set on Oregon: a distant frontier that seems the end of the line.

    She befriends Max, a black Pullman porter who reminds her achingly of Harlem, who leads Alice to the Paragon Hotel upon arrival in Portland. Her unlikely sanctuary turns out to be the only all-black hotel in the city, and its lodgers seem unduly terrified of a white woman on the premises. But as she meets the churlish Dr. Pendleton, the stately Mavereen, and the unforgettable club chanteuse Blossom Fontaine, she begins to understand the reason for their dread. The Ku Klux Klan has arrived in Portland in fearful numbers--burning crosses, inciting violence, electing officials, and brutalizing blacks. And only Alice, along with her new "family" of Paragon residents, are willing to search for a missing mulatto child who has mysteriously vanished into the Oregon woods.

    Why was "Nobody" Alice James forced to escape Harlem? Why do the Paragon's denizens live in fear--and what other sins are they hiding? Where did the orphaned child who went missing from the hotel, Davy Lee, come from in the first place? And, perhaps most important, why does Blossom Fontaine seem to be at the very center of this tangled web?
    MORE
  9. Watcher in the Woods
    by Kelley Armstrong 'Canada'
    Doubleday Canada
    Feb 12, 2019
    FICTION / Thrillers / Crime
    Paperback

    Description

    In #1 New York Times-bestselling author Kelley Armstrong's latest thriller, the town of Rockton--and her fans--are in for another hair-raising adventure.

    The secret town of Rockton has seen some rocky times lately; understandable considering its mix of criminals and victims fleeing society for refuge within its Yukon borders. Casey Duncan, the town's only detective on a police force of three, has already faced murder, arson and falling in love in less than the year that she's lived there. Yet even she didn't think it would be possible for an outsider to find and cause trouble in the town she's come to call home.

    When a US Marshal shows up in town demanding the release of one of the residents, Casey and her boyfriend, Sheriff Dalton, are skeptical. But then, only hours later, the marshal is shot dead and the only visible suspects are the townspeople and her estranged sister, in town for just the weekend. It's up to Casey to figure out who murdered the marshal, and why they would kill to keep him quiet.
    MORE
  10. I Owe You One
    by Sophie Kinsella
    The Dial Press
    Feb 05, 2019
    FICTION / Women
    Hardcover

    Description

    “A smart lesson wrapped in a gem of a novel.”—Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of A Spark of Light and Small Great Things

    From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella comes an irresistible story of love and empowerment about a young woman with a complicated family, a handsome man who might be “the one,” and an IOU that changes everything.


    Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” And since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will?

    It’s simply not in Fixie’s nature to say no to people. So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, she not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, an investment manager, scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

    But then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life, and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. As always, she wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. No sooner has Seb agreed than the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?

    Advance praise for I Owe You One

    “This book is a shot of pure joy!”—Jenny Colgan, author of The Bookshop on the Corner

    “A delightful, irresistible romp.”Booklist

    “[A] fun story about family, loyalty, and taking charge of your own life . . . Kinsella creates a charming story full of quirky characters and laugh-out-loud dialogue. . . . [Her] many fans will devour this warm and hilarious read.”Kirkus Reviews

    I Owe You One is another impossibly delightful story by Sophie Kinsella, a must-read for her die-hard fans and new readers alike.”PopSugar, “24 of the Best New Books Coming Out This Winter”
    MORE
View more winners from the archive
Sign up for our mailing list
Something is wrong.
Instagram token error.
Load More