The nomination period for the June 2021 Adult and May & June 2021 Jr. Lists is happening now! Create or log in to your CataList account to access a plethora of library-oriented features, including the “Recommend” button visible on Loan Stars-eligible titles.

Watch this space or sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when the lists are released.

The top books chosen by Canadian library staff

April 2021 Adult List

Sign up for our mailing list
  1. The Bookseller of Florence
    by Ross King 'Canada'
    Bond Street Books
    Apr 13, 2021
    BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Literary Figures
    Hardcover

    Description

    Award-winning and bestselling author Ross King is back with another rich, gripping history--a story of rivalry, new technology and the finest illuminated manuscripts known to history, all set against a Renaissance Florence backdrop.

    Against the endlessly rich and fascinating backdrop of Renaissance Florence, The Bookseller of Florence brings to light an extraordinary story about the city and its culture--that of Vespasiano da Bisticci, the "king of the world's booksellers," Florence's most indispensable and prolific merchant of knowledge. His bookshop in the heart of Florence was a gathering place for the city's most prominent poets and philosophers, and it was there that Vespasiano and his team of scribes created beautiful illuminated manuscripts for their clients, a cast of powerful popes and wealthy European princes.

    But in 1476, as Vespasiano began working on one of his most famed and gorgeous works, the Urbino Bible, the printing press came to Florence and threatened his life's work. The Bookseller of Florence tells the story of the people at the forefront of the world's greatest cultural and technological revolution. It explores the clash between old and new and the way it can produce an explosion of fresh ideas, and is the definitive tome on one of the world's most transformative moments in time.
    MORE
  2. Broken (in the best possible way)
    by Jenny Lawson
    Henry Holt and Co.
    Apr 06, 2021
    BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
    Hardcover

    Description

    From the #1New York Times bestselling author ofFuriously Happy andLet’s Pretend This Never Happened comes a deeply relatable book filled with humor and honesty about depression and anxiety.

    As Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. InBroken, Jenny brings readers along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreaking and hilarious anecdotes along the way.

    With people experiencing anxiety and depression now more than ever, Jenny humanizes what we all face in an all-too-real way, reassuring us that we’re not alone and making us laugh while doing it. From the business ideas that she wants to pitch toShark Tank to the reason why Jenny can never go back to the post office,Broken leaves nothing to the imagination in the most satisfying way. And of course, Jenny’s long-suffering husband Victor—the Ricky to Jenny’s Lucille Ball—is present throughout.

    A treat for Jenny Lawson’s already existing fans, and destined to convert new ones,Broken is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter when we all need it most.

    Includes Photographs and Illustrations

    MORE
  3. When the Stars Go Dark
    by Paula McLain
    Bond Street Books
    Apr 13, 2021
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
    Paperback

    Description

    From the New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife comes an atmospheric novel of intertwined fate and heart-wrenching suspense: A detective hiding away from the world. A series of disappearances that reach into her past. Can solving them help her heal?

    Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective in San Francisco with far too much knowledge of the darkest side of human nature. When unspeakable tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino. She spent summers there as a child with her beloved grandparents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her to heal. Yet the day she arrives, she learns a local teenage girl has gone missing. Anna is in no condition to become involved with the search--until a childhood friend, now the village sheriff, pleads for her help.

    Then, just days later, a twelve-year-old girl is abducted from her home. The crimes feel frighteningly reminiscent of the most crucial time in Anna's childhood, when a string of unsolved murders touched Mendocino. As past and present collide, Anna realizes that she has been led to this moment. The most difficult lessons of her life have given her insight into how victims come into contact with violent predators. As Anna becomes obsessed with these missing girls, she must learn that true courage means getting out of her own way and learning to let others in.

    Weaving together true crime, trauma theory and a hint of the metaphysical, this tense, affecting story is about fate, unlikely redemption and what it takes, when the worst happens, to reclaim our lives--and our faith in one another.
    MORE
  4. Dial A for Aunties
    by Jesse Q. Sutanto
    Berkley
    Apr 27, 2021
    FICTION / Asian American
    Paperback

    Description

    "Sutanto brilliantly infuses comedy and culture into the unpredictable rom-com/murder mystery mashup as Meddy navigates familial duty, possible arrest and a groomzilla. I laughed out loud and you will too.”—USA Today (four-star review)

    “A hilarious, heartfelt romp of a novel about—what else?—accidental murder and the bond of family. This book had me laughing aloud within its first five pages… Utterly clever, deeply funny, and altogether charming, this book is sure to be one of the best of the year!”—Emily Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read

    One of PopSugar’s "42 Books Everyone Will Be Talking About in 2021"!


    What happens when you mix 1 (accidental) murder with 2 thousand wedding guests, and then toss in a possible curse on 3 generations of an immigrant Chinese-Indonesian family?


    You get 4 meddling Asian aunties coming to the rescue!


    When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is inadvertently shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working at an island resort on the California coastline. It's the biggest job yet for the family wedding business—"Don't leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!"—and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie's perfect buttercream flowers.

    But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy's great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?
    MORE
  5. The Haunting of Alma Fielding
    by Kate Summerscale
    Penguin Press
    Apr 27, 2021
    TRUE CRIME / General
    Hardcover

    Description

    Shortlisted for the 2020 Baillie Gifford Prize

    “Prepare not to see much broad daylight, literal or metaphorical, for days if you read this.... The atmosphere evoked is something I will never forget.”—The Times (London)

    London, 1938. In the suburbs of the city, a young housewife has become the eye in a storm of chaos. In Alma Fielding’s modest home, china flies off the shelves and eggs fly through the air; stolen jewelry appears on her fingers, white mice crawl out of her handbag, beetles appear from under her gloves; in the middle of a car journey, a turtle materializes on her lap. The culprit is incorporeal. As Alma cannot call the police, she calls the papers instead.

    After the sensational story headlines the news, Nandor Fodor, a Hungarian ghost hunter for the International Institute for Psychical Research, arrives to investigate the poltergeist. But when he embarks on his scrupulous investigation, he discovers that the case is even stranger than it seems.

    By unravelling Alma’s peculiar history, Fodor finds a different and darker type of haunting, a tale of trauma, alienation, loss and revenge. He comes to believe that Alma’s past has bled into her present, her mind into her body. There are no words for processing her experience, so it comes to possess her. As the threat of a world war looms, and as Fodor’s obsession with the case deepens, Alma becomes ever more disturbed.

    With characteristic rigor and insight, Kate Summerscale brilliantly captures the rich atmosphere of a haunting that transforms into a very modern battle between the supernatural and the subconscious.
    MORE
  6. Rogue Wave, The
    by Paul Mason 'Canada'
    Now Or Never Publishing
    Apr 15, 2021
    FICTION / Literary
    Paperback

    Description

    Andrew and his fiancée, Hannah, are on board a whale-watching boat in the Bay of Fundy when the vessel is hit by a rogue wave. Thirty-eight people are rescued by the coast guard, but Hannah is not one of them, and she is subsequently presumed to have drowned. Some weeks later, however, a friend sends Andrew a link to a wedding video shot in southern Mexico, and who is there but Hannah, sitting next to a man her friends do not recognize. Desperate to get to the truth and find his fiancée, Andrew hires a detective, Matthew Harding, whose search takes him from New Brunswick to Mexico to the United Kingdom and finally to the caves under Peterborough, Ontario. A fast-paced thriller full of colourful characters and supernatural elements, The Rogue Wave hits the reader broadside.

    MORE
  7. Women of the Pandemic
    by Lauren McKeon 'Canada'
    McClelland & Stewart
    Apr 27, 2021
    BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Medical
    Paperback

    Description

    The story of the pandemic is the story of women. This riveting narrative offers an account of COVID-19, reminding us of women's leadership and resilience, reflecting back hope and humanity as we all figure out a new normal, together.

    Throughout history, men have fought, lost, and led us through the world's defining crises. That all changed with COVID-19. In Canada, women's presence in the response to the pandemic has been notable. Women are our nurses, doctors, PSWs. Our cashiers, long-haulers, cooks. In Canada, women are leading the fast-paced search for a vaccine. They are leading our provinces and territories. At home, they are leading families through self-isolation, often bearing the responsibility for their physical and emotional health. They are figuring out what working from home looks like, and many of them are doing it while homeschooling their kids. Women crafted the blueprint for kindness during the pandemic, from sewing masks to kicking off international mutual-aid networks. And, perhaps not surprisingly, women have also suffered some of the biggest losses, bearing the brunt of our economic skydive.
    Through intimate portraits of Canadian women in diverse situations and fields, Women of the Pandemic is a gripping narrative record of the early months of COVID-19, a clear-eyed look at women's struggles, which highlights their creativity, perseverance, and resilience as they charted a new path forward during impossible times.
    MORE
  8. Fugitive Telemetry
    by Martha Wells
    Tordotcom
    Apr 27, 2021
    FICTION / Science Fiction / Action & Adventure
    Hardcover

    Description

    TheNew York Timesbestselling security droid with a heart (though it wouldn't admit it!) is back inFugitive Telemetry!

    Having captured the hearts of readers across the globe (Annalee Newitz says it's "one of the most humane portraits of a nonhuman I've ever read") Murderbot has also established Martha Wells as one of the great SF writers of today.

    No, I didn't kill the dead human. If I had, I wouldn't dump the body in the station mall.

    When Murderbot discovers a dead body on Preservation Station, it knows it is going to have to assist station security to determine who the body is (was), how they were killed (that should be relatively straightforward, at least), and why (because apparently that matters to a lot of people—who knew?)

    Yes, the unthinkable is about to happen: Murderbot must voluntarily speak to humans!

    Again!

    A new standalone adventure in theNew York Times-bestselling, Hugo and Nebula Award winning series!

    MORE
  9. You Love Me
    by Caroline Kepnes
    Random House
    Apr 06, 2021
    FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
    Hardcover

    Description

    The highly anticipated new thriller in Caroline Kepnes’s hit You series, now a blockbuster Netflix show—a compulsively readable trip into the deviant mind of the uniquely antisocial, savvy bookseller . . . Joe Goldberg.

    “Fiendish, fast-paced, and very funny.”—Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train

    ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF THE YEAR—Cosmopolitan, PopSugar, Literary Hub

    Joe is done with the cities. He’s done with the muck and the posers, done with Love. Now, he’s saying hello to nature, to simple pleasures on a cozy island in the Pacific Northwest. For the first time in a long time, he can just breathe.

    He gets a job at the local library—he does know a thing or two about books—and that’s where he meets her: Mary Kay DiMarco. Librarian. Joe won’t meddle, he will not obsess. He’ll win her the old-fashioned way . . . by providing a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand. Over time, they’ll both heal their wounds and begin their happily ever after in this sleepy town.

    The trouble is . . . Mary Kay already has a life. She’s a mother. She’s a friend. She’s . . . busy.

    True love can only triumph if both people are willing to make room for the real thing. Joe cleared his decks. He’s ready. And hopefully, with his encouragement and undying support, Mary Kay will do the right thing and make room for him.
    MORE
  10. Mirrorland
    by Carole Johnstone
    Scribner
    Apr 20, 2021
    FICTION / Thrillers / Psychological
    Hardcover

    Description

    “Dark and devious... Beautifully written and plotted with a watchmaker’s precision.Stephen King

    “A dark, twisty, and richly atmospheric exploration of the power of imagination” Ruth Ware, author of One by One and The Woman in Cabin 10

    With the startling twists of Gone Girl and the haunting emotional power of Room, Mirrorland is a thrilling work of psychological suspense about twin sisters, the man they both love, and the dark childhood they can’t leave behind.

    Cat lives in Los Angeles, far away from 36 Westeryk Road, the imposing gothic house in Edinburgh where she and her estranged twin sister, El, grew up. As girls, they invented Mirrorland, a dark, imaginary place under the pantry stairs full of pirates, witches, and clowns. These days Cat rarely thinks about their childhood home, or the fact that El now lives there with her husband Ross.

    But when El mysteriously disappears after going out on her sailboat, Cat is forced to return to 36 Westeryk Road, which has scarcely changed in twenty years. The grand old house is still full of shadowy corners, and at every turn Cat finds herself stumbling on long-held secrets and terrifying ghosts from the past. Because someone—El?—has left Cat clues in almost every room: a treasure hunt that leads right back to Mirrorland, where she knows the truth lies crouched and waiting...

    A twisty, dark, and brilliantly crafted thriller about love and betrayal, redemption and revenge, Mirrorland is a propulsive, page-turning debut about the power of imagination and the price of freedom.
    MORE
View more winners from the archive
Sign up for our mailing list

March & April 2021 Juvenile and Young Adult List

Sign up for our mailing list
  1. We Move Together
    by Kelly Fritsch 'Canada'
    AK Press
    Apr 16, 2021
    JUVENILE NONFICTION / Health & Daily Living / Physical Impairments
    Hardcover

    Description

    A bold and colorful exploration of all the ways that people navigate through the spaces around them and a celebration of the relationships we build along the way. We Move Together follows a mixed-ability group of kids as they creatively negotiate everyday barriers and find joy and connection in disability culture and community. A perfect tool for families, schools, and libraries to facilitate conversations about disability, accessibility, social justice and community building. Includes a kid-friendly glossary (for ages 6–9).

    MORE
  2. The Extraordinary Book That Eats Itself
    by Pintachan
    Earth Aware Editions Kids
    Mar 02, 2021
    JUVENILE NONFICTION / Science & Nature / Environmental Conservation & Protection
    Paperback

    Description

    A one-of-a-kind eco project book that practices what it preaches. It is completely reusable and recyclable!

    Most books are just meant to be read. But this is no ordinary book. This book turns itself into dozens of eco-projects to inspire you to think more about our planet.

    This book doesn’t just want you to read about reducing, reusing, and recycling. The Extraordinary Book that Eats Itself asks you to DO something about it, too.

    You can cut up, fold, tear, and reuse every single page— even the cover—to make all sorts of great projects, from planters and seed writing papers to eco-badges. There are eco-quizzes and nature games, growing projects, and organic recipes, bug hotels, and plastic-free diaries.

    All the activities can help you to change the way you think about the natural world, and how you can make a real difference. And don’t worry if what you do seems small. If everyone joins in, together we can make a BIG difference!
    MORE
  3. The Last Kids on Earth: Thrilling Tales from the Tree House
    by Max Brallier
    Viking Books for Young Readers
    Apr 06, 2021
    JUVENILE FICTION / Action & Adventure / Survival Stories
    Hardcover

    Description

    The first ever graphic novel in the New York Times bestselling The Last Kids on Earth series--now with over 5 million copies in print!

    A Netflix Original series


    Includes SIX brand new Last Kids short stories by Max Brallier, featuring full-color art by Anoosha Syed, Xavier Bonet, Lorena Alvarez, Jay Cooper, Christopher Mitten and The Last Kids on Earth series illustrator Douglas Holgate!

    The kids and their monster buddies are hanging out in the tree house, when Jack launches into an epic, totally-heroic, super rad story of one of his many post-apocalyptic adventures. Of course, after he's finished, everyone's eager to one-up his tale with a story of their own. Soon, Quint, Dirk, June and Skaelka, and even Globlet regale the group with sometimes outrageous, often hilarious details of their action-packed escapades during the monster-zombie apocalypse. Their stories are capped off by a special double-length feature which will finally reveal the mysterious whereabouts of two villainous villains to prep readers for the 7th book in the series coming Fall 2021!
    MORE
  4. Aru Shah and the City of Gold
    by Roshani Chokshi
    Rick Riordan Presents
    Apr 06, 2021
    JUVENILE FICTION / Legends, Myths, Fables / Asian
    Hardcover

    Description

    Best-selling author Rick Riordan Presents the penultimate book in the Pandava series by best-selling author Roshani Chokshi.
    *"Chokshi spins a fantastical narrative that seamlessly intertwines Hindu cosmology and folklore, feminism, and witty dialogue for an uproarious novel for young readers."--Kirkus (starred review of Aru Shah and the End of Time)
    Aru Shah and her sisters--including one who also claims to be the Sleeper's daughter--must find their mentors Hanuman and Urvashi in Lanka, the city of gold, before war breaks out between the devas and asuras.
    Aru has just made a wish on the tree of wishes, but she can't remember what it was. She's pretty sure she didn't wish for a new sister, one who looks strangely familiar and claims to be the Sleeper's daughter, like her.
    Aru also isn't sure she still wants to fight on behalf of the devas in the war against the Sleeper and his demon army. The gods have been too devious up to now. Case in point: Kubera, ruler of the city of gold, promises to give the Pandavas two powerful weapons, but only if they win his trials. If they lose, they won't stand a chance against the Sleeper's troops, which will soon march on Lanka to take over the Otherworld.
    Aru's biggest question, though, is why every adult she has loved and trusted so far has failed her. Will she come to peace with what they've done before she has to wage the battle of her life?
    Filled with wondrous magic, unforgettable creatures, manipulative gods, and laugh-out-loud dialogue, this fourth book in the Pandava series, a fantasy adventure loosely based on mythology, will leave readers wishing they could read the finale right now.
    Don't miss these Pandava adventures:
    • Rick Riordan Presents: Aru Shah and the End of Time
    • Rick Riordan Presents: Aru Shah and the Song of Death
    • Rick Riordan Presents: Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes
    MORE
  5. The Case of the Burgled Bundle: A Mighty Muskrats Mystery: Book 3
    by Michael Hutchinson 'Canada'
    Second Story Press
    Apr 06, 2021
    JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / Canada / Indigenous
    Paperback

    Description

    The National Assembly of Cree Peoples has gathered together in the Windy Lake First Nation, home to the Mighty Muskrats—cousins Chickadee, Atim, Otter, and Sam. But when the treaty bundle, the center of a four-day-long ceremony, is taken, the four mystery-solving cousins set out to catch those responsible and help protect Windy Lake’s reputation!

    What’s worse, prime suspect Pearl takes off to the city with her older brother and known troublemaker, Eddie. If they have the burgled bundle with them, the Mighty Muskrats fear it may be lost for good. With clues pointing in too many different directions, the cousins need to find and return the missing bundle before the assembly comes to an end. The history and knowledge passed down to each generation through the bundle is at stake.

    MORE
  6. The Frog Mother
    by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw Brett D. Huson 'Canada'
    HighWater Press
    Apr 27, 2021
    JUVENILE NONFICTION / People & Places / Canada / Indigenous
    Hardcover

    Description

    To the Gitxsan of Northwestern British Columbia, Nox Ga’naaw is a storyteller, speaking truths of the universe. After Nox Ga’naaw, the frog mother, releases her eggs among the aquatic plants of a pond, the tiny tadpoles are left to fend for themselves. As they hatch, grow legs, and transform into their adult selves, they must avoid the mouths of hungry predators. Will the young frogs survive to spawn their own eggs, continuing a cycle 200 million years in the making?

    Book four of the Mothers of Xsan series follows the life cycle of the Columbia Spotted Frog. Learn about why this species is of special significance to the Gitxsan and how Nox Ga'naaw and her offspring are essential to the balance that is life.

    MORE
  7. Do You Know What I Am?
    by Chad Geran
    POW! Kids Books
    Apr 20, 2021
    JUVENILE NONFICTION / Language Arts / Vocabulary & Spelling
    Board book

    Description

    A chunky, oversized board book that prompts children to guess obscured creatures and objects through rhyming clues.

    Engage your toddler’s phonetic development with this playful, vibrant board book from artist and graphic designer, Chad Geran.

    In the first section of the book, readers are shown two things or animals that rhyme, and are then asked to guess a third rhyming item that is partially hidden. In the latter section, readers are shown pairs of items that rhyme and are challenged to fill in the blanks with the correct name of those things and animals.

    This unique and fun dual approach strengthens children’s ability to utilize contextual clues, identify common objects, and recognize rhyming patterns. Geran’s signature blend of retro pop art and modern minimalism fill this book with whimsy and delight, and the Seussian bounce of the silly rhymes will have toddlers asking to run through it again and again!
    MORE
  8. New Adventures: My New Friend
    by Tom Easton
    Franklin Watts
    Nov 22, 2021
    JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / New Experience
    Paperback

    Description

    This first experiences series uncovers the worries and fears associated with big life changes that young children might experience and provides reassurance by explaining how they might feel and shows ways that children can learn to cope with these feelings.

    The sensitively written story provides guidance not only for children, but also for adults who want to help their child through these unsettling times in their lives.

    Children can read the books on their own or can discuss the books with an adult. Notes for teachers and parents at the back of the books provide related advice and information to help them guide and support children.
    MORE
  9. Pierre & Paul: Dragon!
    by Caroline Adderson 'Canada'
    Owlkids
    Apr 15, 2021
    JUVENILE FICTION / Imagination & Play
    Reading Recovery Level 19, Lexile measure AD380L, Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient L
    Hardcover

    Description

    Pierre and Paul are back for another imaginative bilingual adventure

    Pierre and Paul are back for another adventure! Pierre speaks French and Paul speaks English, but that doesn’t stop them from being friends and exploring together. Today is garbage day, so the duo sets out to find hidden treasures in the trash.

    Treasure map in hand, they encounter poisonous swamps, dark forests, a dragon, and even a tsunami! (Or maybe just a garbage truck driving through a puddle). When the tsunami sweeps away their treasure map, they think all is lost—until they finally find a treasure lying out in plain sight.

    Told half in French and half in English, this second book in the Pierre & Paul series uses simple phrases and clues in the illustrations to make the story accessible to readers in both languages. Full of imagination and playful illustrations, this vocabulary-learning tool is an engaging story of friendship.
    MORE
  10. New Adventures: My New House
    by Tom Easton
    Franklin Watts
    Nov 22, 2021
    JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / New Experience
    Paperback

    Description

    Rabia is sad and scared about moving house. She's worried about what it will be like and how she will cope. But her mum helps her by arranging a visit there before they move and by packing a bag of special things that she can keep with her rather than pack into boxes.

    The story shows what happens during a move, about the first night there and the excitement that comes when exploring a new home.

    This first experiences series uncovers the worries and fears associated with big life changes that young children might experience and provides reassurance by explaining how they might feel and shows ways that children can learn to cope with these feelings.

    The sensitively written story provides guidance not only for children, but also for adults who want to help their child through these unsettling times in their lives.

    Children can read the books on their own or can discuss the books with an adult. Notes for teachers and parents at the back of the books provide related advice and information to help them guide and support children.
    MORE
View more winners from the archive
Sign up for our mailing list