The top books chosen by Canadian library staff

September 2019 Adult List

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  1. The Testaments
    by Margaret Atwood 'Canada'
    McClelland & Stewart
    Sep 10, 2019
    FICTION / Dystopian
    Hardcover

    Description

    In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades.

    When the van door slammed on Offred's future at the end of The Handmaid's Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead.

    With The Testaments, the wait is over.

    Margaret Atwood's sequel picks up the story fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

    "Dear Readers: Everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in." —Margaret Atwood
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  2. The Water Dancer
    by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    One World
    Sep 24, 2019
    FICTION / African American / Historical
    Hardcover

    Description

    From the National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me, a boldly conjured debut novel about a magical gift, a devastating loss, and an underground war for freedom.

    Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

    So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.

    This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved. Written by one of today’s most exciting thinkers and writers, The Water Dancer is a propulsive, transcendent work that restores the humanity of those from whom everything was stolen.

    Advance praise for The Water Dancer

    “In prose that sings and imagination that soars, Coates further cements himself as one of this generation’s most important writers, tackling one of America’s oldest and darkest periods with grace and inventiveness. This is bold, dazzling, and not to be missed.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    “Coates brings his considerable talent for racial and social analysis to his debut novel, which captures the brutality of slavery and explores the underlying truth that slaveholders could not dehumanize the enslaved without also dehumanizing themselves. Beautifully written, this is a deeply and soulfully imagined look at slavery and human aspirations.”—Booklist (starred review)
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  3. Had It Coming
    by Robyn Doolittle 'Canada'
    Allen Lane
    Sep 24, 2019
    SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sexual Abuse & Harassment
    Hardcover

    Description

    An illuminating, timely look at the changing landscape of sexual politics by a popular journalist.

    For nearly two years, Globe and Mail reporter Robyn Doolittle investigated how Canadian police handle sexual assault cases. Her findings were shocking: across the country, in big cities and small towns, the system was dismissing a high number of allegations as "unfounded." A police officer would simply view the claim as baseless and no investigation would follow. Of the 26,500 reported cases of sexual assault in 2015, only 1,400 resulted in convictions.

    The response to Doolittle's groundbreaking Unfounded series was swift. Federal ministers immediately vowed to establish better oversight, training, and policies; Prime Minister Trudeau announced $100 million to combat gender-based violence; Statistics Canada began to collect and publish unfounded rates; and to date, about a third of the country's forces have pledged to review more than 10,000 sex-assault cases dating back to 2010.

    Had It Coming picks up where the Unfounded series left off. Doolittle brings a personal voice to what has been a turning point for most women: the #MeToo movement and its aftermath. The world is now increasingly aware of the pervasiveness of rape culture in which powerful men got away with sexual assault and harassment for years: from Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Bill O'Reilly, and Matt Lauer, to Charlie Rose and Jian Ghomeshi. But Doolittle looks beyond specific cases to the big picture. The issue of "consent" figures largely: not only is the public confused about what it means, but an astounding number of police officers and judges do not understand Canadian consent law. The brain's reaction to trauma and how it affects memory is also crucial to understanding victim statements. Surprisingly, Canada has the most progressive sexual assault laws in the developed world, yet the system is failing victims at every stage.

    Had It Coming is not a diatribe or manifesto, but a nuanced and informed look at how attitudes around sexual behaviour have changed and still need to change.
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  4. High School
    by Sara Quin 'Canada'
    Simon & Schuster
    Sep 24, 2019
    BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
    Hardcover

    Description

    First loves, first songs, and the drugs and reckless high school exploits that fueled them—meet music icons Tegan and Sara as you’ve never known them before in this intimate and raw account of their formative years.

    High School is the revelatory and unique coming-of-age story of Sara and Tegan Quin, identical twins from Calgary, Alberta, growing up in the height of grunge and rave culture in the 90s, well before they became the celebrated musicians and global LGBTQ icons we know today. While grappling with their identity and sexuality, often alone, they also faced academic meltdown, their parents’ divorce, and the looming pressure of what might come after high school. Written in alternating chapters from both Tegan’s point of view and Sara’s, the book is a raw account of the drugs, alcohol, love, music, and friendships they explored in their formative years. A transcendent story of first loves and first songs, it captures the tangle of discordant and parallel memories of two sisters who grew up in distinct ways even as they lived just down the hall from one another. This is the origin story of Tegan and Sara.
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  5. Antoni in the Kitchen
    by Antoni Porowski
    Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    Sep 09, 2019
    COOKING / Methods / Quick & Easy
    Hardcover

    Description

    Antoni Porowski, the food and wine guru on Netflix's sensationQueer Eye, meets people where they live—literally. With appealing vulnerability, he shows cooks of all levels how to become more confident and casual in the kitchen. The verve and naturalness of his approach earned raves fromFood & Wine andBon Appétit toGQ and the New York Times, which noted his dishes prove that “sometimes simple is anything but simplistic.”

    Some of the recipes in this book are weeknight healthyish meals, while others are perfect for off-the-cuff entertaining. Visual stunners, they’re often composed of fewer than five ingredients. Whether Bastardized Easy Ramen; Malaysian Chili Shrimp; Roasted Carrots with Carrot-Top Pesto; or Salty Lemon Squares, all can be carried off with panache, even by beginners.
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  6. Darkdawn
    by Jay Kristoff
    St. Martin's Press
    Sep 03, 2019
    FICTION / Fantasy / Action & Adventure
    Hardcover

    Description

    The epic conclusionto the internationally bestselling Nevernight Chronicle fromNew York Timesbestselling author Jay Kristoff.

    The greatest games in Godsgrave’s history have ended with the most audacious murders in the history of the Itreyan Republic.

    Mia Corvere, gladiatii, escaped slave and infamous assassin, is on the run. Pursued by Blades of the Red Church and soldiers of the Luminatii legion, she may never escape the City of Bridges and Bones alive. Her mentor Mercurio is now in the clutches of her enemies. Her own family wishes her dead. And her nemesis, Consul Julius Scaeva, stands but a breath from total dominance over the Republic.

    But beneath the city, a dark secret awaits. Together with her lover Ashlinn, brother Jonnen and a mysterious benefactor returned from beyond the veil of death, she must undertake a perilous journey across the Republic, seeking the final answer to the riddle of her life. Truedark approaches. Night is falling on the Republic for perhaps the final time.

    Can Mia survive in a world where even daylight must die?

    New York Timesand internationally bestselling author Jay Kristoff’s writing has been praised by critics and readers alike and has won many awards, including four Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, and David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards.

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  7. Vendetta in Death
    by J. D. Robb
    St. Martin's Press
    Sep 03, 2019
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
    Hardcover

    Description

    Lieutenant Eve Dallas must keep the predator from becoming the prey in Vendetta in Death, the newest thriller from the #1New York Times bestselling author J.D. Robb.

    She calls herself Lady Justice. And once she has chosen a man as her target, she turns herself into a tall blonde or a curvaceous redhead, makes herself as alluring and seductive as possible to them. Once they are in her grasp, they are powerless.

    The first victim is wealthy businessman Nigel McEnroy. His company’s human resources department has already paid out settlements to a couple of his young victims—but they don’t know that his crimes go far beyond workplace harassment. Lady Justice knows. And in one shocking night of brutality, she makes him pay a much steeper price.

    Now Eve Dallas and her husband, Roarke, are combing through the evidence of McEnroy’s secret life. His compulsive need to record his misdeeds provides them with a wide range of suspects, but the true identity of Lady Justice remains elusive. It’s a challenging case, made even more difficult by McEnroy’s widow, who reacts to the investigation with fury, denial, and threats. Meanwhile, Lady Justice’s criminal crusade is escalating rapidly, and if Eve can’t stop this vigilante, there’s no telling how much blood may be spilled…

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  8. The Ten Thousand Doors of January
    by Alix E. Harrow
    Redhook
    Sep 10, 2019
    FICTION / Magical Realism
    Hardcover

    Description

    In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.

    In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

    Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

    Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow's spellbinding debut--step inside and discover its magic.


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  9. To the Lions
    by Holly Watt
    Dutton
    Sep 03, 2019
    FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
    Hardcover

    Description

    An international thriller featuring a female journalist who stumbles upon a dark conspiracy, and her determination to follow the clues, no matter how far that takes her.

    Casey Benedict, star reporter at the Post, has infiltrated the lives and exposed the lies of countless politicians and power players. Using her network of contacts, and her ability to slip into whatever identity suits the situation, Casey is always on the search for the next big story, no matter how much danger this might place her in, or what the cost might be, emotionally.

    Tipped off by an overheard conversation at an exclusive London nightclub, she begins to investigate the apparent suicide of a wealthy young British man whose death has left his fiancée and family devastated. The young man's death, however, is only the tipping point of a much more sinister and dangerous scandal involving the world's most powerful leaders and magnates—men who are gathering in northern Africa for an extreme and secret hunt. With fellow reporter Miranda and combat veteran Ed by her side, Casey's determined hunt for the truth will take her from the glitz of St. Tropez to the deserts of Libya and on to the very darkest corners of the human mind.
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  10. Good Time Party Girl
    by Helen Cromwell
    Feral House
    Sep 13, 2019
    BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Women
    Paperback

    Description

    This long-lost autobiography of a woman who lived life with no regrets from the 1880’s to the 1960’s offers a rare look into the colorful criminal underworld from New York to San Francisco and every whorehouse, tavern, and mining camp in between. Dirty Helen, with the self-assurance of a defrocked debutante, takes you through her life and adventures. Demure, sweet, and wild teenage Helen flees from small-town Indiana to Cincinnati with her first of six husbands. She soon realizesthat the traditional role of wife and mother isn’t for her. She meets cunning millionaires, bank robbers, detectives, and gangsters as she hustles her way through life. Her friends were everyone else’s enemies- Al Capone, Big Jim Colosimo, and Johnny Torrio all spend time with Helen as she bounces from adventure to adventure. It’s the true-life story of a woman who never said “No” and carved out an independent life that transgressed every societal boundary. Her life is a rarely seen look into the reality of a working-class woman who chose sex-work as a path to the good life.
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July & August 2019 Juvenile and Young Adult List

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  1. Pumpkinheads
    by Rainbow Rowell 'Canada'
    First Second
    Aug 27, 2019
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / General
    Paperback

    Description

    InPumpkinheads, beloved #1New York Times bestselling author Rainbow Rowell and Eisner Award–winning artist Faith Erin Hicks have teamed up to create this tender and hilarious story about two irresistible teens discovering what it means to leave behind a place—and a person—with no regrets.

    Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

    Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

    But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

    Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

    What if their last shift was an adventure?

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  2. The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!
    by Mo Willems
    Hyperion Books for Children
    Jul 02, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / School & Education
    Hardcover

    Description

    Why does the Pigeon have to go to school? He already knows everything! And what if he doesn't like it? What if the teacher doesn't like him? What if he learns TOO MUCH!?!

    Ask not for whom the school bell rings; it rings for the Pigeon!
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  3. Code Like a Girl: Rad Tech Projects and Practical Tips
    by Miriam Peskowitz
    Knopf Books for Young Readers
    Aug 13, 2019
    JUVENILE NONFICTION / Girls & Women
    Lexile measure 800L, Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient Y
    Hardcover

    Description

    Welcome to Code Like a Girl, where you'll get started on the adventure of coding with cool projects and step-by-step tips, from the co-author of the bestselling The Daring Book for Girls.

    Coding is about creativity, self-expression, and telling your story. It's solving problems and being curious, building things, making the world a better place, and creating a future. It's about you: whoever you are, wherever you're at, whatever you want.

    Nearly everything you encounter on a screen is made from code. You see, with code you can have an idea and put it into action: it's your voice and your vision. From the outside, tech and code may seem puzzling and mysterious, but when you get through the door and past the first few beginner steps and your code starts to work, it feels like magic.

    In this book, you'll learn how to:
    - Code with Scratch--projects like making a dog walk through the park, sending your friend a card, and devising a full-scoring game!
    - Build your own computer--really!
    - Create your own digital fortune-teller, with the Python language.
    - Make your own smartphone gloves.
    - Make light-up bracelets.
    - Code a motion sensor that tells you when someone enters your room.
    - And lots more!
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  4. Spencer's New Pet
    by Jessie Sima
    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
    Aug 27, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories
    Hardcover

    Description

    From the creator of Not Quite Narwhal comes a classic tale of a boy and his dog—except in this unique story, one of them is a balloon!

    When Spencer gets a new pet, he’s excited to do all the things that pets do—taking walks in the park, going to the vet, and attending parties together.

    There’s just one hitch: Spencer’s new pet is a balloon.

    And that means No. Sharp. Objects.

    No drooling dogs at the park. No prickly porcupines at the vet. And absolutely no pinning tails on any donkeys!

    Spencer’s New Pet is a story of pure fun about a boy, his dog, and a friendship that endures life’s sharpest...and most unexpected twists.
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  5. Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls: From the Creator of Captain Underpants (Dog Man #7)
    by Dav Pilkey
    Scholastic Inc
    Aug 13, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / Humorous
    Hardcover

    Description

    The Supa Buddies have been working hard to help Dog Man overcome his bad habits. But when his obsessions turn to fears, Dog Man finds himself the target of an all-new supervillain! Meanwhile, Petey the Cat has been released from jail and starts a new life with Li'l Petey. But when Petey's own father arrives, Petey must face his past to understand the difference between being good and doing good.
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  6. Spin
    by Colleen Nelson 'Canada'
    Dundurn
    Aug 10, 2019
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Family / General
    Paperback

    Description

    An aspiring teenage DJ must learn how to navigate life when people find out that she's the daughter of a famous singer.

    Fifteen-year-old Delilah “Dizzy” Doucette lives with her dad and brother above their vintage record store, The Vinyl Trap. She’s learning how to spin records from her brother’s best friend, and she’s getting pretty good. But behind her bohemian life, Dizzy and her family have a secret: her mom is the megafamous singer Georgia Waters. When this secret is revealed to the world, Dizzy’s life spins out of control. She must decide what is most important to her — the family she has or the family she wants.
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  7. No Hugs!
    by Deirdre Prischmann
    Amicus Ink
    Aug 06, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Manners & Etiquette
    Hardcover

    Description

    Zara loves hugs, so she is confused and upset when her friend Alice doesn't want a hug. When the tables are turned, she appreciates her friend's perspective and realizes that a hug takes two willing individuals.
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  8. Forgotten Beasts
    by Matt Sewell
    Pavilion Children's
    Jul 30, 2019
    JUVENILE NONFICTION / Animals / Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures
    Hardcover

    Description

    A witty, colorful celebration of the amazing lost creatures of this planet; with a strong message of protection and conservation.

    Matt Sewell's follow-up to The Colorful World of Dinosaurs is a beautifully-illustrated large format look at the amazing beasts that time forgot--from the relatively well known, such as the sabre-toothed tiger and woolly mammoth, to the obscure monsters that walked the earth millions of years ago--many now forgotten.

    Although less celebrated than the dinosaurs, the range of beasts is equally impressive, every one an amazing or scary creature that actually stalked the planet. Like the dinosaurs, these beasts are awe-inspiring in their variety, in a wide range of furs, feathers and colours, making for a stunning collection of vivid watercolor illustrations.

    These beasts are arranged chronologically--from the strange invertebrate Opabinia that lived over 500 million years ago, to the Thylacine, or Tasmanian Tiger, that became extinct in 1936.
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  9. Does It Fart?
    by Nick Caruso
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
    Jul 02, 2019
    JUVENILE NONFICTION / Animals / General
    Hardcover

    Description

    A hilariously informative book of facts, farts, and fun!

    Dogs fart. Cats fart. Horses fart (a lot). But what about snakes? Spiders? Octopuses? What about chimpanzees? Cheetahs? Or dinosaurs?

    In this gaseous guide to kids' favorite animals (and some they've probably never heard of), young readers will discover not only which animals pass gas, but also which have the stinkiest farts, which fart the most, and where all this smelly stuff comes from. They'll even learn which species has its own secret fart code! Perfect for reluctant readers, and with full-color illustrations throughout, Does It Fart? is the funniest book you never knew you needed.

    Based on the New York Times bestseller Does It Fart?: The Definitive Field Guide to Animal Flatulence.
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  10. Celebrations Around the World
    by Katy Halford
    DK Children
    Aug 27, 2019
    JUVENILE NONFICTION / Holidays & Celebrations / General
    Hardcover

    Description

    It's time to celebrate! From Christmas and Thanksgiving, to Diwali and Halloween, kids won't want to miss out on all the festivities.

    Embark on an exciting journey through the most interesting and important festivals, celebrations, and holidays enjoyed by people around the world. Stunning original illustrations and fascinating facts will inspire and inform children about cultures and religions from the countries of the world.

    Witness a camel marathon in a celebration of the Sahara Desert, and devour some delicious dumplings to celebrate Chinese New Year. Discover why skeletons dance at the Day of the Dead in Mexico, and get messy at Holi, the Hindu Festival of Colors.

    Children will love poring over artist Katy Halford's beautiful illustrations, which showcase every celebration in absorbing detail. Engaging factual writing introduce young readers to the most interesting aspects of each celebration, from the costumes worn to the food eaten, and encourage an understanding of other cultures and religions.
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