September 2016 Adult Top 10 Picks

  1. The Spawning Grounds
    by Gail Anderson-Dargatz 'Canada'
    Knopf Canada
    Sep 06, 2016
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover
    The Spawning Grounds
    by Gail Anderson-Dargatz 'Canada'
    Knopf Canada
    Sep 06, 2016
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover
    The long-awaited new novel by the two-time Giller-shortlisted author is full of the qualities Gail Anderson-Dargatz's fans love: it's an intimate family saga rooted in the Thompson-Shuswap region of British Columbia, and saturated with the history of the place. A bold new story that bridges Native and white cultures across a bend in a river where the salmon run.


    On one side of the river is a ranch once owned by Eugene Robertson, who came in the gold rush around 1860, and stayed on as a homesteader. On the other side is a Shuswap community that has its own tangled history with the river--and the whites. At the heart of the novel are Hannah and Brandon Robertson, teenagers who have been raised by their grandfather after they lost their mother. As the novel opens, the river is dying, its flow reduced to a trickle, and Hannah is carrying salmon past the choke point to the spawning grounds while her childhood best friend, Alex, leads a Native protest against the development further threatening the river. When drowning nearly claims the lives of both Hannah's grandfather and her little brother, their world is thrown into chaos. Hannah, Alex, and most especially Brandon come to doubt their own reality as they are pulled deep into Brandon's numinous visions, which summon the myths of Shuswap culture and tragic family stories of the past.
    The novel hovers beautifully in the fluid boundary between past and present, between the ordinary world and the world of the spirit, all disordered by the human and environmental crises that have knit the white and Native worlds together in love, and hate, and tragedy for 150 years. Can Hannah and her brother, and Alex, find a way forward that will neither destroy the river nor themselves?
    View this title on BNC CataList
  2. The Vanishing Year
    by Kate Moretti
    Atria Books
    Sep 27, 2016
    FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
    Paperback
    The Vanishing Year
    by Kate Moretti
    Atria Books
    Sep 27, 2016
    FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
    Paperback
    The Vanishing Year is a stunner. A perfectly compulsive read that's impossible to put down.” –Mary Kubica

    “A chilling, powerful tale of nerve-shattering suspense.” –Heather Gudenkauf

    Nominated for "Best Mystery & Thriller" by Goodreads Choice Awards 2016

    Zoe Whittaker is living a charmed life. She is the beautiful young wife to handsome, charming Wall Street tycoon Henry Whittaker. She is a member of Manhattan’s social elite. She is on the board of one of the city’s most prestigious philanthropic organizations. She has a perfect Tribeca penthouse in the city and a gorgeous lake house in the country. The finest wine, the most up-to-date fashion, and the most luxurious vacations are all at her fingertips.

    What no one knows is that five years ago, Zoe’s life was in danger. Back then, Zoe wasn’t Zoe at all. Now her secrets are coming back to haunt her.

    As the past and present collide, Zoe must decide who she can trust before she—whoever she is—vanishes completely.

    A “dark, twisty, edge-of-your-seat suspense” (Karen Robards), The Vanishing Year combines the classic sophistication of Ruth Rendell and A.S.A. Harrison with the thoroughly modern flair of Jessica Knoll. Told from the point-of-view of a heroine who is as relatable as she is enigmatic, The Vanishing Year is an unforgettable new novel by a rising star of the genre.
    View this title on BNC CataList
  3. The Parcel
    by Anosh Irani 'Canada'
    Knopf Canada
    Sep 06, 2016
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover
    The Parcel
    by Anosh Irani 'Canada'
    Knopf Canada
    Sep 06, 2016
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover
    Finalist for the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and for the Governor General's Literary Award, this powerful new work, about a transgender sex worker in the red-light district of Bombay who is given an unexpected task, is a gripping literary page-turner--difficult and moving, surprising and tender. Anosh Irani's best novel yet, and his first with Knopf Canada.

    The Parcel
    's astonishing heart, soul and unforgettable voice is Madhu--born a boy, but a eunuch by choice--who has spent most of her life in a close-knit clan of transgender sex workers in Kamathipura, the notorious red-light district of Bombay. Madhu identifies herself as a "hijra"--a person belonging to the third sex, neither here nor there, man nor woman. Now, at 40, she has moved away from prostitution, her trade since her teens, and is forced to beg to support the charismatic head of the hijra clan, Gurumai. One day Madhu receives a call from Padma Madam, the most feared brothel owner in the district: a "parcel" has arrived--a young girl from the provinces, betrayed and trafficked by her aunt--and Madhu must prepare it for its fate. Despite Madhu's reluctance, she is forced to take the job by Gurumai. As Madhu's emotions spiral out of control, her past comes back to haunt her, threatening to unravel a lifetime's work and identity. This is a dark, devastating but ultimately redemptive novel that promises to be one of the most talked-about publications of the year.
    View this title on BNC CataList
  4. Darktown
    by Thomas Mullen
    Atria / 37 INK
    Sep 13, 2016
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
    Hardcover
    Darktown
    by Thomas Mullen
    Atria / 37 INK
    Sep 13, 2016
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
    Hardcover
    “One incendiary image ignites the next in this highly combustible procedural…written with a ferocious passion that’ll knock the wind out of you.” —The New York Times Book Review

    “Fine Southern storytelling meets hard-boiled crime in a tale that connects an overlooked chapter of history to our own continuing struggles with race today.” —Charles Frazier, bestselling author of Cold Mountain

    “This page-turner reads like the best of James Ellroy.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

    “In the way the story is told coupled with its heightened racial context, Darktown reminded me of Walter Mosley or a George Pelecanos novel.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    “High-quality…crime fiction with a nimble sense of history…quick on its feet and vividly drawn.” —Dallas Morning News

    “Some books educate, some books entertain, Thomas Mullen’s Darktown is the rare book that does both.” —Huffington Post

    The award-winning author of The Last Town on Earth delivers a riveting and elegant police procedural set in 1948 Atlanta, exploring a murder, corrupt police, and strained race relations that feels ripped from today's headlines.

    Responding to orders from on high, the Atlanta Police Department is forced to hire its first black officers, including war veterans Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith. The newly minted policemen are met with deep hostility by their white peers; they aren’t allowed to arrest white suspects, drive squad cars, or set foot in the police headquarters.

    When a black woman who was last seen in a car driven by a white man turns up dead, Boggs and Smith suspect white cops are behind it. Their investigation sets them up against a brutal cop, Dunlow, who has long run the neighborhood as his own, and his partner, Rakestraw, a young progressive who may or may not be willing to make allies across color lines. Among shady moonshiners, duplicitous madams, crooked lawmen, and the constant restrictions of Jim Crow, Boggs and Smith will risk their new jobs, and their lives, while navigating a dangerous world—a world on the cusp of great change.

    Set in the postwar, pre-civil rights South, and evoking the socially resonant and morally complex crime novels of Dennis Lehane and Walter Mosley, Darktown is a vivid, smart, intricately plotted crime saga that explores the timely issues of race, law enforcement, and the uneven scales of justice.
    View this title on BNC CataList
  5. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd
    by Alan Bradley 'Canada'
    Doubleday Canada
    Sep 20, 2016
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / General
    Hardcover
    Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd
    by Alan Bradley 'Canada'
    Doubleday Canada
    Sep 20, 2016
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / General
    Hardcover
    Hailed as "a combination of Eloise and Sherlock Holmes" by The Boston Globe, Flavia de Luce returns in a much anticipated new Christmas mystery from award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Alan Bradley.

    In spite of being ejected from Miss Bodycote's Female Academy in Canada, twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is excited to be sailing home to England. But instead of a joyous homecoming, she is greeted on the docks with unfortunate news: Her father has fallen ill, and a hospital visit will have to wait while he rests. But with Flavia's blasted sisters and insufferable cousin underfoot, Buckshaw now seems both too empty—and not empty enough. Only too eager to run an errand for the vicar's wife, Flavia hops on her trusty bicycle, Gladys, to deliver a message to a reclusive wood-carver. Finding the front door ajar, Flavia enters and stumbles upon the poor man's body hanging upside down on the back of his bedroom door. The only living creature in the house is a feline that shows little interest in the disturbing scene. Curiosity may not kill this cat, but Flavia is energized at the prospect of a new investigation. It's amazing what the discovery of a corpse can do for one's spirits. But what awaits Flavia will shake her to the very core.
    View this title on BNC CataList
  6. The Conjoined
    by Jen Sookfong Lee 'Canada'
    ECW Press
    Sep 13, 2016
    FICTION / Literary
    Paperback
    The Conjoined
    by Jen Sookfong Lee 'Canada'
    ECW Press
    Sep 13, 2016
    FICTION / Literary
    Paperback

    Longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award

    A masterful and gripping novel from “an undeniably talented writer” (Globe and Mail)

    On a sunny May morning, social worker Jessica Campbell sorts through her mother’s belongings after her recent funeral. In the basement, she makes a shocking discovery — two dead girls curled into the bottom of her mother’s chest freezers. She remembers a pair of foster children who lived with the family in 1988: Casey and Jamie Cheng — troubled, beautiful, and wild teenaged sisters from Vancouver’s Chinatown. After six weeks, they disappeared; social workers, police officers, and Jessica herself assumed they had run away.

    As Jessica learns more about Casey, Jamie, and their troubled immigrant Chinese parents, she also unearths dark stories about Donna, whom she had always thought of as the perfect mother. The complicated truths she uncovers force her to take stock of own life.

    Moving between present and past, this riveting novel unflinchingly examines the myth of social heroism and traces the often-hidden fractures that divide our diverse cities.

    View this title on BNC CataList
  7. The Story of a Brief Marriage
    by Anuk Arudpragasam
    Flatiron Books
    Sep 06, 2016
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover
    The Story of a Brief Marriage
    by Anuk Arudpragasam
    Flatiron Books
    Sep 06, 2016
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover

    Shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize

    “Brave…Brilliant…This is a book that makes one kneel before the elegance of the human spirit and the yearning that is at the essence of every life.” —The New York Times Book Review

    "One of the best books I have read in years." —Colm Toibin

    Two and a half decades into a devastating civil war, Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority is pushed inexorably towards the coast by the advancing army. Amongst the evacuees is Dinesh, whose world has contracted to a makeshift camp where time is measured by the shells that fall around him like clockwork. Alienated from family, home, language, and body, he exists in a state of mute acceptance, numb to the violence around him, till he is approached one morning by an old man who makes an unexpected proposal: that Dinesh marry his daughter, Ganga. Marriage, in this world, is an attempt at safety, like the beached fishing boat under which Dinesh huddles during the bombings. As a couple, they would be less likely to be conscripted to fight for the rebels, and less likely to be abused in the case of an army victory. Thrust into this situation of strange intimacy and dependence, Dinesh and Ganga try to come to terms with everything that has happened, hesitantly attempting to awaken to themselves andto one another before the war closes over them once more.

    Anuk Arudpragasam’sThe Story of a Brief Marriage is a feat of extraordinary sensitivity and imagination, a meditation on the fundamental elements of human existence—eating, sleeping, washing, touching, speaking—that give us direction and purpose, even as the world around us collapses. Set over the course of a single day and night, this unflinching debut confronts marriage and war, life and death, bestowing on its subjects the highest dignity, however briefly.

    View this title on BNC CataList
  8. The Break
    by Katherena Vermette 'Canada'
    House of Anansi Press
    Sep 17, 2016
    FICTION / Literary
    Paperback
    The Break
    by Katherena Vermette 'Canada'
    House of Anansi Press
    Sep 17, 2016
    FICTION / Literary
    Paperback

    2017 Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Literature Finalist

    Winner, Amazon.ca First Novel Award

    Winner, Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction

    Winner, Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award

    Winner, McNally Robinson Book of the Year

    A Canada Reads 2017 finalist

    National Bestseller

    2016 Governor General’s Literary Award Finalist

    2016 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Finalist

    National Post 99 Best Books of the Year

    CBC Best Canadian Debut Novels 2016

    Globe and Mail Best 100 Books of 2016

    Quill & Quire Book of the Year

    Kobo Best Books of the Year

    Walrus Magazine The Best Books of 2016

    49th Shelf Books of the Year

    When Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break — a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house — she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime.

    In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim — police, family, and friends — tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou, a social worker, grapples with the departure of her live-in boyfriend. Cheryl, an artist, mourns the premature death of her sister Rain. Paulina, a single mother, struggles to trust her new partner. Phoenix, a homeless teenager, is released from a youth detention centre. Officer Scott, a Métis policeman, feels caught between two worlds as he patrols the city. Through their various perspectives a larger, more comprehensive story about lives of the residents in Winnipeg’s North End is exposed.

    A powerful intergenerational family saga, The Break showcases Vermette’s abundant writing talent and positions her as an exciting new voice in Canadian literature.

    View this title on BNC CataList
  9. Death of an Avid Reader
    by Frances Brody
    Minotaur Books
    Sep 13, 2016
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Traditional
    Hardcover
    Death of an Avid Reader
    by Frances Brody
    Minotaur Books
    Sep 13, 2016
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Traditional
    Hardcover

    An intricate plot set in the 1920s English countryside and Frances Brody's "refreshingly complex heroine" (Kirkus) Kate Shackleton makeDeath of an Avid Reader an absorbing 6th installment in this mystery, perfect for fans of Jacqueline Winspear and Agatha Christie.

    The Search for a Daughter
    Lady Coulton gave up the baby that would have ruined her marriage, born when Lord Coulton was abroad. Now that her husband is dying, she asks Kate to find Sophia.

    A Haunted Library
    It is forty years since the ghost of a dead librarian haunted the old library, yet the stories have begun again. Kate does not believe in ghosts but obligingly takes part in a ceremony to expel the restless spirit. Shockingly, there is a body in the basement, strangled, and covered in dusty volumes from a fallen bookcase. It is Dr. Potter, a mathematician.

    A Killer on the Loose
    Dr. Potter’s body is taken away. The police find a sick man sheltering in the basement. He is an Italian, Umberto, an organ grinder and owner of a lively Capuchin monkey. Umberto becomes the prime suspect and will be charged with murder. Kate goes with Umberto to the infirmary. But he is too weak to be a suspect. And now Kate must set out to find the real culprit...

    View this title on BNC CataList
  10. The Hidden Keys
    by Andre Alexis 'Canada'
    Coach House
    Sep 19, 2016
    FICTION / Literary
    Paperback
    The Hidden Keys
    by Andre Alexis 'Canada'
    Coach House
    Sep 19, 2016
    FICTION / Literary
    Paperback

    NATIONAL POSTÂ 99 BEST BOOKS OF 2016

    Giller Prize winner André Alexis’s contemporary take on the quest narrative is an instant classic.

    Parkdale’s Green Dolphin is a bar of ill repute, and it is there that Tancred Palmieri, a thief with elegant and erudite tastes, meetsWillow Azarian, an aging heroin addict. She reveals to Tancred that her very wealthy father has recently passed away, leaving each of his five children a mysterious object that provides one clue to the whereabouts of a large inheritance. Willow enlists Tancred to steal these objects from her siblings and help her solve the puzzle.

    A Japanese screen, a painting that plays music, a bottle of aquavit, a framed poem and a model of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater: Tancred islured in to this beguiling quest, and even though Willow dies before the puzzle is solved, he presses on.

    As he tracks down the treasure, he must enlist the help of Alexander von Wurfel, conceptual artist and taxidermist to the wealthy, and fend off Willow’s heroin dealers, a young albino named ‘Nigger’ Colby and his sidekick, Sigismund ‘Freud’ Luxemburg, a clubfooted psychopath, both of whom are eager to get their hands on this supposed pot of gold. And he must mislead Detective Daniel Mandelshtam, his most adored friend.

    Inspired by a reading of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, The Hidden Keys questions what it means to be honorable, what it means to be faithful and what it means to sin.

    View this title on BNC CataList

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