Best of the Brightest 2020 List

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  1. Ridgerunner
    by Gil Adamson 'Canada'
    House of Anansi Press
    May 12, 2020
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover
    Ridgerunner
    by Gil Adamson 'Canada'
    House of Anansi Press
    May 12, 2020
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover

    Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Winner

    Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalist

    Part literary Western and part historical mystery, Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize winner Ridgerunner is now available as a paperback.

    November 1917. William Moreland is in mid-flight. After nearly twenty years, the notorious thief, known as the Ridgerunner, has returned. Moving through the Rocky Mountains and across the border to Montana, the solitary drifter, impoverished in means and aged beyond his years, is also a widower and a father. And he is determined to steal enough money to secure his son’s future.

    Twelve-year-old Jack Boulton has been left in the care of Sister Beatrice, a formidable nun who keeps him in cloistered seclusion in her grand old house. Though he knows his father is coming for him, the boy longs to return to his family’s cabin, deep in the woods. When Jack finally breaks free, he takes with him something the nun is determined to get back — at any cost.

    Set against the backdrop of a distant war raging in Europe and a rapidly changing landscape in the West, Gil Adamson’s follow-up to her award-winning debut, The Outlander, is a vivid historical novel that draws from the epic tradition and a literary Western brimming with a cast of unforgettable characters touched with humour and loss, and steeped in the wild of the natural world.

    View this title on BNC CataList
  2. How a Woman Becomes a Lake
    by Marjorie Celona 'Canada'
    Hamish Hamilton
    Mar 03, 2020
    FICTION / Literary
    Paperback
    How a Woman Becomes a Lake
    by Marjorie Celona 'Canada'
    Hamish Hamilton
    Mar 03, 2020
    FICTION / Literary
    Paperback
    Shortlisted for the 2021 Crime Writers of Canada Award for Best Crime Novel

    From the Giller-nominated author of Y comes How a Woman Becomes a Lake, a taut, suspenseful novel about the dark corners of a small town, and the secrets that lurk within...


    It's New Year's Day and the residents of a small fishing town are ready to start their lives anew. Leo takes his two young sons out to the lake to write resolutions on paper boats. That same frigid morning, Vera sets out for a walk with her dog along the lake, leaving her husband in bed with a hangover.

    But she never returns. She places a call to the police saying she's found a boy in the woods, but the call is cut short by a muffled cry. Did one of Leo's sons see Vera? What are they hiding about that day? And why are they so scared of their own father?

    Told from shifting perspectives, How a Woman Becomes a Lake is a compelling, lyrical novel about family, new beginnings, and costly mistakes, and asks, what do you do when the people who are meant to love you the most, fail?
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  3. A Long Petal of the Sea
    by Isabel Allende
    Ballantine Books
    Jan 21, 2020
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover
    A Long Petal of the Sea
    by Isabel Allende
    Ballantine Books
    Jan 21, 2020
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover
    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The House of the Spirits, this epic novel spanning decades and crossing continents follows two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War in search of a place to call home.

    “One of the most richly imagined portrayals of the Spanish Civil War to date, and one of the strongest and most affecting works in [Isabel Allende’s] long career.”—The New York Times Book Review

    NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Esquire Good Housekeeping Parade

    In the late 1930s, civil war grips Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires.

    Together with two thousand other refugees, Roser and Victor embark on the SS Winnipeg, a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda, to Chile: “the long petal of sea and wine and snow.” As unlikely partners, the couple embraces exile as the rest of Europe erupts in world war. Starting over on a new continent, they face trial after trial, but they will also find joy as they patiently await the day when they might go home. Through it all, their hope of returning to Spain keeps them going. Destined to witness the battle between freedom and repression as it plays out across the world, Roser and Victor will find that home might have been closer than they thought all along.

    A masterful work of historical fiction about hope, exile, and belonging, A Long Petal of the Sea shows Isabel Allende at the height of her powers.

    Praise for A Long Petal of the Sea

    “Both an intimate look at the relationship between one man and one woman and an epic story of love, war, family, and the search for home, this gorgeous novel, like all the best novels, transports the reader to another time and place, and also sheds light on the way we live now.”—J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Saints for All Occasions

    “This is a novel not just for those of us who have been Allende fans for decades, but also for those who are brand-new to her work: What a joy it must be to come upon Allende for the first time. She knows that all stories are love stories, and the greatest love stories are told by time.”—Colum McCann, National Book Award–winning author of Let the Great World Spin
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  4. The Searcher
    by Tana French
    Viking
    Oct 06, 2020
    FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
    Hardcover
    The Searcher
    by Tana French
    Viking
    Oct 06, 2020
    FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
    Hardcover
    Best Book of 2020
    New York Times |NPR | New York Post

    "This hushed suspense tale about thwarted dreams of escape may be her best one yet . . . Its own kind of masterpiece." --Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post

    "A new Tana French is always cause for celebration . . . Read it once for the plot; read it again for the beauty and subtlety of French's writing." --Sarah Lyall, The New York Times


    Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a bucolic Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens. But when a local kid whose brother has gone missing arm-twists him into investigating, Cal uncovers layers of darkness beneath his picturesque retreat, and starts to realize that even small towns shelter dangerous secrets.

    "One of the greatest crime novelists writing today" (Vox) weaves a masterful, atmospheric tale of suspense, asking how to tell right from wrong in a world where neither is simple, and what we stake on that decision.
    View this title on BNC CataList
  5. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
    by V. E. Schwab
    Tor Books
    Oct 06, 2020
    FICTION / Fantasy / Historical
    Hardcover
    The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
    by V. E. Schwab
    Tor Books
    Oct 06, 2020
    FICTION / Fantasy / Historical
    Hardcover

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
    USA TODAY BESTSELLER
    NATIONAL INDIE BESTSELLER
    THE WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER

    Recommended by Entertainment Weekly, Real Simple, NPR, Slate, and Oprah Magazine
    #1 Library Reads PickOctober 2020
    #1 Indie Next PickOctober 2020
    BOOK OF THE YEAR (2020) FINALISTBook of The Month Club

    A “Best Of” Book From: Oprah Mag * CNN * Amazon * Amazon Editors * NPR * Goodreads * Bustle * PopSugar * BuzzFeed * Barnes & Noble * Kirkus Reviews * Lambda Literary * Nerdette * The Nerd Daily * Polygon * Library Reads * io9 * Smart Bitches Trashy Books * LiteraryHub * Medium * BookBub * The Mary Sue * Chicago Tribune * NY Daily News * SyFy Wire * Powells.com * Bookish * Book Riot * Library Reads Voter Favorite *

    In the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After Life, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab’s genre-defying tour de force.

    A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.


    France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever—and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

    Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

    But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

    View this title on BNC CataList
  6. Dearly
    by Margaret Atwood 'Canada'
    McClelland & Stewart
    Nov 10, 2020
    POETRY / Women Authors
    Hardcover
    Dearly
    by Margaret Atwood 'Canada'
    McClelland & Stewart
    Nov 10, 2020
    POETRY / Women Authors
    Hardcover
    NATIONAL BESTSELLER

    The collection of a lifetime from the bestselling novelist and poet.


    By turns moving, playful and wise, the poems gathered in Dearly are about absences and endings, ageing and retrospection, but also about gifts and renewals. They explore bodies and minds in transition, as well as the everyday objects and rituals that embed us in the present. Werewolves, sirens and dreams make their appearance, as do various forms of animal life and fragments of our damaged environment.

    Before she became one of the world's most important and loved novelists, Atwood was a poet. Dearly is her first collection in over a decade. It brings together many of her most recognizable and celebrated themes, but distilled - from minutely perfect descriptions of the natural world to startlingly witty encounters with aliens, from pressing political issues to myth and legend. It is a pure Atwood delight, and long-term readers and new fans alike will treasure its insight, empathy and humour.
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  7. The Book of Longings
    by Sue Monk Kidd
    Viking
    Apr 21, 2020
    FICTION / Women
    Hardcover
    The Book of Longings
    by Sue Monk Kidd
    Viking
    Apr 21, 2020
    FICTION / Women
    Hardcover
    “An extraordinary novel . . . a triumph of insight and storytelling.” —Associated Press

    A true masterpiece.” —Glennon Doyle, author of Untamed

    An extraordinary story set in the first century about a woman who finds her voice and her destiny, from the celebrated number one New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings


    In her mesmerizing fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd takes an audacious approach to history and brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything.

    Their marriage evolves with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, and their mother, Mary. Ana's pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to Rome's occupation of Israel, partially led by her brother, Judas. She is sustained by her fearless aunt Yaltha, who harbors a compelling secret. When Ana commits a brazen act that puts her in peril, she flees to Alexandria, where startling revelations and greater dangers unfold, and she finds refuge in unexpected surroundings. Ana determines her fate during a stunning convergence of events considered among the most impactful in human history.

    Grounded in meticulous research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus's life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring, unforgettable account of one woman's bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, place and culture devised to silence her. It is a triumph of storytelling both timely and timeless, from a masterful writer at the height of her powers.
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  8. Mexican Gothic
    by Silvia Moreno-Garcia 'Canada'
    Del Rey
    Jun 30, 2020
    FICTION / Fantasy / Historical
    Hardcover
    Mexican Gothic
    by Silvia Moreno-Garcia 'Canada'
    Del Rey
    Jun 30, 2020
    FICTION / Fantasy / Historical
    Hardcover
    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “It’s Lovecraft meets the Brontës in Latin America, and after a slow-burn start Mexican Gothic gets seriously weird.”—The Guardian

    IN DEVELOPMENT AS A HULU ORIGINAL LIMITED SERIES PRODUCED BY KELLY RIPA AND MARK CONSUELOS • WINNER OF THE LOCUS AWARD • NOMINATED FOR THE BRAM STOKER AWARD • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker Vanity Fair • NPR • The Washington Post Tordotcom Marie Claire VoxMashableMen’s HealthLibrary JournalBook Riot LibraryReads

    An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . . From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico.

    After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

    Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

    Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

    And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

    “It’s as if a supernatural power compels us to turn the pages of the gripping Mexican Gothic.”—The Washington Post

    “Mexican Gothic is the perfect summer horror read, and marks Moreno-Garcia with her hypnotic and engaging prose as one of the genre’s most exciting talents.”Nerdist

    “A period thriller as rich in suspense as it is in lush ’50s atmosphere.”Entertainment Weekly
    View this title on BNC CataList
  9. Hamnet and Judith
    by Maggie O'Farrell
    Knopf Canada
    Jul 21, 2020
    FICTION / Historical / Renaissance
    Paperback
    Hamnet and Judith
    by Maggie O'Farrell
    Knopf Canada
    Jul 21, 2020
    FICTION / Historical / Renaissance
    Paperback
    WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
    WINNER OF THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION
    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

    "[An] exceptional winner.... It expresses something profound about the human experience that seems both extraordinarily current and at the same time, enduring."
    --Martha Lane Fox, Chair of The Women's Prize for Fiction judges

    TWO EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE. A LOVE THAT DRAWS THEM TOGETHER. A PLAGUE THAT THREATENS TO TEAR THEM APART.


    England, 1580. A young Latin tutor--penniless, bullied by a violent father--falls in love with an eccentric young woman: a wild creature who walks her family's estate with a falcon on her shoulder and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer. Agnes understands plants and potions better than she does people, but once she settles on the Henley Street in Stratford she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband. His gifts as a writer are just beginning to awaken when their beloved twins, Hamnet and Judith, are afflicted with the bubonic plague, and, devastatingly, one of them succumbs to the illness.

    A luminous portrait of a marriage, a shattering evocation of a family ravaged by grief and loss, and a hypnotic recreation of the story that inspired one of the greatest literary masterpieces of all time, Hamnet & Judith is mesmerizing and seductive, an impossible-to-put-down novel from one of our most gifted writers.

    Published as Hamnet in the US and the UK.
    View this title on BNC CataList
  10. Piranesi
    by Susanna Clarke
    Bloomsbury Publishing
    Sep 15, 2020
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover
    Piranesi
    by Susanna Clarke
    Bloomsbury Publishing
    Sep 15, 2020
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover

    New York TimesBestseller
    Winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction
    World Fantasy Awards Finalist

    From theNew York Times bestselling author ofJonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, an intoxicating, hypnotic new novel set in a dreamlike alternative reality.

    Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

    There is one other person in the house—a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.

    For readers of Neil Gaiman’sThe Ocean at the End of the Lane and fans of Madeline Miller’sCirce,Piranesi introduces an astonishing new world, an infinite labyrinth, full of startling images and surreal beauty, haunted by the tides and the clouds.

    View this title on BNC CataList

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