Best of the Brightest 2021

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  1. The Strangers
    by Katherena Vermette 'Canada'
    Hamish Hamilton
    Sep 28, 2021
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardback
    The Strangers
    by Katherena Vermette 'Canada'
    Hamish Hamilton
    Sep 28, 2021
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardback
    #1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER
    WINNER OF THE ATWOOD GIBSON WRITERS' TRUST PRIZE FOR FICTION
    SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2022 MANITOBA BOOK AWARDS’ CAROL SHIELDS WINNIPEG BOOK AWARD, MARGARET LAURENCE AWARD FOR FICTION, AND MCNALLY ROBINSON BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD
    LONGLISTED FOR THE 2021 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE
    A GLOBE & MAIL BEST BOOK


    From the bestselling author of The Break comes a staggering intergenerational saga that explores how connected we are, even when we’re no longer together—even when we’re forced apart.

    Cedar has nearly forgotten what her family looks like. Phoenix has nearly forgotten what freedom feels like. And Elsie has nearly given up hope. Nearly.

    After time spent in foster homes, Cedar goes to live with her estranged father. Although she grapples with the pain of being separated from her mother, Elsie, and sister, Phoenix, she’s hoping for a new chapter in her life, only to find herself once again in a strange house surrounded by strangers. From a youth detention centre, Phoenix gives birth to a baby she’ll never get to raise and tries to forgive herself for all the harm she’s caused (while wondering if she even should). Elsie, struggling with addiction and determined to turn her life around, is buoyed by the idea of being reunited with her daughters and strives to be someone they can depend on, unlike her own distant mother. These are the Strangers, each haunted in her own way. Between flickering moments of warmth and support, the women diverge and reconnect, fighting to survive in a fractured system that pretends to offer success but expects them to fail. Facing the distinct blade of racism from those they trusted most, they urge one another to move through the darkness, all the while wondering if they’ll ever emerge safely on the other side.

    A breathtaking companion to her bestselling debut The Break, Vermette’s The Strangers brings readers into the dynamic world of the Stranger family, the strength of their bond, the shared pain in their past, and the light that beckons from the horizon. This is a searing exploration of race, class, inherited trauma, and matrilineal bonds that—despite everything—refuse to be broken.
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  2. People We Meet on Vacation
    by Emily Henry
    Berkley
    May 11, 2021
    FICTION / Romance / Romantic Comedy
    Paperback / softback
    People We Meet on Vacation
    by Emily Henry
    Berkley
    May 11, 2021
    FICTION / Romance / Romantic Comedy
    Paperback / softback
    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Book Lovers and Beach Read comes a sparkling novel that will leave you with the warm, hazy afterglow usually reserved for the best vacations.

    Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.

    Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

    Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven't spoken since.

    Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.

    Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?


    Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by NewsweekOprah Magazine ∙ The Skimm Marie Claire ParadeThe Wall Street Journal Chicago Tribune PopSugar ∙ BookPage BookBub ∙ Betches ∙ SheReads ∙ Good Housekeeping BuzzFeed Business Insider Real Simple Frolic and more!
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  3. The Holiday Swap
    by Maggie Knox 'Canada'
    Viking
    Oct 05, 2021
    FICTION / Women
    Paperback / softback
    The Holiday Swap
    by Maggie Knox 'Canada'
    Viking
    Oct 05, 2021
    FICTION / Women
    Paperback / softback
    NATIONAL BESTSELLER

    "An utterly adorable, pitch-perfect romance with just the right amount of Christmas cheer. The Holiday Swap is a pure delight, I couldn’t stop from smiling."-- Taylor Jenkins Reid, NYT bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six

    A feel-good, holiday-themed romantic comedy about identical twins who switch lives in the days leading up to Christmas.


    All they want for Christmas is a different life.

    When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell--both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie's identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family's bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won't get the memo that they're over.

    With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven't done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins' identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?
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  4. The Push
    by Ashley Audrain 'Canada'
    Viking
    Jan 05, 2021
    FICTION / Thrillers / Psychological
    Paperback / softback
    The Push
    by Ashley Audrain 'Canada'
    Viking
    Jan 05, 2021
    FICTION / Thrillers / Psychological
    Paperback / softback
    INSTANT INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

    WINNER of the 2022 Crime Writers of Canada Best First Crime Novel

    SHORTLISTED for the 2022 Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize

    “Utterly addictive.” —Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train

    “Written with an unflinching eye and a stylistically sharp, tight economy The Push is a single-sitting read, as suspenseful as any thriller, as thoughtful as any literary novel, with an almost physical force behind each of its turns and revelations.” —Toronto Star


    A tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family, and about a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for, and everything she feared.

    Blythe Connor is determined to be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby, Violet, that she never had.

    But in the thick of motherhood’s exhausting early days, Blythe doesn’t find the connection with her daughter she expected. She’s convinced something is wrong with Violet—she is distant, rejects affection, and becomes increasingly disruptive at preschool.

    Or is it all in Blythe’s head? Her husband, Fox, says she’s imagining things. Fox doesn’t see what she sees; he sees a wife who is struggling to cope with the day-to-day challenges of being amother. The more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity, and the more we begin to question what Blythe is telling us about her life as well.

    Then, their son, Sam, is born—and with him, Blythe has the natural maternal connection she’d always dreamed of. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fallout forces Blythe to face the truth.

    The Push is a rare and extraordinary gift to readers: an utterly immersive novel that will challenge everything you think you know about motherhood, about what we owe our children, about what really happens behind the closed doors of even the most perfect-looking families and about what it feels like when women are not believed.
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  5. Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone
    by Diana Gabaldon
    Doubleday Canada
    Nov 23, 2021
    FICTION / Historical / General
    Hardback
    Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone
    by Diana Gabaldon
    Doubleday Canada
    Nov 23, 2021
    FICTION / Historical / General
    Hardback
    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Diana Gabaldon returns with the “vast and sweeping” (The Washington Post) new novel in the epic Outlander series.

    War leaves nobody alone. Neither the past, the present, nor the future offers true safety, and the only refuge is what you can protect: your family, your friends, your home.

    Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall were torn apart by the Jacobite Rising in 1746, and it took them twenty years of loss and heartbreak to find each other again. Now it’s 1779, and Claire and Jamie are finally reunited with their daughter, Brianna, her husband, Roger, and their children, and are rebuilding their home on Fraser’s Ridge—a fortress that may shelter them against the winds of war as well as weather.

    But tensions in the Colonies are great: Battles rage from New York to Georgia and, even in the mountains of the backcountry, feelings run hot enough to boil Hell’s teakettle. Jamie knows that loyalties among his tenants are split and it won’t be long before the war is on his doorstep.

    Brianna and Roger have their own worry: that the dangers that provoked their escape from the twentieth century might catch up to them. Sometimes they question whether risking the perils of the 1700s—among them disease, starvation, and an impending war—was indeed the safer choice for their family.

    Not so far away, young William Ransom is coming to terms with the mysteries of his identity, his future, and the family he’s never known. His erstwhile father, Lord John Grey, has reconciliations to make and dangers to meet on his son’s behalf and on his own, and far to the north, Young Ian Murray fights his own battle between past and future, and the two women he’s loved.

    Meanwhile, the Revolutionary War creeps ever closer to Fraser’s Ridge. Jamie sharpens his sword, while Claire whets her surgeon’s blade: It is a time for steel.
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  6. The Madness of Crowds
    by Louise Penny 'Canada'
    Minotaur Books
    Aug 24, 2021
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Traditional
    Hardback
    The Madness of Crowds
    by Louise Penny 'Canada'
    Minotaur Books
    Aug 24, 2021
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Traditional
    Hardback

    Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller
    AARP The Magazine – Recommended Summer Reading
    CNN – A Most Anticipated Book of August
    Bustle – A Most Anticipated Book of August


    Chief Inspector Armand Gamache returns to Three Pines in #1 New York Times bestseller Louise Penny's latest spellbinding novel


    You’re a coward.

    Time and again, as the New Year approaches, that charge is leveled against Armand Gamache.

    It starts innocently enough.

    While the residents of the Québec village of Three Pines take advantage of the deep snow to ski and toboggan, to drink hot chocolate in the bistro and share meals together, the Chief Inspector finds his holiday with his family interrupted by a simple request.

    He’s asked to provide security for what promises to be a non-event. A visiting Professor of Statistics will be giving a lecture at the nearby university.

    While he is perplexed as to why the head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec would be assigned this task, it sounds easy enough. That is until Gamache starts looking into Professor Abigail Robinson and discovers an agenda so repulsive he begs the university to cancel the lecture.

    They refuse, citing academic freedom, and accuse Gamache of censorship and intellectual cowardice. Before long, Professor Robinson’s views start seeping into conversations. Spreading and infecting. So that truth and fact, reality and delusion are so confused it’s near impossible to tell them apart.

    Discussions become debates, debates become arguments, which turn into fights. As sides are declared, a madness takes hold.

    Abigail Robinson promises that, if they follow her, ça va bien aller. All will be well. But not, Gamache and his team know, for everyone.

    When a murder is committed it falls to Armand Gamache, his second-in-command Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and their team to investigate the crime as well as this extraordinary popular delusion.

    And the madness of crowds.

    View this title on BNC CataList
  7. The Man Who Died Twice
    by Richard Osman
    Pamela Dorman Books
    Sep 28, 2021
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Cozy / General
    Hardback
    The Man Who Died Twice
    by Richard Osman
    Pamela Dorman Books
    Sep 28, 2021
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Cozy / General
    Hardback
    An instant New York Times bestseller!

    The second gripping novel in the New York Times bestselling Thursday Murder Club series, soon to be a major motion picture from Steven Spielberg at Amblin Entertainment

    “It’s taken a mere two books for Richard Osman to vault into the upper leagues of crime writers. . . The Man Who Died Twice. . . dives right into joyous fun."
    —The New York Times Book Review


    Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim—the Thursday Murder Club—are still riding high off their recent real-life murder case and are looking forward to a bit of peace and quiet at Cooper’s Chase, their posh retirement village.

    But they are out of luck.

    An unexpected visitor—an old pal of Elizabeth’s (or perhaps more than just a pal?)—arrives, desperate for her help. He has been accused of stealing diamonds worth millions from the wrong men and he’s seriously on the lam.

    Then, as night follows day, the first body is found. But not the last. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim are up against a ruthless murderer who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can our four friends catch the killer before the killer catches them? And if they find the diamonds, too? Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus? You should never put anything beyond the Thursday Murder Club.

    Richard Osman is back with everyone’s favorite mystery-solving quartet, and the second installment of the Thursday Murder Club series is just as clever and warm as the first—an unputdownable, laugh-out-loud pleasure of a read.
    View this title on BNC CataList
  8. Call Me Indian
    by Fred Sasakamoose 'Canada'
    Viking
    May 18, 2021
    BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / Indigenous
    Hardback
    Call Me Indian
    by Fred Sasakamoose 'Canada'
    Viking
    May 18, 2021
    BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / Indigenous
    Hardback
    NATIONAL BESTSELLER

    "Fred Sasakamoose played in the NHL before First Nations people had the right to vote in Canada. This page turner will have you cheering for 'Fast Freddy' as he faces off against huge challenges both on and off the ice--a great gift to every proud hockey fan, Canadian, and Indigenous person."
    --Wab Kinew, Leader of the Manitoba NDP and author of The Reason You Walk

    Trailblazer. Residential school Survivor. First Treaty Indigenous player in the NHL. All of these descriptions are true--but none of them tell the whole story.


    Fred Sasakamoose, torn from his home at the age of seven, endured the horrors of residential school for a decade before becoming one of 120 players in the most elite hockey league in the world. He has been heralded as the first Indigenous player with Treaty status in the NHL, making his official debut as a 1954 Chicago Black Hawks player on Hockey Night in Canada and teaching Foster Hewitt how to pronounce his name. Sasakamoose played against such legends as Gordie Howe, Jean Beliveau, and Maurice Richard. After twelve games, he returned home.

    When people tell Sasakamoose's story, this is usually where they end it. They say he left the NHL to return to the family and culture that the Canadian government had ripped away from him. That returning to his family and home was more important to him than an NHL career. But there was much more to his decision than that. Understanding Sasakamoose's choice means acknowledging the dislocation and treatment of generations of Indigenous peoples. It means considering how a man who spent his childhood as a ward of the government would hear those supposedly golden words: "You are Black Hawks property."

    Sasakamoose's story was far from over once his NHL days concluded. He continued to play for another decade in leagues around Western Canada. He became a band councillor, served as Chief, and established athletic programs for kids. He paved a way for youth to find solace and meaning in sports for generations to come. Yet, threaded through these impressive accomplishments were periods of heartbreak and unimaginable tragedy--as well moments of passion and great joy.

    This isn't just a hockey story; Sasakamoose's groundbreaking memoir sheds piercing light on Canadian history and Indigenous politics, and follows this extraordinary man's journey to reclaim pride in an identity and a heritage that had previously been used against him.
    View this title on BNC CataList
  9. Malibu Rising
    by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    Doubleday Canada
    Jun 01, 2021
    FICTION / Women
    Paperback / softback
    Malibu Rising
    by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    Doubleday Canada
    Jun 01, 2021
    FICTION / Women
    Paperback / softback
    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
    NATIONAL BESTSELLER

    Malibu 1983. Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of one night, each of their lives will be changed forever in this propulsive novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six.

    Malibu is buzzing with anticipation for Nina Riva's annual party. Everyone wants to be in the company of the famous Rivas: Nina, the surfer and model; her brothers, Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other his renowned photographer; and Kit, the adored baby of the family. As if that picture-perfect family isn't enough, their father is Mick Riva, the legendary singer.

    By morning, the Riva mansion will have burned to the ground. And no one will know how the fire started. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play and the loves and secret yearnings that shaped this family across generations will all come bubbling to the surface to make for a night no one will ever forget.

    This is a story about family: about what you choose to keep from the people who made you, and what you must leave behind.
    View this title on BNC CataList
  10. Dial A for Aunties
    by Jesse Q. Sutanto
    Berkley
    Apr 27, 2021
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / General
    Paperback / softback
    Dial A for Aunties
    by Jesse Q. Sutanto
    Berkley
    Apr 27, 2021
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / General
    Paperback / softback
    "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 NPR's Best Books of 2021!

    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?
    View this title on BNC CataList

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