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Lainey Lui Interviewing Rainbow Rowell Live at Toronto Public Library Tomorrow Night

by Crystal
Events + YA Fiction / May 07, 2014

Have you heard the big news? Rainbow Rowell will be in Toronto tomorrow doing an event at the Toronto Public Library Northern District Branch! As if that isn't exciting enough news on it's own, Lainey Lui from Lainey Gossip and The Social fame will be interview Rainbow live on stage! 

Mabel's Fables will be selling Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Lainey's new book Listen To The Squawking Chicken. 

Get there early, we're expecting a packed house. We can't wait to see these two reunited again!


An Interview with Kseniya Melnik, Author of Snow in May

by Larisa
May 05, 2014

It's with great pleasure that Raincoast Books is featuring an interview with a debut author Kseniya Melnik, where we discuss how Russian soul affects the work of an American writer.

Larisa: First of all, congratulations on your very first book Snow in May which very symbolically is being published in May 2014. By the way, is it just a coincidence or it’s been carefully planned?

Kseniya: Thank you! I sold my book in March of 2013, and it usually takes at least a year to get it published. So I’m sure that the publishers thought: if we’re aiming for spring of next year, why not try for May to make that additional little connection with the title. It’s a good timing.  

Larisa: Your family immigrated to America when you were in a tender age of 15. Basically, you grew up and developed your personality here. Do you feel more Russian or more American? Or, maybe it’s a mix of genes and environment that shaped your soul?

Kseniya: My upbringing was definitely a mix of cultures and ideas, and whether I feel more Russian or American can change depending on what country I am in. In America, I feel more Russian; when travelling, I usually feel more American. No matter how much they say that one person doesn’t represent his or her country, we still reveal a certain amount of cultural and historical baggage when we tell people where we are from. Since I still have my Russian accent (most of the time), even in America people often say things like: “Oh, you’re from Alaska, but where are you really from?”

So if I was pressed to choose, I’d say I’m more Russian. I have a very strong connection to the Russian culture: literature; classical, pop, and folk music; film and cartoons, children's fairy tales. I feel like that’s almost more important than where one lives at present. Culture, truly, is the language of the soul. 

Larisa: How does this affect your writing?

Kseniya: I’m probably too close to my own writing to say how my dual heritage affects it beyond pure subject matter.

Larisa: How did you like it in Alaska? I believe, the climate is not much different from Magadan, so it shouldn't have been a big change for you?

Kseniya: When I had just moved to Alaska from Russia, I didn’t like it very much. I was cut off from all my childhood friends, my favourite activities and neighbourhood haunts. Plus, I was pretty stressed out at school, catching up on the English language and the way the American education system worked. I couldn’t wait to graduate high school to leave Anchorage. 

When I returned to Alaska from New York in 2010 and lived there for two years, I completely fell in love with it. I learned about its history and saw a lot more outside of Anchorage: the glaciers, the national parks, the rivers, the mountains. I did a lot of hiking and skiing, too. To really love a place, I need to connect with its history and self-mythology: the Native-American legends, the Russian fur trappers, Captain Cook, the Gold Rush, the Battle of Attu and Kiska, the building of the Alyeska pipeline, etc.  As for the weather, it’s actually considerably warmer in Anchorage than in Magadan. Much less windy, and the summers are warmer.

Larisa: Many people in North America never heard about Magadan, which plays a significant role in your stories. If you were to describe your home city in five words, what those would be?

Kseniya: Cold, windy, isolated, beautiful, enchanting.   

Larisa: Most of your stories are set in Russia. Why is it important for you to write about Russia? Is it mostly nostalgia and the need to preserve your memories and feelings about your childhood or are you trying to tell American reader about Russia and Russian people?

Kseniya: I don’t think I write purely out of nostalgia or to preserve childhood memories. But there is probably a bit of feeling that, having grown up in Russia, I can identify some stories that haven’t been told yet, or told enough or told in a certain way, in North America. Also, I often feel a tug to write about the places I have left; I like writing from a distance of miles and years. Ultimately, it’s all about interest and inspiration. I read somewhere that the story finds its writer, not the other way around. Sometimes you don’t know why you become obsessed with a certain story, a certain set of characters, or just a voice. It will haunt and obsess you until you write it.

Larisa:  The stories are set in different eras—late 50th, mid-70th, 90th. How was it possible for you to take in such a big period of time when you weren’t even born, and all the complex details of reality such as living in communal apartments in Moscow or military dormitory in Vladivostok—things you haven’t experienced yourself? Where all the details come from?

Kseniya: I did a lot of research online, in books, films, and through interviews. I believe that those little details of daily life have a huge influence on how we see the world and what dreams we dare to dream.

Larisa: Some of your stories are written from the voice of children. How much of Kseniya Melnik herself is in those characters? Or, let me put it this way: is Sonechka’s character drawn from Kseniya?

Kseniya: There is probably a little bit of me in all of my characters, including Sonya. She’s not my psychological alter-ego but her story arc contains the most autobiographical details from my life. For example, I too used to have a somewhat morbid interest in medicine: I loved hospitals and medical tools; I worshipped my grandmother, who was a chief doctor, and I wanted to be a doctor myself; and I worked at her clinic for a summer when I was fourteen. I wrote a memoir piece about this on granta.com called “A Dose of Winter Medicine,” which is a companion piece of sorts to “Summer Medicine.”   

Larisa: Did you take piano classes? From reading your story "The Uncatchable Avengers" I believe it wasn't quite happy experience, was it?

Kseniya: Piano was a very big part of my life. My mother is a musician, and she sat me at the piano when I was four or five and taught me for a year before I began attending music school in Magadan. Growing up, I had a very love-hate relationship with piano as well as with my piano teacher, who was very strict. It wasn’t so much an unhappy experience, it’s just that when you’re a child, often times you’d rather be doing something other than practicing piano for two hours every day. So I spent a lot of time daydreaming at the piano, and I always yearned to play a different instrument, like violin or saxophone. I imagined it would be so much easier to learn. And I did pick up violin and viola when we moved to America so that I could be in the high school orchestra. Of course, those instruments are just as hard if you want to be good.

I think studying piano from such an early age made me a better writer. My mom and my teacher always encouraged me to come up with narratives for the pieces, to infuse musical phrases with emotion just like you would a line of dialogue. It’s a great training in focus as well as paying attention to tiny details: in a music piece, every note and pause matters. That’s how I approach writing, too: no word or comma is too insignificant to be swept up in a passage, to be written automatically.

When it came to writing “The Uncatchable Avengers,” I tried to tap into that familiar feeling of how hard it is to concentrate at the piano—your thoughts are way faster than your hands—and also how amazingly light and happy you feel after you’re done with a recital. It feels like the weight of the world just slid off your shoulders.

Larisa: In a story "Kruchina" you mention a song "Oj, da ne vecher".  It’s a magnificent, but very sad song which I like a lot. Is it being sung in your family?

Kseniya: Yes, we really love that song in my family. I always thought of it as a woman’s song, but the words in the later couplets—which I'd only recently discovered— suggest a groom whose bride had died and he doesn't want to live anymore without her. This just shows that we often appropriate the art in whatever way suits our mood.

Larisa: What is your favourite story in the Snow in May collection? Which one was the easiest and which was the toughest to write?

Kseniya: I honestly don’t have a favourite one. They are like my children, and I love them equally even if somewhat differently. I’ve given my entire heart and mind to each one. I do feel extra tenderness for “Kruchina,” which I started writing in late 2004 as a short screenplay. It’s been with me through a lot! 

Larisa: How long does it take for you to write a story?

Kseniya: The fastest one was “The Witch,” which took just a few months. Usually, each story takes a few years from the spark of an idea to the final draft. I rotate the stories in a big revision cycle with all the different things I’m writing. I am an insufferable perfectionist.

Larisa: Who is usually your first reader? Who offers the most severe critique? Is it easy for a writer to accept critique?

Kseniya: My first readers are several of my writer-friends from NYU, as well as my husband. Both my NYU friends and my agents and editors are very honest when it comes to feedback. My husband is usually left to pick up the pieces of my broken ego. I’m just kidding smile The ego doesn’t belong in the creative space.

It’s always a little uncomfortable to hear criticism—even smart, constructive criticism—but over time I’ve learned not to base my entire self-worth as a writer on one or even five opinions. I am endlessly grateful for a thorough critique from a reader who really gets what I’m trying to do; at the same time, I no longer feel that I have to take into account everyone’s suggestions and please all. I’ve become a little more confident in my own voice.  

Larisa: Are you planning to write more about Russia, or you told your reader everything you wanted to tell about your Russian soul and now it's time to move on to writing about your present in America?

Kseniya: Nope, I’m not done with Russia yet!

Larisa: Are you planning to write in Russian?  Would you consider translating the existing stories and publishing them in Russia?

Kseniya: I’ve never really felt the calling to write in Russian, though I translate a lot of words from Russian when I write. I’m afraid my Russian is not strong enough for professional Russian translation, and I feel like I’d be tempted to rewrite the stories completely. I’d be equally curious and anxious to see someone else do it, though. Would I recognize my stories afterwards? Translation is such a curious animal.

Larisa: How did MFA at New York University affect you as a writer? Did it help to develop your own style or to become more comfortable with your own voice?

Kseniya: It definitely made me more self-assured, in my voice and in the value of what I have to say. I’d like to think that it pushed me along the path I was meant to take but at a greater speed. I had amazing professors who taught me how to read as a writer, how to dissect and deconstruct a short story or a novel so that I could learn from it, how to think about stories differently. My classmates were a joy to have workshops with—I learned as much from them as from the professors—and to discuss books in class and afterwards. It’s so inspiring to hang out every day with a group of people who share your love of language and books as well as the crazy ambition of writing something great.

LarisaKseniya, I know you are an avid reader. Can we speak about your reading preferences? Is there a book (or books) you would always have with you wherever you go and reread over and over again?

Kseniya: I mostly read literary fiction, but I try to read as widely as possible, everything from classics to books in translation to debuts hot off the press. Some of my favorite writers are Alice Munro, Edith Wharton, Jane Austen, Ian McEwan, Vladimir Nabokov, Jhumpa Lahiri, Aleksandar Hemon, W.G. Sebald, Ludmila Ulitskaya, and Andreï Makine. Makine immigrated from USSR to France in ’87 and writes in French, though his subject matter is mostly Russia. I read him in English. I love the Russian classics, too, all the biggies.

As far as rereading, I keep returning to Childhood. Adolescence. Youth by Leo Tolstoy; Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev; The Emigrants by W.G. Sebald; Novel with Cocaine by A. Ageyev; and certain stories of Chekhov, Munro, Hemon, and Lahiri. 

Larisa: Do you prefer reading in English or in Russian?

Kseniya: I like reading in both language equally. Reading in Russian is always more intense for me; the native language touches a live nerve.

Larisa: As a writer you want to be unique and certainly don't want to imitate anyone. But is there a writer whose talent is sort of leading light for you, the ideal you would like to follow?

Kseniya: Aleksandar Hemon is a bit of a role model for me. He came to America from Sarajevo in ’92 and writes magnificently in English. I love his work. 

Larisa: Now when your book had been published, are you taking some time off and enjoying life of an accomplished author spending your days reading and travelling or you are back to your desk working hard on new stories?

Kseniya: Maybe if the book is a bestseller, my publishers will send me on a world tour of reading and wine-drinking! For now, I feel very happy that this book is done, and it’s as good as I can make it at this time. I’m working on new material and travelling the world via books from the comfort of my couch, with a glass of wine.

Larisa: Kseniya, thank you very much for this opportunity. It's been a great pleasure to read your stories.

Kseniya: Thank you!

To learn more about Kseniya Melnik and her work visit www.kseniyamelnik.com. Snow is May is available May 13, 2014. 


New Releases: May 2014 Highlights

by Dan
Art & Photography + Current Affairs + Design & Typography + Fiction + Health & Wellness / April 14, 2014

May is a great month to be a reader—there are so many great books coming out! Here's a quick look at just a few some of our new titles releasing next month.  

FICTION

Historical Fiction 

The Forgotten Seamstress

Liz Trenow

Page-turning and heartbreaking, The Forgotten Seamstress weaves together past and present in an unforgettable journey.

Before World War I casts its shadow, Maria catches the eye of the Prince of Wales, a glamorous and intense gentleman. But her life takes a far darker turn, and soon all she has left is a fantastical story about her time at Buckingham Palace. 

Decades later, Caroline Meadows discovers a beautiful quilt in her mother's attic. When she embarks on a quest to reveal its mystery, the puzzle that only seems to grow.

Available May 13

"this is a page-turner with eye-opening details about the conditions of mental hospitals in the 20th century, as well as the provenance of royal fabrics, the art of quilting, and the vagaries of modern interior design."Publishers Weekly

"Trenow meticulously stitches each piece of this engrossing story into a unified—and heartwarming—whole."Kirkus Reviews


Short Stories

Snow in May: Stories

Kseniya Melnik

A remote Siberian town with a darkly fascinating history teems with life in this luminous linked debut collection. 

Weaving in and out of the last half of the twentieth century, Snow in May is an inventive, gorgeously rendered, and touching portrait of lives lived on the periphery where, despite their isolation-and perhaps because of it-the most seemingly insignificant moments can be beautiful, haunting, and effervescent.

Available May 13

 

"Achingly beautiful, this collection signals a writer to watch."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Melnik tackles tragic subject matter while dramatizing daily struggles, giving equal weight to both. With dry humor and detailed description, Melnik creates a historically enlightening time capsule of an unfamiliar world."Publishers Weekly


Literary Fiction

Lost for Words 

Edward St. Aubyn

Edward St. Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose novels were some of the most celebrated works of fiction of the past decade. Ecstatic praise came from a wide range of admirers, from literary superstars such as Zadie Smith, Francine Prose, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Michael Chabon to pop-culture icons such as Anthony Bourdain and January Jones. Now St. Aubyn returns with a hilariously smart send-up of a certain major British literary award.

Available May 20

 


Science Fiction

My Real Children 

Jo Walton

The new novel from the author of the Hugo and Nebula Award–winning Among Others is a powerful tale of one woman with two lives.

It's 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. "Confused today," read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know. But she remembers things that don't seem possible. 

Two lives, two worlds, two versions of modern history; each with their loves and losses, their sorrows and triumphs. Jo Walton's My Real Children is the tale of both of Patricia Cowan's lives… and of how every life means the entire world.​

Available May 20

"My Real Children is the rarest sort of novel – one that transcends genre. It is a book that, one surmises, will be eagerly reread as the years pass."Quill & Quire (starred review)

"a deeply poignant, richly imagined book about women’s lives in 20th- and 21st-century England, and, in a broader sense, about the lives of all those who are pushed to the margins of history: the disabled, the disenfranchised, the queer, the lower middle class."Publishers Weekly


Literary Fiction

Dark Aemilia 

A Novel of Shakespeare's Dark Lady

Sally O'Reilly

A tale of sorcery and passion in seventeenth-century London—where witches haunt William Shakespeare and his Dark Lady, the playwrights’s muse and one true love. 

In rich, vivid detail, Sally O’Reilly breathes life into England’s first female poet, a mysterious woman nearly forgotten by history. Full of passion and devilish schemes, Dark Aemilia is a tale worthy of the Bard.

 

Available May 27

"First-rate historical fiction: marvelously atmospheric and emotionally engaging."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"a lush what-if about the Dark Lady of Shakespeare’s sonnets that mesmerizes with its descriptions of the Bard’s London from 1592 to 1616, the year of his death."Publishers Weekly


NONFICTION

Family & Relationships / Parenting

Is That Me Yelling?

A Parent's Guide to Getting Your Kids to Cooperate Without Losing Your Cool

Rona Renner (foreword by Christine Carter)

Being a parent is hard work! And when your child refuses to do even the little things—like picking up their toys, taking a bath, or getting in the car to go to school—it's easy to become frustrated. But what if there was a gentle, effective way for you to improve your kid's behaviour without losing your cool or raising your voice? In Is That Me Yelling? leading authority on parenting, Rona Renner outlines effective communication strategies that focus on your child's unique temperament.

Available May 1


New Series from Laurence King

Art History

This is Warhol

Catherine Ingram & illustrated by Andrew Rae

This book penetrates the surface and explores Andy Warhol's art from his beginnings as a commercial artist to his apotheosis as a society portrait painter. Vivid illustrations reveal Andy's worlds: his childhood in Pittsburgh, his chaotic Manhattan mansion, and the Silver Factory, where New York's bright new things hung out and had fun.
 

 

This is Dali

Catherine Ingram & illustrated by Andrew Rae

This is Dali tells the story of the artist's life and explores the meaning of his Surrealist paintings. It goes beyond his fine art practice and discusses his venture into the commercial world. Surrealism is revealed as a way of life. Fun, provoking, and endlessly frustrating, Dalí is brought under the spotlight.

 

 

This is Pollock

Catherine Ingram & illustrated by Andrew Rae

Pollock's iconic paintings stretch out with the generosity and scale of America's Western landscape where the artist grew up. This book traces the artist's career and discusses how his loose, individual style was used as a political weapon in the Cold War, representing America as the free, democratic nation. Illustrations simplify the theory and reveal the hidden meaning behind the mesh of painted lines.

 

Available May 6


Art History

The Supermodel and the Brillo Box 

Back Stories and Peculiar Economics from the World of Contemporary Art

Don Thompson

A look at the contemporary art market and the economics and psychology that first produced a market crash, and then two years later resulted in astronomical prices. The Supermodel and the Brillo Box looks at the increasing dominance of Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and a few über dealers; the hundreds of millions of new museums coming up in cities like Dubai, Abu Dabai, and Beijing; the growing importance of the digital art world; and the shrinking role of the mainstream gallery.

Available May 6


NEW IN PAPERBACK

Body, Mind & Spirit

All is Well

Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition

Louise Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz

Best-selling authors Louise L. Hay and Dr. Mona Lisa Schulz have teamed up for an exciting reexamination of the quintessential teachings from Heal Your Body.

All Is Well brings together Louise's proven affirmation system with Mona Lisa's knowledge of both medical science and the body's intuition to create an easy-to-follow guide for health and well-being. And, for the first time ever, they present scientific evidence showing the undeniable link between the mind and body that makes these healing methods work. 

Available May 6


Comics & Graphic Novels / Nonfiction 

Andre the Giant

Life and Legend

Box Brown

Andre Roussimoff is known as both the lovable giant in The Princess Bride and a heroic pro-wrestling figure. 

Box Brown brings his great talents as a cartoonist and biographer to this phenomenal new graphic novel. Drawing from historical records about Andre's life as well as a wealth of anecdotes from his colleagues in the wrestling world, Brown has created in Andre the Giant, the first substantive biography of one of the twentieth century's most recognizable figures.

Available May 6

"A labor-of-love tribute, exquisitely rendered, to the larger-than-life wrestling giant."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"It’s the sort of book that I knocked out in one sitting, and it lived up to every hope I had for it. It’s not just one of my favorite graphic novels of the year, but it’s also one of my favorite comic biographies of all time."Comics Alliance


Art / History

Age of Ambition

Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China

Evan Osnos

A vibrant, colorful, and revelatory inner history of China during a moment of profound transformation.

Writing with great narrative verve and a keen sense of irony, Evan Osnos, Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, follows the moving stories of everyday people and reveals life in the new China to be a battleground between aspiration and authoritarianism, in which only one can prevail. 

Available May 13

"Osnos combines scintillating reportage with an eye for telling ironies that illuminate broader trends; without downplaying the uniqueness of Chinese society, he makes its tensions feel achingly familiar for Western readers."Publishers Weekly (starred review)


Family & Relationships / Parenting

This is Ridiculous This is Amazing

Parenthood in 71 Lists

Jason Good

Blogging sensation and family man Jason Good delivers a laugh-out-loud reminder that everything is easier and more fun when approached with a sense of humour—especially parenting. Sweet, sincere, and oh-so-true, this is the ideal gift for parents who could use a laugh. And isn't that every single one of us?

Available May 13


Design

Type on Screen

A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Developers, and Students

Ellen Lupton and Maryland Institute College of Art

The long awaited follow-up to Thinking with Type is here! Type on Screen is the definitive guide to using classic typographic concepts of form and structure to make dynamic compositions for screen-based applications. An essential design tool for anyone seeking clear and focused guidance about typography for the digital age.

Available May 13


Take a look at a preview of next month's new releases for kids, middle grade, and teens.


Kids are Weird…

by Danielle
Contests + Kids + Parenting / March 28, 2014

...and cute, and innocent and kind, but ya, they're totally weird.

We're holding a contest over here. Post odd quirky things your kid has said for a chance to win a set of Jeffrey Brown's books Darth Vader and Son, Vader's Little Princess and his newest Kids are Weird.

Contest closes April 18th. We'll draw randomly.

Best of luck!!


Celebrate the Launch of The Chocolate Tasting Kit (And indulge in some chocolate tasting yourself!)

by Melissa
Events + Food & Drink + Vancouver / March 14, 2014

 

Do you live in Vancouver? Do you love chocolate? If you answered yes to these questions, we have the perfect event for you! Come celebrate the launch of Eagranie Yuh's The Chocolate Tasting Kit on March 20, 2014 at Xoxolat.  This will be a fun filled evening of chocolate tastings with the opportunity to meet the author extraordinaire herself. We would love it if you could join us for this event.

Eagranie Yuh
is a local author and chocolate educator who has recently published The Chocolate Tasting Kit with Chronicle Books. Her work has appeared in publications such as Best Food Writing 2012, Edible Vancouver, Flavours and more. She is also a permanent grand jury member of the International Chocolate Awards. In other words, she knows her stuff!

Xoxolat is located at 1271 Homer Street in Yaletown, and the Open House will be from 5-8 PM. This event is free, but you can RSVP here. We'll be selling kits, sampling chocolate, and there will be a cash bar.

We hope to see you there!
 


Meet the Cast of Days of Our Lives!

by Dan
Events / March 14, 2014

Meet select members of the cast of Days of Our Lives for special book signings of Days of Our Lives Better Living in Toronto, Vancouver, and Edmonton next week. 


Toronto

Tuesday, March 18th at 7:00 PM
Chapters Queensway 

Cast Members & Author:
Deidre Hall (Dr. Marlena Evans), Galen Gering (Rafe Hernandez), Kate Mansi (Abigail Deveraux), Bryan Dattilo (Lucas Horton), Lauren Koslow (Kate Roberts), Drake Hogestyn (John Black) and Greg Meng (author and Co-Executive Producer of the show)

 

Edmonton

Thursday, March 20th from 7-9 PM
Chapters West Edmonton Mall, HMV Stage

Cast Members:
Bryan Dattilo (Lucas Horton), Lauren Koslow (Kate Roberts) and Drake Hogestyn (John Black)

 

Vancouver

Thursday, March 20th from 7-9 PM
Chapters Metrotown

Cast & Author:
Deidre Hall (Dr. Marlena Evans), Galen Gering (Rafe Hernandez) and Kate Mansi (Abigail Deveraux) and Greg Meng (author and Co-Executive Producer of the show)


Event Guidelines:

  • Space will be available on a first-come, first-served basis while quantities last.
  • Individuals must have a copy of Days of our Lives Better Living to be in line.
  • Will sign 1 copy of Days of our Lives Better Living per person (no other books). No personalization, autograph only.
  • NO memorabilia or additional items will be permitted for the signing including posters, clothing, other books, DVDs, CDs or any other item. Signing books only.
  • Candid photos only – there will be no posed photography.
  • Proof of purchase required from any Indigo, Chapters, or Coles. 

Job Posting: Inventory Coordinator

by Dan
Job Posting + News / March 13, 2014

Raincoast is looking for a highly organized individual with a love of spreadsheets to join our inventory team. The position requires strong analytical skills, a good eye for detail and the ability to communicate clearly. Raincoast will provide training on its own systems, but the successful applicant will be very comfortable with Excel and Word.

This position requires communication with client publisher staff, customs brokers and carriers, as well as Raincoast staff in sales, marketing, systems, finance and warehouse.

Regular Duties

Inventory control:

  • place initial seasonal orders with client publishers based on forecasts provided by the field sales director
  • reorder based on sales data
  • identify overstocks and communicate with client publishers regarding their disposal
  • work with warehouse to implement downsize measures

Database maintenance:

  • work with marketing department on new title uploads
  • maintain accurate title level data, particularly as availability dates and prices are subject to change
  • receive stock into the system
  • process stock returns

Research and reporting:

  • track shipments of key titles, including time-sensitive titles
  • investigate missing shipments
  • research discrepancies
  • monitor and sign off on customs and freight chargebacks

Vacation backup for other members of the team

Requirements

  • Proficiency in Excel (level 2) and Word, with a high level of accuracy
  • Some experience with databases
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Related work experience: similar office work or book industry experience
  • Ability to work well with others

Raincoast Book Distribution Ltd, based Metro Vancouver, is one of the largest distributors of books in Canada. We have been in business for more than 30 years, selling, marketing and distributing our clients’ book and gift product to retailers, wholesalers and institutions across the country.

We regret that we can only acknowledge applications from candidates selected for interviews. No phones calls or agencies, please.

To apply, please email your resume to Paddy Laidley by March 25, 2014


New Releases: April 2014 Highlights

by Dan
Art & Photography + Fashion & Textiles + Fiction + History + Humour / March 11, 2014

Here's a sneak-peek at some of the new releases coming to bookstores in April (and be sure to check out our new books for kids and teens as well!)... 

FICTION

Short Stories 

Can't and Won't

Lydia Davis

A new collection of short stories from the woman Rick Moody has called "the best prose stylist in America."
 

In her fifth collection of stories, Lydia Davis writes with bracing candor and sly humor about the quotidian, revealing the mysterious, the foreign, the alienating, and the pleasurable within the predictable patterns of daily life.

 

 

"Five years after a mammoth, comprehensive collection of stories secured her literary legacy, this unique author explores new directions and blurs boundaries in writing that is always fresh and often funny."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Davis’s bulletproof prose sends each story shooting off the page."Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Available April 8


Suspense

Keep Quiet

Lisa Scottoline

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline delivers a gripping new novel about family and justice.

Keep Quiet is an emotionally complex story about one man's split-second decision to protect his son— and the devastating consequences that follow.

 

 

 

 

 

"Scottoline keeps the tension high while portraying a family in turmoil. A heck of a twist ending wraps everything up...a satisfying and suspenseful read."—Booklist

"Scottoline brings tension to a boil in her latest novel. Her characters are believable, and her protagonist is sympathetic. This is an intriguing exploration of human frailties, justice and family relationships."—RT Reviews  

Available April 8


Fantasy

Dragon Age: The Masked Empire  

Patrick Weekes

Journey into the darkest and deadliest part of Orlais, where the weight of titles matters less than the strength of blades. In this thrilling tie-in to the award-winning Dragon Age™ games, alliances are forged and promises broken as Empress Celene and Grand Duke Gaspard battle for the throne. But in the end, the elves who hide in the forests or starve in the slums may decide the fate of the masked empire.

Available April 8

 


Thrillers / Crime

Blood Always Tells 

Hilary Davidson

Hilary Davidson returns with Blood Always Tells, a twisted tale of love, crime, and family gone wrong.

The Canadian-born Davidson is the award-winning author of The Damage Done and Evil in All Its Disguises.

 

 

 

 

 

"Davidson has penned an outstanding novel that entertains with its carefully plotted tale of kidnapping, murder and duplicity. Impressive from the outset, the surprises continue throughout until the clincher at the end. Her talent for character development shines as each person blends flawlessly into the story."—RT Reviews

"This could be the Gone Girl of 2014"—MysteryPeople

Available April 15


Literary

The Other Story 

Tatiana de Rosnay

From the author of Sarah's Key, an absorbing new novel about a young writer who, while digging into his family’s deeply buried secrets, finds the key to his future.

Page-turning, layered and beautifully written, The Other Story is a reflection on identity, the process of being a writer and the repercussions of generations-old decisions as they echo into the present and shape the future.

 

 

Available April 15


Literary

In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman

A bold, epic debut novel set during the war and financial crisis that defined the beginning of our century.

In the Light of What We Know takes us on a journey of exhilarating scope—from Kabul to London, New York, Islamabad, Oxford, and Princeton—and explores the great questions of love, belonging, science, and war. It is an age-old story: the friendship of two men and the betrayal of one by the other.  

 

 

"Beautifully written evidence that some of the most interesting writing in English is coming from the edges of old empires."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"This formidable novel unpacks friendship, betrayal, unknowability – and includes an astute take on Englishness, on class, on mathematical theory, human rights, and whether people can trust their own perception of the world."The Observer (UK)

Available April 22


Science Fiction

Afterparty

Daryl Gregory

A mind-bending and violent chase across Canada and the US, Daryl Gregory's Afterparty is a marvelous mix of William Gibson's Neuromancer, Philip K. Dick's Ubik, and perhaps a bit of Peter Watts's Starfish: a last chance to save civilization, or die trying.

 

 

 

 

"Gregory dashes off his near-future story like a ‘chemjet’ printing out sheets of smart drugs…The tragi-comical satire dispenses with sermons and easy morals, preferring to be entertaining and thought-provoking instead."Publishers Weekly

Available April 22


Suspense

Live to See Tomorrow 

Iris Johansen

Catherine Ling is one of the CIA’s most prized operatives. Raised on the streets of Hong Kong, she was pulled into the agency at the age of fourteen. If life has taught her anything, it is not to get attached, but there are two exceptions to that rule: her son Luke and her mentor Hu Chang. Luke was kidnapped at age two, and now, nine years later, he has astonishingly been returned to her. Catherine vows never to fail him again. But when her job pulls her away from home, she relies on the brilliant and deadly Hu Chang to safeguard Luke in her absence...

Available April 29


NONFICTION

Literary Collections / Essays

The Empathy Exams

Essays

Leslie Jamison

From personal loss to phantom diseases, The Empathy Exams is a bold and brilliant collection of essays by Leslie Jamieson. The book is the winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, and Publishers Weekly named it one of the best essay collections of Spring 2014

 

 

 

 

"Novelist Jamison’s... first collection of essays, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, is a heady and unsparing examination of pain and how it allows us to understand others, and ourselves."Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Available April 1


Travel

The World's Great Wonders

Jheni Osman

Go beyond the visual spectacle of the world's 50 greatest wonders, and discover what makes them such amazing places. With stunning images and expert illustrations, experience and appreciate the most famous sights on earth in an exciting new way.

 

 

Available April 1


Art / Popular Culture / Fashion

The WORN Archive 

Fashion Journal about the Art, Ideas, & History of What We Wear

Edited by Serah-Marie McMahon

The WORN Archive is a manifesto for fashion and clothing, featuring the best content from Worn Fashion Journal's first 14 issues. The articles, penned by a host of unique contributors, touch on topics as wide-ranging as feminism, hijabs, how to tie a tie, the history of flight attendants, and textile conservation. With eclectic photo shoots featuring 'real' models, striking illustrations, and whimsical layouts, every page is a joyful, creative approach to clothing.

Available April 1


Self-Help / Motivational & Inspirational

Miracles Now

108 Life-Changing Tools for Less Stress, More Flow, and Finding Your True Purpose

Gabrielle Bernstein

Most of us don't have time for an hour of yoga or 30 minutes of meditation every day. We're overwhelmed as it is. Our spiritual practice shouldn't add to that.

Gabrielle Bernstein has hand-picked 108 simple techniques to combat our most common problems-stress, burnout, frustration, jealousy, resentment. The stuff we have to deal with on a daily basis. This book is designed so that you can achieve peace and experience miracles now. 

 

Available April 8


Art / History

The Book of Trees

Visualizing Branches of Knowledge

Manuel Lima

Michael Lima's critically acclaimed bestseller Visual Complexity was the first in-depth examination of the burgeoning field of information visualization. In this new companion volume, The Book of Trees, data viz expert Lima examines the history of the tree diagram, from its roots in the illuminated manuscripts of medieval monasteries to its current resurgence as an elegant means of visualization.

Available April 8


Art / Canadian

Sister and I  in Alaska 

Emily Carr; edited by David A. Silcox

Full of humour and delight, with a playful text and whimsical full colour illustrations, Sister and I in Alaska documents Emily and Alice's trip to Skidegate, Juneau and places beyond, an adventure that proved seminal in the development of Carr as one of the foremost painters of the last century.

Available April 9


History / Military

War! What Is It Good For?

Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots

Ian Morris

In War! What Is It Good For? renowned historian and archaeologist Ian Morris tells the gruesome, gripping story of fifteen thousand years of war, going beyond the battles and brutality to reveal what war has really done to and for the world. As Morris explains war has created bigger, more complex societies, ruled by governments that have stamped out internal violence. Strangely enough, killing has made the world safer and richer.

 

"A profoundly uncomfortable but provocative argument that “productive war” promotes greater safety, a decrease in violence and economic growth... A disturbing, transformative text that veers toward essential reading."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Available April 15


Humour

Sh*t Rough Drafts

Pop Culture's Favorite Books, Movies, and TV Shows as They Might Have Been

Paul Laudiero

Sh*t Rough Drafts collects imagined misguided early drafts of classic books, screenplays, and contemporary literature, creating visions of alternate works that would exist had the authors not come to their senses. 

 

 

 
Available April 15

History / Europe

Hotel Florida

Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War

Amanda Vaill

Madrid, 1936. In a city blasted by a civil war that many fear will cross borders and engulf Europe, six people meet and find their lives changed forever. Ernest Hemingway, his career stalled, his marriage sour, hopes that this war will give him fresh material and new romance; Martha Gellhorn, an ambitious novice journalist hungry for love and experience, thinks she will find both with Hemingway in Spain. Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, idealistic young photographers based in Paris, want to capture history in the making and are inventing modern photojournalism in the process. And Arturo Barea, chief of Madrid's loyalist foreign press office, and Ilsa Kulcsar, his Austrian deputy, are struggling to balance truth-telling with loyalty to their compromised cause—a struggle that places both of them in peril.

"War, sex, friendship, betrayal, celebrity, rivalry, jealousy, idealism, foolishness and foppery—all this and more gather in the lobby of Madrid’s Hotel Florida."Kirkus Reviews

"Beautifully told, Vaill’s story captures the timeless immediacy of warfront reporting with the universal struggle to stay in love, just before the Nazis permanently changed the European landscape."Publishers Weekly

Available April 22


History / Europe

Kind Mama

A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning

Alicia Silverstone

In The Kind Mama, Alicia Silverstone has created a comprehensive and practical guide empowering women to take charge of their fertility, pregnancy, and first 6 months with baby. She helps readers navigate everything from prenatal testing and birth plans to successful breastfeeding and creating a supportive "baby nest." The result is an authoritative, one-stop guide that empowers women to trust their instincts during this vital milestone, while helping them embark on a healthy and more vibrant path to motherhood.

 

Available April 22


Cooking / Health & Healing

The Family Cooks

100+ Recipes to Get Your Family Craving Food That's Simple, Tasty, and Incredibly Good for You

Laurie David; foreword by Katie Couric

In The Family Cooks, Laurie David inspires parents and kids to take control of what they eat by making it themselves. With her longtime collaborator, Kirstin Uhrenholdt, David offers more than 100 recipes that are simple, fast, "low in the bad stuff and high in the good stuff," and designed to bring kids into the cooking process.

Available April 22


House & Home / Decorating

Bright Bazaar

Embracing Color for Make-You-Smile Style

Will Taylor

Dive into a refreshing take on color from one of the world's leading interiors bloggers, Will Taylor of Bright.Bazaar: West Elm's "go-to blogger for color inspiration." What began as a popular blog attracting over 400,000 readers a month is now a gorgeous, colour-popping book sure to delight and inspire all.

 

 

Available April 29


I Can Do It Conferences ~ Toronto and Vancouver

by Danielle
Events + Spirituality / March 06, 2014

I Can Do It! 201 - Toronto

Date: March 15, 2014 - March 16, 2014 Sponsored by: Hay House Location: Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, Canada

 

I Can Do It! 2014 - Vancouver

Date: May 17, 2014 - May 18, 2014 Sponsored by: Hay House Location: Queen Elizabeth Theatre

 

Tour Description

Join us for a weekend retreat at I Can Do It!® created by Louise Hay to help you heal your life! Unveil the true you, unleash your divine greatness, release pain and fear, and learn how to make the best choices for your mind, body and spirit! Awaken to new possibilities and create a life you love!

In this interactive conference, you'll:

  • Discover your true purpose
  • Experience more intimate and fulfilling relationships
  • Embrace challenges as opportunities
  • Heal your past for a better today and brighter tomorrow
  • Make a plan with lasting changes that stick—choosing food, thoughts and spiritual practices for a healthier, happier you!

All of Hay House's incredibly inspiring titles are available at your local bookshop.

Please check your local listings for Dr. Wayne W. Dyer's new PBS special, I Can See Clearly Now.


From Russia with Pride

by Larisa
Fiction / February 25, 2014

For the last couple of weeks, millions of people from all around the world have been glued to their TVs cheering for athletes, enjoying the performances and counting medals during one of this year’s most spectacular sporting events – the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Our attention was drawn to Russia where athletes were competing from countries all around the globe. I was happy to cheer for both my native Russia as well as my newly adopted homeland – Canada. I was equally moved when athletes from either country ascended the podium. And I was trying to swallow that lump in my throat when either a Russian or Canadian flag were raised or their anthem was played. But now, when Olympics excitement is behind, more than anything else I want my fellow Canadians to learn what a beautiful country Russia is and what outstanding people live there.

Russia has always been a subject of controversy. Forty-years of Cold War and somewhat ambiguous governing for the last two decades established rather a negative image of the country. But let’s put political and historical arguments aside and think about the ordinary Russian people, their lives and their struggles. What is Russia besides being a proud homeland of incredible ballet, magnificent music and great art? Who are these Russians known as ridiculously rich oligarchs, heavy drinkers, and homophobes? Is there another side of Russia and Russians yet to discover? My answer is yes! And there is no better way to do that than reading a good book. With a number of wonderful books coming out this year, we have a unique opportunity to learn more about the country and its people from the work of Russian writers. 

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature, novelist and historian, is an iconic figure and doesn’t need any special introduction. Four of his books are coming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2014. First two – August 1914 and November 1916 are parts of 'The Red Wheel', a cycle of novels presenting the epic history of Russian Revolution. Cancer Ward and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich are considered Solzhenitsyn’s greatest achievements and examples of the most significant literary works of the century.

But I was also thrilled to discover the name of one my favorite contemporary writers Ludmila Ulitskaya on Farrar Straus & Giroux 2014 Fall list. Ulitskaya is one of Russia’s most prominent and popular literary figures, author of numerous novels, short stories, plays and tales for children. She has won many Russian as well as international awards including the Russian Booker Prize, Medici Prize of France, Penne Prize of Italy and many others. Her novel The Big Green Tent, which is being published by FSG in December, is about friendship and love, faith and betrayal; all the moral choices people make throughout their lives. It’s about bright personalities in dark times. Ulitskaya’s scientific background (she has a degree in biology and genetics) affects the way she scrutinizes people’s behavior and motivation. She believes there is no certain age or life period to become mature in terms of morality. In her opinion, one might never leave a chrysalis stage of their development, whereas another would push the boundaries and turn into a beautiful butterfly. This allows the person to see, hear and learn more than others, take more responsibility and be free of fear. Ulitskaya is wondering what could possibly cause this transformation – where we were born, how we were raised, who we met or what experiences we had? I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Russian soviet history, human morality or good literature.

In May 2014 Henry Holt & Co introduces the book Snow in May a literary debut by Kseniya Melnik, a young author of Russian origin. Melnik was born in Magadan, a remote city in the Far East region of Russia. Similar to Alaska, Magadan was founded as a port for exporting gold. Sadly, very soon it became infamous for being a major transit centre for the GULAG. Prisoners of all kinds had been settled in Magadan, many of them highly educated and strong in their political beliefs. Later, the Soviet government made several attempts to develop Siberia and the Far East region by welcoming young and offering them work, accommodation and higher wages. These events helped to build a vibrant community of professionals and intellectuals living harsh lives and striving to survive the near-perpetual winters. All these characters come alive in Melnik’s short stories, where she portrays the great drama of the country on a personal scale. Melnik’s characters don’t have to make difficult moral choices. The previous generation went through troubles of slippery moral decision-making for the sake of better future for their kids. Now their descendants are supposed to “reap the fruits of socialism”.  Is this future even close to what their parents were striving for?

This young author has an amazing ability to delineate her characters. She is equally adept at the voice of an excited eighteen-year-old bride or later a complacent old party worker. And Kseniya Melnik is able to weave skillfully between different historical periods of Soviet era and nowadays. She retells the stories of several generations by fictionalizing experiences of her parents, grandparents, friends and neighbours. Despite the fact Melnik’s family immigrated to Alaska when she was only fifteen, she is still able to draw from five decades of Russian history and paint an intimate portrait of people and their troubled lives. Kseniya Melnik is my new favourite author and I hope to see more of the carefully explored and brilliantly depicted characters from Russia in her new books.

Despite or perhaps because of all the sorrows and troubles, Russia continuously produces talents of highest calibre which are valued all around the world. Enjoy the 2014 Olympic Games and great books offered to you from Russia with pride.


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