Raincoast Books

What Will You Read Next?

Subscribe Rss 14x14
Subscribe by Email

Contributors

Alisha
Brooke
Chelsea
Dan
Danielle
Fernanda
Jamie
Larisa
Megan
Melissa
Nadia
Pete
Sandy

Blogs by our Distribution Partners

AMACOM Books
Chronicle Books
Drawn & Quarterly
Gibbs Smith
Lonely Planet
Moleskine
New Harbinger
Princeton Architectural Press

Search

Categories

Archives

Tags

Email Alerts

Go here

Flickr

flickr

Blog

Ausma Zehanat Khan Toronto Book Signing

by Dan
Fiction + Mysteries and Thrillers + News / January 19, 2015

Join Canadian author Ausma Zehanat Khan for the launch of her critically acclaimed debut novel The Unquiet Dead, 6:00PM on January 28th at Ben McNally Books in Toronto.  

Ausma holds a Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law (with a specialization in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans), and was Editor-in-Chief of Muslim Girl magazine, the first magazine targeted to young Muslim women. The Unquiet Dead, published by Minotaur last week, is a complex and provocative story of loss, redemption, and the cost of justice. Described by the Associated Press as "an outstanding debut that is not easily forgotten," it will linger with readers long after turning the final page.

The Unquiet Dead Book Launch
Ben McNally Books
366 Bay Street, Toronto

Wednesday, January 28 | 6:00 PM 

 

 

Praise for The Unquiet Dead:

"This whodunit is layered into events as recent as the Maher Arar affair or Toronto’s fears of “homegrown” urban terrorists. Khan, who holds a Ph.D. in international human-rights law, knows her subject, knows her hometown, and knows how to keep the suspense building. This is a writer to watch."
Margaret Cannon, Globe and Mail 

"An intelligent plot and graceful writing make "The Unquiet Dead" an outstanding debut that is not easily forgotten."The Associated Press

"Khan is a refreshing original, and The Unquiet Dead blazes what one hopes will be a new path guided by the author's keen understanding of the intersection of faith and core Muslim values, complex human nature and evil done by seemingly ordinary people."Los Angeles Times

"Khan’s stunning debut is a poignant, elegantly written mystery laced with complex characters who force readers to join them in dealing with ugly truths."Kirkus Reviews


Making Local Architecture: Brian MacKay-Lyons Book Launch Tonight

by Dan
Architecture + News / January 15, 2015

Join Canadian architect Brian MacKay-Lyons at the Dalhousie University School of Architecture at 7:00PM this evening for the launch of his new book Local Architecture: Building Place, Craft, and Community. Brian will be joined by architects Tom Fisher and Richard Kroeker for a panel discussion moderated by Christine Macy. A reception and book signing will follow. 

Making Local Architecture
Thursday, January 16
7:00PM (books for sale from 6:30PM)

Dalhousie University School of Architecture
5410 Spring Garden Road
Auditorium HA 19


Raincoast Authors at OLA Super Conference 2015

by Dan
Fiction + News / January 14, 2015

Raincoast Books will be at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference in Toronto again this year. Drawn & Quarterly cartoonist Seth is a keynote speaker on Wednesday January 28th, and you can meet a host of other Canadian authors at our booth (#417) — including Hilary Davidson, A.M. Dellamonica, Jess Keating, Ausma Zehanat Khan, Courtney Summers, Jillian Tamaki, and Peter Watts — on the Thursday and Friday. Stop by and say hello!


WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28TH

Seth: Keynote Speaker

SETH has been producing comic art for twenty years. His books include It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken; Wimbledon Green; and George Sprott. Apart from comics, he is the illustrator for the Lemony Snicket 'All the Wrong Questions' series. He is also the designer behind the 'Complete Peanuts' series. From his home in Guelph, Ontario, he does illustrations for numerous magazines, including The New Yorker.

Palookaville 22
Seth
ISBN 9781770461635 | $22.95 cl
Drawn & Quarterly | April 21

This installment of Seth's critically acclaimed one-man anthology features an autobiographical comic about his childhood, part four of his long-running Clyde Fans serial, a photo essay about a barbershop he designed, and a comic strip about the art of barbering.

 

Palookaville 21  
Seth
ISBN 9781770460645 | $21.95 cl
Drawn & Quarterly

Continuing the new semi-annual hardcover format for Palookaville in volume 21, Seth presents two very different autobiographical pieces, and the continuation of Part Four of the ongoing Clyde Fans serial.

 


THURSDAY, JANUARY 29TH

10:00AM Hilary Davidson (Booth #417)

HILARY DAVIDSON won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel for The Damage Done.That book also earned a Crimespree Award and was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis and Macavity awards. Davidson's short stories have been featured in publications from Ellery Queen to Thuglit and in many anthologies.

 

Blood Always Tells
Hilary Davidson
ISBN 9780765333544 | $29.99 cl
Forge Books

Dominique Monaghan just wanted to get even with her two-timing, married boyfriend, a washed-up boxer stuck in a toxic marriage to a dangerously spoiled socialite. However, an elaborate blackmail scheme soon lands her in the middle of an unexpected kidnapping... and attempted murder. But who is actually out to kill whom?

Available in paperback March 10, 2015


1:00PM Courtney Summers (Booth #417)

COURTNEY SUMMERS is the author of young adult novels including Fall for Anything, Some Girls Are, and Cracked Up to Be. She lives and writes in Canada, where she divides her time between a piano, a camera, and a word-processing program when she's not planning for the impending zombie apocalypse.

 

 

All the Rage
Courtney Summers
ISBN 9781250021915 | $21.99 cl
St. Martin's Griffin
Ages 12+ | April 14

In her hardcover debut, from the author of Cracked Up To Be and This is Not a Test, comes a powerful new young adult novel that examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women in a culture that refuses to protect them.

 

This Is Not a Test
Courtney Summers
ISBN 9780312656744 | $10.99 pb
St. Martin's Griffin
Ages 13-18

When six teens are trapped inside their high school during the zombie apocalypse, they quickly discover the line between the living and the dead isn’t as clear as they think in this chilling story of survival from the author of Cracked Up To Be and Fall For Anything.


2:00PM Ausma Zehanat Khan (Booth #417)

AUSMA ZEHANAT KHAN holds a Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law with a specialization in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans. She is a former adjunct law professor and was Editor-in-Chief of Muslim Girl magazine, the first magazine targeted to young Muslim women.

 

The Unquiet Dead
Ausma Zehanat Khan
ISBN 9781250055118 | $29.99 cl
Minotaur

IndieNext Pick January 2015

Ausma Zehanat Khan's haunting debut follows detectives Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty as they investigate the death of a man who may have been a war criminal with ties to the Srebrenica massacre.


3:00PM A. M. Dellamonica & Peter Watts (Booth #417)

A. M. DELLAMONICA is the author of Indigo Springs, winner of the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, and its concluding sequel, Blue Magic. Her short stories have appeared in a number of fantasy and science fiction magazines and anthologies, and on Tor.com.

 

PETER WATTS is the author of the Hugo Award-winning short story The Island. His novel Blindsight was also nominated for a Hugo, and he has been described as "a hard science fiction writer through and through and one of the very best alive" by The Globe and Mail.

 

 

 

 

Child of a Hidden Sea
A. M. Dellamonica
ISBN 9780765334497 | $29.99 cl
Tor Books

A rousing tale of adventure and adversity, politics and personal trials, in the fascinating world of Stormwrack Archipelago.

Available in paperback June 2, 2015

 

 

Echopraxia
Peter Watts
ISBN 9780765328021 | $28.99 cl
Tor Books

Prepare for different kind of singularity in Peter Watts' Echopraxia, the follow-up to the Hugo-nominated novel Blindsight.

Available in paperback June 16, 2015

 


FRIDAY, JANUARY 30TH

10:00AM Jess Keating (Booth #417)

As an author and zoologist, JESS KEATING has been sprayed by skunks, bitten by crocodiles, and been a victim to the dreaded paper cut. She lives in Ontario, Canada, where she spends most of her time writing books for adventurous and funny kids.

 

 

How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel
Jess Keating
ISBN 9781402297588 | $9.99 pb
Sourcebooks | Ages 9-12

Ana Wright's summer just got terrifying. She's finally getting used to living in a zoo (no, seriously-she lives with her family in an actual zoo), when she's assigned to work in the new shark tank. With her worst enemy.

 

 

How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes are Untied
Jess Keating
ISBN 9781402297557 | $9.99 pb
Sourcebooks | Ages 9-12

Ana Wright's social life is now officially on the endangered list: she lives in a zoo (umm, elephant droppings!?), her best friend lives on the other side of the world. All Ana wants is to fade into the background. Yeah, that's not going to happen.


11:00AM Jillian Tamaki (Booth #417)

JILLIAN TAMAKI is the co-creator of the graphic novel Skim, which was listed as a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2008 and was nominated for four Eisner Awards and a Governor General's Literary Award. This One Summer, her second co-authored work with Mariko Tamaki, was published in 2014, and spent more than a month on the New York Times bestseller list.

 

SuperMutant Magic Academy
Jillian Tamaki
ISBN 9781770461987 | $22.95 pb
Drawn & Quarterly | April 28

Jillian Tamaki is best known for co-creating the award-winning young adult graphic novels Skim and This One Summer—moody and atmospheric bestsellers. SuperMutant Magic Academy, which she has been serializing online for the past four years, paints a teenaged world filled with just as much ennui and uncertainty, but also with a sharp dose of humour and irreverence.


New Releases: January 2015 Highlights

by Dan
Fiction + Politics + Psychology & Self-Help / January 06, 2015

Happy New Year! Here are some of the best new books available from Raincoast in January 2015...

FICTION

HISTORICAL

★ ★ JANUARY 2015 INDIE NEXT PICK! ★ ★

The Magician's Lie

Greer Macallister

Will a magician ever reveal her secrets-even when her life is at stake? 

The Amazing Arden is the most notorious female illusionist of her day, renowned for sawing a man in half. One night, with policeman Virgil Holt in the audience, she swaps her saw for a fire ax. A new trick or an all-too-real murder? When a dead body is discovered, the answer seems clear. But under Holt's interrogation, what Arden's story reveals is both unbelievable and spellbinding. Even handcuffed and alone, she is far from powerless. During one eerie night, Holt must decide whether to turn Arden in or set her free...and it will take all he has to see through the smoke and mirrors.

"This well-paced, evocative, and adventurous historical novel from Macallister, a poet and short story writer, chronicles the career of America’s preeminent female stage illusionist at the turn of the 20th century, who, as the Amazing Arden, created the lurid, controversial stage act known as the Halved Man."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Available Now


FANTASY

The Just City 

Jo Walton

From the acclaimed, award-winning author of Among Others and My Real Children, a tale of gods and humans, and the surprising things they have to learn from one another.

Created as an experiment by the time-travelling goddess Pallas Athene, the Just City is a planned community, populated by over ten thousand children and a few hundred adult teachers from all eras of history, along with some handy robots from the far human future—all set down together on a Mediterranean island in the distant past. Then, a few years in, Sokrates arrives—the same Sokrates recorded by Plato himself—asking all the troublesome questions you would expect. What happens next is a tale only the brilliant Jo Walton could tell.

"The award-winning Walton has written a remarkable novel of ideas that demands—and repays—careful reading. It is itself an exercise in philosophy that often, courtesy of Socrates, critically examines Plato’s ideas. If this sounds abstruse, it sometimes is, but the plot is always accessible and the world building and characterization are superb. In the end, the novel more than does justice to the idea of the Just City."—Booklist (starred review)

Available January 13


★ JANUARY 2015 INDIE NEXT PICK! ★ 

The Unquiet Dead 

Ausma Zehanat Khan

Ausma Zehanat Khan's haunting debut follows detectives Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty as they investigate the death of a man who may have been a war criminal with ties to the Srebrenica massacre.

Despite their differences, Detective Rachel Getty trusts her boss, Esa Khattak, implicitly. But she's still uneasy at Khattak's tight-lipped secrecy when he asks her to look into Christopher Drayton's death. Drayton's apparently accidental fall from a cliff doesn't seem to warrant a police investigation, particularly not from Rachel and Khattak's team, which handles minority-sensitive cases. But when she learns that Drayton may have been living under an assumed name, Rachel begins to understand why Khattak is tip-toeing around this case—could Drayton be a war criminal with ties to the Srebrenica massacre of 1995?

"This whodunit is layered into events as recent as the Maher Arar affair or Toronto’s fears of “homegrown” urban terrorists. Khan, who holds a Ph.D. in international human-rights law, knows her subject, knows her hometown, and knows how to keep the suspense building. This is a writer to watch."—Margaret Cannon, Globe and Mail

"Khan’s stunning debut is a poignant, elegantly written mystery laced with complex characters who force readers to join them in dealing with ugly truths."—Kirkus Reviews

Available January 13


LITERARY

Outline

Rachel Cusk

A luminous, powerful novel that establishes Rachel Cusk as one of the finest writers in the English language.

Rachel Cusk's Outline is a novel in ten conversations. Spare and stark, it follows a novelist teaching a course in creative writing during one oppressively hot summer in Athens. She leads her students in storytelling exercises. She meets other visiting writers for dinner. She goes swimming in the Ionian Sea with her neighbor from the plane. The people she encounters speak volubly about themselves: their fantasies, anxieties, pet theories, regrets, and longings. And through these disclosures, a portrait of the narrator is drawn by contrast, a portrait of a woman learning to face a great loss.
  

"To my mind Outline succeeds powerfully. Among other things, it gets a great variety of human beings down on to the page with both immediacy and depth; an elemental pleasure that makes the book as gripping to read as a thriller."—James Lasdun, The Guardian

“Outline is a poised and cerebral novel that has little in the way of straightforward plot yet is transfixing in its unruffled awareness of the ways we love and leave each other, and of what it means to listen to other people."—Dwight Garner, The New York Times 

"These 10 remarkable conversations, told with immense control, focus a sharp eye on how we discuss family and our lives."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Available January 13


The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac

Sharma Shields

A dark, fantastical, multi-generational tale about a family whose patriarch is consumed by the hunt for the mythical, elusive sasquatch he encountered in his youth.

Eli Roebuck was nine years old when his mother walked off into the woods with "Mr. Krantz," a large, strange, hairy man who may or may not be a sasquatch. What Eli knows for certain is that his mother went willingly, leaving her only son behind. For the rest of his life, Eli is obsessed with the hunt for the bizarre creature his mother chose over him. Boldy imaginative, The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac proves to be a devastatingly real portrait of the demons that we as human beings all face.

"Imagine a mashup of Moby-Dick and Kakfa’s Metamorphosis (with a hearty dash of Twin Peaks thrown in), and you’ll begin to get an idea of what Shields' ambitious tale of disenchantment sets out to do."—Kirkus Reviews

"This debut novel chronicles the life of a man obsessed by a childhood encounter with the mythical creature, which may be related to the disappearance of his mother. Just shut up – you had me at 'sasquatch.'”—Mark Medley, The Globe and Mail

Available January 27


CONTEMPORARY WOMEN

First Frost

Sarah Addison Allen

Featuring characters from her beloved novel, Garden Spells, Sarah Addison Allen's new novel picks up ten years after that eventful summer when Claire Waverly's wild half-sister Sydney returned to Bascom and Claire met her now-husband Tyler. Things have settled down and Claire finds she has slipped back into a place of tightly sequestered sameness. It's comfortable. She likes it. But when her father Russell shows up he brings with him information that Claire doesn't want to hear and that will challenge everything she thought she knew about herself. Filled with Sarah Addison Allen's characteristic magic and warmth, this novel will reveal how the people who come into your life may not be the ones you expect, but they're there for a reason. And they don't change your one true voice, they make it louder.

"Thomas Wolfe was wrong. You can go home again, and in returning to the Waverley household, the winsomely wise Allen demonstrates that sometimes it’s necessary to embrace the magic to find out what’s real in life and in one’s own heart."—Booklist (starred review)

"Allen has written a beautiful, lyrical story, complete with genuine characters whose depth reflects Allen’s skill as a writer. Allen’s fans will be eagerly awaiting her next."Publishers Weekly 

"Richly drawn characters with dilemmas everyone can relate to make this book shine above everything similar."—RT Book Reviews 

Available January 20


 

NONFICTION

 

POLITICAL SCIENCE

Rebalancing Society 

Radical Renewal Beyond Left, Right, and Center

Henry Mintzberg

Our world is out of balance, says Henry Mintzberg, and the consequences are proving fateful: the degradation of our environment, the demise of our democracies, and the denigration of ourselves, with greed having been raised to some sort of high calling. But we can set things right.

Mintzberg argues that a healthy society is built on three balanced pillars: a public sector of respected governments, a private sector of responsible enterprises, and what he calls a plural sector of robust voluntary associations (nonprofits, NGOs,etc.). Communism collapsed because the public sector was overbearing—balance triumphed in 1989, not capitalism. But that misunderstanding has led to the private sector becoming overbearing in many countries, especially the United States, and this imbalance is wreaking havoc.

Available Now


HEALTH & FITNESS

7 Minutes to Fit

50 Anytime, Anywhere Interval Workouts

Brett Klika

There's a reason why searching Google for the New York Times article "The Scientific 7-Minute Workout" yields nearly 100 million results: we all want an exercise routine that's quick, efficient, and delivers powerful results. In 7 Minutes to Fit, the scientific study's co-author presents 50 all-new high-intensity interval circuits that only require a chair and a timer. 

Available January 14


PSYCHOLOGY

The Man Who Couldn't Stop 

OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought

David Adam

David Adam, an editor at Nature and an accomplished science writer, has suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder for twenty years, and The Man Who Couldn’t Stop is his unflinchingly honest attempt to understand the condition and his experiences.

Drawing on the latest research on the brain, as well as historical accounts of patients and their treatments, this is a book that will challenge the way you think about what is normal and what is mental illness. Told with fierce clarity, humour, and urgent lyricism, this extraordinary book is both the haunting story of a personal nightmare and a fascinating doorway into the darkest corners of our minds.

"Well-researched, witty, honest and irreverent, Adam’s account proves as irresistible as his subject."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"In a wide-reaching discussion that spans the spectrum of obsession, Nature editor David Adam strikes an impressive balance between humor and poignancy, and between entertaining and informing."—Publishers Weekly

Available January 20


BUSINESS

The Age of Cryptocurrency

How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order

Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey

Bitcoin pops up in headlines and fuels endless media debate. You can apparently use it to buy anything from coffee to cars, yet few people seem to truly understand what it is. This raises the question: Why should anyone care about bitcoin?

In The Age of Cryptocurrency, Wall Street journalists Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey deliver the definitive answer to this question. Cybermoney is poised to launch a revolution, one that could reinvent traditional financial and social structures. But bitcoin, the most famous of the cybermonies, carries a reputation for instability, wild fluctuation, and illicit business. Vigna and Casey demystify cryptocurrency-its origins, its function, and what you need to know to navigate a cyber-economy. 

"While many readers understandably have a hard time wrapping their heads around the concept of non-government-backed currency, journalists Casey (Che’s Afterlife) and Vigna, who blog about cryptocurrency at the Wall Street Journal’s MoneyBeat blog, here use their considerable expertise to make the Bitcoin phenomenon accessible."Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Available January 27


MIND, BODY & SPIRIT

Angels of Love

How to Find and Keep the Perfect Relationship

Doreen Virtue and Grant Virtue

Gain confidence, clarity, and courage with the help of the angels. In this practical reference guide, you'll learn how to heal your heart and open it to all forms of love: self-love, spiritual love, healing love, friendship love, and romantic love. You'll discover how to develop a healthy relationship with yourself and others, built upon mutual respect and support. For those looking to manifest a romantic relationship, Angels of Love gives practical tips for how and where to find the right partner.

Available January 14


FOOD & DRINK

New German Cooking

Recipes for Classics Revisited

Jeremy Nolen and Jessica Nolen with Drew Lazor

Bright flavours. Fresh and healthful. These are not words we typically associate with German cuisine. But this beautifully packaged cookbook is not quite traditional. Featuring 100 recipes for familiar food re-envisioned to reflect the way we eat now, German Cooking Now celebrates fresh vegetables, grains, herbs, and spices as obsessively as it does pork, pretzels, and beer. Chefs Jeremy and Jessica Nolen share recipes from their family table, inspired by their travels in Germany. Slow-braised meats, home-made pickles and preserves, hand-cut noodles, and vegetables every which way-the recipes in German Cooking Now are entirely true to their roots, yet utterly unique. 

Available January 27


My Favourite Books of 2014, Megan Radford

by Megan
December 31, 2014

2014 was a year that couldn’t help but feel heavy… every time I turned on the news and let the world rush in, it felt as if a progressive heaviness sank into both limbs and mind, like someone had snuck chunks of concrete into my pockets when I wasn't looking.

When I sat down to have a look at my favourite YA and kids books of the year, I noticed a common pattern. All of these books had a lifting, a lightness to them, whether it be a character vaulting over the Berlin Wall, breaking physical and psychological bonds, or floating through the air in a balloon with animal pals. My favourite books of the year lifted and released.

Here’s to a lovely and lingering lightness in 2015. And may you charter your own balloon.

 

The Winner’s Curse

This one caught me completely by surprise – privileged girl buys slave, falls in love... we know the drill, right? But this story is so complex and layered, showing a power dynamic that fluctuates back and forth, life and love complicated by a social fabric that is in complete upheaval. While a lesser storyteller might have been satisfied to end with “love conquers all,” this book challenges the reader to dig deeper. Love here is an inconvenience and a curse, something that challenges the pleasantly constant currents of a stratified system and one’s role within that system. An utterly captivating, historical-feeling fantasy, where the time and place is richly evoked in every brocade thread and piece of buttercream lace. Pssst - even better, it’s the first book in a trilogy!

 

Going Over  

February 1983, Berlin. Ada lives in West Berlin, Stefan in East Berlin, separated by that infamous wall. If these two are to be together, as the title suggests, they will need to surmount that wall, leap over and into the air and be happy forever (well, it’s not quite that simple...). Here we get another heroine, like Kestrel in the Winner’s Curse, who is fierce, passionate, and smart. Ada is a punk, navigating the mix of immigrants, punks, and rebels in West Berlin. We see the world through her eyes and through the spout of her paint can as she sprays graffiti across the wall and yearns for Stefan. Will these two end up together? And what will they have to sacrifice to do so?

 

Sebastian and the Balloon

Tired of the run-of-the-mill goings on about his street, Sebastian crafts a balloon from his grandmother’s afghans and patchwork quilts and takes flight, meeting a whole host of new friends in the process. Philip C. Stead’s gorgeous illustrations and simple, lovely story will make you wonder what’s lying just over the horizon in wait for you.

 

And Away We Go!

Mr. Fox takes off in his hot air balloon on a trip to the moon. But… can Elephant come too? Giraffe? Can we bring pizza? What about Squirrel? Before long, the balloon is chock full. Will Mr. Fox make it to the moon? Or will his new group of pals find a more fun destination together? The colourful, classic illustration style and focus on new adventures is a perfect combination, and one that will again make you feel like taking off and learning what lies just beyond the glaring city lights. 


My Favourite Book of 2014, Alisha Whitley

by Alisha
Fiction / December 12, 2014

My favourite book of 2014 was Emily Gould’s debut novel, Friendship. It had been on my to-read pile for a couple of weeks when a friend forwarded me a July 18th New York Times piece about Gould along with three words: must-read-now. The next week was a flurry of texts and calls to one another (ex. “Have you read to the end of Chapter 5? What do you mean you’re eating? Book first, food second!”) as we read, laughed, and cried at (mostly) the same times. The story of Bev and Amy – two New Yorkers in their early thirties trying to navigate the not-so-perfect arenas of work, love, and friendship as they occur online and in real life – so perfectly captured the deep love shared by old friends and the complications of the heart that arise when two women begin to grow apart. Clever, heartwarming, and genuine, Friendship was the perfect book to share with my best friend (whose name also happens to be Emily).


My Favourite Books of 2014, Brooke Kosty

by Brooke
Fiction + Psychology & Self-Help / December 12, 2014

Snow in May

I was recommended this book by a fellow Raincoaster and a native Russian who heard I have a thing for Russian literature, and this did not disappoint. Melnik tells five interwoven stories that center around characters who share the same Russian hometown as the author herself. Melnik has an elegant writing style that lets you find moments both haunting and beautiful – without being told they are such – and by doing so, she plants them in your mind long after you’re done reading. One story about a mother’s painstaking journey to purchase a rare bundle of bananas for her children still tends to pop up in my mind every time I’m in what feels like a painfully long line at the grocery store.

What I Know For Sure

As many of my Raincoast coworkers know by now, I love anything and everything Oprah; this book is no exception. A curated selection of her ongoing magazine column, What I Know For Sure is the perfect amount of Oprah’s life lessons, wisdom, and anecdotes, all in small, beautifully-packaged doses.

Texts from Jane Eyre

As a literature major in school, I thought I’d worn myself out of anything and everything pertaining to classic literature. Apparently all it took was publishing a funny blog to knock me back off the wagon. Writer Mallory Ortberg captures famous novels and their characters so well that I often found myself (embarrassingly enough) thinking I was reading texts between old friends, ‘Oh man, that’s classic Jane…’ My favourite were the texts “by” Daisy Buchanan of Great Gatsby fame; the quintessential self-centered brattiness that made you forget she even had a child in the original novel is conveyed perfectly through Daisy’s manipulative texts pestering Nick for a ride home from the Valley of Ashes.


My Favourite Books of 2014, Sandy Cooper

by Dan
Fiction + Food & Drink + Kids / December 11, 2014

The Forgotten Seamstress

From the author of the well received The Last Telegram, fans were waiting for this next novel.

Caroline Meadows life is taking some unexpected turns, her Mother needs to move into care and so while she is clearing her mother’s attic, she discovers a beautifully crafted quilt and begins a search to find out the origins of this mysterious quilt and who might have stitched it.

1910 and Maria, an extraordinary seamstress, is employed to work for the Royal Family. Maria is young and beautiful, and soon catches the eye of the Prince of Wales. But this connection soon leads to trouble for Maria and her life takes a sudden unexpected turn.

Will Caroline be able to find out about the quilt and discover what happened to Maria?

A very interesting and moving story that keeps you involved the whole way through. I can see this book as a movie…much like Philomena… past and present, following clues and revealing secrets as you go…

The Dirty Apron Cookbook

This is a fantastic cookbook. Great recipes, beautiful photography, and the nicest chef and teacher you could wish for. The mushroom soup recipe is straight from heaven. It will ruin you for any other mushroom soup anywhere.

If you are ever in Vancouver treat yourself and go by the Dirty Apron deli, or even better, sign up for one of David Robertson’s incredible classes at the cooking school. But if you can’t… buy this book and work your way through it from start to finish. You’ll be a pro in no time.

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site Sound Book 

Everyone has heard of the New York Times-bestselling children’s picture book…It’s my three year old Grandsons’ favourite bedtime story. But this sound board book is for an even younger audience… a sturdy board book with the favorite characters and a bonus side panel of wonderful realistic machine and engine noises. Great fun!

Sandy Cooper, Sales Director


My Favourite Books of 2014, Laurie Martella

by Dan
Kids / December 11, 2014

Mix it Up!

A fun companion to the hugely popular Press Here.

Mix It Up! takes the interactivity element one step further by introducing children to the concept of colour mixing. It encourages kids to have fun by not just simply mixing…but by smudging, smearing, smooshing pages together, and why not use your whole hand?!

I had the pleasure to meet author Herve Tullet in person, and watch him in action. His voice really resonates  through the text of his books, in a cool, fun and down to earth tone. What a creative, fun and colourful book!  

The Who, the What, and the When: 65 Artists Illustrate the Secret Sidekicks of History

It is the format and the subject of this book that I love. That combined with the fantastic artwork! It all blends together so well to illustrate the unsung heroes and what we don’t know about these people that helped shape the legends we cherish today.

Love Letters to the Dead

What better way to spill your heart out, than to write letters to dead legends? This was my favourite YA book of the year. Since it was mostly written in formal letter sytle, it gives the character the chance to really digs deep into her story. A story which starts off as a school assignment, which she can’t turn in because she’s hooked on writing more and more. It’s as if she is really connecting with people like Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Amelia Earhart – all these people who’ve died can relate.  And she certainly has lots to say. Mostly about losing her big sister May.

There are heart-breaking moments, nostalgic moments, awkward moments, and exciting moments too – all had me hooked and deeply connected to the experiences.  

Laurie Martella, Hornblower


My Favourite Book of 2014, Jamie Broadhurst

by Jamie
History / December 11, 2014

Orlando Figes had me at the opening sentence of Revolutionary Russia 1891-1991: A History,My aim is to provide a brief account of the Russian Revolution in the longue durée, to chart one hundred years of history as a single revolutionary cycle.”

This takes me right back to my happiest days at school reading French medieval social history and Soviet politics. The longue durée is a style of historiography that tries to show that history happens at a deeper social, material and environmental level than a purely political narrative can capture. A lot of these types of books are massive, this is not a big book in the traditional sense. Revolutionary Russia is a beautifully written work of historical concision; precise and clipped but never feeling rushed. It is a literary work that befits a recipient of the Wolfson History Prize. His writing stimulates all sorts of fresh questions and opens up vistas into the deeply tragic Soviet experience from which the reader can think about more deeply. I wish I had this excellent book in school.  It is the best single volume on Soviet history I have ever read.

Figes picks his details like novelist. Like for example, the night of the October insurrection when the Lenin is smuggled back in Petrograd but is stopped by a policeman—he is not recognized and is allowed to pass, and rushes off to bully the Central Committee into launching the October revolution. A great “What If? “ question of history. And the torture techniques of the Red Terror during the Civil War in places read likes pages out of 1984 and Room 101: what is with police states and torture by rabid rats eating flesh? Or the social mobility caused by Stalin’s purges where young apparatchiks took the job titles and prestige of their seniors who were dragged off to the Gulag. The fact that Brezhnev and Khrushchev were both promoted off the factory floor in 1928 in the wake of their immediate party superiors being arrested personalizes the argument about the social basis of Stalinism in a way I hadn’t thought about before.

Soviet foreign policy also comes into sharper relief. That Castro and Cuba voluntarily chose Communism led the Kremlin to remember too fondly the lost opportunity of the suppressed Soviet uprisings of 1918 across Europe and to over play their hand in the Caribbean. This rings true to me for all countries are haunted by the spectre of the past success and failures (to misquote Marx). And the immense fortitude of the Soviet people to endure the unbearable comes across in almost every page; the slave labor used to dig the White Canal by hand in which tens of thousands died (and was used as PR triumph by the regime) or the great Patriotic War where the daily loss of life was double the Allied losses on D-Day. That is two D-Days every day for four years.

Revolutionary Russia came out earlier this year, just as Russia was pushing back into its traditional spheres of influence in Crimea and the Ukraine, acting on imperatives that would have been well understood by the Soviet regime. In doing so, the contours and control of the security state run by the former KGB officer Vladimir Putin have become ever more apparent. The last question then is whether Figes has been too optimistic in dating the end of the Revolution at 1991, perhaps the longue durée of Soviet history is longer than we suspected. 


Page 2 of 125 pages  <  1 2 3 4 >  Last »