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Steve McDonald guest blogs over at Chronicle Books

by Danielle
Architecture + Art & Photography + Guest Blogger + Travel / July 28, 2015

Original blog post can be found here

Fantastic Cities

Steve McDonald is an artist and lifelong traveler who has lived in cities and countries all over the world. His large-format, photo-based, detailed drawings of cities are collected in the new adult coloring book Fantastic Cities, coming this August.

I’ve always loved drawing buildings. When I was young, I even had aspirations of becoming an architect, but ended up as an illustrator instead. When creating a piece of art, the most appealing part for me has always been the line work. Even when I’m working on a painting, the part I enjoy most is always the initial drawing. I really love lines, and I think that shows in the finished work.

Fantastic Cities Coloring Book

I have my daughters to thank for how Fantastic Cities came together as a coloring book. After creating artwork focusing on individual and small groups of buildings, I started to veer toward larger groups and then aerial views of cities. My daughters saw this work and told me that they thought it would be fun to color in the lines themselves (whereas I might normally keep going past the line-work stage to color it myself).

Steve McDonald

I realized that it might be a perfect vehicle to share my work more widely, with people who might not otherwise see my paintings, for instance. I also really like that people everywhere could become a part of the creative process. That’s very exciting and fun, and I’m looking forward to seeing how people might choose to color the images in.

In my city drawings I always try to accentuate the characteristics that make a city unique. For example, the organized chaos of a favela in Brazil, the towering majesty of a skyscraper in New York, or the historic façades of Parisian row houses. I try to capture something that illustrates something unique about that place.

studio

I love to draw on-site with pencils or ink and I always try to take a lot of photographs. (For sites I haven’t visited, I’ve been fortunate to work from the material of many noted photographers.) I take these back with me to my studio, and it’s there that I really create the compositions using a range of analog and digital means, including ink on paper, stylus work on a tablet, and wall projection. The size of the original work really depends on the composition and detail of the image. Sometimes they are quite large. 24 inches square is the smallest I work while sometimes they are as big as 6 feet square ! Even if I’m drawing with the tablet I like to do the drawings bigger than I need to. This allows me to really get into some of the detail required on some of them.

City Drawing

I know that lots of people find coloring to be meditative and relaxing. What do I do when I want to unwind? I draw! I also love nature and travelling. By that, I mean living in nature and travelling to cities. I’ve been a lifelong traveler ever since my family moved to the Middle East in 1979. I’ve lived in Saudi Arabia, Italy, India and Indonesia, visited dozens of countries, and spent the better part of twenty years travelling and painting my native Canada coast to coast by bus, car, helicopter, canoe, by ship and on foot. My wife and kids and I just spent two years in Bali, where my daughter and I learned how to surf, and we really enjoy it.

Among my favorite illustrations for the book are the Rocinha Favela in Rio (there’s an organized craziness to it that is immensely appealing to me), the Amsterdam street corner, because I love drawing that city, and the super-dense San Francisco drawing from above, which was kind of nuts and definitely the biggest challenge in the book. I can’t wait to see how they get colored in.

Can’t wait until August to start coloring? Download and print a page from Fantastic Cities.

 

 

 

Steve McDonald

Steve McDonald is a Canadian artist who has lived and travelled in cities around the world and now lives in Ontario. This is his first book.

 


Canada Day Must-Haves

by Alisha
Fiction + Food & Drink + History + Kids / June 26, 2015

Canada Day Must-Haves

What better way to celebrate Canada's birthday than with some homegrown books? Check out this list of some of our faves, eh!

 

For the historian: War Plan Red

War Plan Red

 

For the creative kid: Canada Doodles

Canada Doodles

 

For the trivia star: Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Weird Canada

Weird Canada

 

For the BBQ-loving foodie: Grilling with House of Q

Grilling with House of Q

 

For the lit lover: Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables

 

For the softie: Winnie

Winnie


Last minute Father’s Day book ideas

by Danielle
Board Books + Food & Drink + Humour + Parenting / June 18, 2015

It's not too late!

Here's some great titles we think would be a great fit for your dad, or husband, or some great guy you know with children! All available at your local bookshop. List is a bit long but hey, what can we say? We have lots of books to offer!


Book Scavenger: A Littlest Bookshelf Review

by Alisha
Kids / May 26, 2015

Brad Richardson of the Littlest Bookshelf reviews Book Scavenger and finds himself mentally racing through the streets of ‘Frisco, caught up in a wild mysterious adventure involving hidden books, treasure hunting and life-altering friendships.

Book Scavenger

Book Scavenger, written by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman, is a contemporary mystery reminiscent of the Boxcar Children and Encyclopedia Brown adventures. Much like those classic stories, Book Scavenger focuses on the adventures of an independent young protagonist as they race to uncover a dastardly plot. It’s up to the young sleuth to crack the case with the help of their friends. Filled with puzzles, the story engages the reader with clues that deepen the mystery and heighten the danger. Twelve-year-old Emily is tired of moving around the county to fulfill her parents’ nomadic lifestyle. Because of their goal to live in all fifty states she never makes any real friends. Instead, Emily spends her time hunting and hiding books as part of the Book Scavenger game, a community created by the enigmatic Garrison Griswold. Before long, Emily and her new friend James find themselves in a world of ciphers, clues and treasure hunting as they race to finish the latest game by Griswold.

Published by Henry Holt and Company, Book Scavenger is an amazing story for book lovers and cipher crackers of all ages. From Edgar Allan Poe to Robert Louis Stevenson, the number of literary references in the story is both staggering and wonderful. Bertman does an excellent job of blending well-known works of literature with codes and ciphers to bring the mystery in the novel to life. She creates a world that, while fantastical, mirrors our own. The majority of the landmarks that Emily visits in San Francisco (‘Frisco) are real, as is the animosity that existed between Rufus Griswold and Edgar Allan Poe. Bertman captures her readers’ imagination by keeping the story grounded.

The characters in Book Scavenger are well-developed and fully realized. They react according to their established personalities and grow throughout the adventure. This growth begins with Emily but also happens in her parents and brother. Even supporting characters like James’ grandmother feel real because of the small details that Bertman includes. Most importantly, the characters aren’t perfect. There are moments where Emily behaves like a twelve-year-old girl. She has moments of selfishness and ignorance because of her age. Her brother, parents, and teacher all have flaws and feel more real because of them. However, Emily and James’ determination and cleverness steals the story as they race from one clue to the next. Emily and James don’t always get along but their friendship feels real and earned. The antagonists are under-developed when compared to the protagonists but in a way that is reminiscent of the villains in classic children’s mystery stories such as Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys. The only real foil to the protagonist is their ability to solve the mystery.

Bertman explores a few different themes in her novel, such as; the importance of friendship and family, the impact of community, and the endless pursuit of an individual’s passion. Each of these themes play an important part in Emily’s adventure as she discovers the difference a friend can make in the pursuit of knowledge. I also love how Emily, unable to connect with a traditional community, finds happiness in an online community. It’s an important message, especially considering how small the world has become.

While I read this story I felt like I was in the streets of ‘Frisco. The city came to life as I raced down alleys and explored bookstores to reach the next clue. And that’s the best compliment I can give to an author establishing a story’s setting. For Bertman to so completely recreate the city without any visual aids is an impressive feat. I’ve never visited ‘Frisco but after reading Book Scavenger I think I could successfully navigate its steep hills expertly. The city feels like another character because of how it’s history influences the direction of Griswold’s game.

A well-written mystery should make me want to read it again. Now that I’ve followed the protagonist through their adventure and understand the whodunit and what the clues mean, I should want to start at the beginning with this special knowledge. Book Scavenger succeeds in this goal. I read this book twice, the first time in one sitting. This story reminds me of the classic children’s mysteries series I used to read when I was younger. Only with more inspired literary references.

I loved this book. The characters were well-realized and flawed. The setting immersed me in the adventure and instantly made me feel at home. The entire idea behind Book Scavenger as a game is wonderful (check out the book’s brilliant marketing website here). The illustrations have a hand-drawn charm to them that fits in with Bertman’s narrative style. This is a mystery that deserves to be explored by children of all ages. Don’t miss your chance to begin your adventure on June 2.


Grilling season has begun!

by Danielle
Food & Drink / May 21, 2015

Happy Spring! What a perfect time to start up the ol'bbq!

We have so many great grilling books this season! So here are a few to help get your creative juices flowing.

In his latest lip-smackin' cookbook, Dr. BBQ shows how to dress up meat, vegetables, and fruits with 120 brand-new recipes for tantalizing marinades, mouthwatering injections, savory brines, flavorful rubs, delectable glazes, and full recipes for what to make with them.

 

 


A taste of the good life! This bite-size collection showcases 20 special recipes, all with photographs, that will inspire food lovers to take the party outside. Selected from some of Chronicle Books' best-loved cookbooks, here are easy-peasy drinks (alcoholic and nonalcoholic), quick appetizers, simple salads and sides, and great-for-the-grill main dishes.



 

BBQ Brian Misko shares the secrets of successful grilling in this collection of his best recipes from the backyard and the competition BBQ circuit. Here's a recipe below for you to try out. Enjoy!!

 

We're also doing a BBQ giveaway! Please head on over to our Facebook page and let us know what you like to BBQ for a chance to not only win a set of all of these books (incl. a signed copy of Grilling With House of Q), but also some yummy sauces and a some house rub courtesy of House of Q as well! Happy grilling!! ~ Dani


Raincoast Signs Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade Publishing for 2016

by Dan
News / April 27, 2015

Raincoast Books announced today that it will take over Canadian distribution of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade Publishing titles, effective January 1, 2016. Raincoast will handle sales, marketing and logistics for HMH trade titles to all Canadian customers.

Paddy Laidley, Executive Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at Raincoast said:

“HMH's industry reputation is renowned and its titles and authors recognized for their quality and appeal. We've been impressed by their offerings for many years, but also by the caliber of their people and the alignment of our shared values. Raincoast is delighted that our teams will now be working together to grow the HMH business in Canada.”

Laurie Brown, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at HMH said: “We are excited by the potential to reach even more readers in partnering with Raincoast. We have been especially admiring of Raincoast's marketing outreach to the children's and young readers' markets and believe HMH and Raincoast will be a perfect fit.”

HMH’s Canadian customers will experience no immediate changes. Through to the end of 2015, customers can continue to order books from the current distributor — Thomas Allen. Instructions regarding transition details, including returns and ISBN prefixes, will be communicated to customers later this year, prior to the transition date of Jan 1, 2016.


New Releases: April 2015

by Dan
Fiction + Food & Drink + Graphica + Humour / April 06, 2015

Giants, witches and supermutants, a roadmap to get you on the right path, more F in Exams, baking with less sugar, and lots of other great reads in this month's highlights from Raincoast Books! 

FICTION

LITERARY

The Thunder of Giants 

Joel Fishbane
ISBN 9781250050847 | $29.99 cl

Mixing the eccentricity of the circus world and the heart of a love story, The Thunder of Giants is a warm and engaging debut about two exceptional women—both almost 8-feet tall.

Andorra Kelsey—7'11 and just over 320 pounds—is on her way to Hollywood to become a star. Hoping to escape both poverty and the ghost of her dead husband, she accepts an offer from the wily Rutherford Simone to star in a movie about the life of Anna Swan, the Nova Scotia giantess who toured the world in the 19th century.
 

Available April 14


MYSTERY

Slated for Death 

A Penny Brannigan Mystery

Elizabeth J. Duncan

ISBN 9781250055217 | $29.99 cl

The latest book in the award-winning Penny Brannigan series delivers another cunning mystery played out in a charming small Welsh tow.n

When the body of well-liked and respectable Glenda Roberts is discovered at the bottom of a former slate mine, now a busy tourist attraction, pandemonium erupts in the North Wales town of Llanelen. Penny Brannigan finds herself drawn into the investigation when jars of her house-brand hand cream are found among counterfeit inventory Glenda and her sister were selling.

Available April 14


SCIENCE FICTION

The Affinities 

Robert Charles Wilson

ISBN 9780765332622 | $29.99 hardcover

From the author of the Hugo-winning Spin, a compelling science fiction novel about the next ways that social media will be changing everything.

In our rapidly-changing world of social media, ordinary people are more and more able to sort themselves into social groups based on finer and finer criteria. In the near future of Robert Charles Wilson's The Affinities, this process is supercharged by new analytic technologies—genetic, brain-mapping, behavioral. To join one of the twenty-two Affinities is to change one's life.

"An intriguing and seriously innovative attempt to grapple with some of the issues raised by the 21st century’s obsession with social media."—Kirkus  Reviews (starred review)

"Wilson’s trademark well-developed characters and understated but compelling prose are very much in evidence in this quietly believable tale of the near future."—Publishers Weekly

Available April 21


HISTORICAL

The Silver Witch

Paula Brackston

ISBN 9781250028792 | $29.99 cl

From The New York Times bestselling author Paula Brackston comes an enchanting tale of love and magic that weaves a modern day heroine together with the ancient Celtic past.

A year after her husband's sudden death, ceramic artist Tilda Fordwells finally moves into the secluded Welsh cottage that was to be their new home. She hopes that the tranquil surroundings will help ease her grief, and lessen her disturbing visions of Mat's death. Instead, the lake in the valley below her cottage seems to spark something dormant in her—a sensitivity, and a power of some sort. Animals are drawn to her, electricity shorts out when she's near, and strangest of all, she sees a new vision; a boatful of ancient people approaching her across the water.

Available April 21


GRAPHIC NOVELS

SuperMutant Magic Academy 

Jillian Tamaki

ISBN 9781770461987 | $22.95 pb

The New York Times and New Yorker illustrator 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 humor and irreverence. Tamaki deftly plays superhero and high-school Hollywood tropes against what adolescence is really like: The SuperMutant Magic Academy is a prep school for mutants and witches, but their paranormal abilities take a backseat to everyday teen concerns.

"The humor is sometimes slapstick, but more often it offers ultra-dry observations on modern disengagement. Tamaki is playful and loose with her art, unafraid to be experimental as she draws us into a world where true feelings are the greatest danger."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Available April 28


NONFICTION

CAREERS

Roadmap

The Get-It-Together Guide for Figuring Out What to Do with Your Life

Roadtrip Nation

ISBN 9781452128450 | $27.95 pb

This welcome antidote to the fusty, no-longer-relevant career guide answers an old question—So, what are you going to do with your life?"—in a ground-breaking way. From the team behind the inspirational TV series and campus and online resource, it is presented in a motivational format that gets young people excited to think deeply about how they want to enter and thrive in the workforce by detailing how to take Roadtrip Nation's interest-based approach and apply it to one's life. 

 

Available April 7


HUMOUR

F in Exams: Pop Quiz

All New Awesomely Wrong Test Answers

Richard Benson

ISBN 9781452144030 | $13.95 pb

Will some students ever learn from their mistakes? We hope not! This all-new collection of hilarious, totally wrong, real test answers serves a fresh batch of A+ wit misapplied to F- quiz scores. A little studying would reveal that the most powerful light source known to man isn't "lightsabers," nor do we salt the roads when it snows "to make them taste better." But where's the fun in that? From the same wellspring of failure as the million-selling F in Exams series, this special pop quiz collection will amuse and entertain anyone preparing to face down a test paper as well as those just glad to be far away from a classroom."

Available April 7


People of Walmart: State of Emergency

Scott Simon

ISBN 9781492604396 | $16.99 pb

Take Cover! People of Walmart has issued an official state of emergency! Fortunately for you, all the survival gear you need is conveniently located at your favourite local super-centre, where these crazy, cringe-worthy shoppers are letting their freak flags fly high than ever.

Available April 15


FOOD & DRINK

Baking with Less Sugar 

Recipes for Desserts Using Natural Sweeteners and Little-to-No White Sugar

Joanne Chang

ISBN 9781452133003 | $35.95 cl

Trust Joanne Chang—beloved author of the bestselling Flour and a Harvard math major to boot—to come up with this winning formula: Minus the sugar equals plus the flavour. The 60-plus recipes here are an eye-opener for anyone who loves to bake and wants to cut back on the sugar. 

Available Now


Grill Eats & Drinks

Recipes for Good Times

Chronicle Books

ISBN 9781452141176 | $19.95 cl

A taste of the good life! This bite-size collection showcases 20 special recipes, all with photographs, that will inspire food lovers to take the party outside. Selected from some of Chronicle Books' best-loved cookbooks, here are easy-peasy drinks (alcoholic and nonalcoholic), quick appetizers, simple salads and sides, and great-for-the-grill main dishes. 

 

Available April 14


Flavorize

Great Marinades, Injections, Brines, Rubs, and Glazes

Ray "DR. BBQ" Lampe

ISBN 9781452125305 | $31.95 cl

In his latest lip-smackin' cookbook, Dr. BBQ shows how to dress up meat, vegetables, and fruits with 120 brand-new recipes for tantalizing marinades, mouthwatering injections, savoury brines, flavourful rubs, delectable glazes, and full recipes for what to make with them.

Available April 21


DESIGN

Icons of Women's Style 

Josh Sims

ISBN 9781780672717 | $40.95 pb

Behind nearly every item in the feminine wardrobe there is a first of its kind that has spawned countless others. While the definitive example—often created by a single—has achieved icon status, its various reinterpretations, season after season, have become fashion staples.

Icons of Women's Style examines, item by item, the most influential and legendary garments and accessories—their provenance and history, the stories of their design, the celebrities who made them famous, and the various ways they have shaped how women dress today.

Available April 28


New Releases: March 2015

by Dan
March 03, 2015

This month we have new novels from New York Times bestselling authors Olen Steinhauer and Steve Berry, as well nonfiction from Robin Givhan, the editors of O, The Oprah Magazine, and much, much more:  

FICTION

LITERARY

The Lost Child

Caryl Phillips
ISBN 9780374191375 | $29.99 hardcover

In the tradition of Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea and J. M. Coetzee's Foe, the award-winning novelist Caryl Phillips revisits Emily Brontë's masterpiece Wuthering Heights as a lyrical tale of orphans and outcasts, absence and hope. A sweeping novel spanning generations, The Lost Child tells the story of young Heathcliff's life before Mr. Earnshaw brought him home to his family; the Brontë sisters and their wayward brother, Branwell; Monica, whose father forces her to choose between her family and the foreigner she loves; and a boy's disappearance into the wildness of the moors and the brother he leaves behind. 

"Caryl Phillips is in a league with Toni Morrison and V. S. Naipaul"—Booklist (starred review)

"Gorgeously crafted and emotionally shattering."—Kirkus (starred review)

"The book reverberates with pain and dislocation more gothic than any howling ghost."—Publishers Weekly

Available March 10


The Last Flight of Poxl West

Daniel Torday

ISBN 9781250051684 | $29.99 hardcover

Poxl West fled the Nazis' onslaught in Czechoslovakia. He escaped their clutches again in Holland. He pulled Londoners from the Blitz's rubble. He wooed intoxicating, unconventional beauties. He rained fire on Germany from his RAF bomber.

Poxl is something of an idol to his teenage nephew, Elijah Goldstein, who reveres him as a brave, singular, Jewish war hero. Poxl fills Eli's head with electric accounts of his adventures and romances, as he collects the best episodes from his storied life into a memoir. But as Eli delves deeper into Poxl's history, he begins to see that the life of the fearless superman he's adored has been much darker than he let on, and filled with unimaginable loss from which he may have not recovered.

"A richly layered, beautifully told and somehow lovable story about war, revenge and loss."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"I myself had the great pleasure of reading an advanced copy and I loved it. The final scene…what an ending! I still think about it."—The Millions

Available March 17


THRILLERS

All the Old Knives

Olen Steinhauer

ISBN 9781250045423 | $27.99 hardcover

New York Times bestselling espionage master Olen Steinhauer delivers an intimate, taut thriller about two ex-coworkers—ex-spies and ex-lovers—reuniting one last time. 

Six years ago in Vienna, terrorists took over a hundred hostages, and the rescue attempt went terribly wrong. The CIA's Vienna station was witness to this tragedy, gathering intel from its sources during those tense hours, assimilating facts from the ground and from an agent on the inside. Then it all went wrong, and now the nagging question has to be asked: Had their agent been compromised, and how?

"A compelling spy story that takes place at a restaurant table… it delivers intrigue, suspense, and a heart-stopping finale."—Booklist (starred review)  

"It's an understatement to say that nothing is as it seems, but even readers well-versed in espionage fiction will be pleasantly surprised by Steinhauer's plot twists and double backs."—Kirkus  Reviews (starred review)

"This genre-bending spy novel takes Hitchcockian suspense to new heights."Library Journal (starred review)

"Steinhauer is a very fine writer and an excellent observer of human nature, shrewd about the pleasures and perils of spying."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Available March 10


The Patriot Threat

Steve Berry

ISBN 9781250056238 | $32.50 hardcover

Cotton Malone, once a member of an elite intelligence division within the Justice Department known as the Magellan Billet, is now retired and owns an old bookshop in Denmark. But when his former-boss, Stephanie Nelle, asks him to track a rogue North Korean who may have acquired some top secret Treasury Department files—the kind that could bring the United States to its knees—Malone is vaulted into a harrowing twenty-four hour chase that begins on the canals in Venice and ends in the remote highlands of Croatia. 

This riveting, non-stop adventure is trademark Steve Berry—90% historical fact, 10% exciting speculation-a provocative thriller posing a dangerous question: What if the Federal income tax is illegal? 

"Another page-turning thriller blending history, speculation and fast-paced action."—Kirkus Reviews

"Fans of political conspiracy fiction will find plenty to like."—Publishers Weekly

Available March 31


HISTORICAL

The Cavendon Women

Barbara Taylor Bradford

ISBN 9781250032386 | $32.50 hardcover

The stunning sequel to Barbara Taylor Bradford's Cavendon Hall follows the Inghams' and the Swanns' journey from a family weekend in the summer of 1926 through to the devastation of the Wall Street crash of 1929. It all begins on a summer weekend in July of 1926 when, for the first time in years, the earl has planned a family weekend. As the family members come together, secrets, problems, joys, and sorrows are revealed.

 

 

"The power and emotion of Bradford’s novel comes through on every page. There is just enough historical detail to evoke the era and add the color readers savor, but it is the remarkable characters readers will carry in their hearts."—RT Book Reviews (Top Pick!)

Available March 24


CONTEMPORARY

The Wednesday Group

Sylvia True

ISBN 9781250051882 | $18.50 paperback

An unputdownable debut novel about five women who meet in therapy to discuss the trials of being married to sex addicts.

Gail. Hannah. Bridget. Lizzy. Flavia. Each is about to find out that she is not alone… As these women share never-before-uttered secrets and bond over painful truths, they work on coming to terms with their husbands' addictions and developing healthy boundaries for themselves. Meanwhile, their outside lives become more and more intertwined, until, finally, a series of events forces each woman to face her own denial, betrayal and uncertain future head-on.

"A complex and captivating look at what it’s like to be married to a sex addict."Kirkus Reviews

Available March 24


NONFICTION

HISTORY

The Battle of Versailles

The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History

Robin Givhan

ISBN 9781250052902 | $32.50 hardcover

From a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a vivid account of one of the most important moments in fashion: the 1973 runway event at Versailles, where America emerged the dominant force in style.

Conceived as a fundraiser for the restoration of King Louis XIV's palace, the world's elite gathered in Versailles' grand theater to view a fashion extravaganza of the best that French and American designers had to offer, while being entertained by Liza Minnelli and Josephine Baker. What they saw would forever alter the history of fashion.

"Readers need not be fashion mavens to enjoy this entertaining episode of history, enhanced by Givhan’s effortless ability to illustrate the models and designers... who changed how we dress."Kirkus Reviews 

"Givhan paints a captivating portrait of the ethos of the era, from race riots and the Kerner Report to a "cultural... fascination with black identity" and glamorous nights at the disco, with juicy tales about arrogant designers acting out."—Publishers Weekly

Available March 10


ESSAYS

Shallow, Selfish, and Self-Absorbed

Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids

Edited by Meghan Daum

ISBN 9781250052933

Sixteen literary luminaries on the controversal subject of being childless by choice, collected in one fascinating anthology.

Curated by writer Meghan Daum, this collection makes a smart and passionate case for why parenthood is not the only path to a happy, productive life, and takes our parent-centric, kid-fixated, baby-bump-patrolling culture to task in the process. In this book, that shadowy faction known as the childless-by-choice comes out into the light.

 

"A courageous defense of childlessness and a necessary corrective to the Cult of Mommy"—Kirkus Reviews

"Contrary to the title, none of the 16 essays in this absorbing collection reflect particularly selfish or shallow motivations for childlessness."—Publishers Weekly

Available March 31


MEMOIR

Unforgettable

A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime

Scott Simon

ISBN 9781250061133 | $28.99 hardcover

A moving memoir about NPR host Scott Simon's connection to his mother, inspired by the popular tweets he shared during her death. 

When NPR Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon began tweeting from his mother's hospital room in July 2013, he didn't know that his missives would soon spread well beyond his 1.2 million followers. Squeezing the magnitude of his final days with her into 140-character updates, Simon's evocative and moving meditations spread virally. 

Inspired by those famous tweets, Unforgettable is Simon's deeply affecting, heart-wrenching memoir. His mother was a glamorous woman of the Mad Men era who worked in nightclubs, modelled, dated mobsters and movie stars, and was a brave single parent. Simon's memories are laced with her humour and strength, giving voice to the experience we all have of confronting our parents' deaths. 

"A charming tribute to a remarkable woman and the bond between mother and son."—Kirkus Reviews

"[Simon] takes his quirky, devoted, gracious mother on her own terms, and his work shimmers as a touching tribute."—Publishers Weekly

Available March 31


INSPIRATION

Friendship Is... 

500 Reasons to Appreciate Friends

Ralph Lazar and Lisa Swerling

ISBN 9781452136578 | $16.95 paperback

A big welcome at the airport, wearing the same outfit by accident, letting you show off, coming to the rescue, and so much more! From Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar, famed illustrators and the authors of Happiness Is…, this adorable gift book illustrates the very best things about friendship. 

Available Now


O's Little Book of Happiness

The Editors of O, The Oprah Magazine

ISBN 9781250068569 | $19.95 hardcover

A collection of thoughtful and affecting writing on happiness—the first in a series of inspirational books from O, The Oprah Magazine.

A sprightly dose of practical and insightful inspiration, a sprinkling of feel-good science, and a bounty of joyful stories by great writers, O's Little Book of Happiness features some of the best writing to have appeared in O, the Oprah Magazine over its fifteen year history. 

 

Available March 31


Humour

Are You Dissing Me?

What Animals Really Think

Simon Winheld

ISBN 9781452138442 | $15.95 hardcover

A hippo worries that her MFA is totally useless. A cardinal has roommate problems. A hummingbird is eager to join a social network. A bush baby teeters on the edge (You wanna throw down?!) Here for the first time are the innermost thoughts of our furry and feathered friends, who-it is finally revealed-humorously share the same anxieties, frustrations, and preoccupations as we do. 

Available March 10


DESIGN

Lost 

Lost and Found Pet Posters from Around the World

Ian Phillips

ISBN 9781616893965 | $22.95 paperback

Despite all the visual distractions of the digital age, one low-tech form of mass communication remains as popular as ever: the lost pet poster. Stapled to telephone poles and bulletin boards in cities and suburbs worldwide, these often hastily made signs are quirky combinations of hand-drawn illustration, emotional longing, and surprisingly offbeat humour. For more than a decade, artist and animal lover Ian Phillips collected lost and found pet posters from around the world.

Available March 10


An Interview with Ella Leya Author of The Orphan Sky

by Alisha
Author Q & A + Fiction / February 10, 2015

My first literary discovery of the 2015 was the novel The Orphan Sky published by Sourcebooks. This beautiful novel filled with music and folk tales tells the story of a young piano prodigy stuck in the realities of Soviet country.

What does it mean to live in one of the Soviet Republics, being torn between official propaganda and traditional believes? How does that feel to be raised as a devoted young pioneer not having access to the world outside of regime? Where does the freedom live—inside or outside the human soul?

An exceptionally talented musician, singer and composer Ella Leya is trying to find the answers to these and many other difficult questions in her debut novel. This partially autobiographical book is about passion and love, truth and lies, about loss and pain.

Ella Leya kindly agreed to answer my questions about her book, music and her childhood in the remote Azerbaijan.

Dear Ella, congratulations on your first published book and fantastic literary debut. Thank you for agreeing to this interview.

You are a professional musician—singer, composer and performer. You have released more than ten highly successful CDs. How did you come to writing a book? What moved you, what inspired you to write a novel?

The pain of loss. At first, I escaped into music and poetry, completing, arranging, and recording the songs my son and I had written during those endless nights in the hospitals. But the music process is illusive and impulsive. I needed a stronger drug—something more cerebral—that would get me away from my reality and force me to relive my past, again and again, amending it, searching for answers.

"Music seemed to flow out of the painting. Piano arpeggios in scarlet layers. Violin pizzicatos in gold and silver brushstrokes. A dark D minor progression of chords sweeping by, trailed by a velvety soft harmony in white. Flutes spilling nostalgic blues and violets into the ever-changing palette of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto no 3."this is a quote from the first chapter of your novel The Orphan Sky. When I started reading the book, this incredibly poetic language, these wonderful metaphors immediately caught my attention. It seemed to me you were able to see people, their feelings—all the world around you through music. Is this true?

I caught a bug of poetic metaphors from my beloved Russian poets from the beginning of the twentieth century—Anna Akhmatova, Nikolai Gumilev, Osip Mandelstam. Their poetry of passions and senses, expressed through the imagery of nature, has taught me to see and hear the world through Renoir’s palette of harmony and Caravaggio’s orderly dissonance, through Chopin’s nostalgia and Rachmaninoff’s fatalism, through a contagious pulse of Azerbaijani mugham and a bewitching spontaneity of Lady Day.

How long did it take you to write the novel? Did you have to rewrite the whole pages before moving on? Can you please describe the process of working on the novel?

Three and a half years. I had to write and rewrite down to every word before moving on, then go back and do it over and over again. I was writing the book on one breath. Knowing how capricious and fickle a muse can be, I was afraid to let her slip away. Hours reserved for work turned into days and months. For me, the creative process is like my favourite chocolate. I can’t stop eating it until it’s all finished.

How did you come up with the title?

The Orphan Sky title is a brainchild of my publisher. My own—original title— was 'Maiden Tower.'

The novel takes place in your home city Baku. There are fantastic descriptions of the city—the reader envisions the old narrow cobblestone streets, beautiful mosaic walls, feels the magic atmosphere of Isheri SheherOld Town and smells the odours of "hot and creamy" air. The central role in the book plays the real medieval tower called Maiden Tower and old legends about a princess and her love drown in the Caspian Sea. You also mention Gargoyle Castle, Villa Annelise, Gevharaga Mosque, Taza Bazaar. Are these all real historical places in Baku?

All these places are intimately linked with the history of Baku, but some of them are real only in my imagination. Villa Annelise is a symbol of Baku’s ‘golden age’—the oil boom at the beginning of the twentieth century—when nouveau riche oil barons turned provincial Baku into a Paris of the East. They built magnificent palaces throughout the city in many architectural styles—classical, baroque, Venetian Gothic, French Rococo, Italian Renaissance. I designed Villa Annelise out of the architectural, artistic, and historical motifs of those palaces. After the revolution, Villa Annelise turns into a Gargoyle Castle, symbolizing the period of communism and oppression. Gevharaga Mosque is the reimagined image of the Blue Mosque that stood next to my childhood home. Taza Bazaar is a replica of Nasimi Bazaar where my mom took me with her on Sundays.

I guess, the name of your leading character, Ella Badalbeili is not just a random name either? Does this name have a story behind?

As a child, my sister had a friend—Badalbeili. The sound of her name seemed so melodious and theatrical. Later on, I learned that the name Badalbeili belonged to the dynasty that had given Azerbaijan many wonderful musicians, among them Afrasiyab Badalbeili. He wrote the first Azerbaijani national ballet 'Maiden Tower.' So the choice of name for my leading character was natural.

The life of your heroine Leila is turned upside down at the moment when she enters the green door and hears the voice of Liza Minnelli, a “voice of dark velvet”. Was there a “green door” in your life, a person or event that had the greatest impact on your future?

My mother, Jane Golik, had the greatest impact on my life choices. A free-spirited artist—a quality she had been hiding all her life behind a strict, uncompromising exterior—she challenged me to strive for the skies and never give up. My mother took me to my first classical piano concert at the Baku Philharmonic Hall, making me fall in love with Chopin. That was my green door to the world of classical music. The “green door” event described in the book is autobiographical. There was a small music shop with the green door that opened across the street from my school. The rumour had it that the owner was a drug dealer, or a sorcerer, or an American spy. Despite the warnings, or maybe because of them, I went into the shop. The charismatic shop owner, a poster of glamorous Liza Minnelli, her voice dripping with my mother’s hidden nostalgia for places faraway and unknown… Well, I was hooked.

I am fascinated by the female characters in the novel. The stories of Leila, Leila’s mother, Aunt Zeinab, Almaz, Professor Sultan-Zade are incredibly powerful. You describe their world as "the kingdom of crooked mirrors". Why are none of these women happy?

How can these extraordinary women be happy in the male-dominated, communist-subjugated society of lies and censorship? They try. Leila’s mother and professor Sultan-zade realize their ambitions by breaking the stigma of the patriarchal culture and becoming successful career women; Aunty Zeinab is a craftswoman who continues a tradition of the ancient Azerbaijani theater; Leila’s best friend Almaz—and her replica Almaz-the-Doll—is a symbol of Azerbaijani female beauty; Leila is a national musical treasure. But they all have to pay for their successes, dreams, ambitions, originality with their broken hearts and tragic destinies.

Although the story is set in late 70s, the realistic main plot magically intertwines with fairy tales and legends of the old Azerbaijan. This makes the novel deep, sophisticated, multidimensional. The characters, their feeling and emotions become almost palpable. How did the traditional Azeri epos influence your soul? Do you think the new millennia kids need to learn these ancient tales?

Of course. And not only kids. The adults would benefit from visiting the world of the ancient tales as well. After all, the literary folklore possesses the same magical powers as music—to penetrate the barriers of cultures, times and accumulated cynicism, and to reach those remote corners of our souls we had lost the connection with. Every legend, myth, fairy tale, proverb is a small treasure chest with the numerous hidden messages of emotional wisdom and humanity. As a child, I always kept a book of fairy tales from around the world under my pillow. In some ways, I continue seeing the reality through the simple but multi-layered truths of the traditional folklore of the East. So I had woven my favorite legends, tales and sayings into the fabric of my book, letting them mirror the storylines of my characters and expand their emotional presence.

The realities of Soviet eraPioneer and Komsomol organizations, red flags and Lenin monuments everywhere, the ban on religious practices—were deeply rooted in everyday activities and affected people’s life style. How did these two different images of Azerbaijan co-exist in the young mind of your heroine and in your mind?

Both images have become the integral halves of my personality. The exotic, fairy-like soul of ancient Baku turned me into an eternal romantic—musician and poet. The Soviet ideology (a form of the religious extremism) and a subsequent escape and liberation left me with a deep mark of cynicism. Both my heroine Leila and I are destined to live with this dual inheritance, having to choose between the voice of the heart and the need for survival.

Not too many people in the world have heard anything about Azerbaijan. Thank to your novel, from the little spot on the world map, in the middle of nowhere it stands up as a real country, where people live and die, love and suffer. Your novel finds a perfect place on a book shelf along with the best works of writers-immigrants, whose unique background and experience offer the American reader a valuable insightful glimpse into what life is like outside of America. What makes talented people like you, Alexandar Hemon, Khaled Hosseini, Jumpa Lahiri, Daniyal Mueenuddin, Kseniya Melnik to mentally go back in time and space and write about their native land?

Nostalgia for the long gone places, times and people has always been a powerful source of inspiration for the artists. And the gene of nostalgia is quite resilient in us, immigrants, until the second generation. As soon as I arrived in America, I, like a lizard, dropped my past in exchange for new language, culture, and lifestyle so I could adopt and adjust to my new home country as soon as possible. A few years later, I successfully merged into the mainstream, speaking and even thinking in English, being able to communicate my feeling and views. And then I realized how much my American friends and my artistic collaborators were captivated and inspired by my Russian/Azeri humor, music, and culture—something that had never ceased to exist inside me. The immigrants bring their unknown worlds to America. This is their contribution to the society. And we, the artists, are endowed and blessed with the task to introduce our native lands through out art.

You were born and raised in Azerbaijan and immigrated as an adult. How did you like it in US? Was it easy for you to adjust? How do you perceive yourself within American culture now? Is there anything you don’t like and will never be able to accept?

I had begun adjusting to American culture long before I came to the US, learning English language from jazz recording, playing and singing with the Western jazz musicians, entertaining American ambassador in Moscow. So the process of tuning up to America went quickly and smoothly. Less than two months upon our arrival in Virginia, I toured with my own jazz orchestra Selah and taught voice at the university. America is where I belong. America is where I can be myself. Is she perfect? Of course not, but it is still much better than the rest of the world. Well, except for Canada, maybe. One thing I could never get used to in America—deserted streets, no pedestrians, passing cars.

After all these years, are you more American or Azerbaijani ? Is there anything in your Azerbaijani character that you value the most?

I am American now, more so since I’ve been living in London for the last couple of years. But I continue to appreciate the emotional aesthetics of the East. As for my 'Azerbaijani' character, I value the closeness of my family and the sense of loyalty the most.

Do you ever feel nostalgic about your childhood in Soviet Azerbaijan? Did you ever go back there after the Soviet Union fell apart and the ancient country returned on its own historical path?

Working on this book, I had satisfied to some extend the nostalgia for the times and the places of my childhood. I would love to visit my homeland. But as it usually happens with a favorite treat, I’ve been travelling around the world, leaving a visit to Azerbaijan for dessert.

If I ask you to describe your native Azerbaijan in only one sentence, what would that be?

The land of sun and fire at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, East and West, surrounded by the austere Caucasus Mountains and washed by the warm Caspian Sea—an Azeri fairytale of my childhood.

There is some autobiographical detail in the novel, but it’s still a work of fiction. Did you ever think of writing a memoir?

I had finished my memoir before I started working on The Orphan Sky. Will I ever publish it? Time will tell.

I know that this novel was not your first writing experience and that you used to write short stories before. What are they about? Do you plan to publish your stories?

Some of my short stories had found their way into the narrative of The Orphan Sky; others have metamorphosed into the lyrics of my songs. The songs’ titles—‘Irresistible Lies,’ ‘I Don’t Know Why,’ ‘Femme Fatale,’ ‘Touch’n Go Game’—pretty much reveal the themes of those short stories.

Your novel is devoted to your son Sergey. Because of leukaemia, this little soul passed away in the age of nine. "Sergey - your dreams continue... ", says the epigraph. What did your son dream about? Which of his dreams do you still have to accomplish?

My son Sergey dreamed of being alive and being creative. The Orphan Sky, all our music, the future books—it is all Sergey; I only push the keys.

I wouldn't have had the pleasure to meet you if not your book. And still, first of all you are a musician. It wouldn't be right if I wouldn't ask you about music. What is music for you?

My profession and leisure. Language of communication with interesting creative people. Music is a divine gift that takes me beyond human understanding and allows me to be alone with myself without being lonely.

Your music is a magical blend, an intoxicating cocktail of melodies of your Azerbaijani soul, European classical music and American jazz. It's a very unique combination. Do you think your music is niche, elitist or you believe everyone is able to appreciate it? What is your audience?

Once upon a time in my youth I prided myself with the fact that my music was complicated, intellectual and appealed to an elite, niche audience. Now I think differently. Good, sincere music has the capability to bypass any intellect and strike into the heart of a listener. So my goal in creating music is to stay true to my own instincts rather than to tailor it to the taste of the audience.

What’s your favourite piece of music of all time? Which musical composition astounded you, shocked you, and had the greatest impact on you? What kind of music do you listen to when you are upset? When you are happy?

Sad or happy, I don’t listen to music. I play it. And sing. Billie Holiday’s 'Body and Soul,' Nina Simon’s 'Strange Fruit,' Ballade #1 by Chopin, Sonata Pathetique by Beethoven, Piano Concerto #20 by Mozart, Piano Concerto # 3 by Rachmaninoff. This is the soundtrack of my book. These are the pieces that continue to amaze, shock and inspire me.

How do you spend your time when you’re not writing books or composing music?

I walk the streets of London for hours; hang out at my favourite Wallace Collection surrounded by art; attend ballet performances; go to the movies; visit Paris on Wednesdays; cook for my family… do all those normal things that all normal people do.

Ella, I appreciate this opportunity to talk to you. Thank you for your time. I wish lots of success for you and for your book.


New Releases: February 2015 Highlights

by Dan
Art & Photography + Fiction + History + News + Psychology & Self-Help / January 21, 2015

February brings new books from Kristin Hannah, X-Files star David Duchovny, Jeffrey Archer, Scott McCloud, Richard Price (writing Harry Brandt), and more... Here are some of the highlights available from Raincoast Books next month..

FICTION

HISTORICAL

★ ★ FEBRUARY 2015 INDIE NEXT #1 PICK! ★ ★

The Nightingale

Kristin Hannah

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes an epic novel of love and war, spanning from the 1940s to the present day, and the secret lives of those who live in a small French town.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France.

"This moving, emotional tribute to the brave women who fought behind enemy lines during the war is bound to gain the already immensely popular Hannah an even wider audience."—Booklist (starred review)

Available February 3


HUMOUROUS

Holy Cow

A Modern-Day Dairy Tale

David Duchovny

A rollicking, globe-trotting adventure with a twist: a four-legged heroine you won't soon forget.

Elsie Bovary is a cow, and a pretty happy one at that-her long, lazy days are spent eating, napping, and chatting with her best friend, Mallory. One night, Elsie and Mallory sneak out of their pasture; but while Mallory is interested in flirting with the neighbouring bulls, Elsie finds herself drawn to the farmhouse. Through the window, she sees the farmer's family gathered around a bright Box God-and what the Box God reveals about something called an "industrial meatfarm" shakes Elsie's understanding of her world to its core...

"Between the book’s sly humor, gently humanist (animalist?) message and wry illustrations by Natalya Balnova, this is a pseudo–children's book that smart adults should greatly enjoy."—Kirkus Reviews(starred review)

 


Available February 3


THRILLERS

Last Days of the Condor

James Grady

The Condor returns in this sequel to James Grady's bestselling Six Days of the Condor and Shadow of the Condor

Last Days of the Condor is the bullet-paced, ticking clock saga of America on the edge of our most startling spy world revolution since 9/11. Set in the savage streets and Kafkaesque corridors of Washington, DC, shot through with sex and suspense, with secret agent tradecraft and full-speed action, with hunters and the hunted, Last Days of the Condor is a breakneck saga of America's secrets from muckraking investigative reporter and author James Grady.

"Grady's anti-heroic spy returns in fine form in an up-to-the-minute novel to which the author, a former Washington investigator, brings plenty of insider knowledge."—Kirkus  Reviews

Available February 17


The Whites

Richard Price writing as Harry Brandt

The Whites is the electrifying debut of a new master of American crime fiction, Harry Brandt—the pen name of novelist Richard Price.

Richard Price, one of America’s most gifted novelists, has always written brilliantly about cops, criminals, and New York City. Now, writing as Harry Brandt, he is poised to win a huge following among all those who hunger for first-rate crime fiction.

 


  

"Price (Lush Life) is one whale of a storyteller by any name, as evinced by the debut of his new brand—okay, Brandt—a gripping, gritty, Greek tragedy of cops, killers, and the sometimes-blurry line between them."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"a strong contender for best crime novel of 2015."—Booklist (starred review)

In the wake of rage and sorrow, ordinary people respond by going crazy and screwing up. In this far-from-ordinary novel, Price/Brandt explores the hows and whys. Fasten your seat belt."—Kirkus Reviews 

Available February 17


SUSPENSE

Mightier Than the Sword

Jeffrey Archer

The next breathtaking installment in Jeffrey Archer's New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling Clifton Chronicles series carries the Clifton family into the late 1960s.

Jeffrey Archer's compelling Clifton Chronicles continue in this, his most accomplished novel to date. With all the trademark twists and turns that have made him one of the world's most popular authors, the spellbinding story of the Clifton and the Barrington families continues.

 

Available February 24


FANTASY

A Darker Shade of Magic

V. E. Schwab

Prepare to be dazzled by a world of parallel Londons—where magic thrives, starves, or lies forgotten, and where power can destroy just as quickly as it can create.

Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, with one mad king—George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered—and where Kell was raised alongside Rhys Maresh, the rougish heir to the throne. White London—a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London...but no one speaks of that now....

"Confident prose and marvelous touches—a chameleon coat, a scarlet river of magic, a piratical antiheroine—bring exuberant life to an exhilarating adventure among the worlds."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Fantasy fans will love this fast-paced adventure, with its complex magic system, thoughtful hero and bold heroine."Kirkus Reviews

Available February 24


GRAPHICA

The Sculptor

Scott McCloud

The long-awaited magnum opus from comics superstar Scott McCloud: a spellbinding adult urban fable about a wish, a deal with Death, the price of art, and the value of life.

David Smith is giving his life for his art—literally. Thanks to a deal with Death, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But now that he only has 200 days to live, deciding what to create is harder than he thought, and discovering the love of his life at the eleventh hour isn't making it any easier! 

"Drawn in sharp, sure-handed lines that jump from intimate blocks of wry but poignant interactions with other characters to dramatically realized city scenery, McCloud's epic generates magic and makes an early play for graphic novel of the year."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The fluidity of McCloud’s visual narrative carries us along with a sweep impossible to duplicate in prose, and, through to its climax, the story’s commitment to its harsh, inevitable, but ultimately sublime outcome qualifies this as a work of stunning, timeless graphic literature."Booklist (starred review)

Available February 3


NONFICTION

HISTORY

A Kim Jong-Il Production

The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator's Rise to Power

Paul Fischer

The Orphan Master’s Son meets Argo in the extraordinary true story of Kim Jong-Il’s 1978 kidnapping of the golden couple of South Korean cinema, the movies they made, and their escape.

A nonfiction thriller packed with tension, passion, and politics, author Paul Fischer's A Kim Jong-Il Production offers a rare glimpse into a secretive world, illuminating a fascinating chapter of North Korea's history that helps explain how it became the hermetically sealed, intensely stage-managed country it remains today.

"A meticulously detailed feat of rare footage inside the DPRK’s propaganda machinery."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Fischer’s entertaining narrative paints an arresting portrait of a North Korean 'theater state,' forced to enact the demented script of a sociopathic tyrant."—Publishers Weekly

Available February 3


RELIGION

Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery

Six Holy Objects That Tell the Remarkable Story of the Gospels

David Gibson and Michael McKinley

A companion book to CNN’s six-night, six-hour primetime television series that takes viewers on a forensic and archaeological journey through the Bible.

Finding Jesus explores six major artefacts, including the Shroud of Turin, the True Cross, and John the Baptist, that give us the most direct evidence about the life and world of Jesus. The book and attendant CNN series provide a dramatic way to retell "the greatest story ever told" while introducing a broad audience to the history, the latest controversies, and newest forensic science involved in sorting out facts from the fiction of would-be forgers and deceivers.

Available February 24


SELF-HELP

The Fear Cure 

Cultivating Courage as Medicine for the Body, Mind, and Soul

Lissa Rankin, M.D.

Not many people in the medical world are talking about how being afraid can make us sick—but the truth is that fear, left untreated, becomes a serious risk factor for conditions from heart disease to diabetes to cancer. Now Lissa Rankin, M.D., explains why we need to heal ourselves from the fear that puts our health at risk and robs our lives of joy—and shows us how fear can ultimately cure us by opening our eyes to all that needs healing in our lives.

Available February 24


Soul Shifts

Transformative Wisdom for Creating a Life of Authentic Awakening, Emotional Freedom & Practical Spirituality

Barbara De Angelis

Soul Shifts is the ground-breaking new book from New York Times best-selling author and renowned transformational teacher Barbara De Angelis, Ph.D. Now, in her most powerful offering yet—and the culmination of her life's work—Dr. De Angelis offers a practical handbook for awakening, and a brilliant re-envisioning of the journey of personal and spiritual transformation that will inspire and enlighten long-time seekers as well as new arrivals to the path of growth.

Available February 24


Goddesses Never Age 

The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Well-Being

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Though we talk about wanting to "age gracefully," the truth is that when it comes to getting older, we're programmed to dread an inevitable decline: in our health, our looks, our sexual relationships, even the pleasure we take in living life. But as Christiane Northrup, M.D., shows us in this profoundly empowering book, we have it in us to make growing older an entirely different experience, for both our bodies and our souls. In chapters that blend personal stories and practical exercises with the latest research on health and ageing, Dr. Northrup lays out the principles of ageless living, from rejecting processed foods to releasing stuck emotions, from embracing our sensuality to connecting deeply with our Divine Source.

Available February 24


ART & PHOTOGRAPHY

life.love.beauty

Keegan Allen

A rich visual and literary tour of the international star's personal experiences, observations, travels, passions and aspirations.

Keegan Allen is currently known to fans of the ABC Family hit television series, Pretty Little Liars. He has also appeared in numerous independent films and made his New York Stage debut in the acclaimed MCC production of Small Engine Repair. Keegan was given his first camera at age nine, and began a lifelong study and pursuit of photography. life.love.beauty is a selection of photographs taken since his childhood. 

Available February 3


104 Things to Paint

In the spirit of the bestseller 642 Things to Draw, this guided painting book is filled with fun ideas that will have artists of all skill levels reaching for their paintbrushes. Covering everything from the straightforward (a color wheel) to the curiously quirky (a hot mess)—and with extra-thick textured pages that make it easy to paint directly inside the book—this is the perfect inspirational on-the-go art studio for beginning and seasoned painters alike.

 

Available February 17


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