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Category: Politics

Top 30 Book Covers of 2016

by Brooke
Fiction + Food & Drink + Kids + Politics + YA Fiction / December 20, 2016

 

Take a look at some of our favourite cover designs from the last year!

 

Virgin and Other Stories
by April Ayers Lawson
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
 

Hurt People
by Cote Smith
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

 

The Beautiful Bureaucrat
by Helen Phillps
Picador

 

Cannibals in Love
by Mike Roberts
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

 

Ramshackle Ode
by Keith Leonard
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

 

The Imperial Wife
by Irina Reyn
St. Martin's Press

 

The Good Lieutenant
by Whitney Terrell
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

 

All the Birds in the Sky
by Charlie Jane Anders
Tor

 

Vinegar Socks
by Karin Berndl and Nici Hofer
Hardie Grant

 

The Other Me
by Saskia Sarginson
Flatiron Books

 

The Guineveres
by Sarah Domet
Flatiron Books

 

Future Sex
by Emily Witt
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

 

American Philosophy
by John Kaag
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

 

We Gon' Be Alright
by Jeff Chang
Picador

 

If I Was Your Girl
by Meredith Russo
Flatiron Books

 

Change Your Mind
by Rod Judkins
Hardie Grant

 

Green Kitchen Smoothies
by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl
Hardie Grant

 

Spoon
by Annie Morris and Johnny Shimmin
Hardie Grant

 

Children of the New World
by Alexander Weinstein
Picador

 

The 100 Year Miracle
by Ashley Ream
Flatiron Books

 

The Lonely City
by Olivia Laing
Picador

 

Mr. Splitfoot
by Samantha Hunt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

 

Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet
by H.P. Wood
Sourcebooks

 

Crooked Kingdom
by Leigh Bardugo
Henry Holt & Co

 

The Night Parade
by Kathryn Tanquary
Sourcebooks

 

The Moravian Night
by Peter Handke
Krishna Winston

 

Cabo de Gata
by Eugen Ruge
Graywolf

 

The Lost Time Accidents
by John Wray
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

 

With Malice
by Eileen Cook
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

 

A Wife of Noble Character
by Yvonne Georgina Puig
Henry Holt & Co

 


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 2012, Jamie Broadhurst

by Jamie
Fiction + Politics / December 18, 2012

Beautiful Mystery

Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery has been acclaimed everywhere: “Penny is Canada's best contemporary crime writer, among the best in the world, and one of our best writers, period"—said one reviewer this fall. She and proves it withThe Beautiful Mystery. I won’t spoil the story by giving away the plot, it is mystery after all, but it is special kind of mystery; an extended play on the locked-room genre of detective stories, now moved to a locked monastery in the wilds of Quebec. Yet like all of Penny’s writing, it is the telling emotional details that give The Beautiful Mystery such resonance... 

And something that Louise said at the Vancouver Writers’ Festival has stuck with me.  When asked a question about technique, Louise answered by explaining the journalist rule of naming the dog – Louise was a CBC journalist for many years before turning to writing fiction. When writing story of a story of something horrible like a child being struck by a car while chasing after their dog, the journalist should try and find out the name of the dog. The detail, far from being trivial, in fact deepens our understanding of motivation, the child ran out not to save a dog, but to save “Rover” or “Goldie”, not just a pet, but someone the child loved. It also brings the reader into the tragedy, beyond the shield of abstraction. The right details lead to greater empathy.

My non-fiction pick has little in common with Louise Penny except that Peter Beinhart in his The Crisis of Zionism has the same eye for the telling moral detail. And I guess the politics of the land west of the Jordan River is like a locked-room mystery, the protagonists cannot leave their confines and the ending is far from certain.

Crisis of Zionism

Beinhart, a former editor of one of my favourite magazines,The New Republic, is asavvy publicist for renewed liberal voice in Jewish and Israeli politics. In The Crisis of Zionism he calls for a new ethic of Jewish Power that recognizes the post-1967 reality of Israel as the regional superpower and return to Zionism’s democratic and leftist roots. There is a lot of policy and some (selective) history packed in, but it is the personal anecdote that registers most with me.

In the introduction Beinhart describes a video of a Palestinian man, Fadel Jaber being arrested for stealing water (Settler water usage is five times higher than it is for non-Israelis in the Occupied Territories). As he is being led away his five year old son Khaled rushes up to him crying “Baba, Baba!” Arabic for father.  The video (shot by an Israeli peace activists) triggers an emotional connection.  Beinhart writes;

“… my son is Khaled’s age. He attends a Jewish school, has an Israeli flag on his wall, and can recount Bible stories testifying to our ancient ties to the land. When he was younger, we thought he would call me Abba, the Hebrew word for father. But he couldn’t say Abba, so he calls me Baba; the name Khaled calls his father.”

Beinhart goes to say he is working for world where Zionism means place of refuge for his older relatives of the Diaspora who want to know an Israeli state is waiting should they need it and at the same time a Zionism that can allow for dignity and a meaningful state to a Palestinian man whose son calls out using the same term of address as Beinhart’s boy. A simple word choice and the hard choices of Middle Eastern politics won’t be solved by personal word associations alone; Abba and Baba, but it is a start.

Abba is also used in the New Testament and as the historian Diarmaid MacCulloch observed few years ago (in one of my favourite books of 2010); the use of Abba has a more intimate tone than we think; more like “dad” than “Father”. Abba is used three times to refer to God in the Gospels including Jesus at Gethsemane. It hints at a different sensibility than we understand today when we think of patristic religion, a world of dads not Fathers.

Sometimes real understanding comes from the small details.

Jamie Broadhurst, VP Marketing


Pity the Billionaire

by Natalia
Current Affairs + Politics / January 12, 2012

Thomas Frank burst onto the political scene back in 2004 with the publication of What's the Matter with Kansas? which, it's fair to say, became one of the iconic political books of the last few years, much discussed and widely reviewed.  With the US Republican primaries in full swing and a new book just out on the shelves, Tom is back in the spotlight.

The presidential primaries matter in Canada: with the Liberals floating a proposal for US-style primaries at this week's upcoming convention, following the American primaries is both entertaining and a topical refresher on the politicals of our southern neighbour. 

"Thomas Frank is the thinking person’s Michael Moore." -New York Times

"You ought to read this book" -The Huffington Post

"[T]he fact that the right could be furious with anyone but itself is an astonishing story and one that Thomas Frank was born to cover." -The Guardian

Check out Tom's recent appearance on Democracy Now!


My Favourite Book of 2011: Jamie (Marketing)

by Jamie
History + Politics / December 22, 2011

Fernand Braudel once said that the study of the Middle Ages is very difficult because the eighteenth century gets in the way. So much of what we take for granted today, our habits unspoken assumptions, our mentalités, were shaped by the profound change that the eighteenth century brought. As a result the period before the 18th century feels impossibly foreign to us.

David Frum does something similar for contemporary culture and politics by excavating the shift in mentalités brought about by the nineteen seventies. He argues in How We Got Here: The 70's: The Decade That Brought You Modern Life—For Better or Worse that our current attitudes about authority, equality, work, ambition, sex and politics were shaped in the crucible decade of the nineteen seventies and the backlash that came after. The sixties are the glamour decade, but really the influential decade on a mass level is the seventies.

As a right-wing thinker Frum has an obvious agenda; he pines for world before the tumult of the seventies, and sees the Age of Jimmy Carter as the time when the Keynesian consensus finally snapped to be replaced by the ascendancy of the Right. But the book is no less enjoyable book for his politics. His politics are not mine, but he put forwards his position with such clarity and eloquence, it can only help me to sharpen my own thinking. And as a child of the seventies it is good fun to see my own personal attitudes and foibles historicized.

How We Got Here is neither our book nor a new book, but I heard an interview with Frum on CBC's Ideas a few months back and was struck by (a) CBC interviewing at length someone who sits so far outside the moderate consensus of Canadian conventional wisdom and (b) how well Frum speaks. I popped into central branch of the Vancouver Public Library and picked up a copy.

Public libraries are a great thing. My New Year’s resolution is to find myself in a library at least once a week all year. And for what it is worth, public expenditure on libraries in Canada peaked in the nineteen seventies. So it was far from a lost decade.