|Beatrice & Virgil by Yann Martel|
Publisher: Knopf Canada
Pub Date: April 6 2010
Literary FictionCheck Availability
Yann Martel's astonishing new novel begins with a successful writer
attempting to publish his latest book, made up of a novel and an essay.
Henry plans for it to be a "flip book" that the reader can start at
either end, reading the novel or the essay first, because both pieces
are equally concerned with representations of the Holocaust.
But no one is sympathetic to his provocative idea. Faced with severe
and categorical rejection, Henry gives up hope. He abandons writing,
moves with his wife to a foreign city, joins a community theatre,
becomes a waiter. But then he receives a
package containing a scene from a play, photocopies from a short story
by Flaubert and a
short note: "I need your help."
Intrigued, Henry tracks down
his correspondent, and finds himself in a strange part of the city,
walking past a stuffed okapi into a taxidermist's workshop. The
taxidermist - also named Henry - says he has been working on his play, A 20th-Century Shirt,
for most of his life, but now he needs Henry's help to describe his
characters: a stuffed donkey and a howler
monkey named Beatrice and Virgil, respectively.
The more we read of the play within the
novel, the more we find out about Beatrice and Virgil - in a
series of initially funny, and then increasingly harrowing dialogues. As we are drawn deeper into
their disturbing moral fable, the relationship between the two faltering
writers named Henry becomes more and more complex until it can only be
resolved in an explosive, unexpected catastrophe.
|The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker|
When Truly Plaice's mother was pregnant, the town of Aberdeen joined
together in betting how recordbreakingly huge the baby boy would
ultimately be. The girl who proved to be Truly paid the price of her
enormity; her father blamed her for her mother's death in childbirth,
and was totally ill equipped to raise either this giant child or her
polar opposite sister Serena Jane, the epitome of femine perfection.
When he, too, relinquished his increasingly tenuous grip on life, Truly
and Serena Jane are separated--Serena Jane to live a life of privilege
as the future May Queen and Truly to live on the outskirts of town on
the farm of the town sadsack, the subject of constant abuse and
humiliation at the hands of her peers.
Serena Jane's beauty
proves to be her greatest blessing and her biggest curse, for it makes
her the obsession of classmate Bob Bob Morgan, the youngest in a line of
Robert Morgans who have been doctors in Aberdeen for generations.
Though they have long been the pillars of the community, the earliest
Robert Morgan married the town witch, Tabitha Dyerson, and the location
of her fabled shadow book--containing mysterious secrets for healing and
darker powers--has been the subject of town gossip ever since. Bob Bob
Morgan, one of Truly's biggest tormentors, does the unthinkable to claim
the prize of Serena Jane, and changes the destiny of all Aberdeen from
When Serena Jane flees town and a loveless marriage
to Bob Bob, it is Truly who must become the woman of a house that she
did not choose and mother to her eight-year-old nephew Bobbie. Truly's
brother-in-law is relentless and brutal; he criticizes her physique and
the limitations of her health as a result, and degrades her more than
any one human could bear. It is only when Truly finds her calling--the
ability to heal illness with herbs and naturopathic techniques--hidden
within the folds of Robert Morgan's family quilt, that she begins to
regain control over her life and herself. Unearthed family secrets,
however, will lead to the kind of betrayal that eventually break the
Morgan family apart forever, but Truly's reckoning with her own demons
allows for both an uprooting of Aberdeen County, and the possibility of
love in unexpected places.
|Cat of the Century by Rita Mae Brown|
Publication Date: April 6 2010
Harry's beloved and tart-tongued
Aunt Tally is about to turn the big 1-0-0. The alumnae association of
her alma mater sees an opportunity to honor the event and make some loot
off the centennial as well. The plan is to hold a big fund-raiser in
Aunt Tally's honor to recoup some of the school revenue lost in the
cratered economy. But soon there's more at risk than investments and
First, an impending blizzard threatens to ruin the
whole affair. Then a suspicious transaction is discovered in the
association's account: board member Mariah D'Angelo has mysteriously
withdrawn and then replaced $25,000.
But was that enough to get
her killed? Mariah's car is on campus, she's gone missing, and Tucker
has found human blood near the school's stables.
the disappearance? Was it Mariah's donations to crafty politicians and
crooked charities? Her rivalry with fellow board member Flo Langston?
And is there a connection to the forty-year-old unsolved death of an old
acquaintance of Aunt Tally's? Using animal cunning and human canniness,
Harry and her menagerie of mystery solvers must sniff out the answers
or-even at a hundred years old-Aunt Talley may outlive them all.
|A Mad Desire to Dance by Elie Wiesel|
Publication Date: Feb 17 2009
From Elie Wiesel, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and one of our
fiercest moral voices, a provocative and deeply thoughtful new novel
about a life shaped by the worst horrors of the twentieth century and
one man's attempt to reclaim happiness.
Doriel, a European
expatriate living in New York, suffers from a profound sense of
desperation and loss. His mother, a member of the Resistance, survived
World War II only to die in an accident, together with his father, soon
after. Doriel was a child during the war, and his knowledge of the
Holocaust is largely limited to what he finds in movies, newsreels, and
books-but it is enough. Doriel's parents and their secrets haunt him,
leaving him filled with longing but unable to experience the most basic
joys in life. He plunges into an intense study of Judaism, but instead
of finding solace, he comes to believe that he is possessed by a dybbuk.
by ghosts, spurred on by demons, Doriel finally turns to Dr. Thérèse
Goldschmidt, a psychoanalyst who finds herself particularly intrigued by
her patient. The two enter into an uneasy relationship based on
exchange: of dreams, histories, and secrets. Despite Doriel's initial
resistance, Dr. Goldschmidt helps to bring him to a crossroads-and to a
In Doriel's journey into the darkest regions
of the soul, Elie Wiesel has written one of his most profoundly moving
works of fiction, grounded always by his unparalleled moral compass.
|Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay|
Publisher: Viking Canada
Publication Date: Mar 30 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0670068098Historical Fiction / Fantasy
Inspired by the glory of Tang Dynasty China in the eighth century, Guy
Gavriel Kay melds history and the fantastic into something both powerful
and emotionally compelling. Under Heaven is a novel on the
grandest narrative scale, encompassing the intimate details of
individual lives in an unforgettable time and place. Shen Tai is the
son of a general who led the forces of imperial Kitai in that empire's
last war against their western enemies from Tagur, twenty years before.
Forty thousand men on both sides were slain beside a remote mountain
lake. General Shen Gao himself has died recently. To honour his father's
memory, Tai has spent two years of official mourning alone at the
battle site among the ghosts of the dead, laying to rest their unburied
One spring morning, he learns that others have taken note
of his vigil. The White Jade Princess in Tagur is pleased to present him
with two hundred and fifty Sardian horses, given, she writes, in
recognition of his courage, and honour done to the dead.
You gave a
man one of the famed Sardians to reward him greatly. You gave him four
or five to exalt him above his fellows, and earn him jealousy, possibly
mortal. Two hundred and fifty is an unthinkable gift, a gift to
overwhelm an emperor.
Tai starts east towards the glittering,
dangerous imperial capital and gathers his wits for a return from
solitude by a mountain lake to his own forever-altered life.
|Fragile Beasts by Tawni O'Dell|
Publication Date: Mar 23 2010
Fiction / Family Life
When their hard-drinking, but loving, father dies in a car accident,
teenage brothers Kyle and Klint Hayes face a bleak prospect: leaving
their Pennsylvania hometown for an uncertain life in Arizona with the
mother who ran out on them years ago. But in a strange twist of fate,
their town's matriarch, an eccentric, wealthy old woman whose family
once owned the county coal mines, hears the boys' story. Candace Jack
doesn't have an ounce of maternal instinct, yet for reasons she does not
even understand herself, she is compelled to offer them a home.
the two boys go from living in a small, run-down house on a gravel road
to a stately mansion filled with sumptuous furnishings and beautiful
artwork-artwork that's predominantly centered, oddly, on bullfighting.
And then there's Miss Jack's real-life bull: Ventisco-a regal, hulking,
jet-black beast who roams the land she owns with fiery impudence.
adjusts more easily to the transition. A budding artist, he finds a
kindred spirit in Miss Jack. But local baseball hero Klint refuses to
warm up to his new benefactress and instead throws himself into his game
with a fierceness that troubles his little brother. Klint is not just
grieving his father's death; he's carrying a terrible secret that he has
never revealed to anyone. Unbeknownst to the world, Candace Jack has a
secret too-a tragic, passionate past in Spain that the boys' presence
threatens to reveal as she finds herself caring more for them than she
ever believed possible.
From the muted, bruised hills of
Pennsylvania coal country to the colorful, flamboyant bull rings of
southern Spain, Tawni O'Dell takes us on a riveting journey not only
between two completely different lands, but also between seemingly
incompatible souls, casting us under her narrative spell in which
characters and places are rendered with fragile tenderness.
|The Sheen on the Silk by Anne Perry|
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: Mar 23 2010
Historical / MysteryCheck Availability
Arriving in the ancient Byzantine city in the year 1273, Anna
Zarides has only one mission: to prove the innocence of her twin
brother, Justinian, who has been exiled to the desert for conspiring to
kill Bessarion, a nobleman.
Disguising herself as a eunuch named
Anastasius, Anna moves freely about in society, using her skills as a
physician to manoeuver close to the key players involved in her
brother's fate. With her medical practice thriving, Anna crosses paths
with Zoe Chrysaphes, a devious noblewoman with her own hidden agenda,
and Giuiliano Dandolo, a ship's captain conflicted not only by his mixed
Venetian-Byzantine heritage but by his growing feelings for Anastasius.
to clear her brother's name, Anna learns more about Justinian's life
and reputation-including his peculiar ties to Bessarion's beautiful
widow and his possible role in a plot to overthrow the emperor. This
leaves Anna with more questions than answer, and time is running out.
For an even greater threat lies on the horizon: Another Crusade to
capture the Holy Land is brewing, and leaders in Rome and Venice have
set their sights on Constantinople for what is sure to be a brutal
invasion. Anna's discoveries draw her inextricably closer to the dangers
of the emperor's treacherous court-where it seems that no one is
exactly who he or she appears to be.
|The Black Cat by Martha Grimes|
Publisher: Viking USA
Publication Date: April 6 2010
Mystery / Suspense
Several weeks have passed since Richard Jury was left bereft and
guilt-ridden after the tragic accident of Lu Aguilar. Now she lies in a
coma, and Jury wants to stay near her. Instead, he has been tossed a
case outside of his jurisdiction, in the village of Chesham, where a
beautiful young woman has been murdered in the grounds of a pub called
the Black Cat. And the only witness to the murder is the black cat.
Did you see anything
Jury tried to send the cat a message.Tell me
The black cat closed its eyes and told him nothing.
Given her gown-Yves St. Laurent-and her shoes-Jimmy Choo, Jury
wonders, Was she rich or wed to riches? She carries no identification,
and no one in the village has a clue as to who she is.
Then in London, another murder, another beautifully-got-up woman,
this time shoes by Louboutin. And then a third. Jury is stumped: he
knows these killings are connected, but if this is a serial killer in
London, why commit a murder in Chesham?
Meanwhile, Jury's nemesis, the brilliant (and crazy?) Harry Johnson
continues to delight in goading Jury, leading him into a maze of
possibilities or impossibilities. And Johnson, along with his
preternaturally astute dog, Mungo, just may be the key to it all.
|The Law of Nines by Terry Goodkind|
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Publication Date: Aug 18 2009
Suspense / Thriller Check Availability
Trouble will find you...
They watch you through mirrors.
'Your mother was twenty-seven when it came to her. Now you're twenty-seven, and it's come to you.'
The skin of Alex's arms tingled with goose bumps. By her twenty-seventh birthday insanity had come to his mother..
twenty-seven may be terrifying for some, but for Alex, a struggling
artist living in the mid-western United States, it is cataclysmic.
Inheriting a huge expanse of land should have made him a rich and happy
man; but something about this birthday, his name, and the beautiful
woman whose life he just saved, has suddenly made him - and everyone
he loves - into a target. A target for extreme and uncompromising
Where do you turn when your own reflection spells doom?
In Alex, Terry Goodkind brings to life a modern hero in a whole new kind of high-octane thriller.
|Of Flesh and Blood by Daniel Kalla|
Publisher: Forge books
Publication Date: April 13 2010
Thriller / Medical
A hundred years ago, Dr. Evan McGrath realized his dream of establishing
a hospital in the Pacific Northwest, a hospital that would never turn
away a patient in need. But the personal cost was steep: Evan lost the
love of his life while making a powerful enemy of the hospital's
financier, Marshall Alfredson.
Today, the Alfredson Medical
Center is internationally renowned for its care. The two founding
families remain faithful to Evan's vision, but their history is clouded
by forbidden love, conflict, and betrayal. Crisis is besieging the
Alfredson. A decision by Dr. Tyler McGrath, a child cancer specialist,
leaves a young patient's family shattered. Dr. Jill Laidlaw, Tyler's
wife, is a researcher poised to offer fresh hope to multiple sclerosis
victims-including a former presidential frontrunner-until rumors of
research fraud endanger her career. And in the face of temptation and
career demands, Tyler and Jill are drifting apart.
family secrets, doomed relationships, and present-day medical disasters
threaten not only the Alfredsons and McGraths but the legendary hospital
|The Shadow of Your Smile by Mary Higgans Clark|
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Thriller / Suspense
At age eighty-two and in failing health, Olivia Morrow knows she has
little time left. The last of her line, she faces a momentous choice:
expose a long-held family secret, or take it with her to her grave. Olivia
has in her possession letters from her deceased cousin Catherine, a
nun, now being considered for beatification by the Catholic Church-the
final step before sainthood. In her lifetime, Sister Catherine had
founded seven hospitals for disabled children. Now the cure of a
four-year-old boy dying of brain cancer is being attributed to her.
After his case was pronounced medically hopeless, the boy's desperate
mother had organized a prayer crusade to Sister Catherine, leading to
his miraculous recovery.
The letters Olivia holds are the
evidence that Catherine gave birth at age seventeen to a child, a son,
and gave him up for adoption. Olivia knows the identity of the young man
who fathered Catherine's child: Alex Gannon, who went on to become a
world-famous doctor, scientist, and inventor holding medical patents.
two generations later, thirty-one-year-old pediatrician Dr. Monica
Farrell, Catherine's granddaughter, stands as the rightful heir to what
remains of the family fortune. But in telling Monica who she really is,
Olivia would have to betray Catherine's wishes and reveal the story
behind Monica's ancestry.
The Gannon fortune is being squandered
by Alex's nephews Greg and Peter Gannon, and other board members of the
Gannon Foundation, who camouflage their profligate lifestyles with
Now their carefully constructed image is cracking.
Greg, a prominent financier, is under criminal investigation, and Peter,
a Broadway producer, is a
suspect in the murder of a young woman who has been extorting money from him.
only people aware of Olivia's impending choice are those exploiting the
Gannon inheritance. To silence Olivia and prevent Monica from learning
the secret, some of them will stop at nothing-even murder.
|Every Last One by Anna Quindlen|
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: April 13 2010
Fiction / Family Life
In this breathtaking and beautiful novel, the #1 New York Times
bestselling author Anna Quindlen creates an unforgettable portrait of a
mother, a father, a family, and the explosive, violent consequences of
what seem like inconsequential actions.
Mary Beth Latham is
first and foremost a mother, whose three teenaged children come first,
before her career as a landscape gardener, or even her life as the wife
of a doctor. Caring for her family and preserving their everyday life
is paramount. And so, when one of her sons, Max, becomes depressed,
Mary Beth becomes focused on him, and is blindsided by a shocking act of
violence. What happens afterwards is a testament to the power of a
woman's love and determination, and to the invisible line of hope and
healing that connects one human being with another. Ultimately, in the
hands of Anna Quindlen's mesmerizing prose, Every Last One
novel about facing every last one of the the things we fear most, about
finding ways to navigate a road we never intended to travel, to live a
life we never dreamed we'd have to live but must be brave enough to try.
|Curiosity: a Love Story by Joan Thomas|
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Publication Date: Mar 30 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0771084171Historical Fiction
Award-winning novelist Joan Thomas blends fact and fiction, passion
and science in this stunning novel set in 19th-century Lyme Regis,
England - the seaside town that is the setting of both The French Lieutenant's Woman and Jane Austen's Persuasion.
More than 40 years before the publication of The Origin of Species,
12-year-old Mary Anning, a cabinet-maker's daughter, found the first
intact skeleton of a prehistoric dolphin-like creature, and spent a year
chipping it from the soft cliffs near Lyme Regis. This was only the
first of many important discoveries made by this incredible woman,
perhaps the most important paleontologist of her day.
Henry de la
Beche was the son of a gentry family, owners of a slave-worked estate
in Jamaica where he spent his childhood. As an adolescent back in
England, he ran away from military college, and soon found himself
living with his elegant, cynical mother in Lyme Regis, where he pursued
his passion for drawing and painting the landscapes and fossils of the
area. One morning on an expedition to see an extraordinary discovery - a
giant fossil - he meets a young woman unlike anyone he has ever met...
|Solar by Ian McEwan|
Publisher: Knopf Canada
Publication Date: Mar 9 2010
An engrossing, satirical and very funny new novel on climate change.
Beard is in his late fifties; bald, overweight, unprepossessing - a
Nobel Prize-winning physicist whose best work is behind him. Trading on
his reputation, he speaks for enormous fees, lends his name to the
letterheads of renowned scientific institutions and half-heartedly heads
a government-backed initiative tackling global warming. An inveterate
philanderer, Beard finds his fifth marriage floundering. But this time
it is different: she is having the affair, and he is still in love with
When Beard's professional and personal worlds are entwined
in a freak accident, an opportunity presents itself, a chance for Beard
to extricate himself from his marital mess, reinvigorate his career and
very possibly save the world from environmental disaster.
With a global scope, Solar
is a comedy dealing directly with the crises of today. A story of one
man's ambitions and self-deceptions, it is a startling and stylish new
departure in the work of one of the world's great writers.
|Lustrum by Robert Harris|
Publication Date: Nov 2 2009
The second book in the stunning Roman Empire trilogy by Robert Harris, author of the acclaimed bestseller Imperium
is 63 BC, the year when Cicero is consul. Most of his time in office is
devoted to uncovering and thwarting a violent conspiracy to overthrow
the state, ostensibly led by Crassus and a group of disaffected
Underlying it all is the great rivalry between Cicero
and Caesar who represent two different types of ambition: one orthodox,
the other revolutionary. As Caesar's power grows, Cicero must face the
inevitable compromises that come with power; is it justifiable to use
illegal methods in order to save the Republic?
Robert Harris yet
again proves himself a master of historical fiction as he takes the
reader to the heart of republican Rome with a novel that is at once
brilliantly researched and utterly gripping.
|My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares|
Publication Date: Jun 1 2010
Romance / Fantasy
A story of love, loss and heartbreak. Readers will be immersed in a magical, captivating love story that spans many centuries. Reincarnation has brought two people back together over several centuries and only one has the ability to remember.
Daniel and Sophia have lived many lives. Through many lives, and many bodies Daniel has loved her. He has loved Sophia from the first time he met her, and unintentionally caused her great harm. Daniel, full of regret and guilt wants to prove his eternal love to Sophia. However, unable to control the universe, he is not always able to find her. Occasionally he has had to wait over 200 years to find her. When he does find her, many times he is unable to interact with her, due to age differences, tragedy or life circumstances. When she is married to your brother, you have to respectfully endure. When she's an old woman and you're a toddler, life can be difficult.
The book spans from Daniel's earliest memory in 541 to present-day 2009. The narrative alternates between confused, present-day Lucy and Daniel's past memories and present situation. Daniel and Lucy are brought together in high school. Lucy is oddly drawn to a quiet, distance, familiar Daniel. She's not sure why he seems familiar, she doesn't remember seeing him before. Despite their attraction, when Daniel goes too far and scares Lucy, their lives again begin to distance. Lucy always left wondering about that boy, and Daniel wanting the best for Lucy. When her life becomes endangered, Daniel is committed to keeping her safe.
|The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley|
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Publication Date: Mar 9 2010
Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce didn't intend to investigate another
murder - but then, Rupert Porson didn't intend to die. When the master
puppeteer's van breaks down in the village of Bishop's Lacey, Flavia is
front and centre to help Rupert and his charming assistant, Nialla, put
together a performance in the local church to help pay the repair bill.
But even as the newcomers set up camp and set the stage for Jack and the Beanstalk,
there are signs that something just isn't right: Nialla's strange
bruises and solitary cries in the churchyard, Rupert's unexplained
disappearances and a violent argument with his BBC producer, the
disturbing atmosphere at Culverhouse Farm, and the peculiar goings-on in
nearby Gibbet Wood - where young Robin Ingleby was found hanging just
five years before.
It's enough to set Flavia's detective
instincts tingling and her chemistry lab humming. What are Rupert and
Nialla trying to hide? Why are Grace and Gordon Ingleby, Robin's
still-grieving parents, acting so strangely? And what does Mad Meg mean
when she says the Devil has come back to Gibbet Wood? Then it's showtime
for Porson's Puppets at St. Tancred's - but as Nialla plays Mother
Goose, Rupert's goose gets cooked as the victim of an electrocution that
is too perfectly planned to be an accident. Someone had set the stage
Putting down her sister-punishing experiments
and picking up her trusty bicycle, Gladys, Flavia uncovers long-buried
secrets of Bishop's Lacey, the seemingly idyllic village that is
nevertheless home to a madwoman living in its woods, a prisoner-of-war
with a soft spot for the English countryside, and two childless parents
with a devastating secret. While the local police do their best to keep
up with Flavia in solving Rupert's murder, his killer may pull Flavia in
way over her head, to a startling discovery that reveals the chemical
composition of vengeance.
|Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson|
Publisher: Bond Street Books
Publication Date: Mar 2 2010
General Fiction / Romance
Written with a delightfully dry sense of humour and the wisdom of a born storyteller, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
explores the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of family obligation and tradition.
retired Major Pettigrew strikes up an unlikely friendship with Mrs.
Ali, the Pakistani village shopkeeper, he is drawn out of his regimented
world and forced to confront the realities of life in the twenty-first
century. Brought together by a shared love of literature and the loss of
their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their
friendship on the cusp of blossoming into something more. But although
the Major was actually born in Lahore, and Mrs. Ali was born in
Cambridge, village society insists on embracing him as the
quintessential local and her as a permanent foreigner. The Major has
always taken special pride in the village, but will he be forced to
choose between the place he calls home and a future with Mrs. Ali?
|The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson|
Publisher: Viking Canada
Publication Date: May 25 2010
Mystery / Thriller
As the finale to Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
is not content to merely match the adrenaline-charged pace that made international bestsellers out of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
and The Girl Who Played with Fire
Instead, it roars with an explosive storyline that blows the doors off
the series and announces that the very best has been saved for last. A
familiar evil lies in wait for Lisbeth Salander, but this time, she must
do more than confront the miscreants of her past--she must destroy
them. Much to her chagrin, survival requires her to place a great deal
of faith in journalist Mikael Blomkvist and trust his judgment when the
stakes are highest. To reveal more of the plot would be criminal, as
Larsson's mastery of the unexpected is why millions have fallen hard for
his work. But rest assured that the odds are again stacked, the
challenges personal, and the action fraught with neck-snapping
revelations in this snarling conclusion to a thrilling triad. This
closing chapter to The Girl's pursuit of justice is guaranteed to leave
readers both satisfied and saddened once the final page has been turned.