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General fiction

  • Author:
    Kazantzakis, Nikos
    Summary:

    Zorba, an irrepressible, earthy hedonist, sweeps his young disciple along as he wines, dines, and loves his way through a life dedicated to fulfilling his copious appetites.

  • Author:
    Glasgow, Kathleen
    Summary:

    For all of Emory's life she's been told who she is. In town she's the rich one--the great-great-granddaughter of the mill's founder. At school she's hot Maddie Ward's younger sister. And at home, she's the good one, her stoner older brother Joey's babysitter. Everything was turned on its head, though, when she and Joey were in the car accident that killed Candy MontClaire. The car accident that revealed just how bad Joey's drug habit was. Four months later, Emmy's junior year is starting, Joey is home from rehab, and the entire town of Mill Haven is still reeling from the accident. Everyone's telling Emmy who she is, but so much has changed, how can she be the same person? Or was she ever that person at all? Mill Haven wants everyone to live one story, but Emmy's beginning to see that people are more than they appear. Her brother, who might not be "cured," the popular guy who lives next door, and most of all, many "ghostie" addicts who haunt the edges of the town. People spend so much time telling her who she is--it might be time to decide for herself.

  • Author:
    Johnson, Leah
    Summary:

    Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed Midwestern town. But it’s okay - Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor. But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down...until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington. The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams...or make them come true?

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    Author:
    Briscoe, Joanna
    Summary:

    Cecilia is obsessively in love with her teacher, Mr. Dahl. Yet she never guesses that what she dreams of could actually happen. Cecelia's mother Dora wants the good life. She and her husband moved to Dartmoor so their children could run wild; free to make their own mistakes. But Dora discovers that there is more to the countryside idyll, and indeed her own marriage, than she assumed.

  • Author:
    Brossard, Nicole
    Summary:

    Nominated for a Governor General's Award for Translation. Yesterday, on my way back from the museum: my head is full of images of storms. A boundless sea of paintings and photographs. Other storms I build like a backdrop, with sombre and anonymous characters, impossible to identify. I remain thus all evening, pressed up against the existence of a storm without feeling threatened. Waiting. After a few moments I become, I am, the storm, the disruption, the precipitation, the agitation that puts reality in peril. Carla Carlson is at the Hotel Clarendon in Quebec City trying to finish a novel. Nearby, a woman, preoccupied with sadness and infatuated with her boss, catalogues antiquities at the Museum of Civilization. Every night, the two women meet at the hotel bar and talk – about childhood and parents and landscapes, about time and art, about Descartes and Francis Bacon and writing. When Yesterday, at the Hotel Clarendon appeared in French (as Hier), the media called it the pinnacle of Brossard’s remarkable forty-year literary career. From its intersection of four women emerges a kind of art installation, a lively read in which life and death and the vertigo of ruins tangle themselves together to say something about history and desire and art. ‘Hier is a book in which the love of language, authorial anxiety and the generosity of a writer who has dedicated herself to the craft of writing are truly revealed.’ – Le Devoir ‘An explorer of language, Brossard has, for many years, pursued a demanding and unarguably original oeuvre. Hier, her latest book, is a kind of sum or synthesis of her research and her meditations.’ – Lettres Québécoises

  • Author:
    Lowther, Christine, Sinner, Anita
    Summary:

    This collection of over thirty essays by both well-known and emerging writers explores what it means to “be at home” on Canada’s West Coast. Here the rainforest and the wild, stormy cost dominate one’s sense of identity, a humbling perspective shared in memoirs by individuals who come to see themselves as part of a larger ecological community. Alexandra Morton followed the orcas to the Broughton Archipelago and now fights to protect wild salmon from the impact of fish farms. Grandmother-activist Betty Krawczyk describes living in a remote A-frame under mountains that have been clearcut, and how this led her to join the blockades. Valerie Langer tells us of a tsunami warning, one that is both literal and metaphorical. Brian Brett reflects on possible futures for Clayoquot Sound, thinking back to the wild times he spent there in the sixties. The collection includes a number of brightly satiric commentators like Briony Penn, who compares sex in the city to love in the temperate rainforest, Andrew Struthers, who recalls squatting in a home-made pyramid in the bush, and Susan Musgrave, who writes with affection and humour about the “excluded” Haida Gwaii. Young First Nations writers Eli Enns and Nadine Crookes provide their perspective of deep rootedness in place. And there are many more contributors, all of whom are engaged in finding purpose along with a sense of belonging that is uniquely West Coast.

  • Author:
    Story, Kate
    Summary:

    Wrecked Upon This Shore is a bold new novel from Kate Story that follows and will build upon the success of her critically-acclaimed debut Blasted. At the novel's centre is Pearl Lewis: abused by her father at a young age, she is wild, charismatic, and damaged.The story moves back and forth in time. We follow Pearl through the eyes of her adult son Stephen, but also from the viewpoint of Mouse, the girl she befriends and falls in love with as a teenager. Mandy, christened Mouse by the seductive, aggressive Pearl, had a relatively sheltered upbringing in Newfoundland. But when Mouse falls for Pearl, the affair changes her life. In the end, Mouse loses almost everything when Pearl leaves her; in fact, Pearl is pregnant when Mouse learns the affair is over.

  • Author:
    Richler, Howard
    Summary:

    To some extent, everyone plays with language and uses it as a form of recreation as well as a means of communication. Recognizing that the creation of true wit is a subjective endeavour, Richler suggests that the commission of language wit occurs not only wittingly, but also unwittingly and sometimes even half-wittedly. When we consciously manipulate language for the purpose of wit, Richler designates this process “arranged wit,” and because sometimes the humour seemingly emanates from the mind of a nitwit rather than a wit, Richler designates this “deranged wit.” Moreover, what appears to be deranged can actually be artfully arranged, or as Polonius might say, there is much method to the madness. Join Richler in Wordplay as he highlights the most whimsical English language writers throughout the ages and analyzes what constitutes both arranged and deranged wit. Prepare for chuckles aplenty, and even belly laughs.

  • Author:
    Helgason, Hallgrimur
    Summary:

    "I live here alone in a garage, together with a laptop computer and an old hand grenade. It's pretty cozy." Herra BjOrnsson is at the beginning of the end of her life. Oh, she has two weeks left, maybe three-she has booked her cremation appointment, at a crispy 1,000 degrees, so it won't be long. But until then she has her cigarettes, a World War II-era weapon, some Facebook friends, and her memories to sustain her. And what a life this remarkable eighty-year-old narrator has led. In the internationally bestselling and award-winning Woman at 1,000 Degrees, which has been published in fourteen languages, noted Icelandic novelist Hallgrimur Helgason has created a true literary original. From Herra's childhood in the remote islands of Iceland, where she was born the granddaughter of Iceland's first president, to teen years spent living by her wits alone in war-torn Europe while her father fought on the side of the Nazis, to love affairs on several continents, Herra BjOrnsson moved Zelig-like through the major events and locales of the twentieth century. She wed and lost husbands, had children, fled a war, kissed a Beatle, weathered the Icelandic financial crash, and mastered the Internet. She has experienced luck and betrayal and upheaval and pain, and-with a bawdy, uncompromising spirit-she has survived it all. Now, as she awaits death in a garage in Reykjavik, she shows us a woman unbowed by the forces of history. Each part of Herra's story is a poignant piece of a puzzle that comes together in the final pages of this remarkable, unpredictable, and enthralling novel.

  • Author:
    Bockris, Victor
    Summary:

    Personal encounters with one of the most influential and iconic figures of the Beat Generation During the 1970s, William Burroughs, author of Junky and Naked Lunch, lived in a loft on the Bowery in New York City's Lower East Side. Christened "The Bunker," his apartment became a modern-day literary salon with people like Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Susan Sontag, and fellow beat poet Allen Ginsberg passing through for a drink or a joint and the promise of stimulating conversation with the ingenious and eccentric Burroughs. Among Burroughs's entourage was author Victor Bockris, whose tape recorder was always running to capture meandering dinner party conversations and electric late-night sessions in the Bunker. In these moments, Bockris captures Burroughs's desires, anxieties, and thoughts on writing, photography, punk rock, and more. The recordings and recollections in With William Burroughs create an unprecedentedly multidimensional portrait of a man who is often overshadowed by his reputation.

  • Author:
    Margoshes, Dave
    Summary:

    From an emergency room in Calgary, where an intern hears his poorly timed joke about suicide, Zan winds up on the psychologist’s couch. But the doctor’s efforts to investigate Zan’s mental state are constantly stymied by his misfiring memory, his wry delivery, and his novelist’s tendency to embellish. Is he misremembering, misrepresenting, crafting a better story – or all of the above? Through the streets of Strike-era Winnipeg, Toronto during the Depression, and the 1980s Calgary of Zan’s new life, Dave Margoshes’s compellingly unreliable narrator treats the reader to a magnificent meditation on aging, family ties, faith, and the liquid concept of the truth.

  • Author:
    DeGrace, Anne
    Summary:

    At a side-of-the-highway diner on a mountain pass, during one extraordinary, windy day in 1977, the paths of an odd assortment of travellers cross. The stories of each circle around points of departure: what sets one on one's journey. These seemingly unconnected-but oddly interconnected-stories involve strange twists, turns and the kinds of chance encounters that change the way we see the world. There is the old woman who, talk she has just weeks to live, tells everyone exactly what she thinks of them-and then doesn't die; the water witcher who comes to terms with his gift instead of drowning in it; the woman who never leaves her own town but travels vicariously through the tales of the hitchhikers she picks up; a trucker with a kind heart; and the proprietor, Cass, and the story that haunts her. Central to this remarkable day are Pink, travelling in whatever direction the wind takes him, and Jo, a young waitress whose own life twists-family betrayal, and the birth and adoption of a baby-have left her anchorless. For Jo, Cass's Roadside Café is a waystation, holding her until a series of interactions with strangers give her permission to find her own point of departure, and embark upon her own journey.

  • Author:
    Green, John
    Summary:

    2011 Odyssey Honor for Excellence in Audiobook Production One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, Will Grayson crosses paths with ... Will Grayson. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, and culminating in epic turns-of-heart and the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high school stage. Told in alternating voices from two YA superstars, this collaborative novel features a double helping of the heart and humor that have won them both legions of fans.

  • Author:
    Wangersky, Russell
    Summary:

    2013 Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award — Winner 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize — Shortlisted 2012 BMO Winterset Award — Finalist From critically acclaimed and award-winning writer, Russell Wangersky, comes a new collection of short fiction. Everyone has something they’re good at: one particular personal skill that they use to keep their lives moving forward when their worlds suddenly become difficult or near-impossible. For some, it’s denial; for others, blunt pragmatism. Still others depend on an over-inflated view of self to keep criticism and doubt at bay. In his new short story collection, Whirl Away, Russell Wangersky – author of critically-acclaimed fiction and non-fiction including The Glass Harmonica, Burning Down the House: Fighting Fires and Losing Myself and The Hour of Bad Decisions – looks at what happens when people’s personal coping skills go awry. These are people who discover their anchor-chain has broken: characters safe in the world of self-deception or even self-delusion, forced to face the fact that their main line of defense has become their greatest weakness. From the caretaker of a prairie amusement park to the lone occupant of a collapsing Newfoundland town, from a travelling sports drink marketer with a pressing need to get off the road to an elevator inspector who finds himself losing his marriage while sensuously burying himself in the tastes and smells of the kitchen, these are people who spin wildly out of control, finding themselves in a new and different world.

  • Author:
    Harrs, Norma
    Summary:

    Dreams vanish in most of the masterful stories that make up Norma Harrs’s new collection. A young Irish girl falls in love with an older married professor and has her first date with heartache; a middle-aged woman attends her niece’s wedding and drunkenly surveys the wreck of her own life and love affairs; a young woman admires her kind and beautiful neighbour so much that she is almost drawn into a not so innocent profession … Adversity, sometimes disaster, befalls Norma Harrs’s characters, but instead of destroying these people, it often miraculously enriches their existence, bringing them a sudden awareness of what had been wrong with their lives and inspiring them to make a fresh start. Ms. Harrs seamlessly weaves together plot and evocative detail, wildly funny turns of events and inconsolable sadness; her stories’ earthy eroticism, their startlingly vivid dialogue and, above all, their breathtakingly original rendering of suffering and joy will remain with the reader long after the final page.

  • Author:
    Ameyaw, Maya
    Summary:

    A Black teen dancer with dreams of landing a spot in a prestigious ballet company must learn to dance on her own terms in this explosive debut about the healing power of art and friendship, perfect for fans of Heartbreaker and Tiny Pretty Things. Ballet is Aisha’s life. So when she’s denied yet another lead at her elite academy because she doesn’t “look” the part, she knows something has to change–the constant discrimination is harming her mental health. Switching to her best friend Neil’s art school seems like the perfect plan at first. But she soon discovers racism and bullying are entrenched in the ballet program here, too, and there’s a new, troubling distance between her and Neil. And as past traumas surface, pressure from friends and family, a new romance, and questions about her dance career threaten to overwhelm her. There’s no choreography to follow–for high school or for healing. Aisha will have to find the strength within herself–and place her trust in others–to make her next move.

  • Author:
    Hartzler, Aaron
    Summary:

    The story of a town torn apart by the events surrounding the rape of a drunk girl at a house party, from the perspective of the partygoers who witnessed it. This honest, authentic debut novel -- inspired by the events in the Steubenville rape case -- will resonate with readers who've ever walked that razor-thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time. The party at John Doone's last Saturday night is a bit of a blur. Kate Weston can piece together most of the details: Stacey Stallard handing her shots, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early. ... But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills's shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn't have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate's classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can't be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same questions: Who witnessed what happened to Stacey? And what responsibility do they have to speak up about what they saw? National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti calls What We Saw a smart, sensitive, and gripping story about the courage it takes to do what's right.

  • Author:
    Buxbaum, Julie
    Summary:

    When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, Kit asks David for his help figuring out the how and why of her father's tragic car accident.

  • Author:
    McKay Jr, Leo.
    Summary:

    The worst moment of Sam's life was captured on video and shared across the internet for all to gawk at. This is something she has in common with Robot, who just wants to move past the mistakes he's made, if only his small town will let him. When the two meet in a high school music class, they start to find their way to each other. Music might offer a way not only forward, but forward together, if Sam and Robot can overcome the echoes of the moments that made them infamous. The past reverberates in ways we don't expect, in this new novel by Giller Prize-shortlisted author Leo McKay Jr. From family secrets and old relationships that resurface, to the tape loops that endlessly replay private moments of trauma and despair, What Comes Echoing Back travels back and forth in time to get to what's true, with humour, humanity, and the healing power of music.

  • Author:
    Kennedy, A.L.
    Summary:

    A. L. Kennedy's remarkable new collection of stories shows us exactly what becomes of the broken-hearted. She reveals the sadness, violence, hurt, and terror, but also the redemption of love, and she does so with enormous human compassion, wild leaps of humour, and the brilliantly original linguistic skill that distinguishes her as one of the world's finest writers. Always attuned to the moment of epiphany, these twelve stories are profound, intimate observations of men and women whose lives ache with possibility. Each story is a dramatization of the instant in a life that exposes it all; love and the lack of love, hope and the lack of hope. These men and women are perfectly ordinary people whose marriages flounder; who sit on their own in a cinema watching a film with no soundtrack; who risk sex in a hotel with an anonymous stranger. They conceal tenderness and disappointment, vulnerability and longing, griefs and wonders. Devastating and funny, intimate and profound, the stories in What Becomes are further proof that Kennedy is one of the most dazzling and inventive writers of her generation.

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