Americanah By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Knopf 978 0 307 39791 1 $29.95 Fiction A searing new novel, at once sweeping and intimate, by the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun: a story of love and race centered around a man and woman from Nigeria who seemed destined to be together--until the choices they are forced to make tear them apart.
Ifemelu--beautiful, self-assured--left Nigeria 15 years ago, and now studies in Princeton as a Graduate Fellow. She seems to have fulfilled every immigrant's dream: Ivy League education; success as a writer of a wildly popular political blog; money for the things she needs. But what came before is more like a nightmare: wrenching departure from family; humiliating jobs under a false name. She feels for the first time the weight of something she didn't think about back home: race.
Obinze--handsome and kind-hearted--was Ifemelu's teenage love; he'd hoped to join her in America, but post 9/11 America wouldn't let him in. Obinze's journey leads him to back alleys of illegal employment in London; to a fake marriage for the sake of a work card, and finally, to a set of handcuffs as he is exposed and deported.
Years later, when they reunite in Nigeria, neither is the same person who left home. Obinze is the kind of successful "Big Man" he'd scorned in his youth, and Ifemelu has become an "Americanah"--a different version of her former self, one with a new accent and attitude. As they revisit their shared passion--for their homeland and for each other--they must face the largest challenges of their lives.
Spanning three continents, entering the lives of a richly drawn cast of characters across numerous divides, Americanah is a riveting story of love and expectation set in today's globalized world.
The Empty Room By Lauren B. Davis Harper Collins 978 1 44341 829 4 $24.99 Fiction A raw and groundbreaking journey to the depths of addiction, from the author of Our Daily Bread, longlisted for the Giller Prize
Colleen Kerrigan wakes up sick and bruised, with no clear memory of the night before. It’s Monday morning, and she is late for work again. She’s shocked to see the near-empty vodka bottle on her kitchen counter. It was full at noon yesterday; surely she didn’t drink that much last night? As she struggles out the door, she fights the urge to have a sip, just to take the edge off. But no, she’s not going to drink today.
But this is the day Colleen’s demons come for her. A very bad day spirals into night as a series of flashbacks take the reader through Colleen’s past—moments of friendship and loss, fragments of peace and possibility. The single constant is the bottle, always close by, Colleen’s worst enemy and her only friend.
In this unforgettable work, acclaimed novelist Lauren B. Davis has created as searing, raw and powerful a portrayal of the chaos and pain of alcoholism as we have encountered in fiction. Told with compassion, insight and an irresistible gallows humour, The Empty Room takes us to the depths of addiction, only to find a revelation at its heart: the importance and grace of one person reaching out to another.
Things Come Apart By Todd McLellan Thames & Hudson 978 0 500 51676 8 $31.50 Design
Welcome to Todd McLellan’s unique photographic vision of the material world: fifty design classics—arranged first by size and then by intricacy—are beautifully displayed, piece by piece, exploding in midair and dissected in real-time, frame-by-frame video stills.
This book makes visible the inner workings of some of the world’s most iconic designs. From SLR camera to mantel clock to espresso machine, from iPad to bicycle to grand piano, every single component of each object is revealed. These disassembled objects show that even the most intricate of modern technologies can be broken down and understood, while beautifully illustrating the quality and elegance of older designs. Stunning photography is interspersed with essays by notable figures from the worlds of restoration, DIY, and design innovation who discuss historical examples of teardowns, disassembly, and reverse-engineering.
Each photograph is itself a work of art and offers a reinterpretation of our familiar world. They connect people with the child-like joy of taking something apart to see how it works and will appeal to anyone with a curiosity about the material world.
The Woman Upstairs By Claire Messud Knopf 978 0 307 40116 8 $29.95 Fiction
Nora Eldridge, a 37-year-old elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is on the verge of disappearing. Having abandoned her desire to be an artist, she has become the "woman upstairs," a reliable friend and tidy neighbour always on the fringe of others' achievements. Then into her classroom walks a new pupil, Reza Shahid, a child who enchants as if from a fairy tale. He and his parents--dashing Skandar, a half-Muslim Professor of Ethical History born in Beirut, and Sirena, an effortlessly glamorous Italian artist--have come to America for Skandar to teach at Harvard.
But one afternoon, Reza is attacked by schoolyard bullies who punch, push and call him a "terrorist," and Nora is quickly drawn deep into the complex world of the Shahid family. Soon she finds herself falling in love with them, separately and together. Nora's happiness explodes her boundaries--until Sirena's own ambition leads to a shattering betrayal.
Written with intimacy and piercing emotion, this urgently dispatched story of obsession and artistic fulfillment explores the thrill--and the devastating cost--of giving in to one's passions. The Woman Upstairs is a masterly story of America today, of being a woman and of the exhilarations of love.
Jazz: New York in the Roaring Twenties By Robert Nippoldt/Hans-Jurgen Schaal Taschen 978 3 8365 4501 3 $59.99 Music
It’s the Roaring Twenties, and New York is exploding with jazz fever. Crowds flock to the nightclubs and dance halls in Harlem to see the likes of Louis Armstrong with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra playing at the Kentucky Club, or Duke Ellington at the Roseland Ballroom or the world-famous Cotton Club. Designed, illustrated, and edited by Robert Nippoldt, this award-winning book pays homage to this exceptional era, via an entertaining blend of illustrations, facts, and amusing anecdotes presenting 24 leading lights of New York’s jazz scene in the 1920s, complete with a CD containing some of their best tunes. The texts, contributed by Hans-Jürgen Schaal, give a vivid account of the club scene and the “band battles,” as well as the legendary recording sessions. A splendid read, a groovy CD—and not strictly for jazz fans only!
Awards for the original German edition: - European Design Award, 2008, Stockholm - Institute for Book Arts: “The Most Beautiful Book of Germany” 2008, Frankfurt - Illustrative: “One of the Most Beautiful Books of Europe” 2007, Berlin
Bazooka Joe and his Gang By Topps Abrams Comic Arts 978 1 4197 0632 5 $21.95 Comics and Graphic Novels
Bazooka Joe and his Gang have been synonymous with bubble gum ever since their debut in 1953, providing an irresistible combination of cheap laughs wrapped around pink, sugary sweetness. This book celebrates the iconic mini-comics that are recognized the world over. The story of Bazooka Bubble Gum is also detailed with extensive essays, including a profile of Wesley Morse, the original illustrator of Bazooka Joe. Included are reproductions of more than 100 classic comics spanning six decades—including the complete first series, reprinted in its entirety for the first time—as well as jokes, fortunes, and tiny ads for mail-order merchandise. Like Bazooka Bubble Gum itself, the book is pure nostalgia and guaranteed to appeal to kids and adults alike. Includes 4 bonus trading cards and a genuine wax wrapper that evokes the original bubble gum packaging—like holding an actual piece of Bazooka in your hands!
Black Loyalists By Ruth Holmes Whitehead Nimbus 978 1 77108 016 3 $29.95 History During the American Revolution (1775-1783), the British government offered freedom to slaves who would desert their rebel masters as a way of ruining the American economy. Many Black men and women escaped to the British fleet patrolling the East Coast, or to the British armies invading the colonies from Maine to Georgia.
After the final surrender of the British to the Americans, New York City was evacuated by the British Army throughout the summer and fall of 1783. Carried away with them were a vast number of White Loyalists and their families, and over 3,000 Black Loyalists: free, indentured, apprenticed, or still enslaved. More than 2,700 Blacks came to Nova Scotia with the fleet from New York City.
Black Loyalists is an attempt to present hard data about the lives of Nova Scotia Black Loyalists before they escaped slavery in early South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, and after they settled in Nova Scotia-to bring back into our awareness the context for some very brave and enterprising men and women who survived the chaos of the American Revolution, people who found a way to pass through the heart, ironically, of a War for Liberty, to liberty and human dignity.
Includes an insert of 20 historical images and documents.
New Children and Young Adult Releases ~
Kevin: A Novel By Paul Kupperberg Grosset & Dunlop 978 0 448 45852 6 $10.99 Young Adult Kevin Keller is the first openly gay character in the history of Archie Comics and currently stars in his own best-selling series of comic books. In this special paper-over-board novel, we focus on Kevin’s early, awkward years and the struggles and joys of his inspirational road to self-discovery. This sweet and funny coming-of-age story features a strong anti-bullying message and is a perfect gift for Archie fans, parents, and anyone who has—or is—struggling to find their place.
After narrowly escaping death while solving her last case, the Toronto PI is settling happily into married life with her new wife, Jess. Once again, however, trouble is looming: Jess wants a baby but Calli would rather fight a psycho with a gun than contemplate parenthood.When an old school friend asks Calli to investigate her mother’s death, Calli jumps at the chance to distract herself with work. Her plans go awry when her own mother reveals a shocking secret that threatens to turn Calli’s life upside down. By turns lighthearted and thrilling, Liz Bugg’s Calli Barnow mysteries feature an engaging cast of characters including Calli’s beautiful and sensible wife, Jess; June, her police officer ex-lover; and Dewey, aka Lady Dee: drag artiste, sidekick, buddy, and sometimes assistant. The city of Toronto itself is a character, especially the quirky Kensington Market neighbourhood where Calli lives and works.
Atrocities: 100 Deadliest Episodes in Human History By Matthew White Norton 978 0 393 34523 0 $21.00 History Evangelists of human progress meet their opposite in Matthew White’s epic examination of history’s one hundred most violent events, or, in White’s piquant phrasing, “the numbers that people want to argue about.” Reaching back to the Second Persian War in 480 BCE and moving chronologically through history, White surrounds hard facts (time and place) and succinct takeaways (who usually gets the blame?) with lively military, social, and political histories.