Best Books of 2017








It’s that time of year again….the best books of the year are being announced—and debated.

According to Publishers Weekly, the best piece of fiction this year was Hari Kunzru’s WHITE TEARS. But Indigo books though Angie Thomas’ YA book, THE HATE YOU GIVE, was more deserving of praise. I guess it depends on the type of books you read, and how extensive your reading list was this year.

Here are the listings for the Publishers Weekly winners, followed by the Indigo picks:

White Tears
, Hari Kunzru (Knopf)
Ill Will, Dan Chaon (Ballantine)
In the Distance, Hernán Díaz (Coffee House)
Grief Cottage, Gail Godwin (Bloomsbury)
Sing, Unburied, Sing, Jesmyn Ward (Scribner)

Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India, Sujatha Gidla (FSG)
The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography, and the Man Who Captured Lincoln’s Ghost, Peter Manseau (HMH)
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, Richard Rothstein (Liveright)
Extreme Cities: The Perils and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change, Ashley Dawson (Verso)
Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics, Kim Phillips-Fein (Metropolitan)

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas (Balzer & Bray)
The Sun & Her Flowers, by Rupi Kaur (Andrews McMeel)
Beartown, by Fredrik Backman (Atria)
The Lonely Hearts Hotel, by Heather O’Neill (Riverhead)
Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime, by Ben Blum (Doubleday)
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant (Knopf)
The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of The Last True Hermit, by Michael Finkel (Knopf)
Hunger, by Roxane Gay (Harper)
The Child Finder, by Rene Denfeld (Harper)
Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman (Norton)

Are these the best books of the year? What do YOU think? Let us know in the comments!


Not a Bookstore anymore

Chapters Indigo–the largest bookseller in Canada–is not “just” a bookstore anymore. Once, it called itself a retailer of “books and music”, but if you’ve been to one lately, they’ve changed direction, and it seems to be working.

Now touting itself as a “cultural department store”, sells a lot more than books. When you enter any of the stores, you’ll immediately be faced with entire sections devoted to housewares, clothing, baby items, stationary—all very upscale and unique to the store, but certainly not the original intent of the company, which was devoted to books, with a smaller slant toward music.

And with the success of this transition, Indigo is getting ready to launch a few stores in the US to see if the market there is receptive to the same type of concept store. While print sales dropped to 58.4% of total sales, its general merchandise grew by $11 million last year alone. It might not be taking over, but the concept is certainly grabbing shoppers. While the main focus of the website looks like books, you can browse all of the other items and purchase online as well. With a fun rewards program, the deals are making shoppers happy.

Will it be a success in the US? Only time will tell, but as more and more shoppers flock to online sites, it’s nice to see that a physical store has something to offer to readers and shoppers alike.

Your Pet in a Book

As we come into present-buying season, books are always a favourite for Librarians to recommend. While we haven’t read this book, it sure does seem like a fun idea for those who might have a special pet at home.

I See Me’s fun site allows you to choose your dog’s style, include your dog’s name, and the names of up to four people who love him/her, and they’ll create the book. Sounds fun, right?  Genius. What child–or dog lover in general–wouldn’t want to get a book like this?

Let us know if you’ve purchased one of these books in the comments. We’d love to hear how it turned out!

Halloween Storytime Drop In!

Do you have little ones who are eager to get out tonight? We’re holding a Halloween Storytime Drop In for 2-5 year olds this afternoon at 1:30pm. It’ll be a fun half hour of spooky stories and more–all aimed at the younger crowd.

Dress up, if you like, and drop in. No registration necessary. See you later……..

Vegetarian, anyone?

We have a lot of great vegetarian cookbooks at the library (like the one above), and we seem to be stocking more each day. With more people choosing a plant-based diet, this has become a popular and healthy trend. If you’re interested in cooking more vegetarian, or just want to see what the fuss is all about, drop by the library and check out a few of these great new cookbooks. Even if you only do a vegetarian meal once a week, your family will be better off for it.

But if you’ve done the full switch to a plant-based life, you’ve probably noticed how hard it is to fit this lifestyle into the every day. Eating out, family meals, school lunches, coffee with friends…all of it becomes more difficult to do, and that can be stressful. I found this interesting article on YesandYes that offers up some tips to eating better and staying sane.

Do you have any great tips for eating vegetarian? Any favourite cookbooks or recipes? Feel free to share them here in the comments. We’d love to hear about them!

It Was Only a Matter of Time

Pottery Barn Teen has launched a Harry Potter inspired home decor collection, specifically aimed at the young readers who have devoured the books for the last decade.

Not only can you purchase items based on each house, but there are more “general” Potterish items, such as beds and desks. The collection is actually quite imaginative and very complete, but I would think some of these things look especially inviting in the photos mainly because the architecture of the rooms is similar to the movies, and what you would imagine in the books. It might not give the same effect in white-walled rooms.

But, if you have a Potter fan at home, no doubt that won’t even be a consideration. When you consider that a backpack here sells for $80 US, it would be wise to select carefully. Not all of us have a Gringott’s to help us out.