Exciting New Non-fiction

Non-fiction is tough to get right. It needs to be factual, on a topic that can draw readers in, and be well written. It’s not for everyone, but for those of us who choose non-fiction over fiction, a really good book will stand out and deserve recommendations to everyone we know.

The CBC has put together a list of 16 non-fiction reads for spring of 2019 that you can’t miss…and it includes poetry, a book about school shootings, health topics, a graphic novel, and true crime.

The books I’ve added on this page are just a few of the suggested list. They include star of TV’s “Star Trek: Voyager” Kate Mulgrew’s look at her Catholic upbringing, love and loss, and family secrets in HOW TO FORGET: A DAUGHTER’S MEMOIR. A graphic novel called GRASS by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim about a sexual slave for the Japanese Imperial Army during the WWII. A book of essays about mental health called THE COLLECTED SCHIZOPHRENIAS by Esme Weijun Wang. And a funny look at dating in today’s world called HOW TO DATE MEN WHEN YOU HATE MEN by comedian and author Blythe Roberson.

To see the whole list, click on this link.

Get your library cards ready…this is going to be a great start to 2019!

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Creativity for the Win!

Have you ever thought about trying your hand at pottery. THE PRACTICAL POTTER by Josie Warshaw has some great step-by-step ideas, with lots of photos to help you develop your skill at making pottery.

Join a class to learn the basics, then spend a little extra time at the wheels creating and developing those skills. You might find that this is just as meditative as yoga, and who knows…maybe it’ll turn into a little side business for you if you get really good.

The New Year is all about expanding our horizons, feeling like anything is possible, and trying new things. Drop into the library to pick up this book or something similar to ignite that creative spark!

What to Read Next…Part 1

December is only a few days away, and while some of us are looking forward to the bustle of the next few weeks, there are those who would rather settle down under a warm blanket by the fire and read all day long. If you’re looking for some great book suggestions to get you through the next month, we’ve got you covered. This list should satisfy readers–and shoppers.

For the adults on your list, we have four suggestions. All of these books are new or will come out in the next week or so, and should be super popular with a variety of readers.

FIRE & BLOOD by George R.R. Martin

No, this is not the next book in the GAME OF THRONES series, and as George R.R. Martin says, “this is not a novel at all”. In fact, he’s calling FIRE & BLOOD an “imaginary history”, taking place 300 years before A GAME OF THRONES. It’s a way for fans to revisit the series until he is ready to release THE WINDS OF WINTER. The first of a two-volume work, FIRE & BLOOD tells the history of the Targaryens in Westeros and the civil war that followed. You can read more from the author about this new non-novel on his website right here.

KINGDOM OF THE BLIND by Louise Penny

If you’re a fan of Three Pines and Inspector Gamache, you’ll be thrilled to know that Canadian author Louise Penny is soon releasing the latest in the series called KINGDOM OF THE BLIND. If you read Penny’s website, you’ll know that she was planning on taking some time off between books due to a number of stressful years, but missed the characters and setting so much, she had to write the book. We were lucky enough to meet the author a few years ago at a library conference, and she’s as delightful and interesting in person as she comes across in her books. If you’re a fan, you should also take a good look at her website. It’s informative, funny, scholarly, and there are even details on Three Pines tours, if you can imagine! We bet that if you have a mystery fan in your life, they’ll be eager to get their hands on this one!

BECOMING by Michelle Obama

We followed her every move when they were in the White House, and many are still keeping up with this intelligent, fashionable, and caring woman as she navigates the post-Washington years. Michelle Obama’s book BECOMING is sure to be a must-read on many book lovers’ lists this season. She’s currently on a book tour in the US, and is taking social media by storm with an honest and revealing look at her roots, her roles as mother, wife, and First Lady, her various public health campaigns, and what she wants to do with her life in this confusing political world now. This will be a popular book at the library, and probably already has a waiting list a mile long. It’s sure to be a fascinating read, and you can follow her journey through its release and book tour as she keeps up with social media on Twitter.

ELEVATION by Stephen King

This is not your typical Stephen King novel, and rightly so, as he released a much longer book earlier this year. ELEVATION looks more like a novella at 146 pages, but readers are already lauding this book as his next “Shawshank Redemption” or “The Green Mile”, with a story that follows a young man facing a mysterious illness, and the town that rallies around him in unlikely circumstances. This will be a must-read for King fans, but might also appeal to those who are new to the author, and those looking for a winning gift for eclectic readers. You can read more on King’s website, including the fact that nine of King’s books were nominated this year for the Goodreads 2018 Reader’s Choice Awards. The people have spoken.

Tomorrow, we’ll reveal our list of the top Teen Reads! Don’t forget to check back!

Podcast and a Book!

It was inevitable…a multi-media version of a book, but not in the way you might think. We’re used to audiobooks, and podcasts, but a new book by YA author Courtney Summers does something a little different.

The first half of SADIE is narrated by the protagonist, in this true-crime YA novel mix. The second half of the book is told through supposed podcast transcripts told from the perspective of a fictional radio journalist.  And now, the transcripts have come to life in a podcast called The Girls, adapted straight from the book. Isn’t this a fun way to get into a book?

You can hear the podcast now free on iTunes, and read the book which just came out on September 4/18 to get the most of out of the story. Let’s hope this becomes a bit of a regular thing!

New Canadian Fiction for Fall

If you love Canadian fiction like we do, you’ll be glad to know that a host of great authors are releasing books in the fall, and the lineup looks great! The CBC Books site recently released a list of the 24 Best Canadian Novels coming this fall, and it includes award winning authors like Patrick DeWitt, Esi Edugyan, Mirian Toews, and Ami McKay. You can see the full list of authors and their books–as well as read a few excerpts–here.

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”, Indigo.ca 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.