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The National Book Critics Circle @HBGCanada Finalists! #book #awards

The National Book Critics Circle has announced the finalists for 2018 awards, including the following Little, Brown titles: 

Biography

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Mark Lamster’s THE MAN IN THE GLASS HOUSE

(LB HC, 11/6/18, 9780316126434)

 

Fiction

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Luis Alberto Urrea’s THE HOUSE OF BROKEN ANGELS

(LB HC, 3/6/18, 9780316154888)

 

Autobiography

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Richard Beard’s THE DAY THAT WENT MISSING

(LB HC, 11/6/18, 9780316445382)

 

The finalists’ reading will take place on the evening of Wednesday, March 13th at the New School (66 West 12th Street, New York). The awards ceremony and reception is on Thursday, March 14th at Tishman Auditorium( 63 5th Avenue).

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Watch the movie trailer for WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE

Watch the first official trailer for the highly anticipated film adaptation of

Maria Semple’s WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE.  

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The film, directed by Richard Linklater (Boyhood) starring Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Kristen Wiig, Emma Nelson, James Urbaniak, Judy Greer, Troian Bellisario, Zoe Chao & Laurence Fishburne, will now open in theaters August 9, 2019!

COMING SOON. Where'd You Go, Bernadette is based on the runaway bestseller about Bernadette Fox, a Seattle woman who had it all - a loving husband and a brilliant daughter. When she unexpectedly disappears, her family sets off on an exciting adventure to solve the mystery of where she might have gone.

TP edition: 9780316204262

TP MTI edition: 9780316415866

MM MTI edition: 9780316415859

Little, Brown’s movie tie-in editions go on sale January 29, 2019.

Of course, the iconic trade paperback edition is available now!

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Epic New Fantasy from A.G. Howard! @abramsbooks #fantasybooks

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After Lyra—a princess incapable of speech or sound—is cast out of her kingdom of daylight by her wicked aunt, a witch saves her life, steals her memories, and raises her in an enchanted forest . . . disguised as a boy known only as Stain. Meanwhile, in Lyra’s rival kingdom, the prince of thorns and night is dying, and the only way for him to break his curse is to wed the princess of daylight—for she is his true equal. As Lyra finds her way back to her identity, an imposter princess prepares to steal her betrothed prince and her crown. To win back her kingdom, save the prince, and make peace with the land of the night, Lyra must be loud enough to be heard without a voice, and strong enough to pass a series of tests—ultimately proving she’s everything a traditional princess is not.

PRAISE

A decadent fantasy anchored in childhood delights with vibrantly detailed writing and brilliantly theatrical subplots.
— Kirkus Reviews
Howard’s latest stand-alone fantasy is a sensuous reimagining set in a distinctly Gothic world; perfect for fans of the author and readers seeking darker retellings.
— School Library Journal
An emotionally complex tale of fate, inner beauty, and found family that illustrates the strength of love born from friendship.
— Publishers Weekly

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COVER REVEAL: Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling @sterlingbooks #kids #books

The sequel to the monster hit Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus will be released FALL 2019!

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“High School. Two words that struck fear into the heart of every arm-less middle schooler I knew. Which was me. And like two people online.”

The sequel to the critically acclaimed Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus follows Aven Green as she confronts yet another challenge: high school.

Just as Aven starts to feel comfortable in Stagecoach Pass, with her friends and schoolmates accustomed to her lack of “armage,” everything changes once again. She’s about to begin high school . . . with 2,300 new kids to stare at her. And no matter how much Aven tries to play it cool, nothing prepares her for the reality. In a year filled with confusion, humiliation, fears, loss, and just maybe love, can Aven manage to stay true to herself?

PRAISE for Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

[Aven] is a perky, hilarious, and inspiring protagonist whose attitude and humor will linger even after the last page has turned. The tale of Stagecoach Pass is just as compelling as the story of Aven, and the setting, like the many colorful characters who people this novel, is so vivid and quirky that it’s practically cinematic.
— School Library Journal (starred review)
. . . a tale that is not about having differences, but accepting them in oneself and others.
— Booklist (starred review)
Dusti Bowling’s story of a regular, hugely likable kid who deals with her unusual challenges with grace and humor is pitch-perfect.
— Shelf Awareness (starred review)
Connor’s Tourette’s support-group meetings and Aven’s witty, increasingly honest discussions of the pros and cons of ‘lack of armage’ give the book excellent educational potential. . . . its portrayal of characters with rarely depicted disabilities is informative, funny, and supportive.
— Kirkus Review
Bowling’s sensitive and funny novel . . . demonstrates how negotiating others’ discomfort can be one of the most challenging aspects of having a physical difference and how friendship can mitigate that discomfort. . . . [an] openhearted, empathic book.
— Publishers Weekly

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Looking no-fuss vegan recipes? Check out these Chipotle Black Bean and Plantain Quesadillas from the 30-Minute Vegan Dinners.

Refried black beans and fried plantains elevate this easy meal from traditional snack food to a hearty main course. You won’t miss the cheese but you WILL wonder where this chipotle aioli has been all your life! Pair the quesadillas with salad tossed in pico de gallo for a fresh, easy side dish. Save the chipotle aioli to spice up your meals throughout the week. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

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Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Yield: 4 servings, plus leftover chipotle aioli

Chipotle Aioli

Heaping 1/3 cup of pre-soaked cashews
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, plus 2 tbsp of the sauce
1 medium tomato
1 tbsp lime juice
1 garlic clove
Slightly less than ½ tsp of sea salt

3 very ripe spotted plantains
2 tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp sea salt, more to taste
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 cup vegetarian refried black beans
4 large whole-wheat tortillas

For Serving

Pico de gallo
Plain vegan yogurt
Side salad

1.            Make the aioli. Add the cashews, peppers and sauce, tomato, lime juice, garlic and salt it to a high
speed blender. Blend for 2 to 3 minutes until smooth.

2.            Put a large pan over medium heat.

3.            Peel the plantains and slice them into 1-inch (2.5-cm) rounds. Add the oil to the pan. Wait 30
seconds, then add the plantains. Sprinkle the plantains with ½teaspoon of sea salt and agave. Fry
to a deep golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.

4.            Line a plate with paper towels. Transfer the fried plantains to the paper towels, wipe off the excess
oil, then discard the paper towels. Use the bottom of a large plate to smash the plantains to half the
original thickness. Wipe the pan, then place it back over medium heat.

5.            Spread half the refried beans on one large tortilla. Taste the beans and add a pinch of salt if
needed. Put half of the fried plantains over the beans. Spread 2 large spoonfuls of aioli on a
second tortilla and place it on top of the plantains.

6.            Fry the quesadillas until slightly crisp, about 2 minutes on each side. Slice them in half. Serve with
pico de gallo, yogurt, and a side salad and dig in!

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This recipe excerpt is from 30-Minute Vegan Dinners: 75 Fast Plant-Based Meals You’re Going to Crave by Megan Sadd (Page Street Publishing, Feb 2019)

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Read an Excerpt of MAID, a moving memoir about a single-mother's struggle to provide for her family

What this book does well is illuminate the struggles of poverty and single-motherhood, the unrelenting frustration of having no safety net, the ways in which our society is systemically designed to keep impoverished people mired in poverty, the indignity of poverty by way of unmovable bureaucracy, and people’s lousy attitudes toward poor people... Land’s prose is vivid and engaging... [A] tightly-focused, well-written memoir... an incredibly worthwhile read.
— Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist and Hunger: A Memoir
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Evicted meets Nickel and Dimed in Stephanie Land's memoir about working as a maid, a beautiful and gritty exploration of poverty in America. Includes a foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich.

At 28, Stephanie Land's plans of breaking free from the roots of her hometown in the Pacific Northwest to chase her dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer, were cut short when a summer fling turned into an unexpected pregnancy. She turned to housekeeping to make ends meet, and with a tenacious grip on her dream to provide her daughter the very best life possible, Stephanie worked days and took classes online to earn a college degree, and began to write relentlessly.

She wrote the true stories that weren't being told: the stories of overworked and underpaid Americans. Of living on food stamps and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) coupons to eat. Of the government programs that provided her housing, but that doubled as halfway houses. The aloof government employees who called her lucky for receiving assistance while she didn't feel lucky at all. She wrote to remember the fight, to eventually cut through the deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor.

Maid explores the underbelly of upper-middle class America and the reality of what it's like to be in service to them. "I'd become a nameless ghost," Stephanie writes about her relationship with her clients, many of whom do not know her from any other cleaner, but who she learns plenty about. As she begins to discover more about her clients' lives-their sadness and love, too-she begins to find hope in her own path.

Her compassionate, unflinching writing as a journalist gives voice to the "servant" worker, and those pursuing the American Dream from below the poverty line. Maid is Stephanie's story, but it's not her alone. It is an inspiring testament to the strength, determination, and ultimate triumph of the human spirit

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HELLO LIGHTHOUSE by Sophie Blackall Wins Caldecott Medal! @HBGCanada #caldecottmedal #winner

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A lavish new picture book from Caldecott-winner Sophie Blackall that will transport readers to the seaside in timeless, nautical splendor!

Watch the days and seasons pass as the wind blows, the fog rolls in, and icebergs drift by. Outside, there is water all around. Inside, the daily life of a lighthouse keeper and his family unfolds as the keeper boils water for tea, lights the lamp’s wick, and writes every detail in his logbook.

Step back in time and through the door of this iconic lighthouse into a cozy dollhouse-like interior with the extraordinary award-winning artist Sophie Blackall.

Find out more: hachettebookgroup.com!

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@ORBITBOOKS NEWS: Fonda Lee’s JADE CITY wins the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel! #fantasy #books #awardwinner

HACHETTE BOOK GROUP HAS BIG NEWS!

Fonda Lee’s JADE CITY wins the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel!

(Orbit TP, OSD: 6/6/18, 9780316440882)

(Orbit TP, OSD: 6/6/18, 9780316440882)

Fonda gave a wonderful acceptance speech at the World Fantasy Convention, held November 1-4.

(Read an excerpt, here)

This is the second year in a row that Orbit has won the World Fantasy Award (following The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North in 2017). It is also the first time that a single publisher has won all three of the major international SF/F awards in the same year (following N. K. Jemisin’s wins for the Hugo and Nebula awards)

Congratulations to Hachette Book Group, Fonda Lee & Orbit Books!!!

ABOUT

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In this epic saga of magic and kungfu, four siblings battle rival clans for honor and power in an Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis.

* Nebula Award for Best Novel, nominee

* Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel, finalist

* World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, WINNER

Jade is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. It has been mined, traded, stolen, and killed for — and for centuries, honorable Green Bone warriors like the Kaul family have used it to enhance their magical abilities and defend the island from foreign invasion.

Now, the war is over and a new generation of Kauls vies for control of Kekon’s bustling capital city. They care about nothing but protecting their own, cornering the jade market, and defending the districts under their protection. Ancient tradition has little place in this rapidly changing nation.

When a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone — even foreigners — wield jade, the simmering tension between the Kauls and the rival Ayt family erupts into open violence. The outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones — from their grandest patriarch to the lowliest motorcycle runner on the streets — and of Kekon itself.

Jade City is the first novel in an epic trilogy about family, honor, and those who live and die by the ancient laws of blood and jade.

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Beautiful Book Trailers from @Phaidon #fall #books

Lucian Freud
The only comprehensive retrospective on one of the great painters of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries

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SPECIFICATIONS:

Format: 2-volume Set
Size: 353 x 273 mm (13 7/8 x 10 3/4 in)
Pages: 616 pp
Illustrations: 486 illustrations
ISBN: 9780714875262

With more than 480 illustrations, this is the most comprehensive publication to date on one of the greatest painters of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, Lucian Freud.

Lucian Freud was one of the most significant artists of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, and Phaidon is honoured to publish the most complete retrospective of his career to date.

This sumptuous, definitive set is the result of an extraordinary collaboration between David Dawson – Director of the Lucian Freud Archive and for two decades Freud’s assistant, model, and friend – author Martin Gayford, and editor Mark Holborn.

Their collaboration has resulted in a book that goes beyond the work to reveal insights into the man himself. Gayford describes Freud’s determination always to tell the truth about what he was recording in paint. He believed in a found beauty, not one that was imagined by an artist and then imposed on his subject. He painted what he saw, in exquisite detail, and he found it beautiful.

With more than 480 illustrations, Phaidon celebrates that beauty – evoked in portraits of Freud’s friends and family, his lovers, his neighbours, and others whose looks he liked, from his bookmaker to a bank robber.

This is both a vital contribution to art scholarship and a gorgeous addition to the bookshelves of art lovers around the world.

With more than 480 illustrations, this is the most comprehensive publication to date on one of the greatest painters of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, Lucian Freud. See more: https://bit.ly/2x4kPkr

Kate by Mario Sorrenti
Intimate, never-before-published photographs taken just before Kate Moss's rise to fame, in one elegant volume

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SPECIFICATIONS:

Format: Hardback
Size: 308 x 292 mm (12 1/8 x 11 1/2 in)
Pages: 120 pp
Illustrations: 50 illustrations
ISBN: 9780714876801

This gorgeously produced book features intimate, never-before-published portraits of a young and undiscovered Kate Moss, taken in the early 1990s by her then-boyfriend, Italian photographer Mario Sorrenti. Seen by Calvin Klein, the photographs gave life to the famous Obsession campaign, which launched Moss to international superstardom.

Sumptuously reproduced in tritone and presented in a cloth-covered clamshell box, Kate is a stunning photographic portfolio of one of contemporary culture's most iconic figures. It includes tipped-on images on the book and clamshell box's covers, plus an introductory essay by Sorrenti, which puts the work in its uniquely personal context.

This book, which celebrates the dawn of two legendary careers, and the start of the highly influential aesthetic of 1990s fashion photography, is a must-have for Kate Moss's fans, for fashion devotees, and for lovers of traditional portraiture and fashion photography.

This gorgeously produced book features never-before-published portraits of a young and undiscovered Kate Moss, taken in the early 1990s by her then-boyfriend, Italian photographer Mario Sorrenti. See more: https://bit.ly/2MizRc1

Atlas of Brutalist Architecture
Big. Bold. Brutal. 850 awe-inspiring buildings in one beautiful large-format volume

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SPECIFICATIONS:

Format: Hardback
Size: 340 x 240 mm (13 3/8 x 9 1/2 in)
Pages: 560 pp
Illustrations: 1000 illustrations
ISBN: 9780714875668

This is the only book to thoroughly document the world's finest examples of Brutalist architecture. More than 850 buildings - existing and demolished, classic and contemporary - are organized geographically into nine continental regions.

878 Buildings, 798 Architects, 102 Countries, 9 World Regions, 1 Style BRUTALISM

Presented in an oversized format with a specially bound case with three-dimensional finishes, 1000 beautiful duotone photographs throughout bring the graphic strength, emotional power, and compelling architectural presence of Brutalism to life.

From 20th century masters to contemporary architects, much-loved masterpieces in the UK and USA sit alongside lesser-known examples in Europe, Asia, Australia, and beyond - 102 countries in all.

Twentieth-century masters included in the book: Marcel Breuer, Lina Bo Bardi, Le Corbusier, Carlo Scarpa, Ernö Goldfinger, Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn, Oscar Niemeyer, and Paul Rudolph.

Contemporary architects featured include Peter Zumthor, Alvaro Siza, Coop Himmelb(l)au, David Chipperfield, Diller and Scofidio, Herzog & de Meuron, Jean Nouvel, SANAA, OMA, Renzo Piano, Tadao Ando, and Zaha Hadid.

From the publisher of This Brutal World.

Big. Bold. Brutal. The only book to thoroughly document the world's finest examples of Brutalist architecture. More than 850 buildings - existing and demolished, classic and contemporary - are organized geographically into nine continental regions. See more: https://bit.ly/2NAmyIv

Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue
A chronicle of Grace Coddington's formative years at Vogue, now available as a jacketed paperback

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SPECIFICATIONS:

Format: Paperback
Size: 202 x 262 mm (8 x 10 5/8 in)
Pages: 408 pp
Illustrations: 310 illustrations
ISBN: 9780714878003

Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue showcases some of the most memorable photographs published in British and American Vogue from 1972 to 2002, stories created by the iconic fashion editor Grace Coddington. Both monograph and memoir, the book shows how Coddington transformed static studio portraiture into modern vivid tableaux and turned location shoots into cinematic narratives.

Grace's commentary gives behind-the-scenes insight into many famous images and fashion personalities, from the iconic shoot of a bikinied Naomi Campbell in Irving Penn's studio to Steven Meisel's boundary-pushing grunge aesthetic in nineties Vogue. This volume features photography by Irving Penn, Helmut Newton, Cecil Beaton, Guy Bourdin, Mario Testino, Steven Meisel, Annie Leibovitz, Steven Klein, Peter Lindbergh, among others.

First published in 2002 and reissued by Phaidon in 2015 to great success, this paperback, midi-sized edition includes forewords by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld and American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue showcases some of the most memorable photographs published in British and American Vogue from 1972 to 2002, stories created by the iconic fashion editor Grace Coddington. See more: https://bit.ly/2NwDdMZ

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After going viral, and attracting international press attention, Aydin Büyüktas's Mind-Bending Images are now available in a gorgeous coffee-table book!

Aydin Büyüktas’ photographs are a bit like the first plunge on a rollercoaster. The scene plummets away from you, leaving you disoriented yet giddy and just a bit unsettled as you try to make sense of just what you’re seeing.
— WIRED
Lannoo Publishers | 9789401454407

Lannoo Publishers | 9789401454407

ABOUT THE BOOK

An American football pitch as a skateboard ramp and the Aya Sofia as a rollercoaster: the images by Turkish photographer Aydin Büyüktas are literally mind-bending. After going viral, they are now finally also available in book format, including entirely new images and a making-of, which shows the photographer's working methods with drone technology. His brainchild Flatland is named after Edwin Abbott Abbott's satire book about a two-dimensional world populated by geometric figures, from which certain parts have been included in this book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aydin Büyüktas is a photographer and visual artist. His Flatland series was well-received by international press and was featured by Wired, The Times and many others.

Aydin Büyüktas bends brains with dizzyingly distorted views of...landscapes.
— Designboom

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This Year's Biggest Literary Awards Winner! #GGAwardWinner #GillerPrize #PulitzerPrize #RogersTrust

GOVERNOR GENERAL’S LITERARY AWARD WINNERS

Sarah Henstra's The Red Word is the 2018 GGBooks winner for Fiction (English)

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THE RED WORD: A NOVEL by Sarah Henstra

The battle of the sexes goes to college in this nervy debut adult novel by a powerful new voice

A smart, dark, and take-no-prisoners look at rape culture and the extremes to which ideology can go The Red Word is a campus novel like no other. As her sophomore year begins, Karen enters into the back-to-school revelry — particularly at Gamma Beta Chi. When she wakes up one morning on the lawn of Raghurst, a house of radical feminists, she gets a crash course in the state of feminist activism on campus. The frat known as GBC is notorious, she learns, nicknamed “Gang Bang Central” and a prominent contributor to a list of rapists compiled by female students. Despite continuing to party there and dating one of the brothers, Karen is equally seduced by the intellectual stimulation and indomitable spirit of the Raghurst women, who surprise her by wanting her as a housemate and recruiting her into the upper-level class of a charismatic feminist mythology scholar they all adore. As Karen finds herself caught between two increasingly polarized camps, ringleader housemate Dyann believes she has hit on the perfect way to expose and bring down the fraternity as a symbol of rape culture — but the war between the houses will exact a terrible price.

The Red Word captures beautifully the feverish binarism of campus politics and the headlong rush of youth toward new friends, lovers, and life-altering ideas. With strains of Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot, Alison Lurie’s Truth and Consequences, and Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons, Sarah Henstra’s debut adult novel arrives on the wings of furies.

Groundbreaking and provocative, this is an astonishing evisceration of the clichés of sexual politics as they exist not only on our college campuses, but also within broader present-day society. Alternately heartbreaking, funny, and critical, no one gets off easily. The Red Word plumbs the depths of literature, mythology, history, philosophy, and a host of contemporary issues—an utterly effing good read.
— Peer assessment committee: Andrea MacPherson, Shani Mootoo, Craig Francis Power

Jordan Tannahill's Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom is the 2018 GGBooks winner for Drama (English).

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Winner of the Toronto Theatre Critics Award for Best New Canadian Play of 2016

Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom presents wildly apocryphal retellings of two events—one historic, one mythic—that reconsider the official record through decidedly queer and feminist lenses.

Painter Sandro Botticelli is an irrepressible libertine, renowned for his weekend-long orgies as much as he is for his great masterpieces of the early Renaissance. But things get complicated when Lorenzo de’ Medici commissions Botticelli to paint a portrait of his wife, Clarice. What emerges is the famed The Birth of Venus and a love triangle involving Botticelli’s young assistant Leonardo that risks setting their world alight. For while Florence of 1497 is a liberal city, civil unrest is stoked by the charismatic friar Girolamo Savonarola who begins calling for sodomites to be burned at the pyre.

In the Bible she is unnamed, referred to simply as “Lot’s wife.” In Sunday in Sodom, Edith recounts how her husband welcomed two American soldiers into their house, the fury this sparked in their village, and the chain of events that led to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. But most importantly, Edith sets the record straight as to why, after being told not to, she looked back upon the destruction of her hometown and turned into a pillar of salt.

Jordan Tannahill’s two-play volume explores the fragility of social consensus in a world made uneasy by the forces of social division. Both plays are poetic, irreverent and funny, offering the pleasure of entertainment while displaying masterful literary ability. Tannahill possesses a powerful artistic voice that reflects where we come from, who we are and who we may become.
— Peer assessment committee: Rosa Laborde, Ian Ross, Kent Stetson, C.M.

Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott's Descent into Night is the 2018 GGBooks winner for Translation (English).

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DESCENT INTO NIGHT by Edem Awumey

Translated by Phyllis Aronoff, Howard Scott

With a nod to Samuel Beckett and Bohumil Hrabal, a young dramatist from a West African nation describes a student protest against a brutal oligarchy and its crushing aftermath. While distributing leaflets with provocative quotations from Beckett, Ito Baraka is taken to a camp where torture, starvation, beatings, and rape are normal. Forced to inform on his friends, whose fates he now fears, and released a broken man, he escapes to Quebec. His one goal is to tell the story of the protest and pay homage to Koli Lem, a teacher, cellmate, and lover of books, who was blinded by being forced to look at the sun—and is surely a symbol of the nation. Edem Awumey gives us a darkly moving and terrifying novel about fear and play, repression and protest, and the indomitable nature of creativity.

Descent into Night, translated by Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott, is a beautifully assured rendering of a text offering many translation challenges. The translators agilely follow the text as it shifts between an ailing Quebec writer’s regrets about his life, and his long-ago involvement in a failed West African revolution, which haunts him into the present. This translation skillfully captures the lyricism of the French text.
— Peer assessment committee: Dawn M. Cornelio, Peter Feldstein, Kathryn Gabinet-Kroo

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER FOR FICTION

 
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Less, by Andrew Sean Greer (Lee Boudreaux Books/Little, Brown and Company)

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A generous book, musical in its prose and expansive in its structure and range, about growing older and the essential nature of love.

Who says you can’t run away from your problems? You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can’t say yes–it would be too awkward–and you can’t say no–it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.

QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town?

ANSWER: You accept them all.

What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last.

Because, despite all these mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes, "Less" is, above all, a love story.

A scintillating satire of the American abroad, a rumination on time and the human heart, a bittersweet romance of chances lost, by an author The New York Times has hailed as "inspired, lyrical," "elegiac," "ingenious," as well as "too sappy by half," Less shows a writer at the peak of his talents raising the curtain on our shared human comedy.

NOTEWORTHY NOMINATIONS

THE ROGERS WRITERS' TRUST FICTION PRIZE SHORTLIST

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LAND MAMMALS AND SEA CREATURES: A NOVEL by Jen Neale

A startling, moving magic realist debut

Almost immediately upon Julie Bird's return to the small port town where she was raised, everyday life is turned upside down. Julie's Gulf War vet father, Marty, has been on the losing side of a battle with PTSD for too long. A day of boating takes a dramatic turn when a majestic blue whale beaches itself and dies. A blond stranger sets up camp oceanside: she's an agitator, musician-impersonator, and armchair philosopher named Jennie Lee Lewis - and Julie discovers she's connected to her father's mysterious trip to New Mexico 25 years earlier. As the blue whale decays on the beach, more wildlife turns up dead - apparently by suicide - echoing Marty's deepest desire. But Julie isn't ready for a world without her father.

A stunning exploration of love and grief, Land Mammals and Sea Creatures is magic realism on the seaside, a novel about living life to the fullest and coming to your own terms with its end.

 

2018 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE SHORTLIST

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SONGS FOR THE COLD OF HEART by Eric Dupont

Translated by Peter McCambridge

Nuns that appear out of thin air, a dinner party at the Goebbels’, Quebec’s very own Margaret Thatcher, a grandma that just won’t die (not until the archangel comes back)...Songs For The Cold Of Heart is a yarn to rival the best of them, a big fat whopper of a tall tale that bounces around from provincial Rivière-du-Loup in 1919 to Nagasaki, 1990s Berlin, Rome, and beyond. This is the novel of a century—long and glorious, stuffed full of parallels, repeating motifs, and unforgettable characters—with the passion and plotting of a modern-day Tosca.

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THE DRESS AND THE GIRL #picturebooks #starredreviews

“Andros’s words are well matched with Morstad’s evocative artwork, conjuring a gentle, lyrical version of what used to be the dominant American immigration story.”
— The New York Times
Abrams Books | 9781419731617

Abrams Books | 9781419731617

ABOUT THE BOOK

A little girl and her favorite dress dream of an extraordinary life. They enjoy simple pleasures together on a beautiful Greek island. They watch the sunset, do chores, and pick wildflowers on the way home. One day, the dress and the girl must leave the island and immigrate to the United States. Upon arrival, the girl is separated from the trunk carrying her favorite dress, and she fears her dress is lost forever. Many years later, the girl—now all grown up—spots the dress in a thrift store window. As the two are finally reunited, the memories of their times together come flooding back. While the girl can no longer wear the dress, it’s now perfect for her own daughter—and the new journey of a girl and her dress begins. Featuring lush illustrations, The Dress and the Girl is a stunning picture book about memory and the power of the items we hold most dear.

Morstad’s (House of Dreams, 2018, etc.) clean illustrations expertly evoke the era through a nostalgic color palette and the (unnamed) locations through carefully chosen details. The opening and closing spreads echo each other, reinforcing the theme of connection. Immigrant stories are perennially relevant, and the rarely seen 20th-century Greek setting is refreshing.
— Kirkus Reviews
In perfect juxtaposition, the spare, lyrical text is completed by images that capture time, place, and essence. There is a quiet wisdom to this book that asks us to look around and take note and allow time to work its magic.
— Booklist
Together, the carefully crafted text and gorgeous illustrations pair to tell a truly extraordinary tale. A delightful picture book with an important story to be told. Recommended for sharing again and again. **STARRED REVIEW**
— School Library Journal
The lyrical text and evocative art will make readers linger.
— Publishers Weekly

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Camille Andros has made her home in Israel, Utah, Arizona, California, Ohio, Nevada, and, now, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She has her BA in health science, is an EMT, and danced ballet for fourteen years. Julie Morstad is an award-winning artist living with her family in Vancouver. She is the illustrator of many books for children, including Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova, When Green Becomes Tomatoes, and This Is Sadie.

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Steve the Horse Returns!

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TEAM STEVE

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Written by Kelly Collier

Illustrated by Kelly Collier

Series: Steve the Horse

It's time for the annual Race-a-thon, and Steve the horse is excited! He knows he'll win. He wins every year! And no wonder, Steve's body is built for running. He's got a big chest for deep breaths, powerful hindquarters to propel him forward and the longest legs in the forest. But when he goes to sign up, Steve finds out the rules have changed, and his confidence starts to waver. Because this year, the Race-a-thon is going to be a relay race, which means all runners must compete in teams. And Steve's on a team with the slowest runners in the forest: Turtle, Duck and Snail! Is it possible that Steve could lose the Race-a-thon for the first time ever?

This delightful picture book story from Kelly Collier about the lovable --- if sometimes self-absorbed --- horse named Steve is laugh-out-loud funny. Every page features humorous and cleverly designed interplay between the illustrations and commentary, as well a few definitions (such as powerful hindquarters: “That means strong bum muscles”) that provide vocabulary enrichment. The humor and the edge-of-the-seat description of the race make this a fantastic read-aloud pick. It also works as a great discussion starter on the topic of sportsmanship and on the character education skill of teamwork.

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A HORSE NAMED STEVE

Written by Kelly Collier

Illustrated by Kelly Collier

Series: Steve the Horse

“Steve is a fine horse,” begins Kelly Collier's clever picture book. “But he thinks he could be finer. He wants to be EXCEPTIONAL.” When Steve finds a beautiful gold horn lying on the ground in the forest, he realizes he has found his path to the exceptional! He immediately ties the horn to the top of his head and prances off to show his friends. Not everyone is impressed, but most of his friends agree --- Steve and his horn are indeed exceptional. In fact, many of his friends are so inspired, they decide to tie items to the tops of their heads as well. So when Steve discovers his horn has suddenly gone missing, he's devastated and frantically searches everywhere to find it. He won't be exceptional without his horn! Or will he?

This is a laugh-out-loud tale of an endearingly self-absorbed horse, illustrated in lively black-and-white artwork. Throughout the story, Collier interweaves humorous commentary and some definitions (such as for devastated: “That means really, really bummed.”). The tone of the book allows children to feel like they're in on the joke while the main character isn't, adding to the amusement. Besides its fun appeal as a read-aloud, this book would be a terrific choice to launch discussions on self-esteem, particularly about the difference between what people think will make them special and what actually does make them special. It also works for lessons on proper social skills and how to treat your friends.

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Make this Decadent Trifle from the Home Made Christmas Cookbook! (@abramsbooks)

TRlFLE WITH SALTY CARAMEL, CHEESECAKE CREAM & CHEWY BROWNIES

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Try this decadent dessert from the Home Made Christmas cookbook by Yvette van Boven (Abrams Books, $44 CAD, 9781419732386)

Serves 6

FOR THE SALTY CARAMEL SAUCE

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 g sugar)

7 tablespoons (100 g) butter, cubed

½ cup (125 ml) heavy cream

½ teaspoon sea salt

FOR THE BROWNIES

9 tablespoons (125 g) butter, cubed

21 ounces (600 g) dark chocolate (70% cacao or more), in chunks

1 1/3 cups (300 g) packed dark brown sugar

8 eggs

4 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (400 g) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

FOR THE CHEESECAKE CREAM

1 pound (500 g) cream cheese, at room temperature

Seeds of 2 vanilla beans

8 ounces (250 g) mascarpone

1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream

FOR THE CHOCOLATE SAUCE

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (150 ml) heavy cream

7 ounces (200 g) dark chocolate (70 % cacao or more), in chunks

Optional: ¼ cup (60 ml) coffee liqueur or cognac

FOR DECORATING

Nuts, cocoa powder, sparklers, and so on

Make the salty caramel sauce: In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine the sugar and¼ cup (60 ml) water. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally with a long-handled wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, until the sugar syrup is a medium amber color. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, one piece at a time. Carefully add the cream (it will bubble up and sputter) and salt. Return to low heat and cook, stirring, until smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Make the brownies: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease an 8 by 12-in ch (20 by 30-cm) or similar-volume baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Heat the butter, chocolate, and brown sugar in a double boiler until melted and combined. Set aside to cool.

Beat the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture. In a sep­arate bowl, using a whisk, mix the flour and salt, then combine it with the chocolate mixture with a spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with damp crumbs attached (but not wet batter). They should be somewhat soft and fudgy, not too dry! Let cool on a rack.

Make the cheesecake cream: Using a food processor or a hand mixer, combine the cream cheese and the vanilla seeds until smooth and frothy. With the food processor or mixer running, add ¾ cup(200 g) of the cooled caramel sauce and then the mascarpone and cream. Process or beat until soft peaks form. Set aside.

Make the chocolate sauce: Heat the cream over low heat to a near boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, and if you want a splash of coffee liqueur. Allow the warmth of the cream to melt the chocolate; after a couple of minutes, stir to make a smooth sauce.

Assemble the trifle: Starting with the brownie, break it into pieces and form a bottom layer in a large trifle bowl. Drizzle with some of the caramel sauce and spoon some cheesecake cream on top, then drizzle with choco­late sauce. Continue layering until you've used up everything. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Decorate according to preference: with nuts, cocoa powder, or sparklers. I leave this final touch all up to you.

Home Made Christmas by Yvette van Boven, © Abrams Books, 2018.

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