Bookville 2024 Lists

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  • 101 Fascinating Canadian Music Facts

    101 Fascinating Canadian Music Facts


    101 true stories to surprise and delight Canadian music fans.

    Did you know that Serena Ryder played the quietest concert ever from the ocean floor during low tide at Fundy National Park? Or that ?I?ll Never Smile Again,? the hit that launched Frank Sinatra?s career, was written by Toronto pianist Ruth Lowe? What about 12-year-old Liberty Silver singing in a reggae band that opened for Bob Marley at Madison Square Garden? Did you know that the title of the Tragically Hip?s 1991 album, Road Apples, is not talking about apples?

    In 101 Fascinating Canadian Music Facts, author and historian David McPherson shares these and 97 other tales gathered from his more than 25 years working in the music industry. Music lovers and trivia buffs alike will enjoy perusing this collection of stories ? collected from coast to coast ? to discover surprising facts and hilarious tales from Canada?s music industry.

  • a beautiful rebellion

    a beautiful rebellion


    These poems speak with a fierce tenderness of many aspects of the poet?s life: a childhood spent on the banks of the Churchill River, the death of a beloved one, the struggle to try to find forgiveness for wrongs done to her people and the weariness of trying to redress those wrongs. a beautiful rebellion reaches one hand back to Louis Riel and one hand ahead to future Métis generations.

    There is a quiet power?riverine, deep, unstoppable?that flows through these words

  • A Brief Relief from Hunger

    A Brief Relief from Hunger


    A brief relief from hunger is a poetry collection about the yearnings of a young man – cocaine, human connection, fast food – and the ravenous world in which he lives. In Vancouver, the speaker binges Big Macs post-rehab while others consume fentanyl-tainted drugs. Growling bodies are everywhere, including on Facebook where people post cruel comments about drug users in the face of British Columbia’s toxic drug supply crisis. At the heart of the collection are poems that respond to these comments from the perspective of the speaker, now sober but still hungry, whose friends are dying from the contaminated drug supply. The speaker knows at least one reliable source of contentment: Grandma’s kitchen, where, at his lowest points, he finds cabbage rolls, acceptance, and a tenderness he wishes to absorb into his masculinity.

  • A Company of Rogues

    A Company of Rogues


    Award recognition for book one of the Cupids trilogy, A Roll of the Bones



    This dramatic conclusion to a trilogy foregrounds the experiences of women settlers in North America as they grapple with notions of homeland, colonization, and sense of belonging. 

    A Company of Rogues completes the Cupids trilogy, moving the action back to the New Found Land seven years after John Guy’s colonists first settled Cupids Cove. After their wanderings across the ocean, Ned and Nancy are united—but will the shores of New Found Land provide a permanent home? Kathryn and Nicholas Guy join the effort to found a second colony at Bristol’s Hope, but their work is threatened by a shadowy enemy who holds a dangerous power over Kathryn. And a newcomer to the colony, the Wampanoag traveller Tisquantum, settles among the English colonists, challenging their beliefs about the New World they have come to settle and the people who call it home.

  • A Dream Wants Waking

    A Dream Wants Waking


    In 2219 CE Luoyang, a city patched together after the Great Catastrophe, the half-human, half-fox spirit Yinhe moves through her most recent incarnation. The city is watched over by No. 1, an artificial intelligence housed in a giant brain created by the scientists of Central Government, which entertains and monitors all the inhabitants of the city, both human and chimerical. But No. 1 is starting to behave erratically and the power of the Spirit Supreme Assembly, with its demand for pure bloodlines, is growing. Yinhe is summoned to the Dream Zone, where the chimerical creatures formed by the scientists are contained to do the most dangerous jobs of the city. There Yinhe is given information that will give her the chance to create great change in the city, to stave off an ancient enemy and, perhaps, to reunite with her soulmate, lost many lives before.

    Weaving a silken web of Chinese myth, speculative fiction and storytelling Lydia Kwa has brilliantly realized a future where questions of sentience, of personhood and of the truth of dreams wrap around a timeless quest for freedom and for love.

  • A Snake in the Raspberry Patch

    A Snake in the Raspberry Patch


    Winner of the Crime Writers of Canada Best Crime Novel Set in Canada 2023-It is the summer of 1971 and Liz takes care of her four sisters while waiting to meet the fifth Murphy child: a boy. And yet, something is not right. Adults tensely whisper in small groups, heads shaking. Her younger sister, Rose seems more annoying, always flashing her camera and jotting notes in her her notepad. The truth is worse than anyone could imagine: an entire family slaughtered in their home nearby, even the children. The small rural community reels in the aftermath. No one seems to know who did it or why. For Liz, these events complicate her already tiring life. Keeping Rose in line already feels like a full time job, and if Rose gets it in her head that she can solve a murder… The killer must be someone just passing through, a random horror. It almost begs the question: where do murderers live?

  • Always Brave, Sometimes Kind

    Always Brave, Sometimes Kind


    Winner of the 2021 Alberta Literary Awards’ George Bugnet Award for Fiction
    Winner of the 2021 Indie Author Project Award for Alberta
    Shortlisted for the 2021 ReLit Award for Fiction
    A Casual Optimist Book Cover of Note

    An exciting debut novel told in connected short stories that captures the diverse and complicated networks of people who stretch our communities—sometimes farther than we know.

    Set in the cities, reserves, and rural reaches of Alberta, Katie Bickell’s debut novel is told in a series of stories that span the years from 1990 to 2016, through cycles of boom and bust in the oil fields, government budget cuts and workers rights policies, the rising opioid crisis, and the intersecting lives of people whose communities sometimes stretch farther than they know.

    We meet a teenage runaway who goes into labour at the West Edmonton Mall, a doctor managing hospital overflow in a time of healthcare cutbacks, a broke dad making extra pay through a phone sex line, a young musician who dreams of fame beyond the reserve, and a dedicated hockey mom grappling with sense of self when she’s no longer needed—or welcome—at the rink.

    Always Brave, Sometimes Kind captures a network of friends, caregivers, in-laws, and near misses, with each character’s life coming into greater focus as we learn more about the people around them. Tracing alliances and betrayals from different perspectives over decades, Bickell writes an ode to home and community that is both warm and gritty, well-defined and utterly complicated.

  • among men

    among men


    1959, Ameliasburgh, Prince Edward County, Canada. On the edge of spring, two men are finishing an A-frame cabin on Roblin Lake. In the coming decade all three of them—Al, Milt, and the A-frame—will become famous and change the face of Canadian poetry. But for now all they have is the stench of sweat, whiskey, and words. From Governor General’s Literary Award–winner David Yee, among men is a poetic and charged portrait of male friendship in uncertain times, and a story of how Canadian literature was changed forever.

  • An Unruly Little Animal

    An Unruly Little Animal


    An Unruly Little Animal unfolds on the most stressful of February days for young worrier Darby Tamm. In the morning, the fifth grader must deliver a pair-presentation with classmate Jennie Phelps-Christianson, and in the afternoon, he must endure a class visit and career-talk on mechanical engineering from his recently estranged father. Additionally, other stressors complicate his day: a) Darby’s original fifth grade teacher Mr. Henderson, who had a car-accident-of-unknown-origins back in November, has died that night before, b) the class’s substitute teacher Monsieur Substitute has been having an affair with his classmate Jennie’s mother Vice Principal Phelps-Christianson, a secret Darby shares with former-friends-turned-dangers Alexander and Them and a secret he must hide from Jennie, and c) throughout the day, Alexander and Them threaten to beat the snot-stuffing-piss-puke out of him and threaten to expose the fact that Darby has stolen from his father’s collection of vintage pornography magazines. The complications confounding Darby intensify throughout his day, culminate in a classroom scuffle, and result in a better understanding of his mom, mechanical engineering, sex, and violence.

    Comic, circadian, and literary, the novel’s structure alternates between chapter and composition sections: single-day chapters that trace the increasing complications of Darby’s day are interspersed with composition sections that reflect and riff on Darby’s worried state of mind. Taken altogether, An Unruly Little Animal offers readers a poignant and humorous coming-of-age story.

  • As the Andes Disappeared

    As the Andes Disappeared


    Caroline is seven years old when her family flees Pinochet’s regime, leaving Chile for Montreal on Christmas Eve, 1986. She fears Santa won’t find them on the plane but wakes to find a new doll at her side, her mother preserving the holiday even amidst persecution and turmoil. This symbol of care is repeated throughout their relocation as her parents work tirelessly to provide the family with a new vision of the future.

    Once in Canada, Caroline accompanies her parents as they clean banks at night. She experiences racist microaggressions at school, discovers Québécois popular culture, and explores her love of reading and writing in French. Slowly, the Andean peaks disappear from Caroline’s drawings and a fracture between her parents’ identity and her own begins to grow.

    This expansive coming-of-age autobiographical novel probes the plurality of identity, elucidating the interwoven complexities of immigrating to a new country. As the Andes Disappeared tenderly reflects the journey of millions and is a beautiful ode to family commitment and the importance of home—however layered that may be.

  • Away from the Dead

    Away from the Dead


    Longlisted, Scotiabank Giller Prize

    Violence is the domain of both the rich and poor. Or so it seems in early 20th-century Ukraine during the tumult of the Russian Revolution.

    As anarchists, Bolsheviks, and the White Army all come and go, each claiming freedom and justice, David Bergen embeds his readers into the lives of characters connected through love, family, and loyalty. Lehn, a bookseller south of Kiev, deserts the army and writes poetry to his love back home; Sablin, an adopted Mennonite-Ukrainian stableboy, runs with the anarchists only to discover that love and the planting of crops is preferable to killing; Inna, a beautiful young peasant, tries to stop a Mennonite landowner from stealing her child. In a world of violence, Sablin, Lehn, and Inna learn to love and hate and love again, hoping, against all odds, that one can turn away from the dead.

    In this beautifully crafted novel, David Bergen takes us to a place where chaos reigns, where answers come from everywhere and nowhere, and where both the beauty and horror of humanity are on full display.

  • Beautiful Beautiful

    Beautiful Beautiful


    Imbued with passion, creativity and insight, Brandon Reid’s debut novel is a wonderfully creative coming-of-age story exploring indigeneity, masculinity and cultural tradition.

    Twelve-year-old Derik Mormin travels with his father and a family friend to Bella Bella for his grandfather’s funeral. Along the way, he uncovers the traumatic history of his ancestors, considers his relationship to masculinity and explores the contrast between rural and urban lifestyles in hopes of reconciling the seemingly unreconcilable, the beauty of each the Indigenous and “Western” way of life—hence beautiful beautiful.

    He travails a storm, meets long-lost relatives, discovers his ancestral homeland; he suffers through catching fish, gains and loses companions, learns to heal trauma. In Beautiful Beautiful we delve into the mind of a gifted boy who struggles to find his role and persona through elusive circumstance, and—

    All right, that’s quite enough third-person pandering; you’re not fooling anyone. Redbird here, Derik’s babysitter, and narrator of this here story. Make sure to smash that like button. We’re here to bring light to an otherwise grave subject, friends. It’s only natural to laugh while crying. I bring story to life. One minute I’m a songbird singing from a bough, the next, I’m rapture. I connect you to the realm of spirit… Well, as best I can, given your mundane allocation.

    Follow us through primordial visions, dance with a cannibal (don’t worry, they’re friendly once tamed) and discover what it takes to be united. Together, we’ll have fun. Together, we are one. So tuck in, and believe what you’ll believe, for who knows what yesterday brings. Amen and all my relations, all my relations and amen.

  • Beryl



    Beryl Potter was a reserved working-class mother of three living a decent life, or so it seemed, when a harmless slip and fall marked the unravelling of everything that she had known about herself and the world around her. Over the course of six years, she endured unimaginable pain. As doctors raced to save her life, her limbs and eyesight were taken from her one by one. In the span of a few years, she lost nearly half her body, her financial security, her home, her husband, and any semblance of a recognizable future.

    A survivor of more than one hundred surgeries, a dangerous opioid addiction, and multiple suicide attempts, Beryl Potter devoted herself to bettering the lives of other people with disabilities and made a tremendous contribution to disability awareness from the 1970s to 1990s. In this unparalleled biography, Dustin Galer demonstrates how Beryl Potter seemed to crack the code of the social system that oppressed her. By wading into the weeds of her complicated life before and after her accident, Galer leaves readers with a complex portrait of a woman who defied and challenged gender and disability norms of her time, paving the way for disability justice.

  • Blue Notes

    Blue Notes


    How much grief is too much? How far should we go to avoid pain? From the author of the international bestselling novel Agatha comes a literary medical thriller about grief, love, science, and societal norms.

    A Danish university research group is finishing its study of a new medicine, Callocain: the world’s first pill for grief. But psychology professor Thorsten Gjeldsted suspects that someone has manipulated the numbers to hide a disturbing side effect. When no one believes him, he teams up with two young students to investigate: Anna, who has recently experienced traumatic grief herself, and Shadi, whose statistical skills might prevent her from living a quiet life in the shadows. Together, these sleuthing academics try to discover what’s really happening before the drug is released to the entire population.

    Blue Notes is brimming with ethical and existential ideas about the search for identity and one’s place in the world, while offering a highly original literary adventure that ultimately underscores the healing power of love.

  • Capturing the Summit

    Capturing the Summit


    In this classic adventure story, the diaries of two men, a scientist and a mountaineer, reveal their distinct struggles in the unforgiving wilds of the northern landscape.

    Four months alone in the remote windswept wilderness, adventurer and ecologist Hamilton Mack Laing spends his days deeply immersed in observing the natural world of the Chitina River valley. He endures dust storms, befriends a family of ravens and fearlessly tracks elusive bears.

    At the same time, Fred Lambart documents the gruelling expedition to the summit of Mount Logan, the highest peak in Canada. In their primitive wool gloves and canvas trousers, the mountaineers soldier on across the frozen landscape despite escalating tempers and rivalries.

    Written nearly 100 years ago, Laing and Lambart’s diaries give the reader a visceral, tactile and cinematic experience of the north in this remarkable tale highlighted with archival photos.

  • Cat Looked Back, The

    Cat Looked Back, The


    Housekeeper Prudence Crick expects a peaceful month by the river housesitting at The Maples, her employer Gerry Coneybear’s beautiful old home. (And cat-sitting Gerry’s twenty cats, too!) But instead of peace she gets trouble. Ghosts of the past haunt her, including her murdered bank robber ex-husband. And she’s bedevilled by the present. When two houses are burned to the ground in suspicious circumstances, she’s drawn to the scene of the crime and into the lives of its victims, including one uncatchable cat. But more: she’s reached a crossroads. Should she change jobs? Buy a new home? Get married? And what should she bake for that tea party she’s hosting?

    Louise Carson’s latest cozy mystery is full of delectable desserts, fast friendships, and, of course, an abundance of cats.