The Man Who Came Uptown by George Pelecanos

A Washington D.C. located crime novel that also serves as a love letter to the redemptive power of literature and libraries. Pelecanos shows that his focus on scriptwriting for shows like The Wire, Treme and The Deuce have done nothing but sharpen his skills as a novelist. He's entered what I think of as Elmore Leonard territory (one author, among many, he references in this book) where the writing seems so effortless you'd don't notice the craft in it. A true gift for anyone who works with books and literacy.

Adult Fiction Hardcover pr2335224


The Runner: Four Years Living and Running in the Wilderness by Markus Torgeby

A beautiful, haunting memoir that reads like a modern day Scandinavian Walden, written by an athletic and mentally distressed Thoreau. Torgeby recounts growing up in a small village in Northern Sweden, struggling at school and having to care for his invalid mother. Discovered by a running coach, and showing the talent to achieve national and Olympic results, Torgeby is mostly crippled by anxiety over expectations and usually runs faster in training than racing. At the age of 20, he builds a canvas walled yurt (with an open smoke hole) in the wilderness and stays there year round, despite temperatures that sometimes plummet as low as -37. He later spends six months training in Tanzania, all the while continuing to ask himself “why am I doing this?” and allowing space and quiet for the answers to get past the noise of modern existence. This treatise of living simply and the struggle to find one’s self should appeal to reluctant readers and teens, as well as anyone interested in a slower existence.

Adult Non-Fiction Paperback pr2101215

 Vantage Point: A MacNeice Mystery by Scott Thornley

Fourth in the police procedural series set in Hamilton, Ontario, renamed Dundurn here. (Oddly, most street, park and place names are unchanged). Crime Inspector MacNeice is cut from the same cloth as P.D. James’ Adam Dalgliesh; this is a book for those that value setting and character development. The violence is both graphic and extreme, although Thornley has a sort of light touch with it, weaving together PTSD and modern art, set immediately following the last book in the series, Raw Bone.

Adult Fiction Hardcover pr2085092


Milk Street Tuesday Nights by Christopher Kimball

Unlike a slew of cookbooks out there that are more than half filler trying to convince you they hold all the keys to perfect health and flavour, Milk Street Tuesday Nights gets to it quick after a one page intro. Organized by a combination of prep times (Fast, Faster, Fastest) and themes (Pizza Night), this is a practical cookbook with ingredients that you can find in most grocery stores that don't call for fancy gadgets, beyond a food processor. The tips are brief ("don't skip the lime wedges") with the logic outlined ("they provide a much needed hit of acidity and freshness"). Dishes come from a wide range of cuisines around the globe. This book totally restored my faith in cookbooks and is my new favourite by a wide margin. It might not have the cachet of a celebrity chef's art book masquerading as a cookbook, but if you want something for the kitchen rather than the coffee table, look no further. 

Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr2335242

 Cherry by Nico Walker

A highly biographical novel about a former U.S. Army medic turned bank robbing heroin addict. Everyone from the Washington Post’s Ron Charles to President Obama has been talking about this book, taken with its energetic prose and the lack of self-pity behind it.

Spoiler Alert: don’t expect a Hollywood happy ending. There are commenters on the Twitterverse conflicted at best over the damage Walker caused in his real-life bank robbing junkie days. Now, seven years into an eleven year jolt for armed robbery, Walker bought the ticket and is taking the ride.

Adult Fiction Hardcover pr2094861

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Any new work from the author of The Orchid Thief is cause for celebration, but to her latest, a love letter to the Los Angeles Public Library and the institution in general should be enough to cause librarians and book-lovers to lose their minds. This is incredibly rich, fascinating popular history. Librarians will surely note how many of the most pressing challenges they currently face – along with many of the most innovative new lending practices – were in the forefront over 100 years ago. Essential reading for anyone working in or with public libraries today.

Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr2506681

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