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On Classic 107

Tune in to Morning Light with Michael Wolch on Classic 107 FM the first Friday of every month at 8:30 am and catch McNally Robinson co-owner Chris Hall as he shares his passion for good books of all kinds.

Here are Chris' recent Classic 107 selections.

As We Have Always Done

- Hardcover

by Leanne Betas Simpson - $34.95 - Add to Cart

Across North America, Indigenous acts of resistance have in recent years opposed the removal of federal protections for forests and waterways in Indigenous lands, halted the expansion of tar sands extraction and the pipeline construction at Standing Rock, and demanded justice for murdered and missing Indigenous women. In As We Have Always Done, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson locates Indigenous political resurgence as a practice rooted in uniquely Indigenous theorizing, writing, organizing, and thinking.Indigenous resistance is a radical rejection of contemporary colonialism focused around the refusal of the dispossession of both Indigenous bodies and land. Simpson makes clear that its goal can no longer be cultural resurgence as a mechanism for inclusion in a multicultural mosaic. Instead, she calls for unapologetic, place-based Indigenous alternatives to the destructive logics of the settler colonial state, including heteropatriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalist exploitation.

At the Strangers' Gate

- Hardcover

by Adam Gopnik - $34.00 - Add to Cart

A vivid memoir that captures the energy, ambition and romance of New York in the 1980s from the beloved New Yorker Canadian writer, to stand alongside his bestselling Paris to the Moon and Through the Children's Gate.When Adam Gopnik and his soon-to-be-wife, Martha Parker, left the comforts of home in Montreal for New York, the city then, much like today, was a pilgrimage site for the young and the arty and ambitious. But it was also becoming a city of greed, where both life's consolations and its necessities were increasingly going to the highest bidder. At the Stranger's Gate builds a portrait of this moment in New York through the story of their journey--from their excited arrival as aspiring artists to their eventual growth into a New York family. Gopnik transports us to their tiny basement room on the Upper East Side--the smallest apartment in Manhattan--and later to SoHo, where he captures a unicorn: an affordable New York loft. Between tender, laugh-out-loud reminiscences, including affectionate portraits of New York luminaries from Richard Avedon to Robert Hughes and Jeff Koons, Gopnik takes us into the corridors of Condé Nast, the galleries of MoMA and many places between to illuminate the fascinating world capital of creativity and aspiration that is New York, then and now.

Game Change

- Hardcover

by Ken Dryden - $32.00 - Add to Cart

From the bestselling author and Hall of Famer Ken Dryden, this is the story of NHLer Steve Montador--who was diagnosed with CTE after his death in 2015--the remarkable evolution of hockey itself, and a passionate prescriptive to counter its greatest risk in the future: head injuries.   Ken Dryden's The Game is acknowledged as the best book about hockey, and one of the best books about sports ever written.  Then came Home Game (with Roy MacGregor), also a major TV-series, in which he explored hockey's significance and what it means to Canada and Canadians. Now, in his most powerful and important book yet, Game Change, Ken Dryden tells the riveting story of one player's life, examines the intersection between science and sport, and expertly documents the progression of the game of hockey--where it began, how it got to where it is, where it can go from here and, just as exciting to play and watch, how it can get there.

The Good People

- Hardcover

by Hannah Kent - $35.00 - Add to Cart

Short-listed for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction One of Entertainment Weekly's "Must-Read" books for Fall From the author of Burial Rites, "a literary novel with the pace and tension of a thriller that takes us on a frightening journey towards an unspeakable tragedy."-Paula Hawkins, bestselling author of The Girl on the TrainBased on true events in nineteenth century Ireland, Hannah Kent's startling new novel tells the story of three women, drawn together to rescue a child from a superstitious community. Nora, bereft after the death of her husband, finds herself alone and caring for her grandson Micheal, who can neither speak nor walk. A handmaid, Mary, arrives to help Nora just as rumors begin to spread that Micheal is a changeling child who is bringing bad luck to the valley. Determined to banish evil, Nora and Mary enlist the help of Nance, an elderly wanderer who understands the magic of the old ways. Set in a lost world bound by its own laws, THE GOOD PEOPLE is Hannah Kent's startling new novel about absolute belief and devoted love. Terrifying, thrilling and moving in equal measure, this follow-up to Burial Rites shows an author at the height of her powers.

If Clara

- Trade paperback

by Martha Baillie - $19.95 - Add to Cart

A mysterious manuscript falls into a bed-ridden writer's lap in this novel of broken bones, syrian folktales, and plummets of all varieties. In If Clara, nobody stands on firm ground. Daisy, an author confined to her home, her leg in a cast from hip to ankle, receives a parcel containing the manuscript of a novel about a Syrian refugee, and is asked to pose as its writer. Julia, a curator of installation art, has no idea that her sister, Clara, has written a novel. However, she does know that Clara suffers from a debilitating mental illness that renders her wildly unpredictable. And Maurice's life is changed by a pair of binoculars welded to the wall of Julia's gallery. These stories collide in a most unexpected way.

In Search of A Better World

- Trade paperback

by Payam Akhavan - $19.95 - Add to Cart

A work of memoir, history, and a call to action, In Search of a Better World, the 2017 CBC Massey Lecture, is a powerful and essential work on the major human rights struggles of our times.In February of 2017, Amnesty International released their Annual Report for 2016 to 2017, concluding that the "us versus them" rhetoric increasingly employed by politicians is endangering human rights the world over. Renowned UN prosecutor and human rights scholar Payam Akhavan has encountered the grim realities of contemporary genocide throughout his life and career. He argues that deceptive utopias, political cynicism, and public apathy have given rise to major human rights abuses: from the religious persecution of Iranian Bahá'ís that shaped his personal life, to the horrors of ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia, the genocide in Rwanda, and the rise of contemporary phenomena such as the Islamic State. But he also reflects on the inspiring resilience of the human spirit and the reality of our inextricable interdependence to liberate us, whether from hateful ideologies that deny the humanity of others or an empty consumerist culture that worships greed and self-indulgence.A timely, essential, and passionate work of memoir and history, In Search of a Better World is a tour de force by an internationally renowned human rights lawyer.

A Newfoundlander in Canada

- Hardcover

by Alan Doyle - $32.95 - Add to Cart

Following the fantastic success of his bestselling memoir, Where I Belong, Great Big Sea front man Alan Doyle returns with a hilarious, heartwarming account of leaving Newfoundland and discovering Canada for the first time.Armed with the same personable, candid style found in his first book, Alan Doyle turns his perspective outward from Petty Harbour toward mainland Canada, reflecting on what it was like to venture away from the comforts of home and the familiarity of the island.     Often in a van, sometimes in a bus, occasionally in a car with broken wipers "using Bob's belt and a rope found by Paddy's Pond" to pull them back and forth, Alan and his bandmates charted new territory, and he constantly measured what he saw of the vast country against what his forefathers once called the Daemon Canada. In a period punctuated by triumphant leaps forward for the band, deflating steps backward and everything in between--opening for Barney the Dinosaur at an outdoor music festival, being propositioned at a gas station mail-order bride service in Alberta, drinking moonshine with an elderly church-goer on a Sunday morning in PEI--Alan's few established notions about Canada were often debunked and his own identity as a Newfoundlander was constantly challenged. Touring the country, he also discovered how others view Newfoundlanders and how skewed these images can sometimes be. Asked to play in front of the Queen at a massive Canada Day festival on Parliament Hill, the concert organizers assured Alan and his bandmates that the best way to showcase Newfoundland culture was for them to be towed onto stage in a dory and introduced not as Newfoundlanders but as "Newfies." The boys were not amused.     Heartfelt, funny and always insightful, these stories tap into the complexities of community and Canadianness, forming the portrait of a young man from a tiny fishing village trying to define and hold on to his sense of home while navigating a vast and diverse and wonder-filled country.

Once More with Feeling

- Trade paperback

by Meira Cook - $22.95 - Add to Cart

After twenty years Max Binder is still in love with his fiery wife, Maggie, and is determined to get her the perfect fortieth birthday gift. But Max's singular desire -- to make his wife happy -- leads to an unexpected event that changes the course of his family's life and touches the people who make up their western prairie city.Set over the course of a single year, Once More With Feeling tells the story of a community through intersecting moments and interconnected lives. The colourful citizens who make up this city -- bisected by railway lines and rivers, connected by boulevards and back alleys -- are marked by transformation, upheaval, and loss: the worker at a downtown soup kitchen who recognizes a kindred spirit amongst the homeless; the aging sisters who everywhere see the fleeting ghosts of two missing neighbourhood children; a communal voice of mothers anxious for the future of their children in the discomfiting world they inhabit -- this place of memory, amnesia, longing, and belonging.Featuring a cast of eclectic characters, Once More With Feeling is about a community, about a family, and about the way time makes fond fools of us all. Award-winning author Méira Cook has crafted a novel that is at once funny, poignant, and yes, full of feeling.

Reckless Daughter

- Hardcover

by David Yaffe - $34.99 - Add to Cart

Joni Mitchell is a cultural touchstone for generations of Canadians. In her heyday she released ten experimental, challenging, and revealing albums; her lyrics captivated people with the beauty of their language and the rawness of their emotions, both deeply personal to Mitchell and universally relatable to her audience. In this intimate biography, composed of dozens of in-person interviews with Mitchell, David Yaffe reveals the backstory behind the famous songs from her youth on the Canadian prairie, her pre-vaccine bout with polio at age nine, and her early marriage and the child she gave up for adoption, up through the quintessential albums and love affairs, and all the way to the present?and shows us why Mitchell has so enthralled her listeners, her lovers, and her friends.Yaffe has had unprecedented access both to Mitchell and to those who know her, drawing on interviews with childhood friends and the cast of famous characters (Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Leonard Cohen, David Crosby, and more) with whom she has crossed paths and influenced, as well as insightful analyses of her famous lyrics, their imagery and style, and what they say about the woman herself. Reckless Daughter tells the story of Mitchell and also of the fertile, exciting musical time of which she was an integral part, one that had a profound effect that can still be felt today on American music and the industry.

Red Famine

- Hardcover

by Anne Applebaum - $42.00 - Add to Cart

From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag and Iron Curtain, winner of the Cundill Prize and a finalist for the National Book Award, a revelatory history of Stalin's greatest crime.In 1929, Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization -- in effect a second Russian revolution -- which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms. The result was a catastrophic famine, the most lethal in European history. At least five million people perished between 1931 and 1933 in the U.S.S.R. In Red Famine, Anne Applebaum reveals for the first time that three million of them died not because they were accidental victims of a bad policy, but because the state deliberately set out to kill them. Applebaum proves what has long been suspected: that Stalin set out to exterminate a vast swath of the Ukrainian population and replace them with more cooperative, Russian-speaking peasants. A peaceful Ukraine would provide the Soviets with a safe buffer between itself and Europe, and would be a bread basket region to feed Soviet cities and factory workers.      When the province rebelled against collectivization, Stalin sealed the borders and began systematic food seizures. Starving, people ate anything: grass, tree bark, dogs, corpses. In some cases they killed one another for food. Devastating and definitive, Red Famine captures the horror of ordinary people struggling to survive extraordinary evil.

Runaway Wives and Rogue Feminists

- Trade paperback

by Margo Goodhand - $20.00 - Add to Cart

In the supposedly enlightened '60s and '70s, violence against women was widespread. It wasn't talked about, and women had few, if any, options to escape their abusers. Yet in 1973 -- with no statistics, no money and little public support -- five disparate groups of Canadian women quietly opened Canada's first battered women's shelters. Today, there are well over 600. In Runaway Wives and Rogue Feminists, journalist Margo Goodhand tracks down the "rogue feminists" whose work forged an underground railway for women and children, weaving their stories into an unforgettable -- and until now untold -- history. As they lobbied for funding, scrounged for furniture and fended off outraged husbands, these women marked a defining moment in Canadian history, triggering monumental changes in government, schools, courts and law enforcement. But was it enough to stop the cycle of violence? Forty years later, these pioneers describe how and why Canada has lost its ground in the battle for women's rights.

The Shoe on the Roof

- Hardcover

by Will Ferguson - $32.00 - Add to Cart

Imagine...meeting someone with the same name, the same history, the same family, the same identity as you. Now, imagine meeting another person making the same exact claim. What would that do to you? From the Giller Prize-winning novelist of 419 comes the startling, funny, and heartbreaking story of a psychological experiment gone wrong.Ever since his girlfriend ended their relationship, Thomas Rosanoff's life has been on a downward spiral. A gifted med student, he has spent his entire adulthood struggling to escape the legacy of his father, an esteemed psychiatrist who used him as a test subject when he was a boy. Thomas lived his entire young life as the "Boy in the Box," watched by researchers behind two-way glass. But now the tables have turned. Thomas is the researcher, and his subjects are three homeless men, all of whom claim to be messiahs--but no three people can be the one and only saviour of the world. Thomas is determined to "cure" the three men of their delusions, and in so doing save his career--and maybe even his love life. But when Thomas's father intervenes in the experiment, events spin out of control, and Thomas must confront the voices he hears in the labyrinth of his own mind. The Shoe on the Roof is an explosively imaginative tour de force, a novel that questions our definitions of sanity and madness, while exploring the magical reality that lies just beyond the world of scientific fact.

Sing, Unburied, Sing

- Hardcover

by Jesmyn Ward - $35.00 - Add to Cart

*WINNER of the NATIONAL BOOK AWARD for FICTION *Finalist for the Kirkus Prize *Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal *Publishers Weekly Top 10 of 2017 "The heart of Jesmyn Ward's Sing, Unburied, Sing is story--the yearning for a narrative to help us understand ourselves, the pain of the gaps we'll never fill, the truths that are failed by words and must be translated through ritual and song...Ward's writing throbs with life, grief, and love, and this book is the kind that makes you ache to return to it." --BuzzfeedIn Jesmyn Ward's first novel since her National Book Award-winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississippi's past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power--and limitations--of family bonds. Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn't lack in fathers to study, chief among them his Black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent White father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his absent White grandfather, Big Joseph, who won't acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager. His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister's lives. She is an imperfect mother in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is Black and her children's father is White. She wants to be a better mother but can't put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. Simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she's high, Leonie is embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances. When the children's father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another thirteen-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love. Rich with Ward's distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic new work and an unforgettable family story.

Swing Time

- Trade paperback

by Zadie Smith - $22.00 - Add to Cart

A New York Times bestseller Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for FictionFinalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize for FictionAn ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from northwest London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth and On BeautyTwo brown girls dream of being dancers--but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, about what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.     Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from northwest London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.

The Tobacconist

- Trade paperback

by Robert Seethaler - $19.95 - Add to Cart

From The Man Booker International Prize finalist Robert Seethaler comes a tender, heartbreaking story about one young man and his friendship with Sigmund Freud during the Nazi occupation of Vienna.Seventeen-year-old Franz Huchel journeys to Vienna to apprentice at a tobacco shop. There he meets Sigmund Freud, a regular customer, and over time the two very different men form a singular friendship. When Franz falls desperately in love with the music hall dancer Anezka, he seeks advice from the renowned psychoanalyst, who admits that the female sex is as big a mystery to him as it is to Franz.As political and social conditions in Austria dramatically worsen with the Nazis' arrival in Vienna, Franz, Freud, and Anezka are swept into the maelstrom of events. Each has a big decision to make: to stay or to flee?