If there's one thing that brings us together at McNally Robinson, it's the love of books. We know the only thing more satisfying than reading our favourite books is sharing our favourite books with friends. McNally Robinson is all about sharing the love, and we've got plenty to talk about.
Our team of amazing booksellers have hand-picked a list of our favourite books. An intrepid few have stepped up to tell us about their choices, and what makes these books so special. Read on for personal recommendations from the staff at McNally Robinson Booksellers.
Noor's Pick - The Virgin and the Gipsy, by D.H. Lawrence
Denial and virginity terrify us. we weaken our character and conform to an imagined society. we shield ourselves from the immorality of awakening desires. we become vague and domesticated. reading this book we come to understand the opposing deceptions of virginity and sexuality. The man shows us that in our denial we are persuaded to desire and in that desire, sometimes we must deny. Lawrence writes to break us away from the world. but as we break, the world breaks with us.
Nikki's Pick - Eunoia, by Christian Bok
These sentences express free speech. The text deletes selected letters. He rebels. He sets new precedents. He lets cleverness exceed decent levels. He eschews the esteemed genres, the expected themes. He engenders perfect newness wherever we need fresh terms. - Compiled from the text
Joan's Pick - Reading by Lightning, by Joan Thomas
Lily escapes the grim future of her hot, limited prairie farm Depression life when she's sent to England to look after her grandmother. There her life explodes with possibilities, love and freedom. Ironically the horror of World War II enriches her life. But then she's called home. I loved this book because it shows how people aren't necessarily stuck by their life situations. The question is how can you go back, once the world is opened to you?
Steve's Pick - Monstrance, by Sarah Klassen
According to the title poem (and Websters) a monstrance is: "A vessel in which the consecrated host is exposed to receive the veneration of the faithful." But sometimes a chalice or a crown or a cross is no more than the wood or metal out of which it is made, even for the faithful. The act of imagination that invests the ordinary with the divine sometimes takes place and sometimes it does not. This intermingling of the divine and the mundane is what gives Klassen's poems their power. The objects held, the places visited leave us standing simultaneously in the world of spirit and the world of the mundane. It makes for a profound sense of spiritual longing that is sustained throughout.
Andrew's Pick - John Dies at the End, by David Wong
A recent and overwhelming trend of "funny" horror novels has proven that it's much easier to do horror-comedy wrong than right. John Dies at the End gets it so right it starts to feel wrong. Author David Wong embraces the new weird with a lurid tale of horrors humanity was never meant to see, the two losers who can't look away, and one very strange dog. John Dies at the End is a frenetic, hallucinogenic joyride to the edge of armageddon.
Rachel's Pick - The Afterlife of George Cartwright, by John Steffler
John Steffler invites the reader to imagine the life of George Cartwright - a man famous for exploring and trading in Labrador in the eighteenth century - whose story ranges from childhood to soldiery, to living and trading in an unexplored world, to his eerie afterlife. In this thought-provoking blend of history and fiction, Cartwright drifts between death and life, present and past, as Steffler narrates his story of adventure and economic struggle, and questions the boundaries of civilization and savagery.
Brock's Pick - Overqualified, by Joey Comeau
Hailing from Toronto, Joey Comeau is best known as co-creator and writer of the webcomic A Softer World. He brings the same poignant touch to Overqualified, a wildly eclectic and deeply experimental work. I was captivated by the way that each cover letter in this collection manages to fuse Joey's signature dark humor with themes of sorrowful introspection, madness and occasional naughtiness to produce utterly entertaining little snippets. It is the kind of book that can be picked up and enjoyed anytime, anywhere. Not recommended for the easily offended.
Courtney's Pick - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
Francie Nolan dreams of being a writer, but her life in Brooklyn in the early 1900s is not the stuff of dreams. Despite being born into poverty and harsh circumstances, Francie is determined to succeed. Populated by unforgettable characters, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn will remain in your heart. A story of hope, dreams and life.
|Categories: Reviews, Staff Pick, Winnipeg|