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What To Read

Wondering what to read next? Here are our top recent picks.

In Winnipeg tune in to Morning Light on Classic 107 FM (8:30 AM on the first Friday of every month), and in Saskatoon tune in to CFCR 90.5 FMís Green Eggs and Ham with the Reverend (between 8:00-10:00 AM the first Thursday of every month) and catch McNally Robinson co-owner Chris Hall as he shares our next batch of What To Read picks.

You can also keep an eye on the Books section of the Winnipeg Free Press every Saturday to see our highlights, or look for What To Read displays inside our bookstores.


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Dinner in One

- Melissa Clark

Hardcover $39.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $35.99

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER o 100 all-new super-simple and incredibly delicious one-pot, one-pan, one-sheet--one-everything!--recipes from the star food writer and bestselling author of Dinner in French.

Melissa Clark brings her home cook's expertise and no-fuss approach to the world of one-pot/pan cooking. With nearly all of the recipes being made in under one hour, the streamlined steps ensure you are in and out of the kitchen without dirtying a multitude of pans or spending more time than you need to on dinner.
 
Expect to find a bevy of sheet-pan suppers (Miso-Glazed Salmon with Roasted Sugar Snap Peas), skillet dinners (Cheesy Meatball Parm with Spinach), Instant Pot® pinch hitters (Cheaters Chicken and Dumplings), comforting casseroles (Herby Artichoke and Gruyere Bread Pudding) that you can assemble right in the baking dish, crowd-pleasing one-pot pasta meals (Gingery Coconut Noodles with Shrimp and Greens), vegetable-forward mains, and dozens of tips for turning a vegetarian or meat-based recipe vegan. And since no dinner is complete without dessert, you'll find a chapter of one-bowl cakes, too--from an Easy Chocolate Fudge Torte to a Ricotta-Olive Oil Pound Cake.
 
These are simple, delicious recipes for weekdays, busy evenings, and any time you need to get a delicious, inspiring meal on the table quickly--with as little clean-up as possible.

Fen, Bog and Swamp

- Annie Proulx

Hardcover $32.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $28.80

*One of Time Magazine's Most Anticipated Books* Named a Best Book of the Year So Far by The New Yorker *

From Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Proulx, this riveting deep dive into the history of our wetlands and what their systematic destruction means for the planet "is both an enchanting work of nature writing and a rousing call to action" (Esquire).

"I learned something new--and found something amazing--on every page." --Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See and Cloud Cuckoo Land

A lifelong acolyte of the natural world, Annie Proulx brings her witness and research to the subject of wetlands and the vitally important role they play in preserving the environment--by storing the carbon emissions that accelerate climate change. Fens, bogs, swamps, and marine estuaries are crucial to the earth's survival, and in four illuminating parts, Proulx documents their systemic destruction in pursuit of profit.

In a vivid and revelatory journey through history, Proulx describes the fens of 16th-century England, Canada's Hudson Bay lowlands, Russia's Great Vasyugan Mire, and America's Okeefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. She introduces the early explorers who launched the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, and writes of the diseases spawned in the wetlands--the Ague, malaria, Marsh Fever.

A sobering look at the degradation of wetlands over centuries and the serious ecological consequences, this is "an unforgettable and unflinching tour of past and present, fixed on a subject that could not be more important" (Bill McKibben).

"A stark but beautifully written Silent Spring-style warning from one of our greatest novelists." --The Christian Science Monitor

The Theory of Crows

- David A Robertson

Trade paperback $24.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $22.49

A poignant and evocative novel about the bonds of family and the gifts offered by the land

When a troubled father and his estranged teenage daughter head out onto the land in search of the family trapline, they find their way back to themselves, and to each other

Deep in the night, Matthew paces the house, unable to rest. Though his sixteen-year-old daughter, Holly, lies sleeping on the other side of the bedroom door, she is light years away from him. How can he bridge the gap between them when he can't shake the emptiness he feels inside? Holly knows her father is drifting further from her; what she doesn't understand is why. Could it be her fault that he seems intent on throwing everything away, including their relationship?

Following a devastating tragedy, Matthew and Holly head out onto the land in search of a long-lost cabin on the family trapline, miles from the Cree community they once called home. But each of them is searching for something more than a place. Matthew hopes to reconnect with the father he has just lost; Holly goes with him because she knows the father she is afraid of losing won't be able to walk away.

When things go wrong during the journey, they find they have only each other to turn to for support. What happens to father and daughter on the land will test them, and eventually heal them, in ways they never thought possible.

Ducks

- Kate Beaton

Hardcover $39.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $35.96

"An exceptionally beautiful book about loneliness, labor, and survival."--Carmen Maria Machado

Before there was Kate Beaton, New York Times bestselling cartoonist of Hark! A Vagrant, there was Katie Beaton of the Cape Breton Beaton, specifically Mabou, a tight-knit seaside community where the lobster is as abundant as beaches, fiddles, and Gaelic folk songs. With the singular goal of paying off her student loans, Katie heads out west to take advantage of Alberta's oil rush--part of the long tradition of East Coasters who seek gainful employment elsewhere when they can't find it in the homeland they love so much. Katie encounters the harsh reality of life in the oil sands, where trauma is an everyday occurrence yet is never discussed.

Beaton's natural cartooning prowess is on full display as she draws colossal machinery and mammoth vehicles set against a sublime Albertan backdrop of wildlife, northern lights, and boreal forest. Her first full length graphic narrative, Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands is an untold story of Canada: a country that prides itself on its egalitarian ethos and natural beauty while simultaneously exploiting both the riches of its land and the humanity of its people.

The Marriage Portrait

- Maggie O'Farrell

Hardcover $34.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $30.60

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the author of the breakout bestseller Hamnet--winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Women's Prize--an electrifying new novel set in Renaissance Italy, and centering on the captivating young duchess Lucrezia de Medici.


Florence, the 1550s. Lucrezia, third daughter of the grand duke, is comfortable with her obscure place in the palazzo: free to wonder at its treasures, observe its clandestine workings, and to devote herself to her own artistic pursuits. But when her older sister dies on the eve of her wedding to the ruler of Ferrara, Moderna and Regio, Lucrezia is thrust unwittingly into the limelight: the duke is quick to request her hand in marriage, and her father just as quick to accept on her behalf.

Having barely left girlhood behind, Lucrezia must now make her way in a troubled court whose customs are opaque and where her arrival is not universally welcomed. Perhaps most mystifying of all is her new husband himself, Alfonso. Is he the playful sophisticate he appeared to be before their wedding, the aesthete happiest in the company of artists and musicians, or the ruthless politician before whom even his formidable sisters seem to tremble?

As Lucrezia sits in constricting finery for a painting intended to preserve her image for centuries to come, one thing becomes worryingly clear. In the court's eyes, she has one duty: to provide the heir who will shore up the future of the Ferranese dynasty. Until then, for all of her rank and nobility, the new duchess's future hangs entirely in the balance.

Full of the drama and verve with which she illuminated the Shakespearean canvas of Hamnet, Maggie O'Farrell brings the world of Renaissance Italy to jewel-bright life, and offers an unforgettable portrait of a resilient young woman's battle for her very survival.

The Last White Man

- Mohsin Hamid

Hardcover $35.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $31.50

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORKER, VOGUE, AND NPR


"Perhaps Hamid's most remarkable work yet ... an extraordinary vision of human possibility." -Ayad Akhtar, author of Homeland Elegies

"Searing, exhilarating ... reimagines Kafka's iconic The Metamorphosis for our racially charged era." Hamilton Cain, Oprah Daily

From the New York Times-bestselling author of Exit West, a story of love, loss, and rediscovery in a time of unsettling change.


One morning, a man wakes up to find himself transformed. Overnight, Anders's skin has turned dark, and the reflection in the mirror seems a stranger to him. At first he shares his secret only with Oona, an old friend turned new lover. Soon, reports of similar events begin to surface. Across the land, people are awakening in new incarnations, uncertain how their neighbors, friends, and family will greet them.Some see the transformations as the long-dreaded overturning of the established order that must be resisted to a bitter end. In many, like Anders's father and Oona's mother, a sense of profound loss and unease wars with profound love. As the bond between Anders and Oona deepens, change takes on a different shading: a chance at a kind of rebirth--an opportunity to see ourselves, face to face, anew.
 
In Mohsin Hamid's "lyrical and urgent" prose (O Magazine), The Last White Man powerfully uplifts our capacity for empathy and the transcendence over bigotry, fear, and anger it can achieve.

Making Love with the Land

- Joshua Whitehead

Hardcover $29.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $26.96

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

FINALIST FOR THE HILARY WESTON WRITERS' TRUST PRIZE FOR NONFICTION

Much-anticipated non-fiction from the author of the Giller-longlisted, GG-shortlisted and Canada Reads-winning novel Jonny Appleseed.


In the last few years, following the publication of his debut novel Jonny Appleseed, Joshua Whitehead has emerged as one of the most exciting and important new voices on Turtle Island. Now, in this first non-fiction work, Whitehead brilliantly explores Indigeneity, queerness, and the relationships between body, language and land through a variety of genres (essay, memoir, notes, confession). Making Love with the Land is a startling, heartwrenching look at what it means to live as a queer Indigenous person "in the rupture" between identities. In sharp, surprising, unique pieces--a number of which have already won awards--Whitehead illuminates this particular moment, in which both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples are navigating new (and old) ideas about "the land." He asks: What is our relationship and responsibility towards it? And how has the land shaped our ideas, our histories, our very bodies?

Here is an intellectually thrilling, emotionally captivating love song--a powerful revelation about the library of stories land and body hold together, waiting to be unearthed and summoned into word.

Haven

- Emma Donoghue

Hardcover $32.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $29.69

Around the year 600, three men vow to leave the world behind and set out in a small boat for an island their leader has seen in a dream, with only faith to guide them

In seventh-century Ireland, a scholar priest named Artt has a dream in which God tells him to leave the sinful world behind. With two monks--young Trian and old Cormac--he rows down the River Shannon in search of an isolated spot in which to found a monastery. Drifting out into the Atlantic, the three men find the impossibly steep, bare island known today as Skellig Michael. In such a place, what will survival mean?

The Shortest History of War

- Gwynne Dyer

Trade paperback $22.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $20.66

War has changed, but we have not. From our hunter-gatherer ancestors to the rival nuclear powers of today, whenever resources have been contested, we've gone to battle. Acclaimed historian Gwynne ­Dyer illuminates our many martial clashes in this brisk account, tracing warfare from prehistory to the world's first cities -- and on to the thousand-year "classical age" of combat, which ended when the firearm changed everything. He examines the brief interlude of "limited war" before eighteenth-century revolution ushered in "total war"-- and how the devastation was halted by the nuclear shock of Hiroshima. Then came the Cold War and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which punctured the longest stretch of peace between major powers since World War II. For all our advanced technology and hyperconnected global society, we find ourselves once again on the brink as climate change heightens competition for resources and superpowers stand ready with atomic bombs, drones, and futuristic "autonomous" weapons in development. Throughout, Dyer delves into anthropology, psychology, and other relevant fields to unmask the drivers of conflict. The Shortest History of War is for anyone who wants to understand the role of war in the human story -- and how we can prevent it from defining our future.

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