What To Read: September & October 2019Friday, Sep 06, 2019 at 4:22pm
A collection of recent books particularly recommended by Chris Hall. Look for our in-store What To Read display tables.
Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq. Softcover. $19.99. RRC Price $17.99. Fact can be as strange as fiction. It can also be as dark, as violent, as rapturous. A girl grows up in Nunavut in the 1970s. She knows friendship and parents' love, she knows boredom and bullying. She knows the raw power of the ice and sky, the energy of the animal world. She knows the ravages of alcohol, and violence at the hands of those she should be able to trust. She sees the spirits that surround her, and the immense power that dwarfs all of us. When she becomes pregnant, she must navigate all this and becomes a heroine readers will never forget. (Penguin. September)
Crashed by Adam Tooze. Softcover. $27.00. RRC Price $24.30. Crashed is a reinterpretation of the 2008 economic crisis (and its ten-year aftermath) as a global event that directly led to the shockwaves being felt around the world today. It was the greatest crisis to have struck Western societies since the end of the Cold War, but is it over? Tooze takes us through a narrative of the haphazard nature of economics, the erratic path of debt around the world, and the unseen ways different regions and groups are in deeply unequal relationships. (Penguin. September)
See more What To Read picks after the jump...
The Tangled Tree by David Quammen. Softcover. $25.00. RRC Price $22.50. In the mid-70s, scientists began using DNA sequences to re-examine the history of all life. Perhaps the most startling discovery to come out of this new field — the study of life's diversity and relatedness at the molecular level — is horizontal gene transfer (HGT), or the movement of genes across species lines. It turns out that HGT has been widespread and important; we now know that roughly eight per cent of the human genome arrived sideways by viral infection — a type of HGT. (Simon & Schuster. August)
Reader, Come Home by Maryanne Wolf. Softcover. $21.99. RRC Price $19.79. The ways we process written language have changed as we become more dependent on digital technologies. Wolf describes her concerns and hopes about the reading brain as it unavoidably changes. She draws on neuroscience, literature, education, technology, and philosophy and blends historical, literary, and scientific facts with warm anecdotes to illuminate complex ideas. A cautionary but hopeful tale about the impact of technology on our brains and our most essential intellectual capacities. (HarperCollins. September)
Machine Without Horses by Helen Humphreys. Softcover. $19.99. RRC Price $17.99. How does a writer create a story, or capture an unknowable woman and all the passions, choices and compromises that make up a life? Humphreys explores the real and imagined lives of salmon-fly dresser Megan Boyd, a craftswoman who worked for sixty years out of a cottage in a village in Scotland. Humphreys, both present in the story and its architect, reveals the emotional landscape that can exist under even the most constant surface. (HarperCollins. September)
CoDex 1962 by Sjón, translated by Victoria Cribb. Softcover. $26.99. RRC Price $24.29. Sjón's epic three-part masterpiece. Josef Löwe, the narrator, was born in 1962. The novel starts with Leo Löwe — a fugitive in World War II who has an affair with a maid in an inn. Löwe arrives in Iceland, only to be embroiled in a murder mystery. Then Josef's story becomes science fiction as he crosses paths with the CEO of a biotech company. In CoDex 1962, Sjón has woven folklore and cosmic myths into a novel encompassing genre fiction, theology, expressionist film, comic strips, fortean studies, genetics, and, of course, the rich tradition of Icelandic storytelling. (Picador. September)
The Shape of the Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vasquez. Softcover. $23.00. RRC Price $20.70. This novel tells a story of conspiracy, political obsession, and literary investigation. When a man is arrested at a museum for attempting to steal the bullet-ridden suit of a murdered Colombian politician, few notice. But soon this thwarted theft takes on greater meaning as it becomes a thread in a widening web of assassinations and historical secrets that haunt those who feel that only they know the real truth behind the killings. (Riverhead Books. September)
We, the Survivors by Tash Aw. Softcover. $24.95. RRC Price $22.45. Ah Hock is a poor man in a Malaysian fishing village, making his way in a country that promises riches, but delivers them only to a few. With society changing, he remains trapped in poorly paid jobs. But then he murders a migrant worker from Bangladesh. The question of why leads a young, privileged journalist to Ah Hock, whose motive remains unclear. Over extensive interviews, both the speaker and listener are forced to reckon with systems of power, race, and class. Aw's anti-nostalgic tale holds its tension to the very end. In the wake of loss, hope is among the survivors. (Hamish Hamilton. September)
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