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Our June Author of the Month: OTTESSA MOSHFEGH

Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at 11:56am

Ottessa Moshfegh is a fiction writer from New England. Eileen, her first novel, was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize, and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. My Year of Rest and Relaxation and Death in Her Hands, her second and third novels, were New York Times bestsellers. She is also the author of the short story collection Homesick for Another World and a novella, McGlue.

Moshfegh’s new novel, Lapvona, is set in a village in a medieval fiefdom buffeted by natural disasters. A motherless shepherd boy finds himself the unlikely pivot of a power struggle that puts all manner of faith to a savage test, in a spellbinding novel that represents Ottessa Moshfegh’s most exciting leap yet.

Little Marek, the abused and delusional son of the village shepherd, never knew his mother; his father told him she died in childbirth. One of life’s few consolations for Marek is his enduring bond with the blind village midwife, Ina. Ina’s gifts extend beyond childcare: she possesses a unique ability to communicate with the natural world. For some people, Ina’s home in the woods outside of the village is a place to fear and to avoid, a godless place. Among their number is Father Barnabas, the town priest and lackey for the depraved lord and governor, Villiam, whose hilltop manor contains a secret embarrassment of riches. But when fate brings Marek into violent proximity to the lord’s family, new and occult forces upset the old order. By year’s end, the veil between blindness and sight, life and death, the natural world and the spirit world, will prove to be very thin indeed.

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month

Our May Author of the Month: VACLAV SMIL

Saturday, Apr 30, 2022 at 2:50pm

Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. He is the author of over forty books on topics including energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment, and public policy. No other living scientist has had more books (on a wide variety of topics) reviewed in Nature. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, in 2010 he was named by Foreign Policy as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers and is cited by Bill Gates as his favorite author.

We have never had so much information at our fingertips and yet most of us don’t know how the world really works. Smil’s new book, How the World Really Works: The Science Behind How We Got Here and Where We’re Going, explains seven of the most fundamental realities governing our survival and prosperity. From energy and food production, through our material world and its globalization, to risks, our environment and its future, this book offers a much-needed reality check — because before we can tackle problems effectively, we must understand the facts.

Ultimately, Smil answers the most profound question of our age: are we irrevocably doomed or is a brighter utopia ahead? Compelling, data-rich and revisionist, this wonderfully broad, interdisciplinary guide finds faults with both extremes. Looking at the world through this quantitative lens reveals hidden truths that change the way we see our past, present and uncertain future. An essential analysis of the modern science and technology that makes our twenty-first century lives possible — a scientist’s investigation into what science really does, and does not, accomplish.

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month

Canadian Independent Bookstore Day 2022

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2022 at 3:19pm

Canadian Independent Bookstore Day is taking place on Saturday, April 30!

This year we're celebrating with contests. Two of them to be specific:

In our own McNally Robinson contest, every purchase made with us on April 30th will be eligible to enter a draw to win a prize pack filled with an assortment of books (look after the jump below to see photos of some of the prizes). Customers who purchase items in-store will be given a ballot to fill out, and customers who purchase on our website will be entered automatically. The winners will be determined the week following and contacted directly about their prizes.

The second contest is put on by our friends at the Canadian Independent Booksellers Association (CIBA) and gives you a chance to win one of three gift cards — $250, $500, or $1000! — to the Canadian independent bookstore of your choice. In this contest, each book purchased at a Canadian indie bookseller (including McNally Robinson!) is worth one entry, so the more books you buy the more entries you can submit. Better yet, books written/illustrated by a Canadian are worth double. Books can be purchased online, by phone, or in-store. Once you've got your receipt (or in the case of online orders, your confirmation email), you will visit CIBA's website to submit your entries. You may visit their website now to read all of the details about the CIBA contest.

These contests are open at all of our bookstores and on our website, but only on April 30th. Our bookstores are open 10 AM to 9 PM that day, and online purchases made between 12:00 AM and 11:59 PM are eligible. So we'll see you then for Canadian Independent Bookstore Day!

Thank you to everyone for continuining to support Canadian independent bookselling. We've been Canada's largest indie bookseller for over 40 years, and that's all thanks to readers like you!

Thanks also to the Canadian Independent Booksellers Association for their support all these years, and to the publishers who have helped us put together our contest prizes (not to mention all the resources they provide to help get books into the hands of our readers!).

Categories: Store News, Saskatoon, Winnipeg

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Our April Author of the Month: EMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2022 at 1:41pm

Emily St. John Mandel's  previous novels include The Glass Hotel and Station Eleven, which was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, has been translated into thirty-five languages, and is the basis for the HBO Max series by the same name.

The award-winning, best-selling author returns with Sea of Tranquility, a novel of art, time, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon five hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space.

Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal — an experience that shocks him to his core.

Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty.Within the text of Olive’s best-selling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.

When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month

Our March Author of the Month: ANNE TYLER

Tuesday, Mar 01, 2022 at 12:11pm

ANNE TYLER was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is the author of more than twenty novels. Her twentieth novel, A Spool of Blue Thread, was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2015. Her eleventh novel, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1989. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

French Braid is a major new novel from the beloved Pulitzer Prize–winning author — a freshly observed, funny, joyful, brilliantly perceptive journey deep into one family’s foibles, from the 1950s up to our pandemic present.

The Garretts take their first and last family vacation in the summer of 1959. They hardly ever venture beyond Baltimore, but in some ways they have never been farther apart. Full of heartbreak and hilarity, French Braid is classic Anne Tyler: a stirring, uncannily insightful novel of tremendous warmth and humour that illuminates the kindnesses and cruelties of our daily lives, the impossibility of breaking free from those who love us, and how close — yet how unknowable — every family is to itself.

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month
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