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    31 books to put on your list for this winter and spring- HindiNewsWala


    With the tolling of a clock, the calendar has changed to a whole new year. While many of us look at it as a way to reinvent ourselves — new year, new me — to me it means a whole new year of discovering new voices, new ideas and new stories to take me away. Just in the first half of this year, there is such a range of new releases, from familiar names to up-and-coming new writers. I’ve made a selection of some of the books I can’t wait to read, including novels, memoir, biography and non-fiction coming out this winter and spring.

    JANUARY

    Superfan, by Jen Sookfong Lee.

    Superfan: How Pop Culture Broke My Heart, Jen Sookfong Lee (McClelland & Stewart, Jan. 17) Sookfong Lee grew up looking to Anne of Green Gables and Princess Diana for lessons in navigating life. Until she realized that, being Chinese, her experiences were vastly different from theirs. This becomes a memoir of growing up, with pop culture moments as touchstone points.

    All The Colour In The World, C.S. Richardson (Knopf Canada, Jan. 17) A small book, just under 200 pages, about the power of art “to move, to heal, to tell a story.” With well-chosen images and metaphors and precise language, Richardson, author of “The End of the Alphabet” and “The Emperor of Paris” tells the story of Henry, sweeping through the 20th Century’s history and its art.

    Agatha Christie, Lucy Worsley (Hodder, Jan. 24) British historian Lucy Worsley, thanks to access to personal letters and papers, gives us a new look at the crime fiction writer by asking a simple question: why, despite being a powerful woman, did she present herself as being “just a housewife.” Social mores, class and other restrictions enter into it, but didn’t stop her from writing — or surfing or driving fast cars for that matter.

    Profit: An Environmental History, Mark Stoll (Polity Press, Jan. 31) Starting with the moment we’re in — with smart phones and their ubiquitous environmental impact — Stoll takes a fascinating look at the history and growth of capitalism and how it led to consumerism by examining how the environment shaped capitalism and vice-versa.

    Still, I Cannot Save You, Kelly S. Thompson (McClelland & Stewart, Jan. 31) I’ve heard Thompson read early excerpts from this book — and they gave a promising glimpse into the power and humour of this, her second memoir. In it, she explores her relationship with her older sister, Meghan and Meghan’s struggles with abuse, addiction and illness — it becomes a story of rebuilding love between sisters.

    FEBRUARY

    Victory City by Salman Rushdie

    Victory City, Salman Rushdie (Knopf Canada, Feb. 7) Blending history and folklore in his own inimitable way, Rushdie writes what his publisher describes as “a saga of love, adventure, and myth that is in itself a testament to the power of storytelling.” And the power of the storyteller.

    VenCo, Cherie Dimaline (Random House of Canada, Feb. 7) Ontario Métis writer Cherie Dimaline, whose books “The Marrow Thieves” and “Empire of Wild” have been multi-year bestsellers, turns her imagination to feminism: headhunting firm VenCo brings six witches together (and a hunt for a seventh) “to form a magic circle that will restore women to their rightful power.”

    Hollow Bamboo, William Ping (HarperCollins, Feb. 21) Debut fiction described as “the hilarious and heartbreaking story of two William Pings in Newfoundland — the lost millennial and the grandfather he knows nothing about.” Based on the true story of Chinese immigrants to Newfoundland.

    The Story of Us, Catherine Hernandez (HarperCollins, Feb. 28) Hernandez, the author of “Scarborough,” writes about Mary Grace Concepcion, an Overseas Filipino Worker, who takes a job as a personal support worker to an aging woman in Scarborough. Described as “a novel about sisterhood, about blood and chosen family, and about how belonging can be found where we least expect it.”

    Goddess, Deborah Hemming (Anansi, Feb. 14) Nova Scotia writer Hemming — who previously wrote “Throw Down Your Shadows,” nominated for a ReLit award is out with this buzzy novel “about beauty, influence, and self-doubt” featuring an exclusive retreat to a remote Greek island.

    MARCH

    Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton.

    Birnam Wood, Eleanor Catton (Penguin Random House, March 7) From the multi-prize winning (Booker Prize, Governor General’s Literary Award) author of “The Luminaries,” described as a “gripping psychological thriller … on what drives us to survive” featuring a “guerrilla gardening group.”

    A Death At The Party, Amy Stuart (Simon & Schuster, March 7) Toronto writer Stuart has become one of Canada’s most successful thriller writers (“Still Mine,” “Still Water,” “Still Here”) Stuart is out with this stand-alone thriller, set over the course of a single day, at a garden party that “goes dreadfully wrong.”

    Old Babes In The Wood, Margaret Atwood (McClelland & Stewart, March 7) This is Atwood’s first collection of short stories since 2015’s “Stone Mattress.” This volume includes 15 stories, with some riffing on aging and fairy tales and a group of seven described as following “a married couple across the decades, the moments big and small that make up a long life of uncommon love — and what comes after.”

    After the Miracle, Max Wallace (Grand Central Publishing, March 7) We all know part of the story of Helen Keller — how the deaf, mute and blind girl learned to communicate with her teacher Annie Sullivan. But in this powerful new history, New York Times bestselling Canadian author Max Wallace draws on groundbreaking research, to highlight Keller’s political crusades and lifelong fight for social justice.

    The Gospel of Orla, Eoghan Walls (Seven Stories Press, March 7) Debut novel from Northern Irish poet Eoghan Walls. The voice of Orla is strong and compelling from the moment you open the first page of this book — where Orla runs away from home, meets a man with “an astonishing and unique ability” and sets off on a road trip.

    Pandexicon, Wayne Grady (Greystone, March 7) We all know the language: the “Before Times,” “shecession,” “covidivorce,” and “quarantini.” In his latest book, Grady explores the many new terms created during the COVID-19 pandemic and “provides insight into the ways in which an ever-evolving vocabulary helped us cope with our anxiety and adapt to a new reality.”

    Song of the Sparrow, Tara MacLean (HarperCollins, March 14, 2023) — Singer and songwriter MacLean, she of the solo career and the band Shaye, is out with this memoir that charts her career from a harrowing childhood in the backwoods of Prince Edward Island to sharing a stage with Dido, Tom Cochrane, et al. The book is being released concurrently with a new album, “Sparrow.”

    The Fake, Zoe Whittall (HarperCollins, March 21) She’s been a Giller finalist, writes screenplays, poetry and big bestselling novels. Her new novel “The Fake,” features a pathological liar, Cammie, two people who fall in love with her, and has lots to say about how we create ourselves, and the lies we tell ourselves and others.

    APRIL

    Coronation Year by Jennifer Robson

    Coronation Year, Jennifer Robson (HarperCollins, April 4) Robson has a knack of bringing those in the background of royal lives into the foreground to tell the whole story. In “The Gown,” she told the story of Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding gown through the lives and eye of the seamstress who made it; in “Coronation Year” she tells the story of QEII’s coronation through the eyes of three London residents.

    Brown Boy, Omer Aziz (Simon & Schuster, April 4) Debut book from the very accomplished Omer Aziz — who was born to working-class Pakistani Canadian parents in Toronto. “He fears the violence and despair of the world around him, and sees a dangerous path ahead, succumbing to aimlessness, apathy, and rage,” and struggles to find his place, going on through scholarships to Queen’s University, the Paris Institute of Political Studies, Cambridge University, and Yale Law School.

    Any Other City, Hazel Jane Plante (Arsenal Pulp Press, April 18) A two-sided (Side A and Side B) fictional memoir by Tracy St. Cyr, who helms the beloved indie rock band Static Saints. St. Cyr is a trans indie rock musician and the “memoir … reveals how the act of creation can heal trauma and even change the past.”

    Instructions for the Drowning, Steven Heighton (Biblioasis, April 18) A new book of stories from Steven Heighton has always been something to celebrate. The musician, poet and writer’s powerful use of language captured readers as well as awards, before his premature death at age 60 in April 2022. This last collection is one to be savoured.

    Outsider: An Old Man, a Mountain, and the Search for a Hidden Past, Brett Popplewell, (HarperCollins, April 25) Canadian writer, reporter (formerly for the Star), editor (he’s a founder of The Feathertale Review) puts his talents to work telling the story of Dag Aabye, 81, an aging former stuntman born in Nazi Germany and now living alone in a school bus on a mountain.

    MAY

    A History of Burning by Janika Oza

    A History of Burning, Janika Oza (McClelland & Stewart, May 2) A multi-generational family saga that goes from India to Africa, to Scarborough and the streets of Toronto, that explores immigration and exile. Oza’s family history includes experiences her father had during the regime of Idi Amin in Uganda. An initial dip into the book reveals beautiful writing — can’t wait to read the whole thing.

    Shy, Max Porter (McClelland & Stewart, May 2) From U.K. writer Porter is the multi-prize-winning author of “Lanny” and “Grief Is the Thing with Feathers” comes the story of a teenager named Shy, who lives in the Last Chance boarding school for boys — he doesn’t fit in to society anywhere else. “As with all Porter’s writing, the darkness is indivisible from a core of humour and humanity. It is his greatest feat of empathy yet,” writes the publisher.

    Wait Softly Brother, Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer (Buckrider Books, May 9) Ontario writer Kuitenbrouwer has published a number of novels and short story collections, including the bestselling “All The Broken Things.” Her latest novel is described as “from lost siblings to the horrors of war to tales of selkie wives, ‘Wait Softly Brother’ is filled with questions about memory, reality and the truths hidden in family lore.”

    The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece, Tom Hanks (Knopf Canada, May 9) Acadamy Award-winning actor Hanks made his fiction writing debut in 2018 with the book of short stories “Uncommon Type.” His debut novel, described by his publisher as: the story of the making of a star-studded, superhero action film inspired by a “humble” comic book, about the making of a movie “but also about the changes in America and American culture since World War II.” Apparently there’s bonus material: interspersed are the three comic books featured in the story, created by Hanks.

    The Postcard, Anne Berest (May 16, Europa Editions) Berest’s novel has been on all the prize lists in France (winning the first-ever American Choix Goncourt Prize) — and it’s finally being published in English. It’s described by the publisher as a portrait of 20th-century Parisian intellectual life, telling the story of a family devastated by the Holocaust “and yet … restored by love and the power of storytelling.”

    Code Noir, Canisia Lubrin (Knopf Canada, May 23) Lubrin has won acclaim for her powerful poetry collections “The Dyzgraphist” and “Voodoo Hypothesis.” “Code Noir” is her debut fiction based on “a daring and inventive reimagining of the infamous set of laws, the “Code Noir,” that once governed Black lives,” according to the publisher. I’m expecting it to be some powerful.

    Unbroken, Angela Sterritt (Greystone, May 30) Sterritt’s memoir focuses on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls — she survived the streets herself and uses a blend of journalism and her own experiences, “demanding accountability from the media and the public, exposing racism, and showing that there is much work to do on the path towards understanding the truth.”

    The Ballad of Lord Edward and Citizen Small, Neil Jordan (Pegasus Books, May 2) Irish film director and writer Neil Jordan might be most familiar these days for his directing — including of the movie “Room” based on compatriot Emma Donoghue’s book of the same name, and winning an Oscar for 1992’s “The Crying Game.” But he’s also a prizewinning writer — his first book, “A Night in Tunisia,” won the Somerset Maugham prize in 1979. This new novel is about the relationship between an aristocrat and a freed slave.

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