March 1, 2017

Get lost in a book with Book City’s top picks of 2017

Distraction. Escapism. Enlightenment. From tales of lost loves and second chances to historical retellings of life after death, for whatever reason 2017 is shaping up to be a big year for readers. With so many great books coming out this year, we spoke with Chris, the manager at Book City Yonge & St. Clair, to get his thoughts on the top ten books that are coming out the first half of the year.

Drop by to browse these titles and so many more. It’ll put spring in your step and inspire thoughtful contemplation. And 2017 may finally be the year to start a book club.

10. All Our Wrong Todays

By Elan Mastai, out now

Remember how people in the fifties imagined the future with flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases? Well, that future happens in All Our Wrong Todays, which follows the story of time-traveller Tom, who goes back to the moment right before the groundbreaking experiment that propelled humanity into this future. Only, thanks to an accident, the experiment fails and he returns ‘home’ to find his world erased and replaced with our own 2016 that, by comparison, is a mess. What is Tom to do?

9. The Best of Adam Sharp

By Graeme Simsion, out now

Chris tells us that Graeme Simsion’s newest book is “a very charming read.” The book follows the life of middle aged Adam Sharp, who for all intents and purposes, enjoys the life he has made for himself – but he starts to feel like something is missing. He can’t shake off the nostalgia of a blazing affair from twenty years ago with an actress named Angelina Brown – until she reaches out to him from the other side of the world. It’s a story about lost love and second chances.

8. The Refugees

By Viet Thanh Nguyen, out now

Nguyen’s last book The Sympathizer was one of the most highly praised novels of 2015, winning a litany of awards, including the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His next book, titled The Refugees, is a collection of short stories written over twenty years, exploring questions of immigration, identity, love, and family. It explores “the aspirations of those who leave one country for another, and the relationships and desires for self-fulfillment that define our lives.”

7. The Killers of the Flower Moon

By David Grann, April

“I’m really excited for this novel,” Chris gleams – “It’s about the Osage Indian Nation murders of the 1920s, which lead to the birth of the FBI. David Grann is a well-respected novelist with a high pedigree; he also wrote a book called the Lost City of Z, which is releasing as a movie this spring. I’ve read his short non-fiction pieces and they have been great. I expect the same quality with Killers of the Flower Moon.”

6. South and West: From a Notebook

By Joan Didion, March

Joan Didion rose to fame with her best-selling novel and National Book Award winning The Year of Magical Thinking. Her new novel South and West: From a Notebook is just that – it’s literally a collection of stories from one of her notebooks. “She is an excellent writer and this novel should be an illuminating glimpse into her mind and process.”

5. This I Know: Marketing Lessons from Under the Influence

By Terry O’Reilly, out now

Terry O’Reilly is a radio personality and host of the CBC Radio One series, Under the Influence. It’s a collection of his career’s wealth of marketing wisdom, sharing the benefits of counterintuitive thinking and knowing an opportunity when you see one. “I don’t typically enjoy novels like this, but it was a very entertaining read,” Chris shares.

4. Walkaway

By Corey Doctorow, April

“I’m very excited for this book. It’s Corey’s first adult novel in almost a decade. Walkaway follows the story of Hubert after the breakdown of modern society once the world is wrecked by climate change.” Per the book’s leaflet, Walkaway is a “fascinating, moving, and darkly humorous science fiction thriller about the changes of the next hundred years and the very human people who will live the consequences.”

3. 4 3 2 1

By Paul Auster, out now

“I love the premise of this novel – it’s the story of one man’s life told in four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four boys that are born the same person, but go on to live four entirely different lives.” This 900-page epic came out last week.

2. Ill Will

By Dan Chaon, March

Ill Will is a psychological drama that follows the story of Dustin, a psychologist that gets caught up in following a string of mysterious deaths of college-aged men. He gets consumed trying to figure out what’s happening to these boys, while also dealing with the fallout of an overturned conviction of his family’s alleged murderer. “It gets really dark and is really, really good. I definitely recommend it.”

1. Lincoln in the Bardo

By George Saunders, out now

“George Saunders is normally a short story writer, but it’s his first novel, and it is fantastic. I already think it’s the best book of the year. It’s dark and funny, and full of humanity. It’s Abraham Lincoln and the death of his eleven-year-old son, Willie, at the dawn of the Civil War. Willie is placed in a sort of purgatory where the ghosts of the cemetery speak to the young Lincoln as his father visits his crypt. The humanity of the novel is astounding.”