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Bibliophile Bliss: 8 New Titles for Book Lovers

This list of the latest fiction and non-fiction has bookstores, literary agents and authors galore. / BY Athena McKenzie / July 20th, 2022


If, like Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, you “have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library,” then reading about books will bring you joy. These picks, which include romances, historical fiction and memoirs, all celebrate some aspect of the bookish life, from writing and publishing to bookshops and libraries.

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1A Factotum in the Book Trade by Marius Kociejowski

In his memoir – described as both charming and grouchy – poet, essayist and travel writer Marius Kociejowski expounds on life as a bookseller. Born and raised in Ontario, as an adult he moved to London, where he worked in some of the city’s best antiquarian bookstores. The book will appeal to bibliophiles, as Kociejowski recounts his interactions with buyers, sellers and customers, including famous ones like Patti Smith and Johnny Depp.

“The bookshop is, and will always be, the soul of the trade … “ Kociejowski writes. “The multifariousness of human nature is more on display there than anywhere else, and I think it’s because of books…”


2Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

One of the most anticipated books of 2022, this is Natalie Jenner’s follow-up to 2020’s The Jane Austen Society, and the Ontario-based writer delivers another enticing blend of historical fiction and literary references. In post-war London, Evie – the maid from Jenner’s previous novel – has finished her studies at Cambridge University and is now working at Bloomsbury Books, where she bonds with the female clerks who chafe against the stifling misogyny of their employer, and the times.

“[Vivien] had been first to call [Alex] the Tyrant,” Jenner writes. “‘He doesn’t even read women’, Vivien would bemoan to Grace, who would nod back in sympathy while trying to remember her grocery list before the bus journey home. ‘I mean, what – one Jane Austen on the shelves? No Katherine Mansfield. No Porter.”


3The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick


4 The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

If paranormal romance is a new genre for you, The Dead Romantics by South Carolina writer Ashley Poston is a fun place to start, with extra appeal for those interested in the publishing world – and funeral parlours. Ghost writer (get it?) Florence Day is behind on her latest romance novel, and her new, very handsome, editor refuses to extend her deadline. When she must return to her hometown for her father’s funeral, it’s not his ghost that haunts her, but that of her very confused and deceased editor.

“I heard editors and marketing and PR shadows talking in hushed tones about acquisitions, marketing plans, contractual obligations, tours . . .” Poston writes. “Publishing was all very romantic until you found yourself in publishing. Then it was just another kind of corporate hell.”


5The Penguin Modern Classics Book by Henry Eliot

Inspire your next reading project with this gorgeous book about books by Henry Eliot, a British-based author and literary commentator. From iconic cover designs to era-defining authors from the last 100 years, Penguin Modern Classics are a staple of any great home library. This reading companion details every title – 1,800 books from 600 authors, with 2,000 cover images – and includes reading lists, publishing anecdotes and key literary moments.

“In 1952, Alan Tritton, a member of the British Antarctic Survey, wrote to complain about a Penguin Handbook: he had been disappointed to discover that Bee Nilson’s Penguin Cookery Book (1952) contained no guidance on cooking penguins,” Eliot writes.

 


6The Littlest Library by Poppy Alexander

British author Poppy Alexander draws inspiration from village life in Sussex for her novels, and her latest celebrates the ways reading draws people together. It features librarian Jess Metcalf, who spontaneously buys a run-down cottage in a small English village after the death of her beloved grandmother, Mimi, who used her waning energy to sort her belongings after a terminal diagnosis. Unable to part with her grandmother’s book collection, Jess sets up a library in the disused red phone box on her new property, as she navigates the village politics — and a prickly relationship with the handsome man next door.

“Every day Jess arrived home from work to two piles inside the front door, one for the charity shop and one for the dump,” Alexander writes. “Occasionally she protested at Mimi expending her strength on such things, but her grandmother had been adamant … But when it came to the books, Jess tried to put her foot down.

‘You always told me books were sacred,’ she insisted, the first day she came home and found them by the door.”


7Book Loversby Emily Henry

Fans of Hallmark movies and romance novels often cite the comfort of the familiar character types and story lines, and Ohio-based writer Emily Henry plays with those elements in her latest summer read. Big-city literary agent Nora Stephens imagines herself as a literary villain after several boyfriends dump her for sweet, small-town women. Her summer escape to a small town gets complicated when she keeps running into an editor from the city, with whom she has had a very prickly professional relationship.

“When books are your life – or in my case, your job – you get pretty good at guessing where a story is going,” Henry writes. “The tropes, the archetypes, the common plot twists all start to organize themselves into a catalogue inside your brain, divided by category and genre. … The details may change from book to book, but there’s nothing truly new under the sun.”


8By The Book by Jasmine Guillory

The library in the movie adaptation of Beauty and the Beast set many book-lovers’ hearts a-flutter. Rom-com queen Jasmine Guillory has set her retelling of this classic tale in the world of publishing. As the only Black employee at her publishing house – and one of only a few people of colour, including her friend Priya – editorial assistant Isabelle Marlowe is starting to feel disillusioned about her career choice. When she overhears her terrible boss talking about a beastly client – a former child actor writing a memoir who won’t deliver his manuscript – Isabelle offers to work with the recluse in his coastal mansion.

“During Priya’s first week, there had been an editorial meeting where one editor had waxed poetic about how diverse their books were that season,” Guillory writes. “Of the twenty-five books in their imprint, there were three whole authors of color, none of whom were Black. She and Priya had locked eyes across the room. They’d been friends ever since.”

 


THE SCROLL

Salman Rushdie, Novelist Who Drew Death Threats, Is Stabbed at New York LectureThe Indian-born novelist who was ordered killed by Iran in 1989 because of his writing, was attacked before giving a talk on artistic freedom.


Raymond Briggs, Creator of Beloved Children’s Tale ‘The Snowman’, Dies at 88First published in 1978, the pencil crayon-illustrated wordless picture book sold more than 5.5 million copies around the world while a television adaption became a Christmas favourite in Britain and was nominated for an Oscar.


Canadian Author Emily St. John Mandel Makes Barack Obama’s 2022 Summer Reading ListObama's list includes everything from fiction to books on politics, cultural exploration and basketball.


Canadian Author Rebecca Eckler to Launch RE:books Publishing House Focused on Female Authors and Fun ReadsThe former National Post columnist says her tagline is ‘What’s read is good, and what’s good is read.’”


Brian Thomas Isaac’s “All the Quiet Places” wins $5,000 Indigenous Voices AwardThe B.C. author, a retired bricklayer, drew on his childhood growing up on the Okanagan Indian reserve for his coming-of-age story set in 1956


Canadian-American Author Ruth Ozeki Wins Women’s Book Prize for “The Book of Form and Emptiness”The UK judges said her fourth novel, inspired in part by the Vancouver Public Library, contained "sparkling writing, warmth, intelligence, humour and poignancy."


The Bill Gates Summer Reading List Includes a Sci-Fi Novel On Gender Inequality Suggested by His DaughterBill Gates' summer reading list includes fiction and non-fiction titles that cover gender equality, political polarization and climate change.


American novelist Joshua Cohen wins the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for “The Netanyahus”The 2022 Pulitzer prizes include this satirical look at identity politics, focused on the father of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a crucial time in the Jewish state’s history


Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro Among Canadian Authors Recognized in Commemorative Reading List Marking Queen’s Platinum JubileeThe authors are among six Canadian scribes included on the The Big Jubilee Read list.


Queen Elizabeth II’s Aide Reveals Details of Life in Royal Pandemic Lockdown in New Addition to BookAngela Kelly, who's worked for the Queen for 20 years, discusses everything from cutting the Queen's hair to "the light and laughter that was shared ... even in the darkest moments."


New Leonard Cohen Story Collection, ‘A Ballet of Lepers,’ Set for October ReleaseThe collection features a novel, short stories and a radio play written between 1956 and 1961.


Archived Letters Reveal How Toni Morrison Helped MacKenzie Scott Meet Future Husband Jeff BezosBezos hired Scott at the hedge fund where he worked after receiving a recommendation from Morrison. Shortly thereafter, the pair married and Scott helped Bezos launch Amazon.


Prince Harry’s Memoir is Set to Rock the MonarchyFriends say the California-based royal got a million-pound book deal to write "an intimate take on his feeling about the family."


European Jewish Congress Asks Publisher to Pull Anne Frank BookThe Congress says 'The Betrayal of Anne Frank' has "deeply hurt the memory of Anne Frank, as well as the dignity of the survivors and the victims of the Holocaust."


Canadian Author Details Anne Frank Cold-Case Investigation That Named Surprise Suspect in Her Family’s Betrayal in New BookAhead of the 75th anniversary of the publication of Frank's 'The Diary of a Young Girl' in June, a team that included a retired FBI agent and around 20 historians, criminologists and data specialists identified a relatively unknown figure as a leading suspect in revealing her family's hideout.


Man Who Tricked Authors Into Handing Over Unpublished Manuscripts Arrested by FBI in New YorkFilippo Bernardini, an employee of a well known publication house, has been arrested for stealing hundreds of unpublished manuscripts.


Hollywood Legend Betty White Has a Last Laugh in New Biographic Comic BookThe creators of the biographical comic book have released similar books about Hollywood legends like Carrie Fisher, Lucille Ball, David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor.


Barack Obama Reveals His List of Books That Left “A Lasting Impression” in 2021Obama's favourite 2021 reads include two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead's 'Harlem Shuffle' and 'Klara and the Sun,' by Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro


“Interview With the Vampire” Author Anne Rice Dies at 80 — Tributes Pour in From Stuart Townsend and OthersThe author, who was best known for her work in gothic fiction, died on Saturday evening as a result of complications from a stroke.


Norma Dunning wins $25,000 Governor General’s English fiction prize for ‘Tainna’The Edmonton-based Inuk writer explores themes of displacement, loneliness and spirituality in six short stories


Omar El Akkad wins $100,000 Giller prize for “What Strange Paradise”The former Globe and Mail reporter, who published "American War" to acclaim in 2017, tackles the global migrant refugee crisis in his second novel


South African Author Damon Galgut Wins the Booker Prize For ‘The Promise’Galgut received nominations for his 2003 and 2010 works before finally taking home the prize this year. 


Hollywood Legend Paul Newman Discusses Life, Acting and Aging Gracefully in Newly Discovered MemoirPublishers of the newly discovered memoir say the Hollywood legend wrote the book in the 1980s in response to the relentless media attention he received during that time.


Here’s What You Need to Know About the Toronto International Festival of AuthorsDirector Roland Gulliver lands in Toronto to open his second, much-expanded virtual festival with more than 200 events


Tanzanian Novelist Gurnah Wins 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature for Depicting the Impact of Colonialism and Refugee StoriesGurnah, 72, is only the second writer from sub-Saharan Africa to win one of the world's most prestigious literary awards


Miriam Toews Garners Third Giller Prize Nomination for “Fight Night” after Shortlist AnnouncedSophomore efforts from novelists Omar El Akkad and Jordan Tannahill join debut books from Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia and Angélique Lalonde


Tina Brown’s New Book, ‘The Palace Papers’, Covers the Royal Family’s Reinvention After Diana’s Tragic DeathTina Brown's sequel to her 2007 release 'The Diana Chronicles' is set to hit shelves April 12, 2022. 


Audible.ca Releases Andrew Pyper’s Exclusive Audiobook “Oracle” For New Plus Catalogue LaunchThe thriller about a psychic FBI detective is one of 12,000 titles now available for free to members


Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen to Release Book Based On Their “Renegades” PodcastThe new book will feature a collection of candid, intimate and entertaining conversations


Prince Harry Will Publish a Memoir in Late 2022Harry says he's writing the book "not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become."


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