Just a small book shipment arrived today, but is it ever diverse! In addition to the books listed below, we also have some reorders of popular CBC Canada Reads 2014 titles. Speaking of which, have you heard that Backbeat is starting our very own book club? It’s going to be focused solely on Canadian authors and books and we’re nearly at capacity, so if you’d like to join (or know someone who would), now’s the time! Please contact Christine at the shop at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 613.466.0663 for further details. We’ll have an initial meeting soon in April to determine which nights and times work well for everyone who’s interested. – “Bun B’s Rapper Coloring and Activity Book” by Shea Serrano Rapper Bun B lends his street cred and occasionally his face to the creative, hilarious, and just flat-out fun imaginings of Shea Serrano in Bun B’s Rap Coloring and Activity Book. Described by the Washington Post as “what every hip-hop head wishes they had as a child,” this imaginative work started as a series of printable rap-related coloring and activity images. The 48-page, fully interactive book of coloring pages, unbelievably clever activities, and smart plays on rap culture brings these stars and their music right into your living room.Featured rappers include: Bun B, Queen Latifah, Drake, Talib Kweli, Ice-T, Common, Wiz Khalifa, Ludacris, LL COOL J, Big Boi, Childish Gambino, Questlove, B.o.B, Mac Miller…and many, many more! – “Boy, Snow, Bird” by Helen OyeyemiIn the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty—the opposite of the life she’s left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman. A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she’d become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy’s daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans passing for white. Among them, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold. Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving, Boy, Snow, Bird is an astonishing and enchanting novel. With breathtaking feats of imagination, Helen Oyeyemi confirms her place as one of the most original and dynamic literary voices of our time. – “Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal” by Chris Colfer Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal follows the story of outcast high school senior Carson Phillips, who blackmails the most popular students in his school into contributing to his literary journal to bolster his college application; his goal in life is to get into Northwestern and eventually become the editor of The New Yorker. At once laugh-out-loud funny, deliciously dark, and remarkably smart, Struck By Lightning unearths the dirt that lies just below the surface of high school. At a time when bullying torments so many young people today, this unique and important novel sheds light with humor and wit on an issue that deeply resonates with countless teens and readers. – “The Homesman” by Glendon Swarthout Soon to be a major motion picture directed by Tommy Lee Jones, The Homesman is a devastating story of early pioneers in 1850s American West. It celebrates the ones we hear nothing of: the brave women whose hearts and minds were broken by a life of bitter hardship. A “homesman” must be found to escort a handful of them back East to a sanitarium. When none of the county’s men steps up, the job falls to Mary Bee Cuddy – ex-teacher, spinster, indomitable and resourceful. Brave as she is, Mary Bee knows she cannot succeed alone. The only companion she can find is the low-life claim jumper George Briggs. Thus begins a trek east, against the tide of colonization, against hardship, Indian attacks, ice storms, and loneliness – a timeless classic told in a series of tough, fast-paced adventures. In an unprecedented sweep, Glendon Swarthout’s novel won both the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award and the Western Heritage Wrangler Award. A new afterword by the author’s son Miles Swarthout tells of his parents Glendon and Kathryn’s discovery of and research into the lives of the oft-forgotten frontier women who make The Homesman as moving and believable as it is unforgettable. – “Wave” by Sonali Deraniyagala On the morning of December 26, 2004, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Sonali Deraniyagala lost her parents, her husband, and her two young sons in the tsunami she miraculously survived. In this brave and searingly frank memoir, she describes those first horrifying moments and her long journey since. She has written an engrossing, unsentimental, beautifully poised account: as she struggles through the first months following the tragedy, furiously clenched against a reality that she cannot face and cannot deny; and then, over the ensuing years, as she emerges reluctantly, slowly allowing her memory to take her back through the rich and joyous life she’s mourning, from her family’s home in London, to the birth of her children, to the year she met her English husband at Cambridge, to her childhood in Colombo; all the while learning the difficult balance between the almost unbearable reminders of her loss and the need to keep her family, somehow, still alive within her.
March 20, 2014 / Books