Tag Archives: penguin books canada

Hot Summer Reads: The Watcher in the Wall By: Owen Laukkanen


A heart-pounding new Stevens and Windermere thriller from the award-winning author of The Stolen Ones and The Professionals.

Kirk Stevens and Carla Windermere of the joint BCA-FBI violent crime task force have handled shocking cases before, but this one is different. Stevens’s daughter, Andrea, is distraught over a classmate’s suicide, but what the two investigators find is even more disturbing—an online suicide club of unhappy teenagers, presided over by an anonymous presence who seems to be spurring them on. Soon, it becomes apparent that the classmate wasn’t the first victim—and won’t be the last, either, unless they can hunt down this psychopath once and for all.



Hot Summer Reads: Spark Joy An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up By: Marie Kondo


Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has revolutionized homes—and lives—across the world. Now, Kondo presents an illustrated guide to her acclaimed KonMari Method, with step-by-step folding illustrations for everything from shirts to socks, plus drawings of perfectly organized drawers and closets. She also provides advice on frequently asked questions, such as whether to keep “necessary” items that may not bring you joy. With guidance on specific categories including kitchen tools, cleaning supplies, hobby goods, and digital photos, this comprehensive companion is sure to spark joy in anyone who wants to simplify their life.



Hot Summer Reads: She’s Not There A Novel By: Joy Fielding


A vanished child, a family in turmoil, and a fateful phone call that brings the torments of the past into the harrowing present . . . the New York Times bestselling author of Someone Is Watching weaves these spellbinding elements into a gripping novel of psychological suspense—a must-read for fans of Laura Lippman and Mary Higgins Clark.

“I think my real name is Samantha. I think I’m your daughter.”

Caroline Shipley’s heart nearly stops when she hears those words from the voice on the other end of the phone. Instantly, she’s thrust fifteen years into the past, to a posh resort in Baja, Mexico—and the fateful night her world collapsed.

The trip is supposed to be a celebration. Caroline’s husband, Hunter, convinces her to leave their two young daughters, Michelle and Samantha, alone in their hotel suite while the couple enjoys an anniversary dinner in the restaurant downstairs. But returning afterward, Caroline and Hunter make a horrifying discovery: Two-year-old Samantha has vanished without a trace.

What follows are days, weeks, and years of anguish for Caroline. She’s tormented by media attention that has branded her a cold, incompetent mother, while she struggles to save her marriage. Caroline also has to deal with the demands of her needy elder daughter, Michelle, who is driven to cope in dangerous ways. Through it all, Caroline desperately clings to the hope that Samantha will someday be found—only to be stung again and again by cruel reality.

Plunged back into the still-raw heartbreak of her daughter’s disappearance, and the suspicions and inconsistencies surrounding a case long gone cold, Caroline doesn’t know whom or what to believe. The only thing she can be sure of is that someone is fiercely determined to hide the truth of what happened to Samantha.



Hot Summer Reads: The High Mountains of Portugal A Novel By: Yann Martel

The High Mountains of Portugal is a suspenseful, mesmerizing story of a great quest for meaning, told in three intersecting narratives touching the lives of three different people and their families, and taking us on an extraordinary journey through the last century. We begin in the early 1900s, when Tomás discovers an ancient journal and sets out from Lisbon in one of the very first motor cars in Portugal in search of the strange treasure the journal describes. Thirty-five years later, a pathologist devoted to the novels of Agatha Christie, whose wife has possibly been murdered, finds himself drawn into the consequences of Tomás’s quest. Fifty years later, Senator Peter Tovy of Ottawa, grieving the death of his own beloved wife, rescues a chimpanzee from an Oklahoma research facility and takes it to live with him in his ancestral village in northern Portugal, where the strands of all three stories miraculously mesh together.

Beautiful, witty and engaging, Yann Martel’s new novel offers us the same tender exploration of the impact and significance of great love and great loss, belief and unbelief, that has marked all his brilliant, unexpected novels.



Hot Summer Reads: Minister Without Portfolio By: Michael Winter

Henry Hayward has been living life the way he’s wanted—working hard, playing hard—but when his girlfriend tells him she’s leaving, it destroys him. In a quest to recover, he joins an army-affiliated contracting crew that takes him overseas to a Canadian base in Afghanistan. In the company of friends, he begins to mend: having laughs and being rebellious, blithely unaware of all he’s left behind. But everything changes during a roadside incursion when a routine patrol turns fatal. And Henry, who survives, knows in his heart that he is responsible.

Upon returning home, tormented by guilt, he resolves to take care of the people and places around him: Martha Groves, whose boyfriend was killed in Afghanistan; his friends and neighbours; and a summer home that needs revitalizing. Henry tries his best to seek roots after a rootless life, collecting around himself a “community of a hundred people” for whom he cares deeply and is responsible. But he hasn’t factored in family history and social infidelity—and Martha has a revelation of her own that may change everything.

Minister Without Portfolio illuminates the power and violence of self-creation. It asks: To whom are we beholden? Who do we adopt—and who couldn’t we live without? It is an emotionally affecting work, filled with truths about the frailties and miracles of human nature, by a writer of exceptional talent.



Hot Summer Reads: The Hero’s Walk By: Anita Rau Badami


After the release of Anita Rau Badami’s critically acclaimed first novel, Tamarind Mem, it was evident a promising new talent had joined the Canadian literary community. Her dazzling literary follow-up is The Hero’s Walk, a novel teeming with the author’s trademark tumble of the haphazard beauty, wreckage and folly of ordinary lives. Set in the dusty seaside town of Toturpuram on the Bay of Bengal, The Hero’s Walk traces the terrain of family and forgiveness through…



Hot Summer Reads: Red Star Tattoo – My Life as a Girl Revolutionary By: Sonja Larsen

A small, skinny 8-year-old girl holding a teddy bear stands by the side of a country road with a young man she barely knows. They’re hitchhiking from a commune in Quebec to one in California. It is 1973 and somehow the girl’s parents think this is a good idea.

Sonja Larsen’s is a childhood in which family members come and go and where freedom is both a gift and a burden. Her mother, thrown out of home as a pregnant teenager by her evangelical preacher father, is drawn to the utopian ideals and radical politics of communism. Her aunt Suzie is gripped by schizophrenia, her behaviour so erratic she eventually loses custody of her daughter. And then there is her cousin Dana, shunted back and forth long-distance between her parents–Dana, whose own need to escape leads to tragedy.

Looking for a sense of family, searching to belong, to have your life mean something–this is what all these girls and young women share. As a teenager, Larsen moves to Brooklyn, embedding herself with an organization known publicly as the National Labor Federation and privately as the Communist Party USA Provisional Wing. Over her three years at the organization’s national headquarters, Larsen works sixteen-hour day, eager to prove herself. Noticed and encouraged by the Old Man, the organization’s charismatic leader, he makes her one of his “special girls,” as well as the youngest member of the organization’s militia and part of its inner circle. But even as she and her comrades count down the days on the calendar until the dawning of their new American revolution, Larsen’s doubts about the cause and the Old Man become increasingly difficult to ignore.

Red Star Tattoo explores the seductions and dangers of extremism, and asks what it takes to survive a childhood scarred by loss, abuse and the sometimes violent struggle for belonging.



Hot Summer Reads: The Crooked Heart of Mercy By: Billie Livingston

The Crooked Heart of Mercy is a brave, funny and heartbreaking novel about faith and family, love and forgiveness, and how people survive unimaginable loss. It features an indelible trio of characters who could only come from the imagination of Billie Livingston. There’s Ben, whose world we enter on the first page: he’s a limo driver who, after he loses his son, finds himself locked up in a psych ward with a hole in his head he can’t explain. His wife, Maggie, the other narrator of the story, is locked up in her own grief, unable to reach out to her husband. Then there is Maggie’s brother, Francis, an unlikely priest with a drinking problem and only occasional interest in celibacy, whose latest fall from the wagon was caught on video and has gone viral as Drunk Priest Propositions Cop.

How they come together to heal each other’s many wounds is the magic of this novel, as is its intensity, its wit, its deep sense of the absurd, and the surprising grace at its core.


Book Report: ‘Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure and Coloring Book’ By: Johanna Basford

From the creator of the worldwide bestsellers Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest, a beautiful new coloring book that takes you on a magical journey beneath the waves

With Lost Ocean, Johanna Basford invites color-inners of all ages to discover an enchanting underwater world hidden in the depths of the sea. Through intricate pen and ink illustrations to complete, color, and embellish, readers will meet shoals of exotic fish, curious octopuses, and delicately penned seahorses. Visit coral reefs and barnacle-studded shipwrecks, discover intricate shells and pirate treasure. Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest fans and newcomers alike will welcome this creative journey into an inky new world.

For Lost Ocean, Johanna picked a crisp ivory paper that accentuates and compliments your chosen color palette. The smooth, untextured pages allow for beautiful blending or gradient techniques with colored pencils or are perfect for pens, allowing the nib to glide evenly over the surface without feathering.


I’ve never had patience to colour as a child. I did it for a while but I don’t remember it being a big deal.  These days with the adult colouring book craze being what it is – I have found myself watching a film late at night after work with some new pencil crayons, a cup of tea and some toast doodling away in the lines with Johanna Basford’s ‘Lost Ocean:  An Inky Adventure and Coloring Book’.

Johanna Basford is the Queen of colouring books in the moment. Her work is ornate, magical, and mythical and has so much whimsy you can help but smile during and the end of your colouring journey.

I loved ‘Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure and Coloring Book’.  It was slim enough that I could tuck it into my purse with some pencil crayons, take it to work or have it at home.  The prints were clear and full of motifs that were varied and true conversation pieces.

I have coloured some sheets and popped them onto my desk cubicle at work as art. I was even thinking of using some sheets to wrap small presents for friends and family.  Who needs wrapping paper when you can make your own?

My adult friends are keen on Basford’s work and I could also see myself giving this book to my 9 year old niece. ‘Lost Ocean:  An Inky Adventure and Coloring Book’ is so beautiful and a road worthy instant stress reliever.  Pick up a copy for yourself soon!


Book Report: ‘Love Style Life’ By Garance Dore

“The guardian of all style” (The New York Times Magazine) shares stories on life, love, style, and career, from Paris to New York, and inspires readers to cultivate an effortless chic that is all their own.

Garance Doré, the voice and vision behind her eponymous blog, has captivated millions of readers worldwide with her fresh and appealing approach to style through storytelling. This gorgeously illustrated book takes readers on a unique narrative journey that blends Garance’s inimitable photography and illustrations with the candid, hard-won wisdom drawn from her life and her travels. Infused with her Left Bank sensibility, the eclecticism of her adopted city of New York, and the wild, passionate spirit of her native Corsica, Love Style Life is a backstage pass behind fashion’s frontlines, peppered with French-girl-next-door wit and advice on everything from mixing J.Crew with Chanel, to falling in love, to pursuing a life and career that is the perfect reflection of you.


My little blog is a little blog that could in comparison to Garance Dore’s (http://www.garancedore.fr/en/).  I’ve always been fascinated with Dore’s view on fashion, travel and beauty.  In her book ‘Love Style Life’ she takes us deeper into her web of ‘beautiful things’.

I had my doubts about ‘Love Style Life’. I really didn’t need another coffee table on how I should be living my life.  I’m doing just fine on my own.  I like how I dress, I always need to improve my make-up game and there are always life goals that are in different stages of development.

Let’s just say ‘Love Style Life’ is not a dust collector. It is cheeky, robust in knowledge and will whisper you secrets of what you should have figured out by now.  But sometimes if you are not a well-travelled North American – well, yeah.  It’s hard.

I used to live in England and my ex-boyfriend taught me one thing. Well one that stands out that is worth relishing.  He taught me that it’s okay to wear and have nice things – the ‘Elegance’ chapter in ‘Love Style Life’ is all about this.  Before I was just a sales rack girl who didn’t care.  In my late 20’s to now in my 40’s I have learned to yes still buy on sale but to buy really nice, quality, road worthy and time less pieces.  It’s taking me time – but I have no problems taking back returns that were just delivered to my house the night before.

I loved Dore’s nod to Zara in ‘Love Style Life’. “Avoid getting overly excited about the piece that looks a little too “inspired by.”  I know, it’s tempting, but if it looks too much like Marant, Celine, or Valentino, step away.  If nothing more, out of respect for the designers.  But also because wearing a copy doesn’t send the best message.  Not to ourselves or to others.  As with everything – staying chic is knowing when to resist temptation.’

The Real Love Chapter of this book is the best words of love encouragement I have read in ages. Simple, to the point and easy to digest.   Sometimes we don’t need all fluff and clouds but the cold hard facts, which we already knew didn’t we?  “In seduction, sometimes absence is better.  Give space, give distance, don’t call.  Trust the process:  if it’s meant to be, it’ll come to you.”

Chapters on healthy family and personal relationships were also very informative and gave me some awesome food for thought. Be it love, ending a relationship that isn’t working, carefully confronting toxic situations and the like.

Lastly, I also giggled when I thumbed through the ‘The Thank You Note’ chapter. I’ve always been a fan of the thank you note.  I have a huge Rubbermaid box at home full of thank you notes, cards and stationery that I enjoy writing friends and family as necessary.  It’s nice to know after reading ‘Love Style Life’ By Garance Dore, being classy is not a dying art.