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A revelatory book about gender, mental illness, parenting, mortality, bike mechanics, work, class, and the task of living in a…body. Inquisitive and expansive, Like a Boy but Not a Boy explores author andrea bennett's experiences with gender expectations, being a non-binary parent, and the sometimes funny and sometimes difficult task of living in a body. The book's fourteen essays also delve incisively into the interconnected themes of mental illness, mortality, creative work, class, and bike mechanics (apparently you can learn a lot about yourself through trueing a wheel). In "Tomboy," andrea articulates what it means to live in a gender in-between space, and why one might be necessary; "37 Jobs 21 Houses" interrogates the notion that the key to a better life is working hard and moving house. And interspersed throughout the book is "Everyone Is Sober and No One Can Drive," sixteen stories about queer millennials who grew up and came of age in small Canadian communities. With the same poignant spirit as Ivan Coyote's Tomboy Survival Guide, Like a Boy addresses the struggle to find acceptance, and to accept oneself; and how one can find one's place while learning to make space for others. The book also wonders what it means to be an atheist and search for faith that everything will be okay; what it means to learn how to love life even as you obsess over its brevity; and how to give birth, to bring new life, at what feels like the end of the world. With thoughtfulness and acute observation, andrea bennett reveals intimate truths about the human experience, whether one is outside the gender binary or not.
By Jasmine Guillory. 2019
As seen on The Today Show! The new exhilarating romance from The New York Times bestselling author of The Proposal,…a Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick ! Maddie and Theo have two things in common: 1. Alexa is their best friend 2. They hate each other After an "oops, we made a mistake" night together, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa's wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they're comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won't fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together to release some tension when Alexa isn't looking, agreeing they would end it once the wedding is over. When it's suddenly pushed up and they only have a few months left of secret rendezvouses, they find themselves regretting that the end is near. Two people this different can't possibly have a connection other than the purely physical, right? But as with any engagement with a nemesis, there are unspoken rules that must be abided by. First and foremost, don't fall in love
By Amanda Leduc. 2020
Amanda Leduc's brilliant new novel, woven with fairy tales of her own devising and replete with both catastrophe and magic,…is a vision of what happens when we ignore the natural world and the darker parts of our own natures. Heather is sleeping peacefully after the birth of her twin daughters when the sound of the world ending jolts her awake. Stumbling outside with her babies and her new husband, Brendan, she finds that their city has been destroyed by falling meteors and that her little family are among only a few who survived. But the mountain that looms over the city is still green--somehow it has been spared the destruction that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. Heather is one of the few who know the mountain, a place city-dwellers have always been forbidden to go. Her dad took her up the mountain when she was a child on a misguided quest to heal her legs, damaged at birth. The tragedy that resulted has shaped her life, bringing her both great sorrow and an undying connection to the deep magic of the mountain, made real by the beings she and her dad encountered that day: Estajfan, a centaur born of sorrow and of an ancient, impossible love, and his two siblings, marooned between the magical and the human world. Even as those in the city around her--led by Tasha, a charismatic doctor who fled to the city from the coast with her wife and other refugees--struggle to keep everyone alive, Heather constantly looks to the mountain, drawn by love, by fear, by the desire for rescue. She is torn in two by her awareness of what unleashed the meteor shower and what is coming for the few survivors, once the green and living earth makes a final reckoning of the usefulness of human life and finds it wanting. At times devastating, but ultimately redemptive, Amanda Leduc's fable for our uncertain times reminds us that the most important things in life aren't things at all, but rather the people we want by our side at the end of the world.
By Antonio Michael Downing. 2021
The triumph of Saga Boy is the triumph of Blackness everywhere--the irrepressible instinct for survival in a world where Blacks…are prey."--Ian Williams, Giller Prize-winning author of ReproductionAn enthralling, deeply personal account of a young immigrant's search for belonging and Black identity amid the long-lasting effects of cultural dislocation.Antonio Michael Downing's memoir of creativity and transformation is a startling mash-up of memories and mythology, told in gripping, lyrical prose. Raised by his indomitable grandmother in the lush rainforest of southern Trinidad, Downing, at age 11, is uprooted to Canada when she dies. But to a very unusual part of Canada: he and his older brother are sent to live with his stern, evangelical Aunt Joan, in Wabigoon, a tiny northern Ontario community where they are the only Black children in the town. In this wilderness, he begins his journey as an immigrant minority, using music and performance to dramatically transform himself. At the heart of his odyssey is the longing for a home. He is re-united with his birth parents who he has known only through stories. But this proves disappointing: Al is a womanizing con man and drug addict, and Gloria, twice abandoned by Al, seems to regard her sons as cash machines. He tries to flee his messy family life by transforming into a series of extravagant musical personalities: "Mic Dainjah," a punk rock rapper, "Molasses," a soul music crooner and finally "John Orpheus," a gold chained, sequin- and leather-clad pop star. Yet, like his father and grandfather, he has become a "Saga Boy," a Trinidadian playboy, addicted to escapism, attention, and sex. When the inevitable crash happens, he finds himself in a cold, stone jail cell. He has become everything he was trying to escape and must finally face himself. Richly evocative, Saga Boy is a heart-wrenching but uplifting story of a lonely immigrant boy who overcomes adversity and abandonment to reclaim his Black identity and embrace a rich heritage.
By Antonio Michael Downing. 2021
The triumph of Saga Boy is the triumph of Blackness everywhere—the irrepressible instinct for survival in a world where Blacks…are prey." —Ian Williams, Giller Prize-winning author of Reproduction An enthralling, deeply personal account of a young immigrant's search for belonging and black identity amid the long-lasting effects of cultural dislocation. Antonio Michael Downing's memoir of creativity and transformation is a startling mash-up of memories and mythology, told in gripping, lyrical prose. Raised by his indomitable grandmother in the lush rainforest of southern Trinidad, Downing, at age 11, is uprooted to Canada when she dies. But to a very unusual part of Canada: he and his older brother are sent to live with his stern, evangelical Aunt Joan, in Wabigoon, a tiny northern Ontario community where they are the only black children in the town. In this wilderness, he begins his journey as an immigrant minority, using music and performance to dramatically transform himself. At the heart of his odyssey is the longing for a home. He is re-united with his birth parents who he has known only through stories. But this proves disappointing: Al is a womanizing con man and drug addict, and Gloria, twice abandoned by Al, seems to regard her sons as cash machines. He tries to flee his messy family life by transforming into a series of extravagant musical personalities: "Mic Dainjah", a punk rock rapper, "Molasses", a soul music crooner and finally "John Orpheus", a gold chained, sequin- and leather-clad pop star. Yet, like his father and grandfather, he has become a "Saga Boy", a Trinidadian playboy, addicted to escapism, attention, and sex. When the inevitable crash happens, he finds himself in a cold, stone jail cell. He has become everything he was trying to escape and must finally face himself. Richly evocative, Saga Boy is a heart-wrenching but uplifting story of a lonely immigrant boy who overcomes adversity and abandonment to reclaim his black identity and embrace a rich heritage
By Dimitri Nasrallah. 2018
From the author of the widely acclaimed Niko comes a fresh take on the political thriller, an allegory of power…and privilege resurrected from the thwarted ideals of the Arab Spring. In The Bleeds, Nasrallah overturns the conventions of the political novel to focus on the corroded luxury and power structures framing the lives of those most affected by war and insurrection. For half a century, the Bleeds have ruled with an iron fist. Once hailed as the founders of an independence movement, they've long since cemented into corrupt autocrats upheld by the foreign investors who manage their region's uranium trade. The aging Mustafa Bleed orchestrated the election of his son, Vadim, but Vadim's first term has proven he's more interested in the casinos of Monaco than his new role as leader. Now that an election has set the stage for revolt, opposition leaders, foreign diplomats, and journalists are fomenting a revolution against the Bleeds. All the while, father and son grapple with bonds of love, loyalty, betrayal, and paranoia. Dimitri Nasrallah's second novel, Niko, was nominated for CBC's Canada Reads and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and has been published in four languages. His debut, Blackbodying, won the McAuslan First Book Prize. He lives in Montreal, where he teaches creative writing at Concordia University.
By Christina Myers. 2020
Pop culture stereotypes, shopping frustrations, fat jokes and misconceptions about health are all ways society systemically rejects large bodies. BIG…is a collection of personal and intimate experiences of plus-sized women, non-binary and trans people in a society obsessed with thinness. Revealing insights that are both funny and traumatic, surprising and challenging, familiar and unexpected, 26 writers explore themes as diverse as self perception, body image, fashion, fat activism, food, sexuality, diet culture, motherhood and more. These stories offer a closer look at what it means to navigate a world designed to fit bodies of a certain size (sometimes literally) and, in turn, invite readers to ask questions about?and ultimately reconsider?our collective and individual obsession with women?s bodies. Contributors include Dr. Rohini Bannerjee, Amanda Scriver, Cassie Stocks, Jo Jefferson, Layla Cameron, Rabbit Richards, Sonja Boon, Simone Blais, Tracy Manrell and other writers from across Canada, the US, and the UK.
By Louisa Onomé. 2021
A poignant and incandescent debut that explores the bonds of community and what it really means to changeChinelo—or Nelo, as…her best friend, Kate, calls her—is all about her neighbourhood, Ginger East. She loves its chill vibe, its ride-or-die sense of community and the memories she has of growing up there. Ginger East isn’t what it used to be, though. After a deadly incident at the local arcade, most of Nelo’s friends, except for Kate, have moved away. But as long as the two girls have each other, Nelo’s good.Then Kate’s parents’ corner store is vandalized, leaving Nelo shaken to her core. The police and the media are quick to point fingers, and soon more of the outside world descends upon Ginger East with promises to “fix the neighbourhood.” Suddenly, Nelo finds herself in the middle of a drama that is unfolding on a national scale. Worse yet, Kate has begun acting strange. She’s pushing Nelo away at the exact time they need each other most. Nelo’s entire world is morphing into something she hates, and she must figure out how to get things back on track or risk losing everything—and everyone—she loves.
By Jael Richardson. 2021
A fierce and illuminating debut from FOLD founder Jael Richardson about a young woman who must find the courage to…determine her own future and secure her freedomSet in an imagined world in which the most vulnerable are forced to buy their freedom by working off their debt to society, Gutter Child uncovers a nation divided into the privileged Mainland and the policed Gutter. In this world, Elimina Dubois is one of only 100 babies taken from the Gutter and raised in the land of opportunity as part of a social experiment led by the Mainland government. But when her Mainland mother dies, Elimina finds herself all alone, a teenager forced into an unfamiliar life of servitude, unsure of who she is and where she belongs. Elimina is sent to an academy with new rules and expectations where she befriends Gutter children who are making their own way through the Gutter System in whatever ways they know how. When Elimina’s life takes another unexpected turn, she will discover that what she needs more than anything may not be the freedom she longs for after all. Richardson’s Gutter Child reveals one young woman’s journey through a fractured world of heartbreaking disadvantages and shocking injustices. Elimina is a modern heroine in an altered but all too recognizable reality who must find the strength within herself to forge her future and defy a system that tries to shape her destiny.
By Dominik Parisien. 2020
Ask, Can we for a moment make of beauty / the measure of our pain? and I will answer. To…be ill is to be a body bursting with strangers. A curiosity. A narrative to interpret. Dominik Parisien's debut collection is a poignant celebration of the complicated lived experience of disability, a challenge to the societal gaze, and a bold reconfiguration of the language of pain. A powerful contribution to the field of disability poetics, Side Effects May Include Strangers is an affecting look at the multitude of ways a body is both boundary and boundless. Parisien takes bpNichol's claim that "what is a poem is inside of your body" and localizes the inner and outer lives of disabled, queer, and aging bodies as points of meaning for issues of autonomy, disability, sexuality, and language. Balancing hope and uncertainty, anger and gratitude, these poems shift from medical practice to myth, from trauma to intergenerational friendship, in an unflinching exploration of the beauty and complexity of othered bodies.
By Jasmine Guillory. 2019
Maddie and Theo have two things in common: <P><P>1. Alexa is their best friend <P><P> 2. They hate each other…<P><P>After an “oops, we made a mistake” night together, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa's wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they're comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won't fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together to release some tension when Alexa isn't looking, agreeing they would end it once the wedding is over. When it’s suddenly pushed up and they only have a few months left of secret rendezvouses, they find themselves regretting that the end is near. Two people this different can’t possibly have a connection other than the purely physical, right? But as with any engagement with a nemesis, there are unspoken rules that must be abided by. First and foremost, don't fall in love.
By Sonali Dev. 2020
From the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors comes another , clever, deeply layered, and heartwarming romantic comedy that…follows in the Jane Austen tradition—this time, with a twist on Persuasion.Chef Ashna Raje desperately needs a new strategy. How else can she save her beloved restaurant and prove to her estranged, overachieving mother that she isn’t a complete screw up? When she’s asked to join the cast of Cooking with the Stars, the latest hit reality show teaming chefs with celebrities, it seems like just the leap of faith she needs to put her restaurant back on the map. She’s a chef, what’s the worst that could happen? Rico Silva, that’s what. Being paired with a celebrity who was her first love, the man who ghosted her at the worst possible time in her life, only proves what Ashna has always believed: leaps of faith are a recipe for disaster. FIFA winning soccer star Rico Silva isn't too happy to be paired up with Ashna either. Losing Ashna years ago almost destroyed him. The only silver lining to this bizarre situation is that he can finally prove to Ashna that he's definitely over her. But when their catastrophic first meeting goes viral, social media becomes obsessed with their chemistry. The competition on the show is fierce…and so is the simmering desire between Ashna and Rico. Every minute they spend together rekindles feelings that pull them toward their disastrous past. Will letting go again be another recipe for heartbreak—or a recipe for persuasion…? In Recipe for Persuasion, Sonali Dev once again takes readers on an unforgettable adventure in this fresh, fun, and enchanting romantic comedy.
By Jane Igharo. 2020
One of Betches' 7 Books by Black Authors You Need to Read This Summer One of Elite Daily&’s Books Featuring Interracial Relationships You Should…Read In 2020 One of Marie Claire&’s 2020 Books You Should Add to Your Reading List When a Nigerian woman falls for a man she knows will break her mother&’s heart, she must choose between love and her family. At twelve years old, Azere promised her dying father she would marry a Nigerian man and preserve her culture, even after immigrating to Canada. Her mother has been vigilant about helping—well forcing—her to stay within the Nigerian dating pool ever since. But when another match-made-by-mom goes wrong, Azere ends up at a bar, enjoying the company and later sharing the bed of Rafael Castellano, a man who is tall, handsome, and…white. When their one-night stand unexpectedly evolves into something serious, Azere is caught between her feelings for Rafael and the compulsive need to please her mother. Soon, Azere can't help wondering if loving Rafael makes her any less of a Nigerian. Can she be with him without compromising her identity? The answer will either cause Azere to be audacious and fight for her happiness or continue as the compliant daughter.
By Ausma Zehanat Khan. 2020
A powerful band of women warriors must face off against an oppressive enemy in one final showdown that will determine…their survival and the fate of their world in this concluding volume in Ausma Zehanat Khan's powerful fantasy series—an epic of magic, bravery, adventure, and the fight for freedom that lies "somewhere between N. K. Jemisin and George R. R. Martin" (Saladin Ahmed).Armed with the powerful sorcery of the Bloodprint and supported by the Talisman, the oppressive One-Eyed Preacher is on the verge of conquering Ashfall, the Black Khan’s capital in the west. Yet not all is lost for Arian, Sinnia and the Council of Hira. If these brave female warriors can uncover the secrets of an ancient magic weapon known as the Bladebone, they can defeat the Preacher and crush his cruel regime.Neither Arian and Sinnia, nor their allies, the Mages of Khorasan, know the Bladebone’s whereabouts, and not all may survive the search to uncover it. Pursued by a nefarious enemy aligned with the Preacher, they become separated, each following a different path. Then, in their darkest hour, unexpected help appears. But is the Khanum of Black Aura a friend or foe? Arian may discover the answer too late.When the secret of the Bladebone is finally revealed, the knowledge comes at a devastating price for Arian. As the capital falls, only Hira, home of the Companions, stands in the way of the Preacher’s victory. While the Companions rise to defend their Citadel from enemies outside and within, Arian must face off in a cataclysmic battle with the Preacher that pits the powers of the Bloodprint against the Sana Codex. For those who survive, Khorasan will never be the same.
By Marci Ien. 2020
Finding Your Voice, Living Out Loud For over a decade, millions of Canadians started their day with Marci Ien. As…a Black female news anchor and, later, the first Black woman in Canada to co-host a national morning show, Marci felt the pressure to stay “on script”—with little room for error. She had to be great. She had to show, every day, that she deserved to be there. When her career veered sharply away from the news, Marci embraced her new role “off script.” With a greater opportunity to speak her mind on the air, Marci now bravely shares experiences from her own life with viewers and pursues more ways to make a difference in her community. In Off Script, Marci shares personal milestones, tales of resilience and kindness, dramatic moments from her career as a journalist and insights from the many unforgettable people that she’s met and interviewed. Living off script means having the courage to speak up, trust your voice and follow your own formula for what matters most.
By Meichi Ng. 2020
“Funny, introspective, and touching. . . . The lessons Meichi gently shares with us through delightful stories are full of…wisdom for people at any life stage who need a reminder they’re not alone.” —Mari Andrew, author of Am I There Yet?From the creator of Barely Functional Adult, a painfully relatable webcomic with over 130k followers on Instagram, comes a never-before-seen collection of incriminating short stories about exes, murder, friendship, therapy, anxiety, Hufflepuff, sucking at things, freaking out about things, calming down momentarily, melodrama, wrinkles, pettiness, and other wonderful delights.Wielding her trademark balance of artful humor, levity, and heartbreaking introspection, Meichi Ng’s indisputably relatable collection of short stories holds a mirror to our past, present, and future selves. Featuring a swaddled Barely Functional Adult as its protagonist who says all the things we think but dare not say, this book is equal parts humorous and heartbreaking as it spans a spectrum of topics from imposter syndrome, therapy, friendships, first loves, letting go of exes, to just trying to find your purpose in the world. Prepare to excitedly shove this book in your friend’s face with little decorum as you shout, “THIS IS SO US!”In this beautiful, four-color collection compiled completely of never-before-seen content, Meichi perfectly captures the best and worst of us in every short story, allowing us to weep with pleasure at our own fallibility. Hilarious, relatable, and heart-wrenchingly honest, Barely Functional Adult will have you laughing and crying in the same breath, while taking solace in the fact that we’re anything but alone in this world.
By Bunmi Laditan. 2021
Dear God is a poignant collection of funny, often heartbreaking, and deeply insightful letters to God that bravely share the…emotions we all feel as we grapple with this broken world and search for divine love. With the same gutsy and poetic honesty that charmed readers around the world, Bunmi now shares prayers and poems that chart her faith journey toward reconnecting with the God she loved, lost, and realized had never left her side even while she wandered. These candid fieldnotes will stir your heart and make you laugh out loud with Bunmi's self-aware humor and profound insight into the spiritual journey we're all trying to navigate. Join Bunmi as she journeys through emotions we all experience--doubt, anger, joy, desperation, love, loneliness, and gratefulness. Wittingly fresh and stunningly relatable, she exquisitely names our fears, voices our painful questions, and bravely says what we're all thinking anyway in our prayerful wrestling with God. For those who find themselves thirsting for something more, those who seek to reconnect with God, or those who really don't know what they believe but appreciate a good word, this poignant collection of prayers is a strengthening reminder that the same Love that rises and sets the sun cares for you with particular affection.
By Nadine Matheson. 2021
"A heart-pounding roller coaster ride."—Tami Hoag, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boy*A Crime Reads Most Anticipated Book of 2021*A serial…killer and his copycat are locked in a violent game of cat and mouse. Can DI Anjelica Henley stop them before it&’s too late?On the day she returns to active duty with the Serial Crimes Unit, Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley is called to a crime scene. Dismembered body parts from two victims have been found by the river.The modus operandi bears a striking resemblance to Peter Olivier, the notorious Jigsaw Killer, who has spent the past two years behind bars. When he learns that someone is co-opting his grisly signature—the arrangement of victims&’ limbs in puzzle-piece shapes—he decides to take matters into his own hands.As the body count rises, DI Anjelica Henley is faced with an unspeakable new threat. Can she apprehend the copycat killer before Olivier finds a way to get to him first? Or will she herself become the next victim?Drawing on her experience as a criminal attorney, debut novelist Nadine Matheson delivers the page-turning crime novel of the year. Taut, vivid and addictively sinister, The Jigsaw Man will leave you breathless until the very last page.
By Tanya Boteju. 2021
Whip It meets We Are Okay in this vibrant coming-of-age story, about a teen girl navigates first love, identity, and…grief when she immerses herself in the colorful, brutal, beautiful world of roller derby—from the acclaimed author of Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens.To Daya Wijesinghe, a bruise is a mixture of comfort and control. Since her parents died in an accident she survived, bruises have become a way to keep her pain on the surface of her skin so she doesn&’t need to deal with the ache deep in her heart. So when chance and circumstances bring her to a roller derby bout, Daya is hooked. Yes, the rules are confusing and the sport seems to require the kind of teamwork and human interaction Daya generally avoids. But the opportunities to bruise are countless, and Daya realizes that if she&’s going to keep her emotional pain at bay, she&’ll need all the opportunities she can get. The deeper Daya immerses herself into the world of roller derby, though, the more she realizes it&’s not the simple physical pain-fest she was hoping for. Her rough-and-tumble teammates and their fans push her limits in ways she never imagined, bringing Daya to big truths about love, loss, strength, and healing.
By Uzma Jalaluddin. 2021
From the author of Ayesha at Last comes a sparkling new rom-com for fans of “You’ve Got Mail,” set in…two competing halal restaurants Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighbourhood. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have a chance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast, where she forms a lively relationship with one of her listeners. But soon she’ll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening Three Sisters. When her mysterious aunt and her teenage cousin arrive from India for a surprise visit, they draw Hana into a long-buried family secret. A hate-motivated attack on their neighbourhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana’s growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival restaurant—who might not be a complete stranger after all. As life on the Golden Crescent unravels, Hana must learn to use her voice, draw on the strength of her community and decide what her future should be.