By Gretchen Rubin
Tolstoy wrote, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." This is the statement that inspired bestselling author Gretchen Rubin to wonder whether she could foster an even greater happiness in her home. During The Happiness Project, the same questions kept tugging at her. How can I raise happy children? How can I maintain a tender, romantic relationship with my spouse–after fifteen years of marriage? How do I keep my Blackberry from taking over my private life? How can I foster a well-ordered, light-hearted atmosphere in my house, when no one else will lift a finger to cooperate?
This book is Gretchen’s account of her second journey in pursuit of happiness. Prescriptive, easy-to-follow, and anecdotal, Happier at Home offers readers a way of thinking and being that is positive and life-affirming. With specific examples following the calendar year, an intimate voice, and drawing from science and pop culture, this book will resonate with anyone looking to strengthen the bonds of family.
By Shani Boianjiu
Shani Boianjiu’s stunning debut gives us a world where girls in the Israeli Defense Forces wait, endlessly–for womanhood, orders, war, peace. Yael trains marksmen and flirts with boys. Avishag stands guard, watching refugees throw themselves at barbed-wire fences. Lea, posted at a checkpoint, imagines stories behind the familiar faces that pass by her day after day. They gossip about boys and whisper of an ever more violent world just beyond view. They drill, constantly, for a moment that may never come. They live inside that single, intense second just before danger erupts. And they find that their dreams have stranger repercussions than they have been trained to imagine.
By Tony Danza
I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had is television, screen and stage star Tony Danza’s absorbing account of a year spent teaching tenth-grade English at Northeast High — Philadelphia’s largest high school with 3600 students.
Entering Northeast’s crowded halls in September of 2009, Tony found his way to a classroom filled with twenty-six students who were determined not to cut him any slack. They cared nothing about “Mr. Danza’s” showbiz credentials, and they immediately put him on the hot seat.
Featuring indelible portraits of students and teachers alike, I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had reveals just how hard it is to keep today’s technologically savvy – and often alienated — students engaged, how impressively committed most teachers are, and the outsized role counseling plays in a teacher’s day, given the psychological burdens many students carry. The book also makes vivid how a modern high school works, showing Tony in a myriad of roles – from lecturing on To Kill a Mockingbird to “coaching” the football team to organizing a talent show to leading far-flung field trips to hosting teacher gripe sessions.
A surprisingly poignant account, I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had is sometimes laugh-out-loud funny but is mostly filled with hard-won wisdom and feel-good tears.
By: Terry Fallis
The author of the Stephen Leacock Medal-winning The Best Laid Plans brings his trademark humour and sharp storytelling to a new novel set in the high-stakes world of a global public relations agency.
On his first day at Turner King, David Stewart quickly realizes that the world of international PR (affectionately, perhaps ironically, known as "the dark side") is a far cry from his previous job on Parliament Hill. For one, he missed the office memo on the all-black dress code; for another, there are enough acronyms and jargon to make his head spin. Before he even has time to find the washroom, David is assigned a major project: devise a campaign to revitalize North America’s interest in the space program – maybe even show NASA’s pollsters that watching a shuttle launch is more appealing than going out for lunch with friends. The pressure is on, and before long, David finds himself suggesting the most out-of-this-world idea imaginable: a Citizen Astronaut lottery that would send one Canadian and one American to the International Space Station. Suddenly, David’s vaulted into an odyssey of his own, navigating the corporate politics of a big PR agency; wading through the murky but always hilarious waters of Canada-U.S. relations; and trying to hold on to his new job while still doing the right thing.
Equal parts clever and satirical, thoughtful and affecting, Up and Down is Terry Fallis at his best, confirming his status as a Canadian literary star.
By Shauna Singh Baldwin
The Selector of Souls begins with a scene that is terrifying, harrowing and yet strangely tender: we’re in the mid ranges of the Himalayas as a young woman gives birth to her third child with the help of her mother, Damini. The birth brings no joy, just a horrible accounting, and the act that follows–the huge sacrifice made by Damini out of love of her daughter–haunts the novel.
In Shauna Singh Baldwin’s enthralling novel, two fascinating, strong-willed women must deal with the relentless logic forced upon them by survival: Damini, a Hindu midwife, and Anu, who flees an abusive marriage for the sanctuary of the Catholic church. When Sister Anu comes to Damini’s home village to open a clinic, their paths cross, and each are certain they are doing what’s best for women. What do health, justice, education and equality mean for women when India is marching toward prosperity, growth and becoming a nuclear power? If the baby girls and women around them are to survive, Damini and Anu must find creative ways to break with tradition and help this community change from within.
By Linwood Barclay
Thomas Kilbride is a map-obsessed schizophrenic so affected that he rarely leaves the self-imposed bastion of his bedroom. But with a computer program called Whirl360.com, he travels the world while never so much as stepping out the door. He pores over and memorizes the streets of the world. He examines every address, as well as the people who are frozen in time on his computer screen. Then he sees something that anyone else might have stumbled upon–but has not–in a street view of downtown New York City: an image in a window. An image that looks like a woman being murdered.
Thomas’s brother, Ray, takes care of him, cooking for him, dealing with the outside world on his behalf, and listening to his intricate and increasingly paranoid theories. When Thomas tells Ray what he has seen, Ray humors him with a half-hearted investigation. But Ray soon realizes he and his brother have stumbled onto a deadly conspiracy. And now they are in the crosshairs.