BOOK CLUB

Cana­di­an­liv­ing staffers love a good book—and we know you do, too! Here’s our roundup of ti­tles to tempt you into a cozy chair by a fire on these blus­tery Oc­to­ber days.

Canadian Living - - Contents -

Whether you’re a non­fic­tion fa­natic or a mys­tery se­ries maven, we’ve got you cov­ered

Sing, Un­buried, Sing FIC­TION (SCRIBNER) BY JES­MYN WARD, $35.

Jojo, de­spite his ten­der age of 10 and of­ten un­sta­ble cir­cum­stances, is wise be­yond his years. He de­vot­edly cares for his in­fant sis­ter, Kayla, and aids his ail­ing grand­mother, all while learn­ing to be­come a man from his tough and stoic grand­fa­ther. But this isn’t just a com­ing-of-age tale. It’s also a road novel, as Jojo, his young sis­ter and their drug-ad­dicted mother, Leonie, pack the car to pick up his fa­ther from pri­son. Sur­pris­ingly, it’s a ghost story, too, as both Leonie and Jojo find them­selves con­vers­ing with (and try­ing to ig­nore) vi­sions of the dead. There’s a lot go­ing on, but I was im­me­di­ately in­vested in the char­ac­ters and their tor­mented pasts, as I hoped that maybe their sto­ries might turn brighter. —AD

The Lagom Life NON­FIC­TION (CICO) BY ELIS­A­BETH CARLSSON, $23.

For peo­ple who pre­fer to live sim­ply, this book is a new source of in­spi­ra­tion. Lagom—a Swedish word that means ev­ery­thing from bal­ance to pro­pri­ety to suf­fi­ciency—is be­ing touted as the Swedish ver­sion of the Dan­ish hygge we’ve all heard so much about, but in fact, it’s more than that. It’s a gov­ern­ing at­ti­tude of Swe­den in which the main tenet is to be con­tent with just enough. And while I get that, for some, the idea can be a bit sti­fling, in our cur­rent cli­mate of ex­cess, that sounds pretty good to me. —SM

The His­tory of Bees FIC­TION (TOUCH­STONE) BY MAJA LUNDE, $25.

This timely and thought­ful novel goes be­yond the topical ques­tion, What hap­pened to the bees? In Eng­land in 1852, a bi­ol­o­gist at­tempts to build a bee­hive that will earn his fam­ily pres­tige. In 2007 Amer­ica, a bee­keeper proudly and stub­bornly hon­ours his fam­ily’s tra­di­tions. In China in 2098, the bees have dis­ap­peared and a hand pol­li­na­tor searches for mean­ing after a ter­ri­ble accident. These sto­ries are in­ter­wo­ven in this mov­ing tale about fam­ily and the his­tory—and fu­ture—of bees. —AD

“When I be­gan writ­ing Sing, Un­buried, Sing, I thought, I’m go­ing to fol­low this fam­ily on a jour­ney. I be­gan to think about sto­ries like Theodyssey, where the char­ac­ters are search­ing, trav­el­ling and try­ing to re­turn home. My char­ac­ters are try­ing to find sort of a fig­u­ra­tive home—a place of safety and com­fort.” —Jes­myn Ward Read cana­di­an­liv­ing.com/jes­myn­ward.more of Alex’s chat with Jes­myn Ward at

The Golden House FIC­TION (KNOPF CANADA) BY SAL­MAN RUSHDIE, $35.

René has grown up in a shel­tered and af­flu­ent New York com­mu­nity, and the res­i­dents of­ten in­spire his film­mak­ing am­bi­tions. When Nero Golden, a mys­te­ri­ous ex­pat with three sons and many secrets, moves in, René has found his lead­ing man. Of course, it wouldn’t be New York City with­out a lit­tle po­lit­i­cal drama, and so the in­trigue of the Gold­ens un­folds as a shock­ing (and notso-sub­tly fa­mil­iar) pres­iden­tial elec­tion plays out. Is it Sal­man Rushdie’s best? I don’t think so, but his fans won’t be dis­ap­pointed by this sweep­ing fam­ily drama. —AD

The Last Mrs. Par­rish FIC­TION (HARPER) BY LIV CON­STAN­TINE, $32.

Equal parts Gone Girl, Sleep­ing

With the En­emy and Sin­gle White Fe­male, this psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller about a con artist weasel­ing her way into the lives of the ul­tra­rich had me hooked from its open­ing line: “Am­ber Pat­ter­son was tired of be­ing in­vis­i­ble.” As heart­less and self-cen­tred as she is clever and com­posed, Am­ber schemes to get what she thinks she de­serves in life, even if it means de­stroy­ing some­one else’s. But nei­ther she, nor I as a reader—could ever pre­dict how it all ends up. —SC

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