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A Prayer for Owen Meany: A Novel

By John Irving

I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice—not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.
In the summer of 1953, + Read More..
I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice—not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.
In the summer of 1953, two eleven-year-old boys—best friends—are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary.
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Alias Grace

By Margaret Atwood

In this astonishing new work by the author of the bestselling The Robber Bride and Cat's Eye, Margaret Atwood re-creates a mysterious and disturbing murder and breathes new life into one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the nineteenth century.

Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer, the wealthy + Read More..
In this astonishing new work by the author of the bestselling The Robber Bride and Cat's Eye, Margaret Atwood re-creates a mysterious and disturbing murder and breathes new life into one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the nineteenth century.

Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer, the wealthy Thomas Kinnear, and his housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery. Years later, Dr. Simon Jordan--an up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness--listens to Grace's story, from her family's difficult passage from Ireland to Canada, to her time as a maid in Thomas Kinnear's household. As Grace relives her past, Jordan draws her closer to a dark maze of relationships and her lost memories of the day her life was shattered.

Superbly evoking a century past, and alive with mesmerizing storytelling, Alias Grace is vintage Atwood.

"Atwood has surpassed herself, writing with a glittering, singing intensity." New York Review of Books
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All My Friends Are Superheroes

By Andrew Kaufman

All Tom's friends really are superheroes. There's the Ear, the Spooner, the Impossible Man. Tom even married a superhero, the Perfectionist. But at their wedding, the Perfectionist was hypnotized (by ex-boyfriend Hypno, of course) to believe that Tom is invisible. Nothing he does can make her see him. Six months later, she's sure that Tom has abandoned her. + Read More..
All Tom's friends really are superheroes. There's the Ear, the Spooner, the Impossible Man. Tom even married a superhero, the Perfectionist. But at their wedding, the Perfectionist was hypnotized (by ex-boyfriend Hypno, of course) to believe that Tom is invisible. Nothing he does can make her see him. Six months later, she's sure that Tom has abandoned her. So she's moving to Vancouver. She'll use her superpower to make Vancouver perfect and leave all the heartbreak in Toronto. With no idea Tom's beside her, she boards an airplane. Tom has until the wheels touch the ground in Vancouver to convince her he's visible, or he loses her forever.
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All My Puny Sorrows

By Miriam Toews

Elf and Yoli are sisters. While on the surface Elfrieda's is an enviable life (she's a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, and happily married) and Yolandi's a mess (she's divorced and broke, with two teenagers growing up too quickly), they are fiercely close—raised in a Mennonite household and sharing the hardship of Elf's desire to end her own life. + Read More..
Elf and Yoli are sisters. While on the surface Elfrieda's is an enviable life (she's a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, and happily married) and Yolandi's a mess (she's divorced and broke, with two teenagers growing up too quickly), they are fiercely close—raised in a Mennonite household and sharing the hardship of Elf's desire to end her own life. After Elf's latest attempt, Yoli must quickly determine how to keep her family from falling apart, how to keep her own heart from breaking, and what it means to love someone who wants to die.

All My Puny Sorrows is the latest novel from Miriam Toews, one of Canada's most beloved authors not only because her work is rich with deep human feeling and compassion, but because her observations are knife-sharp and her books wickedly funny. And this is Toews at her finest: a story that is as much comedy as it is tragedy, a goodbye grin from the friend who taught you how to live.
$10.00
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Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures: Stories

By Vincent Lam

Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures welcomes readers into a world where the most mundane events can quickly become life or death. By following four young medical students and physicians – Ming, Fitz, Sri and Chen – this debut collection from 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Vincent Lam is a riveting, eye-opening account of what it means to be a + Read More..
Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures welcomes readers into a world where the most mundane events can quickly become life or death. By following four young medical students and physicians – Ming, Fitz, Sri and Chen – this debut collection from 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Vincent Lam is a riveting, eye-opening account of what it means to be a doctor. Deftly navigating his way through 12 interwoven short stories, the author explores the characters’ relationships with each other, their patients, and their careers. Lam draws on his own experience as an emergency room physician and shares an insider’s perspective on the fears, frustrations, and responsibilities linked with one of society’s most highly regarded occupations.

“I wanted to write about the way in which a person changes as they become a physician — how their world view shifts, and how they become a slightly different version of themselves in the process of becoming a doctor,” Lam explains. “I wanted to write about the reality that doing good and trying to help others is not simple. It is ethically complicated and sometimes involves a reality that can only be expressed by telling a story.”

In the book’s first story, “How to Get into Medical School, Part 1,” students Ming and Fitz wrestle with their opposing personalities and study techniques, while coming to terms with a growing emotional connection that elicits disapproval from Ming’s traditional Chinese-Canadian parents. Lam’s exceptional talent for describing scenarios with great precision is showcased in “Take All of Murphy,” when Ming, Chen, and Sri find themselves at a moral crossroads while dissecting a cadaver. Throughout the book, readers are treated to the physicians’ internal thoughts and the mental drama involved with treating patients, including Fitz’s struggle with self-doubt in “Code Clock” and Chen’s boredom and exhaustion in “Before Light.”

From delivering babies to evacuating patients and dealing with deadly viruses, the four primary characters in Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures are made thoroughly human by Lam’s insightful detail, realistic dialogue, and expert storytelling. The medical world is naturally filled with drama, but it’s the author’s ability to give equal weight to the smaller moments that really brings this book to life.
$10.00
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Cabbagetown

By HUGH GARNER

Toronto's Cabbagetown in the Depression...North America's largest Anglo-Saxon slum. Ken Tilling leaves school to face the bleak prospects of the dirty thirties-where do you go, what do you do, how do you make a life for yourself when all the world offers in unemployment, poverty and uncertainty?

"As a social document, Cabbagetown is as important and revealing as either + Read More..
Toronto's Cabbagetown in the Depression...North America's largest Anglo-Saxon slum. Ken Tilling leaves school to face the bleak prospects of the dirty thirties-where do you go, what do you do, how do you make a life for yourself when all the world offers in unemployment, poverty and uncertainty?

"As a social document, Cabbagetown is as important and revealing as either The Tin Flute or The Grapes of Wrath. Stern realism has also projected upon the pages of a whole gallery of types, lifelike and convincing. He is well fitted to hold the mirror up to human nature." Globe and Mail.

Cabbagetown was first published in an abbreviated paperback edition in 1950 and was published in its entirety in 1968.
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Calculating God

By Robert J. Sawyer

An alien shuttle craft lands outside the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. A six-legged, two-armed alien emerges and says, in perfect English, "Take me to a paleontologist."

In the distant past, Earth, the alien's home planet, and the home planet of another alien species, all experienced the same five cataclysmic events at the same time (one example: the meteor + Read More..
An alien shuttle craft lands outside the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. A six-legged, two-armed alien emerges and says, in perfect English, "Take me to a paleontologist."

In the distant past, Earth, the alien's home planet, and the home planet of another alien species, all experienced the same five cataclysmic events at the same time (one example: the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs). Both alien races believe this proves the existence of God: i.e., he's obviously been playing with the evolution of life on each of these planets. From this provocative launch point, Sawyer tells a fast-paced, morally and intellectually challenging story of ambitious scope and touching humanity.

Calculating God is SF on a grand scale.
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Cat’s Eye

By Margaret Atwood

Cat’s Eye is the story of Elaine Risley, a controversial painter who returns to Toronto, the city of her youth, for a retrospective of her art.

Engulfed by vivid images of the past, she reminisces about a trio of girls who initiated her into the fierce politics of childhood and its secret world of friendship, longing, and betrayal. + Read More..
Cat’s Eye is the story of Elaine Risley, a controversial painter who returns to Toronto, the city of her youth, for a retrospective of her art.

Engulfed by vivid images of the past, she reminisces about a trio of girls who initiated her into the fierce politics of childhood and its secret world of friendship, longing, and betrayal. Elaine must come to terms with her own identity as a daughter, a lover, an artist, and a woman—but above all she must seek release from her haunting memories.

Disturbing, hilarious, and compassionate, Cat’s Eye is a breathtaking novel of a woman grappling with the tangled knot of her life.
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Concrete Toronto: A Guide to Concrete Architecture from the 1950s – 70s

Toronto is a concrete city. From international landmarks to civic buildings to cultural institutions to metropolitan infrastructure and the single-family home, reminders of the era of 'brutalist' architecture surround Torontonians. But for how long? As architectural fashion has shifted to the glass-and-steel neomodernism of today, these concrete structures have been increasingly ignored – and in some cases, demolished.

Concrete + Read More..
Toronto is a concrete city. From international landmarks to civic buildings to cultural institutions to metropolitan infrastructure and the single-family home, reminders of the era of 'brutalist' architecture surround Torontonians. But for how long? As architectural fashion has shifted to the glass-and-steel neomodernism of today, these concrete structures have been increasingly ignored – and in some cases, demolished.

Concrete Toronto takes readers on a guided tour of Toronto's concrete architecture. Editors Michael McClelland and Graeme Stewart have assembled a diverse group of industry experts – architects, university faculty, local practitioners, city planners, historians and journalists – to examine the unique and important qualities and the past and future of Toronto's concrete buildings in interviews, articles, archival photos, drawings and case studies.

Appealing to both the average reader and the enthusiast, Concrete Toronto provides a refreshing look not only at the neglected buildings, but also at the trends that produced them and the impact and consequences that resulted from their construction.
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Consolation: A Novel

By Michael Redhill

“There is a vast part of this city with mouths buried in it . . . . Mouths capable of speaking to us. But we stop them up with concrete and build over them and whatever it is they wanted to say gets whispered down empty alleys and turns into wind. . . .”

These are among the + Read More..
“There is a vast part of this city with mouths buried in it . . . . Mouths capable of speaking to us. But we stop them up with concrete and build over them and whatever it is they wanted to say gets whispered down empty alleys and turns into wind. . . .”

These are among the last words of Professor David Hollis before he throws himself off a ferry into the frigid waters of Lake Ontario. A renowned professor of “forensic geology,” David leaves in his wake both a historical mystery and an academic scandal. He postulated that on the site where a sports arena is about to be built lie the ruins of a Victorian boat containing an extraordinary treasure: a strongbox full of hundreds of never-seen photographs of early Toronto, a priceless record of a lost city. His colleagues, however, are convinced that he faked his research materials.

Determined to vindicate him, his widow, Marianne, sets up camp in a hotel overlooking the construction site, watching and waiting for the boat to be unearthed. The only person to share her vigil is John Lewis, fiancé to her daughter, Bridget. An orphan who had come to love David as his own father, John finds himself caught in a struggle between mother and daughter–all the while keeping a dark secret from both women.

Interwoven into the contemporary story is another narrative set in 1850s: the tale of Jem Hallam, a young apothecary struggling to make a living in the harsh new city so he can bring his wife and daughters from England. Crushed by ruthless competitors, he develops an unlikely friendship with two other down-on-their-luck Torontonians: Samuel Ennis, a brilliant but dissolute Irishman, and Claudia Rowe, a destitute widow. Together they establish a photography business and set out to create images of a fledgling city where wooden sidewalks are put together with penny nails, where Indians spear salmon at the river mouth and the occasional bear ambles down King Street, where department stores display international wares and fine mansions sit cheek-by-jowl with shantytowns.

Consolation moves back and forth between David Hollis’s legacy and Jem Hallam’s struggle to survive, ultimately revealing a mysterious connection between the two narratives. Exquisitely crafted and masterfully written, Michael Redhill’s superlative book reveals how history is often transformed into a species of fantasy, and how time alters the contours of even the things we hold most certain. As complex and layered as the city whose story it tells, Consolation evokes the mysteries of love and memory, and what suffering the absence of the beloved truly means.
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Death in the Age of Steam

By Mel Bradshaw

Winner of the 2004 ForeWord Book of the Year Award

Toronto in 1856 is industrializing with little time for scruple or sentiment. When Reform politician William Sheridan dies suddenly and his daughter Theresa vanishes, only one man persists in asking questions. A former suitor of Theresa’s, bank cashier Isaac Harris has never managed to forget her, despite her + Read More..
Winner of the 2004 ForeWord Book of the Year Award

Toronto in 1856 is industrializing with little time for scruple or sentiment. When Reform politician William Sheridan dies suddenly and his daughter Theresa vanishes, only one man persists in asking questions. A former suitor of Theresa’s, bank cashier Isaac Harris has never managed to forget her, despite her marriage to another man.

Thrust into the role of amateur detective, he must now struggle with the demands of his job and the shortcomings of the fledgling city police. He also faces the hostility of Theresa’s powerful husband, a steamboat and railway magnate. Harris’s search takes a grisly turn when, in a valley outside of town, he finds human remains decked in traces of Theresa’s finery. If she is dead, who is responsible? And who cares to find out, apart from the man who wooed her too timidly and now would do anything to make up for it?

Death in the Age of Steam whirls the reader through a richly realized Victorian landscape, from Niagara Falls to Montreal and north as far as the shores of Lake Superior. It’s a world at once near and exotic, a world of noise and smoke and churning pistons, but a world still very familiar to denizens of the 21st century.
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Engineer of Human Souls

By Josef Skvorecky

The Engineer of Human Souls is a labyrinthine comic novel that investigates the journey and plight of novelist Danny Smiricky, a Czech immigrant to Canada.

As the novel begins, he is a professor of American literature at a college in Toronto. Out of touch with his young students, and hounded by the Czech secret police, Danny is let + Read More..
The Engineer of Human Souls is a labyrinthine comic novel that investigates the journey and plight of novelist Danny Smiricky, a Czech immigrant to Canada.

As the novel begins, he is a professor of American literature at a college in Toronto. Out of touch with his young students, and hounded by the Czech secret police, Danny is let loose to roam between past and present, adopting whatever identity that he chooses or has been imposed upon him by History.
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Fifth Business

By Robertson Davies

Deptford Trilogy

Ramsay is a man twice born, a man who has returned from the hell of the battle-grave at Passchendaele in World War I decorated with the Victoria Cross and destined to be caught in a no man's land where memory, history, and myth collide.

As Ramsay tells his story, it begins to seem that from boyhood, he has + Read More..
Deptford Trilogy

Ramsay is a man twice born, a man who has returned from the hell of the battle-grave at Passchendaele in World War I decorated with the Victoria Cross and destined to be caught in a no man's land where memory, history, and myth collide.

As Ramsay tells his story, it begins to seem that from boyhood, he has exerted a perhaps mystical, perhaps pernicious, influence on those around him. His apparently innocent involvement in such innocuous events as the throwing of a snowball or the teaching of card tricks to a small boy in the end prove neither innocent nor innocuous.

Fifth Business stands alone as a remarkable story told by a rational man who discovers that the marvelous is only another aspect of the real.
$10.00
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Frontier City: Toronto on the Verge of Greatness

By Shawn Micallef

Toronto is emerging from an identity crisis into a glorious new era.

It began as a series of reports from the civic drama of the 2014 elections. But beyond the municipal circus, writer and commentator Shawn Micallef discovered the much bigger story of a city emerging into greatness. He walked and talked with candidates from all over Greater Toronto, + Read More..
Toronto is emerging from an identity crisis into a glorious new era.

It began as a series of reports from the civic drama of the 2014 elections. But beyond the municipal circus, writer and commentator Shawn Micallef discovered the much bigger story of a city emerging into greatness. He walked and talked with candidates from all over Greater Toronto, and observed how they energized their communities, never shying away from the problems that exist within them -- poverty, violence, racism, and drugs -- but advocating solutions that bring people together.

Shawn Micallef introduces us to those fighting for a more inclusive vision of Toronto and reveals the promise and potential for a city that has been suffering through a severe identity crisis but is now on a steep upturn. Toronto, he says, is set fair to be a new urban model for cities all over the world. Micallef reveals Toronto in all its rich variety. It is hard, he says, to grasp the vast size and scope of Toronto until you spend a few hours walking through unfamiliar neighbourhoods. Each reveals another adjacent to it, and then another, and another.

The city goes on and on, into unheralded ravines and oblique views of the downtown skyline. Hiding in all that geography is not only great beauty, but a force for change that's been building for decades as people arrived here from every corner of the globe.

Frontier City is a revelatory view of the Toronto of today and an inspiring vision of the Toronto of the near future.

"Cities are our future but they are also becoming more unequal and unaffordable. Combining on-the-ground reporting with an urbanist's eye for the big picture, Shawn Micallef takes a deep dive into his own Toronto to illuminate the opportunities and challenges facing its people and those of aspiring cities across the globe. A must read for builders of cities and anyone who lives in one." Richard Florida
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Fugitive Pieces: A Novel

By Anne Michaels

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

In 1940 a boy bursts from the mud of a war-torn Polish city, where he has buried himself to hide from the soldiers who murdered his family. His name is Jakob Beer. He is only seven years old. And although by all rights he should have shared the fate of + Read More..
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

In 1940 a boy bursts from the mud of a war-torn Polish city, where he has buried himself to hide from the soldiers who murdered his family. His name is Jakob Beer. He is only seven years old. And although by all rights he should have shared the fate of the other Jews in his village, he has not only survived but been rescued by a Greek geologist, who does not recognize the boy as human until he begins to cry. With this electrifying image, Anne Michaels ushers us into her rapturously acclaimed novel of loss, memory, history, and redemption.

As Michaels follows Jakob across two continents, she lets us witness his transformation from a half-wild casualty of the Holocaust to an artist who extracts meaning from its abyss. Filled with mysterious symmetries and rendered in heart-stopping prose, Fugitive Pieces is a triumphant work, a book that should not so much be read as it should be surrendered to.
$10.00
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Girls Fall Down

By Maggie Helwig

The 2012 One Book Toronto title and Shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award

A girl faints in the Toronto subway. Her friends are taken to the hospital with unexplained rashes; they complain about a funny smell in the subway. Swarms of police arrive, and then the hazmat team. Panic ripples through the city, and words like poisoning and terrorism + Read More..
The 2012 One Book Toronto title and Shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award

A girl faints in the Toronto subway. Her friends are taken to the hospital with unexplained rashes; they complain about a funny smell in the subway. Swarms of police arrive, and then the hazmat team. Panic ripples through the city, and words like poisoning and terrorism become airborne. Soon, people are collapsing all over the city in subways and streetcars and malls.

Alex was witness to this first episode. He’s a photographer: of injuries and deaths, for his job at the hospital, and of life, in his evening explorations of the city. Alex’s sight is failing, and as he rushes to capture his vision of Toronto on film, he encounters an old girlfriend – the one who shattered his heart in the eighties, while she was fighting for abortion rights and social justice and he was battling his body’s chemical demons. But now Susie-Paul is in the midst of her own crisis: her schizophrenic brother is missing, and the streets of Toronto are more hostile than ever.

Maggie Helwig, author of the critically lauded Between Mountains, has fashioned a novel not of bold actions but of small gestures, showing how easy and gentle is the slide into paranoia, and how enormous and terrifying is the slide into love.

'Prose of astonishing rhythm and precision ... The real success of Girls Fall Down lies in its thematic scope ... This is serious stuff, but it never reads like a polemic; instead, Helwig's ability to manage tension lends her novel the feel of a controlled thriller.' The Walrus
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Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto

By Phil Goodfellow

A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto provides a comprehensive look at the resurgence of city-building in Toronto over the past 20 years. Each project is featured on a two-page spread with a concise descriptive text, project information, photographs, and drawings. The projects are organized by neighborhood and allow the reader to take a self-guided tour. Maps at + Read More..
A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto provides a comprehensive look at the resurgence of city-building in Toronto over the past 20 years. Each project is featured on a two-page spread with a concise descriptive text, project information, photographs, and drawings. The projects are organized by neighborhood and allow the reader to take a self-guided tour. Maps at the introduction of each neighborhood provide context, and an index provides easy referencing of projects throughout.
$10.00
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Headhunter

By Timothy Findley

It all starts when Lilah Kemp - librarian, spiritualist, schizophrenic - inadvertantly lets Kurtz out of page 92 of Heart of Darkness and is unable to get him back in.

While Kurtz is stalking the streets of Toronto, Lilah frantically begins her search for Marlow to help her deal with the literary villain

Meanwhile, the city is becoming increasingly chaotic + Read More..
It all starts when Lilah Kemp - librarian, spiritualist, schizophrenic - inadvertantly lets Kurtz out of page 92 of Heart of Darkness and is unable to get him back in.

While Kurtz is stalking the streets of Toronto, Lilah frantically begins her search for Marlow to help her deal with the literary villain

Meanwhile, the city is becoming increasingly chaotic and terrifying. The rich and powerful are engaged in a web of depravity, a new and horrifying disease called sturnusemia has swept the city, and severly traumatized children are turning up at the local psychiatric institutes. Kurtz seems to be at the centre of it all.

Lilah, witness to events tearing the very fabric of her society, seeks solace as always in the great works of literature and prays for Marlow to find an capture Kurtz - before it's too late.
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Historical Atlas of Toronto

By Derek Hayes

Renowned map historian Derek Hayes provides a unique perspective on Toronto's colourful past.

In just two centuries, Toronto has grown from a tiny outpost of the British Empire to a world-class city, by far the largest in Canada. First a native village, then a French trading fort, the site became the capital of the newly established Upper Canada in + Read More..
Renowned map historian Derek Hayes provides a unique perspective on Toronto's colourful past.

In just two centuries, Toronto has grown from a tiny outpost of the British Empire to a world-class city, by far the largest in Canada. First a native village, then a French trading fort, the site became the capital of the newly established Upper Canada in 1793. The little settlement survived two attacks by the American army in the War of 1812, and became a city—Toronto—in 1834, just as it became necessary to withstand the challenge of armed rebellion from within, led by William Lyon Mackenzie, who had been the first mayor of Toronto. The city went on to become a railway hub, and developed an industrial and trading base the equal of no other.
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How Happy to Be

By Katrina Onstad

Sharp, urban, witty, wise — this sparkling debut is the thinking woman’s answer to chick lit Maxime is an entertainment writer at a flailing neo-con newspaper. She’s been dining out too long, literally and figuratively, on a culture of celebrity worship and empty punditry. She seeks refuge from her better judgment in endless parties, ritual substance abuse, and + Read More..
Sharp, urban, witty, wise — this sparkling debut is the thinking woman’s answer to chick lit Maxime is an entertainment writer at a flailing neo-con newspaper. She’s been dining out too long, literally and figuratively, on a culture of celebrity worship and empty punditry. She seeks refuge from her better judgment in endless parties, ritual substance abuse, and half-hearted attempts to get herself fired, but in a libertarian newsroom where outrageous spin is the easiest way to sell papers, her bad-girl behaviour just wins her more accolades.

Along this path of self-destruction, Max’s past, comic and poignant, keeps intruding: memories of her mother’s brutal death and her hippie father’s crippling breakdown; the reappearance of an aging vegan idealist who briefly played her stepmom on the West Coast commune where she came of age; tender realizations about the bad artist she was supposed to marry and a long-lost boyfriend who seems exotically sane. When a host of prior indiscretions finally catches up with her, Maxime realizes that any chance at happiness depends on uncovering, at last, her one true story.

Set during the madness of the Toronto International Film Festival and weaving back and forth between Max’s commune past and her newsroom present, How Happy to Be portrays with razor-sharp insight and bittersweet wit a modern woman’s descent into — and eventual escape from — the deafening pop culture noise of the early twenty-first century. Intelligent, savvy, this novel marks the arrival of a remarkable new fiction talent.