With all this wet weather we have had, it is looking very green out there. The grass is nice and soft, and the trees are in full bloom. And with summers beginning so short here in Winnipeg there is nothing better than laying out on the grass and reading a terrific book. 

If you are looking for a great book to read while soaking in the rays, you are in luck! Chris Hall and Kathleen Friesen from McNally Robinson Booksellers stopped by our Classic 107 studio with their book selections for July. 

 

On a Mushroom Day by Chris Baker and Alexandra Finkelday 

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Take a magical walk through the forest and learn all about the wild beauty and wonder of mushrooms on this inspiring picture book journey! 
 
A mushroom day is a day of exploring together and discovering some of the most incredible lifeforms on earth: fungi. In this lyrical, informational picture book structured around a walk through a summertime wood, a child and their caregiver share the sights, sounds and smells of the forest as they observe and identify different varieties of mushrooms. On a Mushroom Day encourages curiosity and a love of fungi in young children and normalizes safe, chaperoned joyful exploration of the fungal queendom all around us. Filled with fun, fascinating fungi facts and a visual catalogue of mushroom species so that kids can enjoy their very own mushroom day in the pages of this book!

Gamerville by Johnie Christmas 

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A video gamer’s championship aspirations are dashed when his parents send him to Camp Reset, where electronics are forbidden and you're forced to socialize, eat healthy, and spend time outside. Gamerville is a timely and vulnerable exploration of the importance of human connection and what it means to run in a pack, brought to you by award-winning author Johnnie Christmas. 

Max Lightning is howling at the moon—he’s finally qualified for Gamerville, a championship where players compete to be top dog in the multiplayer video game Lone Wolf of Calamity Bay. But his dreams of domination are doomed when his parents send him to Camp Reset. Gone are the long nights of downing energy drinks and getting copious amounts of screen time. They've been replaced with fresh air and group activities under the hot sun—a shock to the system for a lone wolf like Max. Can Max escape Camp Reset and level up at Gamerville, or has he finally played his last match? 

The Bright Sword by Lev Grossman 

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A gifted young knight named Collum arrives at Camelot to compete for a spot on the Round Table, only to find he’s too late. The king died two weeks ago at the Battle of Camlann, leaving no heir, and only a handful of the knights of the Round Table survive. 
 
They aren’t the heroes of legend, like Lancelot or Gawain. They’re the oddballs of the Round Tables, from the edges of the stories, like Sir Palomides; the Saracen Knight; and Sir Dagonet, Arthur’s fool, who was knighted as a joke. They’re joined by Nimue, who was Merlin’s apprentice until she turned on him and buried him under a hill. Together this ragtag fellowship will set out to rebuild Camelot in a world that has lost its balance. 
 
But Arthur’s death has revealed Britain’s fault lines. God has abandoned it, and the fairies and monsters and old gods are returning, led by Arthur’s half-sister Morgan le Fay. Kingdoms are turning on each other, warlords are laying siege to Camelot, and rival factions are forming around the disgraced Lancelot and the fallen Queen Guinevere. It is up to Collum and his companions to reclaim Excalibur, solve the mysteries of this ruined world and make it whole again. But before they can restore Camelot they’ll have to learn the truth of why the lonely, brilliant King Arthur fell and lay to rest the ghosts of his troubled family and of Britain’s dark past. 

The Horse by Timothy C. Winegard 

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Timothy C. Winegard’s The Horse is an epic history unlike any other. Its story begins more than 5,500 years ago on the windswept grasslands of the Eurasian Steppe; when one human tamed one horse, an unbreakable bond was forged and the future of humanity was instantly rewritten, placing the reins of destiny firmly in human hands. 
 
Since that pivotal day, the horse has carried the history of civilizations on its powerful back. For millennia it was the primary mode of transportation, an essential farming machine, a steadfast companion, and a formidable weapon of war. Possessing a unique combination of size, speed, strength, and stamina, the horse dominated every facet of human life and shaped the very scope of human ambition. And we still live among its galloping shadows. 
 
Horses revolutionized the way we hunted, traded, traveled, farmed, fought, worshipped, and interacted. They fundamentally reshaped the human genome and the world’s linguistic map. They determined international borders, molded cultures, fueled economies, and built global superpowers. They decided the destinies of conquerors and empires. And they were vectors of lethal disease and contributed to lifesaving medical innovations. Horses even inspired architecture, invention, furniture, and fashion. From the thundering cavalry charges of Alexander the Great to the streets of New York during the Great Manure Crisis of 1894 and beyond, horses have shaped both the grand arc of history and our everyday lives. 

Autocracy Inc. The Dictators Who Want to Run the World by Anne Applebaum

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Driven by fascinating revelations and fast-paced storytelling, The Horse is a riveting narrative of this noble animal’s unrivaled and enduring reign across human history. To know the horse is to understand the world. 

From the Pulitzer-prize winning, New York Times bestselling author, an alarming account of how autocracies work together to undermine the democratic world, and how we should organize to defeat them 
 
We think we know what an autocratic state looks like: There is an all-powerful leader at the top. He controls the police. The police threaten the people with violence. There are evil collaborators, and maybe some brave dissidents. 
 
But in the 21st century, that bears little resemblance to reality. Nowadays, autocracies are underpinned not by one dictator, but by sophisticated networks composed of kleptocratic financial structures, surveillance technologies, and professional propagandists, all of which operate across multiple regimes, from China to Russia to Iran. Corrupt companies in one country do business with corrupt companies in another. The police in one country can arm and train the police in another, and propagandists share resources and themes, pounding home the same messages about the weakness of democracy and the evil of America. 
 
International condemnation and economic sanctions cannot move the autocrats. Even popular opposition movements, from Venezuela to Hong Kong to Moscow, don’t stand a chance. The members of Autocracy, Inc, aren’t linked by a unifying ideology, like communism, but rather a common desire for power, wealth, and impunity. In this urgent treatise, which evokes George Kennan’s essay calling for “containment” of the Soviet Union, Anne Applebaum calls for the democracies to fundamentally reorient their policies to fight a new kind of threat.