Winnipeg has seemingly jumped straight into summer to begin the month of June. That has us thinking about cool shade, refreshing drinks and summer reads -- a great way to beat the heat!
Find the latest from Chris Hall of McNally Robinson Booksellers below, which includes titles exploring number crunching in sports, a novelist writing about a novelist, and the "Author of the Month!"
To the Forest by Anais Barbeau-Lavalette, translated by Rhonda Mullins
When the pandemic forces a family to return to the mother's childhood home, she seeks meaning in her ancestral roots and the violent beauty of the natural world.
Fleeing the city at the beginning of the pandemic, two families are thrown together in a century-old country house. Winter seeps through the walls, the wallpaper is peeling, and the mice make their nest in the piano. Without phones and Internet, they turn to the outdoors, where a new language unfolds. Five children become tiny explorers, discovering nature and its treasures, while the adults reconnect with something greater than themselves.
In To the Forest, AnaÃ¯s Barbeau-Lavalette considers existence and death in a celebration of small places and the natural world. A house built on a foundation of gravestones, the local handyman Clark Kent, a mystery woman long dead that no one wants to talk about: Barbeau-Lavalette brings to life the oddities of a place and a cast of colourful neighbours who have lived unusual lives.
I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home by Lorrie Moore
A daring novel about love and death and what lies between; a ghost story set in the 19th and 21st centuries; an elegiac consideration of grief, devotion (filial and romantic) and the vanishing and persistence of all things--seen and unseen.
A teacher visiting his dying brother in the Bronx. A mysterious journal from the 19th century stolen from a boarding house. A therapy clown and an assassin both presumed dead but perhaps not dead at all . . .
A meditation on what it means to be haunted by the past. To what extent--both in our national history and in the heart--does life persist on into death and vice versa?
With her distinctive, irresistible wordplay and singular wry humor and wisdom, Moore deftly reveals how, even in death, it's life that reverberates.
Bold, meditative, theatrical, this new novel is an inventive, poetic portrait of lovers, siblings and the stories we have all been told, which may or may not be true but that take us on a windswept, imagined journey into the tragic-comic landscape that is, unmistakably, the Lorrie Moore Zone.
The Imposters by Tom Rachman
From the author of the international bestseller The Imperfectionists, the story of a chameleonic writer, and the indelible characters in her orbit, in a novel about love, the power of art and what we leave behind.
Dora Frenhofer, a once successful but now aging and embittered novelist, knows her mind is going. She is determined, however, to finish her final book, and reverse her fortunes, before time runs out. Alone in her London home during the pandemic, she creates, and is in turn created by, the fascinating real characters from her own life.
Like a twenty-first-century Scheherazade, Dora spins stories to ward off her end. From New Delhi to New York, Copenhagen to Los Angeles, Australia to Syria to Paris, Dora's chapters trot the globe, inhabiting the perspectives of her missing brother, her estranged daughter, her erstwhile lover, and her last remaining friend, among others in her orbit. As her own life comes into ever sharper focus, so do the signal events that have made her who she is, leaving us in Dora's thrall until, with an unforeseen twist, she snaps the final piece of the puzzle into place.
The Imposters is Tom Rachman at his inimitable best. With his trademark style--at once "deliciously ironic and deeply affectionate" (The Washington Post)--he has delivered a novel whose formal ingenuity and flamboyant technique are matched only by its humanity and generosity.
I Only Read Murder by Ian Ferguson, Will Ferguson
A once-beloved television sleuth finds herself far from Hollywood and witness to a murder during a small-town theatre production--and is convinced it's up to her to solve the case. Introducing a new comedic crime series from the bestselling Ferguson brothers, for fans of Richard Osman's The Thursday Murder Club, Alexander McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street series and Schitt's Creek
Miranda Abbott, once known for the crime-solving, karate-chopping church pastor she played on network television, has hit hard times. Turned down for a role on a cable reality show, Miranda is facing ruin when a mysterious postcard arrives, summoning her to Happy Rock, a small town in the Pacific Northwest. But when she gets there, nothing is what she expected.
In dire straits, she signs up for an amateur production at the Happy Rock Little Theatre, competing against the local real estate agent for the lead role. On opening night, one of the actors is murdered, live, in front of the audience. But out of 100 witnesses, no one actually saw what happened. Now everyone is under a cloud of suspicion, including the sardonic town doctor, the local high-school drama teacher, an oil-stained car mechanic, an elderly gentleman who may or may not have been in the CIA--and Miranda herself. Clearly, the only way to solve this mystery is for Miranda to summon her skills as television's Pastor Fran and draw on the help of her new sidekick, Susan, a shy bookstore clerk who seems to know everyone's secrets. Because the show must go on!
Game of Edges: The Analytics Revolution and the Future of Professional Sports by Bruce Schoenfeld
The story of how a new generation of tech-savvy franchise owners is reshaping every aspect of professional sports.
In the last two decades, innovation, data analysis, and technology have driven a tectonic shift in the sports business. Game of Edges is the story of how sports franchises evolved, on and off the field, from raggedly run small businesses into some of the most systematically productive companies around.
In today's game, everyone from the owners to the marketing staff are using information--data--to give their team an edge. For analysts, an edge is their currency. Figuring out that bunting hurts your offense? That's an edge. So is discovering metrics that can predict the career arc of your free agent shooting guard. Or combing through a decade of ticket-buying data to target persuadable fans.
These small, incremental steps move a sports franchise from merely ordinary to the leading edge. Franchises today are more than just sports; they integrate a whole suite of other businesses--television and digital content, gambling and real estate, fashion and apparel, entertainment, catering and concessions, and much more. But an optimized franchise has no room for error. Teams must do what the numbers say, reducing the element of chance, limiting those random moments of athletic heroism that make sports thrilling to watch. Optimization also means the franchise's main goal isn't championships anymore; it's keeping you, the viewer, engaged with the product.
Drawing on extensive interviews with franchise owners, general managers, executives, and players, Bruce Schoenfeld introduces dynamic leaders who are radically reimagining the operations of these decades-old teams--and producing mind-boggling valuations. He joins the architects of the Golden State Warriors dynasty for an exclusive reception before tip-off. He stands among the faithful at Anfield, watching Liverpool's analytics guru size up a prized midfielder. And he watches the president of the Chicago Cubs break ground on a new DraftKings gambling parlor at Wrigley Field, not ten miles from the site of the original Black Sox betting scandal.
Essential reading for anyone interested in sports, business, or technology, Game of Edges explores a world where winning the game is only the beginning.