It’s the last month of the school year, summer is just around the corner and with it, hopefully will come some long, warm and dry summer days and nights.
On the first Friday of the month, Chris Hall of McNally Robinson Booksellers returned to the airwaves in the longstanding segment called "What to Read."
Find Chris' latest picks below!
Lapvona by Ottessa Moshfegh
In a village in a medieval fiefdom buffeted by natural disasters, a motherless shepherd boy finds himself the unlikely pivot of a power struggle that puts all manner of faith to a savage test, in a spellbinding novel that represents Ottessa Moshfegh’s most exciting leap yet
Little Marek, the abused and delusional son of the village shepherd, never knew his mother; his father told him she died in childbirth. One of life’s few consolations for Marek is his enduring bond with the blind village midwife, Ina, who suckled him as a baby, as she did so many of the village’s children. Ina’s gifts extend beyond childcare: she possesses a unique ability to communicate with the natural world. Her gift often brings her the transmission of sacred knowledge on levels far beyond those available to other villagers, however religious they might be. For some people, Ina’s home in the woods outside of the village is a place to fear and to avoid, a godless place.
Among their number is Father Barnabas, the town priest and lackey for the depraved lord and governor, Villiam, whose hilltop manor contains a secret embarrassment of riches. The people’s desperate need to believe that there are powers that be who have their best interests at heart is put to a cruel test by Villiam and the priest, especially in this year of record drought and famine. But when fate brings Marek into violent proximity to the lord’s family, new and occult forces upset the old order. By year’s end, the veil between blindness and sight, life and death, the natural world and the spirit world, civility and savagery, will prove to be very thin indeed.
Rehearsals for Living by Robyn Maynard Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
A revolutionary collaboration about the world we're living in now, between two of our most important contemporary thinkers, writers and activists.
When the world entered pandemic lockdown in spring 2020, Robyn Maynard, influential author of Policing Black Lives, and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, renowned artist, musician, and author of Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies, began writing each other letters—a gesture sparked by a desire for kinship and connection in a world shattering under the intersecting crises of pandemic, police killings, and climate catastrophe. These letters soon grew into a powerful exchange about where we go from here.
Rehearsals for Living is a captivating and visionary work—part debate, part dialogue, part lively and detailed familial correspondence between two razor-sharp writers. By articulating to each other Black and Indigenous perspectives on our unprecedented here and now, and reiterating the long-disavowed histories of slavery and colonization that have brought us to this moment, Maynard and Simpson create something new: an urgent demand for a different way forward, and a poetic call to dream up other ways of ordering earthly life.
Three by Valérie Perrin
From the international bestselling author of Fresh Water for Flowers, a masterly crafted and suspenseful story about the ties between friends and the choices that make us who we are.
1986: Adrien, Etienne and Nina are 10 years old when they meet at school and become inseparable. They promise each other they will one day leave their provincial backwater, move to Paris, and never part.
2017: A car is pulled up from the bottom of the lake, a body inside. Virginie, a local journalist with an enigmatic past, follows the case. Step by step she reveals the extraordinary bonds that unite the three childhood friends. How is the car wreck connected to their story? Why did their friendship fall apart?
Valérie Perrin has an unerring gift for delving deep into life’s depths. Following the thread of a sequence of heart-wrenching, inescapable events over the span of three decades, she draws the reader into a compelling story of love and loss, hope and grief, and of the distance that comes with the passing of time.
Musical Revolutions: How the sounds of the western world changed by Stuart Isacoff
From the critically acclaimed author of Temperament, a narrative account of the most defining moments in musical history—classical and jazz—all of which forever altered Western culture
“A fascinating journey that begins with the origins of musical notation and travels through the centuries reaching all the way to our time.”—Semyon Bychkov, chief conductor and music director of the Czech Philharmonic
The invention of music notation by a skittish Italian monk in the eleventh century. The introduction of multilayered hymns in the Middle Ages. The birth of opera in a Venice rebelling against the church’s pious restraints. Baroque, Romantic, and atonal music; bebop and cool jazz; Bach and Liszt; Miles Davis and John Coltrane. In telling the exciting story of Western music’s evolution, Stuart Isacoff explains how music became entangled in politics, culture, and economics, giving rise to new eruptions at every turn, from the early church’s attempts to bind its followers by teaching them to sing in unison to the global spread of American jazz through the Black platoons of the First World War.
The author investigates questions like: When does noise become music? How do musical tones reflect the natural laws of the universe? Why did discord become the primary sound of modernity? Musical Revolutions is a book replete with the stories of our most renowned musical artists, including notable achievements of people of color and women, whose paths to success were the most difficult.
Caesar Country: Cocktails, Clams & Canada by Aaron Harowitz and Zack Silverman
Caesar Country is a love letter to Canada by way of one cocktail—our cocktail—the Caesar.
In this stunning book, Aaron Harowitz and Zack Silverman—co-founders of Walter Craft Caesar—take you on a deep and detailed dive through the art and science of Caesar making. They share a compelling collection of cocktail and food recipes, including contributions from some of Canada’s top bartenders and chefs, showcasing the countless ways to reinterpret the classic Caesar. Caesar Country is inspired by travels across Canada—the people met, places seen, drinks enjoyed—and seamlessly weaves together the Caesar’s history, evolution,and the innovators behind it, to create a visual and culinary celebration of the country it calls home.