Christy Ann Conlin’s short fiction collection of 11 mesmerizing stories returns to characters in her previous gothic novels Heave (2002) and The Memento (2016), and to Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley and the communities between two mountains on the Bay of Fundy. Its rural, isolated location is familiar to Conlin who lives there with her husband (Wolfville’s Conundrum press owner) and three sons, and has grown out of challenges as foreboding as her titles – “Full Bleed,” “Dead Time,” and “Beyond All Things Is the Sea.” Her own experience with divorce, multiple family deaths, a bout with cancer, contrast her inventions – teen murderers, runaway brides, single and absent parents, devilish…


    Eden Robinson’s Trickster Drift is one step from a literary hat-trick, the second book in what she promised would be a trilogy so she begins by bringing new readers up to speed without overt to recap before matching the thrills of the first instalment.


    The opening of “Outside,” a story about a museum that houses selections from all of human history, is an example of the abstract nature of Johanna Skibsrud’s short story collection, Tiger, Tiger. Skibsrud, winner of the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize for her novel The Sentimentalists, conjures up narratives each more speculative than the last.


    Emotionally charged, witty, and surprising- Catherine Greenwood’s second published collection of poetry, The Lost Letters, allows the reader to appreciate the long-ago love story of Heloise and Abelard with a modern twist. Greenwood explores forbidden, separated love. Heloise and Abelard were driven apart after they were discovered having an uncsanctioned relationship in the 12th century.


    The Doll’s Alphabet is Camilla Grudova’s grisly debut story collection. It is a dystopian title that fuses realism and fantasy, both traditional and experimental. The collection presents an eccentric, curious world that is similar to our own except when it’s not.


    The Boat People by Sharon Bala examines the ways in which a single act can connect and impact many people in various ways. Inspired by true events, the novel begins with a large boat containing 500 refugees from Sri Lanka landing illegally on the shores of Canada. While there had been rumours of this ship and the turmoil of war in Sri Lanka, the Canadian government was unprepared for such a large number of refugees, and thus had to figure out how to strike a balance between opening their arms to those in need and protecting their land from potential threat.


    Among the two anecdotes that Canadian author Zoe Whittall uses two set the tone for her book, this quote is one of them. The Best Kind of People, Whittall’s newest novel of fiction, combines sophisticated sensitivity and empathy in addressing a topic that is typically off-limits – sexual assault, rape, and the gray area of accusation and belief that lies in between.


    Seven Fallen Feathers is a well-written, eye-opening work of investigative journalism that focuses on the deaths of seven First Nations teenagers from the Nishnawbe Aski Nation in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven students died between 2000 and 2011. Near the end of the book, it also references a painting of the same name by one of the parents of the teens.


    Stuart McLean, one of Canada’s most celebrated storytellers and author of national best sellers, has done it again, publishing an eighth book in his globally acclaimed and widely popular Vinyl Café series. The eighth book, The Revenge of the Vinyl Cafe, follows McLean’s beloved fictional family of Dave, Morley, and their two children, Sam and Stephanie, not to mention their neighbors, friends and family. The title, The Vinyl Café, which is also the name of McLean’s radio show on CBC, was taken from the name of Dave’s independent record store. The individual stories of fifteen pages or less take place in a small Toronto neighborhood where Dave and his family…


    Becky Blake’s debut novel Proof I Was Here is a new take on the expat abroad story that focuses on Niki, a 20-something Torontonian who has just moved to Barcelona with her fiancé Peter. The story is divided into three parts. In the first, Peter ends the relationship soon after they arrive, and she walks out of her apartment and leaves her wallet and keys behind. She is struggling to deal with the loss of her old life by living penniless, listless and aimless, a stranger in a foreign land: “I rode the trains back and forth for hours, noticing the unloved people. They were suddenly everywhere. A thin woman…