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Vi a novel by Kim Thúy

Referred to as one of the most interesting new voices in Canadian literature by CBC Books, Kim Thúy really needs no introduction to avid followers of CanLit. Book bloggers have release dates blocked out in their calendar when there's a new book announcement. 

Her previous two novels were huge successes. Ru was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Mãn was a poetic masterpiece reviewed on SukasaReads. 

In Mãn, Kim Thùy creates a poetic masterpiece. Words and sentences caress the page as does paint a canvas; such is the dedication to the craft by an artist. ~ Shilpa Raikar Kim Thúy brings that same love of the craft to Vi. Every sentence has a purpose. Every book has a message. Kim Thúy moves you with her powerful words that have been precisely translated by Sheila Fischman. 

The novel speaks to the struggles of the Vietnamese refugees as they try to not only adapt into the new world they are immersed in, but also to reinvent themselves in their new surroundings. It's a stru…

Vacation by Blexbolex

A picture says a thousand words. But what does a book full of pictures say? 

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

Beachy Hill. A beautiful, yet haunting locale, that would be the centre of a murder investigation. It's the place where copycat suicides occurred, almost a year apart. A husband, and a wife. But were they really suicides? Or murders? 

That is what Detective Murray is investigating. The couple's daughter, Anna Johnson, has pleaded with him to reopen the case. It's a tall order, especially since it seems like an open-and-shut case of suicide. Other detectives would scoff at this, but Murray has always subscribed to a different set of rules. His motivation was people, not crimes. Victims, witnesses, and even offenders fascinated him. He was compelled to investigate the mysteries of their lives. 

Anna Johnson, is feeling extremely vulnerable. In a year, she has lost both her parents and had a baby. Anonymous notes and threats force her into a state of confusion. She's had a hard time accepting that her parents committed suicide. Her dad who had no previous history of mental …

The Steves by Morag Hood

Competition can be healthy (and fun). And, when it's two puffins competing, the entertainment level is off the charts. Especially when Morag Hood does the writing.

She's the creative genius who wrote about an unlikely friendship between vegetables - Colin and Lee, Carrot and Pea

There's a playfulness to her writing and the illustrations are adorable. She knows just how to appeal to kids (and adults alike).

In her new book, The Steves, she once again brings the same level of humour and engagement. Two puffins, both called Steve, compete to be "Number One". 

When Steve first meets Steve, he's flabbergasted. How can there be two Steves? One must surely be the first Steve, they reckon, or perhaps the best Steve. Or perhaps the fastest, or the strongest. Or, the wiser, or the taller. 

What ensues is a competition. Which Steve can catch the most fish? Which one is the strongest?

Not long after the competition takes a dark turn. They start insulting one another. Steve s…

How Money Works - THE FACTS visually explained

I have to admit to an eccentricity; I'm one of those people fascinated by how things work in reality rather than how they work in theory, and at the top of my list of fascinations is money. 
It isn't enough for me to have studied about the financial system in graduate business school, or read papers in journals related to financial markets -- because, by and large many of the abstractions in these papers and texts are wrong. 

But I'm a geek in this regard; I'll happily pore over text like Godley and Lavoie's Monetary Economics, or Stigum's Money Markets, but what about the rest of the population that isn't (thankfully) as eccentric like yours truly, but just wants to be better informed? This is where DK's How Money Works comes in. 

DK takes a page out of Simon Mitton's advice to the late, great Stephen Hawking, prior to his preparation of A Brief History of Time, by eschewing equations in the exposition of some complicated material, In Hawking's ca…

Hey! says Manfried.

In fact, those are the only words that Manfried The Man utters in this brilliantly bizarre graphic novel, that flips the familiar cat/human dynamic on its head. So, Manfried is really a man, but plays the role of the cat (as you would see in a real life situation). The role reversal concept makes the graphic novel hilarious.

Steve Catson is an introverted humanoid tomcat, at a dead-end job, whose only companion is his pet, Manfried, a stray man who just eats and sleeps all day long. 

He lives a life dominated by routines and constants. Feeding Manfried. Work. Boredom. Home. Feeding Manfried. Repeat.

His workdays are consumed with mundane tasks of answering calls at an IT call centre. His boss hates him. His coworkers feel sorry for him and make fun of him. Bored, he plays pranks on his coworkers and draws cartoons.With no friends, and no life, no girlfriend, all Steve Catson looks forward to is going home to spend time with his man Manfried. 

The character adheres to every stereotype of a…

Dreampad - Techno Dreams or Nightmares?

Jeff Latosik's collection of poems is inventive and unexpectedly relatable. It's life as we know it, but with a twist. 

How do we consume information? What impact does technology have on our existence? Who is responsible for creating this byzantine labyrinth of infrastructure and software that keep us interconnected -- to the point of addiction for many. Where will this end? Will it be technological super intelligence as envisioned by von Neumann, Vinge, and Kurzweil or something more sinister (à la Terminator's Skynet)? 

The recent popularity of voice assistants in our homes has been adopted nation-wide with alarming ignorance. In Jeff Latosik's poem THERE IS A DELIVERY SPECIALIST he alludes to the fact of innocence being lost. We can't just chill and just listen to music like we used to. Our music is now spying on us. Conveniences he feels are being "gushed in until they were unintelligible". 

It used to be we could go a generation 
and still know where you…