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Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill Set in Montreal and New York between the wars, a spellbinding story about two orphans whose unusual magnetism and talent allow them to imagine a sensational future, from the bestselling, two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize-shortlisted author.
The Age of Anger by Pankaj Mishra One of our most important public intellectuals reveals the hidden history of our current global crisis
Insane Clown President by Matt Taibbi In twenty-five pieces from Rolling Stone—plus two original essays—Matt Taibbi tells the story of Western civilization’s very own train wreck, from its tragicomic beginnings to its apocalyptic conclusion.
The Evenings by Gerard Reve THE FIRST ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF A POSTWAR MASTERPIECE 'I work in an office. I take cards out of a file. Once I have taken them out, I put them back in again. That is it.'
The Strays by Emily Bitto For readers of Atonement, a hauntingly powerful story about the fierce friendship between three sisters and their friend as they grow up on the outskirts of their parents' wild and bohemian artistic lives.

The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe

House_of_Velvet_and_GlassReviewed by Cate (Cate is our resident designer. We all loved "The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane" and she pleaded to read and review this first.  I can never say no to her :)

The House of Velvet and Glass, Katherine Howe, Harper Collins Voice, $19.99

Sibyl Allston mourns the death of her mother and younger sister on board the Titanic as they were returning home from a grand tour of Europe.  The eldest of three children, she assumes the domestic responsibilities once held by her mother, but she is listless and unable to come to terms with her loss. It is 1915, and now in her late twenties, she reluctantly accepts that marriage and the opulent existence of a society matron in the Back Bay area of Boston are not likely to be her lot in life.  There is lingering sadness, for her mother ignored her when alive and focused all her society ambitions on the vivacious younger daughter of the family, Eulah.

Seeking comfort and closure, Sybil attends weekly spiritualist meetings with a local medium who claims to be contacting the uneasy spirits of those who died on the Titanic.  She is unaware, not only that what she encounters in those meetings arises from her own special abilities, but that her strangely withdrawn father Lan also has the ability to see into the future. Recognizing Sybil's gifts, the medium gives her a crystal ball to work with, and Sybil's life takes a turn toward the fey, the bizarre and the supernatural.

Sybil's younger brother is asked to withdraw from his studies at Harvard, and she suspects that his expulsion from college is due to scandalous doings, but Harley refuses to discuss the matter and his relations with their father are strained as a result.  The taciturn Lan, of course, already knows what is to come, and Sybil herself is seeing into the future, but she does not understand her visions and cannot "see" what they hold.  Harley leaves the family home, and a distraught young woman turns up on the Allston threshold a short time later, covered with blood and bearing the news that he has been viciously assaulted and is in hospital.  While Sybil and her father are visiting him, her former love, now a professor at Harvard, returns to the scene, and great events are set in motion.

Like Katherine Howe's first novel, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, this one moves effortlessly back and forth through time: the present era in Boston, events on the Titanic, Sybil's father's clairvoyant experiences in Shanghai as a young man, and on into the future with the sinking of the Lusitania and the fate of her brother in the great war.  Katherine Howe has a remarkable gift for bringing rich and varied settings to life, and her writing here is gorgeous and incandescent.  The fey talents of both Sybil and her father are the strands that bind everything together, and Howe weaves them together impeccably.  Like its predecessor, this book is magical, and it is almost impossible to put down once started.

New in Paper

Unbroken Furiously
Hidden Figures Nightfall

News and Events

Wednesday, February 22nd - Dennis McConaghy

 Join us on Wednesday, February 22nd  as we welcome Dennis McConaghy and his new book Dysfunction

Dennis will be in the store from 7 to 9p.m. to discuss the book and sign copies.

Canada Reads

Perfect Books has a good supply of all five titles but they disappear quickly. Call or email to reserve your copies. Check out the shortlist here.


 


 

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