The Buzziest Books Of 2019

Get ready to curl up with a bumper crop of new thrillers, romcoms, memoirs and thought-provoking commentary.
The Buzziest Books Of 2019

There is no better way to combat cold, dreary winter days than curling up with a good read. Escape into these buzzy new books, from thrillers and non-fiction to romances and essays. We have rounded up stories of resilience, intergenerational trauma, how to live better for longer, and even a modern-day fairy tale.

Buzziest Books 2019

For a real trip

Children of the Moon
by Anthony De Sa 

De Sa’s first two novels explored 1970s Toronto from inside the Portuguese community. For his latest book, he goes farther afield  and farther back in time. In Tanzania in 1956, a child with albinism is viewed as a curse, and her turbulent upbringing pushes her toward a young man from Mozambique who has also been cast aside. $33, May 7. Penguin Random House.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019

For unabashed romantics   

Normal People
by Sally Rooney 

Connell and Marianne are secret high-school sweethearts turned college confidantes turned friends with benefits, and their complicated emotions — precisely rendered by 27-year-old Sally Rooney — give her novel its intimate force. This razor-sharp book isn’t afraid of its own open-heartedness. $30, April 16. Penguin Random House.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019


For a sweet ode to  heartbreak  

The Falconer
by Dana Czapnik 

This charming coming-of-age story will get no shortage of comparisons to The Catcher in the Rye. But Dana Czapnik gives readers a heroine all her own: 17-year-old Lucy, a half-Jewish, half-Italian, whip-smart basketball dynamo who is desperately in love with her best friend, a fellow hoops player. $34, January 24. Simon & Schuster.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019

For an up-all-night read

All the Wrong Places
by Joy Fielding

A widow, a divorcee, a jilted lover and a straying woman try their hands at online dating. It could be the beginning of a really corny joke, but it’s the premise of author Joy Fielding’s twisty new thriller. Lurking behind a charming profile is a tech-savvy killer who uses the app to target his next victim. $24, March 12, Penguin Random House.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019

For after a Netflix binge  

I Like to Watch: Arguing My Way Through the TV  Revolution
by Emily Nussbaum

In these whip-smart essays, the TV critic for The New Yorker discusses her fondness for series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and also argues that their female protagonists have broken new ground for anti-heroes, moral ambiguity and feminism. $37, May 14, Penguin Random House.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019


For righteous anger 

Era of Ignition
by Amber Tamblyn 

The day after U.S. president Trump was elected, a pregnant Amber Tamblyn collapsed in an NYC subway station, having suffered a panic attack at the idea of bringing a girl into the world. She turned her fear into action, helping to launch Time’s Up and writing this fiery memoir that tackles power, the pay gap and womanhood. $34, March 5. Penguin Random House.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019

For some age-old wisdom 

Bolder: Making the Most of Our Longer Lives
by Carl Honoré

Thanks to advances in health and technology, we’re pushing what’s possible in midlife and beyond. Carl Honoré’s delightful book tags along with octogenarian gamers, DJs and entrepreneurs to show how this “longevity revolution” can be a boon, not a burden. $32, March 5. Penguin Random House. 

The Buzziest Books Of 2019

For a master class in resilience 

The Pianist from Syria
by Aeham Ahmad 

Ahmad has been displaced twice: He fled Israel for a Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus, and then Syria’s civil war forced the pianist to take his family to Germany. (In 2014, Aeham Ahmad began playing piano in the ruins of Damascus and became a hit on YouTube.) This moving memoir shows how, even after a grenade damaged his hand, music provides salvation. $34, February 12. Simon & Schuster.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019


For an unlikely hero  

by Anakana Schofield 

Schofield dedicates her propulsive novel to “every woman who has had enough.” Bina  certainly ranks among them: The feisty older Irishwoman has done something terrible that has brought the police to her door. But first, Bina has a few scores she wants to settle. $30, May 14. Penguin Random House.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019

For a leg up on 2020

The Truths We Hold
by Kamala Harris

No official word yet, but U.S. senator Kamala Harris is releasing that presidential-campaign staple: the mission statement–cum-memoir. The daughter of a Jamaican economist and a breast-cancer researcher from India, Harris is a committed activist who has transformed California’s criminal justice system. $40, January 8. Penguin Random House.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019

For major family drama 

Dual Citizens
by Alix Ohlin

Lark is accustomed to hanging out in the shadows: of her mercurial mother, of her artistic sister, of the celebrated filmmaker who is happy to hook up but won’t be persuaded to give her a child. Fresh off a Giller nomination for her last novel, Inside, Ohlin takes Lark in fascinating and unexpected directions. $23,  June 4. House of Anansi.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019


For a bold new voice  

Frying Plantain
by Zalika Reid-Benta 

This heartbreaking debut novel follows Kara from a Toronto elementary school through to her high-school graduation as she tries to shape her own identity despite the competing pressures of her intractable Jamaican grandparents, her  protective mother and her sometimes reckless white friends. $20, June 4. House of Ananasi.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019

For an unlikely love story

Machines Like Me
by Ian McEwan  

Taking place in an alternative 1980s London, where Britain has lost the Falkland Islands and Alan Turing has broken through in AI, this is a love triangle for the modern age. Charlie (aimless) teams up with Miranda (mysterious) to craft a personality for Adam (a robot), which lets McEwan pose urgent questions about what really makes us human. $32, April 23. Penguin Random House.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019

For challenging the patriarchy  

The Time Has Come: Why Men Must Join the Gender Equality Revolution
by Michael Kaufman

There’s never been a better opportunity for gender equality, Kaufman argues. But the work can’t fall to women alone. To galvanize men to join the movement, he challenges expectations around power, parenthood and progress in this timely new book. $23, January 15. House of Anansi.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019


For gobbling up 

by Helen Oyeyemi

At first, the British novelist’s new book looks like a straightforward tale of Harriet, a working-class mother who is trying to fit in with other parents, and her stubborn daughter. But what unfolds is a delectable fairy tale centred around the twin powers of gingerbread and Harriet’s childhood friend, named (what else?) Gretel. $25, March 5. Penguin Random House.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019

For a slice of goodness   

A Girl Named Lovely
by Catherine Porter  

Upon arrival in Haiti in 2010 to report on the eathquake, Porter, then a Toronto Star columnist, heard rumours that a two-year-old had been pulled from a collapsed building after six days. This riveting memoir details what happens as she draws closer to her family and confronts the limitations of foreign aid. $25, February 26. Simon & Schuster.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019

For being scared senseless 

The Homecoming
by Andrew Pyper 

When Raymond Quinlan, an absent father and a preposterously rich man, dies abruptly, the Quinlan siblings and their mother convene at his palatial lodge in the woods. But to claim their inheritance, they need to stay alone on the isolated property for a month, which becomes every bit as chilling and creepy as you’d expect. $25, February 26. Simon & Schuster.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019


For some real talk

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground
by Alicia Elliott 

The Haudenosaunee writer folds a memoir into a searing examination of intergenerational trauma across North America. Between indictments of systemic oppression and a racist court system, she grapples with her family’s mental health struggles, her sexual assault and the crystallizing force of motherhood. $25, March 26. Penguin Random House.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019

For a magical mystery tour 

Black Leopard, Red Wolf 
by Marlon James

In his first novel since the Man Booker Prize-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings, James goes all in on the fantasy genre, sending witches, vampires, a trickster monkey, and a scent-sniffing tracker on the trail of a missing boy. This is the kick-off to a trilogy that he describes as “an African Game of Thrones.$37, February 5. Penguin Random House.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019

For Generations of stories 

Reproduction by Ian Williams In this novel about fathers who vanish and the families that spring up in their place, the Vancouver-based poet deftly weaves together the voices of a 14-year-old Black  boy, a 16-year-old white girl and a  motley crew of middle-aged parents who are all struggling to do right by their children — with mixed results. $35, January 22. Penguin Random House.

The Buzziest Books Of 2019


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