Your mom is more than just “mom.” This holiday season, we encourage you to go beyond the gift guide. If you’re looking for personal gift recommendations for the people in your life, with all their unique quirks and interests and dreams, you should shop at indie bookstores.
This week, we asked three Canadian indie booksellers what gifts they would recommend for the young adult who is expanding their worldview.
Each recommendation is as unique as the store that made it. Are you shopping for this person in your life? Use the “Shop Local” button to find this book near you or visit your local indie bookstore for their gift recommendations today!
From Analog Books in Lethbridge, AB:
Everything Sad is Untrue (a true story)
Written by Daniel Nayeri
Published by Chronicle Books
"A patchwork story is the shame of the refugee," Nayeri writes early in the novel. In an Oklahoman middle school, Khosrou (whom everyone calls Daniel) stands in front of a skeptical audience of classmates, telling the tales of his family's history. At the core is Daniel's story of how they became refugees-starting with his mother's vocal embrace of Christianity in a country that made such a thing a capital offense and continuing through their midnight flight from the secret police, bribing their way onto a plane-to-anywhere. Implementing a distinct literary style and challenging western narrative structures, Nayeri deftly weaves through stories of the long and beautiful history of his family in Iran, adding a richness of ancient tales and Persian folklore.
Daniel Nayeri was born in Iran and spent a couple of years as a refugee before immigrating to Oklahoma at age eight with his family. He is the publisher of Odd Dot, an imprint of Macmillan, making him one of the youngest publishers in the industry. He has served on the CBC diversity committee and the CBC panel committee.
From Iron Dog Books in Vancouver, BC:
Cee has been trapped on an abandoned island for three years without any recollection of how she arrived, or memories from her life prior. All she knows is that somewhere out there, she has a sister named Kay. In a world apart, 16-year-old STEM prodigy Kasey Mizuhara lives in an eco-city. With natural disasters on the rise, eco-cities provide clean air, water, and shelter. Their residents, in exchange, must spend a third of their time in stasis pods, conducting business virtually to reduce their environmental footprint. While Kasey doesn't mind the lifestyle, her sister Celia hated. But no one could have predicted that Celia would take a boat out to sea, never to return.
Now it's been three months since Celia's disappearance, and Kasey has given up hope. Logic says that her sister must be dead. But nevertheless, she decides to retrace Celia's last steps. Where they'll lead her, she does not know. Her sister was full of secrets. But Kasey has a secret of her own.
Joan He was born and raised in Philadelphia but still, on occasion, loses her way. At a young age, she received classical instruction in oil painting before discovering that stories were her favoirite kind of art. She is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Ones We're Meant to Find and Descendant of the Crane.
From Moonbeam Books in Toronto, ON:
Written by Angeline Boulley
Published by Henry Holt & Co.
Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi's hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder.
Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars. Now, as the deceptions – and deaths – keep growing, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she'll go for her community, even if it tears apart the only world she's ever known.
Angeline Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is a storyteller who writes about her Ojibwe community in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. She is a former Director of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Angeline lives in southwest Michigan, but her home will always be on Sugar Island.
Thank you to the booksellers who provided recommendations this time around. We'll be back next week with another edition of Ask the Booksellers!