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ASK THE BOOKSELLERS: for the person who really loves love

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 person who really loves love.

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 Black Bond Books in Surrey, BC:


If the Shoe Fits: A Meant to Be Novel
Written by Julie Murphy
Published by Hachette Book Group

After having just graduated with a degree in shoe design, and trying to get her feet on the ground, Cindy is working for her stepmother, who happens to be the executive producer of America’s favorite reality show, Before Midnight. When a spot on the show needs filling ASAP, Cindy volunteers, hoping it might help jump-start her fashion career, or at least give her something to do while her peers land jobs in the world of high fashion.

Turns out being the only plus size woman on a reality dating competition makes a splash, and soon Cindy becomes a body positivity icon for women everywhere. What she doesn’t expect is that she may just find inspiration – and love – in the process. Ultimately, Cindy learns that if the shoe doesn’t fit, maybe it’s time to design your own.

Julie Murphy is the New York Times best-selling author of several books, including Dumplin’, now a Netflix original movie starring Jennifer Aniston. She lives in North Texas with her husband, dog, and cats.






From Blue Heron Books in Uxbridge, ON:


Hana Khan Carries On
Written by Uzma Jalaluddin
Published by HarperCollins Canada

Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighbourhood. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast, where she forms a lively relationship with one of her listeners. But soon she'll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening Three Sisters.

When her mysterious aunt and her teenage cousin arrive from India for a surprise visit, they draw Hana into a long-buried family secret. A hate-motivated attack on their neighbourhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana's growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival restaurant – who might not be a complete stranger after all. As life on the Golden Crescent unravels, Hana must learn to use her voice, draw on the strength of her community and decide what her future should be.

Uzma Jalaluddin is the author of Ayesha at Last and Hana Khan Carries On. A high school English teacher, she is also a Toronto Star columnist and a contributor to the Atlantic. Her first novel was published in the US, the UK, Australia, and India and was optioned for film.



From Books on Main in Bath, ON:


All About Love: New Visions

Written by bell hooks
Published by HarperCollins Canada

“The word ‘love’ is most often defined as a noun, yet we would all love better if we used it as a verb,” writes bell hooks as she comes out fighting and on fire in All About Love. Here, at her most provocative and intensely personal, renowned scholar, cultural critic and feminist bell hooks offers a proactive new ethic for a society bereft with lovelessness – not the lack of romance, but the lack of care, compassion, and unity. People are divided, she declares, by society’s failure to provide a model for learning to love.

As bell hooks uses her incisive mind to explore the question “What is love?” her answers strike at both the mind and heart. Razing the cultural paradigm that the ideal love is infused with sex and desire, she provides a new path to love that is sacred, redemptive, and healing for individuals and for a nation. The Utne Reader declared bell hooks one of the “100 Visionaries Who Can Change Your Life.” All About Love is a powerful, timely affirmation of just how profoundly her revelations can change hearts and minds for the better.

bell hooks is an influential cultural critic, feminist theorist, and writer. Celebrated as one of America’s leading public intellectuals, she is a charismatic speaker and writer who teaches and lectures around the world. Previously a professor in the English departments at Yale University, hooks is the author of more than 17 books, including Communion: The Female Search for Love, as well as the landmark memoir, Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood.




Thank you to the booksellers who provided recommendations this time around. We'll be back next week with another edition of Ask the Booksellers!


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