The opening chapter tells the story of Lloyd Burko, a newspaper’s Paris correspondent who claims to have computer problems. The problem is that he’s never owned one. And this opening story, followed by 11 more, each from the perspective of a different person involved with the newspaper, sets the tone for the book about a newspaper that’s floundering because it can’t keep up with the times. Rachman’s tale is exceptional in its depiction of true-to-life, flawed, yet likeable characters. (The Dial Press, 288 pages, $29.99) -Caroline Barlott
Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer’s, My Mother and Me
by Sarah Leavitt
In this sensitive yet funny graphic novel about an illness commonly experienced and rarely understood, one word jumps out the most: disintegration. Leavitt’s non-fiction story is painfully honest as it explores the disintegration of memory, language, hygiene, patience and stability when dementia strikes a loved one. This is biography at its best and most creative. (Freehand Books, 128 pages, $23.95) –Omar Mouallem
by Gayleen Froese
In this page-turner, Edmonton is filled with magicians, psychics and the paranormal. A secret society called the Embassy provides those with special powers refuge in the Alberta capital. The heart of the plot is a murder mystery, but the list of suspects includes teleporters and remote viewers. Froese’s writing style is fast-paced, to say the least. The book is so dialogue-driven, at times it reads like a screenplay.
In a reversal of consequence, a Siberian tiger stalks a poacher, slaughtering the hunter in a shockingly macabre manner. Vaillant also explores the economic desperation of a disconnected people in Russia’s Far East, and the ecological repercussions of logging and tiger-hunting practices in Siberia. Similarly to his first book, The Golden Spruce, painstaking research and vivid descriptions create a picture that cannot be unseen. (Knopf Canada, 311 pages, $34.95) –Kim Collins-Lauber