Run Towards the Danger: Confrontations With a Body of Memory by Sarah Polley

Six compulsively readable essays by the iconic Canadian actor, screenwriter and director.

This is nothing like a celebrity bio, although the essays are all autobiographical and deal with issues like stage fright, sexual abuse, a brain injury and high risk pregnancy. Polley’s writing is incredibly accomplished, clear and exerts a heavy pull – I can’t remember the last time I read a non-fiction book in a single sitting.

It didn’t end there for me, either; my next stop was my local library to grab Polley’s 2012 documentary, Stories We Tell, which was an incredible follow-up to view after the book.

Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr6428988

My Dirty California by Jason Mosberg

An uneven, off kilter literary thriller by LA based screenwriter and show creator Jason Mosberg.

What starts as a seemingly straightforward revenge story, goes somewhat Alice in the Looking Glass as PA based Jody goes to California to investigate the deaths of his father and older brother. As Jody tries to unravel his brother’s life in the Golden State, the story takes a lot of twists and turns with eccentric characters and events that could be leading towards resolution or just be weird digressions.

While it doesn’t always work, unlike a lot of instantly forgettable suspense/thriller/crime/mystery books, there are characters and questions from this one still with me a month after reading it, and I could easily provide a full synopsis with all the spoilers, if quizzed. Which isn’t usually the case with this genre.

Adult Fiction Hardcover pr6615551

Lost in the Valley of Death: A Story of Obsession and Danger in the Himalayas by Harley Rustad

A look at the unsolved disappearance of an American backpacker and social media travel influencer in India.

In a sort of present day “Into the Wild” (Jon Krakauer) for the Instagram age, BC author Rustad has crafted a riveting work of narrative nonfiction exploring the fate of just one of dozens of tourists that have vanished in the remote Parvati Valley, which has come to be infamously known as something of a Bermuda Triangle for solo travelers. As with Krakauer’s book, the central character here is a charismatic free spirit and inveterate traveler on a personal quest. This book has broad appeal, as a mix of travel literature, true crime, the biography of a magnetic personality and a look at the myriad ways we all seek fulfillment in life.

Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr6452950

How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question by Michael Schur

A guide to moral philosophy and guide to living an ethical life, by the creator of The Good Place and cocreator of Parks and Recreation.

While Schur does explain  and explore weighty concepts such as deontology and utilitarianism, along with difficult ethical questions, the style of this book is extremely breezy and humorous. It’s easy to imagine staff arguing about where it should go in a retail bookstore: the Philosophy section, or Humor? Just imagine if your Philosophy 101 course was taught by Amy Poehler.

Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr6492595

Anthem: A Novel by Noah Hawley

A divisive, dystopian literary thriller set in a near future America.

With a pandemic followed by an epidemic of teen suicide, increasing havoc from climate change and widespread political insurrection, this can be a tough read: everything feels all too plausible, like a sneak peek at tomorrow’s headlines. The writer and showrunner of Fargo, and author of Before the Fall, has written the equivalent of a highway fatality you can’t turn away from; the sort of book that tends to receive either one or five star reviews on Goodreads. Make mine a five.

Adult Fiction Hardcover pr6409406

The Maid: A Novel by Nita Prose

An eccentric, neurodivergent hotel maid discovers a murdered guest in this locked-room mystery.

Narrator Molly is a protagonist one can’t help but root for in this utterly charming tale. This book has been climbing in popularity through word of mouth (much of it seeming to be coming from librarians) that I’ve found myself checking Goodreads once a week to note its rise: as of March first, it has 47,167 ratings and over 8,000 reviews. Florence Pugh has been cast to star in a big-screen adaptation from Universal Studios.

Adult Fiction Paperback pr6361127

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