First-time novelist Michelle Thompson, a Jamaican-Canadian social worker, writes what she knows in this rollicking debut (due out in early 2017) about the ties that bind and starting over. When patriarch Arthur Tomlinson throws common-law wife Rose out of the house, she leaves everything behind and flees to her mother, with the four children. Hard times ensue, but there’s a silver lining: an invitation to Canada that ends up reviving Rose’s spirit and gives and her and the children a shot at happiness. At 270 pages, Thompson’s novel promises vibrant storytelling filled with characters who will remind you of someone you know.
The Whistler (Doubleday)
Few legal-thriller authors know their audience as well as master storyteller John Grisham, who plants a high-powered female protagonist at the centre of his 29th offering. Lacy Stolz, a Florida-based lawyer and investigator, whose job it is to respond to judicial misconduct, faces the toughest case of her career when a new corruption case lands on her desk. She immediately suspects that something is amiss and, sure enough, what plays out is an “electrifying” tale of crooked judges and a high-stakes rollercoaster ride through the darkest corners of the Sunshine State. In other words, this is Grisham at the height of his creative powers.
Shameful Shadows (LMH)
Secrets, redemption and dignity make a combustible mix in this sophomore release from Ditta Sylvester, whose delightful short stories populate her first book, 2011’s Puss Food and Other Jamaican Stories. She delves deeper into fictional narrative this time around, with this tale of Earl and his hard-to-please babymother, Daisy, and his rebellious younger sister, Vinell, who is harbouring a dark secret that threatens to destroy the lives of everyone around her. “Thought-provoking” and “well-written”, Shadows is the work of an authentic and original Jamaican voice more readers need to discover.
Around the Way Girl: A Memoir (Atria Books)
How did Taraji P. Henson rise to become one of the most in-demand actresses in Tinseltown? In this candid memoir, on sale Oct. 11, the Oscar nominee (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Golden Globe winner (Empire still ranks among the most watched shows on TV), reflects on everything from her years at Howard University and the pitfalls of being a Black actress in the biz to the challenges, disappointments and triumphs that strengthened her backbone. Collaborating with New York Times bestselling author Denene Millner, Henson brings humour and her trademark keeping-it-realness to every page, as she reveals at heart a girl in the pursuit of her dreams.
Believing in Magic: My Story of Love, Overcoming Adversity and Keeping the Faith (Howard Books)
November 7, 2016 will mark 25 years since the announcement of Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson’s HIV diagnosis. In her widely praised new memoir, Magic’s dynamite wife, Cookie Johnson, opens up for the first time about staying committed to the NBA legend in spite of the heartache and how his revelation altered their lives. In 272 pages, she shares details on marriage, motherhood, her faith, personal struggles and triumphs as a wife, mother and God-fearing woman. The Johnsons' many friends, including power couple Rodney and Holly Robinson Peete, say they were touched by Cookie’s courage and candour. “It’s a stellar testimony,” say the Peetes, “of the power of love, faith, family and friendship.”