Our roundup of titles will lure you into turning on a reading lamp when this month's early darkness falls.
THE LITTLE BOOK OF LYKKE (Nonfiction)
Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute (that job!) and author of The Little Book of Hygge, is back with this tome, which takes a look at lykke (LUU-kah), the Danish word for happiness, and explores its six key pillars: togetherness, health, money, freedom, trust and kindness. Within each pillar, Wiking suggests simple tips for finding happiness in everyday life, such as meeting your neighbours, taking the scenic route and paying someone a compliment. In fact, the very act of reading The Little Book of Lykke put a smile on my face. —Amanda Etty
SLEEP NO MORE (Short stories)
The world lost one of its great storytellers when celebrated author P.D. James died in 2014. Luckily, her publishers have compiled her uncollected stories (commissioned for magazines, newspapers and the like) into volumes such as 2016's The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories and this brand-new release, Sleep No More. I breezed through these tales in an afternoon; reading them was like sitting down with an old friend to catch up on the latest neighbourhood gossip—the murderous kind, of course. —Suzanne Moutis
FOREST DARK (Fiction)
This brilliant novel by Nicole Krauss follows two narrative threads in alternating chapters: Jules Epstein gives away most of his possessions and becomes involved with a mysterious project in the desert; and a well-known Brooklyn novelist facing writer's block and a crumbling marriage flees to the Tel Aviv Hilton, where she meets a retired literature professor who has an intriguing proposal. Krauss fans will appreciate the author's signature wittiness and heartbreakingly beautiful passages. —AE
THE RULES OF MAGIC (Fiction)
In this much-anticipated new release, written as a prequel to the author's bestselling Practical Magic (1995), Alice Hoffman introduces readers to the Owens dynasty and investigates the origins of their family curse, in which any person who falls for one of them will meet certain tragic fate. Replete with historical references to witchcraft in America, magical spells, superstition, fateful romance and a surprising plot twist, this delightful book has put its predecessor on my must-read list. —AE
MANHATTAN BEACH (Fiction)
Half thrilling mystery, half character study, this novel, set during the Second World War, is a slow burn, but the lyrical quality of the writing and the mystery at the core kept me captivated. To hook you: Anna works in the naval yard and becomes the first female diver to repair ships, but her professional gain is tempered by her curiosity over her father's disappearance, her compulsion to befriend the man who might know what happened to him and her commitment to provide for her mother and sister. —Alexandra Donaldson
READ IT, SEE IT: MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (Crime Fiction)
The Queen of Mystery's 1934 masterpiece comes to the big screen this month in a star-studded remake of the Sidney Lumet classic adaptation. This is one of Agatha Christie's most-loved stories, and I read it for the first time in anticipation of the film. Filled with the author's subtle wit, engaging characters—including the exacting Belgian detective Hercule Poirot—and skilful plotting, this book is the one that all other "unsolvable" mysteries are measured against. —SM
Twentieth Century Fox
Murder on the Orient Express (William Morrow Paperbacks) by Agatha Christie, $18.50.
OUR STAFF REVIEWERS
Alexandra Donaldson loves reading literary fiction, essay collections, dark humour, Canadian authors and magical realism. This, and the fact that she's one of our resident fashion editors, makes her the closest thing we have to Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
Suzanne Moutis almost always has her nose in a book, be it Golden Age mystery, Second World War history or Hollywood tell-all. She unapologetically loves Regency romances and young adult fiction but flatly refuses to read anything that will make her cry.
Amanda Etty has an affinity for nail-biting thrillers and smart, funny books written by smart, funny women. She's always on the hunt for her next favourite novel, although she's currently working her way through a stack of parenting books (toddlers, right?).