Dundurn Gift Guide

Dundurn Gift Guide

Posted on November 16 by MarketingIntern in Fiction, Kids, Mystery, News, Non-fiction, Recent Releases, Teens
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As the holiday season approaches, you may be wondering what to get the readers in your life. Dundurn Press has you covered with our Dundurn Gift Guide! We’ve asked our staff to select some of their favourite reads and have broken them down so you can find a book for every reader, and maybe even a few to add to your list, as well!

From November 16 to December 7, use the promo code DUNDURNGIFTGUIDE to receive 30% off your order from dundurn.com.


For the Literary Fiction Lover

There’s nothing like snuggling up by the fire with an unforgettable novel that explores the world in unique ways and makes us forget where we are, even if just for a moment.

Travel to Mexico with Coen after he learns of his future husband’s death in After Elias by Eddy Boudel Tan recommended by Marketing Coordinator and Community Manager Maria Zuppardi. This modern queer tragedy about a pilot’s last words, an interrupted celebration, and the fear of losing everything is perfect for readers looking to experience “all the emotions” as they root for powerful characters who overcome difficult circumstances in the best way they know how.

But Coen isn’t the only one trying to understand the death of a loved one and navigate their past. Meet Kent, Sarah, and Reza in Andre Babyn’s Evie of the Deepthorn. What starts out as a novel about a teenager obsessed with a cult classic film quickly turns into a beautiful exploration of grief, small towns, loneliness, and how art can pull us through. This year, we all need a balance between processing and escaping, which is why this deeply affecting and daring literary fiction is recommended by Project Editor Jenny McWha.

While the next pick isn't fiction, Director of Sales and Marketing Lisa Marie Smith thinks literary fiction lovers will enjoy Alone: A Love Story by Michelle Parise. This narrative nonfiction is all about strength and resilience; how we can and will persevere during hardship or after an unexpected event has sent life as we once knew it into chaos. Michelle fully describes the complexity of the human experience and packages it in this beautifully raw, tell-all memoir that is also heartfelt, super steamy, hilarious, and packed with all the other page-turning goodies you look for in a book. 


For the Thriller Fan

Spooky season may be over, but we all know someone who loves a good thriller or mystery all year round!

In her dark and twisty debut Erin Ruddy’s Tell Me My Name takes fans of Ruth Ware and Shari Lapena on a roller-coaster ride featuring a woman who is kidnapped by an obsessed stranger who threatens deadly consequences unless she can remember his name. This one promises to keep readers up all night, never letting go of the tension, excitement, and suspense.

For the noir crime fan, let us introduce Candace Starr, a hard-drinking former hitwoman who agrees to help catch a killer in The Starr Sting Scale by C.S. O’Cinneide. Sales and Marketing Manager Kendra Martin recommends this to the person on your list who binge-watched Jessica Jones on Netflix and likes their mysteries dark and broody without any of that annoying casual sexism.


For the YA Reader

Give the gift of reading to the younger book lovers in your life this holiday season with coming-of-age stories that promise to take readers on a journey of discovery, belonging, and survival.

For fans of YA fantasy looking to get into a new series, Marketing Intern Kristina Jagger recommends The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass by Adan Jerreat-Poole, a wicked cool fantasy that will have readers rooting for a group of misfit witches and assassins until the very last page as they embark on a quest to save the Earth.

Witches and assassins not your reader’s thing? How about an unchosen one? In The Book of Sam by Rob Shapiro, fantasy lovers are sure to be entranced by a fantastical world of falling cities and strange creatures as they follow an ordinary sixteen-year-old boy in search of his best friend in Hell.

Some of our young reader’s heroes live right in our own world, however. Editorial Assistant Melissa Kawaguchi recommends Safe Harbour by Christina Kilbourne, where fourteen-year-old Harbour must learn to navigate the streets with the help of another homeless teen. Tackling themes of homelessness, mental illness, friendship, and grief, this novel is perfect for those looking to learn more about contemporary issues.


For the Big Thinkers

As we initiate conversations with loved ones around the social issues impacting various communities, many have turned to books to expand their knowledge to better support those in need.

For the socially conscious reader in your life, Director of Accounting Kayleigh Fisher recommends The Age of Fentanyl by Brodie Ramin, an eye-opening book into patterns of opioid addictions and their treatments. While readers digest the information presented in this book, they will also hear stories of those affected by the opioid epidemic, making for an emotional read.

Football fans inspired by the recent movements across the Black community will be captivated by President and Publisher Scott Fraser’s staff pick, The Stone Thrower by Jael Ealey Richardson. This is a moving story about race and destiny written by a daughter looking for answers about her own Black history as she uncovers her father’s legendary past in the sport.

Looking for something that isn’t nonfiction? For the feminist reader looking to expand their library, take a page from Publicist, Heather Wood who recommends Seven by Farzana Doctor. This brave and soulfully written novel touched her heart and opened her eyes to the issue of khatna through the experiences of Sharifa and the Dawoodi Bohra community.


For the Aspiring Creative

We’ve all taken up a few new hobbies recently, but as the weather gets colder, gift your aspiring creative with an incredible story that chronicles the life of an artist they’re sure to be inspired by.

First on this list is Michael Snow by James King, an all-encompassing view of the life and work of one of Canada’s greatest living artists recommended to you by Associate Publisher Kathryn Lane. This personal and intimate look into a major Canadian talent is perfect for that art history major you know and anyone asking the question, what exactly is a work of art?

Next up, Art Director Laura Boyle recommends Hayley Gene Penner’s People You Follow, a gripping memoir about a woman’s coming-of-age in the music industry. The best part about this one? The accompanying album is gorgeous and would make the perfect add-on to complete this gift for your music lover.

Shifting to a different genre of music in a book that works its magic like a slow-acting drug, Director of Sales and Marketing Lisa Marie Smith recommends Love Her Madly by Bill Cosgrave, a riveting memoir about The Doors frontman, Jim Morrison, one of rock’s most mysterious and enduring icons.


For the Toronto History Lover

For a blast through the past this holiday season, give the Toronto history lover in your life a new read. From a trip through the streets of Toronto, to a walk down memory lane to relive our concert days, to a more natural look at history through the trees, Dundurn Press has something for everyone fascinated by what came before.

Recommended by Designer Sophie Paas-Lang is Toronto’s Lost Villages by Ron Brown, an exploration of the vestiges of the hamlets and villages that have been swallowed up by Toronto’s relentless growth. Bringing these stories back to life, readers will travel to many historic sites and streetscapes without ever having to leave their couch.

If your history lover is more musically inclined, Executive Assistant and Administration Manager Sara D’Agostino recommends The Flyer Vault by Rob Bowman and Daniel Tate, a visual tour de force showcasing Toronto’s vast concert history. This is one that she comes back to time and time again and is certain your loved one will too as we wait patiently to be able to attend concerts again.

Last, but certainly not least, Operations Specialist Ankit Pahwa recommends A Trail Called Home by Paul O’Hara to those looking for a different storyteller to share the stories of the past: trees. Allow your history lover to learn from the trees in the Golden Horseshoe and become rooted to the land beneath our feet (even if it will soon be covered in snow).


Added a few books to your list of gift ideas? Great! Place your order with us between November 16 and December 7 and use the promo code DUNDURNGIFTGUIDE to receive 30% off! 

Please note: To receive your books in time for the holidays, make sure to place your order by December 7.