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This Just In

Interesting new titles in June

The Disinherited by Robert Sackville-West

Bloomsbury
The Disinherited by Robert Sackville-West

In the small hours of the morning of 3 June 1914, a woman and her husband were found dead in a sparsely furnished apartment in Paris. It was only when the identity of the couple was revealed in the English press a fortnight later that the full story emerged. The man, Henry Sackville-West, had shot himself minutes after the death of his wife from cancer; but Henry’s suicidal despair had been driven equally by the failure of his claim to be the legitimate son of Lord Sackville and heir to Knole. The Disinherited reveals the secrets and lies at the heart of an English dynasty, unravelling the parallel lives of Henri’s four illegitimate siblings: in particular his older sister, Victoria, who on becoming Lady Sackville and mistress of Knole, by marriage, consigned her brothers and sisters to lives of poverty and disappointment.

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In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman

One September morning in 2008, an investment banker approaching forty, his career in collapse and his marriage unraveling, receives a surprise visitor at his West London townhouse. In the disheveled figure of a South Asian male carrying a backpack, the banker recognizes a long-lost friend, a mathematics prodigy who disappeared years earlier under mysterious circumstances. The friend has resurfaced to make a confession of unsettling power. In the Light of What We Know takes us on a journey of exhilarating scope--from Kabul to London, New York, Islamabad, Oxford, and Princeton--and explores the great questions of love, belonging, science, and war. It is an age-old story: the friendship of two men and the betrayal of one by the other. The visitor, a man desperate to climb clear of his wrong beginnings, seeks atonement; and the narrator sets out to tell his friend's story but finds himself at the limits of what he can know about the world--and, ultimately, himself. Set against the breaking of nations and beneath the clouds of economic crisis, this surprisingly tender novel chronicles the lives of people carrying unshakable legacies of class and culture as they struggle to tame their futures.

In an extraordinary feat of imagination, Zia Haider Rahman has telescoped the great upheavals of our young century into a novel of rare intimacy and power.

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How Not to be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg

The Penguin Press
How Not to be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg

The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is: Math isn’t confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do—the whole world is shot through with it.

Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It’s a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does “public opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer?

Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need. Math, as Ellenberg says, is “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.” With the tools of mathematics in hand, you can understand the world in a deeper, more meaningful way. How Not to Be Wrong will show you how.

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Bay Street by Philip Slayton

Oblonsky Editions
Bay Street by Philip Slayton

Money ... Sex ... Madness ... MURDER. See the shocking world of Bay Street, from an insider who saw it all.

“Dibbet & Dibbet is an awful place,” he said. “Get out. Don’t go back there for even one hour. You remember we were talking about Paris? We can get a flight today. We can be there in hours. Make the break. Change your life.”
“That’s running away,” said Piper. “It wouldn’t solve anything. I’ve still got a job. I’m working on a big file. I can’t just get on a plane and leave. That’s not professional. I’m a lawyer. That means something.”

Philip Slayton studied law at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and then clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada. In the first chapter of his legal career he was a law professor and dean of law at Western University. Philip then went into legal practice with a major Canadian law firm in Toronto, and worked on many of the biggest corporate and commercial transactions of the time. After seventeen years, he retired from the practice of law in 2000. Upon leaving Big Law, Philip Slayton wrote the best-selling book Lawyers Gone Bad: Money, Sex and Madness in Canada’s Legal Profession. Philip and his book were the subjects of a Maclean’s magazine cover story with the controversial headline “Lawyers are Rats.” The Toronto Star labeled Slayton “Public Enemy #1.” His second book was Mighty Judgment: How the Supreme Court of Canada Runs Your Life.

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