Ben McNally’s 45 Books in 45 Minutes

by Melissa MacAulay

Published at 2015-06-17

On Wednesday, June 10, I attended the Summer Edition of "45 Books in 45 Minutes" at Ben McNally Books in Toronto. This semi-annual event is a must for those wishing to keep abreast of the latest fiction and non-fiction publications. Advertised as a "quick and informative rundown of the best, or most talked about, books of the season," in 45 minutes Ben McNally and Lynn Thomson provide you with details on 45 of the hottest books that they have read! The event is free and offers attendees complimentary wine, cheese, and cookies. 

A Few Fiction Titles

This summer’s list includes well-known authors Oliver Sacks and John Krakauer, as well as new and upcoming authors such as the 20-something-year-old Sara Taylor, whose debut novel, The Shore, was longlisted for the 2015 Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction
More highlights of the fiction list include the enormous and intimidating I Am Radar by Reif Larsen, and Emma Hooper’s Etta and Otto and Russell and James, a novel about an old woman who decides to walk from Saskatchewan to the Atlantic Ocean.

And a Few Non-Fiction Titles

Topical non-fiction titles include The Education of Augie Merasty by Joseph Auguste Merasty, the story of a survivor of Canada’s residential school system, and Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, which spurred on a brief discussion about some recent media events in Toronto. Also pertinent to the Canadian context is Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff’s Losing the Signal that traces the rise and fall of BlackBerry. 

For Me … A Thriller


Although my “to-read” shelf is already filled with far too many unread books, I couldn’t resist the urge to take home one of McNally’s 45. Craving a good psychological thriller, I picked up S.J. Watson’s Second Life, highly awaited by many since the success of Watson’s 2011 debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep. Review forthcoming! 

If you’d like to find out more about events like this at Ben McNally Books, click here