Most Anticipated: Spring 2014 Non-Fiction Preview

"Spring" of course, is a relative term (except when it isn't—that whole business of the vernal equinox and all) but we live by aspiration here at 49th Shelf, and therefore the spring publishing season begins right now. There are so many exciting books forthcoming in the first half of 2014, and we'll be rounding them up over the next few weeks. This week, we're looking at new non-fiction titles that look fantastic.

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Gender Failure

Mirella Amato is just one of seven certified beer sommeliers in the world, and her first book, Beerology (May), promises to be a great exploration of all things brewski. In Our Scandalous Senate (May), J. Patrick Boyer writes that the real Senate scandal is the very existence of the Canadian Senate at all. Meanwhile, from the Green Chamber, Olivia Chow publishes her autobiography, My Journey (January). With Gender Failure (April), writers and musicians Rae Spoon and Ivan Coyote turn their live show into a scrapbook-of-sorts about their experiences failing to conform to gender binary and about how traditional gender assumptions fail us all. 

Science of Shakespeare

Journalist Gillian Deacon's new book, Naked Imperfection (April), is written from a personal angle; it is a memoir about her experience with breast cancer and her revelation that no amount of control can stop life from happening to us. In Dreaming of Elsewhere (March), Giller winner Esi Edugyen weaves fact and fiction in a collection about whether home is just a place or if it can be an idea, a person, a memory, or a dream.

Another book reveals that Shakespeare and Galileo were born in the same year—who knew? In The Science of Shakespeare (April), Dan Falk explores connections between the Bard's work and important scientific achievements of his time. 

Flood Forecast

In her memoir, One Hour in Paris (April), philosopher Karyn L. Freedman considers how her life was changed by a brutal rape, and she uses personal and global examples to explore how survivors of trauma cope and persevere. In Flood Forecast (May), the latest Rocky Mountain Books Manifesto, water experts Kerry Freek and Robert William Sandford write about the floods that occurred in Toronto and Alberta during the summer of 2013. With Craftivism (May), Betsy Greer profiles artists whose crafts are changing the world. And in The Road is How (April), Trevor Herriot embarks on a three-day walk across the prairies.

Book Back to the Red Road

"Reconciliation will not be one grand, finite act. It will be a multitude of small acts and gestures played out between individuals." This is the premise of Back to the Red Road (March) by Florence Kaefer and Edward Gamblin, in which a former residential school teacher and student reconnect to make sense of their shared history. Mary Ann Kirkby follows up her bestselling first book, I Am Hutterite, with Secrets of a Hutterite Kitchen (April). Olympic rower Silken Laumann's autobiography is Unsinkable (January), and it reveals new insights into her life and successes. And if your kids don't eat like they're French yet, check out Getting to Yum (April) by Karen Le Billon, with tips and recipes to help show picky eaters the way. 

Book Cover Duffy

Dan Leger puts Senator Mike Duffy in the spotlight with Duffy: Stardom to Senate to Scandal (March). In their book, Tragedy in the Commons (April), Allison Loat and Michael MacMillan take readers behind the curtain of Canadian politics. Elaine "Lainey Gossip" Lui's memoir is Listen to the Squawking Chicken (April), which reveals the unconventional and hilarious advice from her Chinese-Canadian mother. For two years, Maria Mutch's disabled son barely slept, and Mutch documents this period in her mothering life with Know the Night (February), a memoir about the nighttime world and connections between Mutch's own experience and the solitude of polar explorers. One Kind Word: Women Share Their Abortion Experiences (June), edited by Kathryn Palmateer and Martha Solomon, shifts the focus of the abortion debate to women and their own stories. 

Book Cover Music Express

Patricia Pearson's new book is Opening Heaven’s Door (April); it explores the strange middle-world that exists between life and death. In North of Normal (April), Cea Sunrise Person recounts her unconventional childhood. And we're excited for the new Pop Classics Series from ECW Press; the first two selections are Raise Some Shell: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Richard Rosenbaum and It Doesn't Suck: Showgirls by Adam Nayman (April). David Sax's The Tastemakers (May) explores why some food trends catch on (cronuts, anyone?) and why others don't. And in Music Express (May), Keith Sharp traces the history of the magazine that chronicled the Canadian music scene from 1976–1993.

Counterfeit-Crime

In Counterfeit Crime (May), R.T. Naylor dissects the true cost of the "wars" that governments are waging on crime and terror. Donna Thomson shares what she has learned about "the good life" from her experience caring for her disabled son in The Four Walls of My Freedom (January). Documentary filmmaker Diane Whelan spends 40 days in the hubbub at the foot of Everest in Base Camp: 40 Days on Everest (April). And artist Margaux Williamson curates an imaginary exhibition in I Could See Everything (March), which includes essays by Leanne Shapton and others. 

*Check out our Most Anticipated Spring Fiction and Most Anticipated Kids' Books lists as well!

January 13, 2014
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