History, sports, memoir, cookbooks, history, global affairs, feminism, parenting, television, politics...and so much more. With the stellar non-fiction selections out this fall, Canadian writers are continuing to write the world.
The rise of think-tanks in Canada and the role they occupy on the country’s political landscape are explored in Northern Lights (November), by Donald Abelson. Writers examine virginity as a cultural construct in Virgin Envy: The Cultural (In)Significance of the Hymen (October), edited Jonathan A. Allan, Cristina Santos, and Adriana Spahr. Andrew Baulcomb chronicles the recent goings-on of the music scene in Hamilton, ON, in Evenings and Weekends (September). Alyson Bobbitt and Sarah Bell share their most beloved pastry recipes in Bobbette and Belle: Recipes from the Celebrated Pastry Shop (October). And The Dad Dialogues (October), by George Bowering and Charles Demers, is an intergenerational look at fatherhood—and the universe!
Charles Bronfman shares his fascinating life story in Distilled: A Memoir of Family, Seagram, Baseball, and Philanthropy (October). In A Disappearence in Damascus (September), award-winning journalist Deborah Campbell writes about her friendship with Ahlam, an Iraqi woman working as a "fixer" for the Western media in Syria as that country plunged into war, and of her search for Ahlam when she is eventually arrested by the Syrian Secret Police. Sarah Carter’s Imperial Plots: Women, Land, and the Spadework of British Colonialism on the Canadian Prairie (October) reveals the untold story of women homesteaders in the Canadian west.
J. Edward Chamberlin (author of the much acclaimed book If This Is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories?: Finding Common Ground) releases The Banker and the Blackfoot: A Memoir of My Grandfather in Chinook Country (August), a story of the last years of the Canadian West. With Death in the Family, John Chipman investigates the lives ruined in the wake of the disaster of pathologist Dr. Charles Smith’s ignominious career (December). Writers’ Rights: Freelance Journalism in a Digital Age (November), by Nicole S. Cohen, provides context for freelancers’ struggles and identifies the points of contention between journalists and big business. And with memoir-in-stories The Tomboy Survival Guide (October), award-winner Ivan Coyote recounts their adventures and mishaps as a diffident and free-spirited tomboy, and maps their journey through treacherous gender landscapes to a place of self-acceptance and strength.
Anne Innis Dagg tells her story of a fascinating career spent in zoology and fighting against the marginalization of women in Canadian universities in her memoir, Smitten By Giraffe: My Life as a Citizen Scientist (October). Roméo Dallaire, author, retired general and former senator, delves into his experiences since the Rwandan genocide with Waiting for Fight Light: My Ongoing Battle With PTSD (October). Author/illustrator Danielle Daniel, who won acclaim for her picture book Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox, tells a different kind of story with The Dependent (October), a memoir about her experiences as a military wife both before and after an accident left her husband a paraplegic. And in The Parent Track (December), edited by Christine de Roche and Ellie Berger, provides an in-depth understanding of parenting in academia, from diverse perspectives—gender, age, race/ethnicity, marital status, sexual orientation—and at dfferent phases of a parent’s academic career.
The autobiography Shift Work (October) chronicles Tie Domi’s sixteen tumultuous seasons in the NHL. In the memoir As Fearless As Possible (Under the Circumstances) (November), Canadian broadcast pioneer Denise Donlon recounts her remarkable career. Let Them Eat Dirt (August), by B. Brett Finaly and Marie-Claire Arrieta, shows how an over-sanitized environment is hurting our kids. With Girl Positive: Supporting Girls to Shape a New World, Tatiana Fraser and Caia Hagel shift the sensational focus on girls in crisis to real-life stories of girls working to make a difference. And No News is Bad News (September), by Ian Gill, explores how Canada’s media is collapsing and how the landscape can possibly be saved.
In his graphic novel, Nicolas (September) Pascal Girard revists the childhood death of his younger brother. The history of the Canadian Red Cross through war, peace and social change is chronicled in Mobilizing Mercy (November), by Sarah Glassford. April Wine front man Myles Goodwyn shares the story of his life and music in the memoir Just Between You and Me (October). Developmental psychologist Alison Gopnik (The Philosophical Baby) argues that our contemporary culture of parenting is based on bad science and is good for neither parents nor kids in her latest book, The Gardener and the Carpenter (August). And travel writer Laurie Gough documents a different kind of journey in Stolen Child (September), a memoir about her experiences parenting a child with OCD.
From Nathan Greenfield, the Governor General's Award-finalist for The Damned, comes The Reckoning (October), the riveting true story of Canadian POWs in the First World War. Wayne Gretzky celebrates the NHL's 99th anniversary with 99: Stories of the Game (October). Journalist Jeremy Grimaldi spent ten months covering the Jennifer Pan case and brings all the pieces together in A Daughter's Deadly Deception (November). The Art of P. K. Irwin (November), by Michelle Rackham Hall, charts the evolution in the art of Irwin, who was known in her writing life as P.K. Page. Enlisting the help of a Metis Elder, Trevor Herriot revisits the history of one corner of the Great Plains in his latest nature book, Towards a Prairie Atonement (October).
Dillon Hillier writes of his experiences fighting ISIS insurgents in One Soldier: A Canadian Soldier's Fight Against the Islamic State (October). In The Muslimah Who Fell to Earth (October), editor Saima S. Hussain collects the stories of 22 Canadian Muslim women. Essays, articles, speeches and interviews by Jane Jacobs are collected in her centenary as Vital Little Plans (October), showing her evolution as a writer and thinker. Drawing on his years of experience as a Crown Prosecutor in Treaty 6 territory, Harold Johnson challenges readers to change the story we tell ourselves about alcohol use and abuse in Firewater: How Alcohol is Killing My People (and Yours) (September). And award-winning historian Ross King's new book is Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of Water Lilies (September).
Eric Koch, whose Hilmar and Odette received the Yad Vashem Prize for Holocaust Writing, writes of lives cleaved by war in his memoir, Otto and Daria: A Wartime Journey Through No-Man's Land (August). Gently to Nagasaki (September), by the iconic Joy Kogawa, interweaves the events of the author's own life with catastrophes like the bombing of Nagasaki and the massacre by the Japanese Imperial Army at Nanking, as she wrestles with essential questions like good and evil, love and hate, rage and forgiveness. The latest historical true crime title by forensic anthropologist Debra Komar (whose last book won the PEI Book Award) is Black River Road: An Unthinkable Crime, an Unlikely Suspect, and the Question of Character (September), about a prominent architect who shocks the community when he’s accused of a gruesome murder.
The Killer Whale that Changed the World (August), by Mark Leiden-Young, is the story of the first publicly exhibited captive whale who changed the way people understood orcas. Angela Liddon follows up her bestselling Oh She Glows cookbook with Oh She Glows Every Day (September), a collection of quick and easy recipes. The stories of Canada’s most decorated Indigenous soldier, Francis Pegahmagabow, are collected in Sounding Thunder (September), by Pegahmagabow's descendent, Brian D. McInnes. The Woods: A Year on Protection Island (October), by Amber McMillan, is a collection of non-fiction stories about the unique and sometimes unsettling atmosphere of small town island life. And Mulroney-era Conservative Cabinet Minister Tom McMillan indicts Stephen Harper for destroying the Canadian Conservative Party in his memoir, Not My Party: The Rise and Fall of the Canadian Tories from Robert Stanfield to Stephen Harper (October).
Mike Myers hands in his Centennial Year project...a little late with Canada (October), a tell-all memoir (and history) about his relationship with his beloved country. Violence No More: The Ride of Indigenous Women (November), by Wanda Nanabush, maps the colonial routes and roots of the tragedy of violence against Indigenous women, children and two-spirited people, while also showing the massive, consistent and persistent resistance to it. Peter C. Newman recounts the dramatic journey of the United Empire Loyalists and their defense of what would prove to be the social and moral foundation of Canada in Hostages to Fortune (November). And Darren O'Donnell argues that including children in as many social realms as possible is a way to disrupt economic inequities perpetuated by the status quo in Haircuts by Children (November), part of Coach House Books' Exploded Views series.
The first almost-authorized biography of former Ontario Premier Bill Davis is Steve Paikin's Bill Davis: Nation Building and Not So Bland After All (October). In Love, Despite the Ache (October), award-winner Chris Pannell writes about love and loss and aging. McGill University Professor Laila Parsons tells the story of a key figure from modern Arab history in The Commander: Fawzi al-Qawuqji and the Fight for Arab Independence, 1914-1948 (August). The first book by comedian Steve Patterson (CBC’s The Debaters) is The Book of Letters I Didn’t Know Where to Send, in which Patterson airs grievances, offers support or creates just plain confusion in unplainly humorous prose. And with humour and candour, Noah Richler shares his experiences as a candidate during the 2015 election in The Candidate: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail (October).
In Unearthed: Love, Acceptance, and Other Lessons from an Abandoned Garden (August), Alexandra Risen tames a wild garden and comes to terms with her parents' complicated legacy. Soraya Roberts investigates the ground-breaking nature of cult TV show My So-Called Life in her ECW Pop Classics title, In My Humble Opinion (August). Robbie Robertson tells the story of being a pivotal figure at a pivotal time in his long-awaited memoir, Testimony (November). In Not My Fate: The Story of a Nisga’a Survivior (October), Janet Romain shares the life story of her friend, Josephine Caplin, a residential schools survivor. And Kubrick Red (October), by Simon Roy, translated by Jacob Homel, is a memoir about the writer’s fascination with The Shining.
In A Tale of Two Countries: How the Great Demographic Imbalance is Pulling Canada Apart, Richard Saillant shows the uneven pace at which Canadian populations are aging and the implications of this imbalance. Lines of Flight: An Atomic Memoir (October), by Julie Salverson, charts the history of the uranium used to bomb Japan from its origins in Canada, for which a group of Dene from Déline, on the shores of the Great Bear Lake, where the uranium had been mined, had gone to Japan to apologize. John Semley's This is a Book About The Kids in the Hall (October) explores the history, legacy and influence of Canada's most famous sketch comedy troupe. And in editor Zena Sharman’s anthology The Remedy: Queer and Trans Voices on Health and Health Care (Octobers), readers and writers are invited to imagine what we need to create healthy, resilient, and thriving LGBTQ communities.
Forensic psychologist and memory expert Dr. Julia Shaw reveals why we are all unreliable narrators of our own life stories in The Memory Illusion: Why You Might Not Be Who You Think You Are (September). In Architecture on Ice: A History of the Hockey Arena (October), Howard Shubert reveals the central role these buildings have played in influencing urban, social and political life across North America. Celebrity chef Michael Smith's latest is Real Food, Read Good (September), a collection of 100 recipes made with wholesome ingredients. Ruby Remenda Swanson details her journey to LGBT advocacy in Family Outing (September). Jessica Tracy makes the case that pride is actually a virtue in her book, Take Pride: Why the Deadliest Sin Holds the Secret to Human Success (September).
In Barbarians Lost: Travels in the New China (September), Alexandre Trudeau shines a light on China right now and also on its fascinating history. Actor Joanne Vannicola tells her story of overcomng adversity in her memoir, Walking Through Glass (September). Writer and educator Chelsea Vowel initiates myriad conversations about the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canada in Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit issues in Canada (September). Embers: Ojibway Meditations (October), is a collection of everyday reflections by celebrated author Richard Wagamese. And Award-winning bird book author Gene Walz celebrates his favourite hobby in Happiness is a Rare Bird: Birds, Birders, and Memorable Birding Experiences (September).
With Is This Live: Inside the Wild Early Years of MuchMusic: The Nation's Music Station (October), Christopher Ward captures the pure fun and rock ’n’ roll rebellion of the early years of MuchMusic, with a foreword by Mike Myers. Eddie Weetaluk's memoir, From the Tundra to the Trenches (November) is the fourth volume in the University of Manitoba Press's First Voices First Texts series, and documents Weetaluk's experiences as an Inuk soldier in the Korean War and working with Inuit communities in the decades following. The Return of History (September), by international relations specialist Jennifer Welsh, is this year’s CBC Massey Lecture, critiquing Francis Fukuyama’s famous argument and suggesting that the reappearance of disturbing patterns from the past comes with modern twists. Where The Truth Lies (October) collects forty years of essays and speeches by celebrated author Rudy Wiebe. And in Notes from a Feminist Killjoy (November), Erin Wunker invites the reader into a conversation about gender, feminism, and living in our inequitable world.
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