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RBC Taylor Prize 2017 Longlist
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RBC Taylor Prize 2017 Longlist

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TORONTO, Nov. 30, 2016 /CNW/ - Jurors John English, Ann MacMillan, and Colin McAdam today announced the longlist for the sixteenth RBC Taylor Prize. They read 101 books written by Canadian authors and submitted by 29 Canadian and international publishers. "Each of these titles represents a contribution: whether it is to knowledge, to how we understand ourselves, or to how we might make sense of our complicated planet. As a whole, this list reveals a world of war, survival, art, whales, and wireless connectivity—people playing games and people suffering harm. We applaud these authors who devoted such energy, scholarship, and sympathy to their subjects. All of these books should be read," the jury notes.
Waiting for First Light

Waiting for First Light

My Ongoing Battle with PTSD
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback

Longlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize: In this piercing memoir, Roméo Dallaire, retired general and former senator, the author of the bestsellers Shake Hands with the Devil andThey Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children, and one of the world's leading humanitarians, delves deep into his life since the Rwandan genocide.

At the heart of Waiting for First Light is a no-holds-barred self-portrait of a top political and military figure whose nights are invaded by despair, but who at first light f …

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By Chance Alone

By Chance Alone

A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz
edition:Paperback
tagged : holocaust, jewish

WINNER of CBC Canada Reads

Finalist for the RBC Taylor Prize

In the tradition of Elie Wiesel’s Night and Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz comes a bestselling new memoir by Canadian survivor

More than 70 years after the Nazi camps were liberated by the Allies, a new Canadian Holocaust memoir details the rural Hungarian deportations to Auschwitz-Birkenau, back-breaking slave labour in Auschwitz I, the infamous “death march” in January 1945, the painful aftermath of liberation, a journey of …

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Pumpkinflowers

Pumpkinflowers

An Israeli Soldier's Story
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
tagged : military

Shortlisted for the 2016 Hilary Weston Writer's Trust Non-Fiction Prize
Shortlisted for the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction
Longlisted for the 2017 BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
Shortlisted for the 2017 Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature
A New York Times Notable Book of 2016
A Globe and Mail Pick for Best Canadian Non-Fiction of 2016

From an award-winning Canadian-Israeli writer comes the true story of a band of young soldiers, the author among them, charged w …

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Excerpt

Nights on the hill were unusually long. They were inhabited by shadows flitting among boulders, by bushes that assumed human form, by viscous mists that crept in and thickened until all the sentries were blind. Sometimes you took over one of the guard posts, checked your watch an hour later, and found that five minutes had passed. 
     The enemy specialized in the roadside bomb artfully concealed, in the short barrage, in the rocket threaded through the slit of a guard post. We specialized in waiting. An honest history of this time would consist of several thousand pages of daydreams and disjointed thoughts born of exhaustion and boredom, disrupted only every hundred pages or so by a quick tragedy, and then more waiting. 
     At night four sentries waited in four guard posts that were never empty. Four crewmen waited in a tank, searching the approaches to the fort. Ambush teams conversed in whispers and passed cookies around in the undergrowth outside, waiting for guerrillas. A pair of soldiers drank coffee from plastic cups in a room of radio sets, waiting for transmissions to come through. 
     Before the earliest hint of dawn each day someone went around rousing all of those who weren’t awake already. Groggy creatures dropped from triple-decker bunks, struggled into their gear, and snapped helmet straps under chins. Now everyone was supposed to be ready. Lebanon was dark at first, but soon the sky began to pale through the camouflage net. Sometimes first light would reveal that the river valley had filled with clouds, and then the Pumpkin felt like an island fortress in a sea of mist — like the only place in the world, or like a place not of this world at all. There was a mood of purposefulness at that hour, an intensity of connection among us, a kind of inaudible hum that I now understand was the possibility of death; it was exciting, and part of my brain misses it though other parts know better. 
     This ritual, the opening act of every day, might have been called Morning Alert or some other forgettable military term, with any unnecessary syllable excised. It might have been shortened, as so much of our language was, to an acronym. But for some reason it was never called anything but Readiness with Dawn. The phrase is as strange in the original Hebrew as in the English. This was, in our grim surroundings, a reminder that things need not be merely utilitarian. It was an example of the poetry that you can find even in an army, if you’re looking.
     The hour of Readiness with Dawn was intended as an antidote to the inevitable relaxing of our senses, a way of whetting the garrison’s dulled attention as the day began. It was said this was the guerrillas’ preferred time to storm the outpost, but they didn’t do that when I was there. I remember standing in the trench as the curtain rose on our surroundings, trying to remember that out there, invisible, was the enemy, but finding my thoughts wandering instead to the landscape materializing at that moment beyond the coils of wire: cliffs and grassy slopes, villages balanced on the sides of mountains, a river flowing beneath us toward the Mediterranean. Things were so quiet that I believe I could hear the hill talking to me. I’m not sure I could understand then what it was saying. But now I believe it was “What are you doing here?” And also “Why don’t you go home?” 
     That hill is still speaking to me years later. Its voice, to my surprise, has not diminished with the passage of time but has grown louder and more distinct.  
     This book is about the lives of young people who finished high school and then found themselves in a war -- in a forgotten little corner of a forgotten little war, but one that has nonetheless reverberated in our lives and in the life of our country and the world since it ended one night in the first spring of the new century. Anyone looking for the origins of the Middle East of today would do well to look closely at these events. 
     Part 1 is about a series of incidents beginning in 1994 at the Israeli army outpost we called the Pumpkin, seen through the eyes of a soldier, Avi, who was there before me. Part 2 introduces two civilians, mothers, who helped bring about the unraveling of the military’s strategy. Part 3 describes my own time on the hill, and the experiences of several of my friends in the outpost’s last days. The final part recounts my return to Lebanon after these events had ended, in an attempt to understand them better. 
     Readiness with Dawn ended up being a time for contemplation. Look around: Where are you, and why? Who else is here? Are you ready? Ready for what? So important was this ritual at such an important time in my life that this mode of consciousness became an instinct, the way an infant knows to hold its breath underwater. I still slip into it often. I’m there now.

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An Intimate Wilderness

An Intimate Wilderness

Arctic Voices in a Land of Vast Horizons
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook

An unforgettable and beautifully illustrated memoir of one man’s journeys in the eastern Arctic over 50 years, and a revealing look into the world of the Inuit.

 

Arctic researcher, author, and photographer Norman Hallendy’s journey to the far north began in 1958, when many Inuit, who traditionally lived on the land, were moving to permanent settlements created by the Canadian government. In this unique memoir, Hallendy writes of his adventures, experiences with strange Arctic phenomena, enco …

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The Killer Whale Who Changed the World

The Killer Whale Who Changed the World

edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook

The fascinating and heartbreaking account of the first publicly exhibited captive killer whale—a story that forever changed the way we see orcas and sparked the movement to save them.

 

Killer whales had always been seen as bloodthirsty sea monsters. That all changed when a young killer whale was captured off the west coast of North America and displayed to the public in 1964. Moby Doll—as the whale became known—was an instant celebrity, drawing twenty thousand visitors on the one and only …

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Quinn

Quinn

The Life of a Hockey Legend
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
tagged : sports, hockey

LONGLISTED FOR THE 2017 RBC TAYLOR PRIZE
A tribute to the larger than life story of a hockey icon and hero.
     The hockey world mourned when Pat Quinn died in November 2014.
     Tough guys sobbed. Networks carried montages of Quinn's rugged hits, his steely-eyed glare, and his famous victories. Quinn made a few enemies over the years, but there was no one who didn't respect the tough working-class kid who had fought his way to the very top of the hockey world.
     He had butted heads with …

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Wait Time

Wait Time

A Memoir of Cancer
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback

When poet and essayist Kenneth Sherman was diagnosed with cancer, he began keeping a notebook of observations that blossomed into this powerful memoir. With incisive and evocative language, Sherman presents a clear-eyed view of what the cancer patient feels and thinks. His narrative voice is personal but not confessional, practical but not cold, thoughtful and searching but not self-pitying or self-absorbed.

The author’s wait time for surgery on a malignant tumour was exceptionally long an …

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This Is Not My Life

This Is Not My Life

A Memoir of Love, Prison, and Other Complications
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook Paperback
tagged :

From the Governor General’s Award winning author of Forms of Devotion, Our Lady of the Lost and Found and By the Book

“Never once in my life had I dreamed of being in bed with a convicted killer.”

For almost six turbulent years, award-winning writer Diane Schoemperlen was involved with a prison inmate serving a life sentence for second-degree murder. The relationship surprised no one more than her. How do you fall in love with a man with a violent past? How do you date someone who is in pris …

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