New and Upcoming Non-Fiction (Feb. 2022)

Click on the title of the book to place a hold!

Son of Elsewhere: A Memoir in Pieces – Elamin Abdelmahmoud

At twelve years old, Elamin Abdelmahmoud emigrates with his family from his native Sudan to Kingston, Ontario, arguably one of the most homogenous cities in North America. At the airport, he’s handed his Blackness like a passport, and realizes that he needs to learn what this identity means in a new country.

Like all teens, Abdelmahmoud spent his adolescence trying to figure out who he was, but he had to do it while learning to balance a new racial identity and all the false assumptions that came with it. Abdelmahmoud learned to fit in, and eventually became “every liberal white dad’s favorite person in the room.” But after many years spent trying on different personalities, he now must face the parts of himself he’s kept suppressed all this time. He asks, “What happens when those identities stage a jailbreak?”

In his debut collection of essays, Abdelmahmoud gives full voice to each and every one of these conflicting selves. Whether reflecting on how The O.C. taught him about falling in love, why watching wrestling allowed him to reinvent himself, or what it was like being a Muslim teen in the aftermath of 9/11, Abdelmahmoud explores how our experiences and our environments help us in the continuing task of defining who we truly are.

____________

Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience – Brené Brown

In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances—a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection.

Over the past two decades, Brown’s extensive research into the experiences that make us who we are has shaped the cultural conversation and helped define what it means to be courageous with our lives. Atlas of the Heart draws on this research, as well as on Brown’s singular skills as a storyteller, to show us how accurately naming an experience doesn’t give the experience more power, it gives us the power of understanding, meaning, and choice.

Brown shares, “I want this book to be an atlas for all of us, because I believe that, with an adventurous heart and the right maps, we can travel anywhere and never fear losing ourselves.”

____________

The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor-the Truth and the Turmoil – Tina Brown

‘Never again’, became Queen Elizabeth II’s mantra shortly after Diana’s death. More specifically, there could never be ‘another Diana’ – a member of the family whose global popularity upstaged, outshone, and posed an existential threat to the British monarchy. Picking up where The Diana Chronicles left off, The Palace Papers reveals how the royal family reinvented itself after the traumatic years when Diana’s blazing celebrity ripped through the House of Windsor like a comet.

Tina Brown takes readers on a tour de force journey that shows the Queen’s stoic resolve as she coped with the passing of Princess Margaret, the Queen Mother and her partner for seven decades, Prince Philip, and triumphed in her Jubilee years even as the family dramas raged around her. She explores Prince Charles’s determination to make Camilla his queen, the tension between William and Harry who are on ‘different paths’, the ascendance of the resolute Kate Middleton, the disturbing allegations surrounding Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein, and Harry and Meghan’s stunning decision to ‘step back’ as senior royals. Despite the fragile monarchy’s best efforts, ‘never again’ seems fast approaching.

Full of powerful revelations, nuanced details, and searing insight, The Palace Papers will irrevocably change how the world perceives and understands the royal family.

________

I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House – Stephanie Grisham

The most frank and intimate portrait of the Trump White House yet.

Stephanie Grisham rose from being a junior press wrangler on the Trump campaign in 2016 to assuming top positions in the administration as White House press secretary and communications director, while at the same time acting as First Lady Melania Trump’s communications director and eventually chief of staff. Few members of the Trump inner circle served longer or were as close to the first family as Stephanie Grisham, and few had her unique insight into the turbulent four years of the administration, especially the personalities behind the headlines. 

__________

The Two Michaels: Innocent Canadian Captives and High Stakes Espionage in the US-China Cyber War – Fen Hampson & Michael Blanchfield

Landing in Vancouver on a flight from Hong Kong on December 2018, Chinese telecom executive Meng Wanzhou was arrested by Canadian authorities with an American extradition warrant. The US Department of Justice accused Meng of fraud and bypassing sanctions against Iran. Nine days later, in an act of retaliation, China arrested two Canadians–Michael Spavor, a trade consultant, and Michael Kovrig, a peace advocate–charging them with spying.

Imprisoned, interrogated, and tortured, the Two Michaels became hostages in a tense showdown between China and the United States over not only the Meng extradition but whether East or West will control the future of the internet.

In this timely and essential book, journalist Mike Blanchfield and international affairs expert Fen Hampson combine groundbreaking original reporting and keen analysis to tell this gripping an ongoing story of cyber espionage, life-and-death diplomacy, and global superpowers in conflict. 

__________

Return to Solitude: More Desolation Sound Adventures with the Cougar Lady, Russell The Hermit, the Spaghetti Bandit and Others – Grant Lawrence

An uproarious sequel to Grant Lawrence’s bestselling memoir Adventures in Solitude. Its been a decade since CBC personality and indie rock musician Grant Lawrence launched his writing career with the award winning Adventures in Solitude, yet some things never change, including the winding Sunshine Coast highway, close calls at the BC ferry ticket office and car sick children. But this time, Lawrence returns as a husband and father, not as the vomiting and nerdy kid dragged along by his athletic and unflappable parents. In his inimitable, high voltage style Grant Lawrence interweaves the rich history of the Desolation Sound area with his own experiences of life on the coast. This lively book recounts the life and times of the legendary Cougar Lady, tracks a phantom-like squatter known as the Spaghetti Bandit who haunted local cabins during the off season, freaking everybody out; and details the bizarre exit and even more bizarre death of Bernard the German. Here too are many of the beloved personalities introduced in Lawrence’s first book, including hippie recluse Russell the Hermit, plus the continued voyages of Big Buck$ and the incredible return of large ocean mammals to Desolation Sound. From a hilarious, heartfelt and slightly wiser voice comes a momentous story of time, family and place whirling around one increasingly ramshackle cabin on a beautiful and not-at-all-desolate coast.

_________

The Whole Body Reset: Your Weight-Loss Plan for a Flat Belly, Optimum Health & a Body You’ll Love at Midlife and Beyond – Stephen Perrine with Heidi Skolnik

You don’t have to gain weight as you age. That’s the simple yet revolutionary promise of The Whole Body Reset, which uncovers why standard diet and exercise advice stops working for us as we approach midlife—and reveals how simple changes to the way we eat can halt, and even reverse, age-related weight gain and muscle loss.

The Whole Body Reset presents stunning new evidence about the power of “protein timing” for people at midlife—research that blows away current government guidelines, refutes the myth of slowing metabolisms and “inevitable” weight gain, and changes the way people in their mid-forties and older should think about food. The Whole Body Reset explains in simple, inspiring terms exactly how our bodies change with age, and how eating to accommodate those changes can make us respond to exercise as if we were twenty to thirty years younger.

Developed by AARP, tested by a panel of more than 100 AARP employees, and approved by an international board of doctors, nutritionists, and fitness experts, The Whole Body Reset doesn’t use diet phases, eating windows, calorie restriction, or other trendy gimmicks. Its six simple secrets and scores of recipes are easy to follow, designed for real people living in the real world. A dining guide even shows how to follow this program in popular restaurants from McDonald’s to Starbucks to Olive Garden. And best of all: It works!

__________

Run Towards the Danger: Confrontations with a Body of Memory – Sarah Polley

These are the most dangerous stories of my life. The ones I have avoided, the ones I haven’t told, the ones that have kept me awake on countless nights. As these stories found echoes in my adult life, and then went another, better way than they did in childhood, they became lighter and easier to carry.

Sarah Polley’s work as an actor, screenwriter, and director is celebrated for its honesty, complexity, and deep humanity. She brings all those qualities, along with her exquisite storytelling chops, to these six essays. Each one captures a piece of Polley’s life as she remembers it, while at the same time examining the fallibility of memory, the mutability of reality in the mind, and the possibility of experiencing the past anew, as the person she is now but was not then. As Polley writes, the past and present are in a “reciprocal pressure dance.”

Polley contemplates stories from her own life ranging from stage fright to high-risk childbirth to endangerment and more. After struggling with the aftermath of a concussion, Polley met a specialist who gave her wholly new advice: to recover from a traumatic injury, she had to retrain her mind to strength by charging towards the very activities that triggered her symptoms. With riveting clarity, she shows the power of applying that same advice to other areas of her life in order to find a path forward, a way through. Rather than live in a protective crouch, she had to run towards the danger.

_______

The Next Age of Uncertainty: How the World Can Adapt to a Riskier Future – Stephen Poloz

The economic ground is shifting beneath our feet. The world is becoming more volatile, and people are understandably worried about their financial futures. In this urgent and accessible guide to the crises and opportunities that lie ahead, economist and former Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz maps out the powerful tectonic forces that are shaping our future, and the ideas that will allow us to master them.

These forces include an aging workforce, mounting debt, and rising income inequality. Technological advances, too, are adding to the pressure, putting people out of work, and climate change is forcing a transition to a lower-carbon economy. It is no surprise that people are feeling uncertain.

The implications of these tectonic tensions will cascade throughout every dimension of our lives–the job market, the housing market, the investment climate, as well as government and central bank policy, and the role of the corporation within society. The pandemic has added momentum to many of them.

Poloz skillfully argues that past crises, from the Victorian Depression in the late 1800s to the more recent downturn in 2008, give a hint of what is in store for us in the decades ahead. Unlike the purely destructive power of earthquakes, the upheaval that is sure to come in the decades ahead will offer unexpected opportunities for renewal and growth.

_______

Write for Your Life – Anna Quindlen

What really matters in life? What truly lasts in our hearts and minds? Where can we find community, history, humanity? In this lyrical new book, the answer is clear: through writing. This is a book for what Quindlen calls “civilians,” those who want to use the written word to become more human, more themselves.

Write for Your Life argues that there has never been a more important time to stop and record what we are thinking and feeling. Using examples from past, present, and future–from Anne Frank to Toni Morrison, from love letters written after World War II to journal reflections from nurses and doctors today–Write for Your Life vividly illuminates the ways in which writing connects us to ourselves and to those we cherish. Drawing on her personal experiences not just as a writer but as a mother and daughter, Quindlen makes the case that recording our daily lives in writing is essential.

When we write we not only look, we see; we not only react but reflect. Writing gives you something to hold onto in a changing world. “To write the present,” Quindlen says, “is to believe in the future.”

________

Silenced No More: Surviving My Journey to Hell and Back – Sarah Ransome

For the first time ever, a survivor tells the shocking inside story of her time trapped in Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell’s alleged sex trafficking ring.

Sarah Ransome moved to New York at the age of 22 with hopes for a better life, an education, and a career in fashion. Her dreams were destroyed almost overnight when she met Jeffrey Epstein and was invited to an island paradise disguising her personal hell.

“By sharing my testimony…I hope to see both minds and laws changed. More than anything, I want to encourage a culture in which women, even if they haven’t led the perfect lives, even if they’re not proud of every one of their choices, still feel the right to stand in their truth.”

This story is her day in court.

_______

Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid-19 – Alina Chan and Matt Ridley

In this uniquely insightful book, a scientist and a writer join forces to try to get to the bottom of how a virus whose closest relations live in bats in subtropical southern China somehow managed to begin spreading among people more than 1,500 kilometres away in the city of Wuhan. They grapple with the baffling fact that the virus left none of the expected traces that such outbreaks usually create: no infected market animals or wildlife, no chains of early cases in travellers to the city, no smouldering epidemic in a rural area, no rapid adaptation of the virus to its new host–human beings.

To try to solve this pressing mystery, Viral delves deep into the events of 2019 leading up to 2021, the details of what went on in animal markets and virology laboratories, the records and data hidden from sight within archived Chinese theses and websites, and the clues that can be coaxed from the very text of the virus’s own genetic code.

The result is a gripping detective story that takes the reader deeper and deeper into a metaphorical cave of mystery. One by one the authors explore promising tunnels only to show that they are blind alleys, until, miles beneath the surface, they find themselves tantalisingly close to a shaft that leads to the light.

________

How to be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question – Michael Schur

From the creator of The Good Place and the cocreator of Parks and Recreation, a hilarious, thought-provoking guide to living an ethical life, drawing on 2,500 years of deep thinking from around the world.

Most people think of themselves as “good,” but it’s not always easy to determine what’s “good” or “bad”—especially in a world filled with complicated choices and pitfalls and booby traps and bad advice. Fortunately, many smart philosophers have been pondering this conundrum for millennia and they have guidance for us. With bright wit and deep insight, How to Be Perfect explains concepts like deontology, utilitarianism, existentialism, ubuntu, and more so we can sound cool at parties and become better people.

Schur starts off with easy ethical questions like “Should I punch my friend in the face for no reason?” (No.) and works his way up to the most complex moral issues we all face. Such as: Can I still enjoy great art if it was created by terrible people? How much money should I give to charity? Why bother being good at all when there are no consequences for being bad? And much more. By the time the book is done, we’ll know exactly how to act in every conceivable situation, so as to produce a verifiably maximal amount of moral good. We will be perfect, and all our friends will be jealous. OK, not quite. Instead, we’ll gain fresh, funny, inspiring wisdom on the toughest issues we face every day.

_________

The Waymaker: A Dare to Hope When There Seems to Be No Way – Ann Voskamp

In The WayMakerNew York Times bestselling author Ann Voskamp encourages us to hold on to our hope in the WayMaker who carves paths and opens doors in the most breathtaking, miraculous, sorely-needed ways. Weaving the story of Moses and the Israelites on the road to the Red Sea with her own unlikely story of adopting a little girl from China and a refugee family from Syria, Ann shows how the Red Sea Road is traveled just one step at a time—by dipping our toes into the impossible.

Just as Moses was full of doubt facing the wall of water, Ann questions how she will ever find a way to bring home a baby girl with half a heart. We often fear that the miracles our hearts beat for won’t happen—but grace is the miracle that always happens. When you only see a rising wall of waves, Hope sees a way, finds a way, makes a way.

As the Israelites learned, God sometimes calls us to wait in the wilderness in order to do a deeper work in us. And in the sacrament of waiting, we discover that more than a way through, what we hope for most is a road right into the heart of the WayMaker himself.

___________

The Worth of Water: Our Story of Chasing Solutions to the World’s Greatest Challenge – Gary White and Matt Damon

On any given morning, you might wake up and shower with water, make your coffee with water, flush your toilet with water–and think nothing of it.

But around the world, more than three-quarters of a billion people can’t do any of that–because they have no clean water source near their homes. And 1.7 billion don’t have access to a toilet. This crisis affects a third of the people on the planet. It keeps kids out of school and women out of work. It traps people in extreme poverty. It spreads disease.

It’s also solvable. That conviction is what brought together movie actor Matt Damon and water expert and engineer Gary White. They spent years getting the answer wrong, then halfway right, then almost right. Over time, they and their organization, Water.org, have found an approach that works. Working with partners across East Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, they’ve helped over 40 million people access water and/or sanitation.

In The Worth of Water, Gary and Matt take us along on the journey–telling stories as they uncover insights, try out new ideas, and travel between the communities they serve and the halls of power where decisions get made. With humor and humility, they illuminate the challenges of launching a brand-new model with extremely high stakes: better health and greater prosperity for people allover the world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Website Built with WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: