CBC's Dwight Drummond's favourite recent reads

DwightDrummond-150.jpgOn Monday, November 12, the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction will award one Canadian author $60,000 at a gala in Toronto. Dwight Drummond, co-host of CBC News Toronto (weekdays at 5 p.m. ET on CBC Television), will be there as part of the celebrations. Drummond is an avid reader and chatted with CBC Books about some recent reads he found particularly engaging. Remember to follow CBC Books on Twitter Monday evening to find out which author will win the prize!

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable

malcolm-x-100.jpgThe autobiography of Malcolm X is one of my favourite all-time non-fiction books. I read it in high school and it was one of those books that really affected my life because it was right at that time in my life where you could make some bad decisions, some bad choices, and I really liked that story of how he went from being, essentially, this hoodlum to this great orator. And I really kind of grabbed onto that. Manning Marable, he kind of looked at the autobiography of Malcolm X and broke it down, and told some of the stories behind and said, 'This may have been fact but this was fiction,' and just kind of expanded on it. It was a really really good book. He died just after the book took off, Manning Marable, which kind of happened to Malcolm X too, because he died shortly after he released [his autobiography].

A Thousand Farewells by Nahlah Ayed

thousand-farewells-100.jpgOh my goodness, what a great read. I just loved the story. It's a real immigrant story with her going back to this Palestinian camp after living in Winnipeg. It kind of gave me insight into why she is so good at covering that part of the world, because she's had a foot in both, so that gives her a different perspective I think than most.

1982 by Jian Ghomeshi

1982-100.jpgJian and I are about the same age and I listen to Q all the time, so all those musical references in that book for me was just like, 'Hey, I was there, I remember that!" And I did pull down a couple of songs that I had forgotten about. That whole ska movement that kinda came out of the new wave movement with Tenderness by General Public and Ranking Rogers and all those guys. I was like, 'Oh man I forgot about those guys.' So I did go on iTunes and checked them out. That was a really fun read.

All-time favourite non-fiction writer

malcolm-gladwell-eleanor-wachtel-jamaica-50.jpgI would say the only person that I've probably read every book he's put out is Malcolm Gladwell. I've never interviewed him but I saw him speak at the Toronto Reference Library [as part of the Jamaica 50 programming in May]. I was reading him all these years and I think he mentioned his Jamaican background at the end of Outliers. I was born in Montego Bay and then I started searching out some of the articles he had written about his family in Jamaica, which was kind of cool.

Remember to take part in our final Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction contest. Weigh in on which book you think should win the award and you could win an Apple iPad!