Books

12 books you heard about on CBC Radio this week

Here's a round-up of the best book and author interviews from CBC Radio from Feb. 1-Feb. 7, 2020.

Here's a round-up of the best book and author interviews from CBC Radio from Feb. 1-Feb. 7, 2020.

Reinvention by Arlene Dickinson

Arlene Dickinson is a Canadian businesswoman, investor, author and television personality. (HarperCollins)

As one of the stars of the CBC's hit show Dragons' Den, Arlene Dickinson has invested in many budding entrepreneurs and she's won multiple awards as a business leader. But in 2013, catastrophic flooding in Calgary badly damaged the offices of her marketing company and she found her career and her life turned upside down. In Reinvention, Dickinson opens up about the personal and business difficulties that she faced during this time — and how she recovered and found new purpose.

Heard on: The Next Chapter

All We Knew But Couldn't Say by Joanne Vannicola

Joanne Vannicola is an actor and author born in Montreal. (Dundurn)

Joanne Vannicola was an eight-year-old kid from Montreal when they landed their first professional TV acting gig on Sesame Street. They wrote their first play at 17, made their 1994 film debut with Denys Arcand's Love And Human Remains and has starred on television shows such as SlasherRookie Blue and CBC's Being Erica. Their memoir, All We Knew But Couldn't Say, describes enduring physical and emotional abuse and how they moved on and shaped an identity with resilience and determination.

Heard on: The Next Chapter

77 Fragments of a Familiar Ruin by Thomas King

77 Fragments of a Familiar Ruin is a poetry collection by Thomas King. (HarperCollins Canada, CBC/Sinisa Jolic)

In 2020, Thomas King will turn 77 years old. His latest book, 77 Fragments of a Familiar Ruin, is his first collection of poetry. It features 77 poems that lament what we have lost, lecture us for what we have allowed and looks at what we might still be able to save if we want to keep society prosperous and healthy.

Heard on: The Next Chapter

Music: A Subversive History by Ted Gioia

Music historian Ted Gioia argues that music is drained of its vitality when its disruptive nature is overlooked. (Submitted by Ted Gioia, Basic Books )

There's no doubt now that Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig von Beethoven are geniuses of their time. But according to Ted Gioia, historians have not served them — and other musicians through the ages — well. While they have become exalted icons of western culture, the more colourful or less savoury parts of their biographies have tended to be whitewashed. Gioia, a music historian himself, argues that music is drained of its vitality when its disruptive nature is overlooked. He explores this in his book, Music: A Subversive History.

Heard on: The Sunday Edition

Things That Art by Lochlann Jain

Lochlann Jain's new book defies categories and the ways we order the world. (Lochlann Jain/University of Toronto Press)

Lochlann Jain is an illustrator and anthropologist who has no time for restrictive categories. In a new book of drawings called Things That Art: A Graphic Menagerie of Enchanting Curiosity, Jain uses whimsical interplays of words and images to interrogate the order of things. The book is a series of illustrations of various categories of things — from "things that are not a hippo" to "things recommended not so long ago for the resuscitation of the drowned." 

Heard on: The Sunday Edition

This Is Not Propaganda by Peter Pomerantsev

This Is Not Propaganda is a nonfiction book by Peter Pomerantsev. (Renate Milena Findeis, Faber & Faber)

This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality explores how governments and leaders create confusion through information — and disinformation — overload. Peter Pomerantsev is a British journalist.

Heard on: As It Happens

Caffeine by Michael Pollan

In his new audiobook, Michael Pollan unravels the history of coffee, and its caffeine sibling tea, and documents his own experience quitting the drug cold turkey. (Jeannette Montgomery Barron, audible. com)

In his new audiobook Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World, food writer Michael Pollan unravels the history of coffee, and its caffeine sibling tea, and documents his own experience quitting the drug cold turkey.

Heard on: Day 6

The Rule of the Land by Garrett Carr

Garrett Carr is a mapmaker and writer who travelled the entirety of the Irish border — almost 500 kilometres long — by foot and canoe. He chronicled those travels in his book, The Rule of the Land: Walking Ireland's Border. (Submitted by Garrett Carr, Faber & Faber)

Garrett Carr is a map-maker and writer who traveled the entirety of the Irish border — almost 500 kilometres long — by foot and canoe. He chronicled those travels in his book, The Rule of the Land: Walking Ireland's Border.

Heard on: The Sunday Edition

Full Dissidence by Howard Bryant

Howard Bryant is a senior writer at ESPN.com and the author of Full Dissidence: Notes from an Uneven Playing Field. (Kyle D. Johnson, Beacon Press)

Howard Bryant is dismayed that the stakes for black athletes speaking out against racial injustice today, like former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, remain as high today as they did half a century ago. The ESPN writer ithe author of a  new collection of essays, Full Dissidence: Notes from an Uneven Playing Field, which explores the ongoing tension between race and politics in American sports.

Heard on: The Current

What Algorithms Want by Ed Finn

What Algorithms Want is a nonfiction book by Ed Finn. (MIT Press, Kowit Khamanek/Shutterstock)

As more Canadians switch from conventional broadcast to streaming services, our way of watching television is becoming more personalized and less community-oriented. Ed Finn, the director of the Centre for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University, explores the phenomenon of AI controlling more of our entertainment in What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing.

Heard on: Spark

Secondhand by Adam Minter

Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale looks at what happens to items after they're donated to Goodwill. (iStock, Bloomsbury Publishing)

American journalist Adam Minter is based in Malaysia. In North America, car seats are sold with an expiration date and instructions to cut the straps so they can't be used after that time. Minter explores this and more in Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale, which looks at what happens to items after they're donated to Goodwill.

Heard on: The Current

The Modern Girl by Jane Nicholas

Jane Nicholas is a historian at St. Jerome's University at the University of Waterloo, and author of the book The Modern Girl. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images, University of Toronto Press)

In the 1920s, a new style icon arrived: flappers — and with it came a moral panic as the change in women's roles now included freedom. The Modern Girl explores this historical moment. Jane Nicholas is a historian at St. Jerome's University at the University of Waterloo.

Heard on: Ideas

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