Books·Spring Book Preview

16 works of nonfiction from around the world to check out in spring 2019

Check out these international nonfiction titles coming out in the first half of the year.

A new year means new books! Here's a list of the 16 works of nonfiction from authors outside of Canada we can't wait to read in 2019.

How to Date Men When You Hate Men by Blythe Roberson

Blythe Roberson is an American comedian and author. (Flatiron/Mindy Tucker)

How to Date Men When You Hate Men by comedian and author Blythe Roberson is an observational take on what it means to be a woman who dates men in today's world. Featuring incisive, tongue-in-cheek humour, Roberson outlines the challenges and perils of dating the male gender — when one isn't entirely sure they even like them. 

When you can read it: Jan. 8, 2019

Thick by Tressie McMillan Cottom

Thick is a nonfiction book by Tressie McMillan Cottom. (Tressie McMillan Cottom, New Press)

American author and academic Tressie McMillan Cottom looks at social media, feminism, violence, body positivity and more through the lens of being a black woman in this collection of essays. Cottom has her finger on the pulse of pop culture, politics and race relations, all with intelligent humour and observational candour. 

When you can read it: Jan. 8, 2019

Go Ahead in the Rain by Hanif Abdurraqib

Go Ahead in the Rain is a nonfiction book by Hanif Abdurraqib. (Getty, University of Texas Press)

American poet, essayist and culture critic Hanif Abdurraqib applies his incisive observational skills and perspective to look at the visionary, award-winning hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest. Abdurraqib pays homage to the seminal group and outlines what they mean to hip-hop and music as a whole. 

When you can read it: Feb. 1, 2019

The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang

Esmé Weijun Wang is an American writer. (Graywolf,

Esmé Wang looks at the lasting effects of coping with mental and chronic illness in The Collected Schizophrenias. The book examines the nature of schizophrenia with an eye on understanding her own schizoaffective disorder along with the conflicting procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness. Wang does extensive research and analysis in order to dispel misconceptions and misunderstandings.

When you can read it: Feb. 5, 2019

Parkland by Dave Cullen

Dave Cullen is an American journalist and author. (HarperCollins/

Dave Cullen offers insight into the school shooting at Parkland in Florida, one year later. The bestselling author of Columbine provides a layered account of teenage survival, political posturing and a grassroots movement to help ensure such an event doesn't happen again. By way of expert interviews, student testimony and his own analysis, Cullen sheds light on how such an event occurred and how local students transformed tragedy into a movement of hope.

When you can read it: Feb. 12, 2019

The Source of Self-Regard by Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is an American novelist, essayist, editor, teacher and professor emeritus at Princeton University. (Penguin, Getty)

Toni Morrison is back with the nonfiction collection The Source of Self-Regard, a work divided into three parts. The book's first part features a prayer for the dead of 9/11; the second is a meditation on Martin Luther King Jr., and the last offers an eulogy for James Baldwin. Morrison's commentary on today's social issues — including female empowerment, human rights and the black presence in American literature — holds relevance today more than ever. 

When you can read it: Feb.12, 2019

The Secret Wisdom of Nature by Peter Wohlleben, translated by Jane Billinghurst

Peter Wohlleben is a German forester and author. (Peter

Storyteller and renowned forester Peter Wohlleben delves into the inner workings of nature once again in The Secret Wisdom of Nature. His previous books were the bestsellers The Hidden Life of Trees and The Inner Life of Animals. In describing the connection between animals and plants, including the many ways lifeforms communicate with each other, The Secret Wisdom of Nature aims to address how society should observe nature in all its wonder. 

When you can read it: March 5, 2019

Good Talk by Mira Jacob

Mira Jacob is an American novelist and author. (Penguin Random House)

American author Mira Jacob is of Indian descent and her half-Jewish, half-Indian son, Z, has questions about everything. In Good Talk, Jacob looks at her relationship with her son and ways to honestly discuss issues such as race, politics and sexuality in changing world. Using humour, Jacob expresses emotion, vulnerability and hope in this engaging memoir. 

When you can read it: March 26, 2019

The Last Stone by Mark Bowden

Mark Bowden is an American journalist and author. (Grove Atlantic; Amy Graves/Getty Images)

Mark Bowden puts his narrative journalism skills to work in this account of the true-life search for the perpetrator of the abduction and likely murder of two young American girls in the mid-1970s. Bowden details the decades-old investigation into a man named Lloyd Welch and the criminal interrogation techniques involved to reveal a hideous crime and the final fate of the young girls. 

When you can read it: April 12, 2019

The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

Melinda Ann Gates is an American philanthropist and author. (Pan MacMillan)

In The Moment of Lift, American philanthropist Melinda Gates recounts her decades-long mission to improve the lives of women across the world. The book outlines why women's empowerment is important and why Gates has been so passionate about the social and political causes. Gates offers proactive steps both men and woman can take to eliminate gender bias and wage gaps. 

When you can read it: April 23, 2019

Everything in Its Place by Oliver Sacks

Oliver Wolf Sacks was a British neurologist, naturalist, historian of science and author. (Getty/Knopf Canada)

This final volume by the late scientist and storyteller Oliver Sacks explores his passion for ferns, swimming and horsetails, to his final case histories exploring schizophrenia, dementia and Alzheimer's. The previously unpublished essays showcase his trademark wit, his stellar prose and his enduring passion for life. 

When you can read it: April 23, 2019

Furious Hours by Casey Cep

Casey Cep is an American academic and author. (Penguin Random House)

Casey Cep looks at Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, and the true crime story of Reverend Willie Maxwell, a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. Cep covers the challenges Lee endured writing the novel and how she spent a year in the Deep South reporting on the shocking case while also working on her own version of the crime for her classic novel.

When you can read it: May 7, 2019

No Walls and the Recurring Dream by Ani DiFranco

Ani DiFranco is an American singer-songwriter, social activist and author. (Getty/Penguin Random House)

In her new memoir, singer-songwriter and social activist Ani DiFranco looks back at her life and passion for music and personal empowerment. This frank coming-of-age story traces her early days sleeping in a Buffalo bus station, to releasing her first album at the age of 18 and subsequently rejecting major record label politics to create her own path to stardom — all while trying to stay true to her feminist and social ideals. 

When you can read it: May 7, 2019

How to Forget by Kate Mulgrew

Kate Mulgrew is an American actor and author. (Getty/Harpercollins)

The star of TV's Star Trek: Voyager and Orange Is the New Black and bestselling author pens an emotional memoir that looks at her evolving relationship with her parents. When her father is diagnosed with aggressive lung cancer and her mother with atypical Alzheimer's, Mulgrew returns to her hometown in Iowa to spend time with her parents and care for them in the time they have left. How to Forget examines family secrets, her Catholic upbringing the nature of love and loss. 

When you can read it: May 21, 2019

Grass by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim, translated by  Janet Hong

Keum Suk Gendry-Kim is a graphic novelist from South Korea. (Drawn & Quarterly)

Grass is a graphic novel that looks at the true story of Okseon Lee, a young Korean girl who was forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War. Using illustrations and her real-life interviews with Lee, Gendry-Kim explores how one person experienced the Japanese occupation and the widespread suffering it entailed for ordinary Korean people.

When you can read it: June 4, 2019

My Parents / This Does Not Belong to You by Aleksandar Hemon

Aleksandar Hemon is a Bosnian-American fiction writer, essayist and critic. (Penguin Random House/Getty Images)

Born in Bosnia, short story writer, novelist and columnist Aleksandar Hemon recounts the story of how his parents came to North America. The memoir is a moving, tragic and emotional account at how his parents were uprooted in the Siege of Sarajevo and were forced to make new lives for themselves and their children in Canada and the U.S. 

When you can read it: June 11, 2019


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?