Books

20 books you heard about on CBC Radio this week

Here's a roundup of the book and author interviews you heard on CBC Radio from March 14-20, 2020.

Here's a roundup of the book and author interviews you heard on CBC Radio from March 14-20, 2020.

We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib

Amanda Brugel is defending We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib on Canada Reads 2020. (CBC)

Samra Habib's memoir We Have Always Been Here is an exploration of the ways we disguise and minimize ourselves for the sake of survival. As a child, Habib hid her faith from Islamic extremists in Pakistan and later, as a refugee in Canada, endured racist bullying and the threat of an arranged marriage. In travelling the world and exploring art and sexuality, Habib searches for the truth of her identity. 

We Have Always Been Here will be defended by actor Amanda Brugel on Canada Reads 2020 when the debates are rescheduled.

Heard on: Canada Reads special programming

From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle

George Canyon is defending From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle on Canada Reads 2020. (CBC)

Jesse Thistle is a Métis-Cree academic specializing in Indigenous homelessness, addiction and inter-generational trauma. For Thistle, these issues are more than just subjects on the page. After a difficult childhood, Thistle spent much of his early adulthood struggling with addiction while living on the streets of Toronto. His memoir, From the Ashes, details how his issues with abandonment and addiction led to homelessness, incarceration and his eventual redemption through higher education. 

From the Ashes will be defended by George Canyon when Canada Reads 2020 is rescheduled.

Heard on: Canada Reads special programming

Radicalized by Cory Doctorow

Akil Augustine is defending Radicalized by Cory Doctorow on Canada Reads 2020. (CBC)

Radicalized is a collection of four novellas that explore the quandaries — social, economic and technological — of contemporary America. Cory Doctorow's characters deal with issues around immigration, corrupt police forces, dark web uprisings and more. 

Radicalized will be defended by Akil Augustine when Canada Reads 2020 is rescheduled.

Heard on: Canada Reads special programming

Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson

Kaniehtiio Horn is defending Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson on Canada Reads 2020. (CBC)

Son of a Trickster is a novel about Jared, a compassionate 16-year-old, maker of famous weed cookies, the caretaker of his elderly neighbours, the son of an unreliable father and unhinged, though loving in her way, mother. As Jared ably cares for those around him, in between getting black-out drunk, he shrugs off the magical and strange happenings that follow him around. 

Son of a Trickster will be defended by actor Kaniehtiio Horn when Canada Reads 2020 is rescheduled.

Heard on: Canada Reads special programming

Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles

Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles is being defended by Alayna Fender on Canada Reads 2020. (CBC)

Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun ClubMegan Gail Coles's debut novel, revolves around a cast of flawed characters all connected to a trendy St. John's restaurant, The Hazel. Over the course of a snowy February day, they are implicated in each other's hopes, dreams and pains as they try to survive harsh economic times in the province. 

Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club will be defended by Alayna Fender when Canada Reads 2020 is rescheduled.

Heard on: Canada Reads special programming

Anton Chekhov

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860 - 1904), Russian dramatist and short-story writer, who is one of the most important figures in modern Russian literature. Original Publication: From the portrait by Braz. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Anton Chekhov was born in Russia in 1860, and died of tuberculosis 44 years later. He wrote more than 500 short stories and more than a dozen plays. He also worked as a medical doctor. Chekhov's most famous four plays — The SeagullThe Three SistersUncle Vanya, and The Cherry Orchard — are performed constantly around the world. His many short story readers treat his work as a master class in empathy, clarity and complication.

Heard on: The Sunday Edition

Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor by Yossi Klein Halevi

Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor is a book by Yossi Klein Halevi. (Harper, Ilir Bajraktari/The Tower)

American-born author and journalist Yossi Klein Halevi's most recent book, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor, is an effort to keep the channels of communication open in the Middle East.

Heard on: The Sunday Edition

With the End in Mind by Kathryn Mannix

With the End in Mind is a nonfiction book by Kathryn Mannix. (Little, Brown Spark, Darren Irwin)

Dr. Kathryn Mannix is an expert when it comes to talking openly, and even tenderly, about death. By her own estimate, the retired palliative care physician has witnessed at least 10,000 people die. She shared insight into exactly how we die, and why it's important that health-care workers have frank conversations with patients and their families about death in With the End in Mind: Dying, Death, and Wisdom in an Age of Denial.

Heard on: White Coat, Black Art

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Author Margaret Atwood holds her new novel The Testaments during a book launch at a book store in London, Britain early September 10, 2019. (Dylan Martinez/Reuters)

Atwood's novel is a sequel to her 1985 classic The Handmaid's Talewhich left the fate of the oppressed narrator Offred unknown. The Testaments contains the "explosive testaments" of three women: a young woman growing up inside Gilead, a high school student living in Canada who wants to see Gilead fall and Aunt Lydia, a powerful woman who knows the inner workings of Gilead all too well. 

Heard on: As It Happens & More with Anna Maria Tremonti

Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice

Waubgeshig Rice is a novelist and host of the CBC Radio show Up North. (ECW Press)

In Moon of the Crusted Snow, a northern Anishinaabe community loses power just as winter arrives, burying roads and creating panic as the food supply slowly runs out. Newcomers begin to arrive on the reserve, escaping a nearby crisis, and tension builds as disease begins taking lives. As chaos takes hold, a small group turns to the land and Anishinaabe tradition to start rebuilding and restoring harmony. Rice is also the host of the CBC Radio show Up North.

Heard on: As It Happens

We All Fall Down by Daniel Kalla

We All Fall Down is the tenth novel by writer and doctor Daniel Kalla. (Simon & Schuster)

Daniel Kalla is an emergency room doctor based in Vancouver and the international bestselling author of 10 books. We All Fall Down is a thriller about the black death. Set both in the past and present, Kalla explores the plague caused in the medieval period, and how its effects would be felt if it were to break out today.

Heard on: As It Happens

Paradise Lost by John Milton

English poet John Milton (1608 - 1674) composes the epic poem 'Paradise Lost', circa 1666. He is forced to dictate the poem to his two daughters, having become blind. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost was first published in England in 1667. Charismatic and sympathetic, Milton's Satan leads a rebellion against God and rails against what he perceives as the tyranny of heaven — little wonder, then, that he has often been interpreted as a revolutionary figure. 

Heard on: Ideas

Maoism by Julia Lovell

Maoism: A Global History is a nonfiction book by Julia Lovell. (Bodley Head, Cundill History Prize)

Maoism: A Global Story is in depth exploration of the impact of Maoism in China and around the world. It won the 2019 Cundhill History prize — a prestigious, international award administered by McGill University. 

Heard on: Ideas

Many Rivers to Cross by Peter Robinson

Many Rivers to Cross is a mystery novel by Peter Robinson. (Georges Seguin, McClelland & Stewart)

It's been more than 30 years since Peter Robinson introduced Inspector Alan Banks to what has become a legion of loyal readers over the decades. He's been called the master of the police procedural — and with the latest Inspector Banks novel Many Rivers to Cross, he's up to book number 26 in the popular series. 

Heard on: The Next Chapter

Never Forget by Martin Michaud

Never Forget is a book by Martin Michaud. (Dundurn Press)

The latest in Martin Michaud's ongoing Victor Lessard detective series finds Lessard and his partner, Jacinthe Taillon, on the trail of a deadly killer in Old Montreal. Never Forget begins with a homeless man jumping to his death, an incident that leaves behind baffling evidence — two wallets. One belonged to a dead psychiatrist, who was murdered in a bizarre ritual, the other to a missing corporate lawyer. As the bodies begin to pile up, can Lessard and Taillon crack the case before the next murder? 

Heard on: The Next Chapter

In My Own Moccasins by Helen Knott

In My Own Moccasins is a memoir by Helen Knott. (Tenille K. Campbell/sweetmoonphotography.ca, University of Regina Press)

Helen Knott is a poet and writer of Dane Zaa, Nehiyaw and European descent. Her memoir, In My Own Moccasins, is a story of addiction, sexual violence and intergenerational trauma. It explores how colonization has affected her family over generations. But it is also a story of hope and redemption, celebrating the resilience and history of her family.

Heard on: The Next Chapter

What We All Long For & Love Enough by Dionne Brand

Dionne Brand is a poet, novelist, essayist and documentarian. (Vintage Canada, Jason Chow)

For decades, award-winning poet and novelist Dionne Brand's work has shown readers a Canada that is a polyglot, multicultural reality. Her depiction of Toronto in particular is a place where energy and beauty come from the meeting and mixing of her diverse cast of characters. Two of her Toronto-based novels in particular have brought that world to readers: The 2006 Toronto Book Award winner What We All Long For and 2011's Love Enough

Heard on: The Next Chapter

Falling for Myself by Dorothy Ellen Palmer

Dorothy Ellen Palmer is the author of Falling for Myself. (Wolsak & Wynn)

Dorothy Ellen Palmer is a writer, educator, accessibility consultant and activist. In her memoir, Falling for Myself, Palmer makes a passionate case for disability justice. She was born with congenital anomalies in both feet. In her book, she depicts her coming to terms with the past — and describes her discovery and embrace of activism.

Heard on: The Next Chapter

Horizon by Barry Lopez

Author Barry Lopez spent more than 50 years travelling, observing and writing about the natural world and humanity. His new book Horizons is about what he's learned. (Penguin Random House )

For more than 50 years, Barry Lopez explored more than 70 countries and has written about the people, places, thoughts and history he's encountered on his travels. His book, Horizon, is an examination of life on this planet, what it means to be human, and with the effects of climate change already upon us, what we can do to prevent our own extinction in our uncertain future.

Heard on: The Next Chapter

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

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.