Books·Spring Book Preview

21 works of Canadian nonfiction to watch for in the first half of 2018

Mark your calendars! These fine works of nonfiction are coming soon to a bookshelf near you.

Mark your calendars! These fine works of nonfiction are coming soon to a bookshelf near you.

Hard To Do by Kelli María Korducki

Kelli Korducki is a journalist and author of Hard To Do. (Coach House Books)

What it's about: In Hard To Do, Kelli María Korducki explores the history and politics of the contemporary romantic relationship and the how and why of how the ending of such relationships has changed throughout time.

When you can read it: May 22, 2018

The Year of Less by Cait Flanders

Cait Flanders is the author of the memoir The Year of Less. (KM Photo Studio/Raincoast)

What it's about: After getting herself out of $30,000 of consumer debt, Cait Flanders decides to spend a year only buying consumable products, like food and gas. What unfolds is not only an education in our consumer habits, but also a highly personal and life-changing journey.

When you can read it: Jan. 16 2018

Most Dramatic Ever by Suzannah Showler

Suzannah Showler is a Canadian poet and the author of Most Dramatic Ever. (ECW Press,

What it's about: The Bachelor is one of the most popular — and scoffed at — reality shows of all time. But when so many gimmicky shows come and go, The Bachelor has remained, consistently popular on air three times a year. Showler explores how and why this show has not only stood the test of time, but continues to challenge our notions of popular culture and television and surprise fans and critics alike. 

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When you can read it: Jan. 23, 2018

Lands of Lost Borders by Kate Harris

Kate Harris is a writer and explorer. (Knopf Canada, Joanne Ratajczak/Glorious & Free)

What it's about: Kate Harris thought she wanted to be an astronaut. But after a cycling trip on Silk Road with her childhood friend Mel Yule, she realized what she actually wanted to be was an adventurer. Lands of Lost Borders chronicles her memorable journey of returning to the Silk Road with the intention of cycling it again. This time, from beginning to end. 

When you can read it: Jan. 30, 2018

The Spinning Magnet by Alanna Mitchell

Alanna Mitchell is an award-winning Canadian science journalist. (Viking, Chloë Ellingson)

What it's about: The magnetic North Pole and South Pole have traded places in the past — and it will happen again. When it does, it might mean the end of modern civilization as we know it. Award-winning science writer Alanna Mitchell looks at the science behind how and why this happens, and how, if it happens soon, what it means for civilization. 

When you can read it: Jan. 30, 2018

The Wife's Tale by Aida Edemariam

Aida Edemariam is a senior feature writer and editor for the Guardian. (David Levene, Knopf Canada)

What it's about: Journalist Aida Edemariam recalls her grandmother's life from growing up in the Ethiopian city of Gondar to being married at 10, to surviving a revolution and civil war. The Wife's Tale is the story of a resilient woman, tied with the story of the country she calls home.

When you can read it: Feb. 27, 2018

Dear Current Occupant by Chelene Knight

Chelene Knight is the author of Braided Skin and Dear Current Occupant. (BookThug/Greg Ehlers/

What it's about: Through a series of letters, Chelene Knight recalls growing up as the only mixed East Indian/Black child in her family during the 1980s and 1990s in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Her family lived in 20 different residences and Knight revisits each one, trying to deconstruct and understand her past.

When you can read it: March 1, 2018

The Measure of My Powers by Jackie Kai Ellis

Jackie Kai Ellis is the founder of Vancouver’s Beaucoup Bakery. (Penguin Random House Canada/Samantha Lauren)

What it's about: In her late 20s, Jackie Kai Ellis was living the dream. But she was miserable. She found solace in the kitchen and decided to give up everything she knew and loved to pursue this passion. This journey takes her to France, Italy and the Congo, but more importantly, gives her a path to a new, fulfilling life. 

When you can read it: March 6, 2018

The Year of No Summer by Rachel Lebowitz

Rachel Lebowitz is the author of the essay collection, The Year of No Summer. (Biblioasis)

What it's about: On April 10, 1815, Indonesia's Mount Tambora erupted, altering weather patterns for an entire year. In a series of linked essays, Rachel Lebowitz explores the scientific, cultural and religious impacts of this phenomenon.

When you can read it: March 6, 2018

Shrewed by Elizabeth Renzetti

Elizabeth Renzetti is a bestselling author and journalist. ( of Anansi Press)

What it's about: Globe and Mail columnist Elizabeth Renzetti explores this moment in feminism in this frank and funny essay collection.

When you can read it: March 6, 2018

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

Terese Marie Mailhot is a writer from Seabird Island, B.C. (Penguin Random House Canada/Isiah Mailhot)

What it's about: Heart Berries is a memoir about a woman's coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in British Columbia, having grown up with an activist mother and an abusive and alcoholic father, and coming to terms with her own mental illness.

When you can read it: March 13, 2018

The Unceasing Storm by Katherine Luo

A childhood photo of Katherine Luo. (D&M)

What it's about: Katherine Luo shares her story about growing up during the Chinese Cultural Revolution — a young girl from Hong Kong who moved to mainland China, only to be rejected by the country she loved because of her capitalist class origins and overseas connections.

When you can read it: March 31, 2018

The Never-Ending Present by Michael Barclay

The Never-Ending Present tells the story of The Tragically Hip. (ECW/REUTERS/Kevin Light)

What it's about: The Never-Ending Present is the first print biography of Canada's greatest rock band. With dozens of interviews, Michael Barclay explores The Tragically Hip's music, but also its place in Canadian culture and the legacy the band's lead singer, Gord Downie, leaves behind. 

When you can read it: April 3, 2018

Why Young Men by Jamil Jivani

Jamil Jivani is a lawyer, community organizer, teacher and author of Why Young Men. (

What it's about: Jamil Jivani explores the socioeconomic and cultural forces that inspire young men just like him to turn to violent radicalization, and offers a way forward for how society can view these young men differently, and change their futures.

When you can read it: April 3, 2018

Pay No Heed to the Rockets by Marcello Di Cintio

Marcello Di Cintio is the author of Pay No Heed to the Rockets. (Goose Lane)

What it's about: Marcello Di Cintio explores the Palestinian experience as seen through the lens of authors and literature in Pay No Heed to the Rockets.

When you can read it: April 10, 2018

Best Before by Nicola Temple

Nicola Temple is a Canadian writer who focuses on the environment and science. (Raincoast)

What it's about: Best Before looks at the science, business and culture of processed food and challenges readers to ask themselves if we've gone too far.

When you can read it: April 24, 2018

The Power of Kindness by Brian Goldman

Brian Goldman is the host of CBC Radio's White Coat, Black Art. (HarperCollins/CBC)

What it's about: The host of CBC Radio's White Coat, Black Art questions his own empathy as a veteran ER physician.  He takes readers on a search for kindness inside his own brain circuits, and on an around the world journey to meet the most empathic people on the planet, including those who are putting empathy into robot companions. 

When you can read it: April 24, 2018

The Boy on the Beach by Tima Kurdi

Tima Kurdi is a spokesperson and the co-founder of the Kurdi Foundation. (Simon & Schuster Canada/Maxine Bulloch)

What it's about: When a photo of the body of Tima Kurdi's nephew, Alan, washed ashore, Kurdi became a spokesperson for the refugee crisis in Syria. From sharing her own story, growing up in Damascus and emigrating to Canada at 22, Kurdi provides the human side of a story that's dominated the news cycle.

When you can read it: April 2018

Boys: What it Means to Be a Man by Rachel Giese

What it's about: By blending reporting, cultural analysis and personal narrative, journalist Rachel Giese explores modern masculinity and how and why we are raising boys the way we are today. 

When you can read it: May 1, 2018

Just Let Me Look at You by Bill Gaston

Bill Gaston has been a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction. (Penguin Random House Canada/Jen Steele)

What it's about: Bill Gaston explores the dynamics between father and son by looking at his difficult relationship with his dad and his own relationship with his children.

When you can read it: May 8, 2018

I've Been Meaning to Tell You by David Chariandy

David Chariandy is the author of the novel Brother. (CBC)

What it's about: David Chariandy contemplates how to tell his young daughter about the politics and history of race by sharing their family's story and his personal experience as the son of black and South Asian migrants from Trinidad.

When you can read it: May 29, 2018