Books·Spring Preview

39 works of Canadian nonfiction to watch for in spring 2022

If you love memoirs, biographies and narrative nonfiction, check out these Canadian books coming out in the first half of 2022.

If you love memoirs, biographies and narrative nonfiction, check out these Canadian books coming out in the first half of 2022.

People Change by Vivek Shraya

People Change is a book by Vivek Shraya. (Penguin Canada, Ariane Laezza)

In People Change, multidisciplinary artist Vivek Shraya reflects on what motivates us to change and why we often fear it. From making resolutions to outgrowing relationships and dreams, the nonfiction book looks at why and how we are constantly contemplating who we want to be. 

People Change is a guide to celebrating the many versions of ourselves — and inspires us to discover who we'll become next. 

When you can read it:  Jan. 4, 2022

Shraya is a Canadian artist and author whose work in music, writing and visual art often transcends and overlaps with one another. Her books include the novel The Subtweet, the longform essay I'm Afraid of Men and graphic novel Death Threat.

'The truth about the race card': Vivek Shraya asks the hard questions through poetry

2 years ago
Duration 3:06
Poets unflinchingly face the world in its complexity in Poetry on the Mainstage, part of the Frankfurt Book Fair where Canada is featured as the Guest of Honour.

I Am Because We Are by ​​Chidiogo Akunyili-Parr

Chidiogo Akunyili-Parr is the author of I Am Because We Are. (, House of Anansi Press)

I Am Because We Are documents how Chidiogo Akunyili-Parr's late mother, Dora Akunyili, faced down misogyny and corruption in Nigeria. The nonfiction book is a look at how Dora Akunyili took on fraudulent drug manufacturers after their products killed millions, including her sister. And when Akunyili becomes an elected official, she faced death threats and an assassination attempt. Akunyili-Parr's mother suffered for her beliefs, as did her marriage and six children.

I Am Because We Are explores the importance of community over the individual and the power of kinship.

When you can read it: Jan. 4, 2022

Chidiogo Akunyili-Parr is a Nigerian Canadian writer, speaker and the founder of She ROARs, a global community empowering women. She was included in The Guardian's list of the 100 most inspiring women in Nigeria. I Am Because We Are is her first book. 

The Next Civil War by Stephen Marche

The Next Civil War is a book by Stephen Marche. (Simon & Schuster, Dave Gillespie)

Drawing upon sophisticated predictive models and nearly 200 interviews with scholars, military leaders, law enforcement officials and political scientists, Edmonton-born author Stephen Marche predicts the future collapse of America. 

The Next Civil War is a researched work of speculative nonfiction that breaks down the possible scenarios and looming threats for America's people, land and government. 

When you can read it: Jan. 4, 2022

Marche is a Canadian novelist, essayist and cultural commentator. He is the author of several books including The Unmade Bed and The Hunger of the Wolf. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Esquire and The Walrus.

The anniversary of the assault on the United States Capitol this week was a stark reminder of just how divided American society is today. But could the country actually be headed for a civil war? Canadian writer Stephen Marche urges us to think the unthinkable with his new book The Next Civil War: Dispatches from the American Future. In it, Marche sketches several possible future scenarios of Americans taking up arms against each other, from right-wing militias facing off against the military, to the fallout from a climate disaster creating millions of climate refugees. He joins Piya Chattopadhyay to talk about the book, and what the state of the nation next door could mean for Canadians.

Lost in the Valley of Death by Harley Rustad

Lost in the Valley of Death is a book by Harley Rustad. (Michelle Proctor, Knopf Canada)

Justin Alexander Shetler was an American who was trained in wilderness survival. He traveled across America by motorcycle and then made his way to the Philippines, Thailand and Nepal, in search of authentic and meaningful experiences. After several weeks of training, Justin embarked on a journey through the Parvati Valley, a remote and rugged corner of the Indian Himalayas, never to return.

Lost in the Valley of Death is about Shetler's disappearance and presumed death — and the many ways we seek fulfilment in life.

When you can read it: Jan. 11, 2022

Harley Rustad is a writer, journalist and editor from Salt Spring Island, B.C. He is the author of Big Lonely Doug which was shortlisted for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. Lost in the Valley of Death is his second book. 

Harley Rustad tells the story of a giant Douglas fir tree standing alone in the midst of a B.C. clearcut, and the logger who saved it from being cut down.

Bitcoin Widow by Jennifer Robertson, with Stephen Kimber

Bitcoin Widow is a book by Jennifer Robertson, left, written with Stephen Kimber. (Jennifer Robertson, HarperCollins Canada, Nicola Davison)

Jennifer Robertson was in the process of rebuilding her life after her marriage dissolved — and then she met Gerry Cotten. Gerry worked in bitcoin and amassed substantial wealth through his company Quadriga. The two fell in love and got married. While on their honeymoon in India, Gerry suddenly became ill and died. In the aftermath of his death, Jennifer discovers that Gerry owed millions to Quadriga customers — and that only he held all the passwords to Quadriga's encrypted virtual vaults.

Bitcoin Widow shares Robertson's story as the widow of the man behind what was once Canada's largest cryptocurrency exchange. 

When you can read it: Jan. 18, 2022

Robertson is a former HR specialist and property manager. She is the widow of Gerald Cotten, founder of QuadrigaCX. Robertson lives in Nova Scotia.

Stephen Kimber is a writer, editor and broadcaster. He is the author of two novels, The Sweetness in the Lime and Reparations, as well as ten books of nonfiction. Kimber works as a professor of journalism at the University of King's College in Halifax.

The Betrayal of Anne Frank by Rosemary Sullivan

The Betrayal of Anne Frank is a book by Rosemary Sullivan. (HarperCollins Canada, Susanna Gordon)

In the nonfiction book The Betrayal of Anne Frank, retired U.S. government agent Vincent Pankoke and a team of investigators go through thousands of pages of documents and interviews to piece together what led to the arrest of Anne Frank and her family. 

The Betrayal of Anne Frank paints a vivid picture of wartime Amsterdam and explains how Anne, who managed to live in hiding for over two years, was eventually discovered by the Nazis. 

When you can read it: Jan. 18, 2022

Rosemary Sullivan is a poet and biographer from Quebec. She was the 1995 recipient of the Governor General's Award for English-language nonfiction and the winner of the 2015 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction. Her other books include the historical accounts Villa Air-Bel, Stalin's Daughter and Shadow Maker: The Life of Gwendolyn MacEwen.

Have You Eaten Yet? by Cheuk Kwan

Have You Eaten Yet? is a nonfiction book by Cheuk Kwan. (D&M Publishers, Cedric Sam)

Family-run Chinese restaurants across the world are symbols of immigration and community, but they also offer insight into the social forces and history at play. Documentarian Cheuk Kwan shares the stories of the chefs, entrepreneurs and labourers who work in Chinese kitchens across the world. 

Have You Eaten Yet? explores the global Chinese migration and how Chinese immigrants grapple with assimilation, cultural identity and economic survival.

When you can read it: Jan. 29, 2022

Cheuk Kwan is a writer and filmmaker. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Singapore, Kwan has lived in the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Canada. His film series Chinese Restaurants explores stories from the Chinese diaspora by focusing on different family-run Chinese restaurants located all over the world.

Secrets of the Sprakkar by Eliza Reid

Secrets of Sprakker is a nonfiction book by Iceland's first lady, Eliza Reid. (Simon & Schuster Canada)

Eliza Reid, the Canadian-born first lady of Iceland, looks at the country's success with gender equality. Sprakkar, an ancient Icelandic word, means extraordinary or outstanding women and this notion permeates the country's attitude towards women. 

Through interviews and stories of her own experiences, Reid explores what it means to move through the world as a woman and how the rules of society play more of a role in who we view as equal than we may understand. 

When you can read it: Feb. 1, 2022

Reid is the Canadian-born first lady of Iceland. She has been first lady for the past five years, after her husband Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson was elected to the role of President and head of state in 2016. Reid has been a champion for gender equality, tourism, sustainability and literature during her tenure as first lady.

The Naked Don't Fear the Water by Matthieu Aikins

The Naked Don't Fear the Water is a book by Matthieu Aikins. (Kiana Hayeri, HarperCollins Canada)

Journalist Matthieu Aikins leaves behind his passport and identity to follow a young Afghan named Omar, as he leaves his war-torn country. Omar and Matthieu journey across land and sea from Afghanistan to Europe, coming face to face with smugglers, cops, activists and other refugees. 

The Naked Don't Fear the Water is a story about friendship across borders, as it shines a light on the heart of the migration crisis. 

When you can read it: Feb. 15, 2022

Aikins is a Canadian journalist living in Kabul who has been reporting on the war. He is also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a contributing editor at Rolling Stone. The Naked Don't Fear the Water is his first book.

Scoundrel by Sarah Weinman

Sarah Weinman is the author of Scoundrel (Nina Subin, Knopf Canada)

Scoundrel tells the true story of Edgar Smith, a convicted murderer who was saved from Death Row via an unlikely friendship with a famous figure in the neo-conservative movement. After Smith killed a 15-year-old girl in 1957, he was set to be executed. But when he struck up a friendship with the conservative William F. Buckley Jr., who hired lawyers to fight for a new trial. Smith also enlisted the help of Sophie Wilkins, a book editor he would go on to have an affair with, and would be released from prison to become a bestselling author.

When you can read it: Feb. 22, 2022

Sarah Weinman is a journalist and author based in New York City. Her other novels include The Real Lolita, which tells the tale of the life of 11-year-old Sally Horner, who was abducted in 1948 and whose story inspired Vladimir Nabokov's seminal novel Lolita. The Real Lolita won the Arthur Ellis Award for best nonfiction crime book.

Di-bayn-di-zi-win (To Own Ourselves) by Jerry Fontaine & Don McCaskill

Di-bayn-di-zi-win (To Own Ourselves) is a book by Don McCaskill and Jerry Fontaine. (Dundurn Press/CBC)

Authors Jerry Fontaine and Don McCaskill provide insight into decades of Ojibway-Anishinabe resistance in Canada. They suggest that Ojibway-Anishinabe i-zhi-chi-gay-win zhigo kayn-dah-so-win (ways of doing and knowing) provide an alternative model for living and thriving in the world. 

Di-bayn-di-zi-win (To Own Ourselves) shares Ojibway-Anishinabe values, language and ceremonial practices and it peels away layers of colonialism, violence and injustice, leading to true reconciliation. 

When you can read it: Feb. 22, 2022

Fontaine (Makwa Ogimaa) is from the Ojibway-Anishinabe community of Sagkeeng in Manitoba. He was Chief from 1987 to 1998 and has been an adviser to Anishinabe communities. Fontaine currently teaches in the Department of Indigenous Studies at the University of Winnipeg.

McCaskill (Ka-pi-ta-aht) is professor emeritus in the Department of Indigenous Studies at Trent University. He has edited seven books about Anishinabe culture, education, community development and urbanization. McCaskill lives in Toronto.

The Running-Shaped Hole by Robert Earl Stewart

The Running Shaped Hole is a book by Robert Earl Stewart. (Dundurn Press)

At 38 years old, Robert Earl Stewart weighed 368 pounds and was slowly eating himself to death. After a terrifying doctor's appointment, he decided to go for a walk, which set him on a life-altering course. Within a year, he ran long distances and lost weight, but not without setbacks and some time in jail.

When you can read it: Feb. 22, 2022

Stewart is a writer and poet. His first book of poetry, Something Burned Along the Southern Border, was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Stewart lives in Windsor, Ont. 

My Privilege, My Responsibility by Sheila North

My Privilege, My Responsibility is a book by Sheila North. (Great Plains Publications)

In her memoir, Sheila North shares the stories of the moments that shaped her and the violence that nearly stood in the way of her achieving her dreams. From her advocacy work in journalism, communications and economic development to creating the widely used hashtag #MMIW, North reflects on her experiences and the systemic racism faced by Indigenous women and girls.

When you can read it: Feb. 24, 2022

North is the former Grand Chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak. She worked as a broadcast journalist and won a Radio Television Digital News Association Award. She is a Gemini Award nominee and was featured in Chatelaine Magazine's list of the Top 30 Women of 2015. North is a member of the Bunibonibee Cree Nation.

Run Towards the Danger by Sarah Polley

Run Towards the Danger is by Sarah Polley.
Run Towards the Danger is by Sarah Polley (George Pimentel/WIREIMAGE/Getty Images, Penguin Random House)

In this collection of essays, actor, screenwriter and director Sarah Polley reflects on the pieces of her life and the fallibility of memory. From stage fright to high risk childbirth, Polly contemplates these events and how she remembers them. In struggling with the aftermath of a concussion, she must retrain her mind to find a new path forward.

Run Towards the Danger is a book about learning, changing and what it's like to live in one's body.

When you can read it: March 1, 2022

Polley is an Oscar-nominated Canadian actor, screenwriter and director. Her first feature-length film, Away from Her, was adapted from the Alice Munro story The Bear Came Over the Mountain and was nominated for the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay. Her other films include Stories We Tell and Take This Waltz. 

Burning Questions by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is the author of Burning Questions (Aaron Vincent Elkaim/Canadian Press, McClelland & Stewart)

Margaret Atwood seeks to answer burning questions like: Why do people tell stories? How can we live on our planet? What do zombies have to do with authoritarianism? 

In over 50 essays written between 2004 to 2021, Atwood reflects on a financial crash, the rise of Trump and a pandemic. Burning Questions covers topics like debt, tech and climate change, as Atwood ponders the many mysteries of our universe. 

When you can read it: March 1, 2022

Atwood is the celebrated Canadian writer who has published fiction, nonfiction, poetry and comics. Her acclaimed books include The Handmaid's Tale, Alias Grace, Oryx and Crake and The Edible Woman. She has won several awards for her work including the Governor General's Literary Award, the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Man Booker Prize. She is also a founder of the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Writers' Trust of Canada.

How Margaret Atwood helped save an award for young writers

2 years ago
Duration 2:03
Giller Prize-nominated author Omar El Akkad says that writers can make a difference and tells a story about how Margaret Atwood helped save a literary award for young writers. Filmed at the inaugural Graeme Gibson Talk, hosted by PEN Canada the Toronto International Festival of Authors.

Good Mom on Paper edited by Stacey May Fowles & Jen Sookfong Lee

Good Mom on Paper is a book edited by by Stacey May Fowles, middle, and Jen Sookfong Lee, right. (Book*Hug Press, N. Maxwell, Kyrani Kanavaro)

Good Mom on Paper is a collection of twenty essays from writers like Heather O'Neill, Lee Maracle, Jael Richardson, Alison Pick and more. The collection is an honest and intimate exploration of the complicated relationship between motherhood and creativity. These essays pick at the often-invisible challenges of literary life as a parent and celebrate the systems that nurture writers who are mothers.

When you can read it: May 3, 2022

Stacey May Fowles is an award-winning journalist, essayist and the author of four books. Her writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, The National Post, Elle Canada, The Walrus and elsewhere. Fowles lives in Toronto, where she is working on a children's book and her fourth novel.

Jen Sookfong Lee is a writer from Vancouver. Her books include The Conjoined, which was nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award and was a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, The Better Mother, which was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, The End of East, The Shadow List and Finding Home.

Jen Sookfong Lee talks to Shelagh Rogers about her collection of poems, The Shadow List.

The Last Good Funeral of the Year by Ed O'Loughlin

Ed O'Loughlin is the author of The Last Good Funeral of the Year. ( Rodwell, House of Anansi Press)

After Ed O'Loughlin hears that an old friend has died young, he begins to rethink his life. In his search for meaning, O'Loughlin reflects on his early days, young love, the journalists and photographers with whom he covered wars in Africa and the Middle East, the suicide of his brother, his new life as an author and the mysteries of memory, aging, and loss. 

When you can read it: March 3, 2022

O'Loughlin is a Toronto-born author and journalist. His other books include the novels Not Untrue and Not Unkind, This Eden, and Minds of Winter, which was a finalist for the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Still Hopeful by Maude Barlow

Still Hopeful is a book by Maude Barlow. (ECW Press)

Maude Barlow counters the prevailing atmosphere of pessimism and offers lessons of hope that she has learned from a lifetime of activism. Barlow has been involved in three major movements: second-wave feminism, the battle against free trade and globalization and the fight for water justice. She emphasizes that effective activism is about building a movement and finding like-minded people rather than making the goal the focus.

When you can read it: March 8, 2022

Barlow is a Canadian activist and writer. She is the bestselling author of 20 books and served as the senior water advisor to the UN General Assembly. Barlow was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right. She lives in Ottawa.

How to Take Over the World by Ryan North

How to Take Over the World is a book by Ryan North. (Connie Tsang, Riverhead Books)

How to Take Over the World is a guide for supervillains with a keen interest in world domination. In this introduction to the science of comic-book supervillainy, Ryan North details various evil schemes that harness the potential of today's most advanced technologies. The book also considers how one might save the world from some of its greatest threats by exploring emerging techniques to combat cyberterrorism, communicate across millennia and extend human life spans.

When you can read it: March 15, 2022

North is a writer and comics creator from Toronto. North's work on the comics Adventure Time, Jughead and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, have received three Eisner Awards. He has also written two "choose-your-own-path" books, To Be Or Not To Be and Romeo and/or Juliet, parodying Shakespeare's famous tragedies. His recent book How to Invent Everything, is a guide on how to rebuild modern civilization for lost time travellers.

Queasy by Madeline Sonik

Queasy is a book by Madeline Sonik. (Anvil Press)

In a series of linked memoirs, Madeline Sonik reflects on her move from Windsor, Ont., to a seaside village in England when she was a teenager. Her first romantic relationship has ended, her father just died and nothing has prepared her for the cultural differences she would encounter. From trade union strikes and mass unemployment to IRA violence and the growing popularity of Margaret Thatcher, Sonik found the sustenance to fuel her development as a person and writer. 

When you can read it: March 25, 2022

Sonik is a teacher, writer and editor. Her memoir, Afflictions & Departures, won the 2012 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize, was a finalist for the Charles Taylor Prize and was nominated for the BC National Award for Canadian nonfiction. Sonik lives in Victoria.

Who by Fire by Matti Friedman

Who by Fire is a book by Matti Friedman. (Sebastian Sheiner HR, Signal)

Who by Fire recounts the time Leonard Cohen spent in Israel in October 1973 during the chaos and bloodshed of the Yom Kippur War. With access to material written by Cohen himself, along with dozens of interviews and rare photographs, Matti Friedman paints a portrait of an artist and the young people who heard him sing in the midst of combat. 

When you can read it: March 29, 2022

Matti Friedman is a Canadian Israeli journalist and writer. His other books include Spies of No Country, which won the history category for the 2020 Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature, and Pumpkinflowers, which won the history category for the 2017 Vine Awards.

Stories I Might Regret Telling You by Martha Wainwright

Stories I Might Regret Telling You is a book by Martha Wainwright. (Flatiron Books, Cathy Irving/CBC)

In her memoir, Martha Wainwright reflects on her tumultuous public life, her competitive relationship with her brother and the loss of her mother. She writes about finding her voice as an artist, becoming a mother herself and making peace with the past.

Stories I Might Regret Telling You offers a thoughtful and deeply personal look into the life of one of the most talented singer-songwriters in music today.

When you can read it: March 29, 2022

Wainwright is a Canadian musician and artist. She is the daughter of folk legends Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III and sister of singer Rufus Wainwright. She lives in Montreal.

Return to Solitude by Grant Lawrence

Return to Solitude is a book Grant Lawrence. (Harbour Publishing, Antonia Allan)

In Return to Solitude, the follow up to Adventures in Solitude, Grant Lawrence explores the history of the Desolation Sound area alongside his own experiences living on the coast of British Columbia. Lawrence introduces interesting characters like the legendary Cougar Lady, a squatter known as the Spaghetti Bandit and Bernard the German. Beloved personalities, like Russell the Hermit, return in this story about time, family and life on the coast.

When you can read it: April 2, 2022

Lawrence is a writer, musician and host of the CBC Music Top 20. His memoir, Dirty Windshields, recounts his time as the singer of the Smugglers, a 1990s rock 'n' roll band that cut a chaotic path through Canada, the U.S., and Europe. 

Be a Triangle by Lilly Singh

Be a Triangle is a book by Lilly Singh. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Doubleday Canada)

Actor, author and creator Lilly Singh explores how to create inner peace in the face of adversity. From Singh's personal struggles with identity, success and self-doubt, she teaches readers to "unsubscribe" from cookie-cutter ideals.

Be a Triangle is an uplifting guide to befriending yourself.

When you can read it: April 5, 2022

Singh is an actor, writer and social media creator from Scarborough, Ont. She was the executive producer and host of NBC's A Little Late with Lilly Singh. Singh is the author of the bestselling book How To Be a Bawse. She lives in Los Angeles.

Know It All by James H. Marsh

Know It All is a book by James H. Marsh. (Durvile Publications/CBC)

James Marsh tells the story of his evolution from a troubled childhood to a long career in Canadian publishing that culminated in the creation of The Canadian Encyclopedia. Through friendships, curiosity, a passion for books and the insights of a psychiatrist, Marsh championed an inclusive view of Canada.

Know It All offers insights into the intricacies of Canadian identity, the profession of book editors, and is a first-hand story about the creation of The Canadian Encyclopedia. 

When you can read it: April 5, 2022

Marsh is an editor, writer and the creator of The Canadian Encyclopedia. He was the editor of the Carleton Library Series, a series of scholarly works on Canadian history and social science. He is the co-author of New Beginnings, a textbook on the history of Canada.

The Book of Grief and Hamburgers by Stuart Ross

The Book of Grief and Hamburgers is a book by Stuart Ross. (ECW Press)

Written after the sudden death of his brother, Stuart Ross is left the last living member of his family. This hybrid book of memoir, essays and poetic meditation reflects on what it means to grieve the people one loves and how to go on living in the face of an enormous accumulation of loss. 

When you can read it: April 5, 2022

Ross is a writer, editor and teacher. He is the author of several books of poetry, fiction and essays including You Exist, Pockets and A Sparrow Came Down Resplendent. Ross was the 2019 recipient of the prestigious Harbourfront Festival Prize. He lives in Cobourg, Ont. 

My Ackee Tree by Suzanne Barr, with Suzanne Hancock

My Ackee Tree is a book by Suzanne Barr, pictured, written with Suzanne Hancock. (Samuel Engelking, Penguin Canada)

Suzanne Barr began her journey to become a chef when she was 30 years old. After her mother was diagnosed with cancer, Suzanne moved home to Florida to care for her, but she didn't know how to cook. 

My Ackee Tree tells the story of a woman who battles the stereotypes of being a Black female chef to become a culinary star. It is a celebration of creativity, soul searching and motherhood.

When you can read it: April 5, 2022

Barr is a chef, restaurateur, social advocate and author. She was one of the judges on Food Network Canada's new series, Wall of Chefs, and has a passion for local community and food security. Barr lives in Toronto.

Suzanne Hancock is the Toronto-based host and producer of Sunday Night Dinner, a podcast about cooking, food and that last meal of the weekend. She received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

So You Girls Remember That by Gaadgas Nora Bellis, with Jenny Nelson

So You Girls Remember That is a book by Gaadgas Nora Bellis, left, written with Jenny Nelson, right. (Harbour Publishing)

So You Girls Remember That is an oral history of a Haida Elder, Naanii Nora, who lived from 1902 to 1997. It offers a window into Nora's life and her family, from the young girl who sang all the time to the days she spent picking berries and canning. The book reflects on the larger story of Nora's times, depicting the changing political relationships between Canada and the Haida people. 

So You Girls Remember That contains the collected wisdoms, reflections and stories of Elder Naanii Nora.

When you can read it: April 9, 2022

Gaadgas Nora Bellis was a storyteller and elder of the Haida Nation who was born in 1902. Jenny Nelson compiled the book So You Girls Remember That.

Send Me Into the Woods Alone by Erin Pepler

Send Me Into the Woods Alone is a book by Erin Pepler. (Invisible Publishing)

Send Me Into the Woods Alone is an honest, heartfelt and funny collection of essays about the joys, struggles and complexities of motherhood. Written from the perspective of a tired and often anxious mother, the essays in this book discuss giving birth, lying to kids about the Tooth Fairy and the online culture that puts unattainable expectations on mothers. 

When you can read it: April 19, 2022

Erin Pepler is a freelance writer who lives near Toronto. Her work has appeared in Today's Parent, ParentsCanada, Scary Mommy, MoneySense and elsewhere. Send Me Into the Woods Alone is her first book. 

Kiss the Red Stairs by Marsha Lederman

Kiss the Red Stairs is a book by Marsha Lederman. (McClelland & Stewart, Ben Nelms)

Marsha Lederman delves into her parents' Holocaust stories in the wake of her own divorce, investigating how trauma moves through generations and how history has shaped her own life. 

Kiss the Red Stairs is a memoir of survival, intergenerational trauma and discovery.

When you can read it: April 26, 2022

Lederman is the Western Arts Correspondent for the Globe and Mail. She previously worked for CBC Radio. Born in Toronto, Lederman lives in Vancouver. 

Canada’s Simu Liu has leapt from the small screen to the big screen with a life-changing role in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. He sat down with Tom Power in the Q studio to talk about being the first Asian superhero to lead a Marvel film and how he felt saying goodbye to Kim’s Convenience.

The Power of Teamwork by Dr. Brian Goldman

The Power of Teamwork is a book by Dr. Brian Goldman. (HarperCollins, CBC)

The Power of Teamwork shows how a team approach to medicine can improve more than our healthcare systems. This new model can lead to better customer service, solidify the provision of social services to troubled youth, make professional sports teams perform better and even help women break the glass ceiling. 

When you can read it: April 26, 2022

Dr. Brian Goldman is an ER doctor and a bestselling author. He is the host of CBC Radio's White Coat, Black Art and the CBC podcast The Dose, which is about the latest in health news. Goldman lives in Toronto.

We Were Dreamers by Simu Liu

We Were Dreamers is a book by Simu Liu. (HarperCollins Publishers)

Simu Liu details his journey from China to Canada to Hollywood, where he becomes the star of Marvel's first Asian superhero film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Born in China, Liu's parents brought him to Canada when he was just four years old. As he grows up, he gets top marks in school, participates in national math competitions and makes his parents proud. But less than a year out of college and disillusioned with the life laid out for him, Liu is determined to carve out his own path.

When you can read it: May 3, 2022

Liu is an actor and writer best known for his work on Marvel's Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and the CBC sitcom Kim's Convenience. He lives in Los Angeles and Toronto.

Sina Queyras on her latest book of poetry My Ariel, a "poem-by-poem engagement with Sylvia Plath's Ariel."

Son of Elsewhere by Elamin Abdelmahmoud

Elamin Abdelmahmoud is the author of Son of Elsewhere. (CBC, McClelland & Stewart)

In his memoir, Elamin Abdelmahmoud recounts his experience leaving his native Sudan and moving to Kingston, Ont. Like all teens, he spent his adolescence trying to figure out who he was, but he had to do it while learning to balance a new racial identity and all the assumptions that came with being Black and Muslim. 

Son of Elsewhere explores how our experiences and environments can define our identity and who we truly are. 

When you can read it: May 17, 2022

Abdelmahmoud is the host of CBC's weekly pop culture podcast Pop Chat, co-host of CBC's political podcast Party Lines and a frequent culture commentator for CBC News. He's a culture writer for BuzzFeed News, where he also writes Incoming, the daily morning newsletter.

Woman, Watching by Merilyn Simonds

Woman, Watching is a book by Merilyn Simonds. (ECW Press)

Woman, Watching tells the story of Louise de Kiriline Lawrence, who joined the Canadian Red Cross after her husband was killed by Bolsheviks. Louise eventually retreated to her wilderness cabin, where she devoted her life to studying the birds in her forest. She was the author of six books and several magazine stories. Her home became a mecca for international ornithologists. 

When you can read it: May 24, 2022

Merilyn Simonds is the author of 18 books including The Convict Lover, Gutenberg's Fingerprint, and the novel Refuge. She is the founder and first artistic director of the Kingston WritersFest. Simonds divides her time between Kingston, Ont., and Mexico.

(M)othering edited by Anne Sorbie & Heidi Grogan

(M)othering is a book edited by Anne Sorbie, left, and Heidi Grogan. (Inanna Publications, Monique de-St-Croix, Heidi Grogan)

(M)othering is an anthology collection of writing and art about the act of mothering. The contributors explore what it means to create and birth something to how it feels to love your creation and suffer loss. These stories tackle identity, adoption, abortion, addiction, self-care, sacrifice, nature and nurture, making art, loneliness, anger and joy — going beyond the pathologizing of the pregnant female body. 

When you can read it: May 27, 2022

Annie Sorbie is a Scottish Canadian writer, artist and editor. Her first collection of poetry, Falling Backwards Into Mirrors, was published in 2019. 

Heidi Grogan is a writer and editor from Alberta. She has written several pieces of nonfiction including the Boobs anthology, which is about the burdens, expectations and pleasures of having breasts.

Rooms by Sina Queyras

Rooms is a book by Sina Queyras. (, Coach House Books)

Thirty years ago, a professor threw a chair at Sina Queyras after they submitted an essay on Virginia Woolf. In their book, Queyras returns to that first encounter with Virignia Woolf and blends memoir, tweets, poetry and criticism to reflect on how they found their way as a young queer writer from a life of chaos to a public life as a writer. 

When you can read it: May 31, 2022

Queyras is a poet and novelist from Montreal. Their other books include My Ariel, the poetry collection Lemon Hound, which received the Pat Lowther Award and a Lambda Literary Award, and her debut novel Autobiography of a Childhood, which was shortlisted for the First Novel Award in 2011.

Straggle by Tanis MacDonald

Straggle is a book by Tanis McDonald. (Wolsak & Wynn, John Roscoe)

In this collection of essays, Tanis MacDonald questions who gets to walk freely through our cities, parks and wilderness. Using walking as a means to understand her home of Southern Ontario, MacDonald catalogues the fauna, animals and people she comes across. Straggle explores the joys, dangers and healing power of walking.

When you can read it: June 14, 2022

MacDonald is a poet, writer and professor. She won the Bliss Carman Poetry Prize in 2003 and was a finalist for the Gabrielle Roy Prize in 2013 for her book The Daughter's Way. Her other work includes the poetry collections Mobile and Arguments with the Lake and the book Out of Line: Daring to be an Artist Outside the Big City. MacDonald was also on the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for her poem Walking in Space.

Field Notes on Listening by Kit Dobson

Field Notes on Listening is a book by Kit Dobson. (Wolsak & Wynn, Aubrey Jean Hanson)

Kit Dobson reflects on how little modern-day humans interact with the natural world and how that has changed our place within it. Field Notes on Listening is a response to our lack of connection with the land, the difficult history of how many came to be here and what we could discover if we listened to the world around us. From Dobson's lost family farm to climate change and the effects of late-stage capitalism, the book moves through time to grapple with growing challenges. 

When you can read it: June 14, 2022

Dobson is a writer, editor and professor. His work includes Transnational Canadas: Canadian Literature and Globalization, Producing Canadian Literature: Authors Speak on the Literary Marketplace and Malled: Deciphering Shopping in Canada. Dobson teaches in the Department of English at the University of Calgary. 

A Life Spent Listening by Hassan Khalili

A Life Spent Listening is a book by Dr. Hassan Khalili. (Breakwater Books)

Dr. Hassan Khalili reflects on four decades of being a frontline community psychotherapist and shares the wisdom he has gained in A Life Spent Listening. From his experience as a young Iranian immigrant in Newfoundland to his role as one of the province's top psychologists, Khalili reveals how we hold the key to our own happiness.

When you can read it: June 17, 2022

Khalili has worked as a frontline community psychologist for over 40 years. He has operated a private practice psychology clinic in St. John's, served on the board of directors for various community living organizations and is the former president of the NL Psychology Association. A Life Spent Listening is his first book. 


  • This post has been updated to correct the name of Dr. Hassan Khalili.
    Jan 25, 2022 7:17 AM ET

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