Books·My Life in Books

8 books that shaped CBC host Anna Maria Tremonti's thinking

The podcast More with Anna Maria Tremonti launches on Jan. 28, 2020.

The podcast More with Anna Maria Tremonti launches on Jan. 28, 2020

Anna Maria Tremonti hosted The Current for 17 years and is now hosting a CBC podcast called More with Anna Maria Tremonti. (CBC)

Anna Maria Tremonti is one of Canada's best-known journalists. She hosted CBC Radio's The Current for 17 years. Her newest project is the CBC podcast More with Anna Maria Tremonti

More launches on Jan. 28, 2020. You can listen to the show or subscribe here.

Tremonti shared eight books that have made her think with CBC Books.

The View from the Ground by Martha Gellhorn

The View From the Ground is a book by Martha Gellhorn. (Ernest Hemingway Personal Papers/JFK Library Boston, Grove Atlantic)

"This is a collection of articles from the multi-decade sweep of Gellhorn's big life and big career in journalism. I don't know a female journalist who has spent significant time in the field who hasn't read Gellhorn's work. Her journalism stood out for her attention to people others didn't even notice — people who suffered the consequences and had a 'view from the ground' of the ruinous politics or deadly conflict that surrounded them. It inspired my own work to always look beyond the officials, to seek out ordinary people and find the 'heartbeat' of a story."

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott

Alicia Elliott is the author of A Mind Spread Out on the Ground. (Doubleday Canada, Ayelet Tsabari)

"Along with the pain there is poetry in Alicia Elliott's writing. Her book encompasses more than her own journey, it is a window into the crushing realities that so many Indigenous women face. It is also a story of survival. I am grateful that she has found her voice and that she is willing to share her thoughts and her talent."

The Education of Augie Merasty by Joseph Auguste Merasty, with David Carpenter

David Carpenter is the co-author of The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir. (, University of Regina Press)

"It is the slimmest and tiniest of books, with a picture of a child's knitted mitten on the cover — one man's story among the many thousands of stories of abuse of Indigenous children in Canada's shameful history of residential schools. And in its simplicity is the heartwrenching detail of the pain he endured, and even that little mitten on the cover is part of the story. The consequences of those horrific years followed Augie Merasty into every part of his adult life. It is a tale that made me weep, and one story that underlines and encapsulates the horrors and gravity of the stories of so many others."

Age of Discovery by Chris Kutarna & Ian Goldin

The Age of Discovery is a book by scholars Ian Goldin and Chris Kutarna. (Twitter/@ian_goldin, St. Martin's Press, Abby Schneider/CBC News)

"The authors argue we are in the age of a new renaissance — a time of genius and also great risk. It is a book that forces one to think big — to look back, to look around at the present and to imagine the future."

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Reni Eddo-Lodge is the author of Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race. (Bloomsbury Circus Publishing)

"This is an important read from Reni Eddo-Lodge — for the immediate power of her message, and also for the lingering effect of her writing on how I process what I see in the world around me, both personally and professionally." 

Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle

Reclaiming Conversation is a book by Sherry Turkle. (Twitter/@STurkle, Penguin Books)

"Sherri Turkel's extensive research solidified and affirmed my belief in the power of conversation. Everyone needs to talk it out, but also to listen to others. Fewer people than we realize know how to do that."

Trumpocracy by David Frum

Trumpocracy is a book by journalist David Frum. (Evan Mitsui/CBCNews, HarperCollins)

"The Washington political book that, alas, has the most relevance and longevity. What he wrote two years ago is what you're watching now. That's not partisan, that's prescient, not to mention an uncomfortable reality."

Shakespeare's tragedies

A 1623 copy of the calf-bound First Folio edition of William Shakespeare's plays is displayed at Sotheby's auction house in central London in 2006. (Dylan Martinez/Reuters)

"I remember being on assignment for CBC Television in an imploding Soviet republic when I realized how William Shakespeare's plays about the demise of powerful people had such timeless relevance: the very thing that propels someone to power can take them down. I'm not claiming any special literary wisdom, but it did help broaden my perspective in journalism."


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