Topic: books

How this couple used a bacteria-fighting virus to thwart a deadly superbug

Steffanie Strathdee and her husband Tom Patterson have written a book to spread awareness of the surprising, experimental treatment that saved Patterson's life: a bacteria-fighting virus known as a phage.

How the arrest of 5 Chinese women galvanized the country's feminist movement

When five Chinese activists were arrested and jailed on International Women’s Day in 2015, it sparked an international outcry. We talk to an author who has written about the women, about what this latest wave of activism means for the country’s authoritarian regime.

Astrophysicist hopes history's trailblazing women can help young girls look to the stars

Astrophysicist Jo Dunkley worries that as our understanding of the universe gets more complex, people are daunted by trying to understand outer space. She wants everyone to look to the stars, especially young girls who could be inspired by trailblazing female scientists that came before them.

Trump's withdrawal from Syria is a 'big political fault,' Bernard-Henri Lévy warns

U.S. President Donald Trump's withdrawal from Syria is a "big political fault," which has created a "vacuum" for a new, benevolent empire of five anti-democratic nations to take control, a prominent French philosopher argues.

Is Trump a Russian asset? 'I can't rule that out,' says ex-FBI head Andrew McCabe

Former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe, who led the bureau for three months last year, contends a "crime may have been committed" during U.S. President Donald Trump's dismissal of FBI chief James Comey.

There may be no difference between your brain and Hitler's, psychologist says

Canadian psychological scientist Julia Shaw has worked extensively as an expert in criminal cases, an experience that has convinced her we shouldn't label anyone, or anything, as evil. In her new book Evil: The Science Behind Humanity's Dark Side, she argues that even in the worst cases, it's seldom so black and white.

Her first day in Parliament, security didn't believe Monique Bégin was really an MP

Monique Bégin was a female pioneer in federal politics, advancing policies concerning issues of inequality, health, poverty and women's rights in the 70s and 80s.

Parenting throughout history could be weird, and downright dangerous: author

"Parenting" only became a verb in the last century, a fact that becomes clear when you look back at the history of how we used to treat our children. As much of Canada celebrates Family Day, author Jennifer Traig gives us the lowdown on some of weird and downright dangerous parenting practices from history.

Parkland shooting survivors delivered more 'powerful' message than any politician: author

In the immediate aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., last year, author David Cullen went there to meet the survivors who were leading a political discussion on gun violence in the U.S. He's written a book about how a group of young people living through a nightmare found the energy and clarity to exert such an enormous influence.

Refugee detained on Manus Island wins $95K literary prize for book written on WhatsApp

For the past six years, writer Behrouz Boochani has been detained on Manus Island — an Australian detention centre in Papua New Guinea. In that time, the Iranian Kurdish asylum seeker wrote a book, composing it one WhatsApp message at a time to his translator, Omid Tofighian. Last week he was awarded Australia's richest literary prize. We spoke to Tofighian about how the story came about.

Why an expert says it's time Canada confronts its values clash with China

In the wake of Canada's ongoing diplomatic spat with China, a former foreign correspondent who has covered Asia says "it's about time" Canada confronts its fundamental differences with the Far Eastern country and starts aligning itself with middle powers that share its beliefs.

'It was rotting in me': How Kerri Rawson came to forgive her father, the notorious BTK killer

Fourteen years ago, Kerri Rawson found out her father was the so-called BTK serial killer. She's written a book about trying to reconcile the man who raised her with the horrific acts he committed, and how she put her life back together, despite facing online abuse after she forgave him.

Chris Christie warned Trump not to 'poke the bear' by attacking Mueller investigation

Former Republican governor Chris Christie has known U.S. President Donald Trump for 17 years, but says the advice he's offered hasn't always been heeded. He talks to Anna Maria Tremonti about his time working on Trump's campaign, and having the president's ear.

Just finished dry January? This author wants you to keep going — until April

Author Ruby Warrington's new book Sober Curious starts with one question: would your life be better without alcohol? She tells guest host Connie Walker dry January is a good starting point to examine your relationship with alcohol, but you need more time to really address the deeper questions.

These dishes from Chinese restaurants are uniquely Canadian. Is your favourite on the list?

Author and journalist Ann Hui sampled the food and culture of Canadian-Chinese restaurants across the country, and wrote about what she found in Chop Suey Nation: The Legion Cafe and Other Stories from Canada’s Chinese Restaurants.

Meet Papa Goose, the man who raised and flew with seven fluffy goslings — all in the name of science

Scientist Michael Quetting raised seven goslings from the moment they hatched, in an elaborate experiment to gather weather data. But after three months of providing round-the-clock care for the gaggle, he says he learned a lot from being their Papa Goose.

The power of logic: How math can help you win your next argument

What's the secret to winning arguments in a world of divisive politics? According to the author of The Art of Logic in an Illogical World, the answer is math.

Laws to suppress black vote in U.S. are being drafted with 'horrific efficiency,' says author

In her new book, author and academic Carol Anderson explores the history of voter suppression in the U.S., and argues that a resurgence of those tactics affected the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Trump's adoption of steel tariffs showed 'absence of a reasonable logical process,' Bob Woodward says

U.S. President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and other countries without even warning members of his administration, veteran Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward said in an interview with CBC's The Current.

How Mike Pence plans to become the next U.S. president: author

What would a Mike Pence presidency look like? Journalist Peter Eisner, co-author of The The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence, delves into the vice-president's plan toward becoming the next U.S. president.

Lea Garofalo was killed by her Mafia family. Now she's the face of anti-mob protests

Alex Perry's new book looks at the women who are fighting to bring down the Mafia, and inspiring people across Italy to say enough is enough.

How brain cancer gave a neuroscientist insight into mental illness

After a career studying brains, neuroscientist Barbara K. Lipska developed a whole new understanding of mental illness when brain cancer caused her to lose her mind.

How a search for the world's best coffee led to Yemen in the midst of civil war

What lengths would you go to for the perfect cup of coffee? For Mokhtar Alkhanshali his quest took him to Yemen where the daunting hikes up the highland mountains were the least of his challenges during the civil war.

From isolated homeschooling to a PhD from Cambridge: How Tara Westover was saved by her education

Tara Westover grew up with isolationist parents who didn't trust the government and gave her an erratic homeschooling. But getting an education — culminating in a PhD from Cambridge — helped her break out.

There's underlying sexism when the romance genre is criticized, novelists say

The dismissal and judgment of romance novels seem a common trope for literary types. But romance authors argue some criticism is rife with sexism and the genre, and readers, deserve a lot more respect.

Trump is creating a world of empty embassies and risking global stability, says Ronan Farrow

Ronan Farrow's new book argues that the U.S. State Department is being gutted to the point where American influence in the world is at risk.

Lawrence Wright on why Texas matters to America's future

When journalist Lawrence Wright searched for the soul of Texas, he found his home state to be a powerhouse under the radar that needs to be reckoned with.

How a hunger for a wider world led Kate Harris to cycle the Silk Road

On a mission to seek 'the world's wildness,' Kate Harris and her friend Mel biked 10,000 kilometres along the Silk Road. Throughout her travels, she learned how the landscape can teach us a lot about human fragility.

Why you should be happy you're alive right now

In his new book, Steven Pinker argues that our culture's focus on negativity blinds us from humanity's achievements. The facts support optimism, he says, and should embolden us to solve whatever problems our society faces.

Why a Swiss adventurer left the Western world to join a nomadic Indigenous community

Journalist Carl Hoffman follows two Western adventurers in his new book The Last Wild Men of Borneo, and reveals much about the forces shaping the island today.

U.S. 'ignored tips about Russian plot to undermine elections'

The U.S. has been aware of a Russian plot for several years, claim journalists Michael Isikoff and David Corn in a new book, but options to fight back have been limited.

How Fox News stood between novelist Marilynne Robinson and her mother

American writer Marilynne Robinson's latest collection of essays, called 'What are We Doing Here?, takes on a country divided inspired, in part, by her mother's recent conversion to Fox News.
The Current

Coming out to her strict Catholic dad, Tina Alexis Allen discovers a life-changing secret

At 18-years-old, actress Tina Alexis Allen revealed a secret to her very religious father: she was gay. In return, her dad shares his secret that reveals a web of family lies.
the current

Canada can't settle for bronze in business, says WIND Mobile founder

WIND Mobile founder Anthony Lacavera says Canada's entrepreneurs are "setting their sights far too low." He says we need to up our game in business or be left behind.

Adam and Eve story still resonates in its simplicity, says professor

"You hear this story as a little child and you never forget it… It explains everything, or professes to explain everything."

The Beaverton's scandalous untrue stories of Canadian history

The Beaverton's authors Luke Field and Alex Huntley's take an alternative look at Canada's past through fake news.
The Current

ENCORE | These authors dedicated a year to self-improvement. Here's what they learned

Desperately Seeking Self-Improvement authors Carl Cederstrom and Andre Spicer share first-hand experience on their never-ending quest to be your best self.
The Current

These authors dedicated a year to self-improvement. Here's what they learned

Desperately Seeking Self-Improvement authors Carl Cederstrom and Andre Spicer share first-hand experience on their never-ending quest to be your best self.

How reporter James Hickey broke the Halifax Explosion story, 30 minutes after blast

Canadian Press reporter James Hickey was the first to file a report on the Halifax Explosion, sending out a 100-word flash bulletin to the Associated Press.
The Current

Meet the author on a mission to rescue 'lost' words

"It's always a bit of a tragedy when a word falls out of use."
the current

Trump-Russia 'scandal bigger than Watergate,' says author and reporter Luke Harding

"This is one group of Americans, basically, allegedly kind of seeking the help of a traditional enemy of the United States to try to discredit and chop the legs of political opponents. This is new territory."

How O-Six became Yellowstone's 'most beloved' wolf

Author Nate Blakeslee looks at how the life of a famous Yellowstone wolf named O-Six provides a poignant insight into the struggle for survival of wolves in the U.S.
The Current

Expect more massive wildfires ahead for Canada, warns environment author

"There's one estimate that we are going to have 50 per cent more lightning in the boreal forest of Canada by mid-century than we do now."

'The Russians tried to destroy our country,' says former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee

Former Democratic National Committee interim chair Donna Brazile says she walked into a "huge mess" during the 2016 campaign and believes the Russians "took active measures to destabilize" U.S. democracy.
The Current

Senior podcaster Harry Leslie Smith says he'll 'drop dead' before he stops fighting for equality

Harry Leslie Smith says he's seen humanity at its best — and worst. The Second World War veteran has lived through poverty and the Great Depression and warns a younger generation to heed his message: Don't let my past be your future.
the current

'That's me on the picture': How a book cover brought a Holocaust historian and Auschwitz survivor together

"My new discovery reveals very likely why Miriam survived," says historian Max Wallace, who met Holocaust survivor Miriam Ziegler while promoting his new book In The Name of Humanity.
the current

How author Lynn Gehl reclaimed her Indigenous roots

"Indigenous ways of knowing really embraces subjectivity and experience and personal truth."

How the death of an Iranian girl pushed former UN prosecutor Payam Akhavan to fight for human rights

"What is my freedom in Canada worth if it is wasted on mediocrity?"

Why Washington Post's Anne Applebaum warned of the 'Ukrainization of American politics'

"When he was appointed to be Trump's campaign manager, I wrote an article saying this could bring the Ukrainization of American politics."
The Current

7-year-old Syrian girl who tweeted from Aleppo shares her story in new book

Meet Bana Alabed, a seven-year-old girl who became a social media sensation, tweeting about family life inside Aleppo, when the city was under siege.
The Current

From arsenic to goat glands: A history of the world's worst medical cures

Arsenic, mercury, and goat testicles — just a few of the terrible ideas peddled successfully by "quacks" through the ages.

How a Muslim undercover FBI agent foiled Via Rail terror plot in Canada

Tamer Elnoury is a member of a very small club: FBI undercover agents who are Muslim, speak Arabic and are willing to try to infiltrate suspected terrorist groups.
The Current

How white supremacy during Obama era helped Trump become president: Ta-Nehisi Coates

Author Ta-Nehisi Coates says the foundation of Donald Trump’s presidency is based on the repudiation to Barack Obama’s legacy.

Follow the money to understand why Islamist groups succeed, says Jihad & Co author

Author and academic Aisha Ahmad says the key to understanding militant Islamist groups' success is through local business support.
The Current

'Perfectly happy sitting in on torture': Meet the U.S. spymaster from the Korean War

"He pushed people out of boats. He pushed people out of airplanes. And he did all this with impunity."
The Current

'Hope is something that I never gave up on': A mother's fight to free daughter Amanda Lindhout

In 2008, Amanda Lindhout was kidnapped in Somalia. Her mother, Lorinda Stewart, spent 460 days doing everything in her power to bring her daughter home.

'Concussions affect a life': Ken Dryden wants hockey rules changed to save players' lives

Hockey legend Ken Dryden is calling on the NHL to penalize any play that involves a player making contact with the head of another — no exceptions.

How scientists are bringing extinct animals back to life

Human activity is believed to be causing the planet's "Sixth Great Extinction." So should we help the planet adapt by bringing extinct species back to life?
The Current

What infidelity can teach us about ourselves and relationships: therapist Esther Perel

"Affairs can break a relationship or remake a relationship," says renowned couples' therapist Esther Perel who suggests rethinking infidelity can be powerful.
The Current

How the right went wrong: Conservative commentator Charlie Sykes

Charlie Sykes had been a proud Republican for decades. Then an on-air confrontation with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump changed everything.
The Current

Bill Nye says climate change deniers need to 'respect facts'

"When you respect facts, when you acknowledge what's really happening around you, you're quicker to adapt, quicker to make changes."
The Current

The incredible story of how a U.S. commando betrayed his family and robbed a bank

A daring daylight bank heist carried out by members of an elite U.S. military squad is the incredible true story of Ranger Games.
The Current

Why Microsoft is challenging Donald Trump in court: CEO Satya Nadella

"We fundamentally believe that Dreamers are part of our society and participate in our economy in a very productive way."
The Current

What the West could learn from Chinese teaching methods: author Lenora Chu

Journalist Lenora Chu compares cultures and classrooms in her book, Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve.
the current

'This is not going to end well': Author Barbara Kingsolver on climate change

"Because climate change is really, really terrible, let's face it. This is not going to end well."
the current

ENCORE | 'This is not going to end well': Author Barbara Kingsolver on climate change

"Because climate change is really, really terrible, let's face it. This is not going to end well."
the current

Why journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge is no longer talking to white people about race

“Not seeing race does not end racism ... We have to see race in order to see how racial power dynamics continue to be perpetuated.”

Iraqi Kurds set to vote on independence referendum

"The idea of the referendum is for Kurdistan to be a force for good."

ENCORE | 30 years after Man in Motion tour, Rick Hansen still fighting for accessibility

"Right now there's over a billion people on the planet living with a disability according to the World Health Organization — that is one in seven people."

30 years after Man in Motion tour, Rick Hansen still fighting for accessibility

"Right now there's over a billion people on the planet living with a disability according to the World Health Organization — that is one in seven people."

How nature fights back against extinction: Inheritors of the Earth author

Ecologist and author Chris D. Thomas argues many plant and animal species are thriving and adapting to human-created change.
The Current

'Decades of grief': Carol Off's long journey to save Afghan man who risked his life to talk to her

What happens when a journalist used to keeping herself out of the story realizes her reporting has put an entire family in danger? For the CBC's Carol Off, it would be life-changing.
The Current

Numbers 'were my mother tongue': How autistic savant Daniel Tammet sees language

Daniel Tammet sees the world very differently than most people. He sees language in numbers — and words are a rainbow of different colours.
The Current

What NBC'S Katy Tur learned from covering Donald Trump's campaign

NBC's Katy Tur says covering Donald Trump's campaign made her a better reporter, despite being the target for his abuse.

This author believed her family was fleeing the Mafia. Then she uncovered the real story

For years former CBC reporter Pauline Dakin grappled with her so-called fugitive childhood, until she unraveled the bizarre narrative.
The Current

Anti-fascist handbook explores long history of opposition movement

Historian and former Occupy Wall Street organizer Mark Bray explores the contemporary anti-fascist movement, known as Antifa.
The Current

ENCORE | How a little dog named Gobi changed an ultramarathoner's life

Dion Leonard was racing across the Chinese and Mongolian desert when a scruffy dog started running alongside him.
The Current

Gastrophysics explains how potato chips can taste even better

Why do we like food? It's more than just taste. We bring you a lesson in gastrophysics and a new way to look at eating what's on your plate.
The Current

ENCORE | Trevor Noah on growing up mixed race in South Africa, 'a product of my parents' crime'

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah's book Born A Crime talks about growing up in apartheid South Africa when the relationship between his black mother and white father was illegal.
The Current

How to work with people you don't like: Tips from this Canadian negotiator

Adam Kahane has negotiated peace deals in 50 conflicts around the world. Now he's sharing a few tricks for dealing with the people in the workplace.

War correspondent Scott Anderson explores why Arab Spring failed in new book

In his new book, journalist Scott Anderson tells the story of why Arab Spring failed through six individuals who lived through it.
The Current

Chronic back pain? Journalist investigates what works and what doesn't

Back pain affects most Canadians. Investigative journalist and back pain sufferer Cathryn Jakobson Ramin says it's time to rethink treatment.

'I don't see myself as a bitch': Jen Agg challenges 'bro culture' in restaurant business

Jen Agg has restaurants in Toronto and Montreal but her success in a tough business often still comes with a side of judgment — served cold.
The Current

Emotions are not hardwired but learned in our brains, says author

If emotions could talk, they'd tell you we don't understand them as much as we think.
The Current

'For 10 minutes I was somebody's mother': Ariel Levy explores life and loss in memoir

How one night in a hotel room in Mongolia changed everything for journalist Ariel Levy.

How Rorschach's 10 inkblots turned psychiatry upside down

The creator of the Rorschach test argued he could see beyond a person's deliberate defences by grading their interpretation of inkblots. Today, the images are referenced in everything from fashion to politics but does it contribute to psychiatry?
The Current

It's possible to be in love with two people, says philosopher

What is love? Magic? Chemistry? A sweet mystery? Today The Current explores the definition of love with a Canadian philosophy professor who has probed the question deeply and believes it's time we started looking for answers.
The Current

Trevor Noah on growing up mixed race in South Africa, 'a product of my parents' crime'

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah's book Born A Crime talks about growing up in apartheid South Africa when the relationship between his black mother and white father was illegal.

Where in the world is the best tasting butter?

You can make it with a cow, a yak, an ox, a sheep, or even a reindeer. It's industrial. It's artisanal, and probably in your fridge. Food writer Elaine Khosrova pays tribute to the rich history of butter.
The Current

26 seconds: The history behind Zapruder's JFK assassination film

Whether you're old enough to remember the assassination of JFK, the image that likely comes to mind is from an amateur film shot by Abraham Zapruder. His granddaughter shares the story of how the 486 frames of film still haunts America.

Holocaust survivor shares lessons from 'voyage of the damned' on MS St. Louis

Ana Maria Gordon watches the plight of Syrian refugee children with a deep understanding. She was four-years-old on the MS St. Louis ship that carried Jews across the Atlantic looking for refuge only to be turned away and forced into concentration camps.

Ann Goldstein on the art of translating for mysterious Elena Ferrante

Bestselling Italian author Elena Ferrante's work is adored by millions around the world. The Current speaks to Ann Goldstein, the woman tasked with translating the words into English and tells us why the mysterious storyteller revels in her anonymity.

How your attention has become the biggest commodity

What used to be a straight-up scrimmage for advertising attention has evolved into clever, cyber seduction to harvest our attention and sell it. Author Tim Wu argues we're having so much fun online, we don't even realize that we have become the product.

'Imagine what might have been': Author James Gleick's time travel adventure

The very possibility of travelling back in time, of second chances and missed opportunities, has captured imaginations for centuries. The pull is strong. Join author James Gleick through an excellent adventure through the space-time continuum.

Robert Harris goes behind the scenes of Papal politics in Conclave

If you think the U.S. presidential election has been a nail biter, wait till you hear about what happens behind the scenes in Rome when electing a new pope. Writer Robert Harris explains the peculiar politics of picking a pope in his novel, Conclave.

Liberal democracy on defensive as history returns with vengeance: Jennifer Welsh

After the fall of the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall, it seemed to some thinkers we'd arrived at the "end of history." But it sure doesn't seem that way today. This year's Massey lecturer Jennifer Welsh shares her thoughts on The Return of History.

How ISIS has turned refugee trafficking into multi-billion dollar business

Journalist Loretta Napoleoni's new book Merchants of Men is about human trafficking, kidnapping, and selling women for sex. For Jihadi groups including ISIS and al-Qaeda, those sources of human misery are sources of tremendous revenues.
The Current

Chances are your memories are untrue and unreliable, says criminal psychologist

Forget everything you think you know about memory. Canadian criminal psychologist and author of The Memory Illusion, Julia Shaw, says our memories are usually unreliable and wrong. She may even have you questioning everything you think you know about yourself.

America now 'security state': Lawrence Wright's The Terror Years tracks rise of al-Qaeda and ISIS

Long before 9/11,Osama bin Laden wanted a holy war. Author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Lawrence Wright argues he got what he wanted — a bloody, ideological showdown with worldwide implications. Wright takes us through The Terror Years.

45 years after Attica massacre tensions in U.S. prisons still high

It's been 45 years since Attica became a byword for excessive police force. The prisoner uprising and bloody crackdown were products of their time that still resonate today. The Current looks into how Attica's legacy lives on in America's crowded jails.