Quill and Quire

Industry News

« Back to Omni

2024 Spring Preview: Nonfiction

In this final of three spring preview instalments, Q&Q takes a look at forthcoming nonfiction titles. 

Q&Q’s spring preview covers books published between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2024. All information (titles, publication dates) was supplied by publishers. 

Blood: The science, medicine, and mythology of menstruation
Dr. Jen Gunter
Random House Canada, Jan.

OB-GYN and bestselling author Dr. Jen Gunter brings her no-nonsense scientific facts and patriarchy-smashing energy to menstruation and reproductive health in Blood: The science, medicine, and mythology of menstruation. –Cassandra Drudi

Work Less: New Strategies for a Changing Workplace
Jon Peirce
Dundurn Press, Jan.

Does the 40-hour work week still make sense, in the era of remote work and the Great Resignation? Journalist and professor Jon Peirce makes a detailed and considered argument for a shorter work week, with tips for workers, employers, and policy-makers. –Andrew Woodrow-Butcher

After the Flames: A Burn Victim’s Battle With Celebrity
Jonathan R. Rose
Dundurn Press, Jan.

As a teenager, Joey Philion suffered horrific burns he was not supposed to survive, and became famous when his treatment revolutionized medical care for burn victims. His memoir tells not only of his physical survival, but of dealing with unsought, often unforgiving fame, as well as the hardships thrust upon his family. –Attila Berki

Sex in Canada: The Who, Why, When, and How of Getting Down Up North
Tina Fetner
UBC Press, Feb.

Based on extensive research into the sex lives of Canadian adults aged 18 to 90, Tina Fetner exposes what we do between the covers from coast to coast to coast. Upending assumptions about what’s “normal,” Fetner shows how social forces and demographics shape our behaviours, illuminating not just the “what” but also the “why” of the sex lives of Canadians. –AWB

Rogers v. Rogers: The Battle for Control of Canada’s Telecom Empire
Alexandra Posadzki
McClelland & Stewart/PRHC, Feb.

In telling the inside story of the boardroom and family drama behind the battle for Canada’s largest wireless carrier that pitted different members of the Rogers family against one another, Globe and Mail reporter Alexandra Posadzki shares the bigger story of the Canadian telecom industry at large. –CD

I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together
Maurice Vellekoop
Random House Canada, Feb.

Provocative and witty Canadian illustrator and cartoonist Maurice Vellekoop delivers this much-anticipated memoir of a young queer life in a very Christian family. From watching Cher and joining the Calvinist Cadet Corps in the ’70s, to the freedom of art school and the terror of AIDS in the ’80s, Vellekoop traces an era of kitsch, camp, anxiety, and art, alongside a personal journey of self-acceptance. –AWB

The Riel Problem: Canada, the Métis, and a Resistant Hero
Albert Braz
University of Alberta Press, March

Professor Albert Braz traces the recent evolution of Louis Riel in the Canadian imagination, from traitor to revolutionary hero. Recent commemorations in art and monuments seem at odds with aspects of his writings and life, which many Métis scholars and leaders regard as problematic. The Riel Problem looks at the reasons for Riel’s redemption, and how it interacts with the project of Canadian nation-building. –AWB

Arsenic mon amour: Letters of Love and Rage
Gabrielle Izaguirré-Falardeau, Jean-Lou David; Mary O’Connor, trans.
Baraka Books, March

This unusual and often poetic dialogue between two writers about their love-hate relationship with the mining town of Rouyn-Noranda created a stir in Quebec, and is now translated into English. A passionate look at the realities of communities shadowed by smokestacks and the rapacious extraction of natural resources. –AB

Dispersals: On Plants, Borders, and Belonging
Jessica J. Lee
Hamish Hamilton/PRHC, March

In this collection of essays, award-winning memoirist and nature writer Jessica J. Lee considers the myriad ways in which plants creep into our human lives. Invasions and transplants, lab samples and miracle crops, the vegetal world is in part shaped to our needs, yet simultaneously ungovernable. Drawing from history, science, and personal experiences, Dispersals looks at how intimately and completely plant life and our lives are connected. –AWB

Shepherd’s Sight: A Farming Life
Barbara McLean
ECW Press, March

More than 20 years after she first wrote about farming in Lambsquarters, Barbara McLean returns with fresh reflections on a half-century spent as an independent sheep farmer in Ontario. McLean writes about the seasons, climate, and stewardship of the land – and the reality of her farm’s future. –AB

The Prairie Gardener’s Go-To for Grasses
Janet Melrose, Sheryl Normandeau
TouchWood Editions, March

Grasses are important wildlife habitats, crops, and bulwarks against soil loss and erosion. Not just the stuff of lawns (though they’re that, too), they can be used all over the garden, from the flower bed to the pond. The 10th title in the Guides for the Prairie Gardener series, this guide to a very Prairie topic is a great resource for gardeners everywhere. –AWB

Nowhere, Exactly: On Identity and Belonging
M.G. Vassanji
Doubleday, March

Award-winning novelist and writer M.G. Vassanji turns his eye to the immigrant experience, exploring the complicated layers of belonging – or not – to different worlds where one has lived, in these essays that also explore the very meaning of home. –CD

Hope is a Woman’s Name
Amal Elsana Alh’jooj
Sutherland House, April

Amal Elsana Alh’jooj began her life as a shepherd and has become an advocate for justice and empowerment, for marginalized women in particular, and for a shared society in Israel. This is the memoir of a remarkable woman, born into a minority within a minority – a Bedouin Palestinian in Israel, whose work has challenged both patriarchy and nationalism. –AB

The Good Walk: Creating New Paths on Traditional Prairie Trails
Matthew R. Anderson
University of Regina Press, April

This memoir and travelogue of a walking pilgrimage across Saskatchewan (now undertaken almost yearly) is a witness to the land itself, to the histories and perspectives of Indigenous Peoples, and to the region’s diminishing family farms and towns. It is an account of adventures and reflections – and also the possibilities for the future discovered along Prairie paths. –AB

Dictionary of Fine Distinctions: Nuances, Niceties, and Subtle Shades of Meaning
Eli Burnstein
Union Square & Co., April

Pedants, rejoice: in Dictionary of Fine Distinctions, humour writer Eli Burnstein takes a book’s worth of deep dives into the many words and concepts that people have a tendency to conflate and collapse, giving each discrete word and concept its specific due. –CD

Signs of Life: Field Notes from the Frontlines of Extinction
Sarah Cox
Goose Lane Editions, April

Environmental journalist Sarah Cox shares the stories of people trying to save hundreds of species from extinction – from the Canadian military to Indigenous land stewards, biologists to conservationists, and ordinary people. Capturing their sense of urgency, Cox also shares a new perspective on how we can protect biodiversity. –CD

The Peace: A Warrior’s Journey
Roméo Dallaire
Random House Canada, April

Drawing on his personal experiences of war, bestselling author and humanitarian Roméo Dallaire offers a guide on how we might reach past a state of balance and instead find “the peace,” where the ties that bind us and the planet together are valued by all. –CD

Beneath the Surface of Things: New and Selected Essays
Wade Davis
Greystone Books, April 

Anthropologist and explorer Wade Davis’s writing always provides fascinating insight into our planet and human societies. This collection ranges as widely and wisely as ever, from coca and Everest to the conflict in the Middle East and “The Unraveling of America.” –AB

A History of the World in Twelve Shipwrecks
David Gibbins
St. Martin’s Press/Raincoast Books, April

Untouched for decades or millenia, shipwrecks are archaeological treasure troves that can teach us about the lives, motivations, and dreams of the people whose ships were lost at sea. Researcher and novelist David Gibbins tours 12 of these time capsules, from the Bronze Age to the 20th century, tracing the history of humankind along the way. –AWB

Closer Together: Knowing Ourselves, Loving Each Other
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau
Random House Canada, April

Canada’s former “first lady” takes readers through moments from her own life in an exploration of how to best understand one’s self and move into self-acceptance and empowerment. –CD

Nothing Trivial
John Haney
Cormorant Books, April

In his memoir, John Haney, one of the creators of the enduring board game Trivial Pursuit, tells the story of his life, from his parents’ meeting in London during the Second World War, through the varied jobs – including pro hockey player, Danish slaughterhouse worker, and stage actor – he held before he found trivia. –CD 

World’s Fastest Man*: The Incredible Life of Ben Johnson
Mary Ormsby
Sutherland House, April

Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson is known for his blistering 100-metre win at the 1988 Olympics – and his subsequent fall from grace when he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Veteran sports journalist Mary Ormsby uses unprecedented access to Johnson to tell the story of his life before and after those 9.79 seconds. –CD

Crosses in the Sky: Jean de Brébeuf and the Tragedy of Huronia
Mark Bourrie
Biblioasis, May

Ottawa-based lawyer and journalist Mark Bourrie follows up his Taylor Prize–winning Bush Runner with a biography of Jesuit settler Jean de Brébeuf, whose life was deeply entwined with the colonization of the lands of the Huron-Wendat people. Bourrie looks at how such early encounters between French colonists and missionaries and Indigenous Peoples continue to resonate in those same relationships today. –AWB

More Richly in Earth: A Poet’s Search for Mary MacLeod
Marilyn Bowering
McGill-Queen’s University Press, May

Seventeenth-century Gaelic poet Mary MacLeod was a rarity: a female bard whose verse was celebrated, though she herself was denigrated and exiled as a witch. Novelist and poet Marilyn Bowering crosses landscapes and language to find MacLeod, chronicling her own journeys through the Scottish Hebrides, where she forges a connection to MacLeod and ultimately reveals the roots of her own artistic practice. –CD

The Field
Dave Lapp
Conundrum Press, May

Recounting a single summer of his 70s childhood, Dave Lapp’s fourth book recalls the time when kids were left to roam their neighbourhoods unsupervised, and the not-so-innocent ways they would sometimes pass the time. From stealing matches to catching mice and keeping them (secretly) at home, The Field perfectly captures the cadences and sometimes brutal interactions of children left to their own devices. –AWB

Not All Fun and Games: Videogame Labour, Project-based Workplaces, and the New Citizenship at Work
Marie-Josée Legault and Johanna Weststar
Concordia University Press, May

Academics Marie-Josée Legault and Johanna Weststar use their findings from a 15-year, mixed-method study of the North American video-game industry to reveal the issues that affect workers in the global-juggernaut industry, and suggest ways to remedy them. –CD

Going to Seed: Questions of Idleness, Nature, and Sustainable Work
Kate Neville
University of Regina Press, May

This series of essays draws on science, literature, and personal observation to bring a novel analysis to the concept of “going to seed” (a pause that in nature brings about new life) to reassess what we might learn about work, sustainability, and the challenges facing the world and humanity, if we step back and reconsider the benefits of idleness over acceleration and change. –AB

All In Her Head: How Gender Bias Harms Women’s Mental Health
Misty Pratt
Greystone Books, May

Biomedical researcher Misty Pratt combines personal histories, including her own experience of mental illness, with the latest scientific research and the history of medicine to explore how myths and misconceptions impact modern mental health care for women, and how the system can be changed to provide better treatment. –AB

Crooked Teeth: A Queer Syrian Refugee Memoir
Danny Ramadan
Viking/PRHC, May

Lambda Literary Award–winning novelist Danny Ramadan recounts his life, beginning with his childhood in Damascus. From secret queer networks in Syria, to joyous times in Cairo and Beirut, to the Arab Spring and eventual arrival in Canada, Crooked Teeth is a complex and personal story of being queer in the Middle East and as a newcomer in Canada. –AWB

A Map of the New Normal: How Inflation, War, and Sanctions Will Change Your World Forever
Jeff Rubin
Allen Lane/ PRHC, May

A sobering look at the potential decades-long impacts and disruptions that COVID-19 spending, armed conflicts throughout the world, inflation that cannot be controlled by traditional means, and unstable markets and global trading will have on our economic realities. –AB

Wînipêk: Visions of Canada from an Indigenous Centre
Niigaan Sinclair
McClelland & Stewart/PRHC, May 

Commentator, columnist, and University of Manitoba Professor Niigaan Sinclair uses the history and reality of Winnipeg – which he calls “ground zero” of Canada’s future – to delineate Indigenous realities in this country, and to assess the necessary radical solutions for true reconciliation. –AB

Black Cake, Turtle Soup, and Other Dilemmas 
Gloria Blizzard
Dundurn Press, June 

This collection of personal essays from an emerging voice looks at community, belonging, memory, and music, particularly through the lens of the Caribbean diaspora. –AB

Fungal: Foraging in the Urban Forest
Ariel Gordon
Wolsak & Wynn, June

In these essays that blend the natural world with the personal, Ariel Gordon (author of 2019’s Treed: Walking in Canada’s Urban Forests) explores her fascination with all things mushroom, taking readers on hunts for morels, and examining the ways mushrooms of all kinds connect ecosystems. –CD

North of Nowhere: Song of a Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner
Marie Wilson
House of Anansi Press, June

In this first-hand record of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Marie Wilson, one of the three commissioners, guides readers through the years-long process, honours the survivors, and provides her personal perspective on the commission and moving forward with reconciliation. –AB

Becoming Green Gables: The Diary of Myrtle Webb and Her Famous Farmhouse
Alan MacEachern
McGill-Queen’s University Press, July

When the Webbs bought their house in 1909, it was already something of a literary landmark. Historian Alan MacEachern delves into Myrtle Webb’s daily records of the comings and goings at Green Gables, a time capsule of daily life from the 1920s through the 50s, including visits from Lucy Maud Montgomery, the first wave of Anne tourists, and years of living in the house even after it was declared a national park. –AWB


A fresh crop of spring cookbooks offers recipes alongside stories of community. 

Zaatari: Culinary Traditions of the World’s Largest Syrian Refugee Camp
Karen E. Fisher
Goose Lane Editions, Jan.

Situated on the border of Jordan and Syria, Zaatari Camp is home to 80,000 refugees who have maintained and shared their culinary traditions as a way of transmitting culture and memory. Professor and field researcher Karen E. Fisher has collected these recipes alongside the stories of hope, history, and community they represent. –AWB

The Depanneur Cookbook
Len Senater
Simon & Schuster, March

The Depanneur was a community hub in Toronto where people from across the city came to share and participate in culinary events. Though the space is no longer, the community it fostered lives on in this book, which includes 100 recipes from 100 cooks and tells the story of the city’s modern immigrant experience. –CD

PlantYou: Scrappy Cooking
Carleigh Bodrug
Hachette Go, April

Self-taught cook and social media maven Carleigh Bodrug shares more than 140 plant-based, zero-waste recipes. –CD

The Book of Sandwiches: Delicious to the Last Bite: Recipes for Every Sandwich Lover
Jason Skrobar
Appetite/PRHC, April

Food stylist and recipe developer Jason Skrobar shares his love of sandwiches in this celebration of the humble meal. –CD


Reservations: The Pleasures and Perils of Travel
Steve Burgess
Douglas & McIntyre, April

Awareness of the impacts of mass travel are at the fore with the resurgence of post-pandemic tourism. Steve Burgess provides insights as to why we travel and the true benefits and detriments of all forms of travel. –AB

Off the Tracks: A Meditation on Train Journeys in a Time of No Travel
Pamela Mulloy
ECW Press, April

In a book inspired by the pandemic lockdowns, Pamela Mulloy combines personal experiences of train rides in Canada and elsewhere with research into historical adventures in a paean to an old yet modern, practical, and storied form of travel. –AB


Our Crumbling Foundation: How We Solve Canada’s Housing Crisis
Gregor Craigie
Random House Canada, March 

CBC journalist Gregor Craigie has interviewed ordinary people and experts from across Canada and the world about the impacts of the housing shortage and the best solutions available to solve this national crisis. –AB

Broken City: Land Speculation, Inequality, and Urban Crisis
Patrick Condon
UBC Press, May

City planner and researcher Patrick Condon sets out the root causes of the economic cycles that have made housing unaffordable in cities around the globe. From cycles of gentrification, to the decoupling of wages from the real cost of living, and the immense struggle that newcomers face in getting ahead, these phenomena have created a crisis. Drawing from real examples of urban success, Condon also offers a road map for urbanists and legislators to reset our cities and cultivate places of real opportunity for the 99 per cent. –AWB

The Nature of Our Cities: Harnessing the Power of the Natural World to Survive a Changing Planet
Nadina Galle
Mariner Books/HarperCollins, June 

Nadina Galle looks at how scientists are developing ways to use nature and technology together to deal with the particular impacts of climate change on urban centres. –AB

By: Attila Berki; Cassandra Drudi; Andrew Woodrow-Butcher

February 14th, 2024

1:36 pm

Category: Industry News, Preview

Tags: , ,