150 ways to celebrate your country
Expect a canoe-load of books celebrating Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017, including one from comedian and Leafs super-fan Mike Myers. Here are a few more early entries coming this fall:
♦ Jane Urquhart and Scott McKowen, ill., A Number of Things (Patrick Crean Editions/HarperCollins)
♦ Lawrence C. Sherk, 150 Years of Canadian Beer Labels (TouchWood Editions)
♦ Derek Hayes, Canada: An Illustrated History (D&M)
Joy Kogawa made her name with her 1981 novel, Obasan, a fictionalization of her Japanese-Canadian family’s internment during the Second World War. For her new memoir, Gently to Nagasaki (Caitlin Press), Kogawa again draws from her personal life, as well as broader history, recalling events such as the bombing of Nagasaki and the 1937 Nanking Massacre. • In 2007, Vancouver journalist Deborah Campbell travelled undercover to Damascus to report on the exodus of Iraqi refugees into Syria. There she met Ahlam, whose job as a “fixer” – supplying information to Western media – led to her kidnapping by the Syrian Secret Police. Campbell recalls the months she spent trying to find her friend in her new memoir, A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War (Knopf Canada). • The 2011 murder of New Brunswick businessman Richard Oland, and the subsequent trial and conviction of his son, Dennis, included enough salacious details to keep Dick Wolfe stocked with Law & Order plotlines for years. The story of the trial is retold in Greg Marquis’s book Truth and Honour: The Death of Richard Oland and the Trial of Dennis Oland (Nimbus Publishing).
Three titles offering varying perspectives into Canada’s First Nations communities:
♦ Author Richard Wagamese shares his thoughts on grief, joy, spirituality, and other deeply personal topics in Embers: One Ojibway’s Meditations (Douglas & McIntyre)
♦ Crown prosecutor Harold R. Johnson examines the societal effects and stereotypes around alcoholism in Firewater: How Alcohol is Killing My People (and Yours) (University of Regina Press)
♦ Peter O’Neil follows the life and career of political insider Gerry St. Germain in I Am a Métis: The Story of Gerry St. Germain (Harbour Publishing)
Locker room talk
This is why they call him the Great One, and not the Late One: Wayne Gretzky beats next year’s rush to celebrate the NHL’s centennial with his own take on the sport. Score 99: Stories of the Game (Viking Canada), co-written by Kirstie McLellan Day, in October. • Oh baby! Hockey Night in Canada sportscaster Bob Cole collaborates with author Stephen Brunt for a personal play-by-play in Now I’m Catching On: My Life On and Off the Air (Viking Canada) • Former Leafs stars share all: Wendel Clark in Bleeding Blue (Simon & Schuster Canada), and No. 27, Daryl Sittler (with Mike Leonetti), in Captain: My Life and Career (McClelland & Stewart). • For those who prefer the stands, there’s Howard Shubert’s Architecture on Ice: A History of the Hockey Arena (McGill-Queen’s University Press).
Hey, Mister VJ
Former MuchMusic VJ Christopher Ward reminisces about the bedrock days when the station actually played music videos and conducted interviews in Is This Live? Inside the Wild Early Years of MuchMusic: The Nation’s Music Station (Random House Canada). • Ward’s former colleague Denise Donlon looks back on her successful career in music and broadcasting in As Fearless as Possible (Under the Circumstances), coming in November from House of Anansi Press.
If there weren’t films, photos, and classified government documents hanging around as evidence, it would be easy to assume Aloha Wanderwell was a Hollywood concoction. In 1922, the 15-year-old lied about her age to fulfill her dream of becoming the first woman to drive around the world. In a Forrest Gump–ian turn of events, she was photographed on the back of the Sphinx, firing mortars in China, and shaking hands with Mussolini. Wanderwell went on to become a pilot and explorer – and these are just some of the stories that appear in Christian Fink-Jensen and Randolph Eustace-Walden’s biography, Aloha Wanderwell: The Border-Smashing, Record-Setting Life of the World’s Youngest Explorer (Goose Lane Editions).
Passport on a plate
Naomi Duguid may not have Anthony Bourdain’s macho swagger, but she does share his curiosity and openness to exploring all aspects of international culinary culture. The Toronto-based author’s previous book, Burma: Rivers of Flavor, won a 2013 Taste Canada Food Writing Award and was a finalist for both the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbooks Award and a James Beard Foundation Book Award. Coming this October, Duguid’s new food travelogue, Taste of Persia: A Cook’s Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan, tours the Middle Eastern region, searching out the best recipes for kebabs, soups, salads, and more. Like all Duguid’s books, expect it to feature stunning photographs.
- Mark Leiren-Young, The Killer Whale That Changed the World (Greystone Books)
- Gene Walz, Happiness is a Rare Bird: Birds, Birders, and Memorable Birding Experiences (Turnstone Press)
- Erik Bjarnason and Cathi Shaw, Surviving Logan (Rocky Mountain Books)
- Kate Bird, Vancouver in the Seventies: Photos from a Decade That Changed the City (Greystone)
- Karen Dubinsky, Cuba Beyond the Beach: Stories of Life in Havana (Between the Lines)
- Wade Davis, Wade Davis: Photographs (D&M)
Mixing it up
- James Walt, Araxi: Roots to Shoots – Farm Fresh Recipes (Figure One)
- Heidi Andermack and Amy Brown, Chowgirls Killer Party Food: Righteous Bites & Cocktails for Every Season (Arsenal Pulp Press)
- Allyson Bobbitt and Sarah Bell, Bobbette & Belle (Viking Canada)
- Karlynn Johnston, Flapper Pie and a Blue Prairie Sky (Appetite by Random House)
- Anna Olson, Bake with Anna Olson (Appetite by Random House)
Top of the pops
From the first gay wrestling star to The Last Waltz, here are five pop-culture books to watch for this season:
♦ The Coveteur: Private Spaces, Personal Style (Abrams), by the popular fashion website’s co-founders, Stephanie Mark and Jake Rosenberg, gives a sneak peek into the closets and private spaces of the style set, including Karlie Kloss, Tavi Gevinson, and Christian Louboutin.
♦ Quebec literature professor Simon Roy has seen Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining more than 42 times since he was 10 years old, and lived to tell the tale. He investigates the hold that Room 237 has over him in Kubrick Red: A Memoir (Anvil Press), translated by Jacob Homel.
♦ The main event in wrestling titles this season is the memoir from Montreal-born WWE champion and adviser Pat Patterson. Co-written with Bertrand Hébert, Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE is published by ECW Press.
♦ The music scene in Hamilton didn’t die after Teenage Head grew up. Local journalist Andrew Baulcomb gives props to the Hammer’s new generation of rockers in Evenings and Weekends: Five Years in Hamilton Music, 2006–2011, published under Wolsak & Wynn’s James Street North Books imprint.
♦ Musician Robbie Robertson looks back on his notable career, starting as a fresh-faced young guitarist for the Band and Bob Dylan, in his memoir, Testimony, coming from Knopf Canada in November.
Canvassing the art world
Goose Lane furthers its reputation as one of Canada’s finest art-book producers with
Ken Danby: Beyond the Crease, a companion book to a forthcoming exhibition at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. • Jessica Campbell is a next-generation Guerrilla Girl, who turns the misogynistic legacy of the art world into a illustrated resource on “boneable” male artists. Hot or Not: 20th-Century Male Artists is available from Koyama Press in September. • Darren O’Donnell, artistic and research director for the interactive performance company Mammalian Diving Reflex, proposes that kids are our future in Haircuts by Children, and Other Evidence for a New Social Contract, coming from Coach House Books.
Two books this fall celebrate Canada’s most dapper cartoonist. First up in September, Palookaville: Seth & the Art of Graphic Autobiography (The Porcupine’s Quill), by art writer/curator Tom Smart, examines the separation between art and life, myth and reality. • Seth’s Dominion, published by Drawn & Quarterly, is a companion book to Luc Chamberland’s NFB documentary on the artist, and features illustrations, photos, and essays wrapped in a gorgeous package.
Noah Richler may have lost an election, but he gained a book idea: The Candidate: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail arrives from Doubleday Canada in October.
You’ve come a long way, baby: 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Heritage House has collected Nellie McClung’s syndicated newspaper columns from the 1930s in The Valiant Nellie McClung, edited by Barbara Smith.
Travelling filmmaker and journalist Alexandre Trudeau – better known to Canadians by his childhood nickname, Sacha – examines modern-day China in Barbarian Lost: Travels in the New China, out with HarperCollins in September.
International relations expert Jennifer Welsh delivers this year’s Massey Lecture, The Return of History, which will be published in book form by Anansi in September.
Broadcast journalist Steve Paikin uncovers the not-so-dull side of a former Ontario premier in Bill Davis: Nation Builder, and Not So Bland After All (Dundurn Press).
Timothy C. Winegard looks at how, since the First World War, the oil industry has become a catalyst for both war and diplomacy in The First World Oil War, coming from University of Toronto Press.
Activist Maude Barlow doesn’t spare the tough talk in Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis (ECW).
Beloved storyteller Ivan Coyote shares coming-of-age tales in Tomboy Survival Guide (Arsenal Pulp). • Also from Arsenal Pulp, LGBT health activist Zena Sharman edits a collection of essays written by patients, advocates, and health-care providers in The Remedy: Queer and Trans Voices on Health and Health Care. • In her memoir, A Family Outing (Cormorant Books), former PFLAG Edmonton director Ruby Remenda Swanson describes her complicated journey to becoming an LGBT advocate.
♦ Erin Wunker, board chair of Canadian Women in the Literary Arts, borrows from the feminist and queer theorist Sara Ahmed for the title of her book, Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life, coming from BookThug. Wunker combines memoir, literary criticism, pop-culture analysis, and more to explore the necessity of feminism.
♦ In Women and Power: The Case for Parity (Linda Leith Publishing), journalist Pascale Navarro argues that quotas are necessary if society is going to achieve gender parity in the political world.
♦ Serial Girls: From Barbie to Pussy Riot (Between the Lines) by Martine Delvaux (Susanne De Lotbinière-Harwood, trans.) examines how our patriarchal society reduces women to repeated symbols.
Building a legacy
Three years after Annette Libeskind Berkovits’s father died, she discovered a box of audiotapes on which he had secretly recorded his life story. Berkovits used the tapes’ content as the foundation for a book, with a forward by her brother, architect Daniel Libeskind. In the Unlikeliest of Places: How Nachman Libeskind Survived the Nazis, Gulags, and Soviet Communism appears with Wilfrid Laurier University Press in September. • Toronto writer Alexandra Risen came to better understand her Ukrainian-born parents after purchasing a house with an unruly, one-acre garden in Unearthed: Love, Acceptance, and Other Lessons from an Abandoned Garden (Viking Canada).
Old is the new old
♦ Toronto business journalist David Sax points to the recent popularity of vinyl and the evolution of Moleskine into a multinational corporation to prove his thesis in Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter (Public-Affairs/Publishers Group Canada).
♦ Aquatic ecologist Gordon Goldsborough tours the province’s history through its discarded buildings in Abandoned Manitoba: From Residential Schools to Bank Vaults to Grain Elevators, from Great Plains Publications.
♦ While most of us associate the Santa Claus Parade with a certain big guy in a red suit, history professor Steve Penfold suggests it represents a “paradoxical form of cultural power.” A Mile of Make Believe: A History of the Eaton’s Santa Claus Parade (UTP) comes to town two months before Christmas.
Culture: Haruki Murakami isn’t just a best-selling novelist, he also makes up killer Spotify playlists. His treatise, Absolutely on Music, comes out with Doubleday in November. ♦ Amy Schumer received an $8- to $10-million advance for her debut collection of personal essays, upping what Tina Fey received for Bossypants by a least a cool $2 million. Here’s hoping The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo (S&S) delivers the laughs. ♦ Get your tickets now to the big boomer book tours of 2016: Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run (S&S), Brian Wilson’s I Am Brian Wilson (Random House Canada), and Phil Collins’s untitled memoir (Doubleday). ♦ From revolutions to modern-day acid attacks, Princeton music professor Simon Morrison goes behind the curtain in Bolshoi Confidential: Secrets of the Russian Ballet from the Rule of the Tsars to Today (Knopf Canada). • It’s all Blue Sky sailing when Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston’s memoir, A Life in Parts, hits the streets in October (S&S). ♦ Grab a piece of cherry pie and binoculars for Mark Frost’s The Secret History of Twin Peaks and Spoke Art Gallery’s The Wes Anderson Collection: Bad Dads – Art Inspired by the Films of Wes Anderson.
Lifestyle: Depending on your constitution, there are three food books to watch for this fall: Mark Bittman’s How to Bake Everything (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); Appetites,
Anthony Bourdain’s first cookbook in more than a decade (HarperCollins); and The French Chef in America: Julia Child’s Second Act, written by the grande dame’s great-nephew, Alex Prud’homme (Appetite by Random House). ♦ Design*Sponge founder Grace Bonney profiles other successful creative entrepreneurs for In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs.
World: Stop children, what’s that sound? It’s Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World (Greystone). ♦ Edward Snowden blurbed Julian Assange’s new book, When Google Met Wikileaks (OR Books), so it must be true. ♦ A book about happiness co-written by Douglas Carlton Abrams, the Dalai Lama, and Desmond Tutu sounds like one giant smiling emoji. The Book of Joy: Finding Enduring Happiness in an Uncertain World publishes with Viking Canada in September. ♦ David France’s documentary How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS was nominated for an Academy Award in 2013. Now the filmmaker returns with an accompanying book, to be published by M&S in November. ♦ Prolific author, activist, and playwright Sarah Schulman’s latest, Conflict is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair (Arsenal Pulp), is destined to stir discussion. ♦ Cartoonist Sarah Glidden accompanies friends – two journalists and a former Marine – in search of personal stories from Iraq War refugees in Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq (Drawn & Quarterly).