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By Linden MacIntyre. 2019
On November 18, 1929, a tsunami struck Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula. Giant waves, up to three storeys high, hit the coast… at a hundred kilometres per hour, flooding dozens of communities and washing entire houses out to sea. The most destructive earthquake-related event in Newfoundland's history, the disaster killed twenty-eight people and left hundreds more homeless or destitute. It took days for the outside world to find out about the death and damage caused by the tsunami, which forever changed the lives of the inhabitants of the fishing outports along the Burin Peninsula. Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning writer Linden MacIntyre was born near St. Lawrence, Newfoundland, one of the villages virtually destroyed by the tsunami. By the time of his birth, the cod-fishing industry lay in ruins and the village had become a mining town. MacIntyre's father, lured from Cape Breton to Newfoundland by a steady salary, worked in St. Lawrence in an underground mine that was later found to be radioactive. Hundreds of miners would die; hundreds more would struggle through shortened lives profoundly compromised by lung diseases ranging from silicosis and bronchitis to cancer. As MacIntyre says, though the tsunami killed twenty-eight people in 1929, it would claim hundreds if not thousands more lives in the decades to follow. Bestseller. 2019.
By Malcolm Gladwell. 2019
In this thoughtful treatise spurred by the 2015 death of African-American academic Sandra Bland in jail after a traffic stop,… New Yorker writer Gladwell aims to figure out the strategies people use to assess strangers-to "analyze, critique them, figure out where they came from, figure out how to fix them," in other words: to understand how to balance trust and safety. He uses a variety of examples from history and recent headlines to illustrate that people size up the motivations, emotions, and trustworthiness of those they don't know both wrongly and with misplaced confidence. Bestseller. 2019.
By Richard Wagamese. 2019
One Drum draws from the foundational teachings of Ojibway tradition, the Grandfather Teachings. Focusing specifically on the lessons of humility,… respect and courage, the volume contains simple ceremonies that anyone anywhere can do, alone or in a group, to foster harmony and connection. Wagamese believed that there is a shaman in each of us, and we are all teachers and in the world of the spirit there is no right way or wrong way. Writing of neglect, abuse and loss of identity, Wagamese recalled living on the street, going to jail, drinking too much, feeling rootless and afraid, and then the feeling of hope he gained from connecting with the spiritual ways of his people. He expressed the belief that ceremony has the power to unify and to heal for people of all backgrounds. 2019.
By John Carreyrou. 2018
The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech start-up, by the prize-winning… journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers. In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose start-up "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes's worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: the technology didn't work. A riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley. Bestseller. 2018.
By Naomi Klein. 2019
For more than twenty years, Naomi Klein has been the foremost chronicler of the economic war waged on both people… and planet--and the champion of a sweeping environmental agenda with stability and justice at its center. In lucid dispatches from the frontlines--from the ghostly Great Barrier Reef, to the annual smoke-choked skies of the Pacific Northwest, to post-hurricane Puerto Rico, to a Vatican attempting an unprecedented "ecological conversion"--she has penned surging, indispensable lectures and essays for a wide public, with prescient, clarifying information about the future that awaits us and our children if we stick our heads in the sand. They show Klein at her most thoughtful, tracing the evolution of the climate crisis as the key issue of our time, not only as an immediate political challenge but as a spiritual and imaginative one too. Delving into topics ranging from the clash between ecological time and our culture of "perpetual now," to the soaring history of humans' ability to change rapidly in the face of grave threat, to rising white supremacy and fortressed borders as a form of "climate barbarism," this is a rousing call to action for a planet on the brink. Above all, she underscores how we can still rise to the existential challenge of the crisis if we are willing to transform our systems that are producing it, making clear how the battle for a greener world is indistinguishable from the fight for our lives. 2019.
By Casey N. Cep. 2019
Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the… 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell's murderer was acquitted--thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend. Sitting in the audience during the vigilante's trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more working on her own version of the case. Now Casey Cep brings this nearly inconceivable story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country's most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity. Bestseller. 2019.
By Mike D. 2018
Formed as a New York City hardcore band in 1981, Beastie Boys followed a path to global hip hop superstardom.… Here is their story, told for the first time in the words of the band. Adam "ADROCK" Horovitz and Michael "Mike D" Diamond reveal their transition from teenage punks to budding rappers through their evolution as musicians and social activists over the course of their albums; and more. The band has had an inescapable and indelible influence on popular culture, and their book exhibits a style as distinctive and eclectic as a Beastie Boys album. Bestseller. 2018.
By Rick Mercer. 2018
Rick Mercer can always be relied on to provoke a strong reaction--but what he said one fall day in 2017… truly shocked the nation. In a rant posted on social media, he announced that the current season of the Rick Mercer Report would be the last. After more than 250 episodes, 250 rants and countless miles spent travelling the length and breadth of Canada to do everything from bungee jumping with Rick Hansen to whale watching with Measha Brueggergosman, it was time to move on. What he will do next is still unknown, and Canada eagerly awaits future developments. But meanwhile, we have this book to keep us going. This volume brings together never-before-published rants from the last five seasons of the show, plus a selection of the very best rants from earlier years. Rick also shares his hilarious, moving and at times hair-raising memories from the past fifteen years. Bestseller. 2018.
By Melinda Gates. 2019
For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most… urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down. In this moving and compelling book, Melinda shares lessons she's learned from the inspiring people she's met during her work and travels around the world. She provides an unforgettable narrative backed by startling data as she presents the issues that most need our attention -- from child marriage to lack of access to contraceptives to gender inequity in the workplace. And, for the first time, she writes about her personal life and the road to equality in her own marriage. Throughout, she shows how there has never been more opportunity to change the world -- and ourselves. Bestseller. 2019.
A historical work of non-fiction that chronicles the little-known stories of black railway porters--the so-called "Pullmen" of the Canadian rail… lines. The actions and spirit of these men helped define Canada as a nation in surprising ways, effecting race relations, human rights, North American multiculturalism, community building, the shape and structure of unions, and the nature of travel and business across the US and Canada. Drawing on the stories and legends of several of these influential early black Canadians, this book narrates the history of a very visible, but rarely considered, aspect of black life in railway-age Canada. These porters, who fought against the idea of Canada as White Man's Country, open only to immigrants from Europe, fought for and won a Canada that would provide opportunities for all its citizens. Bestseller. 2019.
By Leonard Cohen. 2018
This is the final work from Leonard Cohen, the poet and musician. It features poems, excerpts from his private notebooks,… lyrics, and hand-drawn self-portraits, and offers an unprecedentedly intimate look inside the life and mind of a singular artist. A reckoning with a life lived deeply and passionately, with wit and panache, "The Flame" is a valedictory work. "This volume contains my father's final efforts as a poet," writes Cohen's son, Adam Cohen, in his foreword. "It was what he was staying alive to do, his sole breathing purpose at the end." Leonard Cohen died in late 2016. But "each page of paper that he blackened," in the words of his son, "was lasting evidence of a burning soul." Bestseller. 2018.
By Jay. Baruchel. 2018
It's no secret that Jay Baruchel is a die-hard fan of the Montreal Canadiens. He talks about the team at… every opportunity, wears their gear proudly in interviews and on the street, appeared in a series of videos promoting the team, and was once named honorary captain by owner Geoff Molson and Habs tough guy Chris Nilan. As he has said publicly, "I was raised both Catholic and Jewish, but really more than anything just a Habs fan." Baruchel's lifelong memories as a Canadiens' fan explode on the page in a collection of hilarious, heartfelt and nostalgic stories that draw on his childhood experiences as a homer living in Montreal and the enemy living in the Maple Leaf stronghold of Oshawa, Ontario. Knuckles drawn, and with the rouge, bleu et blanc emblazoned on just about every piece of clothing he owns, Baruchel shares all. Bestseller. 2018.
Weaves together the author's own family history--from her grandfather's decision to leave behind a wife and newborn son for a… new life, to her father's path from cooking in rural China to running some of the largest "Western" kitchens in Vancouver, to the unravelling of a closely guarded family secret--with the stories of dozens of Chinese restaurant owners from coast to coast. Also explores the fascinating history behind "chop suey" cuisine, detailing the invention of classics like "ginger beef" and "Newfoundland chow mein," and other uniquely Canadian fare like the "Chinese pierogies" of Alberta. Bestseller. 2019.
By Nicholas Jennings. 2017
Takes us deep inside Gordon Lightfoot’s world, from his idyllic childhood in Orillia, the wild sixties, and his canoe trips… into Canada’s North to his heady times atop the music world. Jennings explores the toll that success took on his personal life - including his troubled relationships, his battle with alcohol and his near-death experiences - and the extraordinary drive and tenacity that pulled him through it all. Rich in voices from fellow musicians, close friends, Lightfoot’s family and the singer’s own reminiscences, the biography tells the stories behind some of his best-known love songs, including “Beautiful” and “Song for a Winter’s Night,” as well as the infidelity and divorce that resulted in classics like “Sundown” and “If You Could Read My Mind.” Bestseller. 2017.
By Curtis Joseph. 2018
Curtis Joseph, known affectionately to hockey fans around the world as Cujo, was an unlikely NHL superstar. The boy from… Sharon, Ontario, didn’t put on a pair of skates until most kids his age were already far along in organized hockey, and he was passed over by every team in the NHL draft. Despite an unorthodox start, he would go on to play eighteen seasons with the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Phoenix Coyotes and Calgary Flames; be ranked among the all-time greats in several key categories; and win an Olympic gold medal while representing Canada. Joseph is a legend in Toronto, where his fandom rivals that of other beloved Leaf greats, and he’s widely thought of as one of the best goalies of all time. Joseph talks about his highly unusual upbringing and what led him to put on his first pair of skates. He shares on- and off-the-ice tales no fan has heard before: the untold story behind the legend. Bestseller.
By Lindsay Wong. 2018
A young woman comes of age in a dysfunctional Asian family whose members blamed their woes on ghosts and demons… when in fact they should have been on anti-psychotic meds. Lindsay Wong grew up with a paranoid schizophrenic grandmother and a mother who was deeply afraid of the "woo-woo"-Chinese ghosts who come to visit in times of personal turmoil. From a young age, she witnessed the woo-woo's sinister effects; at the age of six, she found herself living in the food court of her suburban mall, which her mother saw as a safe haven because they could hide there from dead people, and on a camping trip, her mother tried to light Lindsay's foot on fire to rid her of the woo-woo. The eccentricities take a dark turn, however, when her aunt, suffering from a psychotic breakdown, holds the city of Vancouver hostage for eight hours when she threatens to jump off a bridge. And when Lindsay herself starts to experience symptoms of the woo-woo herself, she wonders whether she will suffer the same fate as her family. On one hand a witty and touching memoir about the Asian immigrant experience, and on the other a harrowing and honest depiction of the vagaries of mental illness, 'The Woo-Woo' is a gut-wrenching and beguiling manual for surviving family, and oneself. Bestseller. Canada Reads 2019. Winner of the 2019 Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize. 2018.
By Stephen Hawking, Lucy Hawking, Kip Thorne, Eddie Redmayne. 2018
Dr. Stephen Hawking was the most renowned scientist since Einstein, known both for his groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology… and for his mischievous sense of humor. He educated millions of readers about the origins of the universe and the nature of black holes, and inspired millions more by defying a terrifying early prognosis of ALS, which originally gave him only two years to live. In later life he could communicate only by using a few facial muscles, but he continued to advance his field and serve as a revered voice on social and humanitarian issues. Hawking not only unraveled some of the universe's greatest mysteries but also believed science plays a critical role in fixing problems here on Earth. Now he turns his attention to the most urgent issues facing us. Will humanity survive? Should we colonize space? Does God exist? Bestseller. 2018.
By Michelle Obama. 2018
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling… women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America, she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private. A deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations. Bestseller. 2018.
By Tanya Talaga. 2018
Every single year in Canada, one-third of all deaths among Indigenous youth are due to suicide. Studies indicate youth between… the ages of ten and nineteen, living on reserve, are five to six times more likely to commit suicide than their peers in the rest of the population. Suicide is a new behaviour for First Nations people. There is no record of any suicide epidemics prior to the establishment of the 130 residential schools across Canada. Talaga argues that the aftershocks of cultural genocide have resulted in a disturbing rise in youth suicides in Indigenous communities in Canada and beyond. She examines the tragic reality of children feeling so hopeless they want to die, of kids perishing in clusters, forming suicide pacts, or becoming romanced by the notion of dying - a phenomenon that experts call "suicidal ideation." She also looks at the rising global crisis, as evidenced by the high suicide rates among the Inuit of Greenland and Aboriginal youth in Australia. Finally, she documents suicide prevention strategies in Nunavut, Seabird Island, and Greenland; Facebook's development of AI software to actively link kids in crisis with mental health providers; and the push by First Nations leadership in Northern Ontario for a new national health strategy that could ultimately lead communities towards healing from the pain of suicide. Bestseller. 2018.
By Susan Orlean. 2018
Reopens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history; chronicles the Los Angeles Public Library fire… and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity; brings each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting; studies arson attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago. Bestseller. 2018.