12 works of nonfiction you need to read this summer – CBC. ca

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From fascinating memoirs to absorbing essay collections, add these Canadian and international nonfiction books to your reading list this summer.

On Account of Darkness is a book by Ian Kennedy. (Kelsey Vermeersch, Tidewater Press)

In the nonfiction book On Account of Darkness , Ian Kennedy collected over 100 years of stories about athletes who triumphed despite systemic racism. Focusing on Ontario’s Chatham-Kent region, the book explores  how  the history of sport in the region is a microcosm for the successes and challenges non-white athletes have faced for  generations  across Canada. Combining individual tales of athletes  and social commentary, Kennedy examines systemic racism and Canadian multiculturalism against the backdrop of sports history.  

Based in Erie Beach, Ont., Kennedy is a sports journalist and secondary school teacher. In 2011, he founded the  Chatham-Kent Sports Network,   an online news outlet covering both amateur and professional athletes.  

Rehearsals for Living is a book by Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson. (Knopf Canada)

The concept behind the book Rehearsals for Living formed during the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020. Authors Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson began writing each other letters — a gesture sparked by a desire for kinship and connection during a trying time. Rooted in Black and Indigenous perspectives on race, gender and class,   Rehearsals for Living is an epistolary dialogue about the world we live in and a need for change.

Maynard is a Montreal-based Black feminist writer, activist and educator. Maynard’s composing and work focus on documenting racist and gender-based state violence. Her debut book, Policing Black Lives , traced the underreported modern and historical realities of anti-Blackness within a Canadian context.

​Betasamosake Simpson is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, activist, musician, artist, author and member of Alderville First Nation. Her work often centres on the experiences of Indigenous Canadians. Her books include Islands associated with Decolonial Love , This Accident of Being Lost , As We Have Always Done plus Noopiming: The Cure with regard to White Ladies .

The Next Chapter 20: 04 Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson on Rehearsals for Living

Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson talk to Shelagh Rogers about their guide, Rehearsals for Living.

The Naked Don’t Fear the Water is a book by Matthieu Aikins. (Kiana Hayeri, HarperCollins Canada)

Journalist Matthieu Aikins leaves behind his passport and identity to follow a young Afghan named Omar  as he leaves his war-torn country. Omar and Aikins  journey across land and sea from Afghanistan to Europe, coming face-to-face with smugglers, cops, activists and other refugees.  

The Naked Don’t Fear the Water   is really a story about friendship throughout borders, as it shines a light on the heart of the migration crisis.  

Aikins is a Canadian reporter living in Kabul  reporting on the war. He is also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a contributing editor at Rolling Stone.   The Naked Don’t Fear the Water   is his first book.

Tanqueray is a memoir written by Stephanie Johnson and Brandon Stanton. (Macmillan)

The online world met Stephanie Johnson, better known as Tanqueray, in 2019 through a photograph shared across social media. Millions followed her story, photograph by photograph, as she shared snippets from  her brutal childhood to trying to make it  in a world of go-go dancers and hustlers, dirty cops and gangsters. Now, in collaboration  with photographer and co-author Brandon Stanton, Johnson shares the full story within her book,   Tanqueray .  

Johnson  is best referred to as “Tanqueray, ” the American burlesque dancer who took New York City by storm  in the ’70s  and then became an online media sensation in 2020 when photographed for Humans of New York. She lives in Manhattan.   Tanqueray   is her first book.  

Stanton is a photographer, writer and the creator of the viral social media project  People of New York. He is also the creator of the bestselling books  Humans, Human beings of New York,   and  Humans of New York: Stories   as well as the children’s book  Little Humans.  

The Power of Teamwork is a guide by Dr . Brian Goldman. (HarperCollins, CBC)

The Power of Teamwork   shows how a team approach to medicine can improve more than our healthcare systems. This new model can lead to better customer service, solidify the provision of interpersonal services to troubled youth, make professional sports teams perform better, and even help women break the glass ceiling.  

Dr . Brian Goldman is an ER doctor and a bestselling author. He is the host of CBC Radio’s  White Coat, Black Art ,   and the  CBC podcast  The particular Dose , which is about the latest in health news. Goldman comes from Toronto.

Some of My Best Friends is definitely an essay collection by Tajja Isen. (Karen Isen, Doubleday Canada )

Some of My Best Friends   is an essay collection that examines race, social justice and the limits of  good  intentions. The timely book  explores issues such the animation  industry’s pivot away from  colourblind casting, the pursuit of diverse representation in the literary world, the particular law’s refusal to see inequality,   the cozy illusions  of nationalism and more.

Born in Toronto,   Tajja  Isen  is a  writer, editor plus voice actor. Currently based in New York,   Isen  is the editor-in-chief of Catapult magazine.   Some of My Best Friends  will be her debut book. She also co-edited the essay collections  The World as We Knew It   and  The Walrus Book of True Crime.

Elamin Abdelmahmoud is the author of Son of Elsewhere. (CBC, McClelland & Stewart)

In his memoir, Elamin Abdelmahmoud recounts his experience leaving his native Sudan and moving to Kingston, Ont. Like all teens, he spent his adolescence trying to figure out who he was, but he had to do it while learning to balance a new racial identity and all the assumptions that came with being Black plus Muslim.  

Son of Elsewhere explores how our encounters and environments can define our identity and who we truly are.  

Abdelmahmoud is the host of CBC’s weekly pop culture podcast Pop Chat , co-host of CBC’s political podcasting Party Lines and a frequent culture commentator for CBC News. He’s a culture writer regarding BuzzFeed News, where he furthermore writes their daily morning newsletter, Incoming .

The Sunday Magazine 26: 01 How Elamin Abdelmahmoud found home within ‘elsewhere’ as newcomer in order to Canada

Good Mom on Paper is a book edited by Stacey May Fowles, middle, and Jen Sookfong Lee, right. (Book*Hug Press, N. Maxwell, Kyrani Kanavaro)

Good Mom on Paper is a collection of 20 essays from writers including  Heather O’Neill, Lee Maracle, Jael Richardson, Alison Pick and more. The collection is an honest and intimate exploration of the complicated relationship between motherhood and creativity. These essays examine  the often-invisible challenges of literary life as a parent and celebrate the systems that nurture writers who are mothers.

Stacey May Fowles is an award-winning journalist, essayist and  author of four books. Her writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, National Post, Elle Canada, The Walrus plus elsewhere. Fowles lives in Toronto, where she is working on the girl fourth novel and a children’s book.

Jen Sookfong Lee is a writer from Vancouver. Her books include The Conjoined , which was nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award and was a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize;   The Better Mother, which was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award;   The End of East;   and Finding Home .

The Next Chapter 17: 06 Jen Sookfong Lee on The Shadow List Poems

Jen Sookfong Lee talks to Shelagh Rogers about her collection of poems, The particular Shadow List.

How the World Really Works by Vaclav Smil. (Viking, vaclavsmil. com)

How the World Really Works   is a nonfiction work that will looks at the lasting impact of modern science and technology. This book is a researched “reality check” as it uses data to explain seven of the most fundamental realities governing our survival and prosperity — including our dependency on fossil fuels and the legacy of globalization.

Vaclav Smil is a Canadian author and academic. He is the author associated with over 40  books with  topics including energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment plus public policy.  

Lost within the Valley of Death is a book by Harley Rustad. (Michelle Proctor, Knopf Canada)

Justin Alexander Shetler was an American who was  trained in wilderness survival. He travelled across America by motorcycle and then made his way to the Philippines, Thailand and Nepal, in search of authentic plus meaningful experiences. After several weeks of training, Justin embarked on a journey through the Parvati Valley, a remote and rugged corner of the Indian Himalayas, never to return.

Lost in the Valley of Death   is about Shetler’s  disappearance and presumed death — and the many ways we seek fulfilment in life.

Harley Rustad is a writer, journalist and editor through Salt Spring Island, B. C. He is the author of  Big Lonely Doug ,   which was shortlisted for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.   Lost in the Valley of Death   is his second book.  

The Current 24: 59 Author Harley Rustad on those who look for enlightenment — and disappear — in India’s so-called Valley of Death

U. S. musician and traveller Justin Shetler went to the Parvati Area in India seeking enlightenment — but never returned. He’s one of dozens who have disappeared in the area. Canadian writer Harley Rustad explores what happened and his own journey to that part of the world in his guide Lost in the Valley of Death: A Story of Obsession and Danger in the Himalayas.

Stories I Might Regret Telling You is a book by Martha Wainwright. (Flatiron Books, Cathy Irving/CBC)

In her memoir, Martha Wainwright reflects on her tumultuous public life, her competitive relationship with her brother and the loss of her mother. She writes about finding her voice as an performer, becoming a mother herself plus making peace with the past.

Stories I Might Regret Telling You   offers a thoughtful and deeply personal look into the existence of one of the most talented singer-songwriters in music today.

Wainwright is a Canadian  musician and artist. She is the daughter of folk legends Kate McGarrigle plus Loudon Wainwright III and sister of singer Rufus Wainwright. She lives in Montreal.

The Sunday Magazine 28: 56 Martha Wainwright is usually turning the page on her family’s story

In his new collection of essays, Happy-Go-Lucky, author and humourist David Sedaris delves into some darker topics, including their relationship with his late father. (Ingrid Christie)

American writer and humorist David Sedaris is back to chronicle both the inner workings of his life and the recent upheavals in America and the world. Processing, among other things,   the death of his father, the Trump era and lifestyle in lockdown, he  captures what is most unexpected, hilarious, and poignant about love, life, tragedy and our desire for connection.   If we must live in interesting times, there is no one better to chronicle them than Sedaris.

Sedaris  is the bestselling author of several books, including  Calypso ,   Theft by Finding ,   Me Talk Pretty One Day   and  Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls .

The Sunday Magazine 24: 34 Jesse Sedaris on his father’s dying, division, and choosing one thing to be terribly, terribly offended by

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