12 non-fiction works you need to read this summer

From riveting memoirs to compelling collections of essays, add these Canadian and international nonfiction books to your reading list this summer.

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

In the non-fiction book because of the dark, Ian Kennedy compiled more than 100 years of stories about athletes who succeeded despite systemic racism. Focusing on the Chatham-Kent region of Ontario, the book explores how the history of sport in the region is a microcosm of the successes and challenges non-white athletes have faced for generations across Canada. Combining individual athlete stories and social commentary, Kennedy examines systemic racism and Canadian multiculturalism in the context of sports history.

Based in Erie Beach, Ontario, Kennedy is a sportswriter and high school teacher. In 2011, he founded the Chatham-Kent Sports Network, an online news outlet that covers 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. essays to live was formed during the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020. Authors Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson began writing letters to each other, a gesture sparked by a desire for kinship and connection during a difficult time. Rooted in black and indigenous perspectives on race, gender and class, essays to live it is an epistolary dialogue about the world we live in and a need for change.

Maynard is a black feminist writer, activist, and educator based in Montreal. Maynard’s writings and work focus on documenting racist and gender-based state violence. Her debut book, Black Lives Matter Surveillancetraced the understated historical and modern realities of anti-Blackness within a Canadian context.

Betasamosake Simpson is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, activist, musician, artist, author, and member of the Alderville First Nation. His work often focuses on the experiences of indigenous Canadians. His books include Islands of decolonial love, This accident of being lost, as we have always done Y Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies.

the next chapter20:04Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson at Rehearsals for Living

Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson talk to Shelagh Rogers about her book Essays for a Living.

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

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

Nudes are not afraid of water is a story about friendship across borders as it shines a light on the heart of the migration crisis.

Aikins is a Canadian journalist who lives in Kabul and reports on the war. He is also a contributing writer for the New York Times magazine and a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. Nudes are not afraid of water it is his first book.

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

The online world was introduced to Stephanie Johnson, better known as Tanqueray, in 2019 through a photo shared on social media. Millions followed her story, picture by picture, as she shared snippets of her brutal childhood trying to make it in a world of go-goers and hustlers, crooked cops and gangsters. Now, in collaboration with photographer and co-author Brandon Stanton, Johnson shares the full story in her book, Tanqueray.

Johnson is better known 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 he was photographed for Humans of New York. She lives in Manhattan. Tanqueray it is his first book.

Stanton is a photographer, writer, and creator of the viral social media project Humans of New York. He is also the creator of the best selling books. humans, New York humans, Y Humans of New York: Stories as well as the children’s book Little humans.

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

The power of teamwork shows how a team approach to medicine can do more than improve our health systems. This new model can lead to better customer service, solidify the delivery of social services to troubled youth, make professional sports teams perform better, and even help women break through the glass ceiling.

Dr. Brian Goldman is an emergency room physician and bestselling author. He is the host of CBC Radio White coat, black art, and the CBC podcast The dose, which is about the latest in health news. Goldman lives in Toronto.

Some of My Best Friends is a collection of essays by Tajja Isen. (Karen Isen, Doubleday Canada)

some of my best friends is a collection of essays that examines race, social justice, and the limits of good intentions. The timely book explores topics such as the animation industry’s move away from colorblind casting, the literary world’s quest for diverse representation, the law’s refusal to see inequality, the cozy illusions of nationalism, and more.

Born in Toronto, Tajja Isen is a writer, editor, and voice actress. Currently based in New York, Isen is the editor-in-chief of Catapult magazine. some of my best friends It is his debut book. She also co-edited the collections of essays The world as we knew it Y The Walrus Book of True Crime.

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

In his memoir, Elamin Abdelmahmoud recounts his experience leaving his native Sudan and moving to Kingston, Ontario. Like all teenagers, he spent his adolescence trying to figure out who he was, but he had to while learning to balance a new racial identity and all the assumptions that come with being black and Muslim.

son from elsewhere explores how our experiences and environments can define our identity and who we really are.

Abdelmahmoud is the host of CBC’s weekly pop culture podcast pop chatco-host of the CBC political podcast party lines and frequent culture commentator for CBC News. He is a culture writer for BuzzFeed News, where he also writes his daily morning newsletter, Incoming.

the sunday magazine26:01How Elamin Abdelmahmoud found home ‘elsewhere’ as a newcomer 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 by writers like 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 unseen challenges of literary life as a father 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, the National Post, Elle Canada, The Walrus, and elsewhere. Ella Fowles lives in Toronto, where she is working on her fourth novel and a children’s book.

Jen Sookfong Lee is a writer from Vancouver. His books include the united, which was nominated for the Dublin International Literary Prize and was a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Prize for Fiction; the best mother, that it was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award; The End of the East; Y find home.

the next chapter17:06Jen Sookfong Lee in the Shadow List Poems

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

How the world really works by Vaclav Smil. (Viking, vaclavsmil.com)

how the world really works is a non-fiction work that 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 that govern our survival and prosperity, including our dependence on fossil fuels and the legacy of globalization.

Vaclav Smil is a Canadian author and academic. He is the author of more than 40 books on topics including energy, population and environmental change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment, and public policy.

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

Justin Alexander Shetler was an American trained in wilderness survival. He traveled across America by motorcycle and then headed to the Philippines, Thailand and Nepal, in search of authentic and 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 it is about Shetler’s disappearance and presumed death, and the many ways we seek fulfillment in life.

Harley Rustad is a writer, journalist and editor from Salt Spring Island, BC 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 it is his second book.

The current24:59Author Harley Rustad on those who seek enlightenment, and disappear, in India’s so-called Valley of Death.

American musician and traveler Justin Shetler went to the Parvati Valley in India in search of enlightenment, but never returned. He is one of dozens who have disappeared in the area. Canadian author Harley Rustad explores what happened and his own journey to that part of the world in his book 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 artist, becoming a mother, and making peace with the past.

Stories I might regret telling you offers a thoughtful and deeply personal look at the life 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 and Loudon Wainwright III and the sister of singer Rufus Wainwright. She lives in Montreal.

the sunday magazine28:56Martha Wainwright is turning a page in her family’s history

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

American writer and humorist David Sedaris returns 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 life on lockdown, he captures what is most unexpected, funny, and poignant in love, life, tragedy, and our desire for connection. If we are to live in interesting times, no one better to narrate them than Sedaris.

Sedaris is the best-selling author of several books, including Calypso, Robbery by Find, I talk enough one day Y Let’s explore diabetes with owls.

the sunday magazine24:34David Sedaris on his father’s death, the split, and choosing something to be terribly offended by

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