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D&M’s Trena White lands fellowships at Frankfurt, IFOA

Earlier this week, Q&Q reported that Trena White, publisher at D&M Publishers, has been named the inaugural Canadian editorial fellow for the I.V. Programme, the annual networking event that runs alongside Toronto’s International Festival of Authors. It turns out that White, who is based in Vancouver, will have to dust off her passport as well, as she has also been named the sole Canadian fellow at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair.

The latter fellowship runs from Sept. 30 to Oct. 14 and will see White visiting publishing houses in Frankfurt, Cologne, and Berlin, before attending the international book fair. In a press release, White says of her dual appointments: “It’s a great honour to be granted these opportunities. D&M Publishers has built lasting connections with international publishing contacts over the years, and it’s vital that our next generation of leaders continue in this tradition. The fellowships will allow us to do just that.”

White was promoted to publisher of D&M last March as part of a series of executive-level changes. Before joining the firm in 2010, the B.C. native spent six years as an editor at McClelland & Stewart.

In the March issue of Q&Q, we asked Trena about her editorial vision and D&M’s future:

In general, do you think the non-­fiction being published has changed over the last decade? This is definitely the era of celebrity memoirs and bios. The bestseller list is largely populated by books about or by celebrities, and I don’t know if that was the case 10 years ago. I think there’s been something of a shift, where it seems as though people have been looking for slightly lighter fare in the last couple of years. After 9/11 people were looking for meaty, weighty non-fiction analyzing current events, but now it seems like people want to be more entertained. I’m thinking of books like Neil Pasricha’s The Book of Awesome (Penguin). Maybe there’s a bit of fatigue over books about international affairs.

What do you look for in a manuscript? I love narrative non-fiction, so I love a good story. I want to be entertained as much as I want to be informed. Every editor and publisher talks about discovering a strong voice, somebody whose writing makes you sit up and pay attention, whose writing is original and fresh, and shows a deep talent. I like books that have a social conscience, and that’s a way my values align nicely with Douglas & McIntyre’s. Historically, it’s been a humanistic list: a lot of books about social issues, politics, and current affairs.

How is D&M preparing for the future? These are such challenging times for book publishers: no one knows where things are going, and everything’s in flux. I think there are specific challenges for mid-sized publishers like D&M, because we’re competing nationally against the big corporations that can pay healthy advances, and we don’t have the economies of scale. But I think we’re doing a lot right now to put us in a good place for the future, like focusing on international distribution arrangements; getting our art and architecture books distributed in Europe through Prestel Verlag, for example.

How is working for a Vancouver publisher different than a Toronto-based company? I’m from B.C., so for me, coming to D&M was coming home. It’s different in that there’s a very strong writing and publishing community in Vancouver, and we’re the biggest player in that scene. We get a lot more proposals and manuscripts through referrals, and through relationships various people in the company have with writers and other contacts. We’re tapped into the community in a very significant way, and that’s fantastic.

Are there downsides to being headquartered on the West Coast? I do worry that we’re under the radar of agents and authors in Toronto, though half, if not more, of our authors are based in central or Eastern Canada, and we have a small marketing office in Toronto. I also sometimes worry about the perception that we’re not a big player because we’re not based in Toronto. We don’t see ourselves as a regional publisher – we’re a national publisher competing on a national level.

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Richard Gwyn wins $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen prize

Richard Gwyn’s Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times; Volume Two: 1867 – 1891 (Random House Canada), the second volume in the two-part biography of Canada’s first Prime Minister, is the recipient of this year’s Writers’ Trust of Canada Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. Gwyn was awarded the $25,000 prize at the Politics and the Pen Gala in Ottawa on Wednesday night.

In a press release, the jury comprised of journalist David Akin, historian Charlotte Gray, and political scientist Janice Gross Stein praised Gwyn’s book as a “fully rounded and compelling portrait of our prime minster’s public and private life.”

The first volume of Gwyn’s biography, John A: The Man Who Made Us, was a finalist for the prize in 2007, and in 2011 was named one of the best Canadian political books of the last 25 years by the Writers’ Trust of Canada. Nation Maker was a finalist for the 2011 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

Nation Maker beat out Ron Graham’s The Last Act: Pierre Trudeau, the Gang of Eight, and the Fight for Canada (Allen Lane Canada), Max and Monique Nemni’s Trudeau Transformed: The Shaping of a Stateman, 1944 – 1965 (McClelland & Stewart), Andrew’s Nikiforuk’s Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America’s Great Forests (Greystone Books/David Suzuki Foundation), and Jacques Poitras’ Imaginary Line: Life on an Unfinished Border (Goose Lane Editions). Each of the four runners-up received $2,500.

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Book links roundup: E.L. James’ $1-million book deal, the greatest losers in American literature, and more

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Spring preview 2012: international books

In the January/February issue, Q&Q looks ahead at the spring season’s new books.

FICTION

Two prolific American literary novelists are set to publish new titles this spring. Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winner Toni Morrison is back with her 10th novel, Home (Knopf Canada, $25.95 cl., May). Exploring themes of masculinity and belonging, the short novel follows a self-loathing Korean War veteran as he surmounts defeat and finds a place to call home. • Also in May, part-time Toronto resident John Irving returns with his 13th novel, In One Person (Knopf Canada, $34.95 cl.), a tragicomedy narrated by a bisexual protagonist who reflects on life as a boy, a young man, and an adult.

Jack Kerouac’s first novel, The Sea Is My Brother (Da Capo Press/Raincoast, $26.50 cl., March), was written in the 1940s but never published. One of several Kerouac manuscripts that has recently resurfaced, the story follows the divergent fortunes of two sailors and explores an important theme in Kerouac’s later work: rebellion. • A book of little-known stories written by Anton Chekhov at the end of his career is forthcoming from Biblioasis. About Love ($12.95 pa., May), the Russian writer’s only linked collection, is translated by David Helwig and contains illustrations by Seth.

One of the most buzzed about debut novels of the season is Karen Thompson Walker’s The Age of Miracles (Bond Street Books/Random House, $29.95 cl., June), a unique coming-of-age story about a young girl who wakes up one morning to discover that the rotation of the earth has begun to slow, upending life as she knows it.

Jodi Picoult’s new novel, Lone Wolf (Atria/Simon & Schuster, $32 cl., Feb.), tells the story of two siblings who disagree over the treatment of their comatose father. • Best known for his 2003 novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, British author Mark Haddon returns with The Red House (Doubleday Canada, $29.95 cl., June). The book is narrated by eight characters, all related, who spend a week together in a countryside vacation home.

From the best-selling (co-)author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes another new take on an old story. Seth Grahame-Smith’s Unholy Night (Grand Central Publishing/Hachette, $27.99 cl., April) reimagines the personalities of the three kings of the nativity, injecting the well-known Bible tale with thievery, escape, and intrigue. • The author of 12 previous novels, Christopher Moore continues in the surreal, satirical style of Lamb and Fool in his latest book, Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art (William Morrow/HarperCollins, $34.99 cl., March), which follows friends of Vincent van Gogh as they vow to uncover the truth behind the painter’s death. • Neurosurgeon and medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, whose non-fiction books Chasing Life and Cheating Death were New York Times bestsellers, makes his first foray into fiction with Monday Mornings (Grand Central/Hachette, $27.99 cl., March). In the vein of TV medical dramas, the novel follows the daily lives of five surgeons.

From Argentinean writer Liliana Heker comes The End of the Story (Biblioasis, $19.95 pa., April), a novel about Argentina’s Dirty War translated by Andrea Labinger. Set in 1976, the book follows a group of women living against a backdrop of state-sponsored violence. • Waiting for the Monsoon (House of Anansi Press, $24.95 pa., Feb.), by Threes Anna and translated from the Dutch by Barbara Fasting, is about a British woman’s relationship with the Indian tailor to whom she rents a room in her crumbling mansion.

Australian author Elliot Perlman’s third novel, The Street Sweeper (Bond Street Books/Random House, $32.95 cl., Jan.), explores the unlikely intersection of two characters’ lives: a history professor whose career and relationship are unravelling, and a black man from the Bronx who struggles to reintegrate after serving a prison term for a crime he didn’t commit.

MYSTERY, CRIME, AND FANTASY

Stephen King’s latest novel, The Wind Through the Keyhole (Scribner/S&S, $29.99 cl.), is set to publish in April. The eighth book in the Dark Tower series – chronologically set between volumes four and five – tells the story of gunslinger Roland Deschain’s first quest.Camilla Läckberg is a household name in her native Sweden. In The Drowning (HarperCollins, $19.99 pa., April), translated by Tiina Nunnally, a man is found murdered and frozen beneath the ice. After discovering a similar incident, police realize the killings are connected and look into each victim’s past for clues. • Best-selling psychological suspense writer Brian Freeman returns with Spilled Blood (Sterling/Canadian Manda Group, $29.95 cl., May), the story of two Minnesota towns locked in a violent feud over the carcinogenic waste one town’s research corporation is releasing into the other community.

U.K. writer Benjamin Wood, who completed a master’s degree in creative writing at the University of British Columbia, is set to publish his debut mystery novel. In The Bellwether Revivals (McClelland & Stewart, $29.99 cl., March), bodies turn up near an elegant Cambridge house, and the young narrator and his lover become entangled in the search for the villain. • The 500 (Little, Brown/Hachette, $28.99 cl., June), a first novel from Matthew Quirk that is in development as a feature film, follows a young lawyer at a powerful Washington, D.C., consulting firm as he is pursued by two of the world’s most dangerous men. • A New York family is involved in a financial scandal in lawyer Cristina Alger’s debut thriller, The Darlings (Penguin, $28.50 cl., Feb.).

In Sara Paretsky’s latest crime thriller, Breakdown (G.P. Putnam and Sons/Penguin, $28.50 cl., Jan.), girls from some of Chicago’s most powerful families stumble upon a corpse in an abandoned cemetery. Detective V.I. Warshawski investigates childhood secrets to get to the bottom of the killing. • In Cloudland (St. Martin’s/Raincoast, $28.99 cl., March), the latest crime novel from Joseph Olshan, a newspaper reporter gets involved with the search for a serial killer after discovering a murder victim’s body. Meanwhile, a failed love affair surfaces and acquaintances emerge as suspects.

BIOGRAPHY AND MEMOIR

Sally Bedell Smith’s biography, Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch (Random House, $34 cl., Jan.), chronicles the public persona and private life of the reigning English monarch, offering a close-up view of her routines and relationships. • In Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World (HarperCollins, $24.99 cl., Jan.), biographer Simon Callow explores the Victorian novelist’s status as an early celebrity and his little-known love of the stage.

Iconic American singer-songwriter Carole King is set to publish a memoir, A Natural Woman (Grand Central/Hachette, $29.99 cl., April). Chronicling King’s early years, her musical career, and her present-day activism, the book features behind-the-scenes concert photographs.

Revolution 2.0 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Thomas Allen & Son, $29.95 cl., Jan.) is former Google executive Wael Ghonim’s first-hand account of his capture and interrogation in Cairo during the Arab Spring protests. The memoir also looks at how social media helped foment revolution. • Norwegian writer Halfdan W. Freihow reflects on his attempts to help his son, who has autism, make sense of the world in Somewhere Over the Sea (Anansi, $14.95 pa., June), translated by Robert Ferguson with a foreword by The Boy in the Moon author Ian Brown.

What Do You Want to Do Before You Die? (Artisan/Thomas Allen, $23.95 cl., April) follows four twentysomethings during their journey to complete a 100-item bucket list. Five years into their quest, Ben Nemtin, Dave Lingwood, Duncan Penn, and Jonnie Penn share what they’ve accomplished.

POETRY

Political activist, writer, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo has become a symbol of the struggle for human rights in China. His collection June Fourth Elegies (Graywolf/D&M Publishers, $27.50 cl., April), translated by Jeffrey Yang, honours the memory of fellow protesters in the Tiananmen Square massacre.

GRAPHICA

Following his internationally acclaimed debut, The Wrong Place, Belgian graphic novelist Brecht Evens is back with The Making Of (Drawn & Quarterly, $27.95 pa., May). Using watercolour images and deadpan humour, the book details the misadventures of an honoured guest at a country art festival. • Tom Gauld reimagines a familiar Bible story in Goliath (D&Q, $19.95 cl., Feb.). Focusing on the reluctant fighter, the graphic novel pairs minimalist drawings and witty prose. • In My Friend Dahmer (Abrams/Manda, $27.95 cl., March), cartoonist John “Derf” Backderf creates a haunting, intimate portrait of Jeffrey Dahmer, a high school friend who later became the notorious American serial killer.

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS

New York Times Washington correspondent Jodi Kantor invites readers on a tour of the White House in The Obamas (Little, Brown/Hachette, $32.99 cl., Jan.), a detailed look at the family’s attempts to lead a normal life while juggling public roles and responsibilities. • The decade-long search for Osama bin Laden is the subject of CNN national security analyst and Holy War, Inc. author Peter L. Bergen’s new book, Manhunt (Doubleday Canada, $29.95 cl., May). • In Newstainment: Why the News Is Bad for You (Picador/Raincoast, $18.50 pa., June), Chase Whiteside and Erick Stoll argue that brief, up-to-the-moment bulletins are revolutionizing news media but failing political discourse.

Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid confronts crucial questions about U.S. foreign policy in Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan (Viking, $28.50 cl., March). A follow-up to the acclaimed Descent into Chaos, Rashid’s latest explores solutions for achieving stability in the war-torn region. • In Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Shari’a Law from the Deserts of Ancient Arabia to the Streets of the Modern Muslim World (Farrar, Straus and Giroux/D&M Publishers, $31 cl., April), U.K. human rights lawyer Sadakat Kadri takes an historical approach to explaining the evolution and implications of Islamic law.

An economics historian, British MP, and son of African immigrants, Kwasi Kwarteng explores the global reverberations of colonial history in Ghosts of Empire: Britain’s Legacies in the Modern World (Public Affairs/Raincoast, $34.50 cl., Feb.).

HISTORY

Long before the earthquake that ravaged Haiti in 2010, the country had a history of poverty and corruption. In Haiti: The Aftershocks of History (Henry Holt and Company/Raincoast, $29 cl., Jan.), Laurent Dubois traces the Caribbean nation’s troubles back to the 1804 slave revolt and sheds light on the country’s overlooked successes. • Jenny Balfour-Paul probes the roots of the world’s oldest dye in Indigo: Egyptian Mummies to Blue Jeans (Firefly Books, $39.95 pa., Jan.). Covering the history, science, and cultural significance of indigo dye, the full-colour book also explores its use in sustainable development initiatives.

LIFESTYLE, SCIENCE, AND SELF-HELP

Following his quests to read the Encyclopedia Britannica from cover to cover (The Know-It-All) and live according to a literal interpretation of the Bible (The Year of Living Biblically), A.J. Jacobs is back with another experiment. Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection (S&S, $29.99 cl., April) follows his efforts to become the healthiest man in the world. • Tae kwon do master Jim Langlas discusses seven principles of the martial art that also build character in Heart of a Warrior: 7 Ancient Secrets to a Great Life (Free Spirit/Georgetown, $17.50 pa., April). • For fans of Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret comes another guide to living a fulfilling life. The Tools (Random House Canada, $29.95 cl., June), by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels, identifies and offers solutions to four common barriers that hold people back.

FOOD AND DRINK

First Lady Michelle Obama argues for the need to improve access to healthy, affordable food in her first book, American Grown: How the White House Kitchen Garden Inspires Families, Schools, and Communities (Crown/Random House, $34 cl., April.). • Food writer (and son of Baskin-Robbins founder) John Robbins goes undercover in No Happy Cows: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Food Revolution (Conari Press/Georgetown, $18.95 pa., March) to investigate the feedlots and slaughterhouses that satisfy modern appetites. • In The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier (Morrow/HarperCollins, $38.99 cl., March), best-selling author, blogger, and ranch wife Ree Drummond shares easy country cooking recipes.

The fine print: Q&Q’s spring preview covers books published between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2012. All information (titles, prices, publication dates, etc.) was supplied by publishers and may have been tentative at Q&Q’s press time. • Titles that have been listed in previous previews do not appear here.

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Spring preview 2012: Canadian non-fiction

In the January/February issue, Q&Q looks ahead at the spring season’s new books.

MEMOIR AND BIOGRAPHY

Revolutionary activity in the Middle East and North Africa has created an appetite for stories about life in these regions. Among them is the story of CBC News foreign correspondent Nahlah Ayed. In A Thousand Farewells: A Reporter’s Journey from Refugee Camp to the Arab Spring (Penguin Canada, $32 cl., April), the Winnipeg-born journalist traces her passion for reporting on the Middle East to her Palestinian roots and the time she spent in a Jordanian refugee camp as a child. • When Nazanin Afshin-Jam, a Vancouver-raised beauty queen, first heard of Nazanin Fatehi, a teen on death row in Tehran for the murder of her would-be rapist, the two young women had only a name and their Iranian heritage in common. The Tale of Two Nazanins (HarperCollins Canada, $31.99 cl., May), co-written with Susan McClelland, is the story of how the women found common ground in the struggle for Fatehi’s freedom.

While on a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2006, reservist Trevor Greene had an axe plunged into his skull and lived to tell the tale. Read it for yourself in March Forth: The Inspiring True Story of a Canadian Soldier’s Journey of Love, Hope and Survival (HarperCollins Canada, $29.99 cl., Feb.), co-written with his wife, Debbie Greene.

A pair of memoirs out this spring feature sons coming to terms with their late fathers’ true identities. Deni Béchard follows his fictitious family saga, Vandal Love, with a personal story. Cures for Hunger (Goose Lane Editions, $29.95 cl., May) finds the novelist dealing with the fallout from discovering his dad’s criminal past. • In Cold Comfort: Growing Up Cold War (Talonbooks, $18.95 pa., May), poet Gil McElroy writes about discovering his father’s hidden past working on the controversial Distant Early Warning Line.

In The Many Voyages of Arthur Wellington Clah: A Tsimshian Man on the Pacific Northwest Coast (UBC Press, $29.95 pa., Jan.), historian Peggy Brock creates a portrait of Arthur Wellington Clah, a Hudson’s Bay Company employee who left one of the few first-hand accounts of colonization in Western Canada written from an aboriginal perspective. • In 2008, the Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria commissioned a chronicle of the globetrotting life and unconventional work of artist and printmaker Pat Martin Bates. The result is Balancing on a Thread (Frontenac House Media, $49.95 cl., April), a biography and critical analysis by Pat Bovey, former director of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Internationally renowned composer and music educator R. Murray Schafer recounts personal and artistic growth in My Life on Earth and Elsewhere (The Porcupine’s Quill, $27.95 pa., May), which follows his journey from aspiring painter to sailor to vagabond before deciding to dedicate his life to music. • As an octogenarian, Naomi Beth Wakan considers herself somewhere between old and “old-old,” and thus amply qualified to comment on retirement homes, elder abuse, death, and the disconnect between self-image and society’s perception of seniors. Liquorice and Lavender: Some Thoughts on Roller-coasting into Old Age (Wolsak & Wynn, $19 pa.) appears in April.

William Stevenson may be best known for his book A Man Called Intrepid, about the similarly named British spy William Stephenson, often considered the real-life model for James Bond. Stevenson tells his own life story, touching on his career as a war reporter, in Past to Present: A Reporter’s Story of War, Spies, People, and Politics (Lyons Press/Canadian Manda Group, $28.95 cl., June). • B.C. cowboy and rodeo regular Bruce Watt spins a few yarns about the good, the bad, and the ugly of ranching in Chilcotin Yarns (Heritage House, $16.95 pa., May).

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS

As the Canadian government works toward repatriating child soldier Omar Khadr, McGill-Queen’s University Press is set to publish a timely anthology exploring the Canadian-born man’s background, his incarceration at Guantanamo Bay, his treatment at the hands of Canadian authorities, and the implications raised by his legal case. Omar Khadr, Oh Canada ($24.95 pa., May), edited by Janice Williamson, includes contributions from Sherene Razack, Roméo Dallaire, Charles Foran, Judith Thompson, George Elliott Clarke, and Maher Arar.

Nora Young, host of CBC Radio’s Spark, explores issues such as the real-world impact of online communities and why it’s essential to ensure digital privacy in The Virtual Self: How Our Digital Lives Are Altering the World Around Us (McClelland & Stewart, $29.99 cl., April). • Some form of monarchy has ruled Canada since the start of the nation’s recorded history. The Secret of the Crown: Canada’s Long Affair with Royalty (House of Anansi Press, $29.95 cl., March) by John Fraser is a witty look at our country’s enduring appetite for all things regal.

HISTORY

A number of titles this season take an unflinching look at Canada’s history of racism. In Orienting Canada: Race, Empire, and the Transpacific (UBC Press, $34.95 pa., Jan.), John Price, associate professor of history at the University of Victoria, exposes anti-Asian racism at home and in foreign policy through examples such as the 1907 Vancouver race riots and Canada’s early intervention in the Vietnam War. • Canada’s Forgotten Slaves: Two Centuries of Bondage (Véhicule Press, $27.95 pa., May), George Tombs’ English-language translation of the late Marcel Trudel’s groundbreaking work on the history of slavery in colonial Canada, identifies Canadian slave owners and reveals the extent to which national leaders tried to cover up this unsavoury past. • Bryan Prince looks at slavery in One More River to Cross (Dundurn Press, $24.99 pa., Jan.), which tells the real-life story of Isaac Brown, a slave who was falsely accused of murder and made a daring escape from New Orleans before coming to Canada.

Educator Paul Keery and illustrator Michael Wyatt borrow from the graphic novel tradition to make Canada’s military history accessible in Canada at War: An Illustrated History of Canada in the Second World War (Douglas & McIntyre, $24.95 pa., May). • Originally published in Italian in 2003, Pietro Corsi’s Halifax: The Other Door to America (Guernica Editions, $15 pa., March), translated by Antonio D’Alfonso, explores the city’s role in the immigrant experience through a first-hand account.

POP CULTURE

In The Weakerthans: Watermark ($12.95 pa., April), the second instalment in Invisible Publishing’s Bibliophonic music series, author Dave Jaffer makes the case that the Winnipeg indie rockers are among the country’s best musical acts.

SPORTS

Hockey-shmockey. This season’s ice sport of choice is Arctic aviation. Based on the Canadian TV series of the same name, The Ice Pilots: Flying with the Mavericks of the Great White North (Douglas & McIntyre, $21.95 pa., Jan.), by Survivorman series co-author Michael Vlessides, follows pilots at Buffalo Airways in Yellowknife as they haul supplies and passengers in their Second World War–era propeller planes to remote Arctic outposts. • Frontenac House Media is set to publish Yukon Wings ($59.95 cl., May), an illustrated history of the territory’s aviation sector by industry veteran Bob Cameron.

Much has been written about Leanne Shapton’s quirky style and seemingly charmed career. Swimming Studies (Penguin Canada, $26.50 cl., June) dives into new territory: the illustrator’s lifelong passion for swimming, and her former dream of making it to the Olympics. • Speaking of the Olympics, a former athlete and coach have authored a pair of books on leadership. In The Power of More: Achieving Your Goals in Sport and Life (Greystone Books, $22.95 pa., May), three-time Olympic gold-medal rower Marnie McBean explains how to break down big tasks, set goals, strive for more, and recognize success. • In Leave No Doubt: A Credo for Changing Your Dreams (McGill-Queen’s University Press, $19.95 cl., March), NHL coach Mike Babstock (with co-writer Rick Larsen) expands on a pep talk originally intended for Team Canada, whom he coached at the 2010 Winter Games. • Start your own journey from novice to Olympian with Paddle Your Own Kayak (Boston Mills Press/Firefly Books, $29.95 pa., March), a fully illustrated guide by longtime paddlers Gary and Joanie McGuffin.

Vancouver writer Kevin Chong recounts how he unexpectedly found a new life direction as part-owner of a horse in My Year of the Racehorse: Falling in Love With the Sport of Kings (Greystone, $22.95 pa., April), a look into the tradition and faded elegance of the horse-racing scene.

GARDENING

When friends Rachel Fisher, Heather Stretch, and Robin Tunnicliffe ventured into business together they came up with Saanich Organics, a co-operative of small organic farms around greater Victoria. They’ve teamed up again for All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming (TouchWood Editions, $29.95 pa., Feb.), in part a personal reflection on food entrepreneurship, in part a how-to for small-scale organic farming. • Get growing with Canadian Gardener’s Guide (Dorling Kindersley/Tourmaline Editions, $30 cl., March), an illustrated handbook by prolific food writer and urban gardening guru Lorraine Johnson.

FOOD AND DRINK

In 2009, Lynn Crawford resigned as executive chef at Four Seasons New York to launch a restaurant in Toronto and kick off a new travel series for Canada’s Food Network. The spin-off book, Lynn Crawford’s Pitchin’ In: 100 Great Recipes from Simple Ingredients (Penguin Canada, $37 cl., Jan.), includes recipes the chef acquired in her travels across North America. • While Crawford peddles local foods, University of Toronto geography professor Pierre Desrochers and economist Hiroko Shimizu suggest a different approach in The Locavore’s Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-mile Diet (Public Affairs/Perseus Books Group, $30 cl., June). The duo argues the locavore ethos is little more than a well-meaning marketing strategy that distracts from global food problems.

A perfect counterpoint to last season’s roster of meat-heavy cookbooks, Eleanor Boyle’s High Steaks: Why and How to Eat Less Meat (New Society Publishers, $17.95 pa., June) investigates the ecological, health, and social problems caused by conventional meat production, and offers guidance on supporting sustainable livestock practices. • University of Toronto Press’s Edible Histories, Cultural Politics: Towards a Canadian Food History ($34.95 pa., May), edited by Franca Iacovetta, Valerie J. Korinek, and Marlene Epp, is a rare scholarly examination of food culture and traditions from a Canadian point of view. • For nearly three decades, Toronto’s FoodShare has fought to make healthy eating possible for everyone. Share: Delicious Dishes from FoodShare and Friends (Between the Lines, $24.95 pa., May), by Adrienne De Francesco with Marion Kane, brings together favourite recipes from the FoodShare community that emphasize healthy, affordable, culturally diverse, and seasonal meals.

BUSINESS, FINANCE, AND ECONOMICS

Economist Jeff Rubin follows up his bestselling Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller with The End of Growth (Random House Canada, $29.95 cl., May). This time, Rubin posits that the tendency for governments to tie economic well-being to population growth will ultimately lead to disaster. • Michael Lewis and Pat Conaty tread similar territory but offer a solutions-based approach in The Resilience Imperative: Cooperative Transitions to a Steady-state Economy (New Society, $26.95 pa., June), about shifting from growth to a sustainable, low-carbon economy.

Rob Carrick, a columnist at The Globe and Mail, has written a personal finance guide for the Boomerang Generation. How Not to Move Back in with Your Parents: The Young Person’s Guide to Financial Empowerment (Doubleday Canada, $22.95 pa.) comes out in March, just in time for the end of the academic year. • Toronto ad man Rick Padulo – the brains behind the slogans “Leon’s Don’t Pay a Cent Event” and “Black’s Is Photography” – shares the story of his climb up the agency ladder, and spills a few trade secrets, in I Can Get It for You Retail: Down and Dirty Tales from a Canadian Ad Man (Dundurn, $29.99 cl., March).

HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

It seems a new health and fitness fad springs up every week. Timothy Caulfield, director at the Health Law and Science Policy Group at the University of Alberta, has tried some of them so the rest of us don’t have to. Through first-hand research and analysis, Caulfield’s The Cure for Everything! Untangling the Twisted Messages About Health, Fitness, and Happiness (Penguin, $32 cl., Jan.) exposes the special interests behind many scientific claims in the health industries, and suggests getting healthy is not as complicated as it seems. • In Thinking Women and Health Care Reform in Canada (Canadian Scholars’ Press, $39.95 pa., Feb.), the Women and Health Care Reform working group sets out its argument for why changes to Canada’s health care sector are women’s issues. Researchers raise the issue of gender in such areas as privatization, home care, medical insurance, access to treatment, and maternity care. • When a group of women in Parry Sound, Ontario, decided to raise money for a new mammogram machine at their local hospital, they opted for a fundraising project that was fun, creative, and cheeky. Compiled by the West Parry Sound Health Foundation, Support the Girls: Bra Art for Breast Health (Second Story Press, $21.95 pa., April) features the personal stories and bra-based artwork of breast cancer sufferers and survivors, their loved ones, and health-care workers. A portion of proceeds will go to breast cancer research.

Clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Nancy Reeves has travelled throughout North America facilitating workshops on grief, trauma, spirituality, and art therapy. A Path Through Loss: A Guide to Writing Your Healing and Growth (Woodlake Books, $19.95 pa., Feb.) contains self-guided journalling exercises Reeves has employed and honed over the years.

ENVIRONMENT

David Suzuki is back with another collection of thoughts on the environment. The aptly titled Everything Under the Sun: Toward a Brighter Future on a Small Blue Planet (Greystone, $24.95 pa., June), co-written with Ian Hannington, broaches topics such as solar-energy dependence, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the difference between human hunters and other predators. • Documentarian Amy Miller investigates the effects of carbon-emissions trading and carbon credit–funded projects in Carbon Rush (Red Deer Press, $24.95 pa., June), a scathing exposé of a system that bankrolls large-scale industrial operations and endangers all manner of life.

Cameron Dueck’s The New Northwest Passage: A Voyage to the Front Lines of Climate Change (Great Plains Publications, $24.95 pa., April) recalls the journalist’s trip through one of the least accessible places on the planet to encounter the effects of climate change on Arctic life. • In Save the Humans (Random House Canada, $29.95 cl., April), Rob Stewart, the filmmaker behind Sharkwater, turns his attention from marine life to the human cost of environmental carelessness. • Couched in tales of hard-living fishermen and the history of the West Coast fishing industry, Bluebacks and Silver Brights: A Lifetime in the B.C. Fisheries from Bounty to Plunder (ECW Press, $22.95 pa., May), by Norman and Allan Safarik, presents a dire ecological outlook for the Pacific Coast thanks to government mismanagement and overfishing. • In Nevermore: A Book of Hours ($20 pa., April), the third title published by Quattro Books’ non-fiction imprint, Fourfront Editions, David Day elegizes species that are long extinct, with illustrations by Maurice Wilson.

SCIENCE

Carolyn Abraham travels around the world, DNA kits at the ready, to probe the genetic background of her spotty family tree. Along the way, she struggles with the ethics behind using genetic tests to trace bloodlines. The Juggler’s Children: Family, Myth and a Tale of Two Chromosomes (Random House Canada, $32 cl.) lands on bookshelves in April. • In developing neurological exercises to overcome her own severe learning disabilities, Barbara Arrowsmith Young pioneered a cognitive training program that demonstrated the possibility for neuroplasticity – the notion that behaviour and training can alter brain function. The Woman Who Changed Her Brain: Stories of Transformation from the Frontier of Brain Science (Free Press/Simon & Schuster, $29.99 cl., May) recounts Arrowsmith’s story and sets out her methodology.

ESSAYS

Author and writing teacher Douglas Glover shares the finer points of the writing life, as well as a few exercises to get scribbling, in The Attack of the Copula Spiders and Other Essays on Writing (Biblioasis, $21.95 pa., April). • Thirty-three writers with ties to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, including Michael Turner, Madeleine Thien, and Wayde Compton, recast the maligned neighbourhood as a hub of creativity and humanity in V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (Arsenal Pulp Press, $19.95 pa., April), edited by Elee Kraljii Gardiner and John Mikhail Asfour. • Edited by Kathy Page and Lynne Van Luven, In the Flesh: Twenty Writers Explore the Body (Brindle & Glass, $24.95 pa., April) contains essays by André Alexis, Trevor Cole, Lorna Crozier, Candace Fertile, Kate Pullinger, and Brian Brett that explore aging, illness, and insecurity through a specific body part.

FINE ART AND GRAPHICA

Canadian cities provide a rich source of inspiration for a number of fine art and non-fiction graphica titles this season. Dave Lapp combines new and previously published comics about encounters and conversations on the streets of Toronto in People Around Here (Conundrum Press, $17 pa., April), a follow-up to 2008’s Drop-in. • Toronto streets are brought to the fore in Full Frontal T.O. (Coach House Books, $24.95 pa., May), a chronicle of the Big Smoke’s ever-changing streetscapes by photographer Patrick Cummins and Stroll author Shawn Micallef. • Meanwhile, illustrator Michael Cho wanders Toronto’s backstreets for Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes (Drawn & Quarterly, $19.95 pa., May), a collection of vibrant illustrations of the city’s hidden streetscapes.

Heading West, Michael Kluckner’s Vanishing Vancouver: The Last 20 Years (Whitecap Books, $35 pa., April) updates the artist’s classic book of the same name two decades after its initial release. The new edition documents the city’s rapid development and features more than 200 images, including the author’s own watercolours and brush-and-ink drawings. • Rocky Mountain Books celebrates 100 years of the Calgary Stampede with Cowboy Wild ($39.95 cl., May), a photo book by David Campion chronicling a decade of the greatest show on earth, with text by Samantha Shields.

The latest from D&Q’s Petit Livre art book imprint is Idyll: Dream-filled Landscapes, Portraits, and Abstracts in Beautiful Detail ($19.95 cl., March) by Amber Albrecht. Inspired by the dreaminess of childhood, Albrecht’s paintings, screen prints, and drawings employ folklore and female iconography to address loneliness and loss.

HUMOUR

Just in time for summer break, Thomas Allen Publishers will release Almost There: The Family Vacation Then and Now ($24.95 pa., May), Curtis Gillespie’s take on family travel. • A “good mommy” is as real as a unicorn or Bigfoot, argues Willow Yamauchi in Bad Mommy (Insomniac Press, $19.95 pa., April), which celebrates the kind of parenting that falls somewhere between Joan Crawford and June Cleaver.

RELIGION

Conservative commentator and Sun News Network host Michael Coren’s latest book, Heresy: Ten Lies They Spread About Christianity (Signal/M&S, $29.99 cl., April) picks up where 2011’s Why Catholics Are Right left off, challenging popular assumptions about Christianity regarding issues such as homophobia, sexism, and racism. • To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, in which the Roman Catholic Church updated its practices for an increasingly secular world, Novalis will publish Vatican II: Fifty Years of Evolution and Revolution in the Catholic Church ($18.95 pa., May) by Margaret Lavin, associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Regis College.

The fine print: Q&Q’s spring preview covers books published between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2012. All information (titles, prices, publication dates, etc.) was supplied by publishers and may have been tentative at Q&Q’s press time. • Titles that have been listed in previous previews do not appear here.

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Weekend reading list: the top stories from around our offices

Every weekend Q&Q rounds up the highlights from other websites in the St. Joseph Media family. This week’s top stories include tales of suburban migration, fall cooking, and political espionage.

Toronto Life: Exodus to the burbs: why die-hard downtowners are giving up on the city

Fashion Magazine: New York Fashion Week style snaps

Canadian Family: 10 tasty recipes to try in September

Ottawa Magazine: POLITICS CHATTER: Of lust and espionage (Mark Bourrie’s take on the Xinhua scandal)

Where Canada: Breakfast, lunch and dinner: Windsor, Ontario

20 Minute Supper Club: Five incredible cheesecakes

Wedding Bells: The hottest wedding centrepieces right now

Torontoist: Final recommendations on city service cuts released

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Fall preview 2011: Canadian non-fiction

In the July/August issue, Q&Q looks ahead at the fall season’s biggest books.

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS

With Canada’s combat role in Afghanistan coming to an end this summer, a number of fall titles take stock of the country’s most significant military intervention since Korea. Journalist Terry Glavin, a recent recipient of the B.C. Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence, offers a candid portrait of Afghanistan in Come From the Shadows: The Long and Lonely Struggle for Peace in Afghanistan (Douglas & McIntyre, $29.95 cl., Oct.), in which Glavin meets Afghanis from many walks of life who offer hope for a sustainable peace. • In The Long Way Back: Afghanistan’s Quest for Peace (HarperCollins Canada, $32.99 cl., Sept.), former Canadian ambassador and U.N. special representative in Afghanistan (and newly minted Conservative MP) Chris Alexander lays out a roadmap for peace, and offers his take on the last 10 years of the country’s tumultuous history. • Seasoned correspondent Murray Brewster’s The Savage War: The Untold Battles of Afghanistan (John Wiley & Sons Canada, $34.95 cl., Sept.) offers a candid look at Canada’s war effort in some of Afghanistan’s most dangerous regions. • Drawing on her own experiences growing up in Afghanistan, as well as the stories of others, Sharifa Sharif offers a candid portrait of the lives of Afghani women and children in On the Edge of Being ($16.95 pa., Oct.), published by newcomer Three O’Clock Press.

As the Toronto Star’s national security reporter and author of 2008’s Guantanamo’s Child: The Untold Story of Omar Khadr, Michelle Shephard has made a name for herself as a critic of the security state run amok. Decade of Fear: Reporting from Terrorism’s Grey Zone (D&M, $32.95 cl., Sept.) reflects on her experience covering some of the most important stories from the war on terror. • Haunted by the 1993 murder of a Somali teenager by Canadian soldiers, B.C. writer Gary Geddes travelled from the Hague to Africa to look at whether international aid is helping or harming ordinary Africans. Geddes, author of the travel memoir Kingdom of Ten Thousand Things, shares his discoveries in Drink the Bitter Root: A Writer’s Search for Justice and Redemption in Africa (D&M, $32.95 cl., Aug.). • Samantha Nutt, founder of War Child North America, offers an account of her work in some of the world’s most devastated corners, and shares her vision for changing course from our growing militarization, in Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies, and Aid ($29.99 cl., Oct.), published by McClelland & Stewart’s new non-fiction imprint, Signal.

Joel Bakan’s previous book, The Corporation, was adapted into a documentary film that hit a nerve with the counterculture. His follow-up, Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Ruthlessly Targets Children (Allen Lane Canada, $32 cl., Aug.) is another scathing indictment of corporate greed, examining how, in the words of the publisher, big business plans to turn kids into “obsessive and narcissistic mini-consumers, media addicts, cheap and pliable workers, and chemical industry guinea pigs.” • Sociologist Lyndsay Green follows up her surprise bestseller You Could Live a Long Time: Are You Ready? with Teens Gone Wired: Are You Ready? (Thomas Allen Publishers, $19.95 pa., Aug.), a guide for parents who may not know what “sexting” means, but know they don’t like it.

In Room for All of Us (Allen Lane Canada, $35 cl., Sept.), Canada’s 26th Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson, draws on her own experiences, and those of other immigrants, to offer a revealing portrait of a changing country and its people.

In Dependent America? How Canada and Mexico Construct U.S. Power (University of Toronto Press, $34.95 cl., Nov.), one of Canada’s most important political scientists and observers, Stephen Clarkson, offers his thoughts on the simultaneous importance and powerlessness of the U.S.’s two most significant trading partners and allies. The book is co-authored by Matto Mildenberger. • Flanker Press had a surprise hit on its hands with Danny Williams: The War with Ottawa, released just a few months before the former Newfoundland premier stepped down. Well-known broadcaster and ex-politician Bill Rowe returns with the plea Danny Williams, Please Come Back ($19.95 pa., Sept.), a collection of political columns.

ENVIRONMENT
Andrew Nikiforuk
, author most recently of Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent, reports on another environmental scourge in Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America’s Great Forests (Greystone Books, $19.95 pa., Sept.). The book, co-published with the David Suzuki Foundation, looks at how misguided science, out-of-control logging, and climate change contributed to the destruction of more than 30 billion pine and spruce trees in North America. • Los Angeles–based biologist and journalist Reese Halter looks at the same problem in The Insatiable Bark Beetle ($16.95 cl., Oct.), published as part of Rocky Mountain Books’ Manifesto series of short, opinionated non-fiction.

The Geography of Hope author Chris Turner continues to take an optimistic view of mankind’s ability to adapt to environmental challenges in The Great Leap Sideways: How to Survive and Thrive in the Sustainable Twenty-first Century Economy (Random House Canada, $29.95 cl., Sept.), a field guide to recent breakthroughs in renewable energy, urban design, and nascent “green-collar” economies. • In Atlantic Canada’s Sustainability Innovators (Nimbus, $22.95 pa., Oct.), Chris Benjamin profiles forward-thinking entrepreneurs, educators, and activists who are making a difference, from organic farmers to the founder of Frenchy’s, the prevalent East Coast chain of used-clothing stores.

MEMOIR AND BIOGRAPHY
Vancouver author Charlotte Gill is known in literary circles for her story collection Ladykiller, which won the B.C. Book Prize for fiction, but she has also spent nearly 20 years planting trees in clear-cuts across Canada. Her memoir, Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe (Greystone, $29.95 cl., Sept.), is at once an account of Gill’s “million-tree career,” a snapshot of a unique, particularly Canadian subculture, and a meditation on the wonder of trees. • One of Canada’s most beloved novelists, David Adams Richards, shares his love of the outdoors and offers an impassioned defence of a way of life he believes is under attack in Facing the Hunter (Doubleday Canada, $32.95 cl., Oct.), a companion to Richards’ Governor General’s Literary Award–winning ode to angling, Lines on Water.

In what promises to be a searingly honest account of mental illness, Ray Robertson describes how he battled suicidal depression after completing his sixth novel. Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live (Biblioasis, $19.95 pa., Sept.) is described as “self-help for the socially hostile.” • Shannon Moroney’s life as a newlywed was shattered when, just one month into her marriage, her husband was arrested and charged in the brutal assault and kidnapping of two women. Moroney describes her journey to overcome the stigma of guilt by association, and understand her husband’s violent actions, in Through the Glass (Doubleday Canada, $32.95 cl., Oct.).

Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the National Ballet of Canada, Carol Bishop-Gwyn‘s The Pursuit of Perfection: A Life of Celia Franca (Cormorant Books, $36 cl., Oct.) is the first major biography of the woman who made the troupe a cultural force in Canada.

Historian Michael Bliss is known for his biographies of Canadian politicians and early medical practitioners. In Writing History: A Professor’s Life (Dundurn Press, $40 cl., Sept.), the University of Toronto professor emeritus turns to the raw materials of his own life in a memoir that touches on family, Canadian politics, and the craft of researching and writing history. • Joseph B. Martin traces his climb from a Mennonite farm to dean of Harvard Medical School in Alfalfa to Ivy (University of Alberta Press, $34.95 pa., Aug.), offering insight into academic politics and health care in Canada and the U.S.

Kurdish poet and journalist Jalal Barzanji endured imprisonment and torture at the hands of Saddam Hussein because of his outspoken writings. After emigrating to Canada in the 1990s, Barzanji, who was named Edmonton’s first writer-in-exile in 2007, finally tells his story. The Man in Blue Pajamas: Prison Memoir in the Form of a Novel (U of A Press, $24.95 pa., July), translated from the Kurdish by Sabah Salih, includes a foreword from John Ralston Saul.

LITERARY CRITICISM
As part of the inaugural season for M&S’s new non-fiction imprint, Signal, Margaret Atwood shares her lifelong love of science-fiction in the essay collection In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination ($26.99 cl., Oct.).

A companion to 2002’s Odysseys Home, poet George Elliott Clarke’s Directions Home: Approaches to African-Canadian Literature (University of Toronto Press, $39.95 pa., Dec.) is billed as the most comprehensive analysis of African-Canadian texts and writers to date, and includes studies of contemporary writers such as George Boyd and Dionne Brand. • In a new collection of essays, poet and scholar Roy Miki investigates the shifting currents of citizenship, globalization, and cultural practices of Asian-Canadians. In Flux: Transnational Signs of Asian Canadian Writing (NeWest Press, $24.95 pa., Oct.) is edited by University of Guelph professor Smaro Kamboureli.

Discovered in the author’s archive after her death in 2007, Jane Rule’s Taking My Life (Talonbooks, $19.95 pa., Aug.) offers a portrait of the writer as a young woman, tracing her maturation as an artist in the first 21 years of her life. • How I Wrote Certain of My Books (Mansfield Press, $19.95 pa., Oct.) is prolific poet, fiction writer, and critic George Bowering’s memoir about building his literary oeuvre. • Poet, novelist, and journalist George Jonas takes readers on a romp through literary history in The Jonas Variations: A Literary Séance (Cormorant Books, $24 pa., Sept.), in which the author pays homage to foreign-language poets who have inspired him.

CANADIAN HISTORY
Richard Gwyn
won the 2008 Charles Taylor Prize for John A: The Man Who Made Us, the first volume of his biography of Canada’s founding Prime Minister. The follow-up, Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald – His Life, Our Times (Random House Canada, $37 cl., Sept.), picks up the story on Confederation Day in 1867. • It’s been 30 years since the last major biography of William Lyon Mackenzie King appeared. Winnipeg historian and novelist Allan Levine updates the record with William Lyon Mackenzie King: A Life Guided by the Hand of Destiny (D&M, $36.95 cl., Sept.), a portrait of one of Canada’s greatest – and easily, quirkiest – PMs. • University of Toronto historian and Celtic Studies professor David A. Wilson is set to publish the second volume in his biography of Thomas D’Arcy McGee, one of the fathers of confederation and Canada’s only federal politician to be the victim of an assassination. Thomas D’Arcy McGee, Volume 2: The Extreme Moderate, 1857–1868 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, $39.95 cl.) publishes in October.

When a U.S. Air Force bomber caught fire over Canada’s northwest coast in 1950, it was carrying some very important cargo – a nuclear bomb. Aviation historian Dirk Septer investigates questions that still remain about the incident in Lost Nuke: The Last Flight of Bomber 075 (Heritage House Publishing, $19.95 pa., Oct.). • In Maple Leaf Empire: Canada, Britain, and Two World Wars (Oxford University Press, $29.95 cl., Oct.), historian Jonathan F. Vance looks at Canada’s unique brand of Britishness through the two nations’ shared military endeavours.

When he died last fall, folk historian Chuck Davis was known as the custodian of Vancouver’s collective memory. His magnum opus, Chuck Davis’s History of Metropolitan Vancouver ($49.95 cl.), will be published by Harbour Publishing in October.

HISTORY
Anthropologist, ethnobotanist, and National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence Wade Davis climbs to new heights with Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest (Knopf Canada, $35 cl., Sept.), an account of British adventurers’ early ascents of Mount Everest, and what they meant for a nation still reeling from the devastation of the First World War.

In Long Night of the Tankers (McArthur & Company, $34.95 cl., Nov.), University of Calgary scholars David J. Bercuson and Holger H. Herwig examine an often overlooked theatre of the Second World War: the Caribbean, whose oil refining facilities were targeted by German U-boats.

POP CULTURE
Dave Bidini
may be one of the founding members of the seminal Canadian indie band the Rheostatics, but his prolificacy as an author (nine books in just over a decade) is equally impressive. Bidini marries his passions for music and literature in Writing Gordon Lightfoot: The Man, the Music, and the World in 1972 (M&S, $29.99 cl., Oct.), which looks at the folk-rock legend in the week leading up to the 1972 Mariposa Folk Festival. • Frequent Q&Q contributor Robert J. Wiersema (author of Bedtime Story) salutes his own rock ’n’ roll idol in Walk Like a Man: Coming of Age with the Music of Bruce Springsteen (Greystone, $21.95 pa., Sept.), which functions as liner notes for the soundtrack of the author’s life.

Shania Twain and Anne Murray have scored bestsellers with their recent as-told-to memoirs. Michael Bublé follows in their footsteps with Off Stage On Stage (Doubleday Canada, $34.95 cl., Nov.), which promises to offer fans an intimate portrait (with pictures!) of the easy-on-the-eyes crooner. • Singer-songwriter Jann Arden promises not to be insensitive in recounting her Prairies upbringing and maturation as an artist in Falling Backwards (Knopf Canada, $32 cl., Nov.). • With his popular CBC Radio show, Randy Bachman, best known for his work in the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, has proven himself to be the Stuart McLean of the rock ’n’ roll set. He shares some of the best-loved chestnuts from his ample repertoire in Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap Stories (Viking Canada, $32 cl., Oct.).

Many Canadians were shocked and saddened to learn of the death earlier this year of Roger Abbott, one of the founding members of the Royal Canadian Air Farce. In the posthumously published Air Farce: 40 Years of Flying by the Seat of Our Pants (Wiley Canada, $34.95 cl., Oct.), Abbott, along with fellow Farcer Don Ferguson, offers a behind-the-scenes account of how the CBC show got off the ground and continued to fly for four decades.

William Shatner seems to be experiencing a new vogue of late – though in some ways he never really went away. The Star Trek and Boston Legal star gives fans a glimpse of his quirky genius in Shatner Rules: Your Key to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large (Viking Canada, $25.50 cl., Oct.). • Vancouver broadcaster and actor Terry David Mulligan recently caused a stir for an act of civil disobedience involving an illicit substance (Google it, if you haven’t heard), reminding Canadians he has never been far from the media spotlight. In Terry David Mulligan (Heritage House, $19.95 pa., Oct.), written with Glen Schaefer, the former MuchMusic VJ relates his career highs and lows. • William B. Davis is known as one of the most famous TV villains of the 1990s for his role in The X-Files. He tells of his upbringing in the Canadian theatre world in Where There’s Smoke… : Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man (ECW Press, $22.95 pa., Oct.).

Street artist Roadsworth gained notoriety when he was arrested for his stencils and street markings that subverted Montreal’s urban facade. Some of his best-known pieces are included in Roadsworth (Goose Lane, $29.95 pa., Sept.), which features more than 200 reproductions of his work. • Visual Orgasm: Highlights of Canadian Graffiti (Frontenac House, $40 cl., Sept.) is a visual history of Canadian tags, bombs, and burners by Adam Melnyk, who has maintained the online archive visualorgasm.org for more than a decade.

SCIENCE AND IDEAS
Jessa Gamble
explores the intersection of circadian rhythms and modern culture in The Siesta and the Midnight Sun: How We Measure and Experience Time (Viking Canada, $34 cl., Oct.), which argues, among other things, that people who lived before the invention of mechanical timepieces endured less stress than their modern counterparts.

McGill-Queen’s University Press is set to publish an ambitious art book that brings an early explorer’s account of Canada to modern readers. The Codex Cadensis and the Writings of Louis Nicolas ($65 cl., Nov.) is an encyclopedic record of Canada’s natural history by a Jesuit priest who travelled extensively in Canada in the mid-17th century. The work is edited and introduced by scholar François-Marc Gagnon, with translations by Nancy Senior and Réal Ouellet.

Ian Dowbiggin diagnoses the modern obsession with mental well-being in The Quest for Mental Health: A Tale of Science, Medicine, Scandal, Sorrow and Mass Society (Cambridge University Press, $25.95 pa., Sept.), in which the University of Prince Edward Island historian of science argues that the trend for “therapism” will persist as long as consumerism holds sway. • In Strong Helpers’ Teachings (Canadian Scholars’ Press, $39.95 pa., Sept.), Ryerson University prof Cyndy Baskin shows how professionals in the field of “human services” can learn a lot from native teachings.

FOOD
Montreal is rightly celebrated as a mecca for gluttonous gourmands. One of the city’s most distinctive restaurants, Joe Beef, gets its due in The Art of Living According to Joe Beef (Ten Speed Press/Random House, $40 cl., Oct.), by co-owners/chefs David McMillan and Frédéric Morin, with journalist Meredith Erickson. • Canadian celebrity chef Michael Smith is set to publish his first book with Penguin Canada. Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen ($32 cl., Sept.) is a collection of the Prince Edward Island chef’s favourite home-cooking recipes.

As the title suggests, Food and Trembling (Invisible Publishing, $16.95 pa., Oct.) isn’t your typical highbrow culinary memoir. The collection of humorous essays by Montreal blogger Jonah Campbell is more gourmand than gourmet, approaching eating with fierce appetite, but not always good manners. • One of the more surprising trends arising from the locavore movement is celebrated in We Sure Can! How Jams and Pickles Are Reviving the Lure and Lore of Local Food (Arsenal Pulp Press, $24.95 pa., Aug.) by Sarah B. Hood, which includes more than 100 recipes.

In Cravings: Comfort Eats and Favourite Treats (TouchWood Editions, $19.95 pa., Sept.), Debbie Harding shares recipes for those sinful foods – cinnamon buns, poutine, sugar donuts – most of us just can’t resist. • For those suffering dietary restrictions who still want to indulge comes The Gluten-Free Baking Book: 250 Small-Batch Recipes for Everything from Brownies to Cheesecake (Robert Rose/Firefly, $27.95 pa., Sept.) by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt.

Fresh & Healthy Cooking for Two: Easy Meals for Everyday Life (Formac, $24.95 pa., Oct.), by Ellie Topp and Marilyn Booth, is billed as an alternative to prepared foods, offering quick, healthful dishes for smaller households. • Also from Formac, Scrumptious & Sustainable Fishcakes: A Collection of the Best Sustainable Fishcake Recipes from Canadian Wharves, Coast to Coast ($24.95 pa., Oct.) brings together ethical seafood recipes from the likes of Elizabeth Feltham, Elaine Elliot, and Craig Flinn.

SPORT
The First Stampede of Flores LaDue (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, $29.99 cl., Oct.) by Wendy Bryden is the true love story of Guy Weadick and Flores LaDue, two Wild West vaudevillians who founded the Calgary Stampede. • Soccer legend Bob Lenarduzzi, president and CEO of the Vancouver Whitecaps, tells co-author Jim Taylor how he became the face of soccer in B.C. in The Bobby Lenarduzzi Story (Harbour, $28.95 cl., Sept.).

The fine print: Q&Q’s fall preview covers books published between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2011. All information (titles, prices, publication dates, etc.) was supplied by publishers and may have been tentative at Q&Q’s press time. • Titles that have appeared in previous previews do not appear here.

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Novelist Gil Courtemanche succumbs to cancer

Gil Courtemanche, the journalist and novelist whose best-selling 2000 novel about the Rwandan genocide, A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali, was made into a movie in 2006, lost a two-year battle with cancer of the larynx last Friday. He was 68.

From the Montreal Gazette:

In a career spanning nearly 50 years, Courtemanche covered politics and international affairs for media outlets including Radio-Canada, La Presse, and Quebec City’s Le Soleil. For the past five years, he wrote a weekly column for Le Devoir, where his insights and incisive style won a devoted following, said publisher Bernard Descôteaux.

“It was his capacity for indignation toward injustice that marked the last part of his career,” Descôteaux said.

“He was a model for journalists. He was one of the great writers who have left their mark on journalism in Quebec in recent years.”

He was also an advocate for Quebec sovereignty, co-founding the paper Le Jour with Yves Michaud, Jacques Parizeau, and René Lévesque.

Quoted in the Gazette, Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois said, “Committed, with an incisive style and easy way with words, [Courtemanche] belonged to a form of journalism we see less and less: the kind that denounces (wrongdoing).”

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Ezra Levant wins Best Political Book contest

The Writers’ Trust of Canada, in collaboration with Samara, has named Ezra Levant’s Shakedown: How Our Government is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights (McClelland & Stewart, 2009) the Best Canadian Political Book of the Last 25 Years.

The WTOC and Samara, a non-profit organization for citizen engagement in Canada’s democratic system, announced the contest in June to recognize books “that have captured the Canadian political imagination and contributed in a compelling and unique way to how Canadians understand a political issue, event, or personality” as a means of teaching Canadian political history and sparking political debate. The public was asked to submit their top three recommendations for the longlist, revealed July 1st, and vote on the final 12.

Shakedown, the conservative commentator’s critique of government-appointed human rights commissions and their impact on civil liberties, edged out On the Take: Crime, Corruption and Greed in the Mulroney Years by Stevie Cameron (Seal Books/Random House, 1995), Harperland: The Politics of Control by Lawrence Martin (Penguin, 2010), and Fights of Our Lives: Elections, Leadership, and the Making of Canada by John Duffy (HarperCollins Canada, 2002) to win the popular vote.

The other eight finalists were:

The sponsoring organizations are planning an event with the contest finalists on the topic of political writing in Canada later this year.

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Writers’ Trust turns spotlight on political books

Spurred by the recent federal election, The Writers’ Trust of Canada has partnered with Samara, a non-profit organization that seeks to strengthen citizen engagement in Canada’s democratic system, to launch a project called The Best Canadian Political Books of the Last 25 Years.

In a press release, the WTOC describes the project as an opportunity to “highlight books that have captured the Canadian political imagination and contributed in a compelling and unique way to how Canadians understand a political issue, event, or personality” — and they want everyone to join in.

The public is encouraged to nominate their top three titles in Canadian politics via Samara’s online nomination form before June 23. A longlist will be announced July 1 (Canada’s most patriotic of day of the year, of course).  Throughout the month of July, Canadians will again be encouraged to vote and comment on the list, with the winning books announced Aug. 1.

WTOC and Samara have asked a few notable Canadian political writers and activists to nominate their favourite books. Here are a some of the titles already in the ring:

Anna Porter’s Nominees:
The Player: The Life & Times of Dalton Camp by Geoffrey Stevens
Harperland: The Politics of Control by Lawrence Martin
Right Side Up: The Fall of Paul Martin and the Rise of Stephen Harper’s New Conservatism by Paul Wells

Terry Fallis’s Nominees:
King John of Canada by Scott Gardiner
Louis Riel: A Comic Strip Biography by Chester Brown
Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Volume II: 1968–2000 by John English

Tim Cook’s Nominees:
The Worldly Years: Life of Lester Pearson, Volume II: 1949–1972 by John English
Memoirs: 1939–1993 by Brian Mulroney
Empire to Umpire: Canada and the World into the 1990s by J. L. Granatstein and Norman Hillmer

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Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

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