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John Huston with Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner and daughter Anjelica Huston on the set of Prizzi’s Honor. Biographer Jeffrey Meyers portrays him as great filmmaker. (Handout)

John Huston with Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner and daughter Anjelica Huston on the set of Prizzi’s Honor. Biographer Jeffrey Meyers portrays him as great filmmaker.



43 non-fiction books from this year that are worth a read (or two) Add to ...

“[By] by the time I reached the penultimate chapter, a brilliant examination of, among other things, the catastrophic meeting of the 15th-century book cultures of Europe and the oral cultures of the new world, I had decided that every literate person in the country should be reading Glover’s essays.” -- Charles Wilkins

The Book of Marvels

A Compendium of Everyday Things,

by Lorna Crozier,


The mysteries of everyday life, told with Lorna Crozier’s inimitable combination of mischief and exuberance, longing and grief, suffuse these 85 delightful prose meditations, ranging through a myriad of ordinary objects such as buttons, mirrors and umbrellas, but but not shying away from those less tangible features of existence, such as happiness and darkness. -- Diane Schoemperlen

How Music Works

By David Byrne,


Former Talking Heads front man David Byrne says he will tell us how music works. And he really does. From the inside looking out in this collection of 10 separate essays, each on a different aspect of the whole sphere of popular music over the past 100 years, from the effects of recording technology on music to the possible reasons music evolved. -- David Rothenberg

Who’s in Charge?

Free Will and the Science of the Brain,

by Michael S. Gazzaniga,


It is precisely psychologist Michael Gazzaniga’s reformulation of the grand and ancient question, “Are we free or determined?” that makes this book about criminal responsibility so exciting. But, as he argues persuasively, that’s the wrong question. The real question is: Who’s in charge? The answer is that we are: “We are the law.” So we need a different question: “To punish or not to punish?” -- Jeffrey Foss

Voluptuous Pleasure

The Truth About the Writing Life,

by Marianne Apostolides,


These beautiful stories, featuring an ever-present narrator (the author’s “true voice”) commenting on the process of writing them, dance among thematic imponderables: the realms of memory, longing, fear, loss, redemption and, of course, the two sullen enormities between which all literary tensions must eventually find both flight and denouement. -- Charles Wilkins

One Day I Will Write About This Place

By Binyavanga Wainaina,


This is a raw, honest piece of memoir, of and about Africa, that doesn’t stoop to reshape itself into a form that might be more accessible to the West. Reading this book felt like eavesdropping on an early-evening conversation in a Nairobi bar. And that is sort of thrilling, because if you don’t have the luxury of taking up a bar stool in Nairobi, it’s a rare thing to hear these voices. -- Stephanie Nolen


From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,

by Cheryl Strayed,


When Cheryl Strayed loses her young mother to lung cancer, her life plunges into a downward spiral leading to the disintegration of her family and her resolve to hike – alone – 1,770 kilometres from California to Oregon. In the end, the journey transformed her, a transformation the reader experiences viscerally in this by turns harrowing, lyrical and funny memoir. -- Ilana Teitelbaum

Human Happiness

By Brian Fawcett,

Thomas Allen

This book about Fawcett‘s parents, their difficult marriage, their different personalities and expectations from life, and their deaths, is tricky and slightly disturbing. It is also, at times, deeply moving, and at times marvellously well-written: funny, wicked, snide and memorable. In providing his own family context, a major part of the context for his own life, Fawcett is posing an even deeper, tacit question: How do I know if I’ve led a happy life? -- André Alexis

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