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Author Malcolm Gladwell. (Simon Hayter for The Globe and Mail)
Author Malcolm Gladwell. (Simon Hayter for The Globe and Mail)

The Globe Books 100: Best Canadian non-fiction Add to ...

David & Goliath

By Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown)

The pope of pop science pens another small-idea, big-thoughts book about the power of the underdog. Soon to be a cultural touchstone if it isn’t already.

 

Smarter Than You Think

By Clive Thompson (Penguin Press)

Historically, we’ve always been prone to alarmism over new technologies. From a New York Times and Wired writer comes an exploration of how the internet may, in fact, be helping our intellectual development rather than making us dumber.

The Globe Books 100

 

The War that Ended Peace

By Margaret MacMillan (Allen Lane)

The world renowned historian and author of Paris 1919 has a new book, this one about the years and events leading up to the First World War. Perhaps the most tragic aspect of the war, by MacMillan’s lights, is that it wasn’t inevitable.

A House in the Sky

By Amanda Lindhout (Scribner)

A rookie freelancer, Amanda Lindhout was reporting from Somalia when she and photographer Nigel Brennan were kidnapped and held for ransom by insurgents for 460 days. A gripping and agonizing read by a woman who kept her equanimity through terrible times.

Mr Selden’s Map of China

By Timothy Brook (House of Anansi)

As much the history of a remarkable man as a remarkable map, Timothy Brook’s latest finds the China scholar in fine form, recounting the amazing story of a 17th-century polymath (legal scholar, parliamentarian, Orientalist scholar, mediocre poet) and the most accurate map of China the world had yet seen, which Selden came to possess.

The Truth About Luck

By Iain Reid (House of Anansi)

Perhaps the country’s most endearing man, Iain Reid writes about what happens when he decides – and then decides not to – take his 92-year-old grandmother on a road trip, opting instead to just hang out with her in his apartment. Reid’s written a sweetly funny, sometimes wise book without condescension.

 

Keon and Me

By Dave Bidini (Viking Canada)

Dave Bidini remembers growing up the victim of bullying, and identifying with the sanguine Leafs captain, whose only ice fight prompted Bidini to finally retaliate. Years later, Bidini wonders what became of his idol and the sports team he represented.

 

The Dogs Are Eating Them Now

By Graeme Smith (Knopf Canada)

Smith, a foreign correspondent based in Kabul, writes frankly about the toll of Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan in this humane book, the winner of the Hilary Weston Non-Fiction Prize.

 

The Massey Murder

By Charlotte Gray (HarperCollins Canada)

In 1915, in Toronto, a maid fearing her master’s sexual advances killed a member of one of the city’s most prominent families. The case and the ensuing trial, so fraught with class tensions, would command the attention of the entire city.

Clearing the Plains

By James Daschuk (University of Regina)

This year, a debate raged over whether to categorize European treatment of native Canadians as “genocide.” A powerful book about John A. Macdonald’s National Dream provides clear evidence that whatever happened was, by any measure, terrible, with lasting consequences.

Blood

By Lawrence Hill (House of Anansi)

From author Lawrence Hill (The Book of Negroes) comes, in the form of a series of lectures, an exploration of the significance, scientific and social history of blood and how it divides and unites us.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

By Chris Hadfield (Random House Canada)

You may know him from his shots of the Earth from space. Hadfield has now proven that, in addition to being a spaceman and a photographer, he is also a scribe. An entertaining read of a life pointed at the skies.

 

The Book of Immortality

By Adam Leith Gollner (Doubleday Canada)

Gollner goes to the ends of the earth to talk to people who want to beat the clock – forever. So far, there’s no proof of success, but their efforts prove entertaining, and, through Gollner’s lens, touching, as well.

 

Orr: My Story

By Bobby Orr (Penguin Canada)

One-time defenseman – and possibly Canada’s biggest hockey legend – Bobby Orr has penned a memoir detailing his rise to fame.

 

The Once and Future World

By J.B. MacKinnon (Random House Canada)

What will become of nature? Have we ruined it completely? In this fascinating book that looks at the subject of “rewilding,” MacKinnon theorizes that nature isn’t gone – it’s just waiting.

 

Blue Future

By Maude Barlow (House of Anansi)

Maude Barlow, one of the world’s leading experts on water, completes her ambitious trilogy of of books on the challenges facing the world with regard to this precious resource in her most comprehensive volume yet.

 

Nocturne

By Helen Humphreys (HarperCollins)

Humphreys’s brother, a concert pianist, died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 45. Her meditation on grief addresses him directly as Humphreys remembers their tight bond and her bewilderment at life without him.

The Juggler’s Children

By Carolyn Abraham (Random House Canada)

Carolyn Abraham, a medical-science reporter, is prompted by her grandmother’s death to delve into her family’s history, using DNA testing, back through many generations.

Black Code

By Ron Deibert (Signal)

State cyberwar is not just the premise of a cheesy movie. In his revelatory investigation into online security, Deibert reveals the many ways in which crooks, spies and police use and abuse information mined from the internet without consent.

Blood and Daring

By John Boyko (Knopf Canada)

The American civil war may not immediately bring to mind Canada, but in his newest book, historian Boyko reveals that Canadians supplied arms to the South and hosted key Confederate meetings. A suspenseful book of popular history.

One Day in August

By David O’Keefe (Knopf Canada)

Based on extensive original research that also inspired the documentary Dieppe Uncovered, O’Keefe’s landmark new book presents a new and original explanation of what happened on that fateful August day in 1942.

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