The winner of the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction will be announced on Tuesday. Finished reading all the books on the shortlist? If so, Books Editor Mark Medley asked the finalists for the $60,000 prize to tell you which books you should seek out next.
Susan Delacourt Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them (Published by Douglas & McIntyre)
If you liked my book, you should read the newly released book Spin, by Clive Veroni, next. While Shopping for Votes deals with all the things that politics has learned from the marketing world, Veroni, a Canadian marketing strategist, is arguing that marketers have much to learn from politics. Or, as the book jacket puts it: "The strategies being used to influence our choices at the ballot box will soon be used to influence our choices in the grocery store." While I hope this doesn't mean attack ads in the cereal aisles, it's an interesting and thought-provoking premise.
Naomi Klein This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (Published by Knopf Canada)
If you liked my book, you should read The Winter We Danced: Voices from the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement (by the Kino-nda-niimi Collective), an exciting and inspiring immersion in First Nations sovereignty movements edited by leading theorists and participants. Tackling everything from violence against the earth to indigenous women's bodies, this is an utterly unique anthology in which text is structured as a round dance, the iconic symbol of the Idle No More movement. For readers interested in the sections of my book about motherhood in a toxic age, I highly recommend Raising Elijah by the great biologist Sandra Steingraber, an exploration of everything from harmful chemicals in building materials to the impacts of natural-gas fracking.
Charles Montgomery Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design (Published by Doubleday Canada)
If you liked my book, you should read Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow next, because Kahneman is not an urbanist but a psychologist. He doesn't write about cities, but this book does reveal all the psychological quirks that actually lead us to build and live in unhappy places. (Example: We assume the future will look like the present. It won't.) The Nobel prize-winning psychologist also offers simple strategies for making better decisions. The book is fascinating and it's useful.
Paula Todd Extreme Mean: Trolls, Bullies and Predators Online (Published by Signal)
If you liked my book, you should read From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: Disruptive Innovation in the Age of the Internet (by John Naughton) – a fascinating, straightforward primer on the Internet's power. Also, for wild predictions about the wired future, try the Pew Research Centre's Digital Life in 2025. Extreme Mean tackles all cyberabuse, but society's focus is understandably on the young. To navigate that avalanche of advice, try safeonlineoutreach.com, part of a savvy education program founded by Canadian digital expert Merlyn Horton. Indefatigable U.S. criminologists Justin Patchin and Sameer Hinduja offer always up-to-date research, along with beatbullying.org, which promotes peer-counselling. After sickening hours with misogynists and tormentors online, upworthy.com's non-treacly look at digital compassion was a balm.
Kathleen Winter Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage (Published by House of Anansi)
If you liked my book, you should read Gretel Ehrlich's In the Empire of Ice: Encounters in a Changing Landscape next, because Ehrlich circled the global North by dogsled, helicopter and reindeer sled to chronicle effects of climate change on Northern people, land and animals. Her prose is sharp, her message urgent. Next, in I Send a Voice, Evelyn Eaton follows her aboriginal roots and learns to listen to the profound land. Finally, George Monbiot's Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea and Human Life, calls Canada's federal government barbarians for ransacking what used to be one of the world's most sophisticated nations in a race toward ecological destruction for monetary gain.
These interviews have been edited and condensed.