5 New Non-Fiction Reads

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From Canadian legends Gordie Howe and Chris Hadfield to a new book about the Beatles to a history of humankind, here are our top picks for this month.


YOU ARE HERE: AROUND THE WORLD IN 92 MINUTES (Random House) by Chris Hadfield

This photo tour from Canada’s favourite astronaut gives a fascinating look at Earth as viewed from space with hundreds of images that bring to life the varied personalities of our planet, including the fabled Nile River framed by the lights of Cairo and Jerusalem, Manhattan awake and at rest, the Himalayas in Tibet, and, familiarly enough, the city of Toronto under fresh snow. The book is also a treasure trove of historical and geographical factoids, and with playful landscape descriptions like ‘slugs’ (Mount Daluo Shan, China), ‘snails’ (Ukenao atoll, Indonesia) and ‘puppy dog… heads’ (Maldives), it’s also a great book to share with the kids and grandkids.

HOCKEY: MY STORY (Viking) by Gordie Howe

He dominated the game (and record books) for decades and scored 100 points after the age of forty. In fact, hockey greats Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky say he is the greatest of all. Gordie Howe, aka Mr. Hockey, played the game until he was 52, following an incredible twenty consecutive seasons among the top five scorers of the NHL. Howe’s new book Mr. Hockey takes us back to his Depression-era roots and gives an intimate account of his family life and the rise of his extraordinary Hall of Fame career.



THE COMEBACK: How Aboriginals Are Reclaiming Power And Influence (Viking) by John Ralston Saul

In his new book, acclaimed novelist and essayist, John Ralston Saul, makes the case for the rebuilding of relations between First Nations peoples and the rest of Canada. The Comeback looks at the historical record and the years of unjust treatment of aboriginal people, but also gives a rich portrait of contemporary life for Native communities, including the speeches and writings of today’s inspiring First Nations leaders and thinkers.


THE BEATLES LYRICS: The Stories Behind the Music, Including the Handwritten Drafts of More Than 100 Classic Beatles Songs (Hatchette Books) edited by Hunter Davies

From the author of the New York Times bestseller The John Lennon Letters comes what is being hailed as the definitive book of Beatles songs — for the first time, all of the Beatles’ original manuscripts appear in one anthology. Containing more than 100 songs and lyrics, many of which started out as scribbles on a scrap of paper or on the back of an envelope, the book tells an intimate story of the music and where it came from, and gives a behind the scenes look at the famous songwriting duo Paul McCartney and John Lennon at work.



SAPIENS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMANKIND (Random House) by Yuval Noah Harari

If you’re looking for something bold and brainy, this is the book for you. This ambitious, yet accessible work takes on the whole of human history, from 100,000 years ago when there were at least six species of humans walking the earth to the dominance of homo sapiens to breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Dr. Harari explores how history and biology have shaped human personality and culture – gossip, for example, apparently helped us to cooperate and money gave us something everyone can trust — as well as the animals and plants around us and what, if anything, we can do to influence events over the coming centuries.