The Promise of Canada: 150 Years- People and Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country
by Charlotte Gray
Simon & Schuster $39.99
ON SALE OCT 18
On the eve of Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations comes a richly rewarding new book from acclaimed historian Charlotte Gray about what it means to be Canadian. Readers already know Gray as an award-winning biographer, a writer who has brilliantly captured significant individuals and dramatic moments in our history. Now, in The Promise of Canada, she weaves together masterful portraits of nine influential Canadians, creating a unique history of the country over the past 150 years.
What do these people—from George-Étienne Cartier and Emily Carr to Tommy Douglas, Margaret Atwood, and Elijah Harper—have in common? Each, according to Charlotte Gray, has left an indelible mark on our country. Deliberately avoiding a “top down” approach to our history, Gray has chosen people whose ideas have caught her imagination, ideas that over time have become part of our collective conversation. She also highlights many other Canadians, past and present, who have added to the ongoing debate over how we see ourselves, arguing that Canada has constantly re-imagined itself in every generation since 1867.
Beautifully illustrated with evocative black and white images and colourful artistic visions of our country, The Promise of Canada is a fresh take on our history that offers fascinating insights into how we have matured and yet how—150 years after Confederation and beyond—we are still a people in progress. Charlotte Gray makes history come alive as she opens doors into our past, our present and our future, inspiring and challenging readers to envision the Canada they want to live in.
by Gordon Downie & Jeff Lemire
Simon & Schuster $26.99
ON SALE OCT 18
Secret Path is a ten song album by Gord Downie with a graphic novel by illustrator Jeff Lemire that tells the story of Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack, a twelve-year-old boy who died in flight from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School fifty years ago.
Chanie, misnamed Charlie by his teachers, was a young boy who died on October 22, 1966, walking the railroad tracks, trying to escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School to return home. Chanie’s home was 400 miles away. He didn’t know that. He didn’t know where it was, nor how to find it, but, like so many kids—more than anyone will be able to imagine—he tried.
Chanie’s story is Canada’s story. We are not the country we thought we were. History will be re-written. We are all accountable. Secret Path acknowledges a dark part of Canada’s history—the long suppressed mistreatment of Indigenous children and families by the residential school system—with the hope of starting our country on a road to reconciliation. Every year as we remember Chanie Wenjack, the hope for Secret Path is that it educates all Canadians young and old on this omitted part of our history, urging our entire nation to play an active role in the preservation of Indigenous lives and culture in Canada.
The next hundred years are going to be painful as we come to know Chanie Wenjack and thousands like him—as we find out about ourselves, about all of us—but only when we do can we truly call ourselves, “Canada.”
Proceeds from Secret Path will be donated to The Gord Downie Secret Path Fund for Truth and Reconciliation via The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) at The University of Manitoba.
Rogue Heroes: The History of the SAS, Britain's Secret Special Forces Unit that Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War
by Ben MacIntyre
McClelland & Stewart $34.00
The latest from the bestselling author of Operation Mincemeat and A Spy Among Friends -- the untold story of one of WWII's most important secret military units.
Ben Macintyre's latest book of derring-do and wartime intrigue reveals the incredible story of the last truly unsung secret organization of World War II -- Britain's Special Air Service, or the SAS. Facing long odds and a tough slog against Rommel and the German tanks in the Middle East theatre, Britain turned to the brainchild of one its most unlikely heroes -- David Stirling, a young man whose aimlessness and almost practiced ennui belied a remarkable mind for strategy. With the help of his equally unusual colleague, the rough-and-tumble Jock Lewes, Stirling sought to assemble a crack team of highly trained men who would parachute in behind enemy lines to throw monkey wrenches into the German war machine. Though he faced stiff resistance from those who believed such activities violated the classic rules of war, Stirling persevered and in the process created a legacy. Staffed by brilliant, idiosyncratic men whose talents defied both tradition and expectations, the SAS would not only change the course of the war, but the very nature of combat itself.
Written with complete access to the never-before-seen SAS archives (who chose Macintyre as their official historian), Rogue Heroes offers a powerfully intimate look at life on the battlefield as lived by a group of remarkable soldiers whose contributions have, until now, gone unrecognized beyond the classified world. Filled with wrenching set pieces and weaving its way through multiple theatres of our grandest and most terrible war, this book is both an excellent addition to the Macintyre library and a critical piece in our understanding of the war's unfolding.
October, or Autumnal Tints
by Henry David Thoreau
WW Norton $19.00
Nature / Essays
Originally delivered as a lecture shortly before the writer’s own death, Henry David Thoreau’s classic Autumnal Tints is an ode to autumn not as the season of death and decay, but of ripeness, fullness, and maturity. It is perhaps the best piece ever written on the subject of the fall color of the changing leaves. Thoreau hoped one day to turn it into an illustrated book called October, or Autumnal Tints.
Thoreau’s astute meditations are framed by a biographical essay by acclaimed scholar Robert D. Richardson that delves into the events and relationships influencing Thoreau’s philosophy. Sensuous watercolors by Lincoln Perry bring to life the fall colors described so ecstatically by Thoreau, allowing longtime Thoreau fans and leaf-peepers alike to feel as though they are walking among the falling leaves alongside one of our best observers of the natural world.
A Child of Books
by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston
Candlewick Press $22.00
Fiction (Ages 6-8)
New York Times best-selling author-illustrator Oliver Jeffers and fine artist Sam Winston deliver a lyrical picture book inspiring readers of all ages to create, to question, to explore, and to imagine.
A little girl sails her raft across a sea of words, arriving at the house of a small boy and calling him away on an adventure. Through forests of fairy tales and across mountains of make-believe, the two travel together on a fantastical journey that unlocks the boy’s imagination. Now a lifetime of magic and adventure lies ahead of him . . . but who will be next?
Combining elegant images by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston’s typographical landscapes shaped from excerpts of children’s classics and lullabies, A Child of Books is a stunning prose poem on the rewards of reading and sharing stories—an immersive and unforgettable reading experience that readers will want to pass on to others.
Magnus Chase & the Gods of Asgard #2: The Hammer of Thor
by Rick Riordan
Fiction / Adventure (Ages 9-13)
Thor's hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon--the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn't just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can't retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer's return is the gods' worst enemy, Loki--and the price he wants is very high.
The Singing Bones
by Shaun Tan
Fiction / Folklore (Ages 12+)
From the brilliant mind of Shaun Tan, Grimm's fairy tales as they've never been seen before!
With an introduction by Jack Zipes, noted fairy tale historian and Grimm expert, Shaun Tan's latest is like a brilliant museum exhibition that leads readers through the tales of the Brothers Grimm accompanied by sculptures of incredible power and originality. Each spread pairs a short excerpt from the tale with a Tan sculpture. Fuller descriptions of the tales are included in the back matter, along with suggestions of where to read complete re-tellings.
A must-buy for fans of Shaun Tan's work, and a beautiful gift for lovers of fairy tales and folklore.
Love, Despite the Ache
by Chris Pannell
Wolsak & Wynn $18.00
Canadian / Hamilton author
Love is complicated, and Chris Pannell has captured the sharp pain and deep affection of a son for his parents as they age and slip away from him. In lines that are clear, honest and specific, he unpacks the family histories that bind him to his past. From corgis to seafaring uncles to Christmas trees, he charts the path of his parents' descent, with the heartbreaking question of his mother ringing in our ears, asking him, and all of us, "Christopher, are you going to take me home?"
Along with love and loss, this is a book about our own aging. Our own, inevitable, death. Pannell writes of seeing close friends die unexpectedly, watching elderly couples as they travel together. He considers wheelchairs, walkers, lost memories and rests for a few moments in the contemplation of great art. Pannell details it all unsparingly, but with a great humanity. The ocean is crossed and recrossed, the LPs are sorted and disposed of, and in the end the stars hold his fear.
101 Stumbles in the March of History
by Bill Fawcett
An all-new compendium of 101 historic screw-ups from the author of 100 Mistakes that Changed History.
When asked to name a successor, Alexander the Great declared that his empire should go “to the strongest”. . . but would rival factions have descended into war if he’d been a little more specific?
What if the Vienna Academy of Art took a chance on a hopeful young student named Adolf Hitler?
If Pope Clement VII granted King Henry VIII an annulment, England would likely still be Catholic today—and so would America.
Bill Fawcett, author of 100 Mistakes That Changed History, offers a compendium of 101 all-new mammoth mistakes—from the ill-fated rule of Emperor Darius III to the equally ill-fated search for WMDs in Iraq—that will, unfortunately, never be forgotten by history.