Looking for something a little more factual in your new reading? Here are some non-fiction releases for November to keep an eye out for. All quotes from publishers unless otherwise indicated.
Buddy: how a rooster made me a family man (M) by Brian McGrory (November 13th). I kind of feel like this is one of those books where the title will either capture your attention or not, but in case you need a bit more description: Brian McGrory fell in love with a veterinarian, one complete with a family of children and animals. This is the story of how McGrory became a part of that large family. “In the tradition of bestsellers like Marley and Me, Dewey, and The Tender Bar comes a heartwarming and wise tale of finding love in life’s second chapter – and how it means all the more when you have to fight for it.”
The Inconvenient Indian: a curious account of native people in North America (M) by Thomas King (November 13th). Writer and activist King became a household name in the late 1990s, portraying himself in the popular CBC radio comedy The Dead Dog Cafe Radio Hour (a series which itself grew out of King’s award winning 1993 novel Green Grass, Running Water). With his new book, King once again brings First Nations issues into the spotlight.
“The Inconvenient Indian is at once a “history” and the complete subversion of a history—in short, a critical and personal meditation that the remarkable Thomas King has conducted over the past 50 years about what it means to be “Indian” in North America. Rich with dark and light, pain and magic, this book distills the insights gleaned from that meditation, weaving the curiously circular tale of the relationship between non-Natives and Natives in the centuries since the two first encountered each other. In the process, King refashions old stories about historical events and figures, takes a sideways look at film and pop culture, relates his own complex experiences with activism, and articulates a deep and revolutionary understanding of the cumulative effects of ever-shifting laws and treaties on Native peoples and lands.”
The Missing Ink: the lost art of handwriting (M) by Philip Hensher (November 16th). A couple of years ago, I sat down and tried to write a proper letter and realized that I’ve all but lost my skill at cursive writing. In my day-to-day communication, I either type, or I print, (and I’m very quick at both) but I almost never write and when I do, it takes effort. Here’s a book for me and for anyone whose wonder about the state of writing in our modern world.
“The Missing Ink tells the story of this endangered art. Hensher introduces us to the nineteenth-century handwriting evangelists who traveled across America to convert the masses to the moral worth of copperplate script; he examines the role handwriting plays in the novels of Charles Dickens; he investigates the claims made by the practitioners of graphology that penmanship can reveal personality.But this is also a celebration of the physical act of writing . . . with the teaching of handwriting now required in only five states and many expert typists barely able to hold a pen, the future of handwriting is in jeopardy. Or is it? Hugely entertaining, witty, and thought-provoking, The Missing Ink will inspire readers to pick up a pen and write.”
Don’t Tell the Newfoundlanders: the true story of Newfoundland’s confederation with Canada (M) by Greg Malone (November 20th): Malone’s last book, his memoir Better Watch Out gave an account of his life and career as a comedian, his new one turns to a more serious topic—Canadian history. “The true story, drawn from official documents and hours of personal interviews, of how Newfoundland and Labrador joined Confederation and became Canada’s tenth province in 1949. A rich cast of characters—hailing from Britain, America, Canada and Newfoundland—battle it out for the prize of the resource-rich, financially solvent, militarily strategic island. The twists and turns are as dramatic as any spy novel and extremely surprising…”
Dwarf: a memoir (M) by Tiffanie Didonato (November 27th). “A memoir of grit and transformation for anyone who has been told something was impossible and then went on to do it anyway. Tiffanie DiDonato was born with dwarfism. Her limbs were so short that she was not able to reach her own ears. She was also born with a serious case of optimism. She decided to undergo a series of painful surgeries that gave her an unprecedented 14 inches of height—and the independence she never thought she’d have.”