Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Five GGreat non-Fiction Titles- 2011 GG shortlist

The Governor General's Literary Awards short lists have been released. In particular, I always look forward to checking out the non-fiction short list.

Here are this year's non-fiction nominees:

Nation Maker- Sir John A. MacDonald: his life, our times, volume two -1867 - 1891
by Richard Gwyn

This biography would make for great TV. Veteran Toronto political writer Richard Gwyn knows how to tell a good story and here he brings his two-volume life of Canada's best loved political figure to a satisfactory conclusion. - Winnipeg Free Press seamless and delightful a read as the first (volume), satisfyingly replete with fascinating and lively anecdotes about Macdonald's life, written with a nice understated dry humour, and always careful to maintain the reader's interest by striking a balance between Macdonald's political and private lives. - Calgary Herald

The Damned: Canadians at the Battle of Hong Kong and the POW experience:1941-1945
by Nathan M. Greenfield

Nathan Greenfield's masterful history of these events joins his accounts of the Second Battle of Ypres and the submarine war in the St. Lawrence in the Second World War as another important addition to Canadian military history. ... leads us deftly through the days of confused fighting in the mountainous terrain of Hong Kong Island. His account is well illustrated with an excellent set of maps. - Winnipeg free Press

Empire of the Beetle: how human folly and a tiny bug are killing North America's great forests
by Andrew Nikiforuk

This fascinating and thought-provoking book about an ancient insect pest exposes the frailty of seemingly stable man-managed habitats and presages the climate-induced ordeals to come.- National Post

A terrific book on a terrifying subject... a chilling, fascinating, and important contribution to our understanding of a rapidly changing world.— John Vaillant, author

Mordecai: the life and times
by Charles Foran

Yes, this is it, the definitive biography of Mordecai Richler, one of the greatest role-model writers this country has produced. It reads more like a literary work than a scholarly one, as if flowing naturally from an immersion so deep that no note-taking was required. Yet the book is so detailed, so exhaustive, so astute and authoritative, that one can’t imagine there is anything more to add. - Ken McGoogan. National Post

The Measure of a Man: the story of a father, a son, and a suit
by J.J. Lee

The book is so lovely to read; at times incredibly witty and wry, and at other times endearing and touching. It also explores themes I wasn’t expecting to find in a book about a suit or a book about mens’ clothing. - Tenth to the Fraser

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