Great dads deserve great books. Celebrate Father’s Day with Biblioasis!
In conversations with drivers ranging from veterans of foreign wars to Indigenous women protecting one another, Di Cintio explores the borderland of the North American taxi.
“The taxi,” writes Marcello Di Cintio, “is a border.” Occupying the space between public and private, a cab brings together people who might otherwise never have met—yet most of us sit in the back and stare at our phones. Nowhere else do people occupy such intimate quarters and share so little. In a series of interviews with drivers, their backgrounds ranging from the Iraqi National Guard, to the Westboro Baptist Church, to an arranged marriage that left one woman stranded in a foreign country with nothing but a suitcase, Driven seeks out those missed conversations, revealing the unknown stories that surround us.
Travelling across borders of all kinds, from battlefields and occupied lands to midnight fares and Tim Hortons parking lots, Di Cintio chronicles the many journeys each driver made merely for the privilege to turn on their rooflight. Yet these lives aren’t defined by tragedy or frustration but by ingenuity and generosity, hope and indomitable hard work. From night school and sixteen-hour shifts to schemes for athletic careers and the secret Shakespeare of Dylan’s lyrics, Di Cintio’s subjects share the passions and triumphs that drive them.
Like the people encountered in its pages, Driven is an unexpected delight, and that most wondrous of all things: a book that will change the way you see the world around you. A paean to the power of personality and perseverance, it’s a compassionate and joyful tribute to the men and women who take us where we want to go.
Across Latin America, from the plains of Mexico to the jungles of Paraguay, live a cloistered Germanic people. For nearly a century, they have kept their doors and their minds closed, separating their communities from a secular world they view as sinful.
The story of their search for religious and social independence began generations ago in Europe and led them, in the late 1800s, to Canada, where they enjoyed the freedoms they sought under the protection of a nascent government. Yet in the 1920s, when the country many still consider their motherland began to take shape as a nation and their separatism came under scrutiny, groups of Mennonites left for the promises of Latin America: unbroken land and new guarantees of freedom to create autonomous, ethnically pure colonies. There they live as if time stands still—an isolation with dark consequences.
In this memoir of an eight-month, 45,000 kilometre motorcycle journey across the Americas, Mennonite writer Cameron Dueck searches for common ground within his cultural diaspora. From skirmishes with secular neighbours over water rights in Mexico, to a mass-rape scandal in Bolivia, to the Green Hell of Paraguay and the wheat fields of Argentina, Dueck follows his ancestors south, finding reasons to both love and loathe his culture—and, in the process, finding himself.
Shortlisted for the 2017 International Man Booker Prize
Islanders are never afraid: if they were, they wouldn’t be able to live here. Born on the Norwegian island that bears her name, Ingrid Barrøy’s world is circumscribed by storm-scoured rocks and the moods of the sea by which her family lives and dies. But her father dreams of building a quay that will end their isolation, and her mother longs for the island of her youth, and the country faces its own sea change: the advent of a modern world, and all its attendant unpredictability and violence. Brilliantly translated into English by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw, The Unseen is a profoundly moving exploration of family, resilience, and fate.
The highly anticipated sequel to International Booker and Dublin Impac Award-shortlisted The Unseen
No-one can be alone on an island . . . But Ingrid is alone on Barrøy, the island that bears her name, and the war of her childhood has been replaced by a new, more terrible present: the Nazi occupation of Norway. When the bodies from a bombed vessel carrying Russian prisoners of war begin to wash up on the shore, Ingrid can’t know that one will not only be alive, but could be the answer to a lifetime of loneliness—nor can she imagine what suffering she will endure in hiding her lover from the German authorities, or the journey she will face, after being wrenched from her island as consequence for protecting him, to return home. Or especially that, surrounded by the horrors of battle, among refugees fleeing famine and scorched earth, she will receive a gift, the value of which is beyond measure.
The highly anticipated follow-up to Roy Jacobsen’s International Booker and Dublin Impac Award-shortlisted The Unseen, a New York Times New and Noteworthy book, White Shadow is a vividly observed exploration of conflict, love, and human endurance.
From sandlots to major league stands, two fans set out to recapture their love of the game.
For most of their lives together Dale Jacobs and Heidi LM Jacobs couldn’t imagine a spring without baseball. Their season tickets renewal package always seemed to arrive on the bleakest day of winter, offering reassurance that sunnier times were around the corner. Baseball was woven into the fabric of their lives, connecting them not only to each other but also to their families and histories. But by 2017 it was obvious something was amiss: the allure of another Sunday watching their Detroit Tigers had devolved to obligation. Not entirely sure what they were missing, they did have an idea on where it might be found: in their own backyard. Drawing a radius of one hundred miles around their home in Windsor, Ontario, Dale and Heidi set a goal of seeing fifty games at all levels of competition over the following summer. From bleachers behind high schools, to manicured university turf, to the steep concrete stands of major league parks, 100 Miles of Baseball tells the story of how two fans rediscovered their love of the game—and with it their relationships and the region they call home.
Taking seriously the idea that baseball is a study in failure—a very successful batter manages a base hit in just three of every ten attempts—Mark Kingwell argues that there is no better tutor of human failure’s enduring significance than this strange, crooked game of base, where geometry becomes poetry.
Weaving elements of memoir, philosophical reflection, sports writing, and humour, Fail Better is an intellectual love letter to baseball by one of North America’s most engaging philosophers. Kingwell illustrates complex concepts like theoretically infinite game-space, “time out of time,” and the rules of civility with accessible examples drawn from the game, its history, and his own halting efforts to hit ‘em where they ain’t. Beyond a “Beckett meets baseball” study in failure, Kingwell crafts a thoughtful appreciation of why sports matter, and how they change our vision of the world.
Never pretentious, always entertaining, Fail Better is set to be the homerun non-fiction title of the season.
“You have taken our civil rights—we want our human rights.”
On April 14, 1971, a handful of prisoners attacked the guards at Kingston Penitentiary and seized control, making headlines around the world. For four intense days, the prisoners held the guards hostage while their leaders negotiated with a citizens’ committee of journalists and lawyers, drawing attention to the dehumanizing realities of their incarceration, including overcrowding, harsh punishment and extreme isolation. But when another group of convicts turned their pent-up rage towards some of the weakest prisoners, tensions inside the old stone walls erupted, with tragic consequences. As heavily armed soldiers prepared to regain control of the prison through a full military assault, the inmates were finally forced to surrender.
Murder on the Inside tells the harrowing story of a prison in crisis against the backdrop of a pivotal moment in the history of human rights. Occurring just months before the uprising at Attica Prison, the Kingston riot has remained largely undocumented, and few have known the details—yet the tense drama chronicled here is more relevant today than ever. A gripping account of the standoff and the efforts for justice and reform it inspired, Murder on the Inside is essential reading for our times.
Includes 24 pages of photographs.
The unbelievable true story of Canada’s first known spree killer, told by a veteran of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
In June 1966, Matthew Charles Lamb took his uncle’s shotgun and wandered down Ford Blvd in Windsor, Ontario. At the end of the bloody night, two teenagers lay dead, with multiple others injured after an unprovoked shooting spree. In his investigation into Lamb’s story, Will Toffan pieces together the troubled childhood and history of violence that culminated in the young man’s dubious distinction as Canada’s first known spree killer—at which point the story becomes, the author writes “too strange for fiction.” Travelling from the border city streets, to the courtroom, to the Oak Ridge rehabilitation centre, and finally Rhodesia, Watching the Devil Dance is both a thrilling narrative about a shocking true crime and its bizarre aftermath and an insightful analysis of the 1960s criminal justice system.