Category: Unusual histories

The Wrong Enemy

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | August 17, 2019 | 352 pages
A veteran journalist for the New York Times describes the toll taken on the U.S., Afghanistan and Pakistan since September 11 through ordinary citizens' accounts of fighting and first-hand descriptions from Taliban warlords, intelligence thugs, American generals and Afghani politicians. 50,000... More Info


Harper | January 7, 2014 | 448 pages
After stumbling upon his late aunt's personal belongings, the author pieces together the story of a woman living the precarious existence of a British citizen in a country occupied by the enemy during the Second World War.  More Info


Parallax Press | May 13, 2014 | 272 pages
To be alienated from animals is to live a life that is not quite whole, contends nature writer Tai Moses in Zooburbia. Urban and suburban residents share our environments with many types of wildlife: squirrels, birds, spiders, and increasingly lizards, deer, and coyote. Many of us crave more... More Info

The French Intifada

February 14, 2014 | 386 pages
Beyond the affluent centre of Paris and other French cities, in the deprived banlieues, a war is going on. This is the French Intifada, a guerrilla war between the French state and the former subjects of its Empire, for whom the mantra of ‘liberty, equality and fraternity’ conceals a bitter... More Info

All the President's Men

June 3, 2014 | 352 pages
The full account of the Watergate scandal from the two Washington Post reporters who broke the story. This is “the work that brought down a presidency…perhaps the most influential piece of journalism in history” (Time, All-Time 100 Best Nonfiction Books). This is the book that changed... More Info

Slanting I, Imagining We

May 1, 2014 | 255 pages
The 1980s and 1990s are a historically crucial period in the development of Asian Canadian literature. Slanting I, Imagining We: Asian Canadian Literature Production in the 1980s and 1990s contextualizes and reanimates the urgency of that period, illustrates its historical specificities, and shows... More Info

Fractured Times

August 17, 2019 | 336 pages
Eric Hobsbawm, who passed away in 2012, was one of the most brilliant and original historians of our age. Through his work, he observed the great twentieth-century confrontation between bourgeois fin de siècle culture and myriad new movements and ideologies, from communism and extreme nationalism... More Info

Curious Behavior

Belknap Press | May 1, 2014 | 288 pages
Robert Provine boldly goes where other scientists seldom tread-in search of hiccups, coughs, yawns, sneezes, and other lowly, undignified human behaviors. Upon investigation, these instinctive acts bear the imprint of our evolutionary origins and can be uniquely valuable tools for understanding how... More Info

American Afterlife

University of Georgia Press | August 17, 2019 | 216 pages
An exploration of American mourning customs examines such topics as the rise of the modern cemetery, the green funeral movement, and obituary writing, and draws on personal stories to provide insight into America's relationship with death today.  More Info

Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary

Stewart Tabori & Chang | May 20, 2014 | 288 pages
Stitch dictionaries are to knitters what Webster’s is to a writer. Within the pages of these inspiring reference books are the endless variations of knit and purl stitches that produce the fabrics of all knitting. But in the Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary, designer Wendy Bernard does... More Info

Who Invented the Bicycle Kick?

William Morrow Paperbacks | May 20, 2014 | 304 pages
Published in time for the 2014 World Cup, the ultimate collection of soccer’s greatest lore and legends, illustrated with 100 black-and-white photos, by two of the world’s most knowledgeable soccer journalists. Who Invented the Bicycle Kick? is a rollicking ride through soccer history that will... More Info

The Most Dangerous Animal of All

Harper | May 13, 2014 | 368 pages
In this gripping narrative, an award-winning author and journalist tells the story of a 39-year-old adoptee who discovered that his birth father is one of the most infamous and still-wanted serial killers in American history, forcing him to reconsider everything he thought he knew about himself and... More Info

Give War and Peace a Chance

May 20, 2014 | 288 pages
From a popular Tolstoy scholar: an entertaining, thought-provoking, and accessible argument for why War and Peace is more relevant to readers now than ever. Considered by many critics the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is also one of the most feared. And at 1,500 pages, it’s no wonder... More Info

Buildings Must Die

Mit Press | August 17, 2019 | 304 pages
Buildings, although inanimate, are often assumed to have "life." And thearchitect, through the act of design, is assumed to be their conceiver and creator. But what of the"death" of buildings? What of the decay, deterioration, and destruction to which they areinevitably subject? And what might such... More Info

The Russian Revolution

Oneworld Publications Limited | January 1, 2014 | 218 pages
1917: the year a series of rebellions toppled three centuries of autocratic rule and placed a group of political radicals in charge of a world power. Here, suddenly, was the first modern socialist state, “a kingdom more bright that any heaven had to offer”. But the dream was short-lived,... More Info

Happiness Works! Get Yours Here!

May 1, 2012 | 174 pages
Whiteley offers insights into precisely what happiness truly is and debunks the myth that happiness is different things for different people. He discusses four misleading ideas of happiness that are continuously being pitched in the marketplace.  More Info

The Night Shift

August 17, 2019 | 263 pages
In The Night Shift, Dr. Brian Goldman shares his experiences in the witching hours at Mount Sinai Hospital in downtown Toronto. We meet the kinds of patients who walk into an E.R. after midnight: late-night revellers injured on their way home after last call, teens assaulted in the streets by other... More Info

Revolutionary Iran

March 27, 2014 | 528 pages
The definitive history of the Iran-Iraq war, and revolutionary Iran, essential for understanding the country todayFor over 30 years the Islamic Republic has resisted widespread condemnation, sanctions, and sustained attacks by Iraq in an eight-year war. Many policy-makers today share a weary wish... More Info

Leftover Women

May 1, 2014 | 192 pages
A century ago, Chinese feminists fighting for the emancipation of women helped spark the Republican Revolution, which overthrew the Qing empire. After China's Communist revolution of 1949, Chairman Mao famously proclaimed that "women hold up half the sky." In the early years of the People's... More Info

The Road Is How

April 22, 2014 | 272 pages
A naturalistâe(tm)s three-day prairie search for heart, spirit and peace of mind Prairie naturalist Trevor Herriot decides âeoethe road is how.âe Recovering from a misstep that could have been his last, he decides to go for a three-day walk to sort through questions that rushed in upon the... More Info

The Best Punctuation Book, Period

August 17, 2019 | 256 pages
This all-in-one reference is a quick and easy way for book, magazine, online, academic, and business writers to look up sticky punctuation questions for all styles including AP (Associated Press), MLA (Modern Language Association), APA (American Psychological Association), and Chicago Manual of... More Info

The Riddle of the Labyrinth

Ecco | April 15, 2014 | 384 pages
An award-winning journalist presents a gripping, intellectual detective story set in the 1900s that follows the three men who were driven to unlock one of the great secrets of human history--the decipherment of an unknown script from the Aegean Bronze Age. 35,000 first printing.  More Info

Gospel of Freedom

Bloomsbury Press | April 8, 2014 | 240 pages
Published to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights leader's famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail," an account of the story behind its creation and the related protest march on Washington offers insight into its timeless message and crucial position in the history of human rights.... More Info

On Looking

Scribner Book Company | April 15, 2014 | 320 pages
From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Inside of a Dog, this “elegant and entertaining” (The Boston Globe) explanation of how humans perceive their environments “does more than open our eyes...opens our hearts and minds, too, gently awakening us to a world—in fact, many... More Info

A Story Larger Than My Own

John Donald | February 27, 2014 | 192 pages
As MFA programs and online venues for publication proliferate, so do the ranks of would-be writers, many of them pursuing writing later in life or as a secondary career. But even those who make a name for themselves early soon discover the difficulty of sustaining that success, of making... More Info

How to Read Literature

April 1, 2014 | 232 pages
What makes a work of literature good or bad? How freely can the reader interpret it? Could a nursery rhyme be full of concealed loathing, resentment and aggression? In this accessible, delightfully entertaining book, Terry Eagleton addresses these intriguing questions and a host of others.  More Info

Bicycle Design

MIT Press | March 28, 2014 | 584 pages
An authoritative and comprehensive account of the bicycle's two-hundred-year evolution.  More Info

Forces of Habit

Harvard University Press | October 1, 2002 | 288 pages
Offering a social and biological account of why psychoactive goods proved so seductive, David Courtwright tracks the intersecting paths by which popular drugs entered the stream of global commerce. He shows how the efforts of merchants and colonial planters expanded world supply, drove down prices,... More Info

On Rumors

March 9, 2014 | 128 pages
Many of us are being misled. Claiming to know dark secrets about public officials, hidden causes of the current economic situation, and nefarious plans and plots, those who spread rumors know precisely what they are doing. And in the era of social media and the Internet, they know a lot about how... More Info

Sal Si Puedes (Escape If You Can)

February 1, 2014 | 363 pages
In the summer of 1968 Peter Matthiessen met Cesar Chavez for the first time. They were the same age: forty-one. Matthiessen lived in New York City, while Chavez lived in the Central Valley farm town of Delano, where the grape strike was unfolding. This book is Matthiessen’s panoramic yet finely... More Info

The Drunken Monkey

August 17, 2019 | 187 pages
Alcoholism, as opposed to the safe consumption of alcohol, remains a major public health issue. In this accessible book, Robert Dudley presents an intriguing evolutionary interpretation to explain the persistence of alcohol-related problems. Providing a deep-time, interdisciplinary perspective on... More Info

Weed Land

August 17, 2019 | 264 pages
Early in the morning of September 5, 2002, camouflaged and heavily armed Drug Enforcement Administration agents descended on a terraced marijuana garden – a medicinal and spiritual refuge for the sick and dying. The DEA raid on the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana, a sanctuary for... More Info

The Penguin History of the World

January 30, 2014 | 1264 pages
The Penguin History of the World tells the entire story of human endeavour in all its grandeur and folly, drama and pain in a single book; beautifully written, authoritative and thrilling. Now this landmark bestseller has been completely overhauled - not just bringing it up to date, but revising it... More Info


Newmarket for It Books | March 25, 2014 | 272 pages
No summary available.


Ecco | March 25, 2014 | 656 pages
Hailed as "a monumental history . . . more exciting than any novel" (NRC Handelsblad),David van Reybrouck’s rich and gripping epic, in the tradition of Robert Hughes' The Fatal Shore, tells the extraordinary story of one of the world's most devastated countries: the Democratic Republic of Congo.... More Info

Chairs Are Where the People Go, The: How to Live, Work, and Play in the City

Farrar, Straus and Giroux | July 5, 2011 | 192 pages

How to Be Danish

Simon and Schuster | February 4, 2014 | 192 pages
Denmark is the country of the moment. Recently named the happiest nation in the world, it’s the home of The Killing and Noma, the world’s best (and most eccentric) restaurant. We wear their sweaters, watch their thrillers, and covet their cool modern design, but how much do we really know about... More Info

Lineages of Political Society

Columbia Univ Pr | September 30, 2011 | 278 pages
Partha Chatterjee, a pioneering theorist known for his disciplinary range, builds on his theory of "political society" and reinforces its salience to contemporary political debate. Dexterously incorporating the concerns of South Asian studies, postcolonialism, the social sciences, and the... More Info

For the Benefit of Those Who See

Little, Brown | January 14, 2014 | 304 pages
The celebrated author of Down the Nile travels far afield as part of her investigation into the world of the blind. In the tradition of Oliver Sacks's The Island of the Colorblind, Rosemary Mahoney tells the story of Braille Without Borders, the first school for the blind in Tibet, and of Sabriye... More Info

Through a Screen Darkly

Yale University Press | January 21, 2014 | 336 pages
Why it is a mistake to let commercial entertainment serve as America's de facto ambassador to the world  More Info

Farewell, Fred Voodoo

Simon & Schuster | December 17, 2013 | 352 pages
Compared by critics to Joan Didion and V.S. Naipaul, this brilliant writer’s account of a long, painful, ecstatic—and unreciprocated—affair with a country that has long fascinated the world received ecstatic reviews. Haiti emerged from the dust of the 2010 earthquake like a powerful spirit,... More Info

One Bird's Choice

October 3, 2011 | 288 pages
The author, accepting a part-time job near his childhood home, describes his experiences after he moves back home to live with his parents.  More Info

How Not to Be American

MBI Publishing Company | October 3, 2013 | 240 pages
'This new American uniform - the baseball cap, t-shirt, shorts and trainers (why not a scooter?) is not about looking good. It's about disappearing into a new, unofficial, global army of cultural babies. It says: I eat hamburgers and watch TV and chew gum all day, I want everyone to play my game,... More Info

The Holy Or the Broken

Simon and Schuster | November 19, 2013 | 288 pages
How did one obscure song become an international anthem for human triumph and tragedy, a song each successive generation seems to feel they have discovered and claimed as uniquely their own? Celebrated music journalist Alan Light follows the improbable journey of eoeHallelujahe straight to the... More Info

Love Is the Cure

Back Bay Books | November 26, 2013 | 256 pages
A deeply personal account of Elton John's life during the era of AIDS and an inspiring call to action. In the 1980s, Elton John saw friend after friend, loved one after loved one, perish needlessly from AIDS. He befriended Ryan White, a young Indiana boy ostracized because of his HIV infection.... More Info

Measure of the Year

TouchWood Editions | September 1, 2011 | 231 pages
Roderick L Haig-Brown welcomes us onto his lush farm for a year of insights and observations. In this eloquently written account, Haig-Brown, his wife Ann and their four children tour us through each season, and teach us the ways in which the Earth governs the events in our lives. Haig-Brown... More Info

The Lion Sleeps Tonight: And Other Stories of Africa

Grove Press | November 12, 2013 | 336 pages
Since its original publication twenty years ago Rian Malan's classic work of narrative nonfiction My Traitor's Heart has earned its author comparisons to masters of literary nonfiction like Michael Herr and Ryszard Kapuscinski. The Lion Sleeps Tonight is Malan's remarkable chronicle of South... More Info

Old Enough to Fight

James Lorimer & Company | September 18, 2013 | 464 pages
Between 15,000 and 20,000 underage youths, some as young as ten, signed up to fight in Canada's armed forces in the First World War. They served in the trenches alongside their elders, and fought in all the major battles: Ypres, the Somme, Passchendaele, Vimy Ridge, and the rest. Many were injured... More Info

On Rereading

Belknap Press | November 18, 2013 | 304 pages
After retiring from teaching literature, Patricia Meyer Spacks embarked on a year-long project of rereading dozens of novels: childhood favorites, young adult fiction, canonical works she didn't like, guilty pleasures. "On Rereading" records the surprising, fascinating results of her personal... More Info

To Free a Family: The Journey of Mary Walker

November 18, 2013 | 360 pages
"To Free a Family" tells the remarkable story of Mary Walker, who in August 1848 fled her owner for refuge in the North and spent the next seventeen years trying to recover her son and daughter. Her freedom, like that of thousands who escaped from bondage, came at a great price--remorse at parting... More Info