Non-fiction

The Flame

The Flame is a stunning collection of Leonard Cohen's last poems, selected and ordered by the author in the final months of his life. Featuring lyrics, prose pieces, and illustrations, the book also contains an extensive selection from Cohen's notebooks, which he kept in poetic form throughout his life, and offers an unprecedentedly intimate look inside the life and mind of a singular artist and thinker.

An enormously powerful final chapter in Cohen's storied literary career, The Flame showcases the full range of Leonard Cohen's lyricism, from the exquisitely transcendent to the darkly funny. By turns devastatingly sad and winningly strange, these are the works of a poet and lyricist who set out to explore our darkest questions and came back wanting, yearning for more.

Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age

Growing up in the tiny village of Smith, Alberta, Darrel J. McLeod was surrounded by his Cree family’s history. In shifting and unpredictable stories, his mother, Bertha, shared narratives of their culture, their family and the cruelty that she and her sisters endured in residential school. McLeod was comforted by her presence and that of his many siblings and cousins, the smells of moose stew and wild peppermint tea, and his deep love of the landscape. Bertha taught him to be fiercely proud of his heritage and to listen to the birds that would return to watch over and guide him at key junctures of his life.


However, in a spiral of events, Darrel’s mother turned wild and unstable, and their home life became chaotic. Sweet and innocent by nature, Darrel struggled to maintain his grades and pursue an interest in music while changing homes many times, witnessing violence, caring for his younger siblings and suffering abuse at the hands of his surrogate father. Meanwhile, his sibling’s gender transition provoked Darrel to deeply question his own sexual identity.


The fractured narrative of Mamaskatch mirrors Bertha’s attempts to reckon with the trauma and abuse she faced in her own life, and captures an intensely moving portrait of a family of strong personalities, deep ties and the shared history that both binds and haunts them.


Beautifully written, honest and thought-provoking, Mamaskatch—named for the Cree word used as a response to dreams shared—is ultimately an uplifting account of overcoming personal and societal obstacles. In spite of the traumas of Darrel’s childhood, deep and mysterious forces handed down by his mother helped him survive and thrive: her love and strength stayed with him to build the foundation of what would come to be a very fulfilling and adventurous life.

My Plastic Brain

In My Plastic Brain, Caroline Williams spends a year exploring "neuroplasticity"--the brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections--to find out whether she can make meaningful, lasting changes to the way her brain works.

A science journalist with access to cutting edge experts and facilities, she volunteers herself as a test subject, challenging researchers to make real changes to the function and performance of her brain. She seeks to improve on everyday weaknesses such as her limited attention span and tendency to worry too much. She then branches out into more mysterious areas such as creativity and the perception of time.

From Boston to Oxford, England, and Philadelphia to Freiburg, Germany, Williams travels to labs or virtually meets with scientists and tries their techniques of mindfulness meditation, magnetic brain stimulation, sustained focus exercises, stress response retraining, and more. She shares her intimate journey with readers to discover what neuroscience can really do for us.

All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward

In this vital and incisive work, bestselling and award-winning author Tanya Talaga explores the alarming rise of youth suicide in Indigenous communities in Canada and beyond. From Northern Ontario to Nunavut, Norway, Brazil, Australia, and the United States, the Indigenous experience in colonized nations is startlingly similar and deeply disturbing. It is an experience marked by the violent separation of Peoples from the land, the separation of families, and the separation of individuals from traditional ways of life - all of which has culminated in a spiritual separation that has had an enduring impact on generations of Indigenous children. As a result of this colonial legacy, too many communities today lack access to the basic determinants of health - income, employment, education, a safe environment, health services - leading to a mental health and youth suicide crisis on a global scale. But, Talaga reminds us, First Peoples also share a history of resistance, resilience, and civil rights activism, from the Occupation of Alcatraz led by the Indians of All Tribes, to the Northern Ontario Stirland Lake Quiet Riot, to the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, which united Indigenous Nations from across Turtle Island in solidarity.

Based on her Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy series, All Our Relations is a powerful call for action, justice, and a better, more equitable world for all Indigenous Peoples.

Through Two Doors at Once

Many of science's greatest minds have grappled with the simple yet elusive "double-slit" experiment. Thomas Young devised it in the early 1800s to show that light behaves like a wave, and in doing so opposed Isaac Newton. Nearly a century later, Albert Einstein showed that light comes in quanta, or particles, and the experiment became key to a fierce debate between Einstein and Niels Bohr over the nature of reality. Richard Feynman held that the double slit embodies the central mystery of the quantum world. Decade after decade, hypothesis after hypothesis, scientists have returned to this ingenious experiment to help them answer deeper and deeper questions about the fabric of the universe.

How can a single particle behave both like a particle and a wave? Does a particle exist before we look at it, or does the very act of looking create reality? Are there hidden aspects to reality missing from the orthodox view of quantum physics? Is there a place where the quantum world ends and the familiar classical world of our daily lives begins, and if so, can we find it? And if there's no such place, then does the universe split into two each time a particle goes through the double slit?

With his extraordinarily gifted eloquence, Anil Ananthaswamy travels around the world and through history, down to the smallest scales of physical reality we have yet fathomed. Through Two Doors at Once is the most fantastic voyage you can take.