New and noteworthy non-fiction

Amy Kay
Hooked on Books 

Non-fiction readers are treated to the broadest category of literature – essentially anything that isn’t fiction, poetry or drama, lives in the non-fiction section. Range widely from contemplative memoir to detailed history to pulse-pounding true crime tales or step-by-step how to titles, our non-fiction section has something for everyone. Here are some new and noteworthy non-fiction titles to add to your ‘to be read’ list.

In Thicker than Water by Kerry Washington, Washington gives readers an intimate view into both her public and private worlds—as a mother, daughter, wife, artist, advocate, and trailblazer. Chronicling her upbringing and life’s journey thus far, she reveals how she faced a series of challenges and setbacks, effectively hid childhood traumas, met extraordinary mentors, managed to grow her career, and crossed the threshold into stardom and political advocacy, ultimately discovering her truest self and, with it, a deeper sense of belonging.

In Dominion: The Railway and the Rise of Canada by Stephen Bown, the author widens our view of the past to include adventures and hardships. With the demand for fur in sharp decline and economic disaster on the horizon for Hudson’s Bay Company, an idea emerged in political and business circles in Ottawa and Montreal to connect the disparate British colonies into a single entity. With over 3,000 kilometers of track, much of it driven through wildly inhospitable terrain, the CPR would be the longest railroad in the world and the most difficult to build. Its construction was the defining event of its era and a catalyst for powerful global forces. The times were marked by greed, hubris, blatant empire building, oppression, corruption and theft. They were good for some, hard for most, disastrous for others. The CPR enabled a new country, but it came at a terrible price.

David Grann’s 2017 book Killers of the Flower Moon was adapted for film and recently released in movie theatres. Set in the 1920s, it’s the story of the richest people per capita in the world – members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. And it was just the beginning, as more and more Osage were dying under mysterious circumstances. Many of those who dared to investigate the killings were also murdered. As the death toll rose, the newly created FBI took up the case, with an undercover team, including a Native American agent who infiltrated the region, and together with the Osage began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

No matter your goals, Atomic Habits by James Clear, offers a proven framework for improving—every day. Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results. The author draws on the most proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to create an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible. Along the way, readers are inspired and entertained by true stories from Olympic gold medalists, award-winning artists, business leaders, life-saving physicians, and star comedians who have used the science of small habits to master their craft and vault to the top of their field.

In The Good Life, Robert Waldinger asks: What makes a life fulfilling and meaningful? The simple but surprising answer is: relationships. The stronger our relationships, the more likely we are to live happy, satisfying, and overall healthier lives. In fact, the Harvard Study of Adult Development reveals that the strength of our connections with others can predict the health of both our bodies and our brains as we go through life. The invaluable insights in this book emerge from the revealing personal stories of hundreds of participants in the Harvard Study as they were followed year after year for their entire adult lives, and this wisdom is bolstered by research findings from this and many other studies.

You can find these titles at your local branch of the County of Lennox and Addington Libraries or online at

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