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Publishers’ Picks: Non-Fiction

Read Alberta’s second holiday gift list features Alberta publishers’ top non-fiction picks! These titles have a little something for everyone on your holiday shopping list:

  • A history of filmmaking in Alberta for your nephew in film school;
  • A collection of essays from a lifelong reader for your mother who is always curled up on the couch with a book;
  • A newly updated trail guide for your brother who spends his weekend backpacking;
  • and more!

Remember: Shop early and shop local this holiday season! You can find a list of Alberta independent bookstores here.


By Aaron W. Hughes

Revisiting ten notable days from recent history, Aaron W. Hughes invites readers to think about the tensions, events, and personalities that make Canada distinct. These indelible dates interweave to offer an account of the political, social, cultural, and demographic forces that have shaped the modern nation. Ten Days That Shaped Modern Canada is the perfect guide for all those curious about the forces that shape our country and about how we understand our place in the world.

10 Days That Shaped Modern Canada

Aaron Hughes (CA)

Published: Aug 15, 2022 by University of Alberta Press
ISBN: 9781772126327


By Lee Mclean

Love & Rules is a new collection of essays from Canada’s beloved horsewoman, Lee McLean. The essays cover the spectrum of love, fear, winning, loss, ageing, growth, illness and recovery — all through the medium of horsemanship. 

Love & Rules: Life Lessons Learned with Horses

Lee McLean (CA)

Published: Nov 18, 2022 by Red Barn Books Inc.
ISBN: 9781989915080


By Jason Fagone

Jerry and Marge Go Live is a 72-page hardcover edition of Jason Fagone’s longform article about the Selbes— a couple from upstate Michigan that spotted a flaw in a lottery game that all but guaranteed them a payout. With striking salmon pink paper, foil-stamped iconography, and a letterpress-printed title band, this striking book is a part of Hingston & Olsen’s Permanent Record longform series.

The Jerry and Marge Go Large Box Set

Jerry and Marge Go Large

Jason Fagon (CA)

Published: Hingston & Olsen Publishing
ISBN: 9780995298897


By Myrna Kostash

In Ghosts in a Photograph, award-winning non-fiction writer Myrna Kostash delves into the lives of her grandparents, all of whom moved from Galicia, now present-day Ukraine, to Alberta at the turn of the twentieth century. Discovering a packet of family mementos, Kostash begins questioning what she knows about her extended families’ pasts and whose narrative is allowed to prevail in Canada.

Ghosts in a Photograph: A Chronical

Myrna Kostash (CA)

Published: Oct 01, 2022 by NeWest Press
ISBN: 9781774390573


By Antoine Mountain

Child of Morning Star: Embers of an Ancient Dawn is a poetic collection of stories that draws on Antoine Mountain’s travels and knowledge as a Dene artist and his experience being forcibly taken from his home and placed in a residential school. As a lifelong student of history, Mountain weaves stories about people and art and the moments when our world manages to pause just briefly enough that we can see the roots of our communal humanity. Each part of this book corresponds to the four directions of the Medicine Wheel and offers insight into history, social conditions, community, and the spiritual.

Child of Morning Star: Embers of an Ancient Dawn

Antoine Mountain (CA)

Published: Nov 01, 2022 by Durvile Publications
ISBN: 9781990735103


By Geoff White

An officer of Global Affairs Canada from 1990–2018, Geoff White is a career expert in Canadian foreign policy. In Working for Canada he shares his expertise, illuminating the often invisible work of creating and enacting international policy. Writing with clarity, wit, and common sense, White demystifies Canadian diplomacy and provides a clear view of how it actually works—and when it doesn’t. This fascinating memoir traces a career spent in the service of Canada and Canadians while providing an unparalleled insider view into international trade and diplomacy

Working for Canada: A Pilgrimage in Foreign Affairs from the New World Order to the Rise of Populism

Geoff White (CA)

Published: Sep 30, 2022 by University of Calgary Press
ISBN: 9781773851938


By Susan Olding

Ever since childhood, Susan Olding has been a big reader, never without a book on the go. Not surprising, then, that she turns to the library to read her own life. From the dissolution of her marriage to the forging of a tentative relationship with her new partner’s daughter, from discovering Toronto as a young undergrad to, years later, watching her mother slowly go blind. Through every experience, Olding crafts exquisite, searingly honest essays about what it means to be human, to be a woman— and to be a reader.

Big Reader: Essays

Susan Olding (CA)

Published: May 01, 2021 by Freehand Books
ISBN: 9781988298818

Shop Local and Shop Early!


By Michael D. Clemens

The stunning portrayals of the Canadian landscape in the documentaries produced by the National Film Board of Canada not only influenced cinematic language, but shaped our perception of the environment. In Screening Nature and Nation, author Michael Clemens explores how films produced by the National Film Board of Canada broadened the ecological imagination of Canadians over time and ultimately inspired an environmental movement.  Perfect for the film buffs and nature lovers in your life!

Screening Nature and Nation: The Environmental Documentaries of the National Film Board, 1939-1974

Michael D. Clemens (CA)

Published: Apr 01, 2022 by Athabasca University Press
ISBN: 9781771993357


By Brian Patton and Bart Robinson

Now in full colour and with 34 new colour topo maps, the 10th edition of the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide by Brian Patton and Bart Robinson is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts! This edition covers more than 3,400 km of hiking trails in Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay and Waterton Lakes National Parks, plus the provincial parks of Mt. Assiniboine, Mt. Robson, Akamina-Kishinena, Peter Lougheed, and Elk Lakes.

Canadian Rockies Trail Guide

Brian Patton (CA)

Published: May 15, 2022 by Summerthought Publishing
ISBN: 9781926983530


By Mikka Jacobsen

In this darkly funny book about love in the digital age, Mikka Jacobsen challenges the notion that a single woman in her thirties writing about love is simply desperate. Instead, in an unflinching collage of coming-of-age narratives, she both elevates singledom and upholds the value of finding profound love. A work of feminist thinking, these interlinked essays blend memoir with cultural and literary criticism, exploring first loves and teenage drug-slingers, sports culture and blowjobs, catfishing and the problematic advice of self-help gurus.

Modern Fables

Mikka Jacobsen (CA)

Published: Sep 01, 2022 by Freehand Books
ISBN: 9781990601217


By Mary Graham

A Stunning Backdrop is the unconventional, untold story of film in Alberta from 1917-1960. Author Mary Graham draws on twelve years of exhaustive research to reveal a film history like no other, and to reveal the deep importance of Alberta to Hollywood. Filled with rollicking, behind-the-scenes stories from the silent pictures to the atomic westerns, this is a fascinating book that will appeal to everyone interested in the first century of moviemaking.

A Stunning Backdrop: Alberta in the Movies, 1917-1960

Mary Graham (CA)

Published: Oct 31, 2022 by University of Calgary Press
ISBN: 9781773853932


 By Brian Kennedy

Many Canadians grew up scoring a thousand glorious NHL goals in our minds. We played endlessly on our streets and corner rinks. We raised the Stanley Cup over and over again in our imaginations. And what happened to those childhood heroics? We packed them in a box with our hockey cards and forgot them. Growing Up Hockey uses the heartwarming and comical exploits of a house-league third-liner to prompt readers to relive their memories of hockey glory. It shows that for those who love it, the game is never far away.

Growing Up Hockey: The Life and Times of Everyone Who Ever Loved the Game

Brian Kennedy

Published: Aug 07, 2007 by Folklore Publishing
ISBN: 9781894864657


By Carrie Armstrong

The recipes and traditions found in this book reflect the culture and the knowledge of the Medicine Wheel, featuring 26 edible and medicinal plants that you can gather in nature as Carrie and her grandmother did. From stress-busting teas and bath bombs to skin-smoothing lotions and creams, get vibrant skin and a healthy glow with Carrie’s creations based on her grandmother’s traditional teachings.

Mother Earth Plants for Health & Beauty: Indigenous Plants, Traditions, and Recipes

Carrie Armstrong (CA)

Published: Dec 01, 2020 by Eschia Books
ISBN: 9781926696645


By Red Grossinger

Nahganne: Tales of the Northern Sasquatch is about giant bipedal, forest dwelling, hirsute hominoid entities. For as long as humans have been around the North, the activities of these giants have been observed in many places, but only a few people have taken the time to share their stories of coming in contact with these forest giants.  Nahganne shares activities occurring in the North, such as sightings, strange vocals, discovery of large human-liked footprints, strange animal reaction, and weird tree events.

Nahganne: Tales of the Northern Sasquatch

Red Grossinger (CA)

Published: Oct 01, 2022 by Durvile Publications
ISBN: 9781988824598