Books and Beyond

The can't-miss books, podcasts, films, and multimedia with a Queen's connection.

Spring 2022

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    Called! A Longshot’s Story

    Rev. Dr. Gordon Postill, Arts’71

    How does a cynical, addicted university dropout find faith, purpose, and a fulfilling career as a United Church of Canada minister? Rev. Dr. Gordon Postill, Arts’71, tells the story of his unlikely transformation in Called! A Longshot’s Story, his deeply personal memoir, self-published through FriesenPress in late 2021. While his story is candid and revealing, he says he is sharing it “to convey some hope and compassion to those readers who are desperately longing for a second chance.”

  • Book cover – Summits of Self written large on the cover with an image of people climbing a hill inset in the letters of 'self'

    Summits of Self: The Seven Peaks of Personal Growth

    Alan Mallory, Sc’07

    A year after graduating from Queen’s Engineering, Alan Mallory, Sc’07, and three of his family members made history when they became the first family to scale Mount Everest together. Mallory, who now works as a speaker and performance coach, uses this and other mountain-climbing adventures as a metaphor for self-discovery in Summits of Self: The Seven Peaks of Personal Growth. The book weaves stories of Mallory’s exploits with practical strategies for understanding motivation, improving mental health, finding balance, and living with purpose.

  • Book cover – woman in a tank top and red shorts is running in a field of yellow flower

    Running Sideways: The Olympic Champion who Made Track and Field History

    Jeff Todd, Artsci’04

    Bahamian track star Pauline Davis is probably best known as the winner of the Caribbean’s first individual Olympic gold medal in sprinting – a medal she received in 2009, nine years after running the race. Writing under the pseudonym T.R. Todd, Jeff Todd, Artsci’04, tells the story of Davis’s rise from poverty to Olympic glory, and the doping scandal that resulted in her unlikely gold medal. Running Sideways: The Olympic Champion who Made Track and Field History was released by Rowman & Littlefield in February.

  • Book cover – torn black and white photo of two little girls, only the face of one girl is now visible, sitting on top of sand

    Horses in the Sand

    Lorrie Potvin, Ed’03

    After publishing her memoir in 2009, Lorrie Potvin, Ed’03, realized her story wasn’t quite finished. Horses in the Sand, her second memoir, is coming this spring from Inanna Publications. With this short story collection, Potvin details the milestone events in her life and the ways they impacted her evolving identity: coming out to her family, meeting her birth father and his family, and discovering her Métis ancestry and the community and sense of belonging that came with it.

Winter 2021

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    Bitcoin and the Future of Fundraising

    Anne Connelly (Artsci’07)

    Cryptocurrency has had its share of publicity over the last few years, but its impact on the non-profit sector is less widely known. Is Bitcoin a viable fundraising tool? Not only does Anne Connelly (Artsci’07) think it is, she’s also convinced it’s the technology that will take fundraising into the future. In Bitcoin and the Future of Fundraising, co-authored with Jason Shim, she introduces fundraisers to the world of cryptocurrency and outlines an easy-to-implement plan to set up a Bitcoin donation program and get donors excited about using it.

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    The Limestone City: Stone Buildings in the Kingston Region 1790-1930

    Jennifer McKendry (MA’84, PhD, Toronto)

    Architectural historian Jennifer McKendry (MA’84, PhD, Toronto) has carved out a reputation as an expert on Kingston’s historic architecture. So it was only a matter of time before she turned her attention to limestone, the building material that inspired Kingston’s nickname. In her sixth book, Kingston, The Limestone City: Stone Buildings in the Kingston Region 1790-1930, she tackles limestone quarrying and construction methods, stone landscaping, fences, wall construction, and carving.  Kingston, The Limestone City is available exclusively in the Limestone City at Novel Idea bookstore.

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    Into the Dragon’s Jaws: A Canadian Combat Surgeon

    Dr. Garry Willard (MED’63) and Dr. Kenneth Bradley (MED’63)

    A few years after earning their medical degrees at Queen’s, Dr. Garry Willard (MED’63) and Dr. Kenneth Bradley (MED’63) became the first two Canadian medical officers deployed in the Vietnam War, performing combat-casualty surgeries near the Demilitarized Zone in the wake of the Tet Offensive. Dr. Willard details their adventures in Into the Dragon’s Jaws: A Canadian Combat Surgeon in the Vietnam War, a candid, dramatic, and often heartwarming look at the human consequences of war, published by Tellwell Talent.  A portion of the proceeds will go toward post-traumatic stress disorder research and treatment.

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    The Ethics of Exile: A Political Theory of Diaspora

    Ashwini Vasanthakumar

    Ashwini Vasanthakumar, a Queen’s Law associate professor, explores the complex, but often-vital relationships between exiles and their homelands in The Ethics of Exile: A Political Theory of Diaspora, from Oxford University Press. Through a series of case studies, she illustrates how exiles often play important moral and political roles in countering injustices in the countries they’ve left, and asks her readers to think about the responsibilities we have toward those who have been forced to leave their homes.

Fall 2021

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    Lessons from Thor

    Kimberley DeFiori, MBA'20

    As the world evolves toward a deeper understanding of mental illness and the importance of seeking treatment, Kimberly DeFiori (MBA’20) shares an unusual perspective on her own recovery. Lessons from Thor, her debut book from Tactical 16 Publishing, tells the story of DeFiori’s struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder while serving in the U.S. Army and the life-changing lessons she’s learned from her service dog, Thor. 

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    Chasing the Blues: A Traveler’s Guide to America’s Music

    Craig Jones, PhD'97

    Musician Craig Jones (PhD’97) traces the cultural and geographic journey of perhaps the single most influential modern music genre in Chasing the Blues: A Traveler’s Guide to America’s Music, which he co-authored with Kingston-based travel writer Josephine Matyas. Together they chart the history of the blues, from its birth in the pre-Emancipation Mississippi Delta to its modern-day influence on nearly every form of popular music.

  • Ava Jean's Wings cover

    Ava Jean's Wings

    Catherine Taylor, MSc'16

    Catherine Taylor (MSc’16) turned personal tragedy into a heartwarming lesson for young children. She wrote Ava Jean’s Wings, a rhyming story of a young angel who refuses to hide her wings, in 2019 while pregnant with her first child. Although her pregnancy ended in miscarriage, the story ultimately became a children’s book, illustrated by Champa Gunawardana, which Kickstarter recognized with the Project We Love label for its “compelling message and creativity.” The book, which was released in August, encourages children to recognize their unique qualities, use their talents, and be proud of who they are.

  • Free Radical by Tyler Black book cover

    Free Radical

    Lawrence Finlay, Artsc'92

    A backpacking trip through Soviet-era Estonia and a decades-long career in the tech industry inspired Free Radical, the debut novel by Lawrence Finlay (Artsci’92), which he released under the pseudonym Tyler Black. The book, published by FriesenPress, tells the story of James, a U.K. tech-firm employee who finds himself fighting for his life in the middle of a northeastern European forest, his only support coming from a toy-sized robot with the ability to learn by watching and listening to humans.

Summer 2021

  • Lyme Disease in Canada book cover

    Lyme Disease in Canada

    Brian Owens, Artsci'02

    As tick-borne diseases continue to threaten the health of Canadians, Brian Owens (Artsci’02) sheds some light on Lyme disease, the often-misunderstood condition that is becoming increasingly prevalent among hikers, golfers, campers, and dog walkers every year. In Lyme Disease in Canada, published this June by McNally Robinson, Owens traces the arrival of ticks in Canada and shares stories of the perils of diagnosing and treating Lyme disease and tips on how to avoid ticks – and how to remove them when you can’t avoid them.

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    Medicine Women

    Dr. Alisa Yocom, Artsci'06, MSc'08

    Dr. Alisa Yocom (Artsci’06, MSc’08) came to Australia as an international student and enjoyed it so much that she decided to live there permanently. The Brisbane-based physician shares the story of her unexpected adventure – complete with joys and challenges – in Medicine Women, an anthology of short stories and letters by 20 female health-care professionals from around the globe, coming this summer from Australian publisher Change Empire.

  • Launch Your Kid book cover

    Launch Your Kid

    Jane Kristoffy, Artsci'93

    After working for more than a quarter century as an educator (and a parent), Jane Kristoffy (Artsci’93 MEd, Toronto) has amassed an arsenal of answers to the questions that keep parents up at night. She shares many of them in Launch Your Kid: How to Promote Your Child’s Academic and Personal Success (Without Being a Helicopter Parent). The book includes tips, tricks, and strategies that parents can use every day to help them “get their kids through school and prepare them for the real world.”

  • Photo of Elamin Abdelmahmoud with a white fabric background.

    Podcast Playlist

    Elamin Abdelmahmoud, Artsci'11

    Since September 2020, Elamin Abdelmahmoud (Artsci’11) has been helping Canadians figure out which podcasts to listen to by leading them on a guided tour of some of the internet’s most intriguing aural offerings. Podcast Playlist, which airs weekly on CBC Radio One and can also be found on CBC On Demand, wades through the seemingly endless array of podcasts to serve up curated excerpts exploring a new theme each week.