Books and Beyond

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

Winter 2023

  • Just to Please You – The Gertrudes

    The Gertrudes

    Just to Please You

    One evening in 2008, a collection of Queen’s students, faculty, and staff got together at the Grad Club to play music and sing. Today they still play together as The Gertrudes, a Kingston-based “folkestra” that describes itself as “an old-time saloon party travelling through deep space.” They’ve been joined onstage by more than 100 local musicians over the years, and they’ve performed alongside the likes of Ricky Skaggs and Sarah Harmer. Their fifth studio album, Just to Please You, was released in August.

  • Michael Jabara Carley – Stalin's Gamble: The search for allies against Hitler, 1930-1936

    Stalin’s Gamble

    Michael Jabara Carley, MA’70, PhD’76

    Université de Montréal history professor Michael Jabara Carley, MA’70, PhD’76, draws on archival evidence from the U.S., the U.K., France, and Russia to unearth new evidence of Joseph Stalin’s behind-the-scenes diplomatic efforts in the years leading up to the Second World War. In Stalin’s Gamble, released this summer by the University of Toronto Press, he shows how Stalin tried – and ultimately failed – to build a defensive alliance against Hitler.

  • Four Bullets, Four Witnesses, Four Liars: The True Story of a Murder and the Trial that Followed

    Four Bullets, Four Witnesses, Four Liars

    Brian Barrie, Law’76

    In 1988, Jimmy Strutton was shot four times in a secluded log cabin on the outskirts of Owen Sound, Ont. Each of the four witnesses at the scene told police a different story, and one of them, Mae McEachern, was charged with murder. McEachern’s defence lawyer, Brian Barrie, Law’76, relies on his own memories, as well as trial transcripts and newspaper articles, to bring the crime and the trial to life in Four Bullets, Four Witnesses, Four Liars, now available from Delve Books.

  • David Roberts – Boosters and Bankers: Financing Canada's Involvement in the First World War

    Boosters and Barkers: Financing Canada’s Involvement in the First World War

    David Roberts, Artsci’73, MA’75

    Most Canadians at the time may not have fought in the First World War, but many of them had a hand in financing it. David Roberts, Artsci’73, MA’75, explores the surprising popularity of war bonds and how the federal government used them to convince Canadians to fund Canada’s military commitment in Boosters and Barkers: Financing Canada’s Involvement in the First World War. It tells the story of six bond drives that together raised almost one-third of the country’s total war costs. Read it now from University of British Columbia Press.

Fall 2023

  • Should I keep this record?

    Should I Keep This Record?

    Jamie Lamb, Artsci’96 and Michael Payne, Sc’99, Ed’00

    Jamie Lamb, Artsci’96 and Michael Payne, Sc’99, Ed’00, believe “you need four people to make any decision.” And so they invite two friends – often fellow Queen’s alumni – to join them on each episode of their podcast to help them make some important decisions. In “Should I Keep This Record?” – available for download on Spotify – the pair look at old vinyl albums and debate whether or not to keep them. Seasons 1 and 2 featured albums from the 1980s and 1990s, respectively. Season 3 is coming soon. 

  • The Legend of Baraffo

    The Legend of Baraffo

    Moez Surani, Artsci’03

    Is it better to enact social change by working within the system or through acts of revolution? Moez Surani, Artsci’03, ponders this question in The Legend of Baraffo, a book he began writing in Dr. Carolyn Smart’s creative writing class. It tells the story of Mazzu, a boy who befriends a political prisoner and later grows up to become the mayor of his troubled town. The Legend of Baraffo is available through Book*hug Press. 

  • Mary Pratt, a love affair with vision

    Mary Pratt: A Love Affair with Vision

    Anne Koval, Artsci’84

    One of Canada’s most celebrated contemporary still-life painters, Mary Pratt is best known for transforming everyday objects into iconic images of vulnerability and imperfection. Art historian Anne Koval, Artsci’84, interviewed Pratt extensively and used those interviews as the springboard for Mary Pratt: A Love Affair with Vision. The book is part biography and part in-depth study of Pratt’s life, work, and the issues – gender, feminism, and realism in Canadian art – that informed them both. Available from Goose Lane Editions. 

  • Blood on the Coal, the true story of the great Springhill Mine disaster

    Blood on the Coal

    Ken Cuthbertson, Arts’74, Law’83

    Former Alumni Review editor Ken Cuthbertson, Arts’74, Law’83, chronicles the 1958 Springhill mine disaster, a workplace incident that still stands as one of Canada’s worst, in Blood on the Coal. At the time, Springhill, N.S., was the quintessential one-industry town whose economic survival depended upon coal. The mine, one of the world’s deepest and most dangerous, continued to operate until disaster struck. The author draws upon archival records as well as interviews with the last surviving miner and his co-workers’ relatives. Available from HarperCollins. 

Summer 2023

  • Conversations with Chordates

    Conversations with Chordates

    Anastasia Shavrova, Artsci’13, MSc’17.

    What do extroverts, dinosaurs, snake-infested marshes, and Mongolia all have in common? They’re all featured subjects on Conversations with Chordates, a podcast launched last fall by Anastasia Shavrova, Artsci’13, MSc’17. While Ms. Shavrova works toward her doctorate in reproductive evolution at the University of New South Wales, she uses the podcast to engage fellow scientists in non-scientific conversations on an eclectic range of topics. You can find it on Spotify, Apple, and SoundCloud.

  • Evaluating Urban and Regional Plans: From Theory to Practice

    Evaluating Urban and Regional Plans: From Theory to Practice

    Mark Seasons, Artsci’75

    The planners who design our cities and communities often don’t know if their plans will succeed. Mark Seasons, Artsci’75, a professor of planning at the University of Waterloo, says understanding which practices have worked in the past – and which ones haven’t – can help take the risk out of urban planning. His 2021 book, Evaluating Urban and Regional Plans: From Theory to Practice, shows planners and planning students how to learn from past successes and mistakes to make better decisions in the future.

  • Olga Onuch & Henry E. Hale The Zelensky Effect

    The Zelensky Effect

    Dr. Olga Onuch, Artsci’05

    What enabled Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to stand his ground and lead his country so impressively against an invasion at the hands of an aggressive neighbour? Dr. Olga Onuch, Artsci’05, and co-author Henry E. Hale tackle that question in The Zelensky Effect, published earlier this year by Oxford University Press. They learned that the answer is less about a charismatic leader and more about a shared culture and a strong national identity, hard-won after a tumultuous history.

  • You Don't Have to Look the Part: How East Asian Women Thrive as Entrepreneurs. Winnie Wong.

    You Don’t Have to Look the Part: How East Asian Women Thrive as Entrepreneurs

    When Winnie Wong, Com’11

    When Winnie Wong, Com’11, learned that only two per cent of venture-capital funding goes to female-led startups, she decided to do something about it. Ms. Wong, a professor at the SP Jain School of Global Management in Singapore, wrote and published You Don’t Have to Look the Part: How East Asian Women Thrive as Entrepreneurs to explore the barriers Asian women face and share tips for overcoming them – from the likes of Canva founder Melanie Perkins and fashion mogul Vera Wang.

Spring 2023

  • CD cover of In Continental Drift by Gord Sinclair

    Continental Drift

    Gord Sinclair, Artsci’86

    What do you do after your tenure in one of Canada’s most beloved rock bands is cut short? Gord Sinclair, Artsci’86, perhaps better known as the Tragically Hip’s bassist, had to wrestle with that question after frontman Gord Downie’s widely mourned passing in 2017. Fortunately, Mr. Sinclair has sated fans’ appetites in the following years, releasing his debut solo album, Taxi Dancers, in 2020, and his second effort, In Continental Drift, last month. Preceded by its sonically diverse singles “Gool Guy” and “Sometimes,” In Continental Drift is material proof that the spirit of rock lives on. 

  • Cover of Workday Warrior: A Proven Path to Reclaiming Your Time by Ann Gomez

    Workday Warrior

    Ann Gomez, MBA’00

    Even as Ann Gomez, MBA’00, was forging a successful career as a management consultant, she couldn’t help feeling overwhelmed as her demanding work life interfered regularly with her personal life. Rather than give in to the pressure, Ms. Gomez dedicated herself to researching productivity and sharing what she’s learned with her clients. In Workday Warrior, recently released by Dundurn Press, she shares a three-step strategy – complete with supporting tools – to help you simplify your work and reclaim your time. 

  • Cover of Cancer Confidential: Backstage Dramas in the Radiation Clinic by Charles Hayter, MD

    Cancer Confidential: Backstage Dramas in the Radiation Clinic

    Dr. Charles Hayter, Artsci’74, Meds’84

    Not long after launching his career as a radiation oncologist, Dr. Charles Hayter, Artsci’74, Meds’84, learned that his father had developed cancer. Dr. Hayter weaves the story of his father’s illness with stories from other patients in Cancer Confidential: Backstage Dramas in the Radiation Clinic, released last fall by University of Toronto Press. At a time when one in three cancer patients receives radiation treatment, Dr. Hayter draws on his experience as a historian and playwright to shed light on this well-known but often misunderstood therapy. 

  • Cover of Ring of Fire: High-Stakes Mining in a Lowlands Wilderness by Virginia Heffernan

    Ring of Fire: High-Stakes Mining in a Lowlands Wilderness

    Virginia Heffernan, Artsci’86

    The 2007 discovery of valuable metal deposits in the James Bay Lowlands placed the local Indigenous community at odds with an American mining company. Virginia Heffernan, Artsci’86, documents the battle in Ring of Fire: High-Stakes Mining in a Lowlands Wilderness, a fast-paced, thoroughly researched, and ultimately hopeful account of a complex conflict between corporate interests and Indigenous rights. Ring of Fire is now available through ECW Press.