Autobiography

We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir, by Samra Habib

How do you find yourself when the world tells you that you don’t exist?
Growing up as an Ahmadi Muslim in Pakistan, Samra Habib learned from a young age that revealing their identity could put them in grave danger. But fleeing the threat of Islamic extremists and emigrating to Canada did not solve any of these problems. Instead, Samra was faced with a whole new host of challenges: racism, bullying, poverty and an arranged marriage.
With their life policed by men, and with their only example of womanhood being a pious and obedient wife, Samra began a journey of self-discovery. A journey that would encompass faith, art, love and queer sexuality, and which would take them across the globe in search of a truth that was inside them all along. Read More »

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Me, by Elton John

Nobody would have expected a shy young boy called Reginald Dwight from the London suburb of Pinner to become a famous rockstar. But he had a dream and, by the age of twenty-three, he was on his first tour in America, facing his first audience wearing silver hotpants and a “Rock and Roll” T-shirt. Elton John had arrived and the music world would never be the same.
Over the span of an extraordinary career, from early rejection to stratospheric success, his life was always full of drama. From friendships with John Lennon, George Michael and Giovanni Versace, to extravagant parties and ridiculous shopping sprees, and even disco dancing with the Queen. In this his only official autobiography, Elton John lays everything bare, including the drug addiction which threatened to end his career, and his life, and his journey to find happiness and fulfilment through marriage and fatherhood. Read More »

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The Right to be Cold, by Sheila Watt-Cloutier

The Arctic ice sheet is melting. Polar bears and other Arctic animals are losing their habitat and their lives. But what of the people who call these cold polar regions home? They are also losing their homes, their livelihoods, and the land which has sustained their way of life for centuries. And yet, nobody is talking about them or their plight. Or indeed the fact that their plight will be shared by the rest of the world if we do not take a stand on global warming.
Sheila Warr-Cloutier is someone who has dedicated her life to bringing these issues to the global stage. As an Inuk, born and raised in the cold Arctic, she knows better than most the struggles that the indigenous Arctic communities have faced, ever since the missionaries first arrived on their shores. But those struggles pale in comparison to what they are now facing. Loss of sea ice and hunting grounds, collapsing buildings and roads due to melting permafrost, health issues caused by invisible pollutants, and many more. Read More »

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Around the World in 80 Trains: A 45,000-Mile Adventure, by Monisha Rajesh

When British journalist Monisha Rajesh announced her plan to travel around the globe on 80 trains, it seemed like a crazy idea. But with much organisation and planning, it wasn’t long before she had plotted a journey of 45,000 miles, nearly twice the circumference of the world. This route would take her on some of the most famous and infamous trains in the world.
From the vastness of the Trans-Mongolian railway to the cloud-skimming heights of the Qinghai-Tibet railway and the luxurious Simplon Orient Express. With many other less salubrious and diverse trains as well. With just a backpack and her fiancé Jem in tow, Monisha spent seven months hopping on and off trains and meeting some truly remarkable characters along the way. Read More »

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An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, by Chris Hadfield

From a very young age, Chris Hadfield wanted nothing more than to become an astronaut. But at a time when very few Canadians went to space, this was bound to be a difficult task. Through years of hard work and dedication, Chris finally realised his dream and has logged nearly 4000 hours in space.
During this time, he was the first Canadian to be Commander of the International Space Station, where he also recorded a music video to David Bowie’s Space Oddity. He also broke into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife and was temporarily blinded whilst clinging to the outside of an orbiting spacecraft. He has overcome many obstacles thanks to an unconventional philosophy learned at NASA: prepare for the worst, and enjoy every moment of it. Read More »

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