At the recent Kingston WritersFest, Ben McNally, owner of Ben McNally Books in Toronto, and official bookseller at Toronto’s International Festival of Authors, took to the stage to talk about his book picks for fall 2011 — some 26 titles in total. We asked him to narrow down those selections to his top 6 non-fiction and 6 fiction books to share with you. Here, in Part 1, Ben focuses on non-fiction titles, and his choices run the gamut from memoir to economics.
1. The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, by Stephen Greenblatt.
A poem lost for a thousand years and its influence on the Renaissance.
2. Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, by Jeff Madrick.
How the American economy collapsed and why.
3. The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary: A Canadian Story of Resilience and Recovery, by Andrew Westoll.
A remarkable and moving story of our cousins.
4. Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Medicine, Madness and the Murder of a President, by Candice Millard. The unfortunately short life of James A. Garfield.
5. Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales From an Allergic Life, by Sandra Beasley.
Allergies like you won’t believe.
6. The House in France: A Memoir, by Gully Wells.
It’s a different life in the south of France.