LitFest EdmontonLitFest, Canada’s only nonfiction literary festival, is featuring six books for your summer reading list.  They are inviting reviews — coolly professional, intensely personal, or in a style of your choosing — by September 1, 2012 and offering prizes. They’ll post the reviews online (perhaps with a bit of editing). Their favourite reviewer of each book will win a signed copy of the book, and a pair of tickets to an event featuring the author at LitFest 2012 which runs from October 17 – 28, 2012. Submissions can be emailed to Reviews must include your name and email address, and the title of the book that you’re reviewing. They must be 250 words or less and can be submitted in the body of the email, as a PDF, or as a Word document.

The six books on the LitFest summer reading list are:

Timothy CaulfieldThe Cure for Everything! Untangling the Twisted Messages About Health, Fitness and Happiness by Timothy Caulfield (Penguin, 2011). 

Edmonton health-law expert Timothy Caulfield exposes the special interests that twist good science about health and fitness in order to sell us services and products that mostly don’t work. Caulfield walks the talk, signing up for circuit training with a Hollywood expert, assembles a Food Advisory Team (FAT) and explores both pharmaceutical and homeopathic remedies.



Jennifer Cockrall KingFood and the City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution by Jennifer Cockrall-King (Prometheus Books, 2012).

With this incisive study of the urban farming movement, Edmonton food writer Cockrall-King identifies weak links in the complex global food chains. In case studies of urban farmers and beekeepers from across Europe and North America, she reports on the growth of grassroots food production in many forms, tackling a serious subject with wit and optimism.


Curtis GillespieAlmost There: The Family Vacation, Then and Now by Curtis Gillespie (Thomas Allen, 2012).

The family vacation, with all its funny, sad, relaxing, frustrating and exhilarating moments, shapes us, and helps us create an understanding of who we are and of those we travel with. In his humourous new book, award-winning author Curtis Gillespie explores the meaning of our family vacations, the memories created by them, and how we use these memories to define our family relationships.


Ann Hall - Edmonton GradsThe Grads are Playing Tonight by M. Ann Hall. (University of Alberta Press, 2012).

Between 1915 and 1940, the amazing Edmonton Grads dominated women’s basketball in Canada, and all over the world. Coached by J. Percy Page, they played over 400 official games, losing only 20; they travelled more than 125,000 miles across Canada, the US and Europe, and they defended their world title at exhibition games held in conjunction with the Olympics in Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin. This meticulously researched history has enthralled fans of sport history and women in sport.

Alexander McCall SmithThe Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith (Random House, 2012).

In the latest endearing installment of the bestselling No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, our resourceful heroine, Precious Ramotswe has her hands full. She is called in to tackle a disciplinary problem at a local school. This is a rare foray into fiction for Edmonton’s Nonfiction Festival – all rules have exceptions, even our own – and we are thrilled to be welcoming Alexander McCall Smith to Edmonton during a rare North American tour in October.


Nora Young CBCThe Virtual Self: How Our Digital Lives are Altering the World Around Us by Nora Young (McClelland & Stewart, 2012).

The host of CBC Radio’s Spark, Nora Young has fascinating information at her disposal, unique insights into the intersection of the virtual and real worlds, and a wonderful voice for making all of these clear to a general audience. Accessible and entertaining, The Virtual Self takes that personal, psychological reality of everything from email to status updates and teases out the increasingly bigger impacts on the real world around us of the virtual information we all generate.


See the two part interviews of Nora Young by Peter Nowak, a syndicated blogger for Macleans magazine, and Canadian Business magazine, as well as a regular contributor to The Globe and Mail and the Huffington Post. He also contributes to MSN, CBC and New Scientist magazine.

Books on the summer reading list are available from Audreys Books, Greenwoods’ Bookshoppe, the University of Alberta Bookstores, and participating Chapters/Coles/Indigo locations.

Congratulations to David Chereos,  LitFest’s Producer, on earning the Rosza Award of Excellence for Innovation in Arts Management for 2012. On a personal note, I had the good fortune to work with David oh so many years ago while I was recruiting corporate sponsorships for the Fringe Theatre Festival and he was an intern. He was a go getter then and has been a go getter ever since.

See more about Edmonton’s LitFest, the only nonfiction festival in Canada and an incubator for nonfiction literary talent in Alberta.