Books by alumni

row of multi-coloured book spines

Browse the many books in many genres by Arts alumni.


book coverJulie Cole, BA ‘95 English | Like a Mother: Birthing Businesses, Babies, and a Life Beyond Labels (2022)

Working moms wear many labels, but maybe none more than Julie Cole, co-founder of Mabel's Labels and mom of six, including a son with autism. In Like a Mother, Julie shares her inspirational stories and lessons learned through parenting her lively crew of kids and building a multimillion-dollar business with her co-founders between their children's naptimes and playdates. Filled with useful biz, life, and mom hacks readers can implement right away, Julie's honest, authentic, and humorous take on balancing the motherload will spur you on to be the boss of your own life and to live it like a mother!

 

book coverEmily Crawford, BA ‘16 English | Socks and Elephant Shoes (2022)

This collection of poems is a journey through love, loss, and depression. It follows the breaking, coping, and survival of a daughter left behind after her father takes his life. Showing the effect depression has on a life and on the lives around it, it starts in darkness and moves unsteadily towards light just as grief moves through the lives of those who have experienced loss.

 

book coverShelly Sanders, BA ’86 English | Daughters of the Occupation (2022)

Based on a true story, this powerful novel is set in Latvia’s capital during the horrific Rumbula massacre when 30,000 Jews were slaughtered over two days in 1941. When Miriam and her family are rounded up and forced to live in the Jewish ghetto in Riga, Miriam chooses to give up her children to the care of a Gentile friend who will hide them. A few weeks later, Miriam, along with thousands of other Jews, is marched to the execution pits in the Rumbula forest. Incredibly, she manages to escape the carnage when night falls. Through a series of dramatic events, she finds sanctuary in the countryside, managing to hide for three years and survive the war. Consumed by guilt, she is finally reunited with her daughter. But she has lost her son. Thirty-five years later, Miriam’s granddaughter, Sarah, is living in Chicago with her family. Seeking to understand her maternal family history, Sarah tries desperately to ferret out Miriam’s secret. Miriam does not want to revisit the past, but through persistence Sarah eventually finds out enough to impel her to travel to Riga to search for her uncle. But it is the height of the Cold War and Riga is under Soviet control. Now Sarah’s quest for the truth may threaten her freedom when she comes face to face with the KGB. Told in chapters that alternate between 1941 and 1976, this gripping novel delves into the trauma faced by survivors of genocide down through the generations. 


book coverElizabeth Monier Williams, BA ‘01 English | Chaos Calling: Book I of The Xenthian Cycle (2022)

What if you were on stand-by for the end of the world–and you didn’t know? Anna Lin is done with crying. Her mother has died and her father’s refusing to deal with, well, anything. Her brother Jason, an emergency physician in Vancouver, has long since checked out. Meanwhile, caring for her mother’s decline and sorting out her estate has iced Anna’s realty career. The bills are piling up. The kids are out of school for the summer. And her husband, Malcolm, is running out of patience. Beyond frustration, Anna hears raccoons in her Toronto garage late one night. But no neighbourhood pest awaits her. For the first time in two millennia, mysterious creatures have returned to our world to hunt us. As the strange attacks increase, Anna realizes that she, Jason, and Dave LaRoque Montcalm, a recovering startup CEO and their childhood best friend, hold the keys to defending their city and the world—if she can convince them to join her.


book coverWilliam T Carruthers, PhD ‘84 Philosophy | The Ethical Society: A Framework For a Peaceful, Sustainable World (2021)

We know from history that our current thinking and values will not lead to a peaceful, sustainable future. It is more crucial now than ever that we learn to break the cycle so that we can create a global community that balances diversity and individuality with integration and harmony. The answer lies in how we think. We are trapped in social systems based on power structures designed to keep us divided in antagonistic and non-viable behaviors. We have divorced how we understand the world through science with how we find meaning in our lives through religion, alienating us from the world and each other. To overcome these challenges, we need to focus our thinking on the global community by giving priority to universal ethical values. With ethical priority, we can shift power interests from a tribal to a human perspective and reconnect understanding with meaning. We can reduce alienation and improve harmony around the world. 


book coverAntonio Michael Downing, BA '01 English | Saga Boy: My Life of Blackness and Becoming (2021)

Antonio Michael Downing's memoir of creativity and transformation is a startling mash-up of memories and mythology, told in gripping, lyrical prose. Raised by his indomitable grandmother in the lush rainforest of southern Trinidad, Downing, at age 11, is uprooted to Canada when she dies. But to a very unusual part of Canada: he and his older brother are sent to live with his stern, evangelical Aunt Joan, in Wabigoon, a tiny northern Ontario community where they are the only Black children in the town. In this wilderness, he begins his journey as an immigrant minority, using music and performance to dramatically transform himself. At the heart of his odyssey is the longing for a home. Richly evocative, Saga Boy is a heart-wrenching but uplifting story of a lonely immigrant boy who overcomes adversity and abandonment to reclaim his Black identity and embrace a rich heritage.


book coverWendy I. Roth, BA ‘09 Economics | Embody A Tree Set and Achieve Long-Term Goals (2021)

Even in a world filled with instant gratification, it is possible to achieve goals over the long run. This short book offers practical tips for setting and achieving long-term goals, using a tree metaphor. Concise chapters and a personal, conversational style reflect on meaningful moments over the author’s fifteen-year journey to achieving her goal while pragmatically sharing lessons learned. Embody A Tree: Set and Achieve Long-Term Goals offers a unique visualization of how to set and accomplish aspirations that take time to achieve. This book integrates the author’s journey and shared experiences with others along her path to help bring the tree analogy to life. While written with younger adults in mind, this book also presents adults of all ages with an opportunity to reflect and strive for those long-term goals that may have eluded them.


book coverRupi Kaur, BA ‘15 English, Rhetoric & Professional Writing | home body (2020)

Rupi Kaur constantly embraces growth, and in home body, she walks readers through a reflective and intimate journey visiting the past, the present, and the potential of the self. home body is a collection of raw, honest conversations with oneself – reminding readers to fill up on love, acceptance, community, family, and embrace change. Illustrated by the author, themes of nature and nurture, light and dark, rest here. Other books by Rupi Kaur include milk and honey, the sun and her flowers.

 

book coverMelanie Stevenson, BA ‘95 English | One More Tomorrow (2019)

One woman finds herself bound to a past she cannot forget. Another, driven by past choices she can neither change nor accept. It’s been over a year. That should be enough time to forget a first love. But aspiring artist Katie Banks is still waiting. Not even Justin Burke, her university classmate, has been able to erase the hurt Aiden Ford inflicted, or weaken Katie’s resolve to never date a man who doesn’t share her faith. When Katie accepts a scholarship to study in Paris, it places much-needed distance between her and Justin. But love still eludes her, until a stormy night and a tragic accident change everything. The possibility that she and Aiden might be able to find their forever love this time both excites and terrifies Katie. Can she forgive past hurts, or will the walls she’s built to protect herself keep love a distant dream? Other books by Melanie Stevenson include Soul Focus.


book coverSabrina Rizk, BA ‘01 Political Science |  Hannah and Amy Go To Brazil (2017)

Hannah and Amy Go to Brazil chronicles the real-life adventures of Hannah (8) and Amy (5) as they travel through Brazil with their family. Written from the perspective of these sisters, this book offers a child's view of the world while including some basic facts about Brazil. Join the girls as they visit Iguazu Falls, Parque das Aves, and the sites and beaches of Rio de Janeiro. This is the second book in the four-part series, which includes Hannah and Amy Go to Peru, Hannah and Amy Go to Kenya.

 

book coverElise Abram, BA ‘89 Anthropology | Phase Shift (2013)

When Archaeologist and University of Toronto Professor Molly McBride is given a strange collection of artifacts by a museum patron, she feels compelled to investigate. She discovers that one of the artifacts is the key to another world, a doppelganger Earth called Gaia. Life on Gaia seems idyllic at first, but Molly soon learns the society harbours a dark secret. Renegades on Gaia have built a stronghold on Earth in which they are able to carry out experiments with terraforming and phase shifting. But the more the renegades shift, the more damage they do to both planets, and the gap between the planets narrows. Can Molly and her Gaian allies prevent the impending cataclysm? Other books by Elise Abram include Valkyrie Playbook, Indoctrination, The Mummy Wore Combat Boots.


book coverNatalie MacNeil, BA ‘08 Political Science | She Takes on the World: A Guide to Being Your Own Boss (2012)

Are you ready to create a business – and a life – you love? Packed with powerful business and life lessons, a savvy plan for success in our digital age, and the engaging real-life experiences of successful women entrepreneurs, She Takes on World: A Guide to Being Your Own Boss, Working Happy, and Living on Purpose is a business book like no other.

 


Have a book to suggest? Let us know at artsadv@uwaterloo.ca