The Creative Odyssey of Joni Mitchell
by Katherine Monk

In her acknowledgments, Katherine Monk thanks “every writer who’s ever written anything about Joni Mitchell,” without whom “this book would not have been possible.” She means this literally. Her new biography of the iconic Canadian singer-songwriter relies exclusively on secondary sources, most of them previously published interviews and biographies. When one of Mitchell’s “last remaining business representatives” told Monk the notoriously prickly singer no longer grants interviews, Monk appears to have accepted the assertion at face value, which is odd given her background as a journalist, and her own observations about Mitchell’s tendency to change her mind. The singer, Monk notes ruefully, has “retired from the business so frequently not even she can keep count of her departures from the poker table.” Read more…

The Passionate Life and Inventive Mind of Alexander Graham Bell
by Charlotte Gray

Charlotte Gray has produced an exhaustive, multidimensional portrait of the great Scottish-born inventor Alexander Graham Bell, who put down deep roots in Canada – initially in Brantford, where the first telephone call was made, but mostly in his beloved Cape Breton, where he is buried. Read more…