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The 20th Hamilton Literary Awards: The Non-Fiction Shortlist
Stephen Near

What do ghost stories, kidnapped infants and wandering artists all have in common? They’re all integral parts of the wonderful books that are finalists for this year’s Non-fiction Literary Awards.  From Mark Leslies’ Haunted Hamilton, to Empty Cradle by Diana Walsh, to David Collier’s Hamilton Illustrated, these books have pulled in their readers in many different ways.

Hamilton Illustrated  is a graphic collection that celebrates the city of Hamilton, created by award-winning graphic novelist David Collier. From the North End to Hamilton Bay, Collier captures the city in his signature style. Gritty and honest, this collection of images and essays brings the city dynamically to life, and explains why Collier has chosen to live and draw in Hamilton for over a decade.

Mark Leslie’s Haunted Hamilton, is part work of history and part ghost story. This is the book to pick up if you want to explore the city on foot, looking for a supernatural thrill.  With extensive research from the files of the original Haunted Hamilton paranormal group, Leslie takes the reader from the Customs House to Dundurn Castle, pointing out every skeleton in every closet.

Empty Cradle is Walsh’s true account of the events leading up to and surrounding the abduction of her five day old infant, known to the public as baby Shelby. In a poetic and moving account of the eleven hours that her daughter was missing, Diana Walsh weaves a captivating story. And even though readers know the ending, if they remember the news stories, they still read to the very end, held by the strength of Walsh’s story telling.

Coming Next: The Fiction Shortlist