the globe and mail book reviews

The Globe 100: The books we loved in 2021

The list is in: From fiction and thrillers to cookbooks and picture books, these are the 100 books we loved this year

This article was published more than 2 years ago. Some information may no longer be current.

Expand your mind and build your reading list with the Books newsletter. Sign up today.

Jump to selections by genre


  • Graphic Novels
  • Picture Books
  • Young Adult

the globe and mail book reviews

Photos Christie Vuong, Illustration LeeAndra Cianci/The Globe and Mail

78 of the best books to give as gifts this 2020 holiday season

37 kids’ books to give to all the young readers in your life

A Town Called Solace

A Town Called Solace, Mary Lawson (Knopf Canada) 🍁

In a small Northern Ontario town in the early 1970s, rebellious 16-year-old Rose vanishes after a fight with her mother. The novel, longlisted for the Booker , follows Rose’s little sister, Clara, and Liam, the thirtysomething man from the city who moves in next door after inheriting the property.

All’s Well, Mona Awad (Hamish Hamilton) 🍁

A stage accident ended theatre professor Miranda Fitch’s acting career and left her addicted to painkillers – but when she acquires the ability to transfer her pain to others, she gleefully does so on those who doubted her injury. This story is shaped by Awad’s own experience of chronic pain – as well as Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well and Macbeth , and Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus .

Astra, Cedar Bowers (McClelland & Stewart) 🍁

The story of Astra Brine, born and raised on a remote British Columbia commune, is told through the eyes of 10 people who’ve had intense encounters and relationships with her, revealing the different sides of one woman over a lifetime.

August Into Winter, Guy Vanderhaeghe (McClelland & Stewart) 🍁

This suspenseful novel from the three-time winner of the Governor-General’s Award follows a man who flees his small Prairie town after committing an unspeakable act of violence on the eve of the Second World War.

Bewilderment, Richard Powers (Random House Canada)

Climate catastrophe simmers under the surface of Powers’s Booker Prize-shortlisted follow-up to The Overstory . An astrobiologist attempts to control his nine-year-old son’s behavioural issues using an experimental neurofeedback technique that will make the boy’s brain activity mimic that of his late mother.

Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr (Scribner)

If the 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning All The Light We Cannot See was a sort of love letter to museums, this new novel, nominated for the National Book Award and longlisted for the Carnegie Medal of Excellence, is most definitely a love letter to libraries – and this planet.

A Dream of a Woman

A Dream of a Woman, Casey Plett (Arsenal Pulp Press) 🍁

Plett has a characteristic style that manages to merge tenderness with Prairie toughness – a style on display in these stories of trans women seeking something – groundedness, maybe, but that dreamlike quality of desire, too.

Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch, Rivka Galchen (Harper Perennial) 🍁

In the early 17th century, 71-year-old widow Katharina Kepler – mother to Johannes of the planetary-motion laws – is accused of witchcraft. The novel follows the ensuing trial and the pile-on that occurs when mob mentality takes over.

Fight Night, Miriam Toews (Knopf Canada) 🍁

The bestselling and award-winning author’s ninth book inhabits a world of strong female protagonists . Told from the perspective of a nine-year-old living with her pregnant mother and feisty grandma, it will have you falling in love with its characters.

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House, Cherie Jones (HarperCollins)

This debut novel set in Barbados wins the best title of the year, but it’s also a moving story of intergenerational trauma that delicately explores the ripple effects of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

In Memory of Memory, Maria Stepanova, translated by Sasha Dugdale (Book*hug Press)

A genre-bending book: partly the story of the author’s Russian, Jewish family; partly about the author’s longstanding desire to turn her family into a story. Along the way, it delves into aesthetic history to scrutinize what we in the present ask of the past.

Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro (Knopf Canada)

From the Nobel Prize–winning author of Never Let Me Go comes a reflection on humanity that asks: Could we love AI like we love humans? The tale is told from the perspective of a robot (or “Artificial Friend”) named Klara who finds new purpose in caring for her teenage owner, Josie.


Matrix, Lauren Groff (Riverhead Books)

Seventeen-year old Marie de France has been cast out of the court of Eleanor of Aquitaine and sent to be an abbess in England. A finalist for the National Book Award, the novel explores female creativity in a corrupt world.

No One is Talking About this , Patricia Lockwood (Riverhead Books)

Shortlisted for the Booker and the Women’s Prize for Fiction, this is the first novel from the American poet and essayist. It’s a first-person story of a woman addicted to Twitter who cuts off from it when faced with a personal loss.

Oh William!, Elizabeth Strout (Random House)

The Pulitzer Prize-winning American author probes the vagaries of human connection through her character Lucy Barton, revived here for the third time, as she reflects, often wistfully, on her long-standing relationship with the man who was once her husband, now her friend.

Our Darkest Night, Jennifer Robson (HarperCollins Canada) 🍁

To survive the Holocaust, a young Jewish woman must pose as a Christian farmer’s wife. Based on true events that happened in her in-laws’ Italian village during the Second World War, this novel tackles sacrifice, guilt and love.

Return of the Trickster, Eden Robinson (Knopf Canada) 🍁

Following Jared Martin – a shape-shifting, dimension-trotting teenager – as he faces off against his ogress aunt and her pack of organ-gobbling coywolves, this final instalment of the Trickster trilogy raises the stakes and emulates the oral tradition of one-upmanship that shaped the stories the Haisla and Heiltsuk author was raised on.

Ring, André Alexis (Coach House Books) 🍁

The final book published in Alexis’s quincunx cycle ( Fifteen Dogs , The Hidden Keys , etc.) this one draws everything together in a story about divine intervention and the everyday miraculous. As with the other books in the series, Alexis puts his own spin on genre fiction. This time: Harlequin romance.

Second Place

Second Place, Rachel Cusk (HarperCollins Canada) 🍁

The Canadian-born (but very British) author has created a kind of literary cover version of Lorenzo in Taos , a 1932 memoir by Mabel Dodge Luhan about D.H. Lawrence’s stay at her New Mexico artists’ colony .

Tainna: The Unseen Ones, Norma Dunning (Douglas & McIntyre) 🍁

Following Dunning’s 2017 collection, Annie Muktuk and Other Stories , these are six new stories about the dislocation of modern Inuk life in Southern Canada and the chance for reconnection through humour, creativity and spirituality.

The Listeners, Jordan Tannahill (HarperCollins) 🍁

A finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, playwright Tannahill’s propulsive novel about a family torn apart by a mother’s obsession with a sound that most people cannot hear examines some of the big themes of the year: conspiracy theories, faith and anxiety.

The Push, Ashley Audrain (Penguin Canada) 🍁

Blythe Connor sits in her car, watching a family through the window. While the family seems picture-perfect, this psychological thriller brings us into a world that’s anything but. The debut novel from Toronto-based Audrain, which led to a bidding war and record-breaking deal, takes twists and turns through the dark side of motherhood, postpartum depression and intergenerational trauma.

The Son of the House, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia (Dundurn Press) 🍁

Two women from very different worlds— but with a crucial connection—are brought together by a kidnapping in Enugu, Nigeria. With no one else to talk to, they tell each other the story of their lives, turning this debut novel into a women’s history of four decades in Nigeria.

The Strangers, Katherena Vermette (Hamish Hamilton) 🍁

After the poet and author’s debut novel, The Break , this Writer’s Trust Prize-winning companion piece is a potent, audacious intergenerational saga that explores race, class, inherited trauma and the strength of matrilineal bonds.

We Want What We Want

We Want What We Want, Alix Ohlin (House of Anansi Press) 🍁

One young woman learns her father is engaged to her childhood best friend. Another woman ventures to rescue her cousin from a cult. Imperfect families abound in this collection of 13 “glittering, surprising, darkly funny stories of people testing the boundaries of their lives,” according to the book’s publisher.

What Storm, What Thunder, Myriam J. A. Chancy (HarperCollins) 🍁

The Haitian-Canadian writer and academic’s virtuosic fourth novel, which tells the story of the 2010 earthquake known locally as “Douze,” from the point of view of several finely drawn, interlinked characters, comes in the wake of other tragically seismic events in her country of birth, literally and figuratively.

What Strange Paradise, Omar el Akkad (McClelland & Stewart) 🍁

This winner of the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize tells a repurposed fable: Peter Pan reinterpreted as a contemporary child refugee. It follows nine-year-old Syrian refugee Amir, the only survivor from a shipwreck during a desperate, dangerous trip from Africa and the Middle East to the Greek Island of Kos, where he is helped by a 15-year-old Scandinavian girl.

Return to top of fiction • Return to index of genres

the globe and mail book reviews

Illustration by LEEANDRA CIANCI

Globe 100 Conversations: Margaret Atwood and Katherena Vermette, winner of the inaugural Atwood Gibson prize, discuss sanitized history and writing the truth

April in Spain

April In Spain, John Banville (Hanover Square Press)

No more bothering with the Benjamin Black nom de plume for this Booker Prize-winning author. This elegant new novel has his continuing sleuth, Quirke, confronting a ghost in idyllic San Sebastian, Spain.

Dark Roads, Chevy Stevens (St. Martin’s Publishing Group) 🍁

The Vancouver writer takes on the mystery of the missing and murdered women on the highways of Canada’s West Coast province. After months and years of deliberation and horror stories in the news, Stevens makes it all readable and terribly believable.

Exit, Belinda Bauer (Grove/Atlantic)

Felix Pink, a death doula, makes a mistake and ushers the wrong person into the afterlife, which sets off a chain of events that keeps suspense at a heart-taxing level.

Falling, TJ Newman (Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster)

Definitely not the book to take on your first airplane trip after COVID isolation. The book begins with a shoed foot landing in your lap and never lets up from there. Insider airline info from Newsom, a career flight attendant, adds to the terror in this locked-plane thriller.

Harlem Shuffle, Colson Whitehead (Doubleday Canada)

The best of the best of any year, Whitehead takes us to a Harlem on the verge of social change that no one, as yet, sees coming. The dialogue snaps and crackles and the images flow like, in Whitehead’s own words, “black molasses.” There’s hope for a sequel but this one stands on its own.

Silverview, John le Carré (Penguin Canada)

What is le Carré’s best book? Some would say The Spy Who Came In From the Cold; my personal favourite is Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, but no one will argue that Silverview , the spymaster’s final work, is definitely in the top five. Terse, tense and in his luscious luxe prose, this is a book to be savoured.

State of Terror

State of Terror, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny (St. Martins Press)

The combo of Rodham Clinton ’s first-hand knowledge of state affairs and Penny’s stellar writing talent means there’s nary a step wrong in this taut, terrific thriller.

Sufferance, Thomas King (HarperCollins Canada) 🍁

Jeremiah Camp has an ability to see patterns in human behaviour and his billionaire boss uses that ability for profit. But, one day he sees something so shocking that he decides to run away and hide out. Now the head of the consortium he used to work for has come a-knocking: Billionaires are dying, and he needs Jeremiah to play oracle one last time.

The Other Black Girl, Zakiya Dalila Harris (Atria Books)

An unforgettable debut by an ex-Knopf Doubleday employee is a sharp social satire about a Black editorial assistant who finds her otherwise cozy position at a lily-white Manhattan publishing house upended by the arrival of another Black girl with unnervingly unassailable bona fides.

We Are Watching Eliza Bright, A. E. Osworth (Grand Central Publishing)

A tech-savvy mystery with understandable postmodernist twists from a gender-fluid new author who checks all the bells and whistles as well as the newest internet clues. Some authors try; Osworth succeeds.

Return to top of thrillers • Return to index of genres

the globe and mail book reviews

Globe 100 conversations: Omar Mouallem and Kamal Al-Solaylee’s new books are about journeys to understand their roots

A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure

A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure, Hoa Nguyen (Wave Books) 🍁

A verse biography of the poet’s mother, once a stunt motorcyclist in an all-woman Vietnamese circus troupe, Nguyen’s is a poignant reflection on language, loss and cultural retrieval.

Postscripts from a City Burning, Sam Cheuk (Palimpsest Press) 🍁

A diary in verse composed over three months during the 2019 Hong Kong protests, this collection melds grief for a lost hometown with anger over what has become of it.

The Good Arabs, Eli Tareq El-Bechelany Lynch (Metonymy Press) 🍁

In the opening poem, a dancer could be a woman or could be a man when a Nancy Ajram song comes on. The collection then asks, “Are We Not Arabs?” These poems are about the poet’s multiplicity of identity, trans and Arab, from Beirut to Montreal.

The Endless Garment, Marguerite Pigeon (Wolsak & Wynn) 🍁

The poet casts a loving and critical eye on fashion – its production, labour, capital and consumption, not to mention the product itself – in these poems that crisscross the world and the history of the garment industry.

Return to top of poetry • Return to index of genres

the globe and mail book reviews


Globe 100 Conversations: Authors Esi Edugyan and Rinaldo Walcott on being Black in Canada, finding a voice and what brings them joy

A Ghost in the Throat

A Ghost in the Throat, Doireann Ni Ghriofa (Biblioasis)

Moving fluidly between past and present, this electrifying and genre-bending novel by the Irish poet details her obsession with the 18th-century noblewoman Eibhlin Dubh Ni Chonaill , whose poem The Keen for Art O’Leary was a reaction to the 1773 murder of her Catholic husband under Ireland’s Penal Laws.

Blood Legacy: Reckoning with a Family’s Story of Slavery, Alex Renton (Canongate Books) 🍁

Racism was a cornerstone of the British Empire – and indeed Canada – and this tale of coming to terms with how slavery built a family’s fortune is both fascinating and timely.

Breath Taking: The Power, Fragility, and Future of Our Extraordinary Lungs, Michael J. Stephen (Grove/Atlantic)

The pulmonologist delves into ancient and recent stories to shed much-needed light on an organ – the lungs – that is woefully understudied, even as the past two years of the pandemic have shown us how much more work needs to be done.

Care of: Letters, Connections, and Cures, Ivan Coyote (McClelland & Stewart) 🍁

Like most artists, Coyote was hit hard by last year’s lockdown – but the performer delved into their stockpile of unanswered letters, many from fans who, like Coyote, were trans or non-binary. The resulting correspondence is as crystalline and heartbreaking as anything Coyote has done in a career already full of highlights.

Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence, Anna Lembke (Dutton)

How do you find the delicate balance between pleasure and pain in a world that is hooked on instant gratification and reward? Psychiatrist Lembke explores new discoveries and attempts to explain the neuroscience behind it all.

Driven: The Secret Lives of Taxi Drivers, Marcello Di Cintio (Biblioasis) 🍁

In conversations with drivers ranging from veterans of foreign wars to Indigenous women protecting one another, Di Cintio explores the borderland of the North American taxi .

Empire of Pain

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of The Sackler Dynasty, Patrick Radden Keefe (Doubleday Canada)

The New Yorker writer’s investigation into the Sackler family, their company, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, and their production and marketing of the painkiller OxyContin is a sweeping look at how three generations built an empire and addicted a nation.

Finding the Mother Tree, Suzanne Simard (Allen Lane) 🍁

This is a deeply personal story for the University of British Columbia professor – a decades-long journey that weaves together her professional and personal lives with the discovery that forests are communities and mother trees are their lifeblood.

Grand Transitions: How the Modern World Was Made, Vaclav Smil (Oxford University Press) 🍁

What makes the modern world work? The answer to this deceptively simple question according to the Canadian scientist beloved by entrepreneurs and intellectuals lies in four “grand transitions” of civilization – in populations, agriculture, energy, and economics – which have transformed the way we live.

How to Lose Everything, Christa Couture (Douglas & McIntyre) 🍁

From the amputation of her leg as a cure for bone cancer at a young age to her first child’s single day of life, the heart transplant and subsequent death of her second child, the divorce born of grief and then the thyroidectomy that threatened her career as a professional musician, this is a memoir about grief and loss, but also survival.

Klondikers, Tim Falconer (ECW Press) 🍁

Falconer tells the riveting tale of a bunch of guys who travelled from the Yukon to Ottawa because they just wanted to play hockey. The frozen continent they crossed in 1905 was so treacherous that for days, the newspapers chronicling their passage lost track of them.

Neglected No More, André Picard (Random House Canada) 🍁

Even before the pandemic struck, The Globe and Mail’s health columnist was talking tirelessly about Canada’s crisis in elder health . But it took COVID-19 to truly expose the problems with mass institutionalization.

Nothing but the Truth

Nothing But The Truth, Marie Henein (McClelland & Stewart) 🍁

This engaging memoir traces Henein from her childhood in Egypt to her rise as a respected criminal defence lawyer and household name, owing to her defence of former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi (in a trial she won).

On Borrowed Time, Gregor Craigie (Goose Lane) 🍁

Shortlisted for the inaugural Balsillie Prize for Public Policy, Craigie interviews scientists, engineers and emergency planners about the science of the Big One and how we can prepare.

On Property, Rinaldo Walcott (Biblioasis) 🍁

This slim volume posits one provocative idea: What’s really needed in order to change policing methods around the globe is to get rid of the notion of property .

Out of the Sun, Esi Edugyan (House of Anansi) 🍁

The two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author’s first major work of non-fiction looks at the Black experience in global culture and history, and what happens when some stories remain at the margins.

Over the Boards, Hayley Wickenheiser (Viking) 🍁

Wickenheiser’s CV includes 13 World Championship appearances, six Olympics and a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame, all while raising a child, earning multiple university degrees – and with none of the financial stability handed to male professional athletes.

Permanent Astonishment, Tomson Highway (Doubleday Canada) 🍁

The playwright, novelist and musician delivers an award-winning and mesmerizing work about growing up in northern Manitoba that’s filled with cheek and humour.

Praying to the West

Praying to the West, Omar Mouallem (Simon & Schuster) 🍁

To answer the question of whether, in the era of Trump and the Islamic State, there might be a place for him within Islam, Mouallem visited dozens of mosques, from the edge of the Amazon to the Arctic Circle, capturing their diversity of practice and belief .

Rationality: What it Is, Why it Seems Scarce, Why it Matters, Steven Pinker (Viking) 🍁

The two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist’s new work aims to figure out why human beings act irrationally , are prone to bad decisions and follow leaders who are not looking out for their best interests.

Return, Kamal Al-Solaylee (HarperCollins Canada) 🍁

What began as a personal question – where would he be buried? – turned into an act of reportage when Al-Solaylee decided to spend four years travelling the world to “witness, record and demystify” the desire of migrants to return home.

Speak Not: Empire, Identity and the Politics of Language, James Griffiths (Zed) 🍁

The Globe and Mail’s Asia correspondent spent several years travelling to different parts of the world to try to answer the question of why some languages succeed while others are driven to minority status or even extinction.

Survivors: Children’s Lives After the Holocaust, Rebecca Clifford (Yale University Press) 🍁

A finalist for the Cundill History Prize , the Canadian historian’s book is based on the stories of 100 child survivors of the Holocaust, born between 1935 and 1944. The book, also shortlisted for Britain’s Wolfson History Prize, examines historical trauma and its sizable impact.

The Book of Difficult Fruit, Kate Lebo (Macmillan)

An imaginative and darkly funny memoir/encyclopedia/essay/guide; each of its 26 stories takes on a different troublesome fruit. This book is a treat for those who love language and arcane trivia.

The Brilliant Abyss

The Brilliant Abyss, Helen Scales (Grove/Atlantic)

The British marine biologist’s book illuminates how her personal life – a childhood illness left her nearly blind – affects her current position as the foremost expert on underwater light communication to give a fuller understanding of a world we know very little about.

The Dawn of Everything, David Graeber and David Wengrow (McClelland & Stewart)

The anthropologist, who died in 2020, and archeologist challenge our fundamental assumptions about social evolution in this trailblazing and weighty tome (it’s more than 500 pages).

Under a White Sky, Elizabeth Kolbert (Crown)

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction skillfully and subtly examines technology’s role in imperilling our planet and looks at our determination to fix the problem by once again interfering with nature.

Unreconciled, Jesse Wente (Allen Lane) 🍁

In this memoir-cum-manifesto , the Anishinaabe journalist and current chair of the Canada Council of the Arts outlines an identity awakening facilitated, in part, by his love of sports and pop culture, and critiques the notion of “reconciliation.”

Return to top of non-fiction • Return to index of genres

the globe and mail book reviews

Globe 100 Conversations: Tomson Highway and Thomas King talk about their writing inspiration, and why they don’t watch Netflix

Graphic novels

Fictional Father

Fictional Father, Joe Ollmann (Drawn & Quarterly) 🍁

One of two graphic novels up for Governor-General’s Awards (the other, Michel Rabagliati’s Paul at Home , came out in late 2020), Ollmann’s latest is a typically acerbic character study. Portraying the aimless, alcoholic son of an aloof, philandering cartoonist, Ollmann blends jovial grotesquerie with a surprising generosity of spirit.

Discipline, Dash Shaw (New York Review Comics)

Shaw’s magnum opus, an epic but intimate tale of a teenaged “fighting Quaker” during the American Civil War. Narrated in handwritten letters and journal entries, drawn in numinous, borderless panels, Shaw’s book feels authentically out of time, deeply invested in moral questions about pacifism and faith.

No One Else, R. Kikuo Johnson (Fantagraphics)

In the long-awaited follow-up to the New Yorker artist’s 2005 debut, nurse Charlene and young son Brandon lead a life of contented repression on Johnson’s native Maui, until family tragedy strikes, and no one knows how to cope. A wry, compassionate story of gemlike precision, whose beauty cuts deeply.

Stone Fruit, Lee Lai (Fantagraphics)

Lee Lai’s incisive debut maps out the fraught family dynamics revolving around young lovers Ray, tentative auntie to a vivacious six-year-old, and Bron, estranged from her religious home. The Montreal-based artist captures every nuance of emotional turmoil, in cartooning that’s both introspective and ferocious.

Trots and Bonnie, Shary Flenniken (New York Review Comics)

Imagine Orphan Annie and Sandy reading Our Bodies, Ourselves , and you’re ready for high jinks with wide-eyed Bonnie and Trots, her wised-up mutt. A neglected feminist classic and cornerstone of 1970s National Lampoon, Flenniken’s bawdy, elegant comic strip finally gets the collection it deserves.

Return to top of graphic novels • Return to index of genres

the globe and mail book reviews

Globe 100 Conversations: Academics and authors Alix Ohlin and Randy Boyagoda share insights on structuring stories (and writing during meetings)

Picture books

The Big Bath House

The Big Bath House, Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Gracey Zhang (Random House Children’s Books, 4-8) 🍁

A rambunctious and exuberant trip down memory lane as Maclear takes us into the bath houses she went to during childhood visits to her grandmother in Japan.

Hare B&B, Bill Richardson, illustrated by Bill Pechet (Running the Goat, 6-8) 🍁

In this whimsically retelling of a classic folktale, Harriet and her seven siblings prove how resilient they are when, after their parents’ sudden demise, they open up the Hare B&B. They show what they’re made of when a hare-eating wolf comes to dupe them into being his next meal.

Learning to Carve Argillite, Sara Florence Davidson and Robert Davidson, illustrated by Janine Gibbons (Highwater Press, 6-10) 🍁

Based on their grandfather Haida artist Robert Davidson’s own childhood experiences, readers are given a chance to see the path that this acclaimed artist took as a boy to learn how to become a carver.

Little Witch Hazel: A Year in the Forest, Phoebe Wahl, author and illustrator (Tundra, 4-8)

A series of four linked stories that celebrate nature and the seasons. Readers will find themselves delighted by both Wahl’s engaging stories and whimsical illustrations.

Moon Pops, Heena Baek, illustrated by Jieun Kiaer (OwlKids, 3-7)

A reimagining of a famous Korean folktale takes the reader to an unbearably hot summer night when even the moon begins to melt. Granny grabs a bucket to catch the falling moon drops and decides to make them into moon pops.

On the Trapline, David A. Robertson, illustrated by Julie Flett (Tundra, 6-8) 🍁

Based on his father’s experiences of life on the land, Robertson tells a tender story about a young boy visiting the places where his moshom (grandfather) grew up.

The Big Bad Wolf in My House

The Big Bad Wolf in My House, Valérie Fontaine, illustrated by Nathalie Dion (Groundwood Books, 4-8) 🍁

A powerful story about domestic violence, seen through the eyes of a child. This isn’t any easy book but it’s an important one.

The Sour Cherry Tree, Naseem Hrab, illustrated by Nahid Kazemi (OwlKids, 4-8) 🍁

An exquisitely tender story that’s based on Hrab’s own relationship with her Iranian grandfather. As a young girl who wanders through her baba’s house after his death, her memory is triggered by the things that made their relationship unique.

Two at the Top: A Shared Dream of Everest, Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Christopher Corr (Groundwood, 4-8) 🍁

Krishnaswami tells the compelling stories of sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay, growing up in Nepal under the shadow of Chomolungma, the mountain also known as Everest, and explorer Sir Edmund Hillary.

We All Play, Julie Flett (Greystone Kids, 7 and under) 🍁

An exuberant look at how animals and children play and how important it is to their lives. Young readers can romp with bears that wiggle and wobble, whales that swim and squirt and owls that peek and peep all to the repeated refrain We play too! / kimêtawânaw mîna (in English and Cree).

Return to top of picture books • Return to index of genres

the globe and mail book reviews

Globe 100 Conversations: Hillary Clinton and Louise Penny on what drew them to write political thriller State of Terror together

Young adult

A Pho Love Story

A Pho Love Story, Loan Le (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Youngsters from two rival clans fall for each other, but this is no Romeo and Juliet . Here, the families own competing Vietnamese restaurants in SoCal, deepening a rift that first developed in their war-torn home country. Le’s book is a love story , yes, but also a paean to the resilience shown by the generation of Vietnamese who fled to North America after that war.

Borders, Thomas King (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) 🍁

The Guelph, Ont.-based author turned his celebrated 1993 short story – which focuses on a woman who refuses at the boundary between Canada and the U.S. to say she is a citizen of either country – into a graphic novel. The Saskatchewan-born Métis illustrator Natasha Donovan has rendered the story’s characters and scenes vividly, preserving the considerable wit in King’s treatment of the standoff.

Both Sides Now, Peyton Thomas (Penguin Teen) 🍁

A competitive debater like Finch knows he has to argue both sides of every proposition, but what if that means speaking, in a televised national competition, against the rights of trans people (like himself) to use the public washrooms of their choice? Toronto author Thomas’s book is lively, funny and puts the reader – and this great central character – into necessarily uncomfortable places.

Factory Summers, Guy Delisle (Drawn & Quarterly) 🍁

The legendary Québécois illustrator revisits the summers he spent as a teenager working at a pulp-and-paper plant. The book details the quiet (and not-so-quiet) desperation of his older co-workers, while conjuring up the fugitive pleasures of those times now long past. Its portrait of his distant father, an executive at the plant, is at once sweet and bitter.

Firefly, Philippa Dowding (Cormorant) 🍁

This fantasy specialist’s shift into realism is a triumph (it won the Governor-General’s Award for young fiction). An addict mother so terrorizes her daughter that the girl prefers Toronto’s tough streets to her home. Sometimes in life – and in fiction – the right person shows up at the right time. The girl’s bad-ass aunt takes her in, and slowly, ever so slowly, the girl starts to feel safer. Each day, the niece tries on different clothes from the aunt’s cavernous costume shop, seeking to disguise her way toward a new self, a new life.

Frankie & Bug, Gayle Forman (Aladdin)

It’s not the summer Bug had in mind. She thought she’d spend it on an L.A. beach with her older brother, but he’s apparently sick of spending time with her. And Frankie, the Midwestern kid visiting Frankie’s honorary uncle, has no interest in swimming and sunbathing, wanting instead to figure out the identity of a serial killer stalking the city. Whatever – Bug’s not having any of it.

Hello from Here

Hello (From Here), Chandler Baker and Wesley King (Dial) 🍁

Two bestselling authors, Texas-based Baker and Nova Scotia-based King, here collaborate in rendering a fine romance written in the alternating voices of their two 17-year-old protagonists, Maxine and Jonah. The young pair meet at a grocery store in the early days of COVID and begin haggling over the last rolls of that then-rare commodity, toilet paper. Though she outhaggles him, he falls for her, pushing through his anxiety disorder and his grief (for his just-dead mom) to make a play for her.

Take Me Home Tonight, Morgan Matson (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

This book is an extended – and excellent – riff on E.L. Konigsburg’s classic From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler . Here also two kids end up in New York on their own for the first time; here, too, the Metropolitan Museum and an art-world mystery feature. In one night on the town, high-school drama-club pals Kat and Stevie lose their phones and, for a time, each other, but what they find is a lot.

The Girls I’ve Been, Tess Sharpe (Penguin Young Readers)

This taut, satisfying thriller puts the daughter of a con woman, by happenstance, in the middle of a bank heist. To foil the robbers and escape alive, Nora has to use the skills she learned impersonating assorted girls to aid in her mother’s grifts. She puts what she learned from those false selves to work, while muddling toward some truths – about herself, about life.

Tremendous Things , Susin Nielsen (PRH Canada Young Readers) 🍁

This former Degrassi writer’s charming book follows hapless Toronto teen Wilbur’s journey from zero to, if not hero, then someone of some substance. Helping him along are his mothers, his Holocaust-survivor best friend and an ebullient French exchange student named Charlotte. Some of the character names are, of course, out of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web , signalling this book’s similar interests in two tremendous things: mortality and friendship.

Return to top of young adult • Return to index of genres

Vegetables A Love Story

Baking With Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple , Dorie Greenspan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

The award-winning, prolific and beloved cookbook writer has created a baking book that appeals to home bakers of all skill levels – her recipes range from basic to complex, are reliable and accessible yet inspirational and cover everything from cookies to pastries.

Eat, Habibi, Eat!: Fresh Recipes for Modern Egyptian Cooking , Shahir Massoud (Appetite) 🍁

Canadian-Egyptian chef and TV personality Massoud draws on his family’s traditional recipe collection, honing each dish by way of his traditional French and Italian chef training. His joyful personality instills confidence in the home cook, enabling all to feed their friends and loved ones. (the Arabic habibi translates to “my darling.”)

Farm, Fire & Feast: Recipes From the Inn At Bay Fortune , Michael Smith (Penguin Canada) 🍁

Nestled on 46 acres of land on an island famous for its beaches, farmland and seafood, the Inn at Bay Fortune in PEI has drawn visitors to experience meals prepared using ingredients harvested from their eight-acre garden, five greenhouses and small orchard chef Smith and his team have gathered.

One: Pot, Pan, Planet: A Greener Way To Cook For You, Your Family and the Planet , Anna Jones (HarperCollins)

A unique compilation of recipes and suggestions for simple ways to prepare specific ingredients, all tailored to be made vegetarian or vegan. There’s also advice on how to minimize food waste, trim the grocery bill and develop more sustainable habits in the kitchen.

Vegetables: A Love Story , Renée Kohlman (Touchwood) 🍁

Saskatoon chef and food writer Renée Kohlman shares the story of meeting (at the local farmers’ market!) and falling in love with her beau, veggie farmer Dixon Simpkins, with 92 heartwarming veg-forward (but not exclusively vegetarian) recipes inspired by their life and harvests.

Well Seasoned: A Year’s Worth Of Delicious Recipes , Mary Berg (Appetite) 🍁

CTV kitchen personality Mary Berg is inspired by all that affects our appetites: moods, cravings, seasons and the people with whom we share our tables. Every course and occasion is covered in Well Seasoned , with dishes a bit unexpected – think strawberries and rhubarb inverted into a tarte Tatin , or a handful of sour cream and onion chips crushed over new potato salad.

Return to top of cookbooks • Return to index of genres

Illustrations by LeeAndra Cianci

Expand your mind and build your reading list with the Books newsletter. Sign up today .

Take a Break

Check your horoscope to learn how the stars align for you today.

Your daily horoscope: June 5, 2024

Switch gears. Give your brain a workout and do today's Daily Cryptic Crossword.

Cryptic Crossword

Scoop a new vibe in the numbers and do today's Daily Sudoku.

Daily Sudoku

Kick back with the Daily Universal Crossword.

Daily Universal Crossword

Follow related authors and topics

Aruna Dutt

  • Judith Pereira Follow You must be logged in to follow. Log In Create free account
  • Books Follow You must be logged in to follow. Log In Create free account
  • Year in review Follow You must be logged in to follow. Log In Create free account

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following .

Interact with The Globe

By the numbers: how a bank of canada rate cut will affect mortgages and other debt payments, freeland says committee finding that some mps aided foreign interference ‘concerning’, if interest rates start to fall this week, it’s go-time for dividend stocks, how to spot a toxic workplace before accepting a job offer, builders are just metres away from connecting the largest bridge ever built between canada and the united states, mars slashes top ranks as government-funded innovation agency looks to reset mandate under new ceo, consumers may face higher prices after streaming giants told to invest $200-million in canadian film, tv and music, ‘quality is on sale. act now’ on oil stocks, says rbc analyst.

Globe and Mail reviews Albatross

Posted August 19, 2019 by Terry Fallis

It’s always nice to make the Globe and Mail! The takeaway line for me in this mini-review:

“This novel has a fable-like quality and philosophical depths that Fallis plumbs with a deceptive subtlety.”

Having seldom been known for being either deceptive or subtle in my writing, I’m very happy with this. It’s still early days, but I’m pleased with how everything is unfolding since the launch of Albatross less than a week ago.

Globe and Mail 190819 a

  • #comicnovels
  • #globeandmail
  • #mcclellandstewart
  • #mediacoverage
  • #terryfallis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Related Posts


My “15 minutes” with Steve Paikin

This was very cool, but a little nerve-wracking.  Steve Paikin is a good friend and I’ve long been a fan […]

February 8, 2007

  • #canadianpoliticalnovel
  • #podcastnovel
  • #politicalnovels


Publishing Update: Cover copy polish

It’s been very interesting to learn about the various steps in the publishing process.  I’ve just reviewed and tweaked the […]

June 18, 2007

  • #selfpublishing


Speaking gig at the Arts and Letters Club

I’ve just been invited to speak at the prestigious Literary Table, a crowd of writers and book lovers that regularly […]

March 15, 2008

  • #artsandlettersclub


Off the grid for a few days…

I’ll be in Virginia for a few days for our annual golf pilgrimage.  Each year in mid-May, my twin brother […]

May 11, 2009

  • #canadianpolitics
  • #leacockmedal

TBLP on European Satellite Radio

Now this is kind of cool. Back in the summer I got an e-mail from Thomas Volkner from Radioropa, a […]

October 19, 2007

  • #satelliteradio

About the Author

Closeup photo of Terry Fallis in greyscale

Read Terry's Bio

Terry on Substack

Books by terry.

the globe and mail book reviews


Https://, book reviews | the globe and mail arts staff writers recommend three new books including ayaz pirani’s “how beautiful people are”.

  • by ismailimail
  • Posted on July 4, 2022

June 29, 2022 : The Globe and Mail Arts staff recommend short and sweet summer reads.

How Beautiful People Are by Ayaz Pirani (Gordon Hill Press) – review by Rukhsar Ali

the globe and mail book reviews

For those who answer, “Where are you from?” with an asterisked half-truth, you will find comfort in the in-between space where Ayaz Pirani’s newest collection of poetry digs in its roots. Animated through the character of Kabir from Pirani’s past work, How Beautiful People Are embodies love and loss, and longing and belonging all at once, journeying the reader through the complexity of the human condition and the dynamism of identity.

Written with allusions to the diwan (collection) of ginan and granth literature from the Indian subcontinent, the collection is unapologetic in its origins while simultaneously exploring the question of its postcolonial existence. Pirani’s speaker restlessly rustles the definitions of home through the book’s pages to find familiarity “on the last leg of / someone else’s journey.” But the task isn’t quite so simple, because “Once you leave the village / there’s no road back.”

Drawing from his own hyphenated identity, the poet, born in Tanzania and raised in Canada, snapshots moments in time in short, and often snappy, poems that revel in nuance in a world where “Nuance is heading for the door.” At times crisp and poignant, eccentric and whimsical, the poetry collection is an intergenerational garden where definitions of home rendezvous in cleverly structured poems on the page.

How Beautiful People Are is a mosaic of experiences, memories and tradition where these facets of being interplay. It’s a quick read that’ll leave you asking questions about origin and humanity, and a sense of comfort in not having all the answers.

Click here to purchase the book.

About the author Ayaz Pirani was born in Tanzania and studied Humanities in Toronto and Montreal. His degree is from Vermont College of Fine Arts. His books include Happy You Are Here , Kabir’s Jacket Has a Thousand Pockets , and Bachelor of Art . His work has recently appeared in ARC Poetry Magazine , The Antigonish Review , The Malahat Review , and Guest 16 .

Additional book reviews by The Globe and Mail Arts staff writers : Tides by Sara Freeman (Penguin Random House Canada) – review by Marsha Lederman : Tides begins with a woman on a long bus journey out, heading toward the sea. Who she is and why she’s leaving slowly unfold, revealed in bits and pieces in brief segments à la Jenny Offill. The segments can be as brief as a single sentence, but through each, the bitter onion of this woman’s life is unpeeled, and the reader begins to understand. Read full review at The Global and Mail

Good Girl by Anna Fitzpatrick (Flying Books) – review by Rebecca Tucker : Lucy Selberg, the protagonist of Toronto writer Anna Fitzpatrick’s debut novel, Good Girl , is a 25-year-old writer and bookseller also living in Toronto. After she meets Henry, a man with whom she’s able to explore her interest in kink (specifically, her interest in BDSM), Lucy finds herself also exploring, essentially, how to be the right kind of person – the right kind of colleague, the right kind of friend, the right kind of lover, the right kind of feminist, the right kind of writer. How to be good. Read full review at The Global and Mail

Share this via:

  • Click to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Evernote (Opens in new window)

' src=

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works. View all posts by ismailimail

Leave a comment Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

' src=

  • Already have a account? Log in now.
  • Subscribe Subscribed
  • Copy shortlink
  • Report this content
  • View post in Reader
  • Manage subscriptions
  • Collapse this bar

Toronto shooting victim Delroy Parkes was assassinated: Family

‘expected sportsmanship’: transgender athlete upset about being booed after win, baltimore orioles show no mercy in humiliating manhandling of blue jays, dr. anthony fauci admits he made up covid’s social-distancing measures, masking rules, rory mcilroy and amanda balionis share a moment after interview amid dating rumours, book review: former globe and mail editor dissects past, present and future of news media.

John Stackhouse, former editor-in-chief of the Globe and Mail, explores the decline of newspapers in his new book Mass Disruption: Thirty Years on the Front Lines of a Media Revolution.

You can save this article by registering for free here . Or sign-in if you have an account.

Reviews and recommendations are unbiased and products are independently selected. Postmedia may earn an affiliate commission from purchases made through links on this page.

Article content

Mass Disruption: Thirty Years on the Front Lines of a Media Revolution

by John Stackhouse

Random House

Although more people than ever before are reading newspapers, the business model that has sustained newspapers for more than 100 years is in trouble as advertisers move online, where ads sell for far less than in the printed product.

“The second decade of the new millennium rattled just about everything to do with newspapers, except perhaps their influence,” Stackhouse writes in the book. “For all the red ink splashing around the advertising and circulation departments, the editorial side of the business enjoyed a cachet that was less diminished. … (W)hen journalism made a lasting difference, it continued to do so, more often that not, through a newspaper site.”

Stackhouse worked for 30 years in newspapers, beginning in the 1980s. He started at the London Free Press, where there were about 150 journalists, while today there are less than 50, he said.

“The economic duress of serious journalism-based organizations is putting in jeopardy the quality of the information and that is something that has a risk of eroding until it’s too late and we realize what we’ve lost,” Stackhouse said. “We’re seeing a severe diminution of quality journalism and reporting, more at the local level than at the national level.”

This becomes a significant problem when, as found in one study in the U.S., the most significant source of news is the local politician’s Facebook page or the most significant provider of news about crime is the police department, he says.

“I don’t think that’s how, as citizens, we want to be informed about crime, exclusively by the police,” Stackhouse said. “We’re sliding into a very risky era, where, especially at the local level, the coverage of institutions, which I think we’d all agree is a public good, is being taken over by individual private interests.”

Nonetheless, he’s hopeful. He says the demand is high for quality journalism, all that’s missing is the economic formula to sustain it.

He’s found a couple of emerging business models that might work, including an advertising-based model used at the Atlantic and a non-profit model used at the Texas Tribune.

Newspapers can charge more for advertisements online, if they can prove the ads will reach a quality audience, Stackhouse said. Also, getting regular readers who will revisit a site again and again is critical to getting subscribers, which Stackhouse is convinced newspapers are going to need in the future.

“One of the things that gives me hope is that there is more and, I would argue, better information about current events than ever,” Stackhouse said. “There’s more variety. We saw that in the recent election. It would be hard to argue that we all did not have access to good information and a good debate.”

Stackhouse also wrote Out of Poverty: And into Something More Comfortable and Timbit Nation: A Hitchhiker’s View of Canada. After five years as editor-in-chief at the Globe, he is now a senior vice-president in the office of the CEO at the Royal Bank of Canada.

Sun Books [email protected]

Book review: Former Globe and Mail editor dissects past, present and future of news media Back to video

Subscribe now to read the latest news in your city and across Canada.

  • Unlimited online access to articles from across Canada with one account.
  • Get exclusive access to the Toronto Sun ePaper, an electronic replica of the print edition that you can share, download and comment on.
  • Enjoy insights and behind-the-scenes analysis from our award-winning journalists.
  • Support local journalists and the next generation of journalists.
  • Daily puzzles including the New York Times Crossword.

Create an account or sign in to continue with your reading experience.

  • Access articles from across Canada with one account.
  • Share your thoughts and join the conversation in the comments.
  • Enjoy additional articles per month.
  • Get email updates from your favourite authors.

Don't have an account? Create Account

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion. Please keep comments relevant and respectful. Comments may take up to an hour to appear on the site. You will receive an email if there is a reply to your comment, an update to a thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information.

This website uses cookies to personalize your content (including ads), and allows us to analyze our traffic. Read more about cookies here . By continuing to use our site, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy .

You've reached the 20 article limit.

You can manage saved articles in your account.

and save up to 100 articles!

Looks like you've reached your saved article limit!

You can manage your saved articles in your account and clicking the X located at the bottom right of the article.

the globe and mail book reviews

  • Writing, Research & Publishing Guides

Kindle app logo image

Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required .

Read instantly on your browser with Kindle for Web.

Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.

QR code to download the Kindle App

Image Unavailable

The Globe and Mail Style Book, Ninth edition: A Guide to Language and Usage

  • To view this video download Flash Player

The Globe and Mail Style Book, Ninth edition: A Guide to Language and Usage Paperback – November 11, 2003

  • Print length 504 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher McClelland & Stewart
  • Publication date November 11, 2003
  • Dimensions 6.05 x 1.01 x 8.99 inches
  • ISBN-10 0771056850
  • ISBN-13 978-0771056857
  • See all details

The Amazon Book Review

Editorial Reviews

From the inside flap, about the author, product details.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ McClelland & Stewart; 9th edition (November 11, 2003)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 504 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0771056850
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0771056857
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.55 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.05 x 1.01 x 8.99 inches
  • #1,093 in Editing Writing Reference (Books)
  • #3,336 in Words, Language & Grammar Reference
  • #3,537 in Research Reference Books

Customer reviews

Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings help customers to learn more about the product and decide whether it is the right product for them.

To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzed reviews to verify trustworthiness.

  • Sort reviews by Top reviews Most recent Top reviews

Top reviews from the United States

Top reviews from other countries.

the globe and mail book reviews

  • Amazon Newsletter
  • About Amazon
  • Accessibility
  • Sustainability
  • Press Center
  • Investor Relations
  • Amazon Devices
  • Amazon Science
  • Sell on Amazon
  • Sell apps on Amazon
  • Supply to Amazon
  • Protect & Build Your Brand
  • Become an Affiliate
  • Become a Delivery Driver
  • Start a Package Delivery Business
  • Advertise Your Products
  • Self-Publish with Us
  • Become an Amazon Hub Partner
  • › See More Ways to Make Money
  • Amazon Visa
  • Amazon Store Card
  • Amazon Secured Card
  • Amazon Business Card
  • Shop with Points
  • Credit Card Marketplace
  • Reload Your Balance
  • Amazon Currency Converter
  • Your Account
  • Your Orders
  • Shipping Rates & Policies
  • Amazon Prime
  • Returns & Replacements
  • Manage Your Content and Devices
  • Recalls and Product Safety Alerts
  • Conditions of Use
  • Privacy Notice
  • Consumer Health Data Privacy Disclosure
  • Your Ads Privacy Choices


Quick Search

Advanced Search


«The Globe and Mail» Style Book: A Guide to Language and Usage. Rev. ed.

Description, contributor.

Sarah Robertson is the trade, scholarly, and reference editor of the Canadian Book Review Annual.

The Globe and Mail Style Book was last revised and updated in 1995. This latest edition retains the format used in previous editions, with entries alphabetically arranged and cross-referenced. The authors present advice and rulings on a wide range of usage issues, from abbreviations and capitalization to punctuation and points of grammar. There are extended entries on such topics as quotations; courts, contempt, and libel; foreign and French words; Native people; women and language; and measurement. Serving as appendixes are The Globe and Mail’s code of conduct, a history of the Globe, and 16 pages of maps. A quick comparison with the 1993 edition reveals some minor style alterations (e.g., day care and data base now appear as single words, and Art Deco is lowercase); such essential additions as ageism, Internet, Web, and ABM (it is curious that while this entry suggests ATM is the U.S. term, ATM appears with far greater frequency in the pages of The Globe and Mail); and an updating of the historical record where applicable. ITP Nelson Canadian Dictionary of the English Language has replaced Funk & Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary as the Globe’s official spelling guide. Individual exceptions to Nelson are listed under the entry on spelling. The book is considerably more prescriptive than the Guide to Canadian English Usage (Oxford University Press, 1997). The authors adopt a traditional stance on such bugbears as hopefully, presently, beg the question, enthuse (as a verb), and parameter. The entries themselves are models of clarity and conciseness (advance planning is accompanied by the pithy query, “Is there another kind?”), peppered with dry wit (on the expression rush to hospital, the authors remark, “We can assume an ambulance doesn’t dawdle”). In future editions, McFarlane and Clements might consider replacing some of the more quixotic entries (Anne Boleyn, Sir Henry Pellatt, fuddle-duddle, to name a few) with entries that are more au courant. Although developed specifically for Globe staff, The Globe and Mail Style Book continues to be an invaluable reference work for all editors, writers, and journalists who ply their trades in Canada.

the globe and mail book reviews

‘The Globemakers’ Review: The World in Their Hands

O f all the artifacts that persist in the face of new technology, the globe may be strangest. Books have stubbornly clung to market share despite the rise of e-readers. Mechanical wristwatches remain the subject of fascination even in the age of smart devices. Yet those analog objects retain a practicality that their digital counterparts sometimes lack: A page is easier on the eyes than a screen, for instance. Globes have long since lost any vestige of utility. When a smartphone app can zoom in to street level in an instant, what point is there in consulting a large, bulky sphere? Yet finding where you’re going and knowing where you are can be two different things. In an era of fragmentation, it is bracing to see a thing whole.

In his book about their makers, Peter Bellerby describes globes as “beguiling objects full of detail, color, and wonder.” They offer the childlike joy of experiencing a miniature in all its rich variety and texture. Mr. Bellerby’s London boutique makes globes by hand, the largest with a diameter of more than 4 feet and costing about $90,000. There is a long waiting period to buy one of the 600 pieces the firm produces annually, yet business is strong. Bellerby & Co. credits a good product: not just the globes—although they are remarkable works of craftsmanship—but the Earth. Globes remind us, Mr. Bellerby writes, that we live on “a beautiful planet floating in space, spinning within an infinite universe and an evolution of time so long that it is difficult to comprehend.”

“The Globemakers: The Curious Story of an Ancient Craft” presents an esoteric history of globes, a detailed description of how the author builds them and an account of his company’s development. The most arresting feature of the book is its appearance, for which the publisher, Bloomsbury, and the book’s designer, Dave Brown, deserve particular notice. “The Globemakers” is a lovely object, beautifully conceived and skillfully executed. With its digressive text boxes, sketches and photographs, it encourages the reader to linger and explore. In that sense the rectangular book echoes the round object it chronicles.

The very first globes are thought to predate Christ, but the oldest surviving globe was made between 1492 and 1494 by Martin Behaim in Nuremberg, Germany. (Notably, the first known watch was made in the same city around the same time.) This globe—called the Erdapfel, meaning “Earth apple”—is almost 8 inches in diameter; it was made of linen strips pasted onto a clay ball and then painted with a map reflecting the travels of Marco Polo and others. The Americas do not appear and Japan is enormous. Featured throughout are “over one hundred miniature objects and figures—flags, saints, kings on their thrones, elephants, camels, parrots and fish, and fantastic creatures including a sea serpent and a mermaid.” Such arcane items continue to embellish globes to this day, tickling the imagination and combating monotony, particularly in the vast blue reaches of the Pacific Ocean.

In the age of exploration between the 15th and 17th centuries, globes helped seafarers plot courses and fix trade routes. During subsequent centuries they threatened to become obsolete in light of technological developments such as sextants and marine chronometers. “A new breed of astronomers and navigators maintained that globes might well be useful to record new discoveries, but not to make them,” Mr. Bellerby writes. Cartographers placed invented towns on their maps to snare plagiarists who tried to steal their work. Boston emerged as the home of American globemaking, later to fall to the lithographic printing center of Chicago in the mid-19th century. Globes became widely available educational tools, standardized and accurate—but unlovely.

Mr. Bellerby took an interest in globes in 2008 after trying, and failing, to buy one for his father for a landmark birthday. He found that the market offered either cheap, mass-produced pieces or outrageously expensive antiques: neither appealed. So he took advantage of the 2007-09 recession and set out to make one himself, learning by trial and error and building a company as he went along. (He delivered the birthday gift a couple of years late, in 2010.) The later business journey, which he recounts, is interesting enough but less engrossing than the historical tidbits or the chapters on how a globe is made.

After crafting a perfect sphere, which is no mean feat—ask Leonardo da Vinci—a globemaker must cover it with gores. These, Mr. Bellerby explains, are surfboard-shaped map sections that can be printed and laid flat and then are affixed to the sphere with the pointed tips resting at the north and south poles and the widest portions covering the equator. Cutting the gores with a scalpel, stretching them, gluing them and laying them with exquisite precision, is the heart of the globemaker’s craft. Mr. Bellerby estimates that learning to cut gores correctly takes 50,000 practice attempts. Once these are affixed, the globe must be hand-painted and dried and then mounted onto a bespoke base. The finish on a Bellerby globe has the shiny brilliance of hard candy.

The maps that appear beneath this lacquer are political minefields. Does Taiwan belong to China or is it a sovereign state? Where does India end and Pakistan begin? What precisely are the contours of the nation of Israel? It all depends whom you ask, and the answer may one day change. “A globe is and has always been a record of a moment in history,” Mr. Bellerby writes, “which can only ever be fully accurate at the instant we print the map.” He notes that there is no international standard of cartography, and his firm must not risk committing a crime by shipping an offending globe to a country touchy about such things. The unsatisfying solution is occasionally to edit maps based on the globe’s destination. “We mark disputed borders as disputed. We cannot change or rewrite history.”

Globes are like other anachronisms that reflect the way things were: solid, durable, based on a knowable past instead of an uncertain future. A beautiful globe in a handsome library is the essence of romance. In this sense, it is right that a book should be the medium to commemorate Bellerby & Co’s unlikely success. Yet artisanship of this type does something else: It rewards a desire for tactile engagement in a digital era, when so much daily ephemera comes and goes with our hands never touching it. Mr. Bellerby captures this basic human impulse by reporting what many visitors to his studio request. After admiring a globe and then tentatively stepping closer, they often ask—to his delight—“May I spin it?”

Mr. O’Donnell is the author of the forthcoming novel “Above the Fire.”

A professional globemaker at work.


Supported by

Congress Signed the Checks, but Artists Paid the Price

In “The Playbook,” James Shapiro offers a resonant history of the Federal Theater Project, a Depression-era program that gave work to writers and actors until politics took center stage.

  • Share full article

A poster for the play “It Can’t Happen Here” includes a blocky black illustration of a man who resembles Adolf Hitler, in a military uniform and holding a rifle, emerging from a map of the contiguous United States, colored in red. An oversized white hand is superimposed over the middle of the map, as if in Nazi salute.

By Laura Collins-Hughes

Laura Collins-Hughes, a freelance journalist, has written about theater for The New York Times since 2013.

  • Barnes and Noble
  • Books-A-Million

When you purchase an independently reviewed book through our site, we earn an affiliate commission.

THE PLAYBOOK: A Story of Theater, Democracy, and the Making of a Culture War, by James Shapiro

A week before Election Day 1936, when a landslide vote would keep Franklin D. Roosevelt in the White House for a second term, the antifascist play “ It Can’t Happen Here ” opened nationwide: 21 productions in 18 cities, from Los Angeles to New York.

Adapted from Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel of the same name, the show became a hit for the Federal Theater Project , a jobs-for-artists division of Roosevelt’s Depression-era Works Progress Administration.

But it was a chaotic scramble to get the play onstage. Long before the advent of email or even fax machines, the show’s text was still evolving as opening night approached, the script changes mailed cross-country to the various companies.

The Federal Theater, meanwhile, was so nervous about being perceived as partisan that it had prohibited the play and its publicity materials from directly mentioning fascism or real-world political figures. Posters in Detroit depicting a military man resembling Hitler were ordered, by telegram, to be destroyed.

Ambitious, civic-minded and self-sabotaging, the whole enterprise moved fast, fast, fast. The Federal Theater, which lasted just four years, spent its brief life in that mode. Its final months were devoted to trying to fend off the wild accusations of a Communist-hunting congressman, who in headline-grabbing hearings smeared it baselessly, ruinously, as un-American.

With the American theater struggling to regain the vitality it had before Covid-related shutdowns, some creators and critics have called for a new version of the Federal Theater to come to the rescue. The U.S. government is hardly a spendthrift with arts dollars, but what if it were to pony up for the industry again?

Well, let James Shapiro’s piquant and resonant history banish any romantic fantasies. His new book, “The Playbook: A Story of Theater, Democracy, and the Making of a Culture War,” is about how messy and compromised the situation can get for artists when Congress is signing the checks, how cynical the politics can be and how familiar — how Trumpian — some of the muddying tactics deployed in the 1930s now seem.

To Shapiro, whose previous books include “ Shakespeare in a Divided America ” (2020), “the health of democracy and theater, twin-born in ancient Greece, has always been mutually dependent.”

In his view, then, it was to the joint benefit of democracy and theater that the federal program came into existence in 1935 and to their detriment when it was eliminated in 1939 after having “staged, for a pittance, over a thousand productions in 29 states seen by 30 million, or roughly one in four Americans.”

The underdog hero of “The Playbook” is Hallie Flanagan , the Vassar professor and experimental theater maker tapped to direct the Federal Theater. She believed, with moving sincerity, that “the theater, when it is any good, can change things,” as she told a group of directors and designers midway through the project.

She added: “And if, in making people laugh, which we certainly want to do, we can’t also protest … against some of the evils of this country of ours, then we do not deserve the chance put into our hands.”

Flanagan seized that chance, producing classics and new works, some of which — like the 1938 play “ One-Third of a Nation ,” about the housing crisis — smacked of pro-Roosevelt propaganda. That didn’t exactly endear her to the president’s adversaries.

Among them was Martin Dies , a cigar-chomping Texas Democrat and onetime New Deal supporter who that year became the founding chairman of the House Un-American Activities Committee. He was, Shapiro writes, “an opportunistic, America-first, anti-immigrant, antilabor, racist politician with few scruples, for whom power and popularity mattered more than ideology.”

Possessed of “a canny sense of where American democracy’s guardrails were flimsiest,” Dies scare-mongered about the Federal Theater partly because he craved attention, which was easy to get from the press that way.

But did he truly, as Shapiro argues, innovate a right-wing playbook whose strategies — like “battling over culture and identity,” threatening violence to gin up campaign support and overwhelming the news media with so much unsubstantiated information that reporters wouldn’t have time to fact-check it — remain “widely used today”?

Without sufficient evidence, the assertion comes across as overreach. In a nation as fractious and puritanical from the get-go as this one, it is hard not to wonder if Dies’s playbook was just a modern iteration of what others had done before.

“The Playbook,” though, is nonetheless an engrossing read (Willa Cather, once a fledgling theater critic in Nebraska, makes a very smart cameo), and the present-day echoes of Dies’s culture-warring are unambiguous.

Shapiro wraps the story of the Federal Theater and Dies’s committee around five chapters dedicated to individual Federal Theater shows, like the “Macbeth” that a 20-year-old Orson Welles directed in 1936, in Harlem, for its Negro Unit. Ever after, he and the show’s producer, John Houseman, would tell ostensibly witty anecdotes about it, recalling their Black collaborators in grotesquely debased terms.

The book’s most gripping and enraging chapter is about “Liberty Deferred,” a daring play by two young Black playwrights, Abram Hill and John Silvera, that was watered down in development and not produced. Set partly “in ‘the fabled land where all lynch victims go,’ Lynchotopia,” the play, whose targets include the racism of Northern whites, is described in riveting detail. Shapiro notes that it has never been staged. Maybe it’s time to change that.

The Federal Theater was no paradise for Black artists, but the program’s relative progressivism on race riled up Dies and other politicians.

So did the notion of the government, in the midst of grievous unemployment, paying theater makers to generate art. Yet one of the most compassionate speeches quoted in “The Playbook” comes from the Democratic senator Sherman Minton of Indiana, imagining some ordinary playwright on relief who perhaps “did not create a Hamlet or a Launcelot Gobbo” (shout-out there to “The Merchant of Venice”), but deserves to eat.

After Dies triumphed and opinion turned against the Federal Theater, Roosevelt himself signed it out of existence. Decades on, when Flanagan was old and unwell and living in a nursing home, the memory of Dies’s wrecking-ball pursuit disturbed her still, according to a biography of her that Shapiro quotes in his epilogue.

“In moments of self-doubt,” the biographer wrote, “she would wonder if the voices she heard in the corridor outside her room were accusing her of being a Communist.”

THE PLAYBOOK : A Story of Theater, Democracy, and the Making of a Culture War | By James Shapiro | Penguin Press | 384 pp. | $30

Explore More in Books

Want to know about the best books to read and the latest news start here..

John S. Jacobs was a fugitive, an abolitionist — and the brother of the canonical author Harriet Jacobs. Now, his own fierce autobiography has re-emerged .

Don DeLillo’s fascination with terrorism, cults and mass culture’s weirder turns has given his work a prophetic air. Here are his essential books .

Jenny Erpenbeck’s “ Kairos ,” a novel about a torrid love affair in the final years of East Germany, won the International Booker Prize , the renowned award for fiction translated into English.

Kevin Kwan, the author of “Crazy Rich Asians,” left Singapore’s opulent, status-obsessed, upper crust when he was 11. He’s still writing about it .

Each week, top authors and critics join the Book Review’s podcast to talk about the latest news in the literary world. Listen here .


Prolific bestseller tracy chevalier loves reading historical fiction as well as writing it..

Tracy Chevalier's new novel The Glass Maker.

In her new novel, “ The Glassmaker ,” Tracy Chevalier follows the fates of a family of Murano glassblowers from the Renaissance until now as the island faces plague, invasion and, eventually, mega-tourism. Chevalier is the best-selling author of “ Girl With a Pearl Earring ,” which has been adapted into a film, a play, and an opera. Born in Washington, D.C., she lives in London with her husband.

BOOKS: What are you reading?

CHEVALIER: “ The Lover of No Fixed Abode ” by Carlo Fruttero and Franco Lucenti. It’s a poignant love story that is kind of strange. Mostly the novel has an incredible sense of what Venice is like. I’m just about to start Elif Shafak ’s new novel, “There Are Rivers in the Sky.” I’m going to Turkey for a yoga retreat and she’s Turkish, so that seemed perfect.


BOOKS: Do you read more fiction or nonfiction?

CHEVALIER: I prefer fiction. I find it harder to get through nonfiction. Sometimes I get the point of a nonfiction book and then it goes on and on. I’ll start skimming. You can’t do that with a novel. You have to read the whole book to get it. Also, I use books to escape daily life and nonfiction doesn’t do that as well for me.

BOOKS: Have you always read for escape?

CHEVALIER: My mother got sick when I was 3 and died when I was 8. So, it was a tricky household for a while. I used books a lot to escape. I went to the public library after school. The children’s librarian there gave me recommendations and nudged me into reading books that were more challenging. It was a wonderful education in reading.

BOOKS: What was the first historical novel you read?

CHEVALIER: Rose Tremain’s “ Restoration ,” which is set in the 1660s when Charles II was restored to the throne. It has a wonderful central character who is a doctor who treats the king. It was funny and wore its history lightly. But I realize now that the Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “ Little House on the Prairie ” series I read as a child was historical fiction.

BOOKS: What was your last best read?

CHEVALIER: Two books. One was Hannah Pylväinen’s “ The End of Drum-Time ,” which was a finalist for the 2023 National Book Award. It’s set in the Arctic Circle, and is about a clash between the indigenous reindeer herders and the Swedish settlers. The other is Yael van der Wouden’s “ The Safekeep .” That has a strange heroine and takes a lot of twists. Oh, and two other historical novels, Daniel Mason’s “ North Woods ” and Lauren Groff’s “ The Vaster Wilds .” I’ve had a good run of reading.

BOOKS: Do you ever have bad runs?

CHEVALIER: I had one during the pandemic. Suddenly, everything I was reading didn’t make sense. I ended up reading two books written in the 1930s. One was Elizabeth von Arnim’s “ The Enchanted April ,” which is about four women renting an Italian villa for a month. It’s very gentle. I also read R.C. Sherriff’s “ A Fortnight in September .” It’s a novel about a family that goes on holiday to the same place each year. It takes about 100 pages for them to even get out of their house as they pack sandwiches for the train and take the canary to the neighbor’s. It sounds so boring but you get totally into it.

BOOKS: What are your reading habits?

CHEVALIER: I make a reading resolution every year. Once I resolved to read a book per month by a man because I was tending to read only women. Another year I decided to read mostly books that I owned rather than buy new ones. That didn’t last very long. One year I resolved to take one of my art books out each week, put it on the coffee table and look at it. That worked out pretty well.

BOOKS: Do you have a lot of books?

CHEVALIER: Yes, but every couple of weeks, I choose three to donate. I don’t do a lot all in one go because that would pain me so. Sometimes I like just seeing a book on the shelf. I just picked up “Backroads of Ohio.” There are such beautiful pictures in it. I can’t possibly give that away. It’s about nostalgia and comfort. My own history surrounds me by having all these books.

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter @GlobeBiblio. Amy Sutherland is the author, most recently, of “ Rescuing Penny Jane ” and she can be reached at [email protected] .

  • Best Extended Auto Warranty
  • Best Used Car Warranty
  • Best Car Warranty Companies
  • CarShield Reviews
  • Best Auto Loan Rates
  • Average Auto Loan Interest Rates
  • Best Auto Refinance Rates
  • Bad Credit Auto Loans
  • Best Auto Shipping Companies
  • How To Ship a Car
  • Car Shipping Cost Calculator
  • Montway Auto Transport Reviews
  • Best Car Buying Apps
  • Best Websites To Sell Your Car Online
  • CarMax Review
  • Carvana Reviews
  • Best LLC Service
  • Best Registered Agent Service
  • Best Trademark Service
  • Best Online Legal Services
  • Best CRMs for Small Business
  • Best CRM Software
  • Best CRM for Real Estate
  • Best Marketing CRM
  • Best CRM for Sales
  • Best Free Time Tracking Apps
  • Best HR Software
  • Best Payroll Services
  • Best HR Outsourcing Services
  • Best HRIS Software
  • Best Project Management Software
  • Best Construction Project Management Software
  • Best Task Management Software
  • Free Project Management Software
  • Best SEO Services (2024 Rankings)
  • Best Mass Texting Services 2024
  • Best SEO Software 2024
  • Best Email Marketing Software 2024
  • Best Personal Loans
  • Best Fast Personal Loans
  • Best Debt Consolidation Loans
  • Best Loans for Bad Credit
  • Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit
  • Best Home Equity Loan Rates
  • Best Home Equity Loans
  • Best Checking Accounts
  • Best Free Checking Accounts
  • Best Online Checking Accounts
  • Best Online Banks
  • Bank Account Bonuses
  • Best High-Yield Savings Accounts
  • Best Savings Accounts
  • Average Savings Account Interest Rate
  • Money Market Accounts
  • Best CD Rates
  • Best 3-Month CD Rates
  • Best 6-Month CD Rates
  • Best 1-Year CD Rates
  • Best 5-Year CD Rates
  • Best Jumbo CD Rates
  • Best Hearing Aids
  • Best OTC Hearing Aids
  • Most Affordable Hearing Aids
  • Eargo Hearing Aids Review
  • Best Medical Alert Systems
  • Best Medical Alert Watches
  • Best Medical Alert Necklaces
  • Are Medical Alert Systems Covered by Insurance?
  • Best Online Therapy
  • Best Online Therapy Platforms That Take Insurance
  • Best Online Psychiatrist Platforms
  • BetterHelp Review
  • Best Mattress
  • Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
  • Best Mattress for Back Pain
  • Best Adjustable Beds
  • Best Home Warranty Companies
  • American Home Shield Review
  • First American Home Warranty Review
  • Best Home Appliance Insurance
  • Best Moving Companies
  • Best Interstate Moving Companies
  • Best Long-Distance Moving Companies
  • Cheap Moving Companies
  • Best Window Replacement Companies
  • Best Gutter Guards
  • Gutter Installation Costs
  • Best Window Brands
  • Best Solar Companies
  • Best Solar Panels
  • How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?
  • Solar Calculator
  • Best Car Insurance Companies
  • Cheapest Car Insurance Companies (June 2024)
  • Best Car Insurance for New Drivers
  • Cheap Same Day Car Insurance
  • Best Pet Insurance
  • Pet Insurance Cost
  • Cheapest Pet Insurance
  • Pet Wellness Plans
  • Best Life Insurance
  • Best Term Life Insurance
  • Best Whole Life Insurance
  • Term vs. Whole Life Insurance
  • Best Travel Insurance Companies
  • Best Homeowners Insurance Companies
  • Best Renters Insurance Companies
  • Best Motorcycle Insurance

Partner content:  This content was created by a business partner of Dow Jones, independent of the MarketWatch newsroom. Links in this article may result in us earning a commission.  Learn More

Globe Life Insurance Review | 2024

With its lower coverage limits, Globe Life might not be the best choice for everyone. However, on the plus side, its policies may not require a medical exam.

Sarah Horvath Photo

Sarah Horvath is one of the home service industry’s most accomplished writers. Her specialties include writing about home warranties, insurance, home improvement and household finances. You can find her writing published through distributors like HouseMethod, Architectural Digest, Good Housekeeping and more. When not writing, she enjoys spending time in her home in Orlando with her fiance and parrot.

Sabrina Lopez Photo

Sabrina Lopez is an editor with over six years of experience writing and editing digital content with a particular focus on home services, home products and personal finance. When she is not working on articles to help consumers make informed decisions, Sabrina enjoys creative writing and spending time with her family and their two parrots.

Globe Life and Accident Insurance Company provides a range of life insurance policies and products, including specialized protections for financial obligations like mortgage payments. Headquartered in McKinney, Texas, Globe Life has more than 65 years of experience issuing policies and is backed by exceptional financial ratings and underwriting. It offers a few policies without a medical exam, though buying is more inconvenient when compared to competitors.

Read on to learn more about Globe Life insurance policies and its policy options, as well as the best life insurance choice for your family.

Ethos  Logo

Why Trust MarketWatch Guides

Our editorial team follows a comprehensive methodology for rating and reviewing life insurance companies. Advertisers have no effect on our rankings.

Companies Reviewed

Hours Reached

Rating Factors

Experts Approved

Globe Life Insurance Overview

Globe Life Insurance is a streamlined life insurance provider that offers term life and whole life coverage online and over the phone. It’s notable for its lack of medical exams required on most policies, including many whole life options. But Globe Life doesn’t have the best ratings from its customers, and the company’s death benefit options are lower than average.

Types of Life Insurance Offered

Life insurance is a financial protection that delivers money to others when the policyholder dies. This insurance can give you peace of mind, knowing your loved ones will gain a cash benefit that has no limits after you’re gone. Typical uses of individual life insurance payouts include paying for funeral expenses, paying off credit card debt and paying the balance of mortgage loans.

Globe Life offers a few specialized life insurance products, including the following:

Term Life Insurance

A term life insurance policy is a financial hedge that covers you for a specific period, called the policy’s term. If the policyholder dies while the term is active, beneficiaries receive a payout.

The Globe Life Insurance Company of New York offers term life insurance policies without a waiting period. Most applicants also won’t need to undergo a medical exam to get approved for coverage. You can buy a term policy from Globe Life that has terms from one to 30 years, which is more customizable than some competitors. But death benefits are lower than you’ll find with most other life insurers: a maximum of $100,000.

You can buy select term life policies online. Prices are more affordable than whole life insurance, making term life an appealing option for people on a budget for insurance . Globe Life offers $1 premiums for your first month of coverage, a sign-on bonus. Premiums increase to the agreed-upon rate once the offer expires.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance policies guarantee a payout for beneficiaries as long as premiums are paid on time. While term life insurance is significantly more expensive than term life coverage, it includes a cash value element that returns a portion of premium value in the form of investment income over time.

Globe Life offers whole life insurance options, but you won’t be able to apply for coverage online. Rates won’t increase when you lock into term coverage, which makes Globe Life an appealing option for those looking for whole life coverage with predictable costs .

In terms of coverage amounts, Globe Life insurance claims max out at $50,000 in death benefit value, lower than most competitors. While Globe Life issues whole life policies without an in-person medical exam in most cases, you will need to complete a health questionnaire before learning more about your rates.

Final Expense Insurance

Final expense life insurance is a policy that covers costs associated with a person’s funeral, burial and other death-related expenses. Policies may include additional customization from a family attorney or financial expert, depending on the needs of the family.

Globe Life’s final expense insurance policies are structured as term policies, with death benefits ranging between $5,000 to $100,000. The application process is also the same as its term life insurance options, with no waiting periods and instant online applications for most people who apply.

Children’s Life Insurance

While most people associate life insurance covering parents and grandparents, Globe Life has children’s life insurance plans with up to $30,000 in benefits. While the amount is lower than the maximum death benefits you’re likely to see from competitors, Globe Life’s direct applications can be more convenient for some parents.

Children’s life plans from Globe Life include locked-in premiums, which don’t increase as children age. Like most other policies, children’s life insurance is available without a medical exam.

Mortgage Protection Insurance

Many people buy life insurance to protect their spouse and children against financial shortfalls in the event they pass away unexpectedly. Mortgage protection insurance policies from Globe Life are unique because they factor in rising inflation rates. For each year your mortgage protection insurance remains in force, your death benefit increases by 5% until it reaches a 125% bump. This can be a major source of relief with adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), whose monthly payments change based on current economic conditions.

Globe Life offers a single rider option, accidental death insurance. Accidental death insurance benefits deliver beneficiaries an extra payout if death is caused by an unforeseen or unnatural circumstance. Accidental death insurance benefits are compatible with both term and whole life policies, but you must purchase them by mail or over the phone.

Cost of Globe Life Insurance

The cost of life insurance is highly variable. Each life insurance company creates its in-house underwriting processes to determine risk. In different degrees, they factor in age, gender, current state of life, health, medical history and family health history.

In our review, we found that life insurance quotes from Globe Life were competitive when compared with other term policy providers. However, this largely plays into the company’s lower death benefits, which limit the company’s payout risk. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect to pay for life insurance when you work with Globe Life.

Cost of Term Life Insurance

To get an idea of what you might pay for life insurance, we requested quotes for a few life insurance policies from Globe Life. The following quotes were collected for a 35-year-old non-smoking male living in Pennsylvania.

*Quotes listed were collected on 5/22/2023.

Cost of Whole Life Insurance

Like most other life insurance companies, Globe Life doesn’t offer whole life insurance quotes without connecting directly with an insurance agent. Pricing depends largely on your personal health history, but may not require a medical exam. Globe Life offers whole life policies issued over the phone and through the mail.

Globe Customer Reviews

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) maintains an average complaint index to track which insurance companies receive the most complaints over time from customers. In May 2023, Globe Life had a complaint index of 2.81 , significantly higher than the average rating of 1.0. This indicates that overall customer satisfaction for Globe policyholders is lower than average.

Common customer complaints included a refusal to cancel the policy and a refusal to pay out death benefit claims, regardless of the active status of the policy. However, customers who did have a positive experience with Globe Life said the company’s representatives were helpful and informative in their time of need.

“[My Globe Life representative] was very patient and professional and calmly answered my every question and followed up asking if he could do anything else for me…I feel this was a great decision for my grandson, who will turn 7 in February, and wish I had signed up for my children.” — Carl O. via Google Reviews “In our household, we’re so thankful to be maintaining three policies with Globe Life! This brings our family such peace of mind, and is an absolute godsend! Their contact representatives are also friendly and knowledgeable, making the entire process especially affordable and easy to understand!” — L.B. via Google Reviews “My 98-year-old father took out a life insurance policy on me when I was a child, which has been paid on time for many years. Now as an adult, I have my own insurance and my father needs desperately to surrender this policy and obtain the cash value which is rightfully his…At this point, since Globe Life is refusing to pay my father his money, I have just filed a formal complaint with the Texas Insurance Commissioner to launch a full-scale investigation into this company and its practices.” — Melette E. via Trustpilot “…They do everything possible to delay paying claims, look for a reason NOT to pay a claim. Will not allow me to cancel an auto draft on my account because the policy is for my adult child, though I purchased the policy 25 years ago.” — Gary S. via BBB

Estate Planning

The Bottom Line

Globe Life Insurance can be the ideal life insurance provider for those looking for quick, low-cost coverage without a medical exam. Insurance plans include no waiting periods, and many options are available with just a health questionnaire online. The required questionnaire focuses largely on health history in the past three years, which can be equally beneficial for those who have recovered fully from a critical illness in the past.

While Globe Life has been in business for more than 100 years and has issued more than $220 billion in coverages, it is not the highest-rated life insurance provider online. Customers regularly mention in reviews the company’s refusal to pay out an entitled death benefit, causing frustration during one of the most difficult times in one’s life. While Globe can be a stronger option for low life insurance quotes, it might not be the right choice if you’re looking for multiple riders or great online reviews.

Frequently Asked Questions About Globe Life Insurance

Does globe life insurance have a good rating.

Globe Life maintains an A+ financial strength rating from credit issuer AM Best, indicating that the company is likely to pay for future death benefits. However, the company showcases a higher-than-average number of complaints, which means that beneficiaries may have a more difficult time seeing their policy benefits.

Is Globe Life insurance good for seniors?

Globe Life Insurance can be a viable option or senior life insurance, as policies are available for those up to 75 years of age. Death benefit options for seniors may be lower, and Globe Life may require a medical exam in some circumstances.

Is Globe Life insurance good for people who are married?

Globe Life Insurance can be good for people who are married because you can add a spouse to a policy with just a few clicks. Be sure to get a quote from at least three competing life insurance providers before choosing where to buy coverage.

What is Globe Life Insurance’s average payout?

Globe Life Insurance policies include average death benefits ranging between $5,000 and $100,000. Some types of policies (like children’s whole life) have lower maximum death benefits of $30,000.

What is the average cost of Globe Life insurance?

In our review, we found the average 35-year-old healthy male can expect to pay between $5 and $45 per month for life insurance coverage depending on their death benefit. Your individual pricing will vary depending on factors like your age and health history.

Is American Income Life part of Globe Life?

American Income Life, Liberty National, United American Insurance Company and Family Heritage are all subsidiaries or divisions of Globe Life.

Other Insurance Resources From MarketWatch Guides 

Discover our top recommendations for the following insurance types to find the providers that best meet your needs.

  • Best Pet Insurance Providers
  • Cheapest Renters Insurance Providers
  • Best Term Life Insurance Providers
  • Cheapest Homeowners Insurance Companies

Methodology: Our System for Ranking Life Insurance Companies

Our team researches and ranks life insurance companies using an in-depth scoring system that considers the factors most important to consumers like you. Our analysis includes a comprehensive review of each provider we feature based on available coverage, customizability, availability, customer service and company reputation. Here are the factors we take into consideration when rating life insurance providers:

  • Brand trust (40%) : Life insurance payouts can exceed $100,000 or more, which makes choosing a reputable and trustworthy insurance provider important. To assess brand trust, we use J.D. Power and Associates customer satisfaction surveys, AM Best credit rating scores and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index. The higher a company scores in each area, the more points it receives. 
  • Coverage (33%) : The more policy options a life insurance company offers, the more opportunities you have to obtain the right coverage for your specific needs. For this reason, we give companies the most points for offering multiple types of life insurance, including various term, permanent and no-exam options. 
  • Availability and ease of use (19%) : Since life insurance coverage options can be complex, we consider the ways a customer can reach a company — and how easy communication is. For this category, we research how many communication channels a company offers for general customer support, claims processing and the application process. Companies earn the most points for offering various ways to interact with an agent, both in-person and online. 
  • Riders (8%) : Companies offering various life insurance riders or endorsements allow policyholders to better customize their coverage. In this category, we determine how many riders a company offers and award the most points to providers with more than 10 options. 

We use our rating system to compare and contrast each company against key factors to help us determine the best life insurance companies in the industry. To learn more, read our full life insurance methodology for reviewing and scoring providers. AM Best Disclaimer

If you have feedback or questions about this article, please email the MarketWatch Guides team at  editors@marketwatchguides. com .

More Resources:

A rear view of senior pensioner couple standing by lake in nature. Copy space.


  1. Book Reviews

    April 20, 2023. The Globe and Mail's book section offers author interviews, book excerpts, bestseller lists and reviews.

  2. The Globe 100: The books we loved in 2021

    In a small Northern Ontario town in the early 1970s, rebellious 16-year-old Rose vanishes after a fight with her mother. The novel, longlisted for the Booker, follows Rose's little sister, Clara ...

  3. Globe & Mail

    Globe & Mail - The Globe 100 - Best Books of 2021 As published in the November 29 2021 edition of the Globe & Mail newspaper. Please do not add books flag All Votes Add Books To This List. 1: A Town Called Solace by. Mary Lawson. 4.03 avg rating — 24,680 ratings. score: 100, and 1 person voted ...

  4. Globe & Mail

    post a comment ». 100 books based on 10 votes: Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel, Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, Black Dove by Colin McAdam, Fayne by An...

  5. The Globe 100: Our Favourite Books of 2020

    Every year, the reviewers and editors at the Globe and Mail put together their list of notable books called The Globe 100 and we're so happy to see some of our titles were included! Congratulations to our creators! All the Days Past, All the Days to Come By Mildred D. Taylor 496 Pages | Ages … Continue reading "The Globe 100: Our Favourite Books of 2020"

  6. Globe and Mail reviews Albatross

    Globe and Mail reviews Albatross. Posted August 19, 2019 by Terry Fallis. It's always nice to make the Globe and Mail! The takeaway line for me in this mini-review: "This novel has a fable-like quality and philosophical depths that Fallis plumbs with a deceptive subtlety.". Having seldom been known for being either deceptive or subtle in ...

  7. Carley Fortune (Author of Every Summer After)

    Carley Fortune is the #1 New York Times and #1 Globe and Mail bestselling author of EVERY SUMMER AFTER and MEET ME AT THE LAKE. Her third book, THIS SUMMER WILL BE DIFFERENT, comes out May 7, 2024. Carley is an award-winning journalist and worked as an editor at some of Canada's top publications, including The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, Toronto Life, and The Grid.

  8. Book Reviews

    Additional book reviews by The Globe and Mail Arts staff writers: Tides by Sara Freeman (Penguin Random House Canada) - review by Marsha Lederman: Tides begins with a woman on a long bus journey out, heading toward the sea. Who she is and why she's leaving slowly unfold, revealed in bits and pieces in brief segments à la Jenny Offill.

  9. Book review: Former Globe and Mail editor dissects past, present and

    John Stackhouse, former editor-in-chief of the Globe and Mail, explores the decline of newspapers in his new book Mass Disruption: Thirty Years on the Front Lines of a Media Revolution.

  10. Customer reviews: The Globe and Mail Style Book, Ninth

    Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Globe and Mail Style Book, Ninth edition: A Guide to Language and Usage at Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users.

  11. Customer reviews: The Globe and Mail

    The Globe and Mail itself has changed its content. It once had regular travel, food, and book review sections like the New York Times but with a Canadian view and including a Canadian content that as a U.S. reader I appreciated. Because of that change and no improvement, I have been seriously considering dropping my subscription.

  12. The Globe and Mail Style Book: A Guide to Language and Usage

    Rate this book Originally created to help writers and editors at the Globe and Mail present clear, accurate, and concise stories, this comprehensive and entertaining style guide - now in a thoroughly revised new edition - has become a valued reference for anyone who works with words.

  13. The Globe and Mail

    The Globe and Mail is a Canadian newspaper printed in five cities in western and central Canada.With a weekly readership of approximately 2 million in 2015, it is Canada's most widely read newspaper on weekdays and Saturdays, although it falls slightly behind the Toronto Star in overall weekly circulation because the Star publishes a Sunday edition, whereas the Globe does not.

  14. «The Globe and Mail» Style Book: A Guide to Language and Usage. 9th ed

    This is the ninth edition of a book last revised in 1998. As in that edition, entries are arranged alphabetically and cross-referenced, and there are three appendixes (code of conduct, history of The Globe and Mail, maps of Canada and the rest of the world). The authors discuss a wide range of usage issues, but, as Globe editor-in-chief Edward Greenspon notes in the preface, the book "is ...

  15. The Globe and Mail Style Book, Ninth edition: A Guide to Language and

    Originally created to help writers and editors at the Globe and Mail present clear, accurate, and concise stories, this comprehensive and entertaining style guide - now in a thoroughly revised new edition - has become a valued reference for anyone who works with words.

  16. «The Globe and Mail» Style Book: A Guide to Language and Usage. Rev. ed

    The Globe and Mail Style Book was last revised and updated in 1995. This latest edition retains the format used in previous editions, with entries alphabetically arranged and cross-referenced. The authors present advice and rulings on a wide range of usage issues, from abbreviations and capitalization to punctuation and points of grammar. There are extended entries on such topics as quotations ...

  17. Globe and Mail Books

    avg rating 4.21 — 5,601 ratings — published 2016. Want to Read. Rate this book. 1 of 5 stars 2 of 5 stars 3 of 5 stars 4 of 5 stars 5 of 5 stars. Books shelved as globe-and-mail: The Ancient Art of Thinking For Yourself: The Power of Rhetoric in Polarized Times by Robin Reames, This Strange Eventfu...

  18. 11 Books to Read: The Best Reviews of May

    American Bloods: The Untamed Dynasty That Shaped a Nation. By John Kaag | Farrar, Straus and Giroux. How the Blood clan wove itself first into the settling of New England and later into the ...

  19. 'The Globemakers' Review: The World in Their Hands

    Opinion by Michael O'Donnell. Of all the artifacts that persist in the face of new technology, the globe may be strangest. Books have stubbornly clung to market share despite the rise of e ...

  20. Book Review: 'The Playbook,' by James Shapiro

    Find Your Next Book Best Books of 2024 Best Books Since 2000 June Releases 2024's Best Crime Novels Advertisement Supported by Nonfiction In "The Playbook," James Shapiro offers a resonant ...

  21. Bibliophiles

    Amy Sutherland interviews "Girl With a Pearl Earring" author Tracy Chevalier about the books she likes to read, and how her mother's early death led her to a friendly librarian and a lifelong ...

  22. Globe Life Insurance Review

    Globe Customer Reviews. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) maintains an average complaint index to track which insurance companies receive the most complaints over time ...