Winter Reads: 5 Nonfiction Books About Sudbury That Don’t Suck

Are there really nonfiction books about Sudbury that don’t suck? You may be surprised to find out that there are.

To outsiders, the Nickel City may never be looked at as being anything more than a mining town. Even in the eyes of its residents, the City of Greater Sudbury might be undervalued.

Should both groups dig a little deeper, it might be found that our city is as rich in its history, ventures, and famous visitors as it is in its minerals.

Granted, informative accounts of Greater Sudbury’s formidable events and individuals are few and far between but what is out there may leave readers with a different perspective and appreciation for our remarkable city.

Sudbury: Rail Town to Regional Capital

Put together by a team of local scholars, Sudbury: Rail Town to Regional Capital is a decade by decade description of Sudbury’s past. Solid historical analysis weaved with stories of those who have shaped our city, enriched with maps and photos, this book is in no way bland.

No Sleep ’til Sudbury

Part rock history, part personal account, Brent Jensen offers up a passionate and well-written portrayal of Nickel City living through the eyes of an adolescent 80’s rocker. Full of clever critique, comedic bits and concert tales, this book is extremely well-written. As one review put it, “if Cameron Crowe had been from Espanola, they would have written something along these lines.”

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

An insightful look at Finnish immigration and their settlement in Sudbury from retired Laurentian University Professor Oiva Saarinen. Between a Rock and a Hard Place explores the relationship between Finnish immigrants and the development of Sudbury into a regional capital. Once again, plenty of maps and illustrations, as well as short biographical tales of notable Finns keep the pages moving. Y’all remember Matti Jutila?


A definite collector’s item for Sudburians, this rare gem by Ray Thoms and Kathy Pearsall brings Sudbury’s history to life through photographic compilations and the stories that accompany them. The price tag is hefty but this well-researched visual telling of our city’s beginning and growth is well worth every penny.

Alex Trebek the answer is

An untraditional autobiography written with wit, insight, and plenty of philosophical wonder, Alex Trebek: The Answer Is satisfies the soul. While not a direct telling of Sudbury living, it’s an easy, inspirational read from one of our city’s most missed and most famous. And if you’re wondering, Alex does give the Nickel City a mention.

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