Thursday, October 13, 2011 |
The recommendations for Canada Reads: True Stories just don't stop!
Check out today's highlights:
Georgina from London, Ontario recommended: What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim by Jane Christmas
"What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim is the true story of 15 Canadian women who try to walk the Camino de Santiago together and their trials and tribulations as blisters form and personalities clash. Jane describes the sights of northern Spain in a way that makes you feel that you are walking beside her on the road and experiencing the beautiful buildings, the food,the missed shoe shopping opportunities and the life of those towns and cities. Jane also takes you on the inner journey of a perragrina struggling to learn the personal lessons of the Camino. She is funny, self-deprecating and brutally honest about herself and her life. I couldn't put the book down. Jane makes me think and she makes me laugh."
Irene from Toronto, Ontario recommended: Public Triumph, Private Tragedy by Steve Paikin
"I think that Steve Paikin made the subject of John P. Robarts come so alive and rivetting that it read like a love story. It is about one of Ontario's better known premiers, who lived during a time of economic expansion of the province. How he influenced that expansion is woven into a well-researched work that reveals his charismatic and successful career as a politician while living a private life that led to his tragic suicide. It reads like a novel and informs like a historical document. True, it's a local story (although Robarts was considered a possible contender for federal politics), but why shouldn't Canadians be exposed to pan-Canadian subjects. A better understanding of the history of other provinces can only serve to strengthen our cultural identity."
Karen from Qualicum Beach, British Columbia recommended: Raised by Committee by Carollyne Haynes
"Carollyne's story struck a chord in my heart. It was factual and emotional, a sad, true story of herself growing up in a brutal environment. She told her courageous life story in a way that I am sure would encourage others to come forth and tell their story....and hopefully start their healing process."
Alexandra from Vancouver, British Columbia recommended: At the End of the Day by Carolyn Smart
"This is as much the story of Carolyn's father as it is the story of her life. She dedicates the book to her children so that they will never have to search for her after she is gone the way she had to 'search' for her father. it is survival and discovery. The beautiful, understated language and images underscore the wrenching storyline - the ending is unexpectedly beautiful."
Myles from Montreal recommends: White Planet by Leslie Anthony
"If you are someone who loves to ski, doesn't love to ski, this book is for all. I've never read a book with such clever humour on this serious a matter. Loved it."
Chris from Woodstock recommended: A Fair Country by John Ralston Saul
"A Fair Country is a brilliant portrait of this country. It unpacks our history exposing our "longue duree of culture and values. It answers very fundamental questions of why we are the way we are."
Yvonne from Hamilton recommended: Foxy Lady by Dave Kattenburg
"More Canadians should hear about the shocking story of Stuart Glass and his crewmates aboard the Foxy Lady, and their torture at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. Sometimes we need a face and a name to link us to atrocities which happen over there in distant lands and somehow disconnect us from the inhumanities inflicted on humans by humans. This is the book which will open our eyes to one such era and leave us mystified at the smiles on the faces of the former guards, as the author interviews them, 30 years after the fact."
Dietrich from Brentwood Bay recommended: Curtains by Tom Jokinen
"A wonderfully insightful, hands on account and meditation on what happens after death in our time.The story is graphically grounded in the narrator's up close and personal experience as an undertaker-in-training. Tom Jokinen tells all with eyes wide open, often crinkled with wit and humour, sometimes glazed with tears. He speaks with an open heart, full of empathy, compassion and deep understanding and makes sense of it all with a clear head for the facts, the figures, the science and the economics of the trade. He also puts the practice into an interesting historical perspective. Because he's not of the business, only temporarily in the business, he manages a sharp and detached but not sensational or superficial focus when he lifts that curtain for us, that falls on every life, for a fascinating peek behind it which few of us would ever get."
Jessica from Calgary recommended: An Imperfect Offering by Dr. James Orbinski
"An Imperfect Offering follows the former president of Doctors Without Borders as he struggles to preserve human life and dignity on the front lines of war. It is a provocative, exhilarating read that leaves one both inspired and dismayed at Canada's role in the world. It's also a universal story, with tough questions and heartbreaking scenes that will leave any reader haunted long after it's pages have been closed. And it will provoke debate. Is humanitarian intervention ever apolitical? Should it be? Where are national lines drawn for international workers? What have we learned from Rwanda and Sudan? How should our aid workers interact with our soldiers? Plus, Orbinski himself is a great chat!"
Lilli from Vancouver recommended: Snakebit by Leslie Anthony
"It's a fantastic read that is both informational and laugh out loud funny. It transports you into the strange, sometimes geeky, but always compelling world of the Herpetologist. Leslie Anthony writes with the historical detail of a Simon Winchester and the storytellling of a Jon Krakauer. All the while keeping his own charming point of view."
Coraley from Fernie, British Columbia recommended: The Black Grizzly of Whiskey Creek by Sid Marty
"This book goes far beyond telling the story of the bear attacks that plagued Banff in 1980. Marty ingeniously manages to draw the reader into the events of that summer not only from a human perspective but from an animal perspective as well. The empathy the reader feels for the animals trapped in our civilized terrain drives Marty's message about the role and responsibility of humans in preserving wilderness and protecting wildlife. A fantastic read!"
Beverley from Toronto, Ontario recommended: Through the Glass by Shannon Moroney
"It is a compelling personal story that reveals the unseen victims of crime, the famiy and friends the perpetrators who are betrayed, stigmatized, and wounded. It also forces us to ask how we can separate the person we love from their heinous deeds, raising questions of forgiveness, redemption, and boundaries."
Anne from Orangeville, Ontario recommended: The Rescue of Belle and Sundance by Birgit Stutz and Lawrence Scanlan
"This book is a compelling and balanced account of the rescue of 2 horses trapped on Mount Renshaw in the Rockies of British Columbia in mid-December 2008. Even though I knew the outcome, I was riveted to the end and inspired by the determination of this small community to save two animals the owner had abandoned. The book gave me a new appreciation for the beauty and toughness of the Canadian wilderness and the people who live and play in those areas. This book shows what can be accomplished when a group of people come together with determination to achieve a common goal despite overwhelming odds - weather conditions, freezing temperatures, and two starving horses. The volunteers (mostly locals of the nearby town and some recreational snowmobilers) kept asking how can we do this. It is an uplifting testament to what can be accomplished with ingenuity, team work and focus on a positive result."
Jean from Enderby, British Columbia recommended: Lakeland by Allen Casey
"Author Allan Casey takes the reader on a journey across Canada to visit our lakes, big and small. On the way, we learn about this vast resource that so many of us take for granted, what is right with our country's lakes and what threats they face today. Allan Casey writes lyrically about the landscape and his keen observations were a delight to read. This book is not only by a Canadian author but its subject is also uniquely Canadian. This will become a read-aloud favourite for anyone who opens its covers."
Mike from Ottawa, Ontario recommended: Fire in the Bones by James Raffan
"This is an eloquent and moving biography on the life of Canoeing guru Bill Mason - I consider it quintessentially Canadian!"
Melanie from Edmonton, Alberta recommended: Finding Rosa by Caterina Edwards
"A rich complex story of the author's journey to understand her mother who is succumbing to Alzheimers. Partly a detective story, Caterina takes us to Istria, her mother's birthplace, to uncover the secrets of her mother's childhood. It was fascinating to learn about the history of a now non-existant place in Europe. A book relevant to all Canadians who have roots in countries troubled by political turbulance and economic uncertainty. But, most importantly, this book is an honest memoir that captures the challenge faced by all adults who are trying to understand their parents' baffling behavior and attitudes, before it is too late."
Edward from Toronto, Ontario recommended: The Danger Tree by David MacFarlane
"I read this book during my First World War history reading phase. It captured the impact on the generations of family in a manner that was original, emotional and brought the events much closer than any other history did. It is easily my most recommended book."
Laura from VIctoria, British Columbia recommended: The Golden Spruce by John Valliant
"A book about an act of eco-vandalism that reads like a thriller. The story is fascinating, the writing unfaltering."
Carol Ann from Toronto, Ontario recommended: The World is a Ball by John Doyle
"I bought this book it thinking it would be a nice pre-Wold Cup gift for my very Irish and soccer-loving husband, and while waiting on Bloor St at a cafe to meet a friend for lunch, I started leafing through the first few pages... and then I read a bit more... and two or three days later (with the help of a plane trip or two) I finished it. I did eventually give it to my husband but only after I had dog eared many pages at favourite turns of phrase or relevant tid bits about particular teams. I was so engaged by John Doyle's book that I watched my first soccer game on TV (the opening game between SA and Mexico) and then watched about 75% of the other televised world cup matches. I found myself engaging cab drivers and co-workers in what did you think of the game this morning? conversations. My husband and I watched the final game with dutch friends (hup hup Holland) at a restaurant in Vancouver, awash in orange and across the room from a group of Spanish fans (and a lone vuvuzala). My nomination for Doyle's book therefore is a way of thanking him for such an entertaining read. I had no idea there was so much craic to be had being a soccer fan."
Edward from Antigonish, Nova Scotia recommended: Frontier Justice by Andy Lamey
"I found this book to be a very interesting and engrossing read. Lamey offers gripping real life stories of people who have struggled with the reality of refugee status. People put in these situations often have slim to no hope of ascending out of their predicaments without help. I found the solutions offered by Lamey to be very thorough and practical. If only we could remove politics from the equation and do what's right."
Mary from Toronto, Ontario recommended: Requiem for my Brother by Marion Botsford Fraser
"Marian Botsford Fraser is an exquisite writer whose non-fiction reads as beautifully as a novel. This story chronicles her brother Dave's nine-year struggle with multiple sclerosis, which ended with his death in 2001. The book is dramatic and emotional, never sentimental and is a powerful portrait of the variable nature of relationships between siblings and within families. I adored this book!"
Valerie from Toronto recommended: Fatal Passage by Ken McGoogan
"A fascinating true story of John Rae, the unsung hero who discovered the fate of the Franklin expedition."
Chris from Ottawa, Ontario recommended: Fifteen Days by Christie Blatchford
"Christie Blatchford was embedded with the PPCLI for several months during their time in Afghanistan. In this time she shared the physical and emotional toll combat takes on the soldiers and their families. She portrays the heroism, sacrifice and bravery of our soldiers. Through her words, we get a sense of the brotherhood of the men and women serving overseas. Ms. Blatchford avoids the political undertones and instead focuses on the human impact of conflict. I am sure I am not the only one who would describe the roller coaster of emotions the reader goes through from laughter, to tears, to fright and jubilation. Her work is inspiring and evokes pride in the reader. A work that any Canadian would be lucky to read in order to understand what some of our fellow citizens do for our country."
Giles from Montreal, Quebec recommended: The Love Queen of Malabar by Merrily Weisbord
"This is an eloquently written book. Much more dramatic and suspenseful than one would ever expect."
Heather from Winnipeg, Manitoba recommended: We Watch the Waves by Susan Riley
"This is such a compelling story. On one level, it's the unravelling of a deeply personal family tragedy. On another, it's all about us -- the secrets we hold and the social and family structures we turn ourselves inside-out to protect, sometimes to the point of disaster. It would be unfair to give too much a way, but if you have any interest in post-war family life and communities in Canada, or in the potentially devastating results of denied sexuality, this is a must-read."
Chris from London, Ontario recommended: Shock Troops by Tim Cook
"A great account of Canadas participation in the greatest and most historic event of the 20th century. The profound impact this war had on Canada is excellently portayed by Cook. Reading this book shows an insight in what these individuals endured and the very different ideals that existed nearly 100 years ago."
Have a great true story you can to recommend for Canada Reads? You have until midnight ET on October 14 to get your submission in. Head over to the Submit Your Recommendation page now!