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Reader Recommendation round-up: October 6

Recommendations continue to roll in from across the country for Canada Reads: True Stories.

Check out more of the highlights:

Ann from Powell River, British Columbia, recommended: The Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchett


"A woman with five small children travels the BC coast each summer on a 25 foot boat in the early part of the 1900's. The book is beautifully written and leaves a lasting impression. Purely Canadian both in geography and in character -- a single mother in a rough wilderness, breaking down stereotypes, and succeeding with grace."

Alex from Surrey, British Columbia, recommended: Most of Me by Robyn Levy


"An honest account of a woman's journey through breast cancer and Parkinson's."



Pat from Aldergrove, British Columbia, recommended: C'mon Papa by Ryan Knighton


"Ryan Knighton gives the reader true insight into the daily challenges of being blind. But Knighton does not seek to tug at your sympathy strings. He turns the difficult situations due to his blindness into the most hysterically funny material I have ever read!"

David from North Vancouver recommended: Adventures in Solitude by Grant Lawrence


"A great read and very personal recollection of growing up strongly influenced by Desolation Sound, it`s people and history. This book was particularly memorable reading prior to and after a recent kayak trip to the area."


Dawn from Aurora, Ontario, recommended: As You Were by Gerry Fostaty


"Having this book as part of Canada Reads will help our society break the silence with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a debilitating but curable emotional illness resulting from emotional trauma. Through the account of the tragic events of Valcartier as told in As You Were, I became much more knowledgeable and aware of PTSD and its lingering effects. The account brought it home as it was told from the perspective of a young man's experience in the Reserves. I believe the book could have a profound effect on the military and para-military organizations such as the police and paramedics, as they learn to recognize the impact of tragedy on our emotions and how to effectively respond when a tragedy occurs. It took a lot of courage to write this book. I believe Canada will greatly benefit from reading it."

Catherine from Toronto recommended: Kasztner's Train by Anna Porter


"It is a gripping read about a hero who is still vilified in much of the world: Rezso Kasztner. He bargained with the Nazis to save the lives of thousands of his fellow Hungarian Jews, and in return he agreed to support one during the Nuremburg Trials. A man of principal? A traitor? He was murdered years later in Tel Aviv for it. This book is brilliant because it examines our responses to terror and reveals history's often smokey mirror."

Jayson from St. Andrew, New Brunswick, recommended: They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children by Romeo Dallaire


"Romeo Dallaire has written a vivid, eye-opening account of the realities of child soldiers. This work humanises the experience and calls on humanity to take action. Dallaire describes the effect of child soldiers from the view point of a child soldier but also from that a UN peace keeper forced to kill one to protect others. I believe this is an important piece of Canadian and global non-fiction."

Heather from Creston, British Columbia, recommended: Swing Low by Miriam Toews


"Forever the teacher, Mel Toews delivers his last lessons in this unique biography that lets us glimpse the many aspects of his ordinary life embroidered with his extraordinary circumstances. Set in Steinbach, Manitoba in the last half of the 20th century, we get a real-time tour of a small religious community that, unless you are Mennonite, you have to admit to a compelling curiosity. Mental illness touches all societies but it is the response of the victim, his family, and his community to such a devastating affliction that defines the fabric of one's true character. The details of family life when one member suffers manic-depressive disorder are excruciatingly painful, but also comical and familiar. Taboo subjects of his time, Mel Toews' can now teach us all some lessons about bi-polar disorder, depression and suicide. Miriam Toews has honored her father and her beloved teacher like no one else could have."

Andrew from Stittsville, Ontario, recommended: One Bird's Choice by Iain Reid


"Funny anecdotes and hilarious characters that most people of my generation can relate to in one way or another."


Peggy from Toronto recommended: Decade of Fear by Michelle Shephard


"It's a behind-the-scenes expose on the war against terrorism as seen by Canadian journalist Michelle Shephard. You feel as though you're on assignment with her as she rides out to all the hot spots of the last ten years: Guantanamo, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan. I missed my subway stop because I was immersed in Somalia."

Lynne from Brampton, Ontario, recommended: Spellbound by Karen Palmer


"This book very colourfully paints life today for women in Ghana accused of practising witchcraft. Through her travels to a remote northern witch camp, Palmer relates why women are accused, sentenced & exist in conditions that we Canadians cannot imagine. This book is thought provoking and a very good read."

Jeannette from Espanola, Ontario, recommended: The Film Club by David Gilmour


"As the mother of three sons, I have a depth of understanding that comes from observing just how difficult the relationship between father and son can be. It can easily go very wrong, particularly in the good old teenage years. Before I read it, I saw many reviews disliking this book. However, having dealt with a similar type of situation with one of my sons, I found his methods intriguing. While I didn't agree with some of his parenting decisions or in fact some of Mr. Gilmour's behaviour, I did enjoy reading about his 'radical' methods to reach his son."

Ken from Toronto recommended: Down to This by Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall


"Down to This is a really compelling account of life in Tent City, the big city shantytown that everyone who lived in Toronto in the 1990's remembers. I couldn't put this book down. Bishop-Stall gives us a first-hand account of life as a homeless person. The real characters in the book are tragic, funny, and lovable. This is an important read for every Torontonian who sometimes feels paralzyed by the problems of homelessness but who likes a hopeful ending."

Natalie from Pointe-Claire, Quebec, recommended: African Chronicles by Burris Devanney


"This book takes you back into a time and place that was the precursor of the Africa we see today. The disaster that is Africa today was a long time in the making, poorly understood by most Westerners. The author's experience in Nigeria and (now) Zimbabwe came at a turning point in both their histories. Burris Devanney's African Chronicles provides a fascinating and personal insight into the reasons for 2 countries' descent into tyranny, war, starvation and upheaval."

Diane from Gatineau, Quebec, recommended: The Last Spike by Pierre Berton


"An amazing story and a defining moment in Canada's history."




Jane from Guelph, Ontario, recommended: Roughing It in the Bush by Susanna Moodie


"When this book was first published in 1852, it created a huge sensation. This impact has not lessened with readers today be they university students, historical scholars or Canadians who love a good story. This book was written by a woman who emigrated to Canada with her family in the early 1800s and forged a life for herself and her kin out of the harsh Canadian wilderness. The struggles, the triumphs and the vivid descriptions of the land and peoples she encountered - they are all laid out here in an honest and moving account of what life was like in Upper Canada during this period. This is one of the few non-fictions books I've read that truly transported me to another era and made me feel as if I were living the life portrayed right alongside the author."

Cheryl from Calgary recommended: I've Got a Home in Glory Land by Karolyn Smardz Frost


"It's like a detective novel, love story and historical mind-blower rolled into one. How many Canadians know the connection between yellow cabs and the American institution of slavery?"


Michael from Vancouver recommended: The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary by Andrew Westoll


"Moving, engaging, well written, provocative, take your pick!"



Scott from Gravenhurst, Ontario, recommended: Phoenix: The Life of Norman Bethune by Sharon and Roderick Stewart


"Phoenix will enable Canadians to understand how a son of the manse evolved into a grandfather of medical humanitarianism and an outspoken and mercurial pariah became the most famous Canadian in history. Through their meticulous and unbiased research, Roderick and Sharon Stewart have developed a profound acquaintance with Norman Bethune, peeling the onion that is perhaps one of Canada's most complex and least understood characters. This enabled them to expose Bethune's flaws as perhaps the guideposts he needed along his road to greatness."

Marilyn from Saskatoon recommended: Maternity Rolls by Heather Kuttai


"Insightful book about a woman's life, having babies and being in a wheelchair. No one else has had the insight or courage to write such a story."


Michael from Victoria recommended: In the Mind of a Mountie by T. M. 'Scotty' Gardiner


"The book is a great non-fictioon work by a not so famous real world author about his life as an RCMP officer. The stories told about his work and juggling family life with police work are engaging and informative. It is concise and crisp. I think it is a must read for Canadians wanting to understand one of our great institutions and thechallenges faced by the RCMP and its members."

Gail from Echo Bay, Ontario, recommended: There Is a Season by Patrick Lane


"Powerful 2005 memoir by one of Canada's premier poets. Written in prose, seems at times like poetry, even in the dark dark passages."



Jo-Anne from Vancouver recommended: Inside Memory by Timothy Findley


"This was the first book I read by Timothy Findley and it gave me a context for all the books of his I read after. It is the story of a changing life and the life of one of Canada's most important writers. I'm not sure it got the readership it deserved in 1990 but now that Mr. Findley is no longer with us, we would do well to understand him and how his amazing writing career began."

Selina from Mississauga, Ontario, recommended: Dry Spring by Chris Wood


"I believe strongly that Canada Reads has to have a book on water on the list. It is part of our Canadian heritage and identity. This country is incredibly blessed with water, yet we take it for granted. Discussions on water can be cultural, spiritual, scientific, political and more. Canada Reads would be remiss without including such a book."

Sarah from London, Ontario, recommended: Behind Our Doors by Esther Warmerdam and William Butt


"In her memoir, Esther, known as Etha to friends and family, tells the moving and compelling story of a Christian family that was moved by a tragedy of their own and a remarkable sense of human rights to save Jews from being sent to Nazi concentration camps and almost certain torture and death. It is a tale of the human capacity to love and persevere through the darkest of times."

Richard from Comox, British Columbia, recommended: Burmese Lessons by Karen Connelly


"Karen has written an incredible personal account of her sojourn in Burma and Thailand that led to her first novel, The Lizard Cage. Like her earlier personal account, Touch the Dragon, Karen bares her soul in this moving story."


Lisa from Montreal recommended: The Dears: Lost in the Plot by Lorraine Carpenter


"I've been a Dears fan for many years, so I was interested in reading their story... I thought it was well written, and it certainly tells all! Very entertaining little read."

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!

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