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Reader Recommendation round-up: October 4

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

Check out more of the highlights:

Matthew from Toronto recommended: Dispatches from the Sporting Life by Mordecai Richler


"While Mr. Richler's nominations for Canada Reads include Barney's Version in '04 and Cocksure in'06; I believe that this collection of 20 essays provides an entertaining and acute sketch of a man who's writing is able to create debate and polarize opinions. I know I don't need to summarize Mr. Richler's writing attributes and abilities (he wouldn't have been short-listed twice otherwise), but I am sure that he cannot be overlooked in the realm of Canadian non-fiction thanks to his solid journalistic career. While the non-fiction Canadian hinterland gives us a host of literary species: from the rugged Susanna Moodie to lusty Leonard Cohen; Mordecai Richler's prose in Dispatches from the Sporting Life delivers a fountain of philosophical poignancy and childish irreverence tied together with his idiosyncratic, and roughly hewn journalist's capacities. It is insightful, wickedly funny and worth a country's read. All the best to all our books!"

Nancy from Windsor, Ontario, recommended: Down to This by Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall


Was given the book as a gift and loved it. It is beautifully written. I felt as though I had met each character personally by the end.

Erin from Toronto recommended: Saskatchewan: A New History by Bill Waiser


I don't normally read history, but my Mom gave me a copy for Christmas a few years ago. Once I started reading it, I just couldn't put it down. It's definitely a page-turner. The stories are told so endearingly that you forget all the while that you're learning anything. It feels more as if you're sitting cross-legged listening to your grandparents tell you about the way it was. I definitely recommend this book.

Alice from Brentwood Bay, British Columbia, recommended: Allah, Liberty and Love by Irshad Manji


The news tells us about the activities of the radical Muslims. I wanted to find out about the mainstream Muslims and even those who advocate reform. Irshad Manji is one of those devout Muslims who accepts diversity of thought and believes it is the responsibility of all to question and not to blindly accept traditional customs. In Allah, Liberty and Love and in her previous book The Trouble with Islam Today she shows how some passages in the Koran have been taken out of context and how many practices attributed to Islam have no foundation at all. She is one of the most articulate and insightful writers I have ever read. She not only makes one think but she inspires one to act. I have already added my name to the original twelve petition and now I am nominating her book.

Mike Quinn from Lethbridge, Alberta, recommended: Hidden Beneath the Thorns: Growing Up Under Nazi Rule by Gabriele M. Quinn


Great read and I sleep with the author.

Amelia from Vancouver recommended: Who Killed Mom? by Steve Burgess


Burgess writes a tragic memoir and manages to fill it with light and laughter. It shows the true underbelly of a seemingly normal family and proves every family has a story to tell. He manages to turn pain and embarrassment into laughter and experiences, which can be hard to do, especially in a personal tale.

Christopher Heard from Toronto recommended his own book: The Suite Life: The Magic and Mystery of Hotel Living by Christopher Heard


This book is a wonderful, eccentric, surreal book in which everything written about actually happened! The characters range from movie stars to the Dali Lama - but the star of the book is Toronto's own Fairmont Royal York Hotel - in which the author lived for two years to write the book!

Felicity from Vancouver, recommended: Adventuress in Solitude by Grant Lawrencel


I found it a wonderfully humorous book as well as combining interesting historical facts about the area with the current inhabitants (or former inhabitants in some cases) as this book was a series of anecdotes from Mr. Lawrence's youth spent at his family's cabin.

This book might be more interesting to me as my husband and I used to love sailing in the area. But I recommend it for a fine, light-hearted read.

Mag from Hansport, Nova Scotia, recommended: What Is America? by Ronald Wright


This is a well written and concise history of North America. It highlights lesser-known aspects of our past that all Canadians (and Americans) should not be ignorant of. It brillantly informs readers how we have arrived at our present day political situation from our colonial beginnings. It was so fascinating that when I got to the end I started again from the beginning right away.

Michael from Calgary recommended: Poets and Pahlevans: A Journey into the Heart of Iran by Marcello Di Cintio


This book is a great contender for Canada Reads because of the fact that Marcello uses his love of traditional wrestling as a backdrop to discovering the heart of Iran - honestly a country many Canadians will not put on their travel bucket list. Di Cinto's writing takes the reader past the iconic persian stereotypes that so many fashion their writing around and brings the reader into the sweat stained wrestling rings and bazzars of Iran.

Lisa from Victoria recommended: The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant


It is gripping, it is historical and current at the same time, and it is exceptionally well written. Not only should it be on the Canada Reads list, it should be required reading for all high school students, especially those in BC as they will learn so much about this province's history and main industry: logging.

Katharine from Scarborough, Ontario, recommended: The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant


The whole concept/idea behind the book was amazing and fantastical. I picked it up after hearing the author talk about the book on Q.

Medeine from Toronto recommended: Hot Art by Joshua Knelman


This is an incredible story about art thieves and a detective who (obsessively) tracks them. The plot is driven by exceptional writing and indepth research. This reads like a detective book, but it's all real!

Chis from Halifax recommended: The Wayfinders by Wade Davis


This has probably been the best book I've read in the last two years, in which Davis eloquently tells the story of what we're losing and how it will cost us more than we know, based on decades of work with hunter-gatherer peoples in regions across the globe. It's heartbreaking, and a much needed kick in our culture's ass to get off our high horses and start paying attention to reality.

Nicolas from Fernie, British Columbia, recommended: Fatal Tide by David Leach


A tragic but compelling tale that knits the traditional workaday world of blue-collar fishing families on Canada's east coast with the newly popular world of adventure racing. Where, instead of facing the wilds in an effort to sustain families, these largely urban enthusiasts pit themselves against nature as if to prove they have what it takes for something that is largely lost to them. Excellent.

Nicolas from Fernie, British Columbia, recommended: The Film Club by David Gilmour


I am a hopeless cinephile. Gilmour's book resonates with anyone who has a passion for film and has gone through the experience of introducing their most cherished films to other people, willing them to love the films as much as we do.

Arthur from Vancouver recommended: Empire of the Beetle by Andrew Nikiforuk


This book deals with a very tanglible example of the sort of challenges that our country will face as a result of climate change and human bungling (and ignorance). The genesis and development of the present pine beetle infestation, that has devastated thousands upon thousands of hectares of British Columbian (and now Albertan) forests, is examined in detail by Nikiforuk, leaving the reader wondering what is next?

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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