Whether you’re looking for treasures for the last few people on your shopping list, or excellent company for some lazy holiday hours, here are six made-in-Manitoba books to track down this season:
- North End Love Songs, by Katherena Vermette – A beautiful, accessible poetry collection, and a very personal hymn to a complicated neighbourhood and the tough work of becoming an adult. Winner of the 2013 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry
- This Only Home, by Dennis Cooley – Another accessible collection of poems based on the wonder and tenderness experienced by astronauts observing earth from space. For all of us who got revved up by Chris Hadfield’s reports, and for all of us who know caring for this planet is our only hope.
- Swarm, by Lauren Carter – A gripping novel, set in an immediate future. Concerned about how we’ll create meaningful lives after peak oil, and the attending collapse of the economy, the environment, and our social structures? This novel is potent but not paralyzing.
- The House on Sugarbush Road, by Méira Cook – A sensitive, multi-faceted novel set in Johannesburg shortly after the 1994 election of Nelson Mandela. Particularly resonant now as we all consider Mandela’s powerful legacy and our own calls to action around social justice. Winner of the 2013 McNally Robinson Book of the Year
- Manitoba Butterflies, by Simone Hébert Allard – A first-ever field guide to the more than 100 species of butterflies which lay claim to Manitoba. Packed with photos, this is a great book for both your coffee table and your backpack, and a reminder that summer is only half a year away.
- The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten, by Maureen Fergus – Kids and parents will get a kick out of the role
Charlene Diehl is a reader, a writer, a magazine editor, and the Director of the Winnipeg International Writers Festival.