James Raffan, Mystery Book Panel

Tales of high adventure in the far north and a shelf full of whodunnits and creepy thrillers. You might call this our "curl up by the fire" episode.
From the cover of "Circling the Midnight Sun" by James Raffan
Listen to the full episode53:58

In this episode:

* James Raffan on Circling the Midnight Sun
* Jill Barber on The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
​* Our Mystery Book Panel recommends great holiday reading
* Vish Khanna reviews The Troop by Nick Cutter
* How I Wrote It: Mariko Tamaki on This One Summer

"This One Summer" by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki, "The Troop" by Nick Cutter, "The Snow Child" by Eowyn Ivey, "Circling the Midnight Sun" by James Raffan


Shelagh's extended conversation with James Raffan

Shelagh Rogers and James Raffan (Anne Marshall)
 James Raffan is many things. A trained biologist, cultural geographer, teacher, paddler, adventurer, author, a fireside raconteur, even when he's not around a fire. 

He investigates our history, and in his newest book Circling the Midnight Sun he asks some serious questions about the present and the future of the north in particular. It is a book about northern voices and northern people, and it's a road story that travels at 66.6 degrees latitude, following the Arctic Circle.

And if you ever had the idea that the north was a terra nullius, a land belonging to no one, this book will set you right. In fact, according to the Arctic Council, there are some four million people representing more than thirty different ethnic groups in the Arctic.

For the past almost four decades, James has spent time in the north. Encounters with the north and northerners, he says, have been the most important education he's received.

Shelagh spoke with James about his latest book Circling the Midnight Sun: Culture and Change in the Invisible Arctic at Elmhirst Resort on Rice Lake, Ontario. We hope you enjoy this extended version of their conversation.

Shelagh's extended conversation with James Raffan, author of "Circling the Midnight Sun". 26:18

Mystery Book Panel selections - Winter 2014

Margaret Cannon, P.K. Rangachari, and J.D. Singh are the members of The Next Chapter's longstanding Mystery Book Panel.
Margaret Cannon's picks:

* Life or Death by Michael Robotham 

The Burning Room by Michael Connelly

The Silent Boy by Andrew Taylor

A Siege of Bitterns by Steve Burrows

P.K. Rangachari's picks:

Walt by Russell Wangersky

Will Starling by Ian Weir

The Making of Mr. Gray's Anatomy by Ruth Richardson

An Event in Autumn by Henning Mankell

J.D. Singh's picks:

Eye for an Eye by T. Frank Muir

My Venice and Other Escapes by Donna Leon

I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

Wait for Signs by Craig Johnson