The Next Chapter

Chris Hall of Winnipeg's McNally Robinson Booksellers highlights three books from the Prairies

The co-owner of McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg tells The Next Chapter about three books from the Prairies.
Chris Hall is the co-owner of McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg. (Submitted by Chris Hall)

Chris Hall is the president of the Canadian Independent Booksellers Association and the co-owner of McNally Robinson Booksellers. The iconic independent Winnipeg bookstore recently celebrated its 40th year in business. 

He stopped by The Next Chapter to talk about three books from the Prairies that he recommends reading. 

My Privilege, My Responsibility by Sheila North

Sheila North is a CBC journalist and author of the memoir My Privilege, My Responsibility. (Trisha Sadie North)

"My Privilege, My Responsibility is a memoir by Sheila North. Sheila North was declared the Grand Chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak — the first woman elected to such a position. And this is her memoir of her work in advocacy, journalism, communications and economic development.

I believe in books being a window on a different world, so you really get to experience her challenges and her story told from a perspective that most of us are just unaware of.

"The book focuses on systemic racism faced by Indigenous women and girls in particular. And she shares her own story, the violence that nearly stood in her way and the ultimate success she enjoys. I believe in books being a window on a different world, so you really get to experience her challenges and her story told from a perspective that most of us are just unaware of."

The Gunsmith's Daughter by Margaret Sweatman

The Gunsmith's Daughter is a novel by Margaret Sweatman. (margaretsweatman.com, Goose Lane Editions)

"The Gunsmith's Daughter is a novel by Winnipeg author Margaret Sweatman. The main character is named Lilac Welsh, and she lives on the Winnipeg River in 1971 with her father who has built a fortune designing guns. A young man turns up in the bush, in their house, and he seeks out her father, who he considers a hero. And this he does before he enlists in the war in Vietnam to use those guns.

I really like the way a novel like this connects the familiar and the local and takes it out and connects it to a very complicated world with all kinds of challenges.

"This is a novel that challenges some of the complications of earning a lot of money by developing guns that kill people. I really like the way a novel like this connects the familiar and the local and takes it out and connects it to a very complicated world with all kinds of challenges."

Prairie ABCs by Jocey Asnong

Prairie ABCs is a children's book by Jocey Asnong. (Rocky Mountain Books)

"Prairie ABCs is a children's book by Jocey Asnong. And this is to go along with her previous book called Prairie 123s. These are for the littlest ones in your life, some of their first books so they can learn their ABCs and their one, two, threes with images and places you'll find on the prairies."

These are for the littlest ones in your life, some of their first books so they can learn their ABCs and their one, two, threes with images and places you'll find on the prairies.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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