It’s never easy to review a book that is primarily photographs. Photographs are always beautiful, especially if they are of nature and other things that are naturally beautiful in themselves. But old, rusty abandoned cars and gas pumps? Apparently Maine photojournalist David Hill considers them beautiful, enough to scour the highways, byways and back roads of Maine to find these treasures. Full Service: Notes From the Rearview Mirror (2015 Islandport Press) is a beautiful book filled with pictures of, well, junk.… Continue reading
When you cross the border from New Brunswick into Houlton, Maine you are greeted by a sign that says: “Maine: The Way Life Should Be.” A grand statement perhaps but one difficult to find fault with after you get to know this diverse 23rd state. For the past several years my wife and I have vacationed in Maine from the mountains and lakes in the west to the sunny beaches in the east and we have always enjoyed our visits and the people we have met.… Continue reading
Inanna Publications always has something different to read, so I often look to them for a book that is a change of pace from the norm. While browsing their website, I noticed Bear War-den (2015) by Vivian Demuth. In the brief description on the Inanna site it stated: “Told in an experimental style that mixes realism and magical realism, and interrupted by photographs and by the voice of a bear, Bear War-den explores themes of personal and ecological loss, trauma, and of women and non-human animals dealing with oppression within a male-dominated, and often paramilitary-like Parks Management system. … Continue reading
In a recent review, I lamented the fact that the novella in question should have been a novel in order that the story and characters could be more fully formed. With Moments of Joy (Inanna, 2015) Cecelia Frey has created an entire novel from what could easily have been a shorter book. It was a great read and I found the story thoroughly engrossing from start to finish.… Continue reading
As I work in the medical profession, I find books with medical content interesting. However this book has another angle to it that intrigued me: the forced internment of Japanese-Canadians during WWII. Young Harry Nikaido was attending medical school at the University of Toronto in 1942 when Japanese-Canadians living in coastal BC were stripped of all they owned and moved inland, either to interment camps or labour camps.… Continue reading
Retired forensic anthropologist Debra Komar has written, to date, three books about unsolved murders from Canada’s past. I have now read two of them, The Ballad of Jacob Peck (2013) and The Bastard of Fort Stikine (2015). A third book, The Lynching of Peter Wheeler was released in 2014. All three books are published by Goose Lane Editions.
The Ballad of Jacob Peck was Ms. Komar’s first book and it deals with the little-known murder of Mercy Hall by her brother Amos Babcock in Shediac, New Brunswick back in 1805.… Continue reading