The Money Shot by Glenn Deir

Ever since anchorman Peter Mansbridge (CBC’s The National) announced his plans to retire, the search has been on for a replacement. I propose that Sebastian Hunter the male protagonist (and more often than not, antagonist) of Glenn Deir’s irreverent novel The Money Shot (2016, Breakwater Books) be given a ‘shot’ at the top job.

The author (who is a former CBC television reporter) describes Sebastian as an “unscrupulous rake”.… Continue reading

Redemption Songs by Jon Tattrie

Redemption Songs won a 2017 The Very Best! Book Award for Non-Fiction.

do Nova Scotia, Black leader Marcus Garvey, and Rastafarian musician Bob Marley have in common? Very little, you might think until Jon Tattrie weaves some literary and historical magic to make it all seamlessly fit together in Redemption Songs (2016, Pottersfield Press), a treatise against racism and the false “colouring” of humans.
It was in 1937 that Marcus Garvey, who was close to death, gave an epic speech in Sydney, Nova Scotia in which he praised the town for “giving the Negro a chance.” However, it was the following passage from Garvey’s speech that was to inspire Bob Marley decades later to write “Redemption Song” the last cut on the last studio album he was to record:

“We are going to emancipate our minds from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind.”

Redemption Songs is one of those books that clarify, enlighten and educate at the same time.… Continue reading

Art Love Forgery by Carolyn Morgan

Newfoundlander Carolyn Morgan has published her first novel, Art Love Forgery (2016, Flanker Press) and fans of historical fiction and romance will certainly appreciate this fine book. It is based on a singular incident in nineteenth-century colonial Newfoundland history when Polish artist (and convicted forger) Alexander Pindikowsky was tasked with beautifying some of St. John’s most important buildings, including Government House, home to the colony’s Lieutenant Governor.… Continue reading

The Effects of Isolation on the Brain by Erika Rummel

Don’t let the title mislead you; this is not a book about the results of a psychology experiment, however it is a novel about a woman who uses that excuse to explain away her presence in a cabin in a remote northern Ontario town in the dead of winter, should anyone ask. Ellie Kruezweg describes her situation in the opening pages:

It’s the middle of November, and I’m bored out of my mind.Continue reading

Shadow of Doubt: The Trial of Dennis Oland by Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon

It’s not very often you get to review two books covering the same topic practically back-to-back. Such is the case this month (October) with the coverage of the Dennis Oland trial. Dennis Oland was convicted of second-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of his father millionaire Richard Oland in 2011. His bail appeal is set for Oct. 31st.

The first book out of the gate was Truth & Honour by Greg Marquis, published by Nimbus Publishing.… Continue reading

Rock Recipes: Christmas by Barry C. Parsons

This was the first-ever cookbook the Miramichi Reader was asked to review, and no sooner had I removed it from its protective bubble mailer when it was taken from my hands by my wife who proceeded to oooh and aah over every glossy page and delicious-looking photograph. She claimed the recipes called for ingredients she already had in the house, so they could be easily made (if she so wished).… Continue reading