Two New Short Story Collections from Tightrope Books

One thing is definite about Toronto’s Tightrope Books: they know a good short story when they see one. In 2016, they published Danila Botha’s excellent collection of short stories For All of the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known which met with great success. Now I have just finished reading two more fine collections, Barry Dempster’s Tread & Other Stories and Rebecca Higgins’ The Colours of Birds.… Continue reading

A Tribute to Raymond Fraser 1941-2018

It was with great sadness that I learned of Raymond Fraser’s passing the other day. Sharon, his ex-wife had posted on his Facebook feed that Ray was ill and in hospital in Fredericton. He wasn’t suffering, she said and he soon died peacefully. He was 77 years old. While I had met Ray several times when he came back to Miramichi to launch one of his books, and we were “friends” on Facebook, we never exchanged more than a few words either in person or online.… Continue reading

Motherhood: The Mother of All Sexism by Marilyse Hamelin

When I first received this review copy in the mail, I wasn’t sure what to expect, or even if I would be interested in it, since neither my wife nor I am a parent. Nevertheless, I started reading it, and as usual, I got caught up in the subject and learned a few things along the way. Until I read this book, I have never fully understood why, when a child is sick, that it is the mother that needs to drop everything (including her work) and retrieve the child from daycare or school.… Continue reading

A Wholesome Horror: Poorhouses in Nova Scotia by Brenda Thompson

When I first saw the cover of this book, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing: poor houses existed in Canada? While I grew up in a household that used the warning of “being put in the poor house” I didn’t know that it was a real house (by the time I was born, federal unemployment insurance measures were in place). The fact that poor houses (and poor farms) even existed is due to laws passed in the time of Queen Elizabeth I in the sixteenth century.… Continue reading

Circle Around Monadnock: Time Travel With Horses by Francelia M. Clark

Francelia Clark and her friends, Pam Godin and Shelley Mozier, find and follow two of the oldest trails in the Monadnock region into history—on horseback. Over the course of 3 days, Francelia, Pam, and Shelley, wend their way around the mountain, discovering and documenting much of the early history.

Fishing the High Country: A Memoir of the River by Wayne Curtis

Miramichi author Wayne Curtis has always been a prolific author (this is his eighteenth release) whether he is writing prose, poetry or non-ficton, but the past few years have been watershed ones for his faithful readers. And as Mr. Curtis gets older (much like the rest of us) each new release is more precious than the last one. Fishing the High Country: A Memoir of the River (2018, Goose Lane Editions) is no exception.… Continue reading