A Boy From Botwood by Pte. A.W. Manuel

“Generals, colonels, majors, and captains have all written books about the First World War, but in the years that have since come and gone, I have never read or even heard of one that was written by a sergeant, a corporal, or a private, the lowly common front-line foot soldier.”

are the words of Private Arthur.W. Manuel who served in the First World War (or the “Great War” as it was then known) with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment from 1914-1919.… Continue reading

Escape Hatch by Gerhard P. Bassler

, Newfoundland & Labrador has had a colourful history, from fishing to a strategic WWII port to today’s tourism business. However, a little-known slice of Newfoundland & Labrador (NL) history (outside of the province, that is) is that of Premier Joey Smallwood’s attempt to diversify NL’s industrial base outside of fishing and logging by attracting post-WWII German industries and German immigrants to Canada’s newest province. Smallwood’s plan was an “escape hatch” for German industries fearing what Soviet Russia may have in store, by coming to Canada.… Continue reading

A Matter of Geography by Jasmine D’Costa

Matter of Geography, which was shortlisted in 2015 for the Tuscany Prize for unpublished manuscripts has now been published by Mosaic Press. The story is an impressive one dealing as it does with the religious divisions in India between Muslims and Hindus, the fallout of which affects peoples of other religions such as Christians and Jews. A Matter of Geography takes place in Bombay in 2008-2009 but flashes back in time as Peter, the storyteller here, recalls growing up in the large Billimoria Building with all sorts of families as well as religions.… Continue reading

The Bus by Adam Pottle

a six-hour window on April 21, 1941, The Bus (Quattro Books, 2016) features eight different narrators: six mental patients, the doctor who will kill them, and the man who will burn their corpses. Crammed into a bus with thirty-five others and unable to see out the painted windows, the patients are transferred from the Scheuern institution to the Nazi euthanasia clinic in Hadamar, Germany. (From Quattro Book’s website)

The Third Reich had a policy of mercy killing those deemed “incurables” such as the mental patients Nadja, Frederich, Sebastian, Leopold, Emmerich and Judith, all passengers unknowingly on their way to be gassed in a “shower room”, then cremated.… Continue reading

Living Up to a Legend by Diana Bishop

My Adventures with Billy Bishop’s Ghost, Diana Bishop’s memoirs of her grandfather, WWI Canadian flying ace Billy Bishop, is an insightful, moving look at growing up in the shadow of a legend. Living Up to a Legend (Dundurn, 2017) is full of important moments and keen recollections of a life lived not only with Billy’s ghost but with a father (Arthur Bishop) who was a WWII RCAF officer who flew Spitfires and was popular in his own right.… Continue reading

Algonquin Sunset (Algonquin Quest Book #3) by Rick Revelle

It has been two years since Algonquin Spring, was released (Book Two of the Algonquin Quest Series by Rick Revelle) but the timeline has advanced twelve years in Algonquin Sunset, which has allowed Anokì and Pangì, the children of the Algonquin warrior Mahingan, along with their cousins and other youngsters to grow into adulthood and bring them into new adventures as they meet with new tribes, both friend and enemy, in the present day area of the Great Lakes (Superior and Michigan) and even further west to the present day area of northern Minnesota where they meet up with a new fierce enemy: the Lakhotas.… Continue reading