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.

Following the River: Traces of Red River Women by Lorri Neilsen Glenn

Towards the end of Lorri Neilsen Glenn’s enthralling memoir-like journey of discovery Following the River: Traces of Red River Women (2017, Wolsak & Wynn), she states:

“When we consider countless horrors in the world, innumerable disasters and catastrophes, a ship consumed by fire on a late summer night is but only one. Unremarkable, yet its dark stroke colours lives for generations.”

The ship in question was the SS Premier, a ship that plied the waters of Lake Winnipeg, carrying people and cargo south to north, north to south.… Continue reading

Patriots, Traitors and Empires: The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom by Stephen Gowans

all the wars fought in the twentieth century, the one I was least familiar with was the Korean War. Odd, because my father-in-law served in Korea with Canadian Forces. With Baraka Books’ 2018 release of Patriots, Traitors and Empires by Stephen Gowans came my opportunity to learn more about the history of Korea, how it came to be divided into North and South and so on.… Continue reading

Why Indigenous Literatures Matter by Daniel Heath Justice

Laurier University Press (WLU Press) publishes an Indigenous Studies series of which I have reviewed Rachel Bryant’s The Homing Place, which is one of my “Very Best!” reads of 2018. So I returned to WLU Press’ website to look at their other titles. Daniel Heath Justice’s book Why Indigenous Literatures Matter has been very well received in literary circles, so I thought I would investigate it, as I enjoyed (and was very educated by) The Homing Place.… Continue reading

Tappan Adney and the Heritage of the St. John River Valley by Keith Helmuth

Woodstock, New Brunswick’s Chapel Street Editions must be one of this province’s best-kept publishing secrets. I found out about them quite by accident when another author mentioned one of their books they recently read (the novel Taapoategl & Pallet, which I plan to read soon).

Edwin Tappan Adney is a name well-known to New Brunswickers, particularly in and around the town of Woodstock, which borders on Maine in the central-west area of the province.… Continue reading