Rebel With a Cause: The Doc Nikaido Story by Bretton Loney

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

Two Titles by Forensic Anthropologist Debra Komar

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

The Sheryl Gordon Interview

Moncton, New Brunswick native Sheryl Gordon has curated a very interesting book that defies categorization. It is entitled A ReWORDing Life: Finding Meaning in the Wor(l)d and it is an accretion of words and their meanings contributed from over 1,000 Canadians from all walks of life. It is all dedicated to raising awareness of  (and funds for) Alzheimer’s disease as well as other disorders of the brain that fall under the dementia umbrella.… Continue reading

Two Titles from Nimbus on Current Canadian Issues

Nimbus Publishing has produced two excellent titles dealing with issues that have been in the national headlines for some time now: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the Canadian Armed Forces and the Residential School system which attempted to erase the Mi’kmaw culture from young children.

Better Off Dead by Fred Doucette

Fred Doucette (who currently lives in Fredericton, NB) was medically released from the army for PTSD in 2002.… Continue reading

Aftershock: The Halifax Explosion and the Persecution of Pilot Francis Mackey by Janet Maybee

Aftershock, a 2015 book published by Nimbus is an essential read for those interested in the Halifax Explosion of December 6th, 1917. It was on this date that one of the biggest explosions up to that time in North America occurred in Halifax harbour killing thousands and leaving many more injured and scarred for life. However, as the author states in the preface: “This is not a Halifax Explosion report.Continue reading

Till the Boys Come Home by Curtis Mainville

It was back in 2010 that Canada’s last known First World War veteran, John Babcock died at age 109. He regretted that the war ended before he got to see action: “I think if I had a chance, I would have gone to France, taken my chances like the rest of them did,” he said in 2007. “A lot of good men got killed.”

Till the Boys Come Home (2015 Goose Lane Editions) by Curtis Mainville, a 22-year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, focuses on the good men (and women) of Queens County, New Brunswick who either volunteered, were conscripted or stayed home to support the war effort by working on the family farm or in the mines.… Continue reading

The Lost Wilderness by Nicholas Guitard

This book by New Brunswick author and photographer Nicholas Guitard is subtitled “Rediscovering W.F. Ganong’s New Brunswick” and it is an attractive book. From the moment I took it out of the shipping wrapper and saw the cover picture of Ganong standing on a rock in the middle of a body of water doing surveys, I could sense it was something special. Goose Lane Editions has nicely packaged this 200+ page volume complete with colour pictures, appendices, index and a selected bibliography.… Continue reading

Travels with Farley by Claire Mowat

can be great fun to read, or they can be boringly self-indulgent. It all depends on the memoirist. In Claire Mowat’s Travels with Farley (2015 Pottersfield Press), we have a surprisingly candid, friendly and concise memoirist as the late Canadian author Farley Mowat’s wife takes us through a whirlwind tour of their years together from 1969 to about 1976, shortly after they left Newfoundland and to the time they settled in Cape Breton.… Continue reading