Left to Die by Gary Collins

The story of the SS Newfoundland sealing disaster of 1914, in which 78 of 132 men died on the ice, is told in arresting fashion by Newfoundland author Gary Collins in Left to Die (2014, Flanker Press). Known as “The Story Man” in his native Newfoundland, Mr. Collins has written a book that will appeal to those who enjoy reading actual survival accounts from history.

Disaster Brewing

Having personally known two of the last remaining survivors of that tragedy, Mr.… Continue reading

Viola Desmond’s Canada by Graham Reynolds

February being Black History Month in Canada, I was determined to read Viola Desmond’s Canada: A History of Blacks and Racial Segregation in the Promised Land by Graham Reynolds (Fernwood Publishing, 2016) before the month was out. Thank goodness February had 29 days this month, for I finished it on the last day.

In 1946, Viola Desmond was wrongfully arrested for sitting in a whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.… Continue reading

Ghost Buck: The Legacy of One Man’s Family and its Hunting Traditions by Dean Bennett

When Islandport Press sent me a copy of Ghost Buck to review, I was a little apprehensive about reading it for it is centered around an activity I have never participated in: deer hunting. I'm not even much of an outdoors person, but this book is not in actuality about hunting or wilderness skills. It is chiefly about family and the traditions that they cherish.

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