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 Factory Voice by Jeanette Lynes

The Factory Voice (2009, Coteau Books) was on the longlist for the 2009 ScotiaBank Giller prize and it is easy to see why it was so popular. Set in Fort William (now part

of Thunder Bay) during WWII in a factory that manufactures Mosquito bombers. It is almost entirely staffed by women right from Audrey the diminutive snack cart girl to Muriel MacGregor, the Chief Engineer.… Continue reading

Here Comes the Dreamer by Carole Giangrande

I must admit that I was a little misled by the whimsical cover art and title of Here Comes the Dreamer (2015, Inanna Publications). I thought this was going to be a lighthearted novella by Carole Giangrande, but male protagonist Alastair Luce is certainly no Walter Mitty type of dreamer. This book is the melancholy tale of artist/dreamer Alastair who had his dreams and personality altered by shock therapy as well as a fatal accident that was not really his fault, the fallout from which engulfs his family and neighbours in its wake, dealing with the trauma of the shock therapy, the accident and a wrongful death lawsuit.… Continue reading

The Miramichi Reader “The Very Best” Awards for 2015

We have a saying up here in the Miramichi: “the very best” (but you have to run all three words together to say it correctly). Typically, it comes in response to “how are you?” or “how’s the family?” and so on. I thought it would make a great award title for the best books that the Miramichi Reader has reviewed here over the past year (and since it is solely based on my opinion, it is trustworthy).… 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