A Hero by Charlotte R. Mendel

Nova Scotian author Charlotte R. Mendel has written a different kind of novel with A Hero (2015, Inanna Publications*). It is different in that it concerns the lives of an extended Muslim family living in an unnamed post-revolutionary Muslim country. While the family is Muslim, it could be any family living anywhere, from the inner city to the suburbs. In fact, as I started reading the book, it seemed to me like a Muslim version of “All in the Family”.… 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

Let Us Be True by Erna Buffie

Just after finishing Let Us Be True (2015, Coteau Books), I rated it a 3 out of 5 stars at Goodreads. Then I changed my mind and gave it another star because I kept thinking about the story long after I finished it, which is a sign of a four-star book for me. I kept thinking about it primarily due to the way the author, Erna Buffie has written the life story of Pearl Calder.… Continue reading

New Location for Miramichi’s Book Nook

Check out their new location at 1 Allen St. Douglastown (behind Northumberland Square Mall, formerly Sky-Tech and T&R Sports). They have a spacious, uncluttered, and well-stocked site now.

New Brunswick bookstore run by staff of people with autism

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Limerence by Jon Tattrie

Jon Tattrie has written a very clever book in Limerence (2015 Pottersfield Press). What do I mean by ‘clever’? It is a clever idea, cleverly conceived and written. It concerns the life of Manitoba resident Sam Stiller who loses his wife and son in a car accident and sets out to reinvent himself on the east coast of Canada as Cain Cohen.

Cain Cohen denies he was ever Sam Stiller, but there are some telling clues: the love of Leonard Cohen’s music (which is referenced liberally throughout the book and hence his ‘new’ last name), and the biblical reference to Cain, who became an outcast after murdering his brother Abel.… Continue reading

Tomas and the Gypsy Violin by Robert Eisenberg

Quattro Books (“Home of the Novella”) has just published an endearing gem with Tomas and the Gypsy Violin. It is the story of Frank and Anna Lewitt, who adopt a seven-year-old Romani (formerly ‘Gypsy’) boy named Tomas after seeing a news report of the persecution of Roma in Eastern Europe. Told by Adam, Frank’s son from a previous marriage, he pleads:

This story is different. It is personal and painful to tell…..the little boy’s story cries out to be heard.

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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

Grist by Linda Little

Back in High School English class, we had to read Margaret Laurence’s A Jest of God, which I did enjoy reading, although looking back it might have been too mature a book for teenagers to study in depth. At any rate, any book with a strong and overburdened female living back in the late 1800s/early 1900s is fated to be compared with her beleaguered Manawaka heroines.… Continue reading