Beaumont Hamel, Newfoundland Park by Nigel Cave

The Battle of the Somme was one of the bloodiest battles of WWI. Over one million were killed or wounded from July to November 1916. To commemorate the role of Newfoundland and Labradorian troops fighting near the village of Beaumont Hamel one hundred years ago, Flanker Press has acquired the trade book rights to Nigel Cave’s Beaumont Hamel, Newfoundland Park. The Dominion of Newfoundland (they didn’t become part of Canada until 1949) purchased the 80 acre site of Newfoundland Park after the war, a decision which led to the creation of the finest trench park on the Western Front.… Continue reading

Boss Gibson: Lumber King of New Brunswick by David Sullivan

cannot read a history of New Brunswick without coming across the name Alexander Gibson, or “Boss” as he was affectionately called by his family, friends and employees. So it was that after reading several different books on New Brunswick, I decided to see if anyone had published a book about the man. An Internet search quickly informed me that a book had just been published (in 2015) by David Sullivan entitled Boss Gibson: Lumber King of New Brunswick (Friesens Press).… 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

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

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