Bill Arnott’s Beat – National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. This year’s theme, A World of Poetry. A world of poetry. This, I understand. Being witness to stomped-verse haka in Waitangi, the lyrical thrum of Outback didgeridoo, breathy sax in a wet London underpass, red slashed characters on a mud wall in Hebei, tanka blurred through joss smoke in Kyoto, rantings of a street poet in Times Square, the guttural slur of a Greenlandic hymn, and a master’s spoken-word reverberating on old timber, sibilant sea hissing through cracked glass

Bill Arnott’s Beat: Independents’ Day

Independent bookstores shouldn’t exist. Brick-and-mortar bibliophile havens are retail models waiting to be business school case studies, “Why These Can’t Work.” TV narcissi could bleat indefinitely as to why they’d never invest in such ventures. But they do exist. And despite every reason why they shouldn’t, they thrive.

Silver Linings: Stories of Gratitude, Resiliency, and Growth Through Adversity by Janice Landry

Silver Linings author Janice Landry asks the very tough question, "What are you the most grateful for?" to fifteen inspiring Canadians from five provinces and two esteemed guests from the United States. One of seventeen is Dr. Bob Emmons, considered to be the world's pre-eminent expert in the study of gratitude.

Exile Blues by Douglas Gary Freeman

Exile Blues could be one of the most important Black History novels to appear in recent years, and Douglas Gary Freeman is a writer worthy of consideration.

Black Cop: My 36 years in police work, and my career ending experiences with official racism by Calvin Lawrence, With Miles Howe

The title and subtitle pretty much sum up what this book is about: being black and facing systemic racism in two police organizations in a 36-year career. Calvin Lawrence was born in 1949 in Yarmouth and raised in Halifax. His … Continue reading

The Daughters’ Story by Murielle Cyr

Nadine is banished to a home for unwed mothers in 1950. She’s 15. Her baby daughter, whose father is shrouded in secrecy, is put up for adoption without her permission. Vowing to reunite one day with her daughter, she cuts all ties with her dysfunctional Irish and French-Canadian Catholic family whose past is cluttered with secrets, betrayals, incest and violence.

A Wholesome Horror: Poorhouses in Nova Scotia by Brenda Thompson

Update 03/09/19: A Wholesome Horror has won the 2019 “The Very Best!” Book Award for Non-Fiction!

When I first saw the cover of this book, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing: poor houses existed in Canada? While I grew … Continue reading