The Habit of Turning the World Upside Down by Howard Mansfield

There comes a point early on in the reading of Howard Mansfield’s newest book The Habit of Turning the World Upside Down (2018, Bauhan Publishing) when you realize that you thought you understood what “property” meant, but in actuality, you didn’t. A point when you say to yourself: “Ok, I’m listening to what this guy has to say.” This book is a path-clearing work; the idea of property as most of us understand it has been occluded by so many branches consisting of conflicting ideas, legalese, lawsuits and the idea of eminent domain that one needs a person like Mr.…

Just…Think About It by Peg Tittle

A few years back, I enrolled in a distance education program that was technology-based. At the last minute, the powers that be decided (likely for accreditation reasons) that they need to give us introductory courses on critical thinking, conflict resolution and so on. I would have been more interested in these subjects at the time had I not been preparing to sit the certification exam for my field of study.…

Vic City Express by Yannis Tsirbas

Vic City Express is a fierce little book; tiny in size, but large in reach and impact. It will polarize readers with the message shouted out by one of the protagonists advocating the elimination of immigration, with not-so-subtle hints at the eradication of unwanted peoples. It takes place on a passenger train ride to Athens where an unfortunate man we’ll call the “reluctant listener” is seated across from a fellow Greek who has no trouble spewing virulent stories about his life growing up in Athens, his involvement in youth crimes, taking police beatings, how Greeks are outnumbered by non-Greeks in his building in Vic City (an area of Athens centered on the Victoria metro station) and so on.…

Following the River: Traces of Red River Women by Lorri Neilsen Glenn

Towards the end of Lorri Neilsen Glenn’s enthralling memoir-like journey of discovery Following the River: Traces of Red River Women (2017, Wolsak & Wynn), she states:

“When we consider countless horrors in the world, innumerable disasters and catastrophes, a ship consumed by fire on a late summer night is but only one. Unremarkable, yet its dark stroke colours lives for generations.”…

The Sweet Bloods of Eeyou Istchee by Ruth DyckFehderau

According to the Diabetes Canada website, there are 11 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes. Every three minutes, another Canadian is diagnosed. For the James Bay Cree living in the territory of Eeyou Istchee in Northern Quebec, “fully one-third of the adults have been diagnosed with type 2 or gestational diabetes and more remain undiagnosed.”

The Sweet Bloods of Eeyou Istchee was produced by creehealth.org

Why Indigenous Literatures Matter by Daniel Heath Justice

Laurier University Press (WLU Press) publishes an Indigenous Studies series of which I have reviewed Rachel Bryant’s The Homing Place, which is one of my “Very Best!” reads of 2018. So I returned to WLU Press’ website to look at their other titles. Daniel Heath Justice’s book Why Indigenous Literatures Matter has been very well received in literary circles, so I thought I would investigate it, as I enjoyed (and was very educated by) The Homing Place.…

Game Misconduct by Nathan Kalman-Lamb

don’t consider myself much of a sports fan these days. I grew up on hockey; there were only the original six NHL teams when I was a youngster. One either cheered for the Leafs or for the Canadiens. If you were lucky, you had a hockey sweater of your team; maybe a cap or toque. There was no Internet; no way to connect with other fans to create social communities (other than attending actual games) to discuss scores, players, trades and so on.…

Warrior Lawyers by Silver Donald Cameron

Silver Donald Cameron is one of Canada’s most versatile and experienced professional authors and is the host and executive producer of TheGreenInterview.com, a subscription-based website with interviews (100 and counting!) of people from all parts of the globe and with every type of background imaginable. Mr. Cameron believes that “this is the most important work I’ve ever done — and this is my 18th book!” …

My Chaos: Searching for My New Normal by Rick C. Benson

Rick C. Benson BA, BEd, MA (Pastoral Studies) is the current Director of Spiritual and Religious Care and is a Grief Recovery Specialist working out of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Saint John, New Brunswick.

I first heard of Mr. Benson’s book in Horizon Health Network’s internal newsletter, the Horizon Star. I quickly got in contact with him and he sent me a copy of the book for the purposes of this review along with this thought:

I really wanted the book to help a broader readership … to bring healing from many approaches and help others like yourself bring healing to those we interact with in healthcare.

In the Belly of the Horse by Eliana Tobias

the her “Acknowledgements” section at the back of In the Belly of the Horse (2017, Inanna Publications), Ms. Tobias thanks “the anonymous South American taxi driver for sharing his memories which became the catalyst and inspiration for my story.” While she does not elaborate on this statement, it is easy to see after reading this story that the taxi driver could have been the inspiration for Salvador’s Uncle Tomas.…

Daniel Paul, Mi’kmaw Elder by Jon Tattrie

-winning author Jon Tattrie, whose most recent book, Redemption Songs (2016, Potterfield Press) was about the history of Black Africans in North America, has turned his attention to one of the most prominent First Nations personages, Daniel N. Paul, Mi’kmaw Elder.
Mr Paul is himself an author of several books, in particular the popular We Were Not the Savages (2006, Fernwood Publishing) now in it’s third printing.…

The Dwindling: A Daughter’s Caregiving Journey to the Edge of Life by Janet Dunnett

The Dwindling (2017, Journeys Press) is a unique book in the Health/Memoir genre for it is written by one-half of a “Twin Team” of identical twin sisters that endeavoured to care for their aged parents, the father with dementia, the mother with multiple health problems, pain being the primary one that caused her the most discomfort, and down the road, caused her to be bed-ridden.…

Layla in the Sky With Diamonds by Manbeena Bhullar Sandhu

Manbeena Bhullar Sandhu holds a degree in substance abuse and addictions, and a master’s degree in English literature. She is an addictions counsellor and currently lives and works in Toronto. This is her first book.

Layla in the Sky With Diamonds (2017, Archway Publishing) is a book containing several themes, but primarily the late 1960’s counterculture, drug addictions and the search for spirituality that followed the death of the Hippies.…

Advocate by Darren Greer

The following guest review is by Naomi MacKinnon of the Consumed by Ink book blog, who focuses her reading on books by Atlantic Canadians. Naomi claims she has kept a list of all the books she’s read since Grade 8!

Jacob has a fulfilling job in Toronto as a counsellor at a men’s outreach centre; men living with HIV. When he is asked to come home to Advocate, the small town in Nova Scotia where he grew up, to say goodbye to his dying grandmother, he has severe misgivings.…

Mountain by Ursula Pflug

Ursula Pflug is the award-winning author of the novels Green Music; The Alphabet Stones and the story collections After the Fires and Harvesting the Moon. She has been shortlisted or nominated for many awards and currently lives in Norwood, Ontario. Her latest novel is Mountain (2017, Inanna Publications)

Mountain is a novel (but at only 98 pages, more of a novella) that tells the story of seventeen-year-old Camden O’Connor, a girl who lives in two worlds due to her parents’ separation.…