It’s Not About Us by Todd Leader

Subtitled “The Secret to Transforming the Mental Health and Addiction System in Canada”, this premier release from Nova Scotia’s Cathydia Press is not only a call to reform the present paradigm of treating patients for mental health and addictions, but it is blueprint for managers, leaders and clients regarding how to do it based on the author’s own success in Nova Scotia’s South Shore District Health Authority from 2010 to 2014.…

Blackbird Calling by Laura Swart

When I first received Blackbird Calling (Quattro Books, 2016) and started reading it, I soon put it aside because I wasn’t ready for it, my mind wanted an ‘easy’ read at the time (it being summertime and the season of distractions, not to mention yard work) but I vowed to return to it one day. That day came months later, and I finished it in one day.…

Dawning of a New Garden by Tara Nanayakkara

A well written, well-paced novel whose female protagonist, Priya is still mourning the recent (and sudden) death of her beloved husband when she unexpectedly meets Suresh, the nephew of Jeevan, a Sri Lankan man whom she regularly visits in a senior’s residence in St. John’s. While Suresh is likable (and Priya is definitely not looking for another husband), there is something about Suresh that both attracts her but while he does come across as caring, there is a certain controlling aspect to his demeanor, reminding Priya too much of her father.…

Blood of Extraction by Todd Gordon & Jeffery R. Webber

It seems that Latin America is not given much attention these days, unless an international event like the Brazil Summer Olympics directs our attention to that sector of the globe. Yet, there is a multiplicity of issues occurring there as a casual look at the BBC’s Latin America news page proves: economic unrest and uncertainty in Venezuela, a huge cocaine haul in Bolivia, and a drug lord’s luxury prison cell in a Paraguayan prison were just some of the headlines there at the time of this writing.…

What Killed Jane Creba by Anita Arvast

Subtitled Rap, Race, and the Invention of a Gang War, What Killed Jane Creba (2016, Dundurn) is an investigative look into the circumstances surrounding the accidental shooting death of a girl in downtown Toronto in 2005.

It was Boxing Day (December 26th) and Jane Creba was in downtown Toronto outside the Eaton Center with thousands of other people. Some of those in the crowd were some young black men with a grudge against one another.…

Wake the Stone Man by Carol McDougall

Wake the Stone Man (2015, Roseway Publishing) is Nova Scotia author Carol McDougall’s latest novel and it is a very thought-provoking one. It won the 2013 Beacon Award for social justice literature, which is a prize for an unpublished novel. The issue of the mistreatment of Aboriginal children in residential schools set up by the Canadian government almost 100 years ago has been in the news for many years now as new facts come to light and the survivors are telling their stories.…

Drive-by Saviours by Chris Benjamin

Drive-by Saviours by Chris Benjamin (2010, Roseway Publishing) is the first novel from this Halifax writer. It is a fascinating, complex story involving two men from two different worlds, Mark in Toronto, Canada and Bumi in Makassar, Indonesia. Being an expatriate Torontonian living on the East Coast, I am naturally drawn to any story with Toronto in it. It is a difficult city to describe, but Mark attempts it stating: “Toronto is everything good and everything bad about a city.…