Left to Die: The Story of the SS Newfoundland Sealing Disaster by Gary Collins

The story of the SS Newfoundland sealing disaster of 1914, in which 78 of 132 men died on the ice, is told in arresting fashion by Newfoundland author Gary Collins in Left to Die (2014, Flanker Press). Known as “The Story Man” in his native Newfoundland, Mr. Collins has written a book that will appeal to those who enjoy reading actual survival accounts from history.

Disaster Brewing

Having personally known two of the last remaining survivors of that tragedy, Mr.… Continue reading

The Dead Man by Nora Gold

One could be forgiven if they thought the title of this book belongs in the murder-mystery genre. While there is no actual murder, there has been a psychological one of sorts, and, like a good mystery, the reader is compelled to read right up to the last page to see how Eve, the female protagonist of The Dead Man (2016, Inanna Publications) throws off the bonds of her entrapment to a man she met years ago and hasn’t seen or heard from in five years.… Continue reading

AMACAT (Thief for Hire, Book #2) by Chuck Bowie

Sean Donovan is back in action, albeit against his will, in AMACAT, book #2 of the “Thief for Hire” series penned by New Brunswick author Chuck Bowie. Forced out of his self-imposed retirement to help solve a murder (along with a vacationing Minnesotan couple) in PEI, Sean soon finds himself assisting an employee (who appeared briefly in book #1) at the Canadian embassy in London to clear her name in a breach of security case, as well as helping his sister out of a jam in Montreal, to whom her boyfriend has gifted a stolen, ugly (but valuable) fish mask, which results in having an overly aggressive insurance agent on her trail.… Continue reading

Nta’tugwaqanminen (Our Story) by the Gespe’gewa’gi Mi’qmawei Mawiomi

“Evolution of the Gespe’gewa’gi Mi’gmaq” (2016, Fernwood Publishing) this book is the product of years of research commissioned by the organization that represents the three communities of the Mi’gmaq that inhabit the northern part of the Gaspé Peninsula. It also involves the work of the community’s Elders (both oral and written stories), so it is a history written by Aboriginal peoples from an aboriginal perspective. It is also valuable for non-Aboriginals as well, for we learn of their history from their perspective, and come to see and understand their worldview and vision of life and their environment both before and after contact with Europeans.… Continue reading

2113: Stories Inspired by the Music of Rush

I was quite excited to find a book of short stories inspired by the music of one of my favourite rock bands, Rush. They have been around for forty-plus years, so this 18-story anthology covers songs from their vast catalogue of intelligent songs. The collection also includes the stories that inspired such Neal Peart-penned Rush classics as “Red Barchetta” and “Roll the Bones”. Included as well is Kevin J.… Continue reading

Dancing in a Jar by Adele Poynter

Life in the small Newfoundland village of St. Lawrence was not easy in the early 1930’s. The town was still recovering from the tsunami that hit there in 1929. The disaster killed 28 people and left hundreds more homeless or destitute. It was the most destructive earthquake-related event in Newfoundland and Labrador’s history and, making matters worse, occurred at the beginning of a worldwide depression. It was into this environment that Donald Poynter and his new bride Urla Crammond entered upon leaving the U.S.… Continue reading

Strangers on the Beach by Josh Pahigian

Maine resident Josh Pahigian’s first novel Strangers on a Beach (2012, Islandport Press) is what I consider the perfect type of “summer read”. By that I mean it is a mystery/thriller that will hold your attention until the end, the type of book to take on vacation, one you can put down to have some fun, then pick up when you have a relaxing moment. That is not to say you cannot read this in the dead of winter; it’s just the location of the book (Old Orchard Beach, Maine) lends itself to summer and playing in the waves or sitting on the beach getting some sun.… Continue reading

Getting Around the Rock by Leonard Lahey

The challenges of establishing and maintaining various forms of transportation on the island colony of Newfoundland (pre-Confederation) posed various challenges and these are well documented in Leonard Lahey’s book Getting Around the Rock: by Land Sea and Air (2016, Flanker Press). The stories were primarily based on the recollections of William (Bill) Joseph Lahey, the author’s uncle and Raymond Lahey, the author’s father. Both were involved in various forms of transportation in Newfoundland and Labrador as well as establishing wireless telegraphy in the early days of communication.… Continue reading