Tiff: A Life of Timothy Findley by Sherill Grace

A Colossal Exploration of a Canadian Literary Genius

Sherill Grace’s mammoth work on one of Canada’s greatest writers sets us on course for an exhaustive exploration, not only of Timothy Findley’s life, as the title indicates, but also into his creative mind, heart and spirit. Not easy to do when the subject is as complex and sensitive an artist as Findley, even if he has left traces of his genius, beyond his oeuvre, in many archives, journals and the memory of those who knew him well.…

2020 “The Very Best!” Book Awards: Best Non-Fiction

This year’s non-fiction finalists are a mix of a travelogue, a personal battle with PTSD and loss, and finding gratitude despite facing adversity.



2020 Shortlist: Best Non-Fiction!

There were so many good non-fiction titles this year! From memoirs to travel to mental health, the five following titles cover it all and more:

2020 Shortlist: “The Very Best!” First Book

Best First Book (Fiction or Non-Fiction)

Best First Book is one of the more interesting categories: I’m always wondering if the author has another book in them anytime soon, or was this just a one-off experience? What will their second book be like? The authors in this shortlist represent a wide assortment of backgrounds. All but one are female and there’s only one non-fiction book here.…

Twenty-One Ways to Die in Saskatchewan by R.E. Stansfield

When I asked mom where babies come from she said Regina. I believe. So I spent my childhood thinking every birth occurred in the capital of Saskatchewan. This, combined with the expression people are Saskatchewan’s primary export, and it was years before I knew any better. So when author Ron Stansfield said he’s from Regina, part of me thought, well, who isn’t?…

Rising Tides: Reflections for Climate Changing Times, edited by Catriona Sandilands

the introduction to Rising Tides, Sandilands states that climate change stories “focus increasingly on thornier questions of persistence, adaptation, resistance, and renewal” instead of apocalypse. Ultimately, the short fiction, poetry and personal climate testimonies in this climate change anthology are about hope.

“The way rain falls the spring of life seed to root, stem to leaves. Oh trees, weather maker, life shaper, air sweet.…

Top Ten Posts for 2019

it is almost the end of 2019 (and another decade slips away), I thought it would be interesting to look back at some of the most popular posts here at The Miramichi Reader for 2019. While many 2018 posts continued to be popular in 2019, the following ten posts were all posted in 2019. Included are author interviews, short story collections, poetry, fiction and nonfiction selections which just happens to cover all the major categories here.…

Summer Shortlisting 2019: Best Non-Fiction!

I can’t wait any longer! Now that the Best First Book shortlist has been revealed, it is time to take a look at the Best Non-Fiction of 2019. Two of the books that were on the longlist were shortlisted for Best First Book, consequently, they are ineligible to be shortlisted in another category. So that leaves us with nine entries from which four will be selected to be on the 2019 shortlist for a “The Very Best!”

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

First Quarter Best Reads 2018: Non-Fiction

complement my First Quarter 2018 Best Reads: Fiction, I will now take a closer look at some non-fiction titles I’ve put on the growing 2018 longlist for the Miramichi Reader “The Very Best!” Book Award.

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.…

Call of the Ocean cover

The Call of the Ocean by Jim Wellman

Flanker Press has just released an invaluable book penned by Jim Wellman of twenty-eight fascinating profiles of people who are (or were) involved with the modern ocean fishery industry in one way or another. There are stories of lives lived on the sea, lives lost at sea, lives saved at sea, boat builders, both young and old, women who fish or who are instrumental in promoting the fishing industry, even lobbying in Ottawa for various reasons, all on behalf of the fishing industry.…

Rapid Reviews June 2016

This installment of “Rapid Reviews” includes five titles which run the gamut from Maine to Nova Scotia to Newfoundland and then Canada in general. One is pure fiction, another a combination of essays/short fiction, one is of Nova Scotia beaches, another about the late Newfoundland musician Ron Hynes, and lastly a reference book on the history of policing in Canada.

Came Home to a Killing by Mahrie G.

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.…

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.…