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October 7, 2011

Books Worth a Look 2011

Jane Urquhart at Nipissing University

Author Jane Urquhart will be reading from her latest of 7 novels Sanctuary Line on Wednesday October 12 at 6pm at the new library at Nipissing. Tickets at $5 are available and advanced tickets have sold well so check on seat availability. 

Jane is one of my favourite authors because of her writing style and some of her subjects. With my interest in art, I enjoyed her book the Underpainter (1997) (Her husband is Tony Urquhart the well known abstract expressionist painter).  She won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction for this book  in 1997. 

Jane Urquhart speaking at Nipissing University

 I wrote a column on the man Calvin Township was named after – Delano Dexter Calvin (Mar 21, 2003) and his life, on an island in Lake OntarioUrquhart’s book uses a fictionalized version of Calvin’s life in her book The Map of Glass (2005) and is a fascinating read. 

I made reference to her book The Stone Carvers (2001) a book about the Canadian Vimy monument in France, in my article on April 5, 2007. 

Her latest book is another powerful story in her gripping Southern Ontario Gothic Style. A review says that it is “a meditation on war, poetry, the family, betrayal, immigration and the Monarch Butterfly” I am on the waiting list to read it. 

Jane Urquhart's latest book

Urquhart also wrote a book on Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame  in the Penguin Series on Famous Canadians that I have written about several times in my articles. 

Urqhart has won numerous national and international awards and several honorary doctorates, including one from Nipissing University in 2006. She has also written a book of short stories an 3 books of poetry. Check her out on Wikepedia

The Long View 

A new book by North Bay’s Donna Sinclair is hot off the press and is a gem of a book in the Book  of Days genre.  The book is available at Gulliver’s Books and there will be an official launch at Gullivers 25th Anniversary on Friday October 28th 7:30 – 9pm

Cover of The Long View – An Elderwoman’s Book of Wisdom 2011. By Donna Sinclair

Even though the book is subtitled “an elderwoman’s book of wisdom” it will be of interest to readers of all ages male and female.  Even though written in the classic one entry per day style I found I was reading ahead and picking and choosing by the title of the daily  article. I love the unique easy to carry size of the book (6”x7”). 

Donna is married to a United Church Minister and much of her philosophy reflects this along with her extended family and many friends.  Donna was active in the preservation of the Sweetman’s Garden on the old CNR railbed and writes about it briefly (Sept 29). The Sept 30th item touches on her philosophy and her wit.  She notes that she doesn’t think “God” is an old man with a grey beard but a mystery in Herself.  Donna has been a journalist for over 30 years and an award-winning writer of books on woman’s issues and spirituality.

Destination Algonquin Park

I recently had the new book above by Don Beauprie recommended to me and I checked it out online on the Friends of Algonquin Park website. As a fan of J. R. Booth “Canada’s Most Famous Lumberman” I noted that Beauprie details Booth’s struggle to build his famous  railway across the south side of the Park. 

Destination Algonquin Park 2011 by Don Beauprie

The book also profiles the building and later demise of the famous Highland Inn in the Park.  Membership in the Friends of Algonquin is reasonable and there are many advantages including a Newsletter and notice of outstanding short courses on a variety of interesting topics etc. etc. You don’t have to be a member to buy the book online.

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