||December 29, 2011
Books Worth a Look 2011
I haven’t seen so many books written in the Community
Voices area in a long time. I have bought or borrowed many and want to share 10
of them briefly with you as possible gifts or library books for you or yours
depending on your interests. Some are by relatively unknown authors who have
unique and fascinating stories to tell whether fiction or non-fiction. The books
are available in various book stores and most libraries. Most have been involved
recently in author book signings at Gulliver’s Books and Toys in North Bay.
Let’s start with someone we all know.
In the Beginning There Was Chaos
This 2nd Treasury of For Better or Worse columns by Lynn
Johnston features a second story line about Lynn’s personal history that is a
pleasurable bonus. The large hardcover book sells for a very reasonable price.
The cover features Elly Johnston on the cover looking at the chaos of her living
room with kids, toys, and the dog and the book is loaded with great family
stories. Coincidentally when I married my wife many years ago her name was Elly
Johnston and we have had the chaos of raising 5 kids.
||Lynn Johnston’s new book of For Better or Worse
This beautiful coffee table book will support North Bay’s
One Kids Place with publishing supported by various sponsors. The Kiwanis Club
has produced the book. It has 150 pages of stunning full colour area photographs
by some of the north’s best photographers along with accompanying stories.
||Northern Shores the Kiwanis Club’s Canoe
Project book 2011
Ernie’s Gold: A Prospector’s Tale
Most of us have heard about the famous prospector Harry
Oakes but not his less fortunate partner Ernie Marten. The fascinating book by
Brian Martin is “full of surprises and answers – and a few unanswered
Booyah: Memories of an Old Rink Rat
This family history is about Don Pecore, a Second World War
veteran and one time North Bay recreation director, arena manager and volunteer.
The book was finished by Don’s daughter Tina. An excellent example of a
dedicated man’s long and successful life.
Ancestors are Arranging Things – a Journey on the Algonkin Trail
Noreen Kruzich discovered her aboriginal roots after some
incredible hard work and has recorded the experience in a refreshing and
rewarding way. She features 3 remarkable chiefs. There is a Mattawa connection
with the Bernard family whose Gertrude became Anahareo, Grey Owl’s influential
muse. One of my Community Voices articles is referenced.
Highway Book Shop: Northern Ontario’s Unexpected Treasure
One of my favorite stops on my history excursions was The
Highway Bookshop (1957-2011) south of Cobalt. I met Doug Polland, his wife Lois
and their staff many times and always came away with a pile of excellent reading
material. I met Doug on various other occasions at conferences and on his sales
tours including when he would drop in to the Powassan Library.
When Doug died in 2009 Lois kept the Shop open and tried to
sell it but eventually closed it She then wrote this remarkable book . Many are
not aware of the publishing they did and I was surprised at the pages and pages
of local history books they published. One of my favorites that I have written
about was the story of Mattawa’s Master painter Gordon Dufoe. A touching story
about a remarkable cultural centre.
The Monteith Prisoner of War Camp
When Wayne LeBelle wrote his book Anson’s Folly the Story
of Iroquois Falls in 2010 he profiled the nearby POW camp at Monteith in WWII
and mentioned historian Peter Lanosky. Peter has since written a complete book
on the camp called Barbed Wire, Black flies, 55⁰ F Below: The Story of the
Monteith, Ontario POW Camp 1940-1946. Books have been written on other POW camps
but this one is especially interesting. When I worked for the Ministry of
Correctional Services in the 1970s when the camp was a correctional facility I
visited it several times and wondered about its past, so found the book
A Cure for Emma
Julie Colvin writes a moving story about her quest to heal
and care for her daughter Emma from type 1 diabetes.
Running to Extremes
Steve Pitt who lives in Rutherglen has written the story of
a young man who gave up his destructive habits and became a successful
marathoner. The book is especially relevant to young and restless young people
looking for a goal in life.
Not in My Father’s Footsteps
If you are looking for some historical fiction you might
enjoy the story of men who fought the fascists in Spain in the 1930s. The author
Terrence Rundle West did some remarkable research including a visit with Jules
Paivio the architect who designed and otherwise helped establish the Mattawa
Museum and who fought in Spain in the 1930s.
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