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December 27, 2012

Some History Books Worth a Look 2013

While not writing this column for a while because of other involvements I have been able to read some new history/heritage publications that may be of interest at this time of the year with Christmas and a long winter ahead. 

Anahareo a Wilderness Spirit by Kristin Gleeson 


Mattawa’s Gertrude Bernard, Grey Owl’s Anahareo has a fine new book on her life by Kristin Gleeson.  The Mattawa Museum has an extensive display on Anahareo and there is a street named after her. 

I have talked to Kristin on several occasions, as have others in Mattawa, and I travelled to Temagami with her and Grey Owl’s grandson Albert Lalonde on one occasion. She hopes to have a book signing here in the near future. The book is available at Gullivers Books and Toys. The book provides a thorough and touching review of Anahareo’s remarkable life including her receipt of the Order of Canada for her conservation work and there  some interesting new insights. For some of my articles on Anahareo Google Heritage Perspectives – Anahareo. 

The Red Forest by Clermont Duval 


Another Mattawa book is a graphic novel by the versatile Clermont Duval. He has combined his artistic skills wiyj his story telling skills in a magical new book on lumbering in the mythical Red Forest. 

The book is a series of drawings with voice bubbles that creates life in an intriguing imaginary forest.  Framed copies of some of the drawings are available at Clermont’s Gallery in Mattawa.  The purchase includes a copy of the book.  I have one of the paintings I purchase in my house. 

Clermont did a book based on the famous Marie Chapdelaine  many years ago and is in the process of colouring the book for republication.  He will also have a follow up graphic book on Logging called The White Forest. 

A Guidebook of Adventures Found in Northern Ontario by Bill Steer 


Well known author, map maker, environmentalist, teacher and general manager of the Canadian Ecology Centre Bill Steer has written a fascinating book, with a CD, promoting visitation to a variety of natural and cultural heritage sites.  Bill is a specialist in Outdoor Education and GPS among other things and has put together a remarkable group of destinations to “Search, See, Learn & Stay Awhile”. 

Digital maps, graphic photos, and GPS data are provided to get you to each location.  Some of Bill’s Backroad Bill’s articles have been seen in Community Voices.  A weekly interview, on a new location each week, was heard on CBC radio in the summer.  Whether you just want to read about Bill’s adventures or try some, if you have the time, energy, interest and funds, get the book.  For more information Google www.steertonorthernontario.ca or contact him at bill@canadianecology.ca

Northern Ontario the Unknown Country by Michael Barnes 


Speaking of Northern Ontario Michael Barnes is recognized as “the most prolific author writing about Northern Ontario” with more than 50 books to date.  His 1991 book North Bay, Northern Gateway is an excellent profile of North Bay. 

The new book is only 170 pages long and Barnes emphasizes that it is an “introduction” to Northern Ontario.  His books are easy to read with lots of photographs and people  The book has an  extensive bibliography. 

The publication Ontario History – the journal of the Ontario Historical Society has a review of the book by a Lakehead University Professor who says some good things about the book but didn’t like several others including the lack of reference to a couple of scholarly books.  I was disappointed that the highly publicized book Come On Over, Northeastern Ontario A to Z by 2 retired Laurentian Professors was not included . I was pleased that he included one of my books (but spelled my name wrong). 

These books and other history books are available at Gullivers Books and toys in North Bay and other locations and online.

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