||December 9, 2005
Christmas Books Worth a Look
The Globe and Mail recently published a
list of the best books of 2005 including some history books. My history column
today lists some of my local favorite history books which includes some from the
some books worth a look
Canadian Pacific: Stand Fast Craigellachie
With the Canadian Pacific
Railway on our doorstep the new book Canadian Pacific by Greg McDonnell with 350
coloured photos should interest many in the area. The CPR deserves a pat on
their back for their Holiday Train which stopped in Mattawa, Bonfield and North
Bay last weekend and had one of its boxcars open up to become a stage for
Christmas performers. Other cars carried food bank donations and were decorated
with thousands of lights.
These Are a Few of My Favorite Roads.
Astorville author Max Burns
has just completed his 6th book. This one looks at the favorite
roads that he has biked on across Canada. His sense of humour about the Trash
Canada Highway and other sights moves the book along as do maps, photographs,
etc. Itís not just for bikers, but anyone with time and a sense of adventure.
Max will be at Gulliversí Books on Main Street, North Bay tomorrow December 10
from 1-3 where you can meet him and get a book signed.
The Cabin: A Search for Personal Sanctuary
Temagamiís Hap Wilson is
known for his canoe books, his artistic ability, his conservationist activities
and his guiding on over 300 wilderness expeditions. He has now written about
his life and about how he found peace and pleasure at the edge of Lady Evelyn
River in the depths of Temagami. With 41 of his beautiful drawings it is a
refreshing Christmas read. Hap will be showing slides and signing his books
tonight Friday December 9 at Gulliversí from 7:30 to 9pm.
Three Day Road
My favourite book this year
is a novel by Joseph Boyden on 2 Ontario Cree nephews who fought as snipers in
WWI. I have mentioned it a couple of times in my column before. The book is
inspired by the real life native sniper Francis Pegamahgabow whose recent book I
also profiled. A powerful war story it also profiles the native way of life
including the abuses of residential schools. The Boyden & the Stephen Lewis
book below are on the G&W Best 100 List.
Wartime Letters Home
In this Year of the Veteran
a book by North Bay author Lois MacDonald is a treat. She was a member of
Canadian Red Cross Corp overseas during WWII and while there carried on an
active correspondence and met many lifelong friends. She came to North Bay with
her husband John Cooper and had 4 daughters. She weaves a fascinating story of
those war years and her part in it.
Bullies in Power
Paul Lagace a career
soldier had 3 stays in North Bay where he experienced some remarkable bias as a
part of his career. An ordinary guy with some Metis blood, he lived with a
native woman who wouldnít marry because she would lose her status. Starting
with the military chaplain who told him to drop his wife he suffered
interminable abuse for years on this and other issues.
It turns out he has a
lawyer mentality and acquired excellent academic qualifications, the ability to
write and the courage to stand up to the brass. After his career he became an
outstanding advocate for AIDS victims and won many civil rights tribunals. A
fascinating primer on fighting and sometimes winning in a battle with the
North Bay Association for Community Living
The local Association for
people with developmental disabilities has been a remarkably effective and
progressive organization for many years. The new book on their history is an
interesting read for anyone interested in humane treatment of the handicapped.
Three new books with an
historical theme are hot off the press. For 5-10 year olds A Pioneer ABC is a
colourful well illustrated introduction to pioneer life for youngsters. It has
some built in suspense. Another Ontario alphabet book for the same age group is
A is for Algonquin and is an interesting read with an educational subtext. For
older children The Red Sash tells the story of an adventurous Metis boy who got
a voyageur sash when he saves a boat in a storm.
This collection of work
from Aboriginal women from Canada and around the world is edited by Temagami
First Nation Author Sandra Laronde, the Artistic Director of the Red Sky
Performance Company that recently performed in North Bay.
Race Against Time
Canadian Stephen Lewis, the
United Nations Secretary-Generalís envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa and leader of
other humanitarian endeavours recently gave the 2005 Massey Lectures. Now in
book form it is a powerful cry for leadership and support for the hundreds of
thousands dying of Aids in Africa.
For the Love of History
The Canadian National
History Society has many excellent books including the one above where Canadaís
best history writers share their favorite stories. The society also publishes
Canadaís premier history magazine The Beaver. Time is short so call
1-800-816-6777 or log on to
Heritage Perspective Home Page