||April 1, 2005
History books worth a look
This is one of my occasional
columns recommending new history related books that may be of interest to
readers for personal use or as a gift to someone special. Using the books also
supports the hardworking authors who produce the books. These books are
available in bookstores like Gulliverís on Main Street, North Bay, or can be
ordered. Many are or will be available in your local library or they may
purchase them if encouraged to do so. The books range from gloss hardcover
coffee table books to personal explorations by authors who have a story to
Canada An Illustrated
History 2004 and Canadian Obsessions 2005 are coffee table books by
Douglas & McIntyre (www.douglas-mcintyre.com) that would make great gifts for
yourself or someone else. Both are beautifully illustrated. The first book
covers the whole of Canadian history while the Obsession book is restricted to
the last 100 years as recorded in the archives of Macleanís magazine.
Canada House Ė Rideau Hall
and the Invention of a Canadian Home, Alfred A. Knopf Canada 2004. Three
outstanding writers got together with Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and her
husband John Ralston Saul to prepare the book. The book tells about the
development of the house, the gardens and the food served at Rideau Hall. Each
of these 3 areas is written by an outstanding specialist and provides an
entertaining and informative read.
Einstein 1905: The Standard
of Greatness, John S. Ryder, Harvard University Press 2005. This book deals
with Einsteinís life and theories and is the ideal book for someone wanting to
learn more about his work. There is a chapter on each of the 5 remarkable 1905
papers I mentioned in my article last week. The book was reviewed in the Books
section of the Globe & Mail on January 14, 2005. The review can be seen at
Nipissing University or North Bay Library on request. The same book section has
a book review of the new beautifully illustrated book The Big Bang by Simon
Singh for cosmology buffs.
Doris McCarthy by Doris
McCarthy 2004 published by Second Story Press is the latest book by this
outstanding 94 year old Canadian painter. This book is centered on her beloved
Georgian Bay cottage, her friends, and her painting. With many photos and
colour prints of her work is a great book for anyone interested in Canadian art
and a life well lived.
Winter on Diamond by
Soren Bondrup-Nielsen is the story of the authorís experience in the wilds of
Temagami and in particular a winter in the woods in a cabin on Diamond Lake with
his friend and well-known author, artist and wilderness expert Hap Wilson.
Published by Res Telluris Press (www.restelluris.ca). The back of the book
quotes the pair saying ďThoreau was our heroĒ much like my enthusiasm for
Thoreau in a recent article in Community Voices.
Overalls & Scrubs by
Bill Partlow published by Aylmer Express. Bill Partlow worked for the CPR in
the town of Chapleau in the 1940s but the work disappeared when WWII veterans
returned. Bill became a dentist and practiced until 2002 when he retired and
wrote the book about his life and times. It is an in depth and personal look at
some fascinating history covering 437 pages and includes 200 photos. Bill
recently had a book signing at Gulliverís where the book is currently
Harvest of a Quiet Eye
by Lawrence Scanlan Viking Canada 2004 is a new book by the author of Heading
Home Ė On Starting a New Life in a Country Place which I read years ago. The
new book tells the story of the Scanlanís adventure north of Kingston in
purchasing an old log cabin and restoring it. It relates to my recent article
on Henry Thoreau and many other similar explorations like Soren Bondrup-Nielsenís
mentioned above. Scanlan talks about every aspect of his restoration project
including his water system and recommends East Ferris author Max Burnsí book
Cottage Water Systems.
English Bloods in the
Backwoods of Muskoka 2004. Anyone with an interest in early settlement in
Northern Ontario will enjoy this fascinating book by Scott D. Shipman who lives
in Huntsville. The English Bloods were young englishmen from families with some
financial resources who came to Canada to work for a farmer to learn how to be a
farmer so they could branch out on their own later.
The book was written by
Frederick de la Fosse who used a false name to protect the many real people in
the book. Shipman spent 8 years discovering who the real author was and who the
other people were. His historical research makes the book doubly fascinating
because both the 1878 story (published in 1930) and his documentation are
The book is published by the
excellent Natural Heritage Books Co which publishes numerous books on various
historical topics. Call for a catalogue. (1-800-725-9982). Astrid Taimís
Almaguin A Highland History (and her pending new book) and Louise de Kirline
Laurenceís books are available there.
These are only a few of the
many books with a heritage perspective. If anyone wants to recommend a book
they have read, contact me at the address below.
Heritage Perspective Home Page