There’s something about November that puts me in a contemplative state of mind.
Perhaps it’s the presence of Remembrance Day, an ongoing reminder of heroism, sacrifice, and loss.
Perhaps it’s a vague sense of an ending, the end of the year in sight.
Perhaps it’s the world around me, the days growing shorter, the leaves in the gutters, the darkness seemingly all around.
Or perhaps it’s just a sugar hangover from those little tiny Halloween chocolate bars.
I’m really not sure of the cause, but it happens every year at around this time. I find myself thinking about the past, about my place in the world, about the people around me, the stories they’re carrying. And it’s not just me: pretty much everyone I’ve spoken with reports much the same mindset as the evenings begin to encroach on the day.
It’s not a bad thing at all. A period of reflection, of examination, of contemplation, is necessary, and in many ways a balm.
This month, the independent booksellers of the Shelf Talkers panel have some thoughtful choices for you, companions for your own hours of contemplation.
The Bookseller: Colin Holt, Bolen Books (Victoria, BC)
The Pick: The Wars, by Timothy Findley
I try to find time every fall to give Timothy Findley’s The Wars a reread. For me it is an im …
Today we are in conversation with Tanya Talaga. Her hard-hitting and important Seven Fallen Feathers tells the story of seven Indigenous teenagers who have gone missing in Thunder Bay over the past several years. Throughout the narrative, she unpacks the legacy of the residential school system and explores how ongoing colonialism and bureaucratic indifference impact Indigenous youth in Northern Ontario. The book was a finalist for this year’s Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust of Canada Prize for Nonfiction.
According to The Walrus, "Seven Fallen Feathers is a must-read for all Canadians. It shows us where we came from, where we’re at, and what we need to do to make the country a better place for us all."
Tanya Talaga has been a journalist at the Toronto Star for twenty years, covering everything from general city news to education, natio …