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The Recommend: May 2015

Most of the books we read are the result of one thing: someone we know, trust, and/or admire tells us it's great. That's why we run this series, The Recommend, where readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others tell us about a book they'd recommend to a good friend ... and why.

This week we're pleased to present the picks of Steve Burrows, author of the birder mystery, A Siege of Bitterns; Gail Bowen, author of the Joanne Kilbourn Shreve mysteries; Julie Joosten, author of the poetry collection Light Light; Diana Davidson, author of the historical fiction novel Pilgrimage; and Steve Stanton, author and former president of Canada's national association of science fiction and fantasy authors.

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Steve Burrows picks The Bedside Book of Birds: An Avian Miscellany, by Graeme Gibson

"As symbols and muses, omens and deities, birds have always been an inspirational part of the human experience. Graeme Gibson’s book is a fascinating overview of the many varied forms the relationship between birds and humans has taken throughout the ages. But this book is more than just a celebration of the positive. It examines the entire spectrum of the human connection with birds, and provokes sober reflection at times. Some of the entries are profoundly moving, even disturbing, b …

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Diana Davidson: Re-Writing Women in Canadian History

Cover Pilgrimage

Diana Davidson’s debut novel, Pilgrimage, opens with Mahkesîs Cardinal trying to conceal her pregnancy on the Lac St. Anne Métis settlement during the winter of 1891. Pilgrimage, just released by Brindle & Glass, was inspired by a real-life account of a century-old woman’s corpse found in an abandoned well on the prairies.

Here, Davidson lists her ten favourite recent books about women and Canada’s history. Most are novels but three are incredible non-fiction reads that she couldn’t leave out.

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Cover The Birth House

The Birth House by Ami McKay: McKay’s gorgeous novel was inspired by the real-life stories of Mrs. Rebecca Steele, an elderly midwife McKay befriended shortly after moving to a farmhouse in the Bay of Fundy. The Birth House tells the story of Dora Rare, a a skilled and gifted midwife in rural Nova Scotia who takes on the male medical establishment and their attempts to undermine women's community by institutionalizing the birth process. Interesting that McKay’s book was published right on the cusp of a pendulum swing in North American attitu …

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