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On Our Radar

New books with great buzz. 

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet and elsewhere. 


Book Cover Lands and Forests

Lands and Forests, by Andrew Forbes

Featured as part of Short Story Month at All Lit Up: 

I love what [the short story] is not. It’s not a novel. It’s not poetry. It’s something beautiful and defiantly self-contained and malleable. It requires attention and awareness, and it rewards with arresting insight. It’s an uncomfortably personal conversation with a stranger, made bearable and occasionally joyful by the awareness that when it’s over you’ll never speak to one another again. It’s an incredibly varied form, practiced by a cross-section of humanity, producing wildly divergent examples so unalike that they strain the margins and test the definition of “form,” but all such producers in agreement that to practice it is akin to pledging adherence to a secret sect.

Read the whole thing here. 


Book Cover I Keep the Land Alive

Nitinikiau Innusi/ I Keep the Land Alive, by Tshaukuesh Elizabeth Penashue, edited by Elizabeth Yeoman

Profiled by Danette Dooley at The Northern Pen

“We talk about so many things (in the book)—going in the bush when I was young, in with my parents... when I stayed in the bush in the country with my family, then when I married, going in the bush with my children and my grandchildren. A lot of stories,” she said.

Penashue was a leader in the Innu campaign against NATO low-level flying on Innu land during the 1980s and ‘90s.

“Innu women never used to go out to meetings, but it was time to wake up and do something to stop the destruction caused by low-level flying and weapons testing,” Penashue writes in the Prologue to her book. “We started the spring walk and the summer canoe trip to teach people about our land and about the Mishta-shipu, the hydro projects.”

The 74-year-old also wrote, “When I first spoke publicly at Patshishetsuanau, a lot of people came to hear what I had to say... I went to the bombing range with other activists. We put tents on the base to protest. We were jailed many times, in Goose Bay and Stephenville. We walked from Toronto to Ottawa and they put us in jail there, too… I went to Europe twice to speak.”

Read the whole thing here. 


Book Cover Little Red

Little Red, by Kerry Gilbert

Reviewed by Bill Arnott at the League of Canadian Poets: 

Once more I finish this book and am struck by Kerry’s gift, her skill—utterly unique verse—the result of effort and knowing one’s voice. Little Red is indeed a seamless and uniform fable, at times uncomfortably real. I envision a poetry neophyte questioning this flight of compact pieces—a path of polished stepping stones. Are these poems? Is this a story? Are these headlines? The simple answer is yes. Little Red is all of these things, innovative and brave. It’s what I seek out in a book of poetry. That eureka moment when an Artist-and-Repertoire agent says “Yes!” This is new. This is special. The reinvention of an ancient, cautionary tale through contemporary characters, reality and firsthand knowledge. Well done Kerry Gilbert. Well done.

Read the whole thing here. 


Book Cover the Law is Not For Kids

The Law is (Not) for Kids: A Legal Rights Guide for Canadian Children and Teens, by Ned Lecic & Marvin A. Zuker

Profiled by Paula E. Kirman in Prairie Books Now:

"Outside of some high school law or civics classes, most young people might not have access to "information about their rights and responsibilities, what they can and cannot do (legally), federal and provincial and municipal laws that impact them, things like social media, etc."

The book also encourages young people to organize and advocate for more legal rights. 

"Although here are some opportunities that did not exist in previous generations for youth to participate in decision making,and although there is, for example, lower tolerance for child abuse than their used to be, by and at large, the attitude of law and society is still that adults are in charge over young people, even pretty mature ones," Lecic says. 

Read the whole thing here.