“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.”
─ Anaïs Nin
Away Game, by Bob Levin
An exploration of the often-fraught relationship between fathers and sons is at the heart of Bob Levin’s baseball-themed novel “Away Game”.
It’s the story of Hank Bauman who, through the magic of an old baseball board game, is transported from the present to 1955, to Game 7 of the Yankees-Dodgers World Series where his father rooted on his beloved Dodgers – before his accidental death later that day, when Hank was two years old. Or so the story goes. The reality turns out to be very different, and Hank sets off through the 1960s to track down his runaway father, who’s threatened for real this time.
Set largely in Middle America in the mid-1960s – as racial tensions and the Vietnam War are starting to unsettle the country – “Away Game” is about blacks and whites, past and present, love and longing, about the curious bonds of family despite decades of separation – about baseball as common ground.
Promised Land, by Peter Kunstadt
A Life’s Journey to Success in Canada
Peter Kunstadt took his chance in 1968 when Soviet Bloc forces occupied his homeland, Czechoslovakia ─ he and his fiancée Susan were on holiday in Romania, and made a dash for the West with little more than their beach clothes. This is the story that led to that great escape ─ surviving the Holocaust and Communist rule ─ to the great success that followed in Canada ─ their promised land.
What’s So Funny? Lessons from Canada’s Leacock Medal for Humour Writing, by Dick Bourgeois-Doyle.
Is there a Canadian sense of humour? How can we write with more humour? And what can humour writing teach us about ourselves? These are questions explored in What’s So Funny? Lessons from Canada’s Leacock Medal for Humour Writing — Ottawa writer Dick Bourgeois-Doyle’s personal review of books that have won our country’s premier award for humour writing.
I Mind The Time Before I Was Born, by Brent Connelly
He has done it again! Brent Connelly has put his two fingers to the keyboard to produce his fourth book to share more tales of some of the amazing folks he has known working as a forester in his beloved Algonquin Park and living in various Ottawa Valley communities. You’ll meet Bruce Armitage, a master fiddler; B.R. Campbell, an ace pilot; and Jean Cochran, a remarkable farm lady and the best hired man her father-in-law ever had.
Not one to pull punches, Brent comes right out and tells us about what happened the two times he and his wife, Heather, were stranded in Marquette, Michigan, and you’ll learn about the time he and a work colleague made their way—uninvited—into the dressing room of the Ottawa Senators’ hockey team.
For four hundred years, the journals of all the great explorers of Canada have mentioned the Deux Joachims portage and the wild Rivière du Moine as they made their way west to discover riches, routes, or souls to save. The Du Moine is the last of the ten major Quebec tributaries of the Ottawa River to resist the development threats of hydro, mining, and modern colonization. Recent conservation efforts to preserve this last of the wild rivers as an aquatic reserve have met with mixed reviews by all those who would be affected, including the Algonquins of Wolf Lake–whose ancestors, the Du Moine River band, originally occupied the watershed.
The Accidental Farmwife, by Diana Leeson Fisher
In 2007, Diana Leeson married university professor Jim Fisher. As they did not live together before marriage, the fact that he was also a farmer seemed to have slipped her mind. She woke up on the farm after her wedding, to the sound of a donkey braying. Suddenly she realized she was a farmer’s wife.
As she made herself at home on the farm, she got to know the animals and their unique personalities. She would tell the Farmer their stories over dinner each night. Soon she realized she had another column in the making, and “The Accidental Farmwife” was born.
This book is a compilation of some of Diana’s favourite columns over the first seven years.