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Interviews, Recommendations, and More

Shelf Talkers for July

Our panel of Canadian indie booksellers pick everything from hard-hitting environmental inquiry to books about owls, pirates, and atheists.

With the echoes of fireworks still ringing in our ears and sunburns still making it hard to find even a remotely comfortable outfit, what better way to celebrate this country than with a selection of Canadian books, recommended by our tireless Canadian independent booksellers (and readers).
This month’s list is as delicious as a fresh strawberry, as memorable as campfire smoke, as invigorating as a cold drink on a hot afternoon ... Yes, the first books of summer are upon us—enjoy!



The Bookseller: Timothy Carlow, Bolen Books, Victoria, BC

The Pick: 
The Oil Man and the Sea: Navigating the Northern Gateway, by Arno Kopecky

"Arno Kopecky has ventured straight into the middle of one of the most polarizing and talked about issues concerning British Columbia in modern times.  Part travel literature, part political manifesto, The Oil Man and the Sea has all the charm of the best travel writing, but it doesn’t shy away from the controversial topic at its core. A beautiful homage to a hugely important region and the people who have made their lives there, this is an outstanding book for anyone who wants to know more about the much discussed 'Northern Gateway."'



The Bookseller: Heather Kuipers, Ella Minnow Children’s Bookstore, Toronto, Ontario
The Picks: Owls in the Family and The Dog Who Wouldn't Be, by Farley Mowat


"Sprawled on a lawn chair, itching mosquito bites and tending a sunburn is the perfect place to spend time with Mutt, Weeps and Wol, the incorrigible dog and two rescued owls in Owls in the Family and The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be. These modern classics are left to us by Farley Mowat, who passed away in the spring of 2014. Both books are charming and hilarious and won’t disappoint, whether read aloud by a parent or independently by the young animal lover in your family. Best arm your household with thick gloves and makeshift cages in case these books prove inspirational!"



The Bookseller: Mary-Ann Yazedjian, Black Bond Books, Lynn Valley, BC

The Pick: All My Puny Sorrows, by Miriam Toews

"I think this is Toews' best book; it is a masterpiece. It's rare to find a book that can make me both laugh and cry, but this one does. Drawing from her own experiences of suicide in her family, Toews has created a beautiful and gut-wrenching story about family and love. This book will tear your heart out."



The Bookseller: Kelly Harrison, Kaleidescope Kids’ Books, Ottawa, Ontario

The Pick: Pirate’s Passage, by William Gilkerson

"Pirate’s Passage, by William Gilkerson, is an absolutely captivating summer read. It’s an amazing adventure, a great story of friendship and trust, and beautifully written. Filled with stories of pirates and plunder, sea voyages and scoundrels, I couldn’t put it down."



The Bookseller: Lee Trentadue, Galiano Island Books, Galiano Island, BC
The Pick: The Walking Tanteek, by Jane Woods

"How do you take faith as a theme for a novel and appeal to an atheist? Jane
 Woods has done this in her first riveting novel, The Walking Tanteek. I fell 
in love with Maggie, the central character. Jane writes with dark humour, 
tough language, and gorgeous lyricism. She explores her theme with integrity
 and humanity. She had me on the first page and did not let go. Maggie is 
fragile and fierce in her quest to answer the big question of whether to 
take on faith as her path and fly with it or walk away. It is a delightful
 ride. My absolutely favourite book this year!"


We are always looking for more booksellers, and more recommendations. If you’d like to participate, please email rjwiersema at gmail dot com.

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