Books for the Holidays

14 Days until December 25! Still haven't finished your shopping? Well, here are a few suggestions to help you cross out a couple more items on your list. 

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For the Art Lover

The Girls With Stone Faces, by Arleen Paré

About the book: Arleen Paré, in her first book-length poem after her Governor General Literary Award-winning Lake of Two Mountains, turns her cool, benevolent eye to the shared lives of Florence Wyle and Frances Loring, two of Canada's greatest artists, whose sculptures she comes face to face with at the National Gallery of Canada. In the guise of a curator, Paré takes us on a moving, carefully structured tour through the rooms where their work is displayed, the Gallery's walls falling away to travel in time to Chicago (where they met at art school and fell in love in the 1910s), New York, and Toronto (where they lived and worked for the next six decades). Along the way, Paré looks at fashions in art, the politics of gender, and the love that longtime proximity calls forth in us. The Girls with Stone Faces is one of the finest collections of poetry about the lives of artists—and most importantly their work—to appear in Canada in many years.

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For the Canadian Committed to Reconciliation

Book Cover Indigenous Writes

Indigenous Writes, by Chelsea Vowel

About the book: Delgamuukw. Sixties Scoop. Bill C-31. Blood quantum. Appropriation. Two-Spirit. Tsilhqot’in. Status. TRC. RCAP. FNPOA. Pass and permit. Numbered Treaties. Terra nullius. The Great Peace…

Are you familiar with the terms listed above? In Indigenous Writes, Chelsea Vowel, writer, lawyer, and intellectual, opens an important dialogue about these (and more) concepts and the wider social beliefs associated with the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canada. In 31 essays, Chelsea explores the Indigenous experience from the time of contact to the present, through five categories—terminology of Relationships; Culture and Identity; Myth-Busting; State Violence; and Land, Learning, Law, and Treaties. She answers the questions that many people have on these topics to spark further conversations at home, in the classroom, and in the larger community.

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For the Cool Indie Music Sort

Deer Life, by Ron Sexsmith

About the book: A wicked fairy tale of witchcraft, bullying, revenge, and a mysterious bowler hat. Includes Ron’s own whimsical illustrations.

Deryn Hedlight was not having a very good day and it was about to get much worse. He’d read stories of witches as a boy, but never believed for a second they were true. That is, until an unfortunate hunting accident turns his world upside down. What seemed like an honest mistake leads to an altogether unexpected transformation. But poor Deryn wasn’t the only wronged character tied up in these gloomy circumstances and sinister forces.
Deer Life tells the story of a kind-hearted boy from Hinthoven and his mother_s undying love. Mostly though, it’s all about patience, friendship, and heroism where you least expect it.

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For the Beer Fan

150 Years of Canadian Beer Labels, by Lawrence C. Sherk

About the book: In celebration of Canada’s 150 birthday, one of the country’s most avid collectors of breweriana showcases a stunning selection of beer labels dating from the late 1870s to the present day.

What’s more Canadian than beer? Craft brewing has exploded across Canada, reinvigorating the country’s love and appreciation for its favourite beverage. But Canadians have always treasured beer—a fact evidenced by these 150 vintage labels that showcase both stunning skills in typography and a true passion for the brewski.

In addition to the earliest vintage labels from iconic breweries like Dow and Labatt, discover an eye-opening cross-section of the country’s beer-brewing history through the artwork of ales, porters, lagers, and malts from brewers east to west, many of which are long forgotten.

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For the Outdoorsy Dad

Fifty Percent of Mountaineering is Uphill, by Susanna Pfisterer

About the book: Fifty Percent of Mountaineering Is Uphill is the enthralling true story of Jasper’s Willi Pfisterer, a legend in the field of mountaineering and safety in the Rocky Mountains. For more than thirty years, Willi was an integral part of Jasper’s alpine landscape, guiding climbers up to the highest peaks, and rescuing them from perilous situations.

Originally from Austria, this mountain man came to Canada in the 1950s to assail the Rockies, and stayed to become an integral part of mountain safety in Western Canada and the Yukon. His daughter, Susanna Pfisterer, has shaped his stories and lectures as an engaging and educational adventure story that features over 100 archival photographs, including avalanches in the National Parks, highlights from climbing 1,600 peaks and participating in over 700 rescues, and guiding adventures with prime ministers. Accompanied by the humorous wisdom of the “Sidehillgouger,” readers will traverse an historical and spectacular terrain.

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For the Summer Dreamer

How Deep is the Lake: A Century at Chilliwack Lake, by Shelley O'Callaghan

About the book: A prudent and intentional examination of privilege and belonging in Chilliwack Lake by retired environmental lawyer and grandmother. Curious about the previous inhabitants of the lake where her family has spent the summer for over one hundred years, author Shelley O'Callaghan starts researching and writing about the area. But what begins as a personal journey of one woman's relationship to the land and her desire to uncover the history of her family's remote cabin turns into an exploration and questioning of our rights as settlers upon a land that was inhabited long before we came. 

In her research, O'Callaghan uncovers a history that runs as deep as the three hundred metre lake itself. Eager to pass on her discoveries, she shares her journey with her six grandchildren. Together they learn of her grandfather's intriguing connection with the First Nation's chief, whose ancestry goes back to the earliest recorded history at the lake, and her grandmother's attendance at a school where First Nations girls were taught servitude instead of knowledge. They find the headstone of an American scout with the 1858 International Boundary Commission Survey, a 1916 silver mine set up by Chief Sepass and the remnants of the original Indian Trail. They learn about trapper and prospector Charlie Lindeman, who introduced her grandfather to the lake in the early 1920s and rescued her mother and grandmother from a fire that engulfed the lake in the 1930s. 

After a summer of discoveries, O'Callaghan and her grandchildren consider the impact of the legacy of white settlement in the area-what is received from the past and what is given to the future. As they reflect on the essence of a "summer cabin," a place that brings family together and that nourishes the soul with its solitude and beauty, they gain a new perspective on the inevitable repercussions of privilege and the nature of change.

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For the Literary Comics Fanatic

Louis Undercover, by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault

Book Cover: In this powerful new graphic novel from Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault, we meet Louis, a young boy who shuttles between his alcoholic dad and his worried mom, and who, with the help of his best friend, tries to summon up the courage to speak to his true love, Billie.

Louis’s dad cries—Louis knows this because he spies on him. His dad misses the happy times when their family was together, just as Louis does. But as it is, he and his little brother, Truffle, have to travel back and forth between their dad’s country house and their mom’s city apartment, where she tries to hide her own tears.

Thankfully, Louis has Truffle for company. Truffle loves James Brown lyrics, and when he isn’t singing, he’s asking endless questions. Louis also has his friend Boris, with whom he spots ghost cop cars and spies on the “silent queen,” the love of his life, Billie.

When Louis and Truffle go to their dad’s for two weeks during the summer, their father seems to have stopped drinking. And when Truffle has a close call from a bee sting, their mother turns up and the reunited foursome spend several wonderful days in New York—until they reach the end of the road, again.

A beautifully illustrated, true-to-life portrayal of just how complex family relationships can be, seen through the eyes of a wise, sensitive boy who manages to find his own way forward.

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For the Royal Watcher

Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting, by Carolyn Harris

About the book: How royal parents dealt with raising their children over the past thousand years, from keeping Vikings at bay to fending off paparazzi.

William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are setting trends for millions of parents around the world. The upbringing of their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, is the focus of intense popular scrutiny. Royalty have always raised their children in the public eye and attracted praise or criticism according to parenting standards of their day.

Royal parents have faced unique challenges and held unique privileges. In medieval times, raising an heir often meant raising a rival, and monarchs sometimes faced their grown children on the battlefield. Conversely, kings and queens who lost their thrones in wars or popular revolutions often found solace in time spent with their children. In modern times, royal duties and overseas tours have often separated young princes and princesses from their parents, a circumstance that is slowly changing with the current generation of royalty.

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For the Travelling Family

25 Places in Canada Every Family Should Visit, by Jody Robbins

About the book: Planning a family getaway can be overwhelming, but award-winning freelance travel writer and blogger Jody Robbins puts you on the right path with savvy suggestions for families who are keen to explore Canada with their little loved ones. With the insight and enthusiasm of a trustworthy, well-traveled friend, Robbins lays out 25 of the top destinations for families, and provides detailed information on the most enjoyable activities, sites, and attractions. From child-friendly family hikes in the wilderness to exciting and affordable urban adventures, you’ll create memories of a lifetime as you visit destinations that welcome families with kids of all ages. Be inspired on where to go, learn what to bring, and hit the road!

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For Those in Need of Inspiration

Glorious & Free, by Rita Field-Marsham, Kim Bozak, illustrated by Frank Viva

About the book: In their book Glorious & Free, authors and creative directors Kim Bozak and Rita Field-Marsham are redefining how Canadians see themselves by shining a light on thirty-three daring individuals who, through the way they lead their lives, are revealing the most beautiful thing about this country: that here individuals are free to be whoever they dream themselves to be so long as they are courageous enough to embrace it. And when each one of us is free to live to the fullest expression of ourselves, the result is an intricately beautiful and ever-changing kaleidoscope that is glorious and free.

Glorious & Free is a masterpiece of collaboration between leading creative industry professionals, including Joanne Ratajczak (Photographer), Siavash Khasha (Designer), Rosemary Shipton (Executive Editor), Chris Frey (Editor and Writer), Jason McBride (Writer), Linda Besner (Writer), Megan Cuff (Project Manager), and Sarah Angel (Consulting Editor). 

Told through a series of intimate interviews and photographs, and featuring original illustrations by the legendary Frank Viva, Glorious & Free is an inspirational, artistic and enduring vehicle to celebrate this new Canadian identity. It’s a timely and more fulfilling image of who we are today, and who we can be tomorrow.

December 11, 2017
Books mentioned in this post
Indigenous Writes

Indigenous Writes

A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
More Info
150 Years of Canadian Beer Labels

150 Years of Canadian Beer Labels

edition:Hardcover
More Info
Fifty Percent of Mountaineering is Uphill

Fifty Percent of Mountaineering is Uphill

The Life of Canadian Mountain Rescue Pioneer Willi Pfisterer
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
More Info
How Deep is the Lake

How Deep is the Lake

A Century at Chilliwack Lake
edition:Paperback
More Info
Raising Royalty

Raising Royalty

1000 Years of Royal Parenting
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook
More Info
25 Places in Canada Every Family Should Visit

25 Places in Canada Every Family Should Visit

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged : family
More Info
Glorious & Free

Glorious & Free

The Canadians
by Rita Field-Marsham & Kim Bozak
illustrated by Frank Viva
foreword by Yann Martel
edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover
More Info
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