Books for the Holidays

Some interesting books for the particular people on your holiday gift list!

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For Your Favourite Foodie

Cedar and Salt: Vancouver Island Recipes from Forest, Farm, Field, and Sea, by DL Acken and Emily Lycopolus

About the book: Homegrown, modern recipes that feature the most treasured local ingredients from Vancouver Island’s forests, fields, farms and sea.

Off the shore of Canada’s west coast lies a food lover’s island paradise. Vancouver Island’s temperate climate nurtures a bounty of wild foods, heritage grains, organic produce, sustainable meats and artisan-crafted edible delights. This thoughtfully curated, beautifully photographed cookbook brings Vancouver Island’s abundant food scene into the kitchens of home cooks everywhere.
While celebrating such treasures such as fresh blackberries, foraged chanterelles and fiddleheads, freshly harvested spot prawns or oysters, line-caught spring salmon, grass-fed beef, and cultivated foods like heritage red fife wheat, the book's recipes highlight the most sought-after ingredients on the island and honour the producers and artisans dedicated to sustainable and ethical producing and harvesting.

Try recipes like Craft Beer–Braised Island Beef Brisket, Nettle and Chèvre Ravioli, and Beetroot and Black Walnut Cake featuring Denman Island Chocolate. Divided into four sections—forest, field, farm, and sea—Cedar and Salt puts the taste of Vancouver Island on a pedestal, and then brings it to your plate.

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For the Cocktail Fan

Canadian Spirits, by Stephen Beaumont and Christine Sismondo

About the book: In Canadian Spirits, bestselling author Stephen Beaumont (The World Atlas of Beer) and National Magazine Award-winning author Christine Sismondo (America Walks into a Bar) crisscross the country in search of the best whiskies, gins, vodkas, rums, and other assorted and sometimes oddball spirits produced by Canada's large- and small-scale distillers. Along the way, they trace Canada's fascinating distilling history, from its humble and quasi-legal beginnings to the dynamic and internationally recognized industry it is today.

Featuring over 75 colour photos, Canadian Spirits tells the vibrant stories of Canada's more than 160 diverse spirits producers, from the massive Hiram-Walker distillery in Windsor, Ontario, to the pioneering Glenora Inn & Distillery in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and Vancouver's tiny Odd Society Spirits. In an impartial and accessible tone, the authors provide information on and reviews of craft-distilled spirits and the facilities in which they are produced, creating a distillery tourist's road map to the best places in Canada to explore craft spirits.

Whether a seasoned spirits expert, a curious newcomer, or an adventurous traveller, Canadian Spirits is sure to quench your thirst.

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For the Nature Lover

The Nature of Canada, edited by Colin M. Coates & Graeme Wynn

About the book: Intended to delight and provoke, these short, beautifully crafted essays, enlivened with photos and illustrations, explore how humans have engaged with the Canadian environment and what those interactions say about the nature of Canada. Tracing a path from the Ice Age to the Anthropocene, some of the foremost stars in the field of environmental history reflect on how we, as a nation, have idolized and found inspiration in nature even as fishers, fur traders, farmers, foresters, miners, and city planners have commodified it or tried to tame it. Their insights are just what we need as Canada attempts to reconcile the opposing goals of prosperity and preservation.

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For the Aspiring Explorer

Into the Planet, by Jill Heinerth

About the book: Taking you to places no one has ever gone before, and blending memoir, adventure, and science, Into the Planet is a riveting account of one of the most dangerous yet exhilarating pursuits in the world: diving to the centre of the earth.

"If I die, it will be in the most glorious place that nobody has ever seen."

As one of the most celebrated cave divers in the world, Jill Heinerth has seen the planet in a way almost no one has. In a workday, she might swim below your home, through conduits in volcanoes or cracks in the world's largest iceberg. She's an explorer, a scientist's eyes and hands underwater—discovering new species and examining our finite freshwater reserves—and a filmmaker documenting the wonders of underwater life. Often the lone woman in a male-dominated domain, she tests the limits of human endurance at every tight turn, risking her life with each mission. To not only survive in this world but excel, Jill has had to learn how to master self-doubt like no other.

With gripping storytelling that radiates intimacy, Into the Planet will transport you deep into the most exquisite, untouched corners of the earth, where fear must be reconciled and the innermost parts of the human condition are revealed.

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For the Creative Soul

Maud Lewis, Paintings for Sale, by Sarah Milroy

From black cats to iconic snowscapes, Maud Lewis paints our waking dreams.

One of Canada's most beloved folk artists, Maud Lewis was famous in her lifetime for her brightly coloured and endearing paintings of rural Nova Scotia. Working from her tiny, road-side house in Marshalltown, she produced hundreds of small works that captured aspects of rapidly changing country life. Until now, the story of her difficult life has dominated the discussion of her art: her triumph over her physical disabilities and poverty, the harsh treatment she received at the hands of her family, and her alliance by chance with her husband Everett Lewis, who enabled her successful painting career over many decades.

This book, accompanied by an exhibition at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, will examine the aesthetic achievements of Maud Lewis's paintings—her serial repetition of images and motifs and the dizzying variety that she brought to the problems of picture making. From her black cats and kittens, to her cart horses and oxen hauling logs, to her quayside scenes of ships in port and the Maritime landscape in all seasons, Maud Lewis made paintings that still delight in their optimism and buoyant vitality.

Featuring a comprehensive selection of paintings drawn from leading Maud Lewis collectors in Nova Scotia, Maud Lewis: Paintings for Sale offers a unique opportunity to experience the range and depth of her work.

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For the Friend Who Knows What Grieving Is

You Won't Always Be This Sad, by Sheree Fitch

About the book: Somewhere
 in the midst of this mess—must be a poem

"You won't always be this sad," her mother, who also lost a son, reassures her, while a close friend encourages her to pick up the pen and write it all down. Capturing her own struggles as she emerges from shock in the wake of her son's unexpected death at age thirty-seven, author and storyteller Sheree Fitch writes lyrically and unabashedly, with deep sorrow, unexpected rage, and boundless love. She discovers that she "dwells in a thin place now," that she has crossed a threshold only to find herself in "the quicksand that is grief." The result is a memoir in verse of immense power and pain, a collection of moments, and a journey of resilience.

Divided into three parts, like the memorial labyrinth Fitch walks every day,You Won't Always Be This Sad offers words that will stir the heart, inviting readers on a raw and personal odyssey through excruciating loss, astonishing gratitude, and a return to a different world with new insights, rituals, faith, and hope. Readers, bearing witness to the immeasurable depths of a mother's love, will be forever changed.

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For the Anne Girl

Imagining Anne: L. M. Montgomery's Island Scrapbooks, by Elizabeth Rollins Epperly

About the book: L. M. Montgomery's beautiful Island scrapbooks, covering a period from 1893 to mid-1910, are finally back in print. Reflecting Montgomery's youth and optimism, these full-colour pages are filled with meaningful insight into the life of a young writer's inspiration during the period when she would create the beloved character of Anne Shirley, who would win the hearts of readers worldwide with the publication of Anne of Green Gables in 1908.
With annotations and notes from Montgomery scholar Elizabeth Epperly, Imagining Anne allows fans a revealing look inside the mind of one of the most cherished writers of the twentieth century.

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For the Feminist

Radiant Voices: 21 Feminist Essays for Rising Up Inspired by EMMA Talks, by carla bergman

About the book: A collection of essays inspired by EMMA Talks, a speakers’ series committed to amplifying the voices of thinkers, activists, scholars, artists, and community builders who are also women-identified, trans, and gender-nonconforming folks.
From Idle No More to Black Lives Matter to the Me Too movements and more, one thing is certain: There is a burgeoning collective desire to hear non-dominant voices in subtle, curious, generative ways.

The Vancouver-based EMMA Talks speakers’ series amplifies the voices of women-identified, trans, and gender-nonconforming folks. Curated by carla bergman, the series showcases a diversity of writers, thinkers, activists, scholars, artists, and community builders. Radiant Voices is the anthology inspired by EMMA Talks.

Through engaging essays by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Silvia Federici, Vivek Shraya, Chief Janice George, dr. amina wadud, Astra Taylor, and others, seasoned writers align with emerging writers who share from a worldview that promotes anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-ageism, and anti-ableism, and much more. Themes of connection, rediscovery, creating, social justice, celebration, and matriarchy are revealed in these 21 essays.

This is an era in which the marginalized can publicly share their stories en masse. Now is the time to celebrate the eruption of all these radiant voices.

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For the Parent with Wanderlust

Don't Try This At Home: One Family's (mis)Adventures Around the World, by Daria Salamon & Rob Krause

About the book: Rob Krause and Daria Salamon sold their car, rented out their Winnipeg home, and packed up their two young children to embark on a 12-month journey around the world. In this dual retelling of their ambitious year abroad, Don't Try This at Home chronicles the hilarious and sensational misadventures of a Canadian family as they travel across 15 different countries in the Southern Hemisphere. In an honest reflection on parenting, marriage, and living for a year on a tight budget, Krause and Salamon take readers through some of the world's most stunning vistas while meeting the challenges of foreign customs, broken-down buses, stomach bugs, personal loss, and their often less-than-enthusiastic children.

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December 10, 2019
Books mentioned in this post
Cedar and Salt

Cedar and Salt

Vancouver Island Recipes from Forest, Farm, Field, and Sea
edition:Hardcover
More Info
Canadian Spirits

Canadian Spirits

The Essential Cross-Country Guide to Distilleries, Their Spirits, and Where to Imbibe Them
edition:Hardcover
More Info
The Nature of Canada

The Nature of Canada

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged : essays, canadian
More Info
Imagining Anne

Imagining Anne

L. M. Montgomery's Island Scrapbooks
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
More Info
Radiant Voices

Radiant Voices

21 Feminist Essays for Rising Up Inspired by EMMA Talks
compiled by Carla Bergman
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
More Info
Don't Try This at Home

Don't Try This at Home

One Family's (mis)Adventures Around the World
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
More Info
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