The 3-Rs were our first Book Club Bonanza Giveaway winners. As part of their prize I visited to tell them about the newest releases in Atlantic publishing and new books on the horizon, give them finger foods and wine to enjoy during the meeting, plus each member received a copy of A Forest for Calum by Frank MacDonald (Cape Breton University Press).
I’m not sure who had more fun – the women in 3-Rs or me. Talking about books is always fun, but it’s even better when I get to talk about the great books published in this region. One of my favourite parts was when the book club members realized they could read nothing but Atlantic published books for the next year and still have a great year of reading diverse books. I loved the looks of amazement when I told them that the 15 or so books I talked about were but a drop in the bucket of what was available. Yes, publishing is alive and well in Atlantic Canada.
So what’s stopping your book club for embarking on a year of reading locally? Here are three suggestions to get you started:
A Forest for Calum by Frank MacDonald (Cape Breton University Press)– This is one of my all time favourite books and I was really excited to share it with the members of the 3-Rs. It tells the story of a young man being raised by his grandfather in Cape Breton during the labour strife and lean years of the 1950s-60s. It sounds bleak, but this book is packed with humour and great for ages 12 -112.
Random Passage by Bernice Morgan (Breakwater Books) – This must-read describes the lives of early European settlers arriving in Newfoundland, some of them totally unprepared for the harsh climate. It offers a deep sense of the isolation of the outports, not to mention the co-operation and determination it took for those early families to survive.
Running the Whales Back (Goose Lane Editions) – This diverse collection of short stories from Atlantic Canada’s finest writers explores mirrored themes of faith and doubt. It’s a great way to discover new writers and remember old favourites.
Need more suggestions? We’ve got plenty of research tools for you here at Atlantic Books Today. Browse our back issues, search our excerpt and book review archives, see what others are recommending on Facebook and don’t forget to sign up for our monthly and book club newsletters.
Carolyn Guy is the executive director of the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association and the publisher of Atlantic Books Today.