A Literary Tour: The Winter 2018-19 Issue of Atlantic Books Today

Our latest issue takes you on a literary tour of the East Coast with 10 new books to keep you warm this winter, and a deep dive into our favourite, culturally specific, comfort foods

Late June, 2001, I’m sitting on a Vancouver Beach reading a book called No Great Mischief, when a real-chill dude accosts me. “You’re missing the real world, man.”

By the way, it’s sunset or something. In the real world.

I’m all dismissive. “I like this world,” I say, stabbing the book with my index finger. I mean Cape Breton.

But the dude’s words dig at me. I’m travelling, after all. Checking out new terrain. And when I look up I see that the sunset is, in fact, spectacular.

Still, I love the worlds in books. That is, I love that each time I open one I know I’ll be able to escape or immerse myself at will, within new landscapes, cultures, possibilities.

This magic is particularly relevant in winter, I find, when real-world travel is more burdensome and the mere act of stepping outside can sometimes seem futile at best. Yes, we have the holidays and an infant year to fete, but then it’s another five weeks till the groundhog indicates there are another two or three or four (in NL) months to go.

At this time of year, more than any other, we seek comfort in a good book and a hot meal. Both these things have the power to transport us to another time, another place.

As Sarah Sawler (author of 100 Things You Don’t Know About Nova Scotia and 100 Things You Don’t Know About Atlantic Canada) and Karl Wells (co-author author of Cooking with One Chef One Critic) show us in this issue, comfort books and foods give us a veritable cultural and literary tour of our region, past and present.

Stories and foods are the ties that bind, in that the nostalgia they build in us become like the same family they remind us of.

[And while you’re on our tour, check out our Book Lovers’ Holiday Gift Guide insert on Page 19.]
Written By

Chris Benjamin is the managing editor of Atlantic Books Today. He is also the author of three award-winning, critically-acclaimed books: Indian School Road: Legacies of the Shubenacadie Residential School; Eco-Innovators: Sustainability in Atlantic Canada and Drive-by Saviours; as well as several short stories in anthologies and journals.

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