Atlantic Books Today – Spring 2019 – Available Now!

Atlantic Books Today - Spring 2019 - Editor's Message

Penguin Australia launched this year with a post urging, “Make 2019 the Year of the Book!”

It’s Penguin, so “year of the book” is an evergreen phrase. Same can be said for Atlantic Books Today. Our MO for the past quarter century has been to proudly trumpet the merits of local literature, a field in which we punch well above our weight and the rest of the country mostly doesn’t know it.

With our first issue of 2019, we heeded Penguin’s advice and went whole hog (it’s also the year of the pig by the by), celebrating some of our region’s most powerful books, new and old.

In our cover story, Norma Jean MacPhee considers books with the power to shape our worldview, what we aspire to be, what kind of world we’re willing to fight for.

I convinced Trevor J Adams, who 10 years ago co-authored Atlantic Canada’s 100 Greatest Books, to break his vow of never again making such a list. He came up with the 10 best local books since the 100 best books. Readers are sure to have bones to pick; send your thoughts on social media, our website or

Rather than rely exclusively on Trevor (reliable though he is), we asked six book experts—two academics, a cartoonist, a librarian, and two writer/editors—to each recommend one Atlantic book that everyone, everywhere, should read.

You probably won’t agree with them either. The reality is, and I hope you’ll agree with this much, the wealth of high-quality Atlantic Canadian books to choose from is vast. I’ve tried to do my “year of the book” part too, and doubled the usual number of editor’s picks for this issue. Like every issue, the stories about books herein highlight more options than one person could read. As the title of Lisa Moore’s recent short story collection goes, I hope there’s a little something for everyone.

And on a last note, I’d like to say a temporary good-bye. I’ll be spending the next year as writer-in-residence at Lunenburg Library. Karalee Clerk will be Editor in my stead. Back to you in 2020!

Written By

Chris Benjamin is 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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