New books

18 Atlantic Canadian books that are generating buzz this season.

Diversions

Stompin’ Tom Connors – The myth and the man
Charlie Rhindress
Formac Publishing

This biography offers an in-depth look at the man behind “Stompin’ Tom.” It tells the story of an earnest, intelligent and complicated man who created a character that would be embraced by Canadians from coast to coast.

From Rum to Rhubarb – Modern Recipes for Newfoundland Fruits, Vegetables and Berries
Roger Pickavance
Boulder Books

The region’s fruits and vegetables—as well as the rum, raisins, and marmalade prevalent in cupboards and kitchens—are at the heart of recipes that shine a spotlight on specific ingredients for salads, soups, pastries, ice creams, gnocchi, and much more.

Junior Mints

My Hair is Beautiful
Shauntay Grant
Nimbus Publishing

A celebration of natural hair, from afros to cornrows and everything in between, My Hair is Beautiful is a joyful board book with a powerful message of self-love.

I Lost My Talk
Rita Joe, illustrated by Pauline Young
Nimbus Publishing

One of Rita Joe’s most influential poems, “I Lost My Talk” tells the revered Mi’kmaw Elder’s childhood story of losing her language while a resident of the residential school in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. 

I’m Finding My Talk
Rebecca Thomas, illustrated by Pauline Young
Nimbus Publishing

A response to Rita Joe’s iconic poem “I Lost My Talk,” Thomas, a second- generation residential school survivor, writes this response poem openly and honestly, reflecting on the process of working through the destructive effects of colonialism

Amazing Atlantic Canadian Kids
John Boileau, illustrated by James Bentley
Nimbus Publishing

This fascinating, full-colour, illustrated book features over 50 amazing and diverse young people from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador, sharing their incredible stories and accomplishments, past and present.

Atlantic Narratives

Lifeline – The Stories of Atlantic Ferries and Coastal Boats
Harry Bruce
Breton Books

The history and story of the roots of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Cape Breton ferries and coastal boats, and the aquatic transportation of the incredible Atlantic waters.

Street Cars of St. John’s
Kenneth G. Pieroway 
Flanker Pres

A trip back in time and a visual journey through Newfoundland’s transportation history, from the days St. John’s boasted of having one of the most advanced street car systems of the times, on par with major North American cities. 

Stimulating Reads

Bygone Day – Folklore, Traditions & Toenails
Reginald “Dutch” Thompson
The Acorn Press

Dutch has been collecting informative, illuminating, poignant and hilarious stories from the minds and hearts of Maritimers born between 1895 and 1925. This is a long-awaited companion to the CBC Mainstreet column of the same name.

Before the Parade
Rebecca Rose
Nimbus Publishing

Journalist and activist Rebecca Rose brings her queer femme, feminist perspective to this compelling, and necessary, history of the gay, lesbian and bisexual community in Halifax, with over 40 black-and-white images and a colour insert.

Operation Vanished
Helen C. Escott
Flanker Press

A riveting, can’t-put-it down missing-person thriller; the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Operation, Wormwood; and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Operation Vanished, are the backdrop to Corporal Gail MacNaughton’s investigation in the Major Crime Unit.

Dirty Birds
Morgan Murray
Breakwater Book

A quest novel for the twenty-first century—a coming-of-age, rom-com, crime-farce thriller—where a hero’s greatest foe is his own crippling mediocrity as he seeks purpose in art, money, power, crime and sleeping in all day. (Available in 2020.)

Shut Away – When Down Syndrome was a Life Sentence
Catherine McKercher
Goose Lane Editions

Three of the McKercher children lived at home. The fourth and youngest brother, Bill, did not. Born with Down syndrome, his story is reconstructed as McKercher explores the clinical and public debates about institutionalization.

Eye Candy

Itee Pootoogook  – Hymns to the Silence
Nancy Campell
Goose Lane Editions

Featuring more than 100 images and essays by curators, art historians and contemporary artists, this book celebrates the creative spirit of an innovative artist that transformed the creative traditions of Inuit art. 

Slow Seconds – The Photography of George Thomas Taylor
Ronald Rees & Joshua Green
Goose Lane Editions

A curated selection of George Taylor’s photographs, together with an account of the beginnings of photography and Taylor’s life and work, offer a fascinating glimpse into nineteenth-century New Brunswick.

Poetry

Local Haunts
David White, Stan Dragland, editor
Pedlar Press

The growth of a poet’s mind through the darkness of remembered trauma into the light of creativity. It ends with “Sunrise On The Coldstream Road,” originally written almost 40 years ago

Soft Power
Stewart Cole
Goose Lane Editions

Lyrical yet shot through with experimental and political veins, Cole’s voice revels in questions of travel while resonating with the unheimlich “Canad-alienation” of his expatriate existence. 

Fixing Broken Things
Gregory M. Cook
Pottersfield Press

Cook offers contemplative glances and lingering views on everyday life, as if observed through a window on the weather, landscape and appearance or disappearance of things that matter. 

More from Atlantic Books Today

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