2017 Book & Gift Guide

Our 14th annual advertising section offers a wide selection of books for Canadian history lovers.

Posted November 14, 2017

Lace Up: A History of Skates in Canada

by Jean-Marie Leduc, with Sean Graham and Julie Léger

A charmingly illustrated history of the humble skate and its place in Canadian cultural identity. Throughout our 150-year history, and even longer, people have braved the treacherous Canadian winters and taken to the ice for the purposes of transportation, competition, exercise, and just plain fun.

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Unbuttoned: A History of Mackenzie King’s Secret Life

by Christopher Dummit

When Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King died in 1950, the public knew little about his eccentric private life. Yet twenty-five years after King’s death, the public was bombarded with stories about “Weird Willie,” the prime minister who communed with ghosts and cavorted with prostitutes. Christopher Dummitt relates the strange posthumous tale of King’s diary and details the specific decisions of King’s literary executors.

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Canada: 150 Panoramas

photos by George Fischer

From frosty Mount Logan in the Yukon to the salty shores of Newfoundland, George Fischer’s stunning landscape photography celebrates the diverse appeal of every province and territory in Canada. With a chapter devoted to each region, Fischer captures the rugged natural beauty, vibrant city life, and abundant flora and fauna of this wide country.

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Ingenious: How Canadian Innovators Made the World Smarter, Smaller, Kinder, Safer, Healthier, Wealthier, and Happier

by David Johnston and Tom Jenkins

To celebrate Canada's 150th birthday, Governor General David Johnston and Tom Jenkins have crafted a richly illustrated volume of brilliant Canadian innovations whose widespread adoption has made the world a better place. From Bovril to BlackBerrys, light bulbs to liquid helium, peanut butter to Pablum, this is a surprising and incredibly varied collection to make Canadians proud.

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Historical Atlas of Early Railways

by Derek Hayes

A vivid visual history of railways around the world highlighting the innovations, failures, and most memorable moments of rail through the ages, this atlas from bestselling geographer Derek Hayes is a beautifully designed chronicle for anyone with a fondness for history, maps, or trains.

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Mapmaker: Philip Turnor in Rupert’s Land in the Age of Enlightenment

by Barbara Mitchell

The inaugural biography of the Hudson’s Bay Company surveyor Philip Turnor, Mapmaker brings to life the man who taught David Thompson and Peter Fidler how to survey. In her search for Turnor’s story, Barbara Mitchell discovers her own ancestry as one of thousands of descendants of Turnor and his Cree wife.

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Trudeau’s Tango: Alberta Meets Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 1968–1972

by Darryl Raymaker

An insightful and lively history of the fractious early relationship between Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Alberta. Part memoir, part chronicle, Trudeau’s Tango provides a window into Canadian history, politics, economics, and the zeitgeist of the late 1960s.

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The Raftsmen

by Ryan Barnett, illustrated by Dmitry Bondarenko

After the Second World War, four ex-resistance fighters left France for Canada. In the 1950s, they planned to be the first crew to build a raft and sail it from Canada to Europe. And they succeeded. The “lost” story of their 88 days crossing the Atlantic is told here in the surviving Raftsman’s words, plus photos and illustrations. A great story!

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Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts and the Great War

by Patrick M. Dennis

The first in-depth examination of Canadian conscripts in the final battles of the Great War, Reluctant Warriors provides new evidence that conscripts were good soldiers who fought valiantly and made a crucial contribution to the success of the Canadian Corps in 1918.

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Snacks: A Canadian Food History

by Janis Thiessen

In an accessible and often playful fashion, Snacks looks at Canadian snacks from coast-to-coast. This “digestible history of Canadian snacks” combines a valuable and insightful corporate and labour history along with a keen analysis of our changing views of nutrition.

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Louis Riel: Let Justice Be Done

by David Doyle

In this imaginative re-enactment of his trial, Riel is finally given the opportunity to respond to his conviction for treason, offering his side of the story of Batoche and Red River.

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Northern Nurses: True Nursing Adventures from Canada’s North

edited by J. Karen Scott and Joan E. Kieser

The North is a very special place to live and work, and between the covers of this book you will read stories, anecdotes and fragments written by some exceptional people — mostly nurses — who have spent part, or all, of their lives there. They will tell you about their experiences, sometimes in very remote locations, and you will be amazed at the level of proficiency in the everyday practice of their profession.

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The Little Book of Ontario

by George Fischer

In The Little Book of Ontario, George Fischer captures the crystal clear lakes, sprawling forests, and glittering skylines of the Heartland Province. From the Great Lakes to the Canadian Shield, Fischer takes readers on a visual journey, with nearly 80 stunning full-colour photographs, across Ontario’s graceful waterfalls, flowing rivers, rustic buildings, rolling farmlands, and vibrant cities. In this popular, travel-sized format, the newest offering in the Little Book series shows Ontario’s people, towns, and landscapes through every season.

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Catharine Parr Traill’s The Female Emigrant's Guide: Cooking with a Canadian Classic

edited by Nathalie Cooke and Fiona Lucas

Originally published in 1855, Catharine Parr Traill’s classic The Female Emigrant’s Guide, with its admirable recipes, candid advice, and astute observations about local food sourcing, offers an intimate glimpse into the daily domestic and seasonal routines of settler life. In a distinctive and witty voice expressing her can-do attitude, Catharine Parr Traill’s The Female Emigrant’s Guide unlocks a wealth of information on historical foodways and culinary exploration.

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A History of Canada in Ten Maps: Epic Stories of Charting a Mysterious Land

by Adam Shoalts

The sweeping, epic story of the mysterious land that came to be called “Canada” like it’s never been told before. Every map tells a story. And every map has a purpose — it invites us to go somewhere we’ve never been. It’s an account of what we know, but also a trace of what we long for.

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150 Years of Canadian Beer Labels

by Lawrence C. Sherk

In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, one of the country’s most avid collectors of breweriana showcases a stunning selection of beer labels dating from the late 1870s to the present day. In addition to the earliest vintage labels from iconic breweries like Dow and Labatt, discover an eye-opening cross-section of the country’s beer-brewing history through the artwork of ales, porters, lagers, and malts from brewers east to west, many of which are long forgotten.

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Views of the Salish Sea: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Change around the Strait of Georgia

by Howard Macdonald Stewart

Interweaving geography, biology, and resource economics with history, this is a deft examination of the Strait of Georgia from the 1850s to the modern era, exploring the vast resources, dynamic systems, and the complex relationship between humans and this rich, diverse region.

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Chaudière Falls: A Novel of Dramatized History

by David Mulholland

Self-serving politics, unscrupulous timbermen, religious bigotry, and ethnic violence run rampant in Ottawa author David Mulholland’s compelling novel about the founding of our National Capital Region and how Ottawa became our nation’s capital.

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Montreal, City of Secrets: Confederate Operations in Montreal During the American Civil War

by Barry Sheehy, with photographer Cindy Wallace

The Confederate secret service operated a huge base in Montreal during the U.S. Civil War. The city’s elite welcomed Confederate leaders with open arms, while its bankers handled millions in hard gold Confederate currency to fund clandestine activities including the Lincoln kidnapping/ assassination plot.

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An Ethnohistorian in Rupert’s Land: Unfinished Conversations

by Jennifer S. H. Brown

Investigations into the surprising range of interactions among Indigenous people and newcomers in the old HBC territory from the 1600s to the present by one of the leading ethnohistorians in North America.

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Canada’s Great War Album: Our Memories of the First World War

Edited by Mark Collin Reid

Published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the First World War, Canada’s Great War Album is an unprecedented and remarkable collection of Canadian photographs, memorabilia, and stories of the war. Includes contributions from Peter Mansbridge, Charlotte Gray, J.L. Granatstein, Christopher Moore, Jonathan Vance, and Tim Cook.

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Ya Ha Tinda: A Home Place — Celebrating 100 Years of the Canadian Government’s Only Working Horse Ranch

by Kathy Calvert

An illustrated history celebrating the 100th anniversary of this historic, working horse ranch located along the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies. The story of the Ya Ha Tinda and its evolution into the only continuously operating federal government horse ranch in Canada is much more than the story of the people who worked and lived there.

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Vimy: The Battle and the Legend

by Tim Cook

Why does Vimy matter? How did a four-day battle at the midpoint of the Great War, a clash that had little strategic impact on the larger Allied war effort, become elevated to a national symbol of Canadian identity? Tim Cook, Canada’s foremost military historian and a Charles Taylor Prize winner, examines the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the way the memory of it has evolved over 100 years.

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Canada Quiz: 150 Edition

by Calvin Coish

Who was Canada’s first prime minister? Easy question, right? Okay, who was Canada’s second prime minister? Try these: Who created the ookpik? Whose real name was Gladys Mary Smith? What does the acronym CANDU stand for? You’ll find the answers to 750 questions like these in this entertaining collection of Canadian trivia.

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Fiery Joe: The Maverick Who Lit Up the West

by Kathleen Carlisle, foreword by Roy Romanow

As one of the architects of Saskatchewan’s socialist revolution, Joseph Lee Phelps virtually “lit up” the province as a minister in Tommy Douglas’s government, not only by establishing the groundwork for rural electrification but also by igniting a multitude of entrepreneurial experiments. Fiery Joe is a beautifully written biography of this charismatic and colourful man.

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Travellers through Empire: Indigenous Voyages from Early Canada

by Cecelia Morgan

In the late eighteenth century and throughout the nineteenth century, an unprecedented number of Indigenous people — especially Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabeg, and Cree — travelled to Britain and other parts of the world. Who were these transatlantic travellers, where were they going, and what were they hoping to find?

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Original Highways: Travelling the Great Rivers of Canada

by Roy MacGregor

Expanding on his landmark Globe and Mail series in which he documented his travels down 16 of Canada’s great rivers, Roy MacGregor tells the story of our country through the stories of its original highways, and how they sustain our spirit, identity and economy — past, present and future.

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The Sea Was in Their Blood: The Disappearance of the Miss Ally’s Five-Man Crew

by Quentin Casey

It was a frigid night in February 2013 when the five young fishermen vanished. The crew of the Miss Ally — a 12-metre Cape Islander from Woods Harbour, Nova Scotia — was fishing for halibut far off the Nova Scotia coast when their boat’s spotlight malfunctioned. A vicious winter storm was approaching from her south, and all other boats at the fishing grounds were steaming for shore. The Sea Was in Their Blood explores two key questions: who were the men aboard the Miss Ally, and why were they battered and sunk by a storm forecasted days in advance?

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Morrison: The Long-lost Memoir of Canada’s Artillery Commander in the Great War

edited by Susan Raby-Dunne

The First World War marked a turning point in Canadian history and in Canada’s self-identification as a nation. Yet in memorializing the iconic events and battles of the War, certain key individuals who participated have been lost in our collective memory. One of those individuals is Major-General Sir Edward Morrison.

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Metis Pioneers: Marie Rose Delorme Smith and Isabella Clark Hardisty Lougheed

by Doris Jeanne MacKinnon

A compelling story of the survival strategies of two Metis women born during the fur trade — one from the French-speaking free trade tradition and one from the English-speaking Hudson’s Bay Company tradition — who settled in southern Alberta as the fur trade transitioned to a sedentary agricultural and industrial economy. MacKinnon provides rare insight into their lives.

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Northern Nurses II: More Nursing Adventures from Canada’s North

edited by J. Karen Scott and Joan E. Kieser

This is the second volume of fascinating and unique true stories written by nurses and other people about their experiences, not only on the land, but also on the sea and in the air. Most of the stories in this volume happened within the past 70 years. They range from giving health care to individuals, families, schoolchildren, and in many instances, to the community as a whole.

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Port of Call: Tall Ships Visit The Maritimes

by Allan Billard

Tall ships are steeped in mystery and romance, and this year over thirty visited Maritime ports for Rendez-Vous 2017, a spectacular event ten years in the works. In this colourful, photo-filled book, Allan Billard tells you everything you need to know about the schooners, galleons, brigantines, and other dazzling tall ships participating in this extravaganza.

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The Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West

by Nate Blakeslee

Before humans ruled the Earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in the United States, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves from Canada back to Yellowstone National Park, igniting a battle over the very soul of the American West. With novelistic detail, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, a charismatic alpha female named O-Six.

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Island of the Blue Foxes: Disaster and Triumph on Bering’s Great Voyage to Alaska

by Stephen R. Bown

The Great Northern Expedition was an epic enterprise conceived by Peter the Great and helmed by Danish mariner Vitus Bering, involving nearly three thousand scientists, interpreters, artists, and mariners. Ill fortune plagued the journey, resulting in shipwreck on a desolate Aleutian island in an adventure marked by Gothic horrors, ingenuity, and survival in the Age of Sail.

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Victor and Evie: British Aristocrats in Wartime Rideau Hall

by Dorothy Anne Phillips

In the middle of the Great War, Victor Cavendish, the ninth Duke of Devonshire, and his wife, Lady Evelyn, landed in Halifax in November 1916 so he could serve as the governor general of Canada. In Victor and Evie, Dorothy Anne Phillips provides an intimate portrait of a family at the centre of Canadian social and political life.

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A Perfect Eden: Encounters by Early Explorers of Vancouver Island

by Michael Layland

In 1842, when explorer James Douglas encountered the rugged natural paradise that would become Vancouver Island, he described it as “a perfect Eden." This book gathers the early recorded histories and personal accounts left by Chinese seafarers, Spanish and British naval officers, traders seeking sea otter pelts, colonial surveyors, as well as soldiers, settlers, and other adventurers, starting from many centuries ago up to 1858.

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British Columbia by the Road: Car Culture and the Making of a Modern Landscape

By Ben Bradley

By offering behind-the-scenery glimpses of how boosters and builders modified the B.C. landscape and shaped what drivers and tourists could view from the comfort of their vehicles, this book confounds the idea of freedom of the road.

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100 Years, 100 Moments: A Centennial of NHL Hockey

by Scott Morrison

From ostentatious scoring totals to unstoppable teams destined for championships, the NHL boasts a history of greatness. But as die-hard fans well know, greatness isn't the whole story. In this image-rich, licensed celebration of the NHL’s past and present, veteran hockey journalist Scott Morrison mines a century of NHL hockey to find the game’s 100 most important moments.

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Nova Scotia Cookery Then & Now: Modern Interpretations of Heritage Recipes

edited by Valerie Mansour

Take one batch of historic recipes, add a handful of local, inspired chefs, mix well, and serve up a modern version of Nova Scotia culinary history. To create this book, food writer and editor Valerie Mansour reviewed the Nova Scotia Archives’ What’s Cooking? digital collection and, along with their staff, pulled out a cross-section of recipes dating back as far as the Halifax Gazette of 1765, and featuring material from wartime newspaper supplement recipes, community cookbooks, and more.

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The North End Revisited

by John Paskievich

The North End Revisited brings together many of the photographs from the now-classic The North End (2007) with eighty additional images to present a deep and poignant picture of one of North America’s iconic neighbourhoods, Winnipeg’s North End.

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From the Klondike to Berlin: The Yukon in World War I

by Michael Gates

An important chronicle of the Yukon peoples’ substantial contribution to the Great War, telling the stories of valour and resilience from both those on the front lines and those who remained on the home front in the Land of the Midnight Sun.

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Days of Rivers Past: Reflections on British Columbia’s Recreational Steelhead Fishery

by Robert Hooton

Days of Rivers Past takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the heart of the steelhead fishery. Robert Hooton guides us through the deep history of steelhead, from the 20th and into the 21st century, from times when fish stocks were historically strong to our current era when the species is suffering due to factors affecting human and non-human biosystems alike.

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Nova Scotia at War, 1914–1919

by Brian Douglas Tennyson

Nova Scotia at War, 1914–1919 is an in-depth study of Nova Scotia’s role that was, at the time, the most traumatic collective experience in the history of Canadians. As Tennyson explores in nine fascinating chapters, the war effort was more than just the brave soldiers and sailors who went overseas; it was also the civilians who worked in the fishery, on the farms, and in the forests, coals mines, and steel mills.

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The Vietnam War: An Intimate History

by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns

Continuing in the tradition of their critically acclaimed collaborations, the authors draw on dozens and dozens of interviews in America and Vietnam to give the perspectives of people involved at all levels of the war: U.S. and Vietnamese soldiers and their families, high-level officials in America and Vietnam, antiwar protestors, POWs, and many more.

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Finding John Rae

by Alice Jane Hamilton

Hamilton follows Rae as he discovers not only the missing link to the Northwest Passage but evidence of cannibalism within the Franklin Expedition — his report to the Admiralty sending shock waves throughout Victorian England.

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The Magnificent Nahanni: The Struggle to Protect a Wild Place

by Gordon Nelson, foreword by Harvey Locke

Cooperative efforts to conserve the Northwest Territories’ Nahanni River Basin as a national park began in the 1970s. With stunning colour photos of the region's natural beauty, The Magnificent Nahanni shows how cooperation between Indigenous and non-governmental groups is central to the future of conservation.

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Nature, Place and Story: Rethinking Historic Sites in Canada

by Claire Elizabeth Campbell

Nature, Place, and Story provides new interpretations for five of Canada’s largest and most iconic historic sites: L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland; Grand Pré, Nova Scotia; Fort William, Ontario; the Forks of the Red River, Manitoba; and the Bar U Ranch, Alberta. From the medieval Atlantic to modern ranchlands, environmental history speaks directly to contemporary questions about the health of Canada’s habitat.

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After Many Years: Twenty-one “Long Lost” Stories

by L.M. Montgomery

Although best known for creating the spirited Anne Shirley, L. M. Montgomery had a thriving writing career that included several novels and more than five hundred poems and stories. This collection brings together rare pieces originally published between 1900 and 1939 that haven’t been in print since their initial periodicals.

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The Spitfire Luck of Skeets Ogilvie: From the Battle of Britain to the Great Escape

by Keith Ogilvie

Rejected by the Royal Canadian Air Force in the summer of 1939, Keith “Skeets” Ogilvie joined the British Royal Air Force instead. A week later he was on a boat to England and a future he could not have imagined. As a Spitfire pilot in the Battle of Britain, Skeets established his credentials with six confirmed victories and several enemy aircraft damaged.

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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

by Yuval Noah Harari

In Sapiens, Dr. Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical — and sometimes devastating — breakthroughs of the cognitive, agricultural, and scientific revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology, and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities.

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Searching for Mary Schäffer: Women Wilderness Photography

by Colleen Skidmore

New questions, new stories, new collaborators of early twentieth-century photographer, writer, explorer, mapmaker, and illustrator.

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Northern Nurses III: Belcher Islands and Northern Quebec — the 1960s

edited by J. Karen Scott and Joan E. Kieser

After meeting Lisi Kavik, co-principal of the Nuiyak School, and Ida Watt, Lisi’s aunt who had researched and written a book in Inuktitut about the Belcher Islands, we began to think that we should see for ourselves the places that the pioneer nurse-midwives Jo Lutley and Heather Clayton wrote about and learn first-hand more about the people they had lived with, worked with, and served in northwestern Quebec and the Belcher Islands during the 1960s.

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Nine Lessons I Learned from My Father

by Murray Howe

As a child, Murray Howe wanted to be like his father. He was an adult before he realized that didn't necessarily mean playing hockey. Gordie Howe may have been the greatest player in the history of hockey, but greatness was never defined by goals or assists in the Howe household. Greatness meant being the best person you could be, not the best player on the ice.

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The Green Horse: My Early Years in the Canadian Rockies – A Park Warden’s Story

by Dale Portman

Growing up in Calgary, Dale Portman was introduced to the Rocky Mountains at an early age and as a young man eventually found work in Banff National Park. Dale was drawn to the warden service, doing avalanche control and forecasting in Rogers Pass, with the backcountry of northern Jasper, Yoho National Park and Field, B.C., eventually becoming the stage for many memorable, humorous, tragic and life-affirming moments.

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Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food

by Simon Thibault

In Pantry and Palate, journalist Simon Thibault explores his Acadian roots by scouring old family recipes, ladies’ auxiliary cookbooks, and folk wisdom for 50 of the best-loved recipes of Acadians past and present.

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The Cinderella Campaign: First Canadian Army and the Battles for the Channel Ports

by Mark Zuehlke

The story of how the First Canadian Army, given only scant access to the Allied supply chain and facing overwhelmingly prepared German fortresses, opened the way to the Allied victory in the Second World War, in the twelfth instalment of the bestselling Canadian Battle Series.

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Call of Empire: From the Highlands to Hindostan

by Alexander Charles Baillie

From 1760 to 1869, four generations of one family from the Scottish Highlands sought their fortunes in the service of the East India Company. As they worked their way up through the ranks of the empire, the Baillie family left numerous footprints in India and recorded their fascinating experiences in letters sent home to Scotland.

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Aqua Vitae: A History of the Saloons and Hotel Bars of Victoria, 1851–1917

by Glen A. Moford

From the raunchy saloons that lined Victoria’s notorious Johnson Street to the lavish high-class hotel-bars like the Driard and the Empress, Aqua Vitae is a collection of fascinating true stories from the days of swinging doors, smoky bars, and five-cent beers.

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Explosion in Halifax Harbour, 1917

by Dan Soucoup

The story of the worst human-made explosion before Hiroshima is the account of tremendous human suffering and devastation, yet also of human bravery and survival against all odds. Explosion in Halifax Harbour, 1917 includes a detailed account of the event, chronicling many remarkable human tragedies, rescue and relief efforts, attempts to place blame for the collision, and the reconstruction program that created Canada’s first government-assisted housing program.

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Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

by Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari, author of the bestselling Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, envisions a not-too-distant world in which we face a new set of challenges. In Homo Deus, he examines our future with his trademark blend of science, history, philosophy and every discipline in between.

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