A four-month cycling trip from tip to tail of Africa â€“ in the company of like-minded individuals, accompanied by a support team â€“ was the perfect way for Beryl and Bernie Doiron to marry their joy of cycling with their love of travel and to escape the Canadian winter.
Departing Cairo with its pyramids, they cycled through ancient Egypt, the deserts of Sudan, the mountains of Ethiopia, the lush rolling hills of Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia, the beautiful terrain of Botswana and Namibia and along the Atlantic Ocean of South Africa to Cape Town: a fifth of the journey on clay, washboard, rock, sand, and dusty roads.
It all made January to May 2008 a memorable summer: 10,000km down roads less travelled, time to interact with some of the worldâ€™s poorest people, pitching tents in desert and on bush ground and eating local foods.
Again and again, the authors were struck by the welcoming faces of people with very few of lifeâ€™s amenities, who appear to live in peace and harmony with their surroundings. In small village and countryside, the people and lifestyle also triggered memories of early childhood, growing up on a family farm and nearby fishing village in Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Jennifer Cook will be launching her latest book, “Molly’s Story: Aftermath of War and Love” on Saturday the 12th from 11 am to 1pm. “The story of a young mother’s struggle and despair in wartime Britain when her RAF husband is missing-in-action. Based on the author’s memories, and her brother’s letters home from the RAF.
Mary Jane Maffini and Barbara Fradkin, will be here Sunday the 13th from 2 to 4pm to sign copies of their latest mystery titles. “Law and Disorder” by Mary Jane Maffini, is the sixth book in the series featuring Ottawa sleuth Camilla MacPhee. “This Thing of Darkness” by Barbara Fradkin, the latest in her Inspector Green series, also set in Ottawa.
For storytime, at 9:30 am on Saturday the 28th, Kita Szpak will be reading from her new book, “You’re Special Wherever You Are”.
From her website:
“No one can believe that Catalina would keep an old, dirty carpet she got from her very old grandmother. Charlie Zee would rather be anything else than black and white. And Alex has the biggest surprise of all when he opens his mouth to breathe fireâ€¦ These are three stories about a camel, a zebra and a dragon who are all a little different. They show us how important it is to be yourself no matter what the situation may be. Youâ€™re Special Wherever You Are is a book both children and adults will enjoy time after time.”
On Saturday November 28th, from 11am to 1pm, Ron Poulton will be in the store to discuss his new book and sign copies.
About the book, from the publisher: “Working for the United Nations is often dangerous, and sometimes, an utterly futile endeavour. Human rights lawyer Ronald Poulton has experienced these realities first hand. Pale Blue Hope is his account of working for the UN in Cambodia and Tajikistan.
In Cambodia, Poulton investigated human rights violations and political murders before returning to Canada. Later, at the request of the un, Poulton accepted the position of legal advisor in Tajikistan to investigate the ambush and killing of a UN observer force called Team Garm.
Poulton vividly captures life in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital, a city full of fear and general curfews and secure steel doors, where political murders are common and suspicion stalks the streets. He quickly learns that his task will be more daunting than he imagined, complicated by un incompetence and regulations and a Tajik culture that sees him as an intruder.
Haunted by his experiences in Cambodia, Poulton chooses engagement with the Tajik people over the security of the un enclave as he puzzles his way to discovering who really killed Team Garm.”
Larry Cotton will be in the store Saturday November 14th, from 11am to 1pm to chat about his book and sign copies.
About the book, from a recent article: “Alcohol has never been something too far from the lips and hearts of residents, whether they live in Renfrew County or any other part of Canada. Prohibition and post-prohibition helped stamp the character of many Canadians and Canadian institutions.
Cotton, who lives in the village of Lanark, figures he has tapped into a side of history that fascinates even those who rarely open a book. The fourth in an Ottawa Valley series, entitled Whiskey and Wickedness, is subtitled Renfrew County, Ontario, 1825 to 1900.”
Join author Robin Harlick as she discusses her new book and signs copies at the store on Saturday, November 7th at 12pm.
About the book: “Many years ago, Meg Harrisâ€™s fatherâ€™s plane went missing in the Arctic. He was never seen again. Thirty-six years later, her mother receives strange Inuit drawings that suggest he might have survived. Intent on discovering the truth, no matter how painful, Meg travels to Iqaluit and soon finds herself sucked into the world of Inuit art forgery and murder.
Arctic Blue Death, the fourth in the series, is not only a journey into Megâ€™s past and events that helped shape the person she is today, but itâ€™s also a journey into the land of the Inuit and the culture that has sustained them for thousands of years.”
Authors Lori Mockson and Shirley Chewick will be in the store Saturday November 7th at 9:30am for a special storytime reading from their new book. Bring your little ones and enjoy this wonderful story.
Sebastian is excited about his new sock bank. With all the money he gets from his aunts and uncles, plus his own savings, he has enough to buy anything he wants. The problem is he just can’t decide how to spend his money. Come along with Sebastian as he tries to decide what to do with his sock bank savings. You will never guess what he decides to do.
Chris St. Clair will be talking about his new book and signing copies on Wednesday November 4th, from 5pm to 6pm.
About the book: “This complete guide to Canada’s weather clearly explains why we get the weather we do, how it works and how it helps to make us what we are.”
It’s easy to enjoy a Jane Gardam book but hard to review it.
She’s the British writer with a long list of novels and non-fiction, not to mention every literary prize you can think of. Her gift I suppose is her originality, and this, in turn, makes her very funny.
“A Long Way from Verona” came out in l97l and has been reprinted five times since then. This is an attractive paper edition by Abacus.
A little girl of nine is going to school in England during World War ll. She and her teachers go on reading Dickens, Hardy and Shakespeare until interrupted by an air raid on the Junior School. They carry on in British fashion, when one day the heroine, Jessica Vye takes a different route home and stumbles across an escaped prisoner of war. She turns her experience into a poem called “The Maniac”. To her teachers’ consternation this wins a prize in “The Times” .
Up til then, Jessica had been considered unconventional and troublesome in her far-out essays. The book is written from her point of view; it does contain the standards of her broad-minded father,as well as a couple of superior teachers.
It is an intimate look at a writer’s sensibilities, even one as young as nine years old. Unpretentious, it is joyful in its candour and very funny in its anecdotes.
Review by Anne McDougall