Read Across Canada – Part 3

The Amherst News - - COMMUNITY - Denise Corey Denise Corey is the chief li­brar­ian for the Cum­ber­land Pub­lic Li­braries.

The year is draw­ing to a close but I haven’t yet fin­ished read­ing my way across the coun­try. Now I’m into the Prairies read­ing books from Man­i­toba and Saskatchewan. Only two prov­inces and three ter­ri­to­ries to go! From Man­i­toba: Mar­garet Lau­rence is ar­guably Man­i­toba’s best known writer. Her novel The Stone An­gel was one that I found quite mov­ing when I orig­i­nally read it about 20 years ago. The Stone An­gel tells the story of Hagar Ship­ley who had a life of hard­ship and tragedy that makes her bit­ter and un­kind. As she’s near­ing the end of her life she re­flects back on all that has hap­pened. It re­ally says some­thing about an au­thor’s writ­ing when the story of a 90 year old wo­man res­onates with a wo­man in her early 20s.

And on a com­pletely dif­fer­ent note is Zom­bies: a Record of the Year of In­fec­tion: Field Notes by Dr. Robert Twombly (writ­ten by Don Roff and il­lus­trated by Chris Lane). This graphic novel, is prob­a­bly best for those who are fans of the zom­bie genre. Writ­ten in di­ary form, Dr. Richard Twombly records his ob­ser­va­tions about what is hap­pen­ing in the world around him. He tries to de­ter­mine what has cre­ated this out­break while try­ing to sur­vive in a world gone mad. To­ward the end of the book he makes his way to the town of Churchill, Man­i­toba, where he be­lieves him­self to be safe.

From Saskatchewan:

Just re­cently I read 101 Let­ters to a Prime Min­is­ter by Yann Mar­tel. The 101 let­ters were from Mar­tel and a few of his lit­er­ary friends to then Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper start­ing in April 2007 and con­tin­u­ing for 4 years. Mar­tel sent a book (or two, or three) to Harper ev­ery two weeks. As Mar­tel says in the in­tro­duc­tion: “...once some­one has power over me,... their read­ing does mat­ter to me, be­cause in what they choose to read will be found what they think and what they might do.”

Although Harper never per­son­ally an­swered Mar­tel, I do hope he read at least a few of the books.

Alice Kuipers’ book Life on the Re­frig­er­a­tor Door prob­a­bly speaks a bit more to those who grew up be­fore text mes­sages were the main form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. It’s a novel told in a se­ries of notes left on the fridge door be­tween 15-year-old Claire and her sin­gle mother. These tiny lit­tle snip­pets tell a big story about their re­la­tion­ship.

You can find these great Cana­dian books and many oth­ers at the li­brary. Take a look at what we have on our web­site: www. cum­ber­land­pub­li­cli­braries.ca

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