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Anecdotes

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    Presents a diverse collection of stories about the joys and struggles of immigrant women living in Canada. Often bringing with them the shadow of war and the guilt of leaving, the women in this new anthology expose their emotional pain but also their gratitude for being able to call Canada home. Their stories paint touching portraits of cultural and linguistic misunderstandings, bureaucratic hurdles, attempts to navigate unfamiliar landscapes, and a desire to be accepted despite differences in accent, skin colour, or taste in food. Together they form a mosaic of emotions and worldviews that underline the immigrant condition for women. A Filipino woman recalls her experience as a six-year-old immigrant in a ghetto in Mississauga in the 80s. A same-sex couple moves from Minnesota to Ontario to find refuge for their love, but first they must drive through a blizzard and make it through the frustrating net of Canadian bureaucracy. In search of her origins, a Jewish woman travels to her birthplace in Passau, Germany. There, among rows of European picturesque houses and foreign tombstones of a Jewish cemetery, she finds no memories, only the shadow of Hitler and the ghosts of her parents. Through these stories of courage, aloneness, and hope, new and established writers reach out to both immigrants and those whose families long ago ceased to identify with the immigrant label. Through their struggles and, at times, endearingly critical looks at Canada, they remind us that many of our perceived divisions are nothing but artificial creations of mind and that all of us are past, current, or potential immigrants.

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    Klingberg, Haddon
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    Written in response to the horrors he experienced and witnessed during the Holocaust, Viktor Frankl’s landmark book, Man’s Search for Meaning, has sold millions of copies and been translated into twenty-seven languages. But although Frankl’s thought and philosophy have been widely analyzed, until now little has been written about his life, and about the deeply loving, intensely spiritual relationship that led him and his wife to dedicate their lives to reducing pain and oppression in the world. In a book that is at once a wonderful love story and a tribute to two extraordinary people, Haddon Klingberg, Jr., draws on a wealth of anecdotes, told to him by the Frankls themselves, to describe their separate early lives and their fifty-two years as husband and wife. Returning to Vienna after spending three years in four different concentration camps, Frankl, whose first wife and family died in the camps, turned to writing as a way of finding some purpose in his life. But it was Elly Schwindt, a woman half his age, who helped him put the pieces of his broken life together. Married in 1947, the Frankls created a life of hope and faith, a life committed to proclaiming the oneness of the human family, challenging materialistic values, and encouraging the pursuit of meaning.

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    Simon, Sarah, Yakeleya, Elizabeth
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    A work in progress since the 1970s, We Remember the Coming of the White Man chronicles the history of the Sahtú (Mountain Dene) and Gwinch’in People in the extraordinary time of the early 20th century. Chapters are transcripts of oral histories by 10 Elders about their recollections of the early days of fur trading, guns, and flu pandemic; dismay about the way oil and uranium discoveries and pipelines were handled on their land; and the emotional and economic fallout of the signing of Treaty 11.

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    Campbell, Marlene
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    Travel back in time to when Christmas was a simple affair: children were content to receive an apple, an orange, or a piece of barley candy in their stockings; clothes, meals, and decorations were all homemade; and it was time spent with family--not expensive gifts--that warmed hearts during the holiday season. This nostalgic collection recalls Christmas celebrations of the 1930s, '40s, '50s, and '60s, transporting readers to the unheated farmhouse bedrooms, thrilling "big city" department stores, and cozy barn stalls of rural Prince Edward Island. It turns out one thing has not changed: the most memorable part of any Christmas cannot be bought and sold. Includes eighteen non-fiction stories, collected and retold by scriptwriter, playwright, and historical author Marlene Campbell.

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    Coutts, Ian
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    The perfect keg. Filled with perfect beer. A symphony of flavors in the mouth. The right blend of sweet and bitter. The fluid in that keg represents a year’s work. Actually brewing it took a few weeks. But to make it truly the perfect keg, Ian Coutts had to go right back to fundamentals. This beer didn’t start with a beer-making kit, which is what most homebrewers use. And it didn’t rely on pre-roasted industrial malt, which is how commercial brewers big and small do it. Coutts made his own malt, aerating wet barley with an aquarium bubbler and blasting it with a hair dryer. Of course, to do that he needed barley. So he grew his own. Hops, too. Yeast, he went out and captured. And that's it. With this beer, the only additives are knowledge and history. There were plenty of adventures, misadventures, and missteps along the way, but Ian writes about them with humor and aplomb, including his own recipes and those of people he worked with in the brewing process, proving it’s possible to make the perfect keg of wholly natural beer in one year.

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    Choyce, Lesley, Swan, Julia
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    “Alistair MacLeod was the most deeply satisfied person I ever met,” writes Alexander MacLeod of his father, “and every day I miss his quiet presence in my life, his unhurried walk, his slow breathing, his certainty.” Anne Murray says this of her father who was a doctor in Springhill: “He was there to save lives and that’s what he did.” Author Carol Bruneau confesses that her father would “throttle” her for writing an essay about him because “he hated sentimentality.” Sheldon Currie’s father was “a tolerant man” but “what he could never tolerate was the empty promises of politicians or the greed, hypocrisy, parsimony, and callous disregard for coal mine safety of the coal mines’ owners.”In this poignant, often funny, and heartfelt collection, Nova Scotia authors and artists put to the page their thoughts and emotions about their fathers, who raised, inspired, loved, and taught them – and occasionally drove them crazy. As well as MacLeod, Currie, Bruneau, and Murray, The Nova Scotia Book of Fathers includes stories by Harry Thurston, Lorrie Neilsen Glenn, Frank Cameron, Joan Baxter, Jon Tattrie, Bruce Graham, Lesley Choyce, Lenore Zann, David Mossman, Janice Landry, Lindsay Ruck, Ian Colford, Julia Swan, Craig Flinn, and Daniel Paul.From these varied writers comes a myriad of stories about dads of all kinds: quiet, thoughtful, wise men; stubborn and headstrong men; and men whose careers and circumstances called forth public bravery and heroism. Included too are fathers whose mark on the world is more private but just as compelling, just as fearless, just as noteworthy. They are our mentors, sometimes our friends, but always our fathers – always “Dad.” They embody for us the strength everyone needs to weather the storms of life, the humour that helps us to laugh at crucial moments, and the stalwart vision it takes to raise daughters and sons and send them out into the world. Sometimes they didn’t do it perfectly, but they are fathers, not gods. They left their marks on their families and their communities. Here are the fathers of Nova Scotia, revealed to us by the people who love them most: their children.

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    Calgary Herald, Nenshi, Naheed
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    The Flood of 2013 chronicles an unforgettable summer of angry rivers, unprecedented flooding, and undeniable human spirit. This book looks at how the disaster irrevocably changed southern Alberta and its people. In the face of disaster, Albertans showed their true grit and rose above adversity — just like their ancestors did for generations before them. The flood began in southern Alberta on June 20 and led to four deaths, billions of dollars in damage, and more than 100,000 people fleeing their homes to escape raging waters. More than 80 Herald journalists — photographers, writers, editors, videographers, researchers, and digital producers — helped to narrate the tale of the flood. Using their words and images, this stunning volume captures not only the devastation and destruction of the flood but also the emergence of heroes and heartfelt moments. Neighbors helped neighbors. Strangers helped strangers. And Albertans vowed to recover, come hell or high water.

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    Clarke, Denise
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    The Big Secret Book is an invaluable guide on the subject of creativity, no matter the preferred artistic discipline. Written by Denise Clarke, director of One Yellow Rabbit Summer Lab Intensive, the book outlines methods and methodologies of the Lab that have inspired writers, dancers, musicians, as well as performance theatre artists. Sidebar case studies of Denise Clarke's remarkable performances disclose the big secrets behind her unique and brilliant style of performance creation.

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    Legault, Stephen
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    A veteran of burnout himself, Legault looks at the culture of self-sacrifice that permeates the work done by volunteers and paid staff in the environmental conservation movement, and dissects how to manage our own time, energy, and commitment to our causes. Following a river-running metaphor, and proposing a variety of techniques to help with various states of anxiety resulting from burnout, including clarity of purpose, recognition of limits, fitness and diet, mediation and yoga, as well as organizational structural changes such as leave-of-absence policies, Legault encourages readers to find time to 'eddy out' to rest a moment in quieter waters and scout downriver to ensure our lifetime of engagement is fulfilling, effective, and self-sustaining.

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    Wheeler, Anne
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    Laced with humour and revelation, Anne Wheeler's creative non-fiction stories tell of her serendipitous journey in the seventies, when she broke with tradition and found her own way to becoming a filmmaker and raconteur. Join this celebrated screenwriter and director as she travels south of Mombasa after calling off her wedding; attempts to gain acceptance in a male-dominated film collective; travels to India to visit friends who are devoted to a radical Master, and ultimately discovers her sense of purpose and passion close to home, sharing stories that would otherwise be lost about ordinary people living extraordinary lives. Taken by the Muse: On the Path to Becoming a Filmmaker is a must-read for anyone open to exploring the possibilities of who they are and what they might do with their lives - and for those who love a good story told with integrity and warmth.

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    Manilow, Barry
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    Filled with anecdotes about his tours and the behind-the-scenes realities of the music business, this autobiography reveals the musician's personal life and musical career, from his Brooklyn youth through his performance at Radio City Music Hall.

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    Menzies, Heather
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    Commoning was a way of life for most of our ancestors. In Reclaiming the Commons for the Common Good, Heather Menzies journeys to her roots in the Scottish Highlands, where her family lived in direct relation with the land since neolithic times. Beginning with an intimate account of unearthing the heritage of the commons and the real tragedy of its loss, Menzies offers a detailed description of the self-organizing, self-governing, and self-informing principles of this nearly forgotten way of life, including its spiritual practices and traditions. She then identifies pivotal commons practices that could be usefully revived today. A final manifesto section pulls these facets together into a unified vision for reclaiming the commons, drawing a number of current popular initiatives into the commoning frame, such as local food security, permaculture, and the Occupy Movement. An engaging memoir of personal and political discovery, [this] combines moving reflections on our common heritage with a contemporary call to action, individually and collectively; locally and globally. Readers will be inspired by the book's vision of reviving the commons ethos of empathy and mutual respect, and energized by her practical suggestions for connection people and place for the common good.

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    Smith, Stephen
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    Like many a Canadian kid, Stephen Smith was up on skates first thing as a boy, out in the weather chasing a puck and the promise of an NHL career. Back indoors after that didn’t quite work out, he turned to the bookshelf. That’s where, without entirely meaning to, he ended up reading all the hockey books. There was Crunch and Boom Boom, Slashing! and High Stick; there was Max Bentley: Hockey’s Dipsy-Doodle Dandy, Blue Line Murder, and Nagano, a Czech hockey opera. There was Blood on the Ice, Cracked Ice, Fire On Ice, Power On Ice, Cowboy On Ice, and Steel On Ice.

    In Puckstruck, Smith chronicles his wide-eyed and sometimes wincing wander through hockey’s literature, language, and culture, weighing its excitement and unbridled joy against its costs and vexing brutality. In exploring his own lifelong love of the game, hoping to surprise some sense out of it, he sifts hockey’s narratives in search of hockey’s heart, what it means and why it should distress us even as we celebrate its glories. On a journey to discover what the game might have to say about who we are as Canadians, he seeks to answer some of its essential riddles.

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    Wong, Mary
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    Pathways to Pregnancy is a collection of wide-ranging and relatable stories, shared by an expert who also knows first-hand the pain and joy of the fertility journey from her own experience. Instructional and inspirational to anyone going through it or seeking to understand it deeply and in all its variations, these are real stories of hope and humor — and some practical advice that is often overlooked but easy to incorporate into your life. These stories about real women, related by Mary Wong with both compassion and authority, retain many of the subjects’ own words and particular perspectives.

    Through their stories, Mary explains the central principles of fertility treatment by both Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners and Western doctors. Each story focuses on a set of archetypal challenges or life situations found in patients seeking fertility treatment. In this way, the book serves as a comprehensive examination of the spectrum of infertility experience, expressed through the lens of highly personal anecdotes and intimate experiences.

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    A collection of 101 of the best stories for seniors from Chicken Soup's library. Stories were written by seniors about their lives, adventures, etc., and by younger people about older family members or friends.

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    Mason, Adrienne
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    An intimate look at Long Beach's dramatic landscapes and colourful characters.

    Each year, close to a million people visit the spectacular sweep of sand that stretches along Vancouver Island's west coast between Tofino and Ucluelet. In Long Beach Wild, long-time resident Adrienne Mason uses her intimate knowledge of the area to explore the region's rich natural and cultural history.

    Rarely seen archival photos as well as contemporary nature photography illustrate the interplay between the region's wilderness and lively culture. Mason shows how Long Beach was shaped by many forces, including glaciers, torrents of water, and hurricane-force winds. She describes how First Nations people found inspiration and sustenance in the area for thousands of years, hunting whales on the open ocean using harpoons with mussel-shell blades and great lengths of cedar-bark rope.

    Mason also introduces some of the colourful characters who have found their way to "the end of the road" over the past 150 years: gold panners, loggers, WWII airmen, backtothelanders, surfers, artists, entrepreneurs, and dreamers. She spent many hours interviewing people who arrived at Long Beach and never left.

    Although now protected within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, the Long Beach area is inevitably influenced by the countless visitors who flock there each year and the residents who call the region home.

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    Riley, JillEllyn, Kay, Katty, Shipman, Claire
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    From Bali to Brazil, South Africa to Seattle, Australia to Afghanistan, these girls took risks, doubted themselves, and sometimes failed. But they also hung in there when things got hard. Along the way they discovered what matters to them, from protesting contaminated water to to the accessibility of girls' basketball shoes, and so much more.

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    Casey, Allan
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    Lakes define not only Canada's landscape but the national imagination. Blending writing on nature, travel, and science, award-winning journalist Allan Casey systematically explores how the country's history and culture originates at the lakeshore. Lakeland describes a series of interconnected journeys by the author, punctuated by the seasons and the personalities he meets along the way including aboriginal fishery managers, fruit growers, boat captains, cottagers, and scientists. Together they form an evocative portrait of these beloved bodies of water and what they mean, from sapphire tarns above the Rocky Mountain tree line to the ponds of western Newfoundland.

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    Bedford, S.
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    A laugh-out-loud travel memoir that reveals backpacking’s awkward side. Sue, a disenchanted waitress, embarks upon a year-long quest around the world with her friend, Sara—who’s exasperatingly perfect. Expecting a whimsical jaunt of self-discovery, Sue instead encounters an absurd series of misadventures that render her embarrassed, terrified, and queasy (and in a lot of trouble with Philippine Airlines). Whether she’s fleeing from ravenous lions, dancing amid smoking skulls, trekking Annapurna underprepared, or (accidentally) drugging an Englishman, Sue’s quick-witted, self-deprecating narrative might just inspire you to take your own chaotic adventure.

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    Adams, Robert J.
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    A memoir from an RCMP officer in Saskatchewan.

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