Rue Des Rosiersby Rhea TregebovPublished by Coteau BooksReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$24.95 ISBN 9-781550-506990 Rue Des Rosiers by Vancouverite Rhea Tregebov is not just an exemplary novel, it’s also an important book that examines anti-Semitism and empathetically puts faces on the victims and aggressors, and my hope is that the novel receives the major attention it warrants. In this richly-layered story, multi-genre author Tregebov introdu...

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The Literary History of Saskatchewan: Volume 3 – Advancesedited by David Carpenter and Kelly-Anne RiessPublished by Coteau BooksReview by Keith Foster$29.95 ISBN 978-1-55050-954-0 The Literary History of Saskatchewan: Volume 3 – Advances is Coteau Books’ third and final volume analyzing Saskatchewan’s proud literary tradition. Compiling and assessing a literary history of the province isn’t easy, especially when that history...

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Murder at the St. Aliceby Becky CitraPublished by Coteau BooksReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$14.95 ISBN 9-781550-509625 Do you know a teen who would enjoy British Columbia-based historical fiction and a mystery in the same book? Then the novel Murder at the St. Alice by prolific YA writer Becky Citra is worth a look. BC’s Citra has written more than twenty books, including her well-received The Griffin of Darkwood, and a time travel series. I...

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Rescue in the Rockiesby Rita FeutlPublished by Coteau BooksReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$12.95 ISBN 9-781550-509489 I’m both surprised and saddened that until reading A Rescue in the Rockies, I was unfamiliar with Edmonton writer Rita Feutl’s titles for children and young adults. Surprised, because this is a writer at the top of her game, and saddened, because had I known how good she is, I would’ve been recommending her books lo...

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Baggageby Wendy PhillipsPublished by Coteau BooksReviewed by Ben Charles$14.95 ISBN 9781550509700 Baggage, written by Wendy Phillips and published by Coteau Books is a fantastic teen read that covers dark themes with the seriousness that fits the subject matter and a narrative device that is relevant to young readers. The story is set in British Columbia and begins at the Vancouver airport as a young, unidentified foreign boy is found near Intern...

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Trial by Winterby Anne PattonPublished by Coteau BooksReview by Michelle Shaw$10.95 ISBN 9781550509786 I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live in a sod house in Saskatchewan during a winter blizzard. Now, thanks to Anne Patton, I have an inkling. Trial by Winter is the third and final story in Anne Patton’s Barr Colony Adventure Series. It’s 1903 and the Bolton family have built a sod house on their land in the North-West Territo...

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Wide Openby D. M. DitsonPublished by Coteau BooksReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$24.95 ISBN 9-781550-509663 Sure it’s a cliché, but I had a hard time putting this book down. Welcome to the literary world, D.M. Ditson, with your intimate, hard-hitting, and honest portrayal of matters that are not easy to share. First book? Could have fooled me. Sexual abuse, Fundamentalist Christianity, mental health issues, black-out drinking, and a dysfuncti...

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Death by Dinosaur by Jacqueline Guest Published by Coteau Books Review by Amanda Zimmerman $14.95 ISBN 978-1-55050-943-4 Jacqueline Guest, bestselling author of Belle of Batoche, masterfully weaves her knowledge of Drumheller AB into a mystery sure to keep young readers wondering to the very last chapter. Sam Stellar, a fourteen year old spy enthusiast, and her tech loving friend Paige, are looking forward to spending their summer at th...

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Sedley by Chelsea Coupal Published by Coteau Books Review by Ben Charles ISBN 9781550509410 $17.95 Sedley, written by Chelsea Coupal, is a delightful and insightful reflection of life in small-town Saskatchewan that had me smiling from the first page to the last. This collection of poems that Coupal has so masterfully penned is a wonderful commentary of the author’s life and experiences growing up in the town of Sedley, SK, a small village loca...

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breathing at dusk by Beth Goobie Published by Coteau Books Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $17.95 ISBN 9-781550-509151 Beth Goobie, poet and fiction writer, is her own hard act to follow. With twenty-five books – including the Governor General-nominated young adult novel Mission Impossible – preceding her latest title, readers have come to expect work that sets the bar high in terms of both content and technique. In breathing at dusk, Go...

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Doreen M. Bleich / 5 May 2021
If you’re looking for a well-written Saskatchewan romance then Doreen M. Bleich’s latest novel may be the perfect summer read. Anna Johansson wants to quit her job at the bank in the hopes of becoming a full-time writer and is doing some freelance writing on the side. One of her stories – an article on internet dating for Thirty Something magazine – introduces her to Nathan Haines, a rodeo-loving farmer in Borden. Nathan is divorced (his childhood sweetheart decided that she was not cut out to be a farmer’s wife and headed to Calgary with an insurance salesman she met at work) and had a horrible experience with internet dating. Anna’s not looking for a relationship but agrees to meet for dinner in Saskatoon. To her surprise they get on really well and things begin to look promising. But then a well-kept secret from Anna’s pa...

Concrete

Concrete: From Ancient Origins to a Problematic Futureby Mary SoderstromPublished by University of Regina PressReview by Elena Bentley$28.95 ISBN 9780889777804 In her book, Concrete: From Ancient Origins to a Problematic Future, authorMary Soderstrom asks us to “[l]ook out the nearest window, then try to imagine what the view would look like without concrete.” Admittedly, before reading this book, I hadn’t given it much thought; once I finished the book, however, I started to pay attention: a leftover pile next to the trees outside my house, the garage floor, the sidewalk under my bike—concrete really is everywhere. Concrete has been used globally in some form or another since about 8700 BCE, which means that concrete has a fairly substantial history. Soderstrom holds our attention by taking us on a fascinating journey through thi...

White Coal City

University of Regina Press / 13 April 2021
White Coal City: A Memoir of Place & Familyby Robert BoschmanPublished by University of Regina PressReview by Keith FosterPrice $21.95 ISBN 9780889777965 As Margaret Boschman stepped onto a busy Saskatoon street from in front of a parked car, an oncoming vehicle smashed into her, killing her instantly and hurling her shoe through the air. Six months pregnant, and dead at twenty-nine. A masterpiece of creative nonfiction, Robert Boschman’s White Coal City: A Memoir of Place & Family records the impact of this pivotal event of June 29, 1940. The narrative revolves around the ripple effects his Grandmother Margaret’s death had on the entire multi-generational family. Margaret’s death utterly destroyed her husband, John, who witnessed a travelling salesman from Toronto slam into his beloved wife. The salesman stopped...

I will always love you…no matter what!

I will always love you…no matter what!Written by Lee Murray and Kori UpshallIllustrated by Emily JohnsonPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing Review by Michelle Shaw$14.95 ISBN 9781988783659 Children love asking questions and even a seemingly simple question can hide layers of emotion. This colorful soft-covered book is written by a grandmother and her granddaughter and is based on a true experience. A few years ago, four-year-old Kori was on a quest to find out how much her grandmother loved her. She kept asking her grandmother continually outlandish questions to try to find something – anything –that would make her grandmother stop loving her. The scenarios in the book are gloriously over-the-top. The little girl broke her grandmother’s mirror, for instance, by crashing a plane into it, and she broke her grandmother...

Scenic Bridges

Landscape Art Publishing / 17 March 2021
Scenic Bridges: A Collection of Bridge Motifs by Fritz StehwienPublished by Landscape Art PublishingReview by Michelle Shaw$29.95 ISBN 9780991964987 Scenic Bridges, the latest release from the Fritz Stehwien Estate, is a delightful visual study of bridges around the world, in particular Saskatoon, and also reveals a gifted artist’s creative development and perspective through the years. Saskatoon is well-known as the City of Bridges (eight to date) and this beautiful hardcover book features a number of them. But it also goes beyond the city, featuring bridges near Borden and The Battlefords as well as bridges further afield including the Calgary Centre Street Bridge, and the Blue Water Bridge in Sarnia, Ontario. Bridges are obviously something that continually fascinated Stehwien and he was known to sketch and paint wherever he went. Ma...

Paddling Northern Saskatchewan

Paddling Northern Saskatchewan: A Guide to 80 Canoe Routesby Ric DriedigerPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Toby A. Welch$34.95 ISBN 9781988783581 Oh, how I wish I had this book when I bought my first canoe back in 1995! At that time, there was nowhere to find such a comprehensive all-in-one resource for paddling destinations. Canoeists who pick up a copy of Paddling Northern Saskatchewan will find it invaluable.  This book contains the ‘characters’ of 80 different rivers, canoe routes, and areas in Northern Saskatchewan. In this instance, ‘character’ means the experience of canoeing the route. This is a departure from most guidebooks that just share route details. The downside of the latter approach is that those details can be altered drastically with one swoop from Mother Nature. Before the book delves...

Field to Flask, 4th Edition

Wood Dragon Books / 3 March 2021
Field to Flask: Fundamentals of Small Batch Distilling (4th Edition)by Malcolm BucholtzPublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Marlin Legare$52.00 ISBN 9781989078075 Field to Flask: Fundamentals of Small Batch Distilling is an arsenal of knowledge for anyone seeking to begin or perfect the art of distilling spirits. Whether you are a DIY enthusiast looking to try a new business endeavour during the pandemic or a wide-scale distiller with years of experience in the industry, there is something for everyone to learn in this book. Published by Wood Dragon Books in Regina, SK and written by native Reginian Malcolm Bucholtz, this book is just as locally sourced as the products that have taken consultation from Bucholtz, such as Saskatchewan’s own Sperling Distillery and Doucette Distillery, just to name a couple of examples. Bucholtz is a B....

Power Plays

Wood Dragon Books / 3 March 2021
Power Playsby Maureen UlrichPublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Michelle Shaw$18.99 ISBN 9781989078273 In this first book in the Jessie Mac Hockey Series, we are introduced to fourteen-year-old Jessie McIntyre, the new girl at Estevan Junior High. In Saskatoon, at her old school, Jessie was part of a close group of friends. Now, not only does she not have any friends but one of the girls, Kim, a real bully, makes every day of Jessie’s life a nightmare. Things get even worse when Jessie somehow manages to get on the bad side of a group of older kids who have a really scary reputation. She can’t tell her parents. They think she’s the one being difficult. Jessie’s mom discovers that the local girls’ hockey team is in desperate need of players and signs her up, hoping to give her daughter a fresh start. But Jessie is a ringette ...

Red Obsidian

Red Obsidianby Stephan TorrePublished by University of Regina PressReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$19.95 ISBN 9-780889-777750 Effective poetry is difficult to write. That’s the bottomline, and it’s why I’m so excited about the polished and effectual work inside BC poet Stephan Torre’s Red Obsidian, a recent collection of “New and Selected Poems” (selected from Man Living on a Side Creek and Iron Fever). Perhaps it’s no small coincidence that this latest book was edited by Randy Lundy, who’s also published in the press’s Oksana Poetry & Poetics Book Series, and whose work I greatly admire: both writers construct poems that radiate with energy. Torre’s poems straddle the contentious fence between industry and environmentalism. They’re filled with the vernacular of tree-felling and farming; of the beautiful, raw and di...

Cartwright Men Marry, The

Wood Dragon Books / 3 March 2021
The Cartwright Men Marryby Monique DesrosiersPublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Toby A. Welch$19.99 ISBN 9781989078242 I love when a book sucks you in immediately with a great action scene. This one does just that, pulling you into an avalanche in 1863 before launching into present day. The Cartwright Men Marry jumps often from the years in the 1860s to current day. At its heart, this book is two separate stories linked by history and family roots. Desrosiers seamlessly pulls off the constant shifting, never making it awkward for the reader.  As a child of the 70s, this book had a Bonanza vibe right from the get-go for me. (For you millennials and non-TV watchers, Bonanza is an American Western TV series that ran from 1959 to 1973, a record-breaking 14 seasons. The show featured a family of Cartwright men dealing with ongoing mo...

Featured Reviews

[email protected]
Doreen M. Bleich / 5 May 2021

If you’re looking for a well-written Saskatchewan romance then Doreen M. Bleich’s latest novel may be the perfect summer read. Anna Johansson wants to quit her job at the bank in the hopes of becoming a full-time writer and is doing some freelance writing on the side. One of her stories – an article on internet dating for Thirty Something magazine – introduces her to Nathan Haines, a rodeo-loving farmer in Borden. Nathan is divo...

Concrete

Concrete: From Ancient Origins to a Problematic Futureby Mary SoderstromPublished by University of Regina PressReview by Elena Bentley$28.95 ISBN 9780889777804 In her book, Concrete: From Ancient Origins to a Problematic Future, authorMary Soderstrom asks us to “[l]ook out the nearest window, then try to imagine what the view would look like without concrete.” Admittedly, before reading this book, I hadn’t given it much thought; o...

White Coal City
University of Regina Press / 13 April 2021

White Coal City: A Memoir of Place & Familyby Robert BoschmanPublished by University of Regina PressReview by Keith FosterPrice $21.95 ISBN 9780889777965 As Margaret Boschman stepped onto a busy Saskatoon street from in front of a parked car, an oncoming vehicle smashed into her, killing her instantly and hurling her shoe through the air. Six months pregnant, and dead at twenty-nine. A masterpiece of creative nonfiction, Robert Bosc...

I will always love you…no matter what!

I will always love you…no matter what!Written by Lee Murray and Kori UpshallIllustrated by Emily JohnsonPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing Review by Michelle Shaw$14.95 ISBN 9781988783659 Children love asking questions and even a seemingly simple question can hide layers of emotion. This colorful soft-covered book is written by a grandmother and her granddaughter and is based on a true experience. A few years ago, four-year...

Scenic Bridges
Landscape Art Publishing / 17 March 2021

Scenic Bridges: A Collection of Bridge Motifs by Fritz StehwienPublished by Landscape Art PublishingReview by Michelle Shaw$29.95 ISBN 9780991964987 Scenic Bridges, the latest release from the Fritz Stehwien Estate, is a delightful visual study of bridges around the world, in particular Saskatoon, and also reveals a gifted artist’s creative development and perspective through the years. Saskatoon is well-known as the City of Bridges (...

Paddling Northern Saskatchewan

Paddling Northern Saskatchewan: A Guide to 80 Canoe Routesby Ric DriedigerPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Toby A. Welch$34.95 ISBN 9781988783581 Oh, how I wish I had this book when I bought my first canoe back in 1995! At that time, there was nowhere to find such a comprehensive all-in-one resource for paddling destinations. Canoeists who pick up a copy of Paddling Northern Saskatchewan will find it invaluable.&nb...

Field to Flask, 4th Edition
Wood Dragon Books / 3 March 2021

Field to Flask: Fundamentals of Small Batch Distilling (4th Edition)by Malcolm BucholtzPublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Marlin Legare$52.00 ISBN 9781989078075 Field to Flask: Fundamentals of Small Batch Distilling is an arsenal of knowledge for anyone seeking to begin or perfect the art of distilling spirits. Whether you are a DIY enthusiast looking to try a new business endeavour during the pandemic or a wide-scale distiller wit...

Power Plays
Wood Dragon Books / 3 March 2021

Power Playsby Maureen UlrichPublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Michelle Shaw$18.99 ISBN 9781989078273 In this first book in the Jessie Mac Hockey Series, we are introduced to fourteen-year-old Jessie McIntyre, the new girl at Estevan Junior High. In Saskatoon, at her old school, Jessie was part of a close group of friends. Now, not only does she not have any friends but one of the girls, Kim, a real bully, makes every day of Jessie...

Red Obsidian

Red Obsidianby Stephan TorrePublished by University of Regina PressReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$19.95 ISBN 9-780889-777750 Effective poetry is difficult to write. That’s the bottomline, and it’s why I’m so excited about the polished and effectual work inside BC poet Stephan Torre’s Red Obsidian, a recent collection of “New and Selected Poems” (selected from Man Living on a Side Creek and Iron Fever). Perhaps it’s no small ...

Cartwright Men Marry, The
Wood Dragon Books / 3 March 2021

The Cartwright Men Marryby Monique DesrosiersPublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Toby A. Welch$19.99 ISBN 9781989078242 I love when a book sucks you in immediately with a great action scene. This one does just that, pulling you into an avalanche in 1863 before launching into present day. The Cartwright Men Marry jumps often from the years in the 1860s to current day. At its heart, this book is two separate stories linked by history ...