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White Eskimo: Knud Rasmussen's Fearless Journey into the Heart of the Arctic by Stephen R. Bown is one of three books to be shortlisted for the Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction at the Alberta Literary Awards, presented by the Writers' Guild of Alberta.
White Eskimo is the first full-length biography of Knud Rasmussen, an arctic explorer who—while considered a national hero in Denmark—has been relatively underexposed in Canada up until now. Rasmussen was unique because he felt so at home in with the people who lived in the arctic (he was half Inuit—from Greenland—on his mother's side). While the other explorers of the time were interested in accomplishing an amazing physical feat of being the first to get somewhere, Rasmussen was much more concerned about learning about the people he met on his travels.
Stephen Bown is the author of many critically acclaimed, award winning titles including most recently, Last Viking (2012 which was named amongst the Globe and Mail Best 100 Books of the Year. Born in Ottawa, he now lives in the Canmore with his wife and two children.
The Alberta Literary Awards recognize and celebrate the highest standards of literary excellence from Alberta authors. The other shortlisted titles in the nonfiction category are include Will Ferguson's Road Trip Rwanda (Viking Canada) and Andrew Nikiforuk's Slick Water (Greystone). The winner will be announced and awards presented at the Alberta Literary Awards Gala on June 4, 2016 in MacDonald Hall at SAIT in Calgary. The celebration will take place alongside the WGA 2016 Conference, “Creativity and Happiness.”
After The Sands: Energy and Ecological Security for Canadians by Gordon Laxer is one of five books to be shortlisted for the $10,000 John W. Dafoe Book Prize. After The Sands was chosen from 47 entries.
Impeccably researched, with bold and original ideas, After the Sands sets out an energy strategy using deep conservation and a Canada-first perspective. The goal: to ensure that lower-income Canadians get sufficient energy at affordable prices in a carbon-constrained future and prevent the rich from cornering reduced energy supplies. It is critical reading for anyone concerned about rising sea levels, pipeline and tanker spills, climate change chaos and Canada’s future in a carbon restricted world.
Other shortlisted titles include Antony Anderson’s The Diplomat, Norman Hillmer’s O.D.Skelton, David Mulroney’s Middle Power, and Greg Poelzer and Ken S Coates’ From Treaty Peoples to Treaty Nation. The winner will be named later in the spring and the award will be presented at the J.W. Dafoe Foundation’s Annual Book Prize Dinner in May.
Memorializing John Wesley Dafoe, one of the most significant Canadian editors of the 20th century, the prize is one of the richest awards for non-fiction excellence about Canada and international affairs.
In his tenure at the Manitoba Free Press, later renamed the Winnipeg Free Press, from 1901-1944, Dafoe was known for his advocacy of western development, free trade, and national independence. His case for adoption by Britain of the Statute of Westminster in 1931 advanced the severance of formal ties with Empire and created the eight dominions, which became the nucleus of the present 54-nation Commonwealth.
Vancouver designer and publisher Roberto Dosil has won third at the prestigious Alcuin Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada in the prose non-fiction illustrated category for his design of Closing Time: Prohibition, Rum-Runners, and Border Wars by North-Vancouver-based author Daniel Francis.
Using a large number of archival images, Closing Time tells the story of prohibition in Canada—a twenty-one month period in which the country was as dry as any law could make it, which admittedly was not very dry. Comparing the past with our present-day prohibition of certain recreational drugs, the book explores the limits of laws that forbid these indulgences—a topic that is equally as relevant today as in the past.
The Alcuin Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada is the oldest national competition that recognizes and celebrates fine book design in Canada. This year’s judges, Teresa Bubela, Denise Lapointe, and Paul Roelofs, selected 43 winning titles from 230 entries, from 9 provinces and 99 publishers.
The United Nations has declared 2016 to be the Year of Pulses. What exactly are pulses? Why are they important to consider using as meat alternatives for protein? How can one make the common chickpea more exciting in salads or other dishes? The Power of Pulses: Saving the World with Peas, Beans, Chickpeas, Favas and Lentils has the answers to these and other food related health questions. What follows is author Dan Jason’s introduction to the book:
I have been growing and talking about the value of pulses—dried peas and beans, chickpeas, favas and lentils—for 30 years, and remain more convinced than ever that they could help renew the health of our planet. Pulses are tried and true—people in temperate climates have been growing and eating them for more than ten thousand years. Nutritional powerhouses, pulses are still the most essential part of the diets of billions of people worldwide.
Belonging to the amazing and prolific legume plant family (Leguminosae or Fabaceae), pulses can snatch nitrogen out of the air and add it to the earth. Because of this powerful ability to increase the fertility of soil by simply growing in it, they are the epitome of renewable energy.
Easy to grow and prepare, dried peas and beans, chickpeas, favas and lentils can be cooked in a seemingly infinite variety of simple and delicious ways and offer much culinary delight because of their diverse tastes and textures. Cultures around the world have created special dishes for all of the pulses, and this book contains 50 inspired recipes that borrow from the best of them.
The surprising news is that even though most North Americans don’t know beans about beans, our farmers grow vast acreages of pulses to export to millions of people who do appreciate them. And while Canada is the world’s largest exporter of pulses, Canadians consume less than 10 percent of what their farmers grow. It is time for Canadians and Americans to realize that pulses—flexible enough to be prepared in hundreds of memorable ways for breakfast, lunch or dinner—could and should comprise a much larger portion of our daily diet. And in addition to buying pulses from our local farmers, we can grow them ourselves easily . . . and organically.
Of all the thousands of years seeds have been handed from farmer to farmer, it’s only in the past 50 or so that poisons have been used to grow food. We are at a crucial moment in our story when it is absolutely vital that we return to feeding everyone with clean food and water instead of continuing to play havoc with the health and well-being of ourselves and all the earth’s creatures. Pulses can be easily grown without herbicides and pesticides if we size down the North American model of industrial agriculture.
To this day, millions of small farmers grow beans without chemicals. And I have been growing beans myself successfully for 30 years without ever resorting to poisons. Pulses are also light on water, increasingly important on this planet where drought is becoming more and more a daily concern.
Being the nutrient-dense and easy-to-grow foods that they are, pulses can point us in the direction of a safe and sustainable agriculture that gives everyone access to clean food and water, along with the possibility of living in health, harmony and mutual benefit.
Stephen R. Bown, known across the country for his award-winning books on the history of science, exploration and ideas, has just released a biography of an Arctic explorer who was more concerned with learning about Inuit culture than being the first to accomplish some glamorous feat. White Eskimo: Knud Rasmussen’s Fearless Journey into the Heart of the Arctic is the first full-length biography of the original explorer and ethnographer to write about the language and the life of the Arctic peoples.
To find out more about the book and the research that went into producing it, see this Q&A with Stephen R. Bown. Stephen Bown Q&A
Armand Garnet Ruffo's Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing Into Thunderbird has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction this year! Since 1937, the Governor General’s Award has honoured the best in Canadian literature, with seven different categories for both English and French-language authors. All finalists receive $1,000, and the winners, who will be revealed on October 28th, will each receive $25,000.
Other finalists in the Non-Fiction category include Ted Bishop’s The Social Life of Ink: Culture, Wonder, and Our Relationship with the Written Word (Viking / Penguin Random House Canada), David Halton’s Dispatches from the Front: Matthew Halton, Canada’s Voice at War (McClelland & Stewart / Penguin Random House Canada), Michael Harris’s Party of One: Stephen Harper and Canada’s Radical Makeover (Viking/Penguin Random House Canada) and Mark L. Winston’s Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive (Harvard University Press).
Good luck Armand!
Join our authors Charles Demers, (The Horrors) and Arthur Black (Fifty Shades of Black) this Sunday September 27th at WORD Vancouver.
Here's the run down:
Arthur Black will be reading at 1:50 pm (Alma VanDusen Room) Charles Demers will be reading from The Horrors at 2:30pm (Alma VanDusen Room)
Plus we will be having sales on selected back list titles at our exclusive "BOOK COOP". Come visit us next to Poetry on the Bus at the Independent Publishers tent T3. Come and enter our free raffle for a chance to win our "Local, Fun and Fresh Prize Pack" valued at $135!
Please note: Books for all performing Douglas & McIntyre authors' most recent books will be available at the offical bookseller's table next to the venues, courtesy of 32 Books.
Congratulations once again to Bob McDonald, whose book, Canadian Spacewalkers: Hadfield, MacLean and Williams Remember the Ultimate High Adventure (Douglas & McIntyre, $29.95), has been shortlisted for the 2014 Lane Anderson Award, which honours the best science writing in Canada. The winner receives a $10,000 prize. This is the second nomination for Canadian Spacewalkers this year, as the book was previously shortlisted for the Canadian Science Writers' Association's Science in Society General Book Award in April.
While all astronauts leave earth’s atmosphere in a spaceship, only some of them—spacewalkers—don pressure suits and step outside into the universe. In Canadian Spacewalkers, author Bob McDonald compiles the perspectives of the only three Canadian astronauts who have accomplished this feat: Chris Hadfield, Steve MacLean and Dave Williams. The astronauts tell tales of training underwater in the world’s largest swimming pool, recount how they learned to use power tools in zero gravity and describe the moment when they opened the hatch and stepped outside. McDonald, a science journalist and simulator-spacewalker, also shares his own experiences with astronaut training: the almost-reality of simulators, the sensory deprivation of the spacesuit, and even a zero-gravity airplane ride where he experiences the wonder and giddiness of floating weightless.
Bob McDonald has been the host of CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks since 1992. He is a regular science commentator on CBC News Network and science correspondent for CBC TV’s The National. He has been honored with the 2001 Michael Smith Award for Science Promotion from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; the 2002 Sandford Fleming Medal from The Royal Canadian Institute; and the 2005 McNeil Medal for the Public Awareness of Science from the Royal Society of Canada.
Also shortlisted for the 2014 Lane Anderson Award is Planet Heart: How an Unhealthy Environment Leads to Heart Disease by Francois Reeves and Your Water Footprint: The Shocking Facts About How Much Water We Use to Make Everyday Products by Stephen Leahy.
Congratulations to author Darrell Dennis! Peace Pipe Dreams wins the Periodical Marketers of Canada Aboriginal Literature Award and is also the First Nation Communities Read Selection for 2015-2016! The awards were announced on June 24th as a part of the National Aboriginal Day Celebrations in Toronto. Five jury members agreed that the book “dispels myths and untruths about Aboriginal people in Canada today”. In winning the FNCR Selection, Peace Pipe Dreams is also the recipient of the $5,000 Periodical Marketers of Canada Aboriginal Literature Award.
Congratulations to writer and playwright Drew Hayden Taylor, who has been chosen as the Edna Staebler Writer in Residence for 2016 by Wilfrid Laurier University! The position was established in 2012 by a bequest from the late Edna Staebler, and Taylor will serve as a writing mentor and resource to the Laurier community during his term. Taylor, who is an award-winning author of 27 books including Me Artsy (2015), is from Curve Lake First Nation in central Ontario. He has held the writer-in-residence and playwright-in-resident positions at institutions including the University of Michigan, University of Western Ontario, Native Earth Performing Arts, Cahoots Theatre, Ryerson University, and the University of Lunenberg in Germany.
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