Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Open Book's Holiday Gift Guide #8: Life Stories

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The holiday season is here, and there's no better time to cozy up with a good book (or ten!). Open Book's Holiday Book Guide will direct you to some of the most engaging books on store shelves this season. Our Guide will be regularly updated throughout December, featuring a fresh theme with each listing. Today's theme: LIFE STORIES.

That Other Beauty
by Karen Enns

Fatty Legs
by Christy Jordan-Fenton
and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
and illustrated by Liz Amini-Holmes

Writing Out The Notes
by Bob Hallett

Home Is Beyond the Mountains

by Celia Barker Lottridge


by Hervé Bouchard
and illustrated by Janic Nadau

The Paper Garden

by Molly Peacock

Tim Horton: From Stanley Cups to Coffee Cups

by Don Quinlan

My Father's Hands Spoke in Yiddish

by Karen Shenfeld

Hello Baby!

by Jorge Uzon

Adult Child of Hippies

by Willow Yamauchi

Life Stories:

Karen Enns's haunting poems in That Other Beauty (Brick Books) range in subject from the memories of growing up on a farm to art, music, work and the Mennonite exodus from Russia.

Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton's Fatty Legs (Annick Press) is the memoir of an Inuit girl who attends a residential school and comes up against nun who tries to humiliate her. With illustrations by Liz Amini-Holmes.

In Writing Out The Notes (Insomniac Press), Great Big Sea's Bob Hallett talks about his childhood in St. John's, his love of music, Great Big Sea and more.

Celia Barker Lottridge's novel, Home is Beyond the Mountains (Groundwood Books), is about Samira, a young Persian girl who flees her village with her family when the Turkish army arrives in 1918. Eventually, Samira ends up in an orphanage, and the woman who runs it decides to lead the children back to their home villages, an expedition made on foot and through the mountains.

Harvey returns home from school one day with his brother and finds out his father has died of a heart attack. Hervé Bouchard's writing and Janice Nadau's illustrations work together beautifully in Harvey (Groundwood Books), conveying both the pleasures of childhood on a early spring day and the deep grief that comes from losing a loved one.

Molly Peacock's The Paper Garden (McClelland & Stewart) is a biography of Mary Granville Pendarves Delany, a remarkable 18th-century gentlewoman who was married at 16 to a 61-year-old drunk and widowed at 25. At 72, she created a new art form, mixed-media collage. The book features 35 stunning full-colour illustrations.

Tim Horton was more than a guy that liked a good double-double. As every Canadian (should) know, he was a Maple Leaf hockey player and the winner of four Stanely Cups. Hockey-loving kids will enjoy reading all about the hockey and donut legend in Don Quinlan's Tim Horton: From Stanley Cups to Coffee Cups (Fitzhenry & Whiteside).

Karen Shenfeld’s poetry collection, My Father’s Hands Spoke in Yiddish (Guernica Editions), is a series of short lyric poems about growing up in a Jewish-Canadian neighbourhood in Toronto. In "A Shayna Maidel," Elana Wolff interviewed Karen about her book for Open Book.

The four books in Jorge Uzon’s series, Hello, Baby!; Look Around, Baby!; Go Baby Go!; and Not a Baby Any More! (Groundwood Books), follow the first year of his son's life — from his birth to his first birthday. Babies and toddlers will love identifying with the pictures and ask you to read the books over and over and over.

"You know you're an Adult Child of Hippies If… You were thrown into a near panic as Father's Day approached due to an unclear grasp of your own paternity" or "You earnestly believed Peter, Paul, and Mary were a threesome, not a trio." Willow Yamauchi's hilarious book, Adult Child of Hippies (Insomniac Press), is a quiz of 140 questions. Fill in the quiz and see where you fall on the Adult Child of Hippies scale.

Buy these books at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

Don't miss previous editions of the Holiday Book Guide! Check out the great line up for:

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