Pierre Berton & His Writer’s Residence Retreat


Pierre Berton, ( 1920 – 2004) was a noted Canadian author of non-fiction, especially Canadiana and Canadian history, and was one of Canada’s most prolific and popular authors.

He also worked in several television shows as writer, editor, interviewer, or host, but may be most familiar on the screen as a permanent panelist on Front Page Challenge from 1957 to 1995.

“The books made Canadians believe they shared a historical narrative with depth and drama”— Philip Marchand, The Toronto Star

He received over 30 literary awards, more than a dozen honourary degrees, and was a Companion of the Order of Canada.

In Dawson City, Yukon, The Berton House Writer’s Residence Retreat provides an opportunity for a professional Canadian creative writer to work in a remote Northern community. The writer is housed free of charge in the boyhood home of author Pierre Berton.

The program is intended to provide professional Canada writers an opportunity to concentrate on their work in a remote yet exciting location, where they can become familiar with a part of the country they might otherwise not experience, and it is also hoped that their writing will be influenced by their Yukon experience.

Travel Books

rockwell kent

Now that we have some warm weather, more people will be travelling.  This gets me thinking about travel books, which I enjoy reading.

Bill Bryson is a great travel writer and I haven’t met one of his books that I didn’t like.

I like many types of travel books, but a kind that I particularly enjoy are ones written about wilderness journeys made by land or river. If they are lengthy trips done solo, even better.

Hope you all enjoy the summer and have some great journeys!

Amazon Rules the Bookish World… And We Let It

Originally posted on Books Are My Thing - HAS MOVED!:

How many of us buy books on Amazon regularly, because they are cheaper than the local bookstore, chain or not?

Better yet, how many of us either own a Kindle or use the Kindle app on a regular basis?  (NetGalley users, you better be raising your hands!  Amazon is still getting something out of you for using that app, even if you aren’t paying for the book.)

Now, when was the last time you stopped to consider how Amazon might be INFLUENCING what you or other people buy?

You might be wondering what I’m getting at here.  Thing is, Amazon is using its influence on us to better pad its pockets.

Don’t get me wrong, I shop on Amazon occasionally.  But I try to use it for things I can’t find/buy locally.  And I’ve really tried to stop using it to buy books, particularly after hearing what Amazon does to…

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The Troubling Stats About Kids And Reading

Cabin Fever Books Ltd.:

Well worth reading, and reading is well worth doing.

Originally posted on 101 Books:

Frank Bruni at The New York Times wrote an outstanding op-ed last week about kids who read—and why our society needs them.

He quotes a recent report by Common Sense Media showing some sad trends:

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Farley Mowat, Author, Environmentalist

No birds

Farley Mowat died on May 6, 2014, less than one week before his 93rd birthday, and will be sadly missed.

Most of the articles and comments have noted his environmental and other adult books like “Never Cry Wolf”.  I’ve heard comments about this remarkable man ranging from “He was Canada’s greatest environmentalist.” to “Everything he wrote was a lie.”  Farley famously commented about himself that “he never let facts stand in the way of the truth”, so maybe they were all right!

Some of his best loved writing was in the simple stories he wrote for children.  “The Curse of the Viking Grave”, “The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be” as well as the very funny “The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float”.  These stories can be read by (or to) those who are quite young or by those who are quite old.  Some are action and adventure and some are nostalgic looks at our past.

His novels and non-fiction books have been translated into fifty-two languages and his books have sold around seventeen million copies.

He received many literary and other awards during his life.  Many are saddened by the loss of this inspirational man.  Happy trails to you, Farley.