Imagine an unaccompanied venture across the frigid northern boreal expanses of this country – makes one shiver just contemplating such an expedition. ‘Beyond the Trees: A Journey Alone Across Canada’s Arctic’ by Adam Shoalts is the story of just that type of adventure. Shoalts is considered to be one of our nation’s greatest living explorers – he is also a historian, a geographer and an archaeologist. This amazing undertaking lasted four months and saw the lone explorer on rivers, in rapids, waiting out thunderstorms, chipping his way through icy waterways and facing down all manner of nature from grizzlies and muskoxen to Arctic wolves. The author’s descriptive and very personal writing style creates for the reader the feeling of actually being there: in the shallow undulating canoe, at a campfire on the rosy-hued sunset shore of Great Bear Lake, watching in hope as a rainbow forms over ice-congested cobalt blue water, beholding landscapes that predate the time of the dinosaurs. These awesome visions are just some of the highlights of this beautifully detailed account of an awesome travel odyssey!
September of 2014 saw the discovery of the HMS Erebus at the bottom of Nunavut’s Queen Maud Gulf. The whereabouts of this famous exploration vessel has been an ongoing mystery for 150 years. British author, documentary producer and world traveller Michael Palin’s book, titled ‘Erebus: One Ship, Two Epic Voyages and the Greatest Naval Mystery of All Time,’ is a terrific read. It chronicles the story of Erebus’ early Antarctic expedition as well as the ill-fated final Arctic expedition in 1845, captained by John Franklin. The journey in search of a Northwest Passage across Canada’s Arctic territory ended in death of all of involved – 129 men. It has been a maritime mystery of the highest magnitude with many rescue/recovery expeditions sent forth only to come back with no resolve to the disappearance of the ship and its full complement of crew. The book shows maps, charts, artwork, illustrations, sketches and some photographs of the few relics that have been found over the years. Palin’s book is a great armchair adventure read!
Writer Kimberley Freeman was born in London, England but grew up on the coast just north of Brisbane, Australia. Her many novels are for all ages and are made up of many different fiction genre types. She has won numerous writing awards and her books are published worldwide. ‘Lighthouse Bay’ is an inspiring mystery. A nearby lighthouse is surrounded by peculiar and curious circumstances and activity that sparks investigation. This leads to the discovery of a family secret over 100 years old, that features the silenced facts of a long-repressed romantic entanglement which could ultimately endanger a whole town.
Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith’s series, ‘The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency’ has a new volume. Book number 20 is titled ‘To the Land of Long Lost Friends.’ These stories are really wonderful – there is always a mystery solved by these lovingly interconnected folks. The setting is Botswana, Africa and the characters capture the lifestyle of the country and its people. These books are a joy and a pleasure to read – I highly recommend the entire series – and hope there are many more to come!
Young Adult Pick: ‘Dog Driven’ by Canadian author Terry Lynn Johnson.
DVD Pick: ‘A Star is Born’ starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga – a new version of this classic love story between a troubled veteran musician who falls for and encourages a talented, struggling new singer – have Kleenex handy – great music!
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