Between Emancipation Day, la fête nationale de l'Acadie, and — for us here in Fredericton — Pride, August has been a month of reflection on the diversity and history of our communities. Whether somber or joyful, stories are the most important way for us to share our experiences and come together as a community.
We’ve put together a list of some of our books that explore our communities. These books address places of the past which continue to be felt in our present, newcomers who have embraced and been embraced, and hidden histories that should not be forgotten.
You can discover your community with these and many more titles available at gooselane.com
305 Lost Buildings of Canada by Raymond Biesinger & Alex Bozikovic
Whether burned down, demolished, or otherwise lost to time, 305 Lost Buildings of Canada pairs the iconic illustrations of Raymond Biesinger with Alex Bozikovic’s snapshots of each building’s history to uncover the forgotten stories that have shaped our communities from coast-to-coast. No matter where you live in Canada or who you are, there is something for you to discover in 305 Lost Buildings of Canada about the architecture of our pasts.
“Through Bozikovic’s pithily informative short descriptions and Biesinger’s handsomely detailed black-and-white drawings, Canada’s ghostly buildings-that-were have effectively been resurrected.” — Globe and Mail
The Lost City: Ian MacEachern's Photographs of Saint John by John Leroux
These seventy-five black-and-white photographs taken by Ian MacEachern in the 1960s capture the deliberate transformation of Canada’s oldest city. During the 50s and 70s, cities across North America were changed forever as neighborhoods that had evolved over generations were replaced with freeways, housing projects, public amenities, sports arenas, and subdivisions. This beautiful photographic history shows the effect of urban renewal on civic architecture, historic neighbourhoods, and the people who live there.
Crow Gulch by Douglas Walbourne-Gough
Douglas Walbourne-Gough’s debut poetry collection Crow Gulch mixes family histories and archival accounts to piece together the history of Crow Gulch, a community outside of Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Crow Gulch was established as a temporary shack town during the construction of the pulp and paper mill but soon became the home of many residents, including many of Indigenous ancestry. Walbourne-Gough’s poems recount the social divisions of race and class which divided the town and left deep wounds even after it was forcibly abandoned and demolished.
“These poems challenge derogatory erasures and rework them by telling stories about the community’s inhabitants, drawn from oral histories, family memory, and imagining.” — PRISM
Brit Happens by James Mullinger
Packed with James Mullinger’s signature humour, Brit Happens recounts his journey from preforming comedy in bustling London to being New Brunswick’s biggest fan. Mullinger shares his side-splitting stories of navigating the local customs and realities of being a Brit-turned-Canadian and the unpredictable grind of working the comedy scene. This book is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud and feel right at home.
“Let James Mullinger be your guide to how you can do what you enjoy and conquer the impossible.” — Montreal Times
Peace by Chocolate by Jon Tattrie
Have you seem the movie Peace by Chocolate and hungered for more of the heart-warming story? Well we’ve got you covered with Jon Tattrie’s Peace by Chocolate! Peace by Chocolate tells the inspiring story of the Hadhad family — who came to Canada in 2015 as refugees of the Syrian war — and how they started the Peace by Chocolate company in the small Nova Scotian town Antigonish. It is a story of how one small town welcomed a family into their midst, and of perseverance to share peace and love.
"A story that reminds us that even against enormous odds positive outcomes are possible." — Miramichi Reader
Len & Cub by Meredith J. Batt and Dusty Green
Hidden in a stack of photographs in the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, archivists Meredith J. Batt and Dusty Green uncovered the long-forgotten love story of Leonard “Len” Keith and Joseph “Cub” Coates. These photos show them about town, on hunting and canoe trips with arms around each other’s shoulders, or posing in bed together for the self-timer on Len’s camera. In Len & Cub: A Queer History, the story of two young men from rural New Brunswick reminds us that Queer histories do not just exist in urban centers, but everywhere throughout our history.
“The unapologetic gaze of Len Keith and Cub Coates endures in these amazing photographs.” — Literary Review of Canada
It Was Dark There All the Time by Andrew Hunter
In his book It Was Dark There All the Time, Andrew Hunter weaves together the story of Sophia Burthen, an enslaved woman who was brought to what is now Canada and whose account of her arrival was recorded by Benjamin Drew in 1855. Building on the testimony of Drew’s interview with historical accounts and letters written to Sophia herself, Hunter reckons with the legacy of slavery in Canada while shedding light on a history that too many choose to forget.
“It Was Dark There All the Time is a book to read slowly, to think about and to learn from, to be read carefully more than once. Hunter brings a critical eye to the research and the emotional and mental work needed to share these stories.” — Winnipeg Free Press
The Bastard of Fort Stikine by Debra Komar
On April 21, 1842, chief trader John McLoughlin, Jr. was shot dead by his own men while working for the Hudson’s Bay Company at Fort Stikine. At the time it was thought to be a case of self-defence and never saw the inside of a court room, but researcher and forensic scientist Debra Komar had doubts. In The Bastard of Fort Stikine Komar employed modern forensic science — including ballistics, virtual autopsy, and crime scene reconstruction — to answer the question: is it possible to reach back in time and solve a murder more than 170 years after it was committed?
"Thoroughly researched and in dramatic, evocative prose, Komar gives McLoughlin and HBC the trial they so justly deserved." — Globe and Mail