Books probe the probable, possible and impossible

Elizabeth Cran
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What is possible?

Without going into philosophy or science, the range of opinions is wide — even events vouched for by eye-witnesses, such as a knife flying across a room in Amherst.

This anecdote, and many others, is related in Bruce Nunn’s Nova Scotia’s Curious Connections, subtitled Stories of the Remarkable, the World-Famous and the Strange.

Nunn is a well-known and award-winning storyteller and writer.

Fortunately for the reader, most of the brief stories in Curious Connections are not only probable, but well-witnessed. They range from titles such as Estonian Pictonians through to The World’s Smallest Newspaper and Our Pioneering Breast Surgeon to Reverend White’s Remarkable Coincidence.

Along the way, we also find stories about Donald Duck, Superman and Moby Dick, all of which have a clear connection with Nova Scotia.

All these stories are about three pages long and written in a breezy style full of wordplay. Some stories have illustrations.

The book would make a good Christmas or birthday present or a present for just about any other time.

Published by Nimbus in Halifax, it costs $17.95 and will provide interest and sometimes amusement for a long time. It could also be used as a Maritime version of Jeopardy.

Red Sky at Night, compiled by Vernon Oickle (MacIntyre-Purcell Publishing, Lunenberg, $16.95) starts out unfavourably; “old” is omitted in the subtitle leaving Superstitions and Wive’s Tales, which makes no sense.

Organizations: Smallest Newspaper, Red Sky, MacIntyre-Purcell Publishing The Guardian

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Halifax, Saint John

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