Here are five books left over from 2011.
All are interesting, but were, so to speak, bumped to the bottom of the ever-increasing pile of new books that came in in 2012 from a steady trickle of new Atlantic books.
Ray Guy is a very well-known humorist and columnist — and not only in Newfoundland. That Far Greater Bay (Flanker, $17.95) is a reprint of the edition which won the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour in 1977. Considering this book is over 30 years old, it reads just as fresh as ever — even the apparently out-of-date parts. It’s recommended.
Danny Williams, Please Come Back, by Bill Rowe (Flanker, $19.95) is a collection of columns by the author of Danny Williams: The War with Ottawa. Unlike Ray Guy’s columns, they’re chiefly about political matters, such as why Newfoundland should join Quebec if the latter separates. It has more limited appeal, but it’s very good of its kind.
Incitements by Sean Howard (Gaspereau Press, $19.95) is a somewhat unusual collection of poems. There are, in fact, three longish poems. The first is based on Peter Sanger’s White Salt Mountain, the second and more accessible is based on Summer Nature Notes by Merritt Gibson, while Incitements is based on Every Man Dies Alone, a 1947 novel based on a true story of resistance to the Nazis.
It’s curious work — sometimes grim, more often beautiful, sometimes neither.
The Romance of Old Annapolis Royal by Charlotte Isabella Perkins
(Boulder Publications, $14.95) is a tiny book containing a large amount of information. First published in 1920, added to in 1934, and with more material regarding Black people — and some Native ones now included, the book has weathered all this in a state of being still a useful source if material regarding its subject, though treated in a way not regarded as amateurish in all senses of the word.
Riots and Religion by David Dawe takes the reader again to Newfoundland, specifically from the mid-18th century until 1861. This is an important subject seldom even touched on by other historians.
Published by Flanker Press at $19.95, it conveys not only the facts but something of the atmosphere of the events it describes.
Elizabeth Cran is a freelance writer who writes a book review column for The Guardian. To comment or to send her books to review, write her at 111 Sydney St., Apt. 17, Saint John, N.B., E2L 2L8, or call her at 506-693-5498.