Skip to Content

New on the Shelf

 

Email our Member Services Coordinator Wendy Rose with your submission!


“Teacher, Hunter, Fisher, Musician – a 101 Years in the life of Clarence Riggs” by Phil Riggs

Synopsis: Looking for a book that promises history, adventure, joy, sorrow and heartbreak? Teacher, Hunter, Fisher, Musician – a 101 Years in the life of Clarence Riggs has it all. Follow his life’s story: growing up without a father since he was 3 years old when he was lost on the ship Mina Swim and never heard of again. Read about his childhood days. Follow his teaching career as he taught in most parts of NL. He experienced being a houseparent for the Genfell Mission dormitories in Cartwright and North West River. His retirement travels included as far north as Nunavut, as far west as Hawaii and south to most southern states in the US. But most of all relive his passions for the great outdoors where he was happiest in his pursuits of fish and game. His two great loves: Neatha and nature were complimentary to him.  Finally, read how he was a born entertainer, just waiting for an audience to suggest he might play for it.

Publisher: Self-published

Available at: Elaine’s Books on Duckworth Street, Bookworm in Gander, and in various stores in the Glovertown area. Books are also available by contacting the author at philriggs.camino (at) gmail.com.


“Mr. Grumbles” by William Pryse-Phillips

Synopsis: At the end of the day when the kids are tired but still active, a bedtime story is often the way to get them to settle down for the night. The most effective stories contain a little whimsy, some adventure, a touch of humour, some familiarity allowing the child to identify with the protagonists, and (importantly) the leaven of peacefulness.
Mr. Grumbles is a collection of 14 such stories, based in St. John’s and about the child, Sandy; the family Labrador dog; the park-keeper and the father. The stories are written as interactive conversations between him and his child.

Publisher: FriesenPress

Available at: Chapters and Coles stores in St. John’s, the Newfoundland Weavery, Elaine’s books, Legend Tours, and Belbins. The book is also available as an e-book with Google books, FriesenPress bookstore, and Amazon where hard copies can also be obtained.


“The Waddens: A Family History” by Nix Wadden

Synopsis: A second print run of the booklet The Waddens: A Family History has just been delivered, following a sell out of the first edition. Complete with family trees and colour and black and white photos, it covers Wadden families from origins in Ireland and Newfoundland to descendants throughout North America. The self-published, the 84-page hardbound booklet was co-written by brothers Brian and Nix Wadden.

Publisher: Self-published

Available: by contacting nix.wadden@sympatico.ca


“‘Twas The Night” by Marin Darmonkow

Synopsis: Indeed, a picture is worth a thousand words. This illustrations-only children’s book “tells” a powerful story about a boy who is confined to a wheelchair. His compassion is inspiring; his longing for friendship and capacity to give are heart-warming. The author gently invites you to re-imagine the Christmas wonder.

Publisher: Fontreal

Available at: https://fontreal.com


“Operation Vanished” by Helen C. Escott

Synopsis: In the 1950s, three young women in rural Newfoundland were sexually assaulted, beaten and murdered. Their killers were never caught. During the same time period an eight-year-old girl disappeared. Her body was never found. These shocking historical cases have haunted the province for decades.
RCMP Corporal Gail McNaughton is new to the elite Major Crime Unit. She is assigned a stack of historical cases of missing and murder women and children. Each file has its challenges: witnesses have died, memories fade, DNA didn’t exist.
She begins to unravel the murders with the help of Larry Morgan, the archivist for the province and the son of one of the murdered women. Together they come up with a list of suspects who have flown under the radar. People who were beyond reproach.
Operation Vanished is a mind-bending sophisticated psychological crime thriller that will keep you guessing who the real killer is. Helen C. Escott weaves Newfoundland and Labrador’s mythology and history into a novel that is anything but predictable. When you least expect it, a ghost from the past returns.
The bestselling author of Operation Wormwood takes you on another thrill ride. You didn’t see this coming!

Publisher: Flanker Press

Available at: Costco, Coles, Chapters, various stores across the island including all Irvings. It is available in soft cover and ebook online at indigo.com and amazon.com.

 



“Seashell’s Lament”
by Geraldine Ryan-Lush

On the cusp of the cod moratorium and amidst hostilities and stigma surrounding foreign fishing fleets visiting Newfoundland waters, comes a tragic love story between a foreign shrimper and a lonely local teacher.

Publisher: Mulberry Books

Available at: Amazon.com, Chapters/Indigo, online outlets

 

 


“Haunted Towns: Ghost Stories Of Newfoundland and Labrador” by Geraldine Ryan-Lush

A collection of true ghost stories from across Newfoundland and Labrador, blending the oral tradition and scholarly perspective, as well as a healthy dose of the macabre and mysterious. A must have for the folklore enthusiast with an appetite for the true fantastical in the old and modern Newfoundland.

Publisher: Mulberry Books

Available at: Amazon.com, Chapters/Indigo, online outlets

 

 


“Goodbye Wart!” by Geraldine Ryan-Lush

A Dickensian rhyming tale employing ancient Newfoundland rituals to help a boy banish a huge and ugly wart!

Publisher: Mulberry Books

Available at: Amazon.com, Chapters/Indigo, online outlets

 

 

 

 

 


“We All Will Be Received” by Leslie Vryenhoek

In 1977, young woman flees her bad-news boyfriend, taking a bag of cash and hitching a ride to the world’s edge. She intends to disappear forever, to redefine herself on her own terms as Dawn Taylor.
But years later, stars and satellites align — and the past catches up with Dawn.
In a roadside motel on Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, the paths of four diverse characters converge. Cheryl is desperate to resuscitate a reputation blown apart on social media. Ethan just wants to escape a tired narrative of childhood trauma. And Spencer, an ex-con, is chasing a faint hope he’s glimpsed on a website.
When a ferocious storm traps them together, there’s nothing to keep them from disclosing who they really are — and what they’re really after.
Eloquent and propulsive, We All Will Be Received asks whether anyone can find redemption when the tightening web of an interconnected world has made the past inescapable.
READ AN EXCERPT

Publisher: Breakwater Books

Available at: Broken Books, Chapters, or Coles in St. John’s, McNally Robinson in Winnipeg. Or ask for it at your local library.
Buy at breakwaterbooks.com: http://www.breakwaterbooks.com/books/we-all-will-be-received
Buy at amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/We-All-Will-Be-Received/dp/155081804X


“This is Agatha Falling” by Heather Nolan

In her debut novella, THIS IS AGATHA FALLING, St. John’s singer-songwriter and photographer Heather Nolan’s characters stomp through smoky downtown bars dragging longing, trauma, illness, confusion, and addiction with them. Fragmented memory is her unreliable narrator, demonstrating how the past continually interrupts the present, asking, “How is one to determine which is memory, and which the dream?” Sharon Bala, Journey Prize-winning author of The Boat People, calls it “a confident and lyrical debut penned by an author of uncommon talent.”

Publisher: Pedlar Press

Available at: Local Bookstores, Alllitup.ca, Chapters, Amazon


DIG” by Terry Doyle

In twelve dialed-in and exceptionally honed short stories, Terry Doyle presents an enduring assortment of characters channelled through the chain reactions of misfortune and redemption.

A construction worker’s future is bound to a feckless and suspicious workmate. A young woman’s burgeoning social activism is constrained by hardship and the desperation of selling puppies online. A wedding guest recognizes a panhandler attending the reception. And a man crafts a concealed weapon with which to carry out his nightly circuit of paltry retribution.
Through keen-eyed observation, and with an impressive economy of statement, Doyle conveys these characters over a backdrop of private absurdities and confusions—countering the overbearance of a post-tragic age with grit, irony, and infinitesimal signs of hope.

Publisher: Breakwater Books

Buy on breakwaterbooks.com: http://www.breakwaterbooks.com/books/dig/
Buy on Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Dig-Terry-Doyle/dp/1550817590/
Buy on Chapters Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/dig/9781550817591-item.html


“Flying Ace” by Sheilah Lukins

Errol the adventurous little mouse takes to the sky when he meets a young girl, Natasha, playing with a toy airplane. Later, when Errol is left alone, he decides to fly Natasha’s toy plane and begins a magical journey that takes him back in time to one night in 1940. He meets up with Dan, a radio operator on a full-sized Hudson bomber, and gets to accompany the crew on their late night, top-secret flight across the Atlantic. When an enemy plane appears over Ireland and threatens the safety of crew and craft, only Errol can save them from disaster.

Publisher: Breakwater Books

Buy on breakwaterbooks.com: http://www.breakwaterbooks.com/books/flying-ace-errols-gander-adventure/
Buy on Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Flying-Ace-Errols-Gander-Adventure/dp/1550817744


“Inquiries” by Michelle Porter

In poems that risk the comingling of anger and elegy, poetry and documentation, humour and the dark spectre of poverty, Michelle Porter’s Inquiries oscillates at its edges, and amplifies the presence of human strength as it keeps company with our enigmatic and ever-present nemeses. This is a startling debut where the line between reality and reality television blurs, where a simple trip to the grocery store unifies mother and daughter in struggle, and where an economics of iniquity proves the existence of love as equality. With wit, poise, raw emotion, and versatility, Inquiries announces the emergence of an impressive new talent.

Publisher: Breakwater Books

Buy on breakwaterbooks.com: http://www.breakwaterbooks.com/books/inquiries/
Buy on Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Inquiries-Michelle-Porter/dp/1550817922
Buy on Chapters Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/inquiries/9781550817928-item.html


“Land Beyond the Sea” by Kevin Major

In the small hours of October 14, 1942, a German U-boat sank the passenger ferry SS Caribou in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Of the 237 people on board, 136 perished, including 49 civilians. In Land Beyond the Sea, bestselling author Kevin Major reimagines the events of that fateful night from the perspectives of both those aboard the doomed vessel and the German U-boat commander who gave the order. With his characteristically sharp, evocative prose style, Major delivers an epic work of historical fiction, detailing a life-and-death conflict in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. Land Beyond the Sea is a powerful and empathetic testament to the acts of destruction and the acts of heroism carried out in the name of home.

Publisher: Breakwater Books

Buy on breakwaterbooks.com: http://www.breakwaterbooks.com/books/land-beyond-the-sea/
Buy on Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Land-Beyond-Sea-Kevin-Major/dp/1550817523
Buy on Chapters Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/land-beyond-the-sea/9781550817522-item.html


“Island Vegan” by Marian Frances White

In Island Vegan, Newfoundland’s original trailblazing vegan chef, Marian Frances White, returns with over 100 beautiful and utterly mouthwatering plant-based recipes. Using readily available ingredients with a blend of local and international flavours, Marian provides everything you need, whether you’re a committed vegan or just starting out. Here you’ll find soups, salads, sauces, smoothies, pastries, pancakes, main dishes, delectable desserts, and much more. And there are full-colour photographs to help you create the perfect setting.
The culmination of over forty years of exquisite, tried-and-tested vegan cooking, every recipe in Island Vegan is health conscious, environmentally sound, and absolutely delicious!

Publisher: Breakwater Books

Buy on breakwaterbooks.com: http://www.breakwaterbooks.com/books/island-vegan/
Buy on Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Island-Vegan-Marian-Frances-White/dp/1550817655
Buy on Chapters Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/island-vegan/9781550817652-item.html


“A Roll of the Bones” by Trudy J. Morgan-Cole

In 1610, John Guy established a small colony in Cupids, Newfoundland, on the very edge of a world unknown to Europeans. Two years later, he brought a shipment of supplies to his all-male settlement: 70 goats, 10 heifers, 2 bulls, and 16 women. A Roll of the Bones tells the story of some of these nameless women by tracing the journeys of three young people—Ned Perry, Nancy Ellis, and Kathryn Gale—who leave Bristol, England, for a life in the struggling community. Ned dreams of altering his fate with the promise of a New World. Kathryn only wishes to follow her husband—little dreaming she might find romance outside her marriage. And Nancy, the servant girl, has no desire to leave Bristol, but her fealty will ultimately test her ability to survive.

A vivid reimagining of settler life in the early seventeenth century, A Roll of the Bones is the first in a trilogy of novels wrestling with the realities of colonization. Here, Trudy J. Morgan-Cole presents an array of unforgettable characters inhabiting the space where two worlds will collide, where the limits of love and loyalty will be tried in a harsh and unforgiving landscape.

Publisher: Breakwater Books

Buy on breakwaterbooks.com: http://www.breakwaterbooks.com/books/a-roll-of-the-bones/
Buy on Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Roll-Bones-Trudy-J-Morgan-Cole/dp/1550817981
Buy on Chapters Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/a-roll-of-the-bones/9781550817980-item.html


“Even Weirder Than Before” by Susie Taylor

THE EARLY 1990s: there’s no internet, phones have cords, VHS is still a thing, and Daisy Radcliffe’s family is disintegrating.

As the stability of Daisy’s old life disappears, she is set adrift into the odd territory between adolescence and adulthood. Susie Taylor’s sharp, quick-witted prose carries Daisy through a maze of awkward parties, drugs, and rec rooms — new friends, social adversaries, and sexual awakenings.

A strikingly perceptive and honest debut, EVEN WEIRDER THAN BEFORE is a coming-of-age story exploring the weirdness of growing up Gen X, and the freedom found outside the norm.

Publisher: Breakwater Books

Buy on breakwaterbooks.com: http://www.breakwaterbooks.com/books/even-weirder-than-before/
Buy on Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Even-Weirder-Before-Susie-Taylor/dp/155081771X/
Buy on Chapters Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/even-weirder-than-before/9781550817713-item.html


“What the Oceans Remember: Searching for Belonging and Home” by Sonja Boon

Sonja Boon’s heritage is complicated. Although she has lived in Canada for more than thirty years, she was born in the UK to a Surinamese mother and a Dutch father. Boon’s family history spans five continents: Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, South America, and North America. Despite her complex and multi-layered background, she has often omitted her full heritage. An invitation to join a family tree project inspired a journey to the heart of the histories that have shaped her identity.
Deeply informed by archival research, but written as a reflective and intimate memoir, What the Oceans Remember addresses current issues in migration, identity, belonging, and history through an interrogation of race, ethnicity, gender, archives and memory. More importantly, it addresses the relevance of our past to understanding our present. It shows the multiplicity of identities and origins that can shape the way we understand our histories and our own selves.

Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press (September 2019)

Available: Broken Books, Chapters-Indigo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more.


“A Salmon’s Sky View” by Carol McDougall

The ink and watercolour illustrations in this book reflect the life cycle of a salmon from the salmon’s point of view looking up from underwater.  Silhouette images provide a clue to the seasons and to the predators the salmon encounters throughout its life.  The story reminds us how the salmon demonstrates great determination and strength in its long journey from the stream where life begins, to the ocean, and back to its natal stream. This 10th anniversary edition, from CSWA Science in Society award-winning author/illustrator Carol McDougall invites readers to become artists too.  Carol ends the story with a step-by-step instructional guide to create your own ink and watercolour image.

Publisher:  Strong Nations Publishing

Available: at select bookstores and https://www.strongnations.com/store/item_display.php?i=3415&f=


“Unsettling Mixture – An Activist’s Writings” by Helen Forsey

“Unsettling Mixture – An Activist’s Writings” is a non-fiction collection, offering a thought-provoking and often touching combination of analysis and reflection. Its articles, letters, political rants, poems and vignettes span more than four decades, covering a wide range of subjects and approaches – from farming and fishing to fund-raising, from the climate to the constitution, from revolution to reconciliation, from patriarchy to peace. Author Helen Forsey’s Newfoundland roots and her love for our province are evident in a number of the selections.

The writings in this “unsettling mixture” have been chosen for their originality and continuing relevance in today’s challenging times. Blending the personal and the political, they will appeal to those who relish a good conversation, care about what’s happening in the world, and appreciate someone telling it like it is.

Publisher: Burnstown Publishing House

Available: http://burnstownpublishing.com/product/unsettling-mixture-an-activists-writing/


“Stepping Stones” by Michelle Myrick

In her debut memoir “Stepping Stones”, Myrick takes readers on a relatable and inspirational journey of discovery. She is a singer/songwriter who uses her original songs as a framework to tell her story. Creative arts (music, writing, and painting) and the way they have helped her uncover the hidden gifts within her past, play a starring role. She describes the lessons learned from living through loss, self-doubt, and self-sabotage; and points out how our worst experiences can be the best tools for creating a life full of love, acceptance, and belonging. Through example, she proves that a fulfilled life doesn’t come in spite of the past, but because of it.

“Stepping Stones” helps the reader identify and change limiting and self-sabotaging beliefs; find deeper purpose and meaning within personal experiences; and develop greater confidence in abilities. Myrick has also released an album of original songs as an accompaniment to her memoir: www.ammoartworks.com

Publisher: AMMO Artworks (independently published August 2019)

Available:  www.ammoartworks.com


“The Sign on my Father’s House” by Tom Moore

This story is set in NL at the end of the Smallwood era. There was an exodus from outport NL to the new Memorial university in St. John’s. That experience of university, city life, the Thompson Student Center, Doyle House, Payton College dining hall, changed us. We shared a new life with other young NLers, and it gave us friendships that last to this day.

It’s about finding love, then heartbreak, then finding yourself. We were suddenly Canadians, but what did that mean? The book is about a search for identity by the young narrator and by a people. A sign on your house shows who you are and what you believe. Just like the medal on you neck, the tattoo on your arm, the words on your cap, the flag over your door. “Who are you?”

Signs are important symbols throughout the novel, e.g. Smallwood High, White’s Store, Dirty Dick’s bar, Peace Angels, Last Stop Diner. There are 15 physical signs in the novel and each is a statement by someone telling who they are, their personal identity. A sign also tells how we see ourselves. Our self-identity is even more important than our message to the world. The hand print painted on the caves of Lascaux 45,000 years ago is a statement of identity. A fierce “I am!” to a silent universe.

Publisher: Flanker Press

Available: though Flanker Press, in all bookstores and Amazon (https://www.amazon.ca/Sign-My-Fathers-House/dp/1771177411)