Atlantic Books Today No. 91

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but one thing I love almost as much as reading books is reading about books. So today’s post is dedicated to telling you how much I enjoyed reading the latest copy of Atlantic Books Today, a Canadian east coast publication about books and authors (and food!) from the Atlantic Provinces.

Cover art features a painting by Alan Syliboy. (I especially love his whale paintings, like this whale journal I own from Nimbus.)

Wondering how small publishers are surviving through the pandemic? In “Books in the Time of Corona”, Chris Benjamin interviews representatives from Nimbus Publishing and Breakwater Books to find out how things have changed for them and how they’re adapting to the new normal.

“A Time of Bibliotherapy” makes the case for books over binge-watching. “Written narratives do much for us, mentally and emotionally. They strengthen a personal connection to who we are and where we came from.” B.H. Lake takes a look at four newly released books to make her case. “Not only is there a place for literature in our technological world, we may need it now more than ever.

Another thing we need now more than ever is to listen to stories told by marginalized voices. In “IndigiLit”, Chris Benjamin focuses on the voices of Mi’Kmaw writers and storytellers like Daniel Paul, Isabelle Knockwood, Catherine Martin, Rita Joe, Rebecca Thomas, and Lorne Simon (whose book I’ve just requested from the library, thanks to Chris). “Indigenous-authored stories from all genres are a gift. Reconciliation calls on settlers – as a first step – to learn about indigenous histories, cultures and stories.

In “The Art of Getting Lost”RC Shaw interviews Lesley Choyce, a Nova Scotia author and founder of Pottersfield Press, who has just published his 100th book. A combination of Choyce’s personality and fellow-surfer Shaw’s writing style make this piece highly entertaining. “Part of Choyce’s magnetic personlaity is his lack of cynicism. He tells me, “It’s a beautiful thing to write a book and have people read it.”” Did you know that Choyce has a technology-free office at Dalhousie University (where he sits in his bare feet)? And that he’s a Canadian National Surfing Champion? “As you know, there’s no straight lines in a Nova Scotia forest–just a mass of trees all bunched together. Really, though, you can’t get lost here. All you have to do is listen for the sound of the ocean. The coast will always bring you back.” [Lesley Choyce]

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone around here (or anywhere in Canada, really) who hasn’t heard of Great Big Sea. And if Alan Doyle‘s literary success is any indicator, Sean McCann‘s autobiography is bound to make a big splash. What makes McCann’s music memoir One Good Reason different is the inclusion of his wife’s voice in the telling of this messy, intimate, emotional story. “Aragon, meanwhile, lingers at the heart of the book, drawing attention back home, revealing it as a space of forgiveness and healing. Her voice is powerful, remaking the music memoir as a story of deep love.”

In addition to these fine articles, there’s food and cookbooks. And, best of all, book reviews of new and upcoming books from Atlantic Canadian publishers; fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s.

You can find all this and more at Atlantic Books Today! (If I sound like an advertisement, it’s only my enthusiasm shining though!)

14 thoughts on “Atlantic Books Today No. 91

  1. Valorie Grace Hallinan says:

    What a wonderful post this is! Thank you so much for sharing this with us, I’d love to peruse this mag. I also agree that reading does so much more for us than binge watching. And having a tech free office and working in one’s bare feet sound wonderful…..oddly, I’ve been going barefoot much more lately, around our home, and I love it!

    • Naomi says:

      We have been, too! I don’t think my son wore socks at all for about three months.
      I’m thinking his tech-free office might be one of the reasons he seems to be able to get so much done!
      Thanks for reading, Valorie!

  2. buriedinprint says:

    This sounds like a fantastic issue. I used to buy them occasionally on the newsstand, but now I guess I’ll have to consider subscribing (which is actually cheaper, so perhaps a good thing). I’m especially interested in the Mikmaq writers! But I’ll be interested to read the review of McCann’s book, which I found unexpectedly moving.

    • Naomi says:

      Have you read it already? Did I miss it, or have you not written about it yet?
      I’ve thought about writing about the publication before, but then time would go by… This time I just jumped on it. And the articles are so great!

      • buriedinprint says:

        I did write it up, before I lost track of my response to it, which surprised me. But I’m putting together a little collection (now you’re probably thinking differently about some of the books in my stack!) and it’s not quite finished.

  3. Lisa Hill says:

    I had a similar fangirl love for the New Zealand Review of Books but its finances collapsed last year. I really miss it, it was great for keeping me up to speed on what was new…

  4. Rebecca Foster says:

    I wish there was a publication I could be so enthusiastic about. I get a free issue of the Times Literary Supplement when I have a review in it, but I don’t often find many reviews and articles that catch my interest (the same goes for the Literary Review and London Review of Books, to which I tried one-year subscriptions each).

    I always choose books over binge-watching 🙂

    • Naomi says:

      Me too! (Unless I’m watching something with one of the kids, in which case I consider it family time.)

      I think one of the reasons I feel so enthusiastic about it is because of the tight-knit community it features. I usually know of the people and places and authors and publishers, so it all feels very relevant. Does that make any sense?

  5. Susan says:

    Sounds like a good magazine. I hadn’t heard of it out West so thanks for sharing. I do enjoy book magazines.

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