Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Books and Prizes: GGs, Sick Kids, Royal Regiment

The nonfiction GG shortlist

I'm delighted that the nonfiction shortlist for the 2017 Governor General's Literary Awards includes Elaine Dewar, The Handover, How Bigwigs and Bureaucrats Transferred Canada’s Best Publisher and the Best Part of our Literary Heritage to a Foreign Multinational, her history of how McClelland & Stewart, "The Canadian Publisher," became a minor imprint of the multinational Penguin Random House empire. I noted it briefly earlier, and was greatly impressed when I actually read it.

Other nominees:  All We Leave Behind: A Reporter’s Journey into the Lives of Others by Carol Off  ;  The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State by Graeme Wood; Where I Live Now: A Journey through Love and Loss to Healing and Hope, by Sharon Butala; and Where It Hurts by Sarah de Leeuw.

Chalmers Award in Ontario History

The Champlain Society has announced that the Chalmers Award for best book in Ontario history this year goes to David Wright for Sick Kids: The History of the Hospital for Sick Children.  I looked at this book last spring in another connection, and was impressed. And Michael Bliss liked it in a review published in the Canadian Historical Review recently, in what must have been one of his last publications.

History of the Royal Regiment of Canada

The current issue of Fife and Drum, an impressive online magazine published quarterly by the volunteer Friends of Fort York in Toronto, has a substantial review by Robert Fraser of the DCB of Always Ready: A History of the Royal Regiment of Canada by the military historian Donald E. Graves.  Fraser calls it a "tale spun by a gifted military historian at his best, a tale enhanced by the pictures, art, illustrations, and maps. The Royals have been served superbly by this fine regimental history."

He also notes that at $40 for a large, beautifully published and extensively illustrated and authoritative military history, it's a bargain.  Since it's privately published, he adds: "You may buy the book online ($40 + shipping) at"

Update, October 11:  I might have noted I sometimes contribute to F&D, Indee, I have recently become part of an editorial committee to advise and support the new editor Robert Kennedy.
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