Women in the War Zone | Book & Gift Guide | The Beatle Bandit | Our Latest Top Sellers

Note the item at the top of this Canada’s History magazine newsletter that may be of interest to our members.


“A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it, ignore it; or offer your own version in return.” — Salman Rushdie
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Canada's History Reading Den

Women’s war contributions

In the December-January issue of Canada’s History magazine, military historian Tim Cook reviews In the Company of Sisters: Canada’s Women in the War Zone, 1914–1919, by recently deceased author Dianne Graves. It’s a book that, Cook says, “lets the women’s voices guide the narrative.”

In the Company of Sisters tells about women journalists, peace activists, and even the thousands of wives who crossed the Atlantic to be close to their husbands during the First World War. But, as Cook notes, much of the book portrays the experiences of “the Canadian women who served as nursing sisters, offering insight into the terrible strain of treating and caring for wounded soldiers who arrived day and night at medical units.”

In the same issue, Canada’s History contributing editor Nancy Payne writes about Joe Sacco’s illustrated book Paying the Land, which she calls “a moving, complex history of Dene life in the Northwest Territories over the past half century.” While drawing primarily from interviews with a number of Dene people, Sacco “includes himself as a secondary character, mostly to highlight his ignorance, to fill in detail, or to move the story to a new time or location.”

Meanwhile, Dean Jobb tells about At the Ocean’s Edge: A History of Nova Scotia to Confederation, by Margaret Conrad. He says the book is an “ambitious effort to bring fresh eyes to the province’s story by incorporating the latest research and insights as well as marginalized voices and points of view” — and, he adds, “It’s a resounding success.”

Also in the December-January issue, scholar Carolyn D. Redl reviews Unsettling Spirit: A Journey into Decolonization, by Denise M. Nadeau. And our shorter More Books items include stories about asserting Canadian sovereignty in the North, Victoria’s red-light district, a riot at Kingston Penitentiary, a nineteenth-century abortion trial, memoirs from Canadians who served during the First World War, and women’s activism in Western Canada — plus more!

As always, our book reviews can be found both in Canada’s History magazine and on our CanadasHistory.ca website.

Our guide to giving

Our annual Holiday Book & Gift Guide advertising supplement is a great place to find the latest Canadian history titles, other recently published books, and yet more gifts for history enthusiasts. The guide’s 18th edition appears both in the December-January issue of Canada’s History magazine and online — where it includes direct links to books’ pages at Chapters-Indigo, or to our online store for other holiday gifts.

Troubling consequences

Recipients of the Reading Den are automatically entered to win one of three copies of The Beatle Bandit: A Serial Bank Robber’s Deadly Heist, a Cross-Country Manhunt, and the Insanity Plea that Shook the Nation, by Nate Hendley, courtesy of Dundurn Press. The book tells how 24-year-old Matthew Kerry Smith donned a mask and a Beatles wig as part of a 1964 holdup that sparked a large manhunt and a national debate about both the death penalty and gun control.

Atlantic's Last Stop, published by Nimbus Publishing.
Top 10 Bestsellers

  1. The Company: The Rise and Fall of the Hudson’s Bay Empire
  2. Heard Amid the Guns: True Stories from the Western Front
  3. The Audacity of His Enterprise: Louis Riel
  4. The Diary of Dukesang Wong: A Voice from Gold Mountain
  5. The Don: The Story of Toronto’s Infamous Jail
  6. Flora!: A Woman in a Man’s World
  7. The North-West Is Our Mother
  8. A Love Letter to Africville
  9. First Canadian Army: Victory in Europe 1944–45
  10. Fight On!: Cape Breton Coal Miners
Look for this issue on your local newsstand or buy it in our online store!
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Cover of Canada, A Working History
Book giveaway winnersCongratulations to:

  • Lori N., Kenora, Ont.
  • Cindy Kilpatrick
  • Trevor Henderson, Leduc, Alta.
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Beaver necktieBeautiful woven all-silk necktie — burgundy with small silver beaver images throughout. Made exclusively for Canada’s History. Buy now

Canada’s History Archive featuring The Beaver

Please note: Some items featured in our newsletters and social media will include links to the Canada’s History Archive. The Beaver magazine was founded, and for decades was published, during eras shaped by colonialism. Concepts such as racial, cultural, or gender equality were rarely, if ever, considered by the magazine or its contributors. In earlier issues, readers will find comments and terms now considered derogatory. Canada’s History Society cautions readers to explore the archive using historical thinking concepts — not only analyzing the content but asking questions of who shaped the content and why.
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