If you’re lucky, summer is a great time to slow things down and have some R&R, as well as get around to some of those things that you keep putting off – like tackling your ever growing “to be read” pile.
Of course, one of the nice things about books is that they don’t go bad, so it doesn’t hurt to stack that TBR pile high! To that end, let SaskBooks recommend a few more books for your TBR to help you make the most of the glorious summer months.
Saskatchewan’s Best Scenic Drives: Revised and Updated Edition by Robin and Arlene Karpan (ISBN 9780995087538, $29.95, published by Parkland Publishing)
You might recall seeing Saskatchewan’s Best Scenic Drives on last year’s summer reading guide, and for good reason: summer is a great time to go for a drive and take in all the province has to offer, and this book will help you craft the perfect road trip. However, this year, Saskatchewan’s Best Scenic Drives is back with a brand new, revised and updated version. This new version includes updates to reflect current travel conditions in 2023, as well as new attractions since the 2018 edition.
If you’ve had your eye on Saskatchewan’s Best Scenic Drives for a while, there’s no better time to get a copy, and if you enjoyed the 2018 edition, the 2023 might be a good investment as well! Saskatchewan’s Best Scenic Drives: Take the Road Less Travelled
Murder at San Miguel by Danee Wilson (ISBN 9781989274767, $22.00, Published by Radiant Press)
The term “beach read” is sometimes used derisively to describe genre fiction – we reject the use of this appellation. Any book you read on a beach is a beach read!
That being said, if you’re looking for something to read on the beach that is literary but will draw you in and keep you absorbed even while kids are splashing around and dogs are barking, look for Murder at San Miguel by Danee Wilson. An intriguing mystery against the backdrop of an archaeological dig, Murder at San Miguel will teach you a lot while keeping you hooked from the first page to the last.
What Lies in the Valley by Miguel Fenrich (ISBN 9781778184468, $32.95, Published by Supernova Press)
If the summer heat is getting to you, why not cool things down with Miguel Fenrich’s chilling thriller What Lies in the Valley. The McMillan Family’s ancestral home lies in the Foxtail Valley, but so do family secrets, and other, stranger things, like the tall, shadowy man in the attic.
What Lives in the Valley is a spine-tingling paranormal horror book that will leave you glad of the extra daylight hours in the summer!
Elemental Eve by Barbara Kahan (ISBN 9780988122994, $29.95, Published by Wild Sage Press)
Ranging from the Book of Genesis to modern day and beyond, Elemental Eve is a rich exploration of the lives of four women who are seeking to discover their place in the world. With humour and magical realism, Kahan weaves a complex and satisfying tale about Eve (yes, from the Bible), Eve Markovich, Eve’s friend Solloway McKay and Eve’s granddaughter Evie Marten. If you think the synopsis is intriguing, just imagine how intriguing the book is!
On the Busy Old Ranch by Katelyn Toney, illustrated by (ISBN 9781738802708, $20.00, Published by Bluestem Books)
Long car trips or rainy afternoons stuck in the cabin can be tough for little ones. But you can turn frowns of boredom upside down with On the Busy Old Ranch. Colourful, lively illustrations by Rebecca Allen depict familiar farm scenes with lots of cute animals to recognize, and paired with author Toney’s rhyming stanzas, On the Busy Old Ranch is a book that children will want to come back to again and again.
Points of View: A Guide on Saskatchewan Projectile Points with Indigenous Perspectives, edited by Faith Boser (ISBN 9781999530815, $29.95, Published by Saskatchewan Archaeological Society)
What should you do if you find an arrowhead while out on a hike? Reach for Points of View! A labour of love and a long-time in the making, Points of View is more than worth the wait. A first-of-its-kind guidebook this book includes information on how to identify projectile points, what to do when you encounter them, a glossary, and more in a functional spiral-bound format. Perhaps most significantly, this book approaches archaeology in a way that respects Indigenous sovereignty and viewpoints.
Nature’s Apprentices: The Magic of the Peatlands by Elizabeth Betokay, illustrated by Jennifer Lynn Becker (ISBN 9781778690020, $19.95, Published by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing)
Just because school is out, it doesn’t mean the learning has to stop! Nature’s Apprentices by Elizabeth Betokay is an excellent children’s book for any young reader who is interested in fantasy stories or in environmental science. Join Johnny, Marty, and Willow, who are shrunk down to the size of a dew drop, as they learn about the importance of the ecological niche of the peatland and all the creatures that call it home. Charming illustrations by Jennifer Lynn Becker will enchant readers, and an educational guide with illustrations and diagrams will enhance the learning experience.
Thickwood by Gayle M. Smith (ISBN 9781989398340, $24.99, Published by Shadowpaw Press)
Summer means Little League Tournaments, Beer Leagues, and Pick Up games of Baseball – in short, summer means sports. If you’re interested in Baseball, you’ll be interested in Gayle M. Smith’s Thickwood, the story of Willomena Swift, Saskatchewan-girl and player for the Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
Willomena has come home to Thickwood Hills, where she is embroiled in tragedy and romance. Can she stand on her own to save the family pasture and the horses she loves?
You are Enough: Activate Your Angels and Magnetize a Soul-FULL Life by Lisa Driver ( ISBN 9781927570784, $24.95, Published by DriverWorks Ink)
Summer is a chance to get around to all those projects you have been putting off around the house and in the yard, but have you considered using the time to work on yourself as well? You are Enough by Lisa Driver guides readers through the process of coming to terms with the fact that they are loved and supported – and, as the title suggests, enough, just as they are. When people see you in the Autumn, they’ll see a new, more confident and happy you.
Backyard Bird Feeding: A Saskatchewan Guide by Trevor Herriot (ISBN 9780921104353, $19.95, Published by Nature Saskatchewan)
Summer brings with it the opportunity to connect with nature, but what if you don’t have the time to go to where nature is? With Backyard Bird Feeding, a simple and practical guide by famed naturalist Trevor Herriot, you’ll be attracting all the best birds right to your backyard!
Leaving Wisdom by Sharon Butala (ISBN 9781771872362, $24.95, Published byThistledown Press)
Few names loom as large in the Saskatchewan literary landscape as Sharon Butala. Leaving Wisdom is Butala’s first Saskatchewan-published book since 2018’s Season of Fury and Wonder, and it is not to be missed.
You’ll be transported from Alberta to small-town Saskatchewan to Israel, along with protagonist Judith by Butala’s evocative prose. Family secrets, buried memories, and the holocaust are all features of this layered narrative.
Kâ-pî-isi-kiskisiyân: The Way I Remember by Solomon Ratt (ISBN 9780889779143, $22.95, Published by University of Regina Press)
Call to Action #16 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission reads as follows: “We call upon post-secondary institutions to create university and college degree and diploma programs in Aboriginal languages.” Solomon Ratt is an associate professor languages, linguistics and literature at First Nations University of Canada and has been one of the leading figures in the preservation and teaching of the Cree Th-dialect.
In Kâ-pî-isi-kiskisiyân, Ratt reflects on his life, including his experiences at residential school, with perseverance and humour. Kâ-pî-isi-kiskisiyân also includes âcathôhkîwina (Cree traditional teachings), and in keeping with Ratt’s efforts to preserve and teach the language, is presented in Cree Th-dialect Standard Roman Orthography, syllabics, and English.