“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” – Grouch Marx
Summer is about a lot of things – dogs, beaches, beverages, books. SaskBooks can’t help you with the dogs, but we have lots of book suggestions to help you make the best of your summer! Throw one of these great Saskatchewan-published books into your beach bag or crack one open next time your crack open a cold one. Summer is about twelve weeks long, so here are twelve book picks to get you through.
Saskatchewan’s Best Scenic Drives by Robin and Arlene Karpan (ISBN 9780995087514, $24.95, Parkland Publishing)
You might have seen this entry on some of our summer guides before, but that’s because it’s a classic! What better book to celebrate summer than one that helps you get to and appreciate some of Saskatchewan’s best vistas. Summer is made for road trips and Saskatchewan’s Best Scenic Drives is here to help you level up your road trip game. Best of all, you can fight back on gas prices by enjoying a “at-home-road-trip” with the beautiful full colour photos in this book.
The Pickle in Grandma’s Fridge by Elena Bentley, illustrated by Tania Laird (ISBN 9781988783857, $16.95 , Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing)
Here’s a cautionary tale about what could happen when you go away and forget about the food in your fridge! Or maybe not… The Pickle in Grandma’s Fridge is about a trip to Grandma’s house (another great summer activity!) and meeting a new friend. Here’s a fun story to read together with young ones.
The Boy from Buzwah by Cecil King (ISBN 9780889778504, $29.95 , University of Regina Press)
June is National Indigenous History Month, and June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. One way to observe both of those is to celebrate the life and achievements of Cecil King, one of the most influential figures in Indigenous education. Unfortunately Cecil King passed recently, but his legacy lives on in his incredible achievements, and in a small way in this moving memoir. Learn all about King in his own words, from his birth in Wikwemikong, his experiences in two different residential schools, and his groundbreaking work in Indigenous education.
Shimmers of Light by Robert Currie (ISBN 9781771872188, $24.95, Thistledown Press)
Formerly Poet Laureate Robert Currie is one of the luminaries of Saskatchewan’s literary scene, and Thistledown Press has collected some of his most notable works in Shimmers of Light, and included some new and never before seen poems as well. Luxuriate in the perceptive and moving poems of a master of the craft, honed over a lifetime of work.
Finding Izzy by Sheryl Doherty (ISBN 9781989078662, $18.99, Wood Dragon Books)
Looking for a work of Young Adult Fiction with “a powerful beginning that draws you in immediately… [y]et … continues to hold your attention as the days pass”? Well that’s exactly how SaskBooks review Toby A. Welch describes Finding Izzy by Sheryl Doherty. Welch goes on to note the “writing is tight, the editing is spot on, and the story itself is powerful.”
Join Izzy as she tries to unravel the mystery of her identity when she awakes in a hospital with no memory of who she is. “Finding Izzy is timely with Canada’s current climate surrounding Indigenous people. The main character is Indigenous and we surmise that she has a background steeped in history. It’s no surprise that the subject matter is handled with tact, finesse, and compassion as the author is Indigenous herself.”
Culture in the Kitchen by the Saskatchewan German Council (ISBN 9780969401698, $25.00, Saskatchewan German Council)
In June in Regina we celebrate all the cultures of the people of our fine city at the Mosaic Multicultural Festival – unfortunately Mosaic is cancelled for 2022, but fortunately the Saskatchewan German Council has stepped in with their new book, Culture in the Kitchen (since the best part of Mosaic is the food!). Coming out of the SGC project of the same name, Culture in the Kitchen will teach you how to cook food from China, Brazil, Norway, India, and of course, Germany!
Duatero by Brad C. Anderson (ISBN 9781989398395, $23.95, Shadowpaw Press)
Summer is the perfect time to get lost in another world, so why not consider taking a trip to the planet of Duateroa? Sure, the local ecosystem is hostile to human life, but Majstro Falchilo Kredo has devoted his life to protecting the abandoned earth colony, so it’ll probably be okay. Glib description aside, Duatero is an exciting science fiction tale about a dangerous alien world and the limits of duty and sacrifice, just right for anyone who loves a gripping plot.
A Natural History of Unnatural Things by Zachari Logan (ISBN 9781989274545, $20.00 , Radiant Press)
In addition to National Indigenous History Month, June is also Pride month, celebrating the LGBTQIA2S+ community. Visual artist Zachari Logan is also a talented poet, and in A Natural History of Unnatural Things poems like “The Grave of Oscar Wilde”, “Muscle Flowers” and “Four Years Before It Was Legal” allow him to reflect on his experience as a queer man. A Natural History of Unnatural Things is also available in an especially rare special editions: https://www.radiantpress.ca/shop/9781989274538
Colour YQR by Sharla Griffiths (ISBN 9781999560027, $12.00)
Long car rides mean fidgety kids – one way to keep them occupied is with colouring books, and Sharla Griffiths has you covered with Colour YQR. Kids will enjoy recognizing Queen City landmarks like the Milky Way and the Saskatchewan Legislative Building, and the pictures are fun for kids to colour while being detailed enough to provide an interesting challenge for adults who love to colour too.
Conserving the Legacy by G. Wayne Pepper (ISBN 9780921104360, $34.95, Nature Saskatchewan)
Summer is an excellent time to enjoy nature, but have you ever stopped to think about those who are working hard to preserve that nature you? Conserving the Legacy charts the efforts of conservationists in Saskatchewan since 1905. It’s a hefty tome (it covers 100 years of history!), but “Anyone who studies or enjoys wildlife and Saskatchewan’s natural heritage will find this an interesting read, a valuable reference and a welcome source of inspiration.”
The Day I Discovered a Dinosaur Bone?! by M Larson, illustrated by R Ghosh (ISBN 9781999268305, $13.99, M Larson Books)
Have you ever discovered a dinosaur bone? The Sedlaks from Edmonton have (https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/alberta-couple-discovers-dinosaur-bone-on-new-property-1.5932723) and so did Finn of the Barnyard Boys. Intrigued? Learn more about these adventurous lads and their fun discovery in M Larson’s The Day I Discovered a Dinosaur Bone?! Here is a perfect book to read on a roadtrip to the T. Rex Discovery Centre in Eastend (which Saskatchewan’s Best Scenic Drives can help you get to.)
asowacikanisa: A Guide to Small Métis Bags by Gregory Scofield and Amy Briley (ISBN 9781926795935, $24.95, Gabriel Dumont Institute)
With breaks from school and work, summer provides the opportunity to undertake hobbies, crafts, and projects. Gregory Scofield and Amy Briley present readers with a particularly noteworty project with asowacikanisa, which guides one through the creation of tobacco pouches and sash bags. Included photographs and in instructional DVD, plus a special coil spine to help the book lay flat makes the process smooth and enjoyable.