Bennett The Rebel Who Challenged and Changed a Nation, by John Boyko, Goose Lane, 502 pages, $24.95
John Boyko, a distinguished scholar of Canadian political history, offers a fresh view of R.B. Bennett, 11th prime minister and to a great extent responsible for unemployment insurance and the minimum wage, and the creation of the Canadian Wheat Board, the Bank of Canada, and the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (which became the CBC).
Rites of Spring The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age, by Modris Eksteins, Vintage Canada, 498 pages, $24
The central focus of Rites of Spring is the First World War, but Modris Eksteins covers a great deal of cultural, political and literary ground in exploring the Great War’s roots, conclusion and consequences, starting with Stravinsky’s 1913 production of Le sacre du printemps and concluding with the death of Adolf Hitler in 1945.
Everything was Good-Bye By Gurjinder Basran, Penguin, 254 pages, $18
First published by Salt Spring Island’s Mother Tongue Publishing, Everything was Good-Bye won a B.C. Book Prize and an Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and received extremely good reviews. In the novel, Meena, the youngest of six daughters raised by a widow in Canada, falls in love with a a man named Liam, who asks her to run away with him, forcing her to make a painful decision.
The Disappearance of Sherlock Holmes By Larry Millett, University of Minnesota Press, 539 pages, $14.95
Holmes and Watson travel from London to New York and Chicago in pursuit of a fierce and crafty murderer – moreover, one who is impersonating Holmes himself. American saloonkeeper Shadwell Rafferty assists. Also newly available from UMP: Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Alliance and Sherlock Holmes and the Rune Stone Mystery.
We Had It So Good By Linda Grant, Scribner, 325 pages, $17
Orange Prize-winner Linda Grant tracks the Baby Boomer generation through the person of Stephen Newman, who is raised in Los Angeles, wins a Rhodes Scholarship, meets Bill Clinton, is expelled from Oxford for cooking acid, dabbles in communal living and radical politics, eventually becomes comfortably middle class and, in old age, finally confronts mortality.