what i'm reading: pierre berton, robertson davies, baseball

I just might write another "what i'm reading" post again: yesterday we got Mississauga library cards! There's a small branch library down the road from us, and the big main branch is a short drive away. On our very first visit to Toronto, we actually ended up using the internet at the main library, which is really big and looks great. I'm going to pay it a visit today.

One author I want to read much of is Pierre Berton. Since I love well-written history, and I want to read about Canada, Berton seems like a great place to start. He's the best known Canadian historian, and he's a terrific writer. He was also incredibly prolific, so there's plenty to choose from. (Berton died last year at the age of 84.)

We have his Niagara: A History of the Falls, which I bought for Allan long before we knew Canada was in our future. Allan started reading it a few days ago, and I'll pick it up next. After all, the Falls are just down the QEW from us.

In yesterday's Globe And Mail, there was a story about Robertson Davies's Deptford Trilogy. The film rights to this Canadian literary masterpiece had been tied up in legal wranglings for nearly thirty years. Charles Pitt, head of Vancouver-based Novalis Entertainment, succeeding in bringing together the rights to all three novels (Fifth Business, The Manticore and World of Wonders), and bringing them back to Canada. The trilogy is now being made into a six-hour television miniseries. But now I have to read them before I see that! From what I understand, these novels deal with themes that are close to the heart of wmtc: what it means to be Canadian.

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Neither of us are working yet, although my editors continue to "any day now" me. Yesterday Allan registered with a second agency before we settled in for a long day of baseball. We got two out of three results we wanted: one Red Sox win and one Yankees loss. The second Red Sox loss meant that the division and the wild card are all still tied: Boston, Cleveland and New York have identical records.

This final week of the regular season is insane, and getting crazier. This weekend, Chicago plays Cleveland and Boston plays New York. Two of those teams will win their division, one will win the wild card and one will stay home.


enufalready said...

I appreciate the info on the books. And my library in MN actually has them! I would like to recommend for you any books by Will Furgeson. He is SO funny and you will learn so much about Canada.

James Redekop said...

For an older perspective on Ontario, be sure to check out Stephen Leacock.

zydeco fish said...

I like Pierre more since his appearance on the Rick Mercer show: he gave viewers advice on rolling a joint. That was a classic moment.

laura k said...

Will Ferguson and Stephen Leacock are both on The List from earlier comments - excellent reinforcement, thank you!

Enufalready, glad to know you liked this post. I write period "what i'm reading" posts. After the upheaval of the move, I'm looking forward to getting back into the reading routine.

ZF: Wish I could've seen that!

barefoot hiker said...

Berton wrote two volumes about the War of 1812... the first, by that name, and the second called Flames Across the Border. In The War of 1812, he captures the moment that expatriate Yanks became Canadians. While the first Loyalists arrived as political refugees, thousands and thousands more arrived as "late Loyalists" whose prime motivation was the free land grants. They did not particularly care who ran the place, London or Washington.

But General Hull arrived and issued a proclamation that, boiled down, denied the right the inhabitants to defend their homes. Taking up arms was equated with fighting alongside the Indians, for which a man could expect no mercy. That stuck in the craw of a lot of people, and may have been enough to turn the tide. Had it not been for that, Thomas Jefferson might have been right when he said the conquest would be "a mere matter of marching".

laura k said...

Berton wrote two volumes about the War of 1812

I saw these today at the central Mississauga library! I was holding them, considering taking them out. Robertson Davies's trilogy won, but I am going to read these - and soon. From what I've little I've learned of Canadian history, I have to understand something about 1812 to understand anything.

Marnie said...

Laura, go here and click on the link to see Pierre Berton in action.

Marnie said...

I mean, unless it feels like strike-breaking to you.

Trucker Bob said...

Be sure to read Berton's books on the North. Having been born in Dawson City, Yukon, he brings authenticity.

laura k said...

Thanks, Trucker Bob, I'll do that. I thought the book on the gold rush looked very interesting, too.

Marnie: Hmmm, I'm not sure about that. Is there such a thing as virtually crossing a picket line? How about I bookmark the URL for later use...?

Amateur said...

Fifth Business is one of my favourite books. World of Wonders is also excellent. I think you will enjoy them.