Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

A book lover's Manitoba

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I like things a bit retro in the book department. I love the feeling of a crisp, new book instead of an e-reader. I love to read in bed with a small dim light, and wake up with the book still in my hands and my last page dog-eared. I love getting books as presents and I love giving books as presents.

I love spending hours in a bookstore just meandering around waiting for a special book to jump off the shelf and into my arms and then rushing home to start reading it.

When I read, I read for long periods of time. It is not uncommon for me to sit down and read for hours and hours and finish a book in one day. There is something magical about books. They transport you to another era, a different life. They teach you about life, and people, and things.

When I moved to Manitoba, I really didn't know much about the province. One way for me to get to know my new province was through books. I started searching for books that centred around Manitoba. Over the last five years, I have found quite a few Manitoba-themed books that I have really enjoyed. I also have a Manitoba book wish list, books that I have not yet read but I will read in the near future. Seeing as it is the Christmas season and many of my readers also live in Manitoba I thought you might enjoy my Manitoba book list. Perhaps they would make a nice present for a Manitoban in your life? Or perhaps they will pique your interest and you can request one of these books from Santa.

I Am Hutterite

Mary-Ann Kirkby.

I borrowed this book from a friend after moving to southwestern Manitoba. I knew nothing about the Hutterite lifestyle, although I was living in an area with many Hutterite colonies and I was curious. This book is an interesting look at one woman's life that began on a Manitoba Hutterite colony and her experiences after leaving a Hutterite colony.

To The Grave: Inside A Spectacular RCMP Sting

Mike McIntyre

I borrowed this book from a friend as I heard it was a very interesting read about the mysterious disappearance of Erin Chorney. The details in the book jump right off the page, and paint vivid, yet disturbing portraits. This would be a great read for anyone who likes true crime stories.

Manitoba Book of Everything

Christine Hanlon, Barbara Edie, and Doreen Pendgracs

This is one of the first Manitoba books I purchased after moving here. It is a fun, great overview of everything that is Manitoban. It covers a wide variety of Manitoba topics and themes. It is a fun, quick read and a must-have for anyone who loves Manitoba.

In Search Of

April Raintree

Beatrice Culleton

A couple years ago, I was assisting a high school English class and this book was part of the reading requirements. I initially read the book to be able to better assist the students, but I immediately fell in love with the story and writing. It is a glimpse into the world of a young Métis woman in Manitoba. The story will pull on your heartstrings and open your eyes.

A Daytripper's Guide To Manitoba

Bartley Kives

This is by far the best overview for exploring this great province. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to explore all the nooks and crannies this vast province has to offer.

G Is For Golden Boy: A Manitoba Alphabet

Larry Verstraete

This is a great children's book highlighting Manitoba. Definitely suitable for introducing Manitoba pride to children and adults alike.

Manitoba Birds

Andy Bezener and Ken De Smet

I use this book often. Most of the time it sits on a table below my window where I watch birds at my feeders. It was a present from a friend. It is a great quick reference book for identifying birds all over the province. A perfect stocking stuffer for any Manitoban who loves birds.

Mary's Atlas:

Mary Meets Manitoba

Gwen Smid

A friend of mine owns this book and says it is fun read for her children and that they love the book. She recommends it to anyone with children in Manitoba.


The Young Icelander: The Story

Of An Immigrant In Nova Scotia

And Manitoba

Johan Magnus Bjarnason

This book appeals to me, as it involves my two favourite provinces, Nova Scotia and Manitoba, and it offers a glimpse into the history and experiences of immigrants more than 100 years ago.

Ghost Stories Of Manitoba

Barbara Smith

I think it could be a fun, yet scary, quick read, offering insight to various haunted locations across the province.

Made In Manitoba: Best Of

The Open Road Stories

Bill Redekop

It appeals to me as it focuses on experiences of a rural reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press and highlights his columns about his explorations and rural Manitoba travels.

The Diviners

Margaret Laurence

Margaret Laurence is one of Canada's most famous authors and was born in Neepawa. Many people (including me) were first introduced to her writing through her popular book The Stone Angel. It was required reading in my high school English class. I have not yet read The Diviners, but understand it is a great book that takes place in a fictional Manitoba town some believe is based on Neepawa.

Bathroom Book Of Manitoba Triva: Weird, Wacky And Wild

Lisa Wojna.

This looks like a fun, quick read filled with interesting Manitoba facts. I would love to receive this book as a present, and then amaze all my family and friends with the Manitoba trivia.

Little Gray Bird is a Nova Scotia girl learning to love Manitoba. She was born and raised in the beautiful Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. Her life changed drastically five years ago when she and her husband packed up and moved to rural Manitoba without knowing anything about the Prairie province. She currently resides in the Parkland region, where she enjoys spending time in Riding Mountain National Park and exploring all rural Manitoba has to offer. She chronicles her new prairie life and adventures at

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 9, 2012 A10

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