Here’s my roundup of the top five best books released by local authors this year, just in time for your last-minute literary gift shopping. Let’s rejoice in the glory of our regionally written words!
Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography by Andrea Warner (Greystone)
Buffy Sainte-Marie has managed to remain one of music’s most consistently relevant artists for more than 50 years. Her Polaris Prize win in 2015 for her brilliant album Power In The Blood is a recent testament to that, not to mention her 1983 Academy Award, her countless honourary degrees and her four Juno wins. But Sainte-Marie’s career was often a rocky road. Her life is beautifully chronicled in Andrea Warner’s in depth new book, telling us the story of a fearless artist in the face of blacklists, racism and the wrath of presidents. Sainte-Marie turns 78 in early 2019, and as Warner so skilfully reminds us, the singer-songwriter has never been more pertinent.
Lines On A Map: Unparalleled Adventures in Modern Exploration by Frank Wolfe (RMB)
I’m a sucker for books about true-life adventures beyond the end of the road, so North Vancouver-based explorer Frank Wolf’s new book was totally addictive. I couldn’t stop turning the pages, nor could I stop interrupting the breathtaking narrative to flip back to check the lines on his maps, or marvel at the photographs of distant locales few humans have tread. Before I was halfway through, I was in wonder that Wolf is still alive. In fact, Wolf has survived countless worldwide explorations, and the magic of this book is reading about how he did it. Lines On A Map is written with self-aware humour, high-stakes survivalist drama and a frank awareness of our fragile, beautiful planet.