Summer Reading list
About the same time I was a young Toronto Star reporter on RCAF Hudsons stalking U-boats in the North Atlantic, Lieutenant John E. Margison was gunnery officer on an RCN corvette riding herd on the convoys we flew over.
Now, 56 years later, Margison remembers the era in his new book H.M.C.S. Sackville (Highway Book Shop). It’s a sprightly memoir tailored for those who relish WWII sea tales. You’ll feel salty again with its candid shots of life on the bounding main.
Sackville is our last surviving corvette, and is being restored by The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic so Margison’s book is a timely companion piece. It is also a shining example of how story-writing seniors struggle and persist to get published. Margison told me he’d been rejected 17 times before scoring on his 18th try. "You deserve a review," I said. "Have your publisher send me your book."
Publishers Highway Book Shop, turned out to be a story in itself. Booksellers and Publisher said the letterhead on the note. Publisher Paul Bogert sent along with the review copy his current book list. Toronto’s big time publishers don’t offer brighter, more diverse or topical titles. e address: Highway 11, Cobalt, Ont. P0J 1C0.
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Dorothy Parker once wrote of one our theatrical icons, "Go to the Martin Beck Theatre and watch Katherine Hepburn run the gamut of emotion from A to B." Another critic, Kenneth Hurrah, is remembered for his lines on Edward Woodward in Cyrano de Bergerac, "As a swashbuckling Cyrano, Mr. Woodward’s performance buckles more often than it swashes."
We thank the Alcuin Society for having Fatima Belchared, a Moose Jaw Saskatchewn theatre critic, recall such nuggets in its current quarterly, Ampora. Her source is Diana Rigg, TV’s whodunit hostess, who in 1982 wrote No Turn Unstoned (Elm Tree Books, London). Sure it isn’t new but Alcuin does not confuse the lasting quality of books with time’s passage. If you love exceptional writing, typography and design, The Alcuin Society is for you. Its repertoire is one of delightful unique insights into the book world. Jim Rainer is current chair at P. O. Box 3216, Vancouver, B. C. V6B 3X8
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"If they’re not big names, don’t bother us with their memoirs," one of Toronto’s big-name publishers once told me. These people are self-proclaimed guardians of our creative Canadians. Well, Bent Reinert didn’t need them. He opted to publish his own. His Drawn from Memory is a gem of leisurely nostalgia. Danish-born, he came to Canada in 1928 and won distinction in commercial and fine art. His artist’s goal was to create "room for people to walk into my pictures."
In Memory he’s done it on his keyboard too. Like these lines: "If on occasion, I am deemed a bit of an odd duck because of my penchant for handshakes and other warm gestures, so be it! My upbringing seems to dictate that something more than ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’ needs to be conveyed. "Whenever either of our sons and their respective wives enter our home, there is a spontaneous round of handshakes and hugs, and the same happens at their departure. Our kids are in their 40’s now, so it appears the pattern will prevail. How unnecessary! How silly! How trite! How absolutely essential to my well-being!" Amen! you say. Ben Reinert is at 1506 Ford Drive, R.R. #1, Cavan, Ont., L0A 1C0. W