Trees in Canada (86)

This book is a guide to the many trees species in Canada and the Northern United States.

It evolved from the popular Native Trees of Canada which eight edition and and over 75 years provided information on trees in nontechnical language and in an easy-to-use format.

The last edition, published in 1979, gave only passing mention to non-native or introduced trees.

This book includes descriptions of introduced species that are commonly planted or naturalized in Canada.

The text for the new edition has been reviewed by forest science specialists across Canada and the US.

This is a book that is a must-read for everyone in Canada who is interested in trees. They seem to grace our landscapes. But we know so little about them, until now, that is.

The book is filled with information and illustrations of the various trees in Canada. It is a resource for both the older high school student and the adult.

Rating: 5 stars


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Signs of the Times (85)

Signs of the Times: Seven Paths of Hope for a Troubled World
By Jean Vanier

This is an uplifting book written by an important philosopher, humanitarian, and founder of both L’Arche and Faith and Light. It was a book that was a joy to read.

I always love to read Jean Vanier’s books. I have read all of them over the years. He founded the L’Arche and we have several such communities across Canada, including one right here in Stratford where I live.

Jean Vanier has always been a deacon of compassion and hope for the disabled. But despite the messages of the Vatican II to draw close to people who are disabled and poor, we have done the opposite. We have created a culture of normalcy that only a few can achieve. It is a culture that success is defined by success and power at the expense of the poor and powerless. Jean Vanier tries to take this culture of normalcy and show us that we must include the less fortunate among us.

In this book, Jean Vanier outlines seven paths towards societies which are more truly inclusive of everyone, even the less fortunate and those who are weak. His seven paths are as follows. We should treat everyone with humility, conscience, encounter, authority, community, vulnerability and mystery. We are all God’s children, and we are all loved by God. And God especially loves the less fortunate. In fact, when I look into the eyes of the disabled and poor, I see the eyes of Jesus. In fact, that is the face of Jesus that walks the world. All we have to do is reach out to these individuals.

Thank you Jean Vanier for another GREAT book!

Rating: 5+ Stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

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March Forth by Trevor Greene and Debbie Greene (84)

This is a book that is so sad and honest that it will make you recoil at the unfairness of Trevor Greene’s life.  However, upon completing the book, you will be more inspired than saddened by his story.  It is still so sad that people have to endure such cruelty in the twenty-first century.  But unfortunately these things happen to quite a few people.

At the age of forty-one, Trevor Green, a journalist and a reservist in the Canadian forces we deployed to Afghanistan, leaving behind his fiancée, Debbie, and their young daughter, Grace.

On March 4th, 2006, while meeting with elders in a remote village in Kandahar Province, Trevor removed his helmet, confident that a centuries-old pact would protect him from hard.

However, without warning, a teenage boy under the influence of the Taliban walked up behind him and landed a rusty axe in his skull, nearly splitting his brain in two.

Initially, Debbie was told that Trevor would never come out of his coma. When he did, she was told that he would never be able to move on his own. But Debbie never left Trevor’s side, and after years of rehabilitation, setbacks and crises, Trevor not only learned how to talk and move again, but, in July 2010, he stood up at his wedding. Debbie at his side and Grace carrying their rings down the aisle as the flower girl.

This book is a remarkable story of love, told in two voices: first in Trevor’s up until the attack; then in Debbie’s as she works tirelessly to rehabilitate her fiancé.

Together, Trevor and Debbie have written the next chapter in their remarkable story.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

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The Beaverton Presents “Glorious and Free” by Luke Gordon Field and Alex Huntley (83)

There is a new media empire in Canada. And unlike others, it is honest about being fake news. Its satirical headlines have been misinforming Canadians across the country and the world, using parody to shine a light on the nation.

What started as an immensely popular online newspaper let to a hit TV show delivering biting commentary on Canadian culture, politics, and the biggest news stories.

Now, in its first book, The Beaverton looks back over Canada’s past to show how we became the ridiculous nation we are today.

Through the lens of the venerable Beaverton, one of Canada’s oldest and proudest newspapers, the editors share the headlines and articles that defined the times.

From the challenging days of colonization to the earliest days of nationhood, from war heritage right up to the twenty-first century, this is Canada like you’ve never seen it.

This book is hilarious as it is serious. It addresses the crisis in misinformation that we all experience in Canada.

I loved this book.  It is eye-opening and honest. It is a raw look at our culture and times.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

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Resilience by Lisa Lisson (82)

This is a book that is part memoir of loss and part personal empowerment for women.  I just love books that are as inspiring as this story.

In 2007, all was going great for Lisa Lisson. She had married her high school sweetheart, applied her marketing degree to a position at FedEx Express Canada and climbed to the top by becoming vice-president and later president of the company.

One night, however, after putting her children to bed, her husband, Patrick, marvelled that their lives seemed perfect. Only a few hours later, everything changed and life was almost insupportable.

This is a book for people who have struggled with losses and struggles all of their lives. It is a book that will change your view of life and encourage you to enjoy every minute of every day.

This book will inspire you to find fulfillment with your career and at home, achieve your goals no matter what life throws at you and live each day with purpose and gratitude.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

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Trees of Ontario by Linda Kershaw (81)

Ontario would be a different place without trees. Each spring, trees are among the first plants to bring a flush of green. In summer, trees shade our parks and yards, giving shelter from hot sun and drenching downpours and providing homes for birds and squirrels. In autumn, the red and golden leaves of some trees create a beautiful patchwork of colour, and the fruits of others provide delicious treats. In winter, evergreen trees shelter us from wind and snow and add colour to a drab landscape.

Trees are our largest plants, and they dominate many ecological systems. Some plants require the shelter of a forest canopy for survival, while others need the partial protection of open-grown trees in sunnier sites to become established. Beneath the canopy, light levels are lower, humidity is higher and the immediate impacts of wind and rain are muted.

Trees are also ecosystems producers. They create large quantities of carbohydrates and oxygen, and they store huge amounts of nutrients in their massive trunks and branches. Their leaves, flowers, fruits, bark and twigs provide food for insects, birds and mammals, and their trunks and boughs provide shelter and nesting sites.

This books discusses this and so much more about Ontario trees. It is a resourceful book that each home should have if you are interested in nature, as I am.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

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Canadian Trees by Colleayn O. Mastin (80)

This book for kids is about all the trees in Canada. It doesn’t include all trees but the ones that the author is representative of Canada.

The book discusses the Aspen that is in every part of Canada.  It is a white-trunked tree that grows very tall.

Then the book showcases the other trees such as fir trees, cedar, birch, hemlock, spruce, tamarack, pine, maple, and many fruit trees such as, oak, elm, tulip and yew.

After reading this book, the reader will learn a lot about the kinds of trees that grow in Canada in forests and in backyards from east to west.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

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