Jonathan Cheung – Montreal Cooks

unspecified3 Jonathan Cheung

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Montreal Cooks: A Tasting Menu from the City’s Leading Chefs by Jonathan Cheung and Tays Spencer – cookbook

Quick description: Montreal has evolved into a city of unparalleled culinary excellence, arguably one of the finest culinary centres in the world. Montreal Cooks celebrates this excellence, presenting eighty recipes from forty of Montreal’s most talented and unique chefs. Written with the home cook in mind, this cookbook is designed to make recipes from fan-favorite restaurants achievable for everyone.

unspecified2

Brief biography:
Jonathan Cheung is originally from Vancouver, BC, but currently calls Montreal home. He is the owner and chef of Appetite for Books, Montreal’s premier cookbook shop and cooking school. From a very young age, Jonathan was surrounded by food, whether it was hanging out in his grandmother’s kitchen or eating through a number of his family’s restaurants in Vancouver and Hong Kong. With more than fifteen years of professional cooking experience, Jonathan has been featured on Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover, Eat St., and CTV Montreal, and in the Montreal Gazette and on local radio. He is also a regular presenter on Breakfast Television Montreal.

Links to buy Montreal Cooks:
Figure 1 Publishing
Amazon.ca / Chapters/Indigo / The restaurants featured in the book.

Jonathan’s promo links:
Appetite for Books
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram

What are you working on now?
I am still running my bookstore, Appetite for Books, and teaching the cooking classes that we have. I have a couple of projects that are brewing but nothing to report officially. Once our plans are more confirmed we will for sure blast it out to bring our customers and readers into the loop.

Jonathan’s reading recommendation:
I cook from over a hundred different cookbooks a year. I have come across favorites for sure. It’s hard to name one book to recommend because I own a cookbook store, I am surrounded by shelves and shelves of cookbooks that are specialized in different cuisines that I reach for depending on what I am in the mood for that day, but if I really think about it the one that I tend to keep going back to repeatedly when I cook private dinners or am cooking for my family at home is Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home, published in 2009 and it still rings true to today’s cooking trends. Fail-proof recipes that are packed with flavor and excellent go-to for seasonal cooking. It is also a great read and inspires me to always focus on using seasonal ingredients in all my meals. A book that definitely doesn’t disappoint.

Other titles in this series from Figure 1 Publishing:
Calgary Cooks
Toronto Cooks
Edmonton Cooks
Ottawa Cooks
Winnipeg Cooks

Linda Granfield – release of a new book

Linda Granfield has visited Reading Recommendations previously, here and here. She returns now to tell us about a new book on a little-known story from WWI.

www-scholastic-ca

The Vimy Oaks
by Linda Granfield, illustrated by Brian Deines
Published by Scholastic Canada
Genre: History, Ages 7-12

A soldier, a handful of acorns — and a hundred-year legacy of hope, remembrance and renewal.

“I am writing seated at the foot of a large oak,” wrote Leslie Miller in his diary in 1916, while war raged around him. Little could this Canadian soldier have imagined how future generations would come to enjoy the majestic oak trees he grew after his return to Canada.

Standing amidst the devastation of war, Leslie picked up a handful of acorns and mailed them home, where they were nurtured. This small but amazingly hopeful act continues to be felt just as powerfully today, one hundred years after the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The living legacy of Leslie Miller’s “Vimy Oaks” inspires hope as the world remembers and honours the soldiers who served in the First World War.

Également disponible en édition française

Where to purchase Linda’s book:
Scholastic Canada
Amazon
Chapters/Indigo

16463654_10154984030092486_9222471112483675628_o

Allan Hudson recommends Jason Lawson

jasonlawson-1 Book title and author: The Fix by Jason Lawson

What genre is it? Mystery/thriller

516ljmlm4xl

Quick description: Retired horse trainer Marshall Reid has seen more than his share of trouble. Years ago, after a battle with a mob boss who was fixing horse races, his daughter went missing. Now his granddaughter needs a kidney. Marshall is a perfect match, the problem is he’s only got one. Marshall decides to make the ultimate sacrifice, his life for hers. But before he can pull the trigger, his old mob adversary re-enters his life, with a secret to reveal. A secret that could save Marshall’s family, or destroy them all…

Why I recommend this book:
I enjoy Jason’s stories. There is always an interesting twist to them, they’re witty and I like his style of writing.

Links for people to buy it:
Amazon

10708715_333062263542378_3265859759989942335_o Guest reviewer’s latest title or project: My second novel in the Drake Alexander series is titled Wall of War and will soon be available for publication in the later spring/early summer of 2017. An international action/adventure story.

You may read more about Allan Hudson and his writing here. Allan is also a valued member of the Reading Recommendations Revisited as well as an All-Star Author!

Ken McGoogan – update on a new edition of a previous novel

Ken McGoogan previously visited Reading Recommendations in Sept. 2016, and is back to tell us about a re-release of a novel he published in 1993 that is now available again in print and as an eBook.

mcgoogan-kerouacs-ghost-cover-smashwords

Kerouac’s Ghost
by Ken McGoogan
Published by Bev Editions
Genre: Literary Fiction

Frankie McCracken is still recovering from the Psychedelic Sixties when, while working as a fire lookout in the Canadian Rockies, he finds himself wrestling with a miracle-worker who claims to be the late Jack Kerouac, King of the Beats. This kaleidoscopic coming-of-age novel arrives in 2016 like a note in a bottle from a distant world.

Fiction writer Matt Cohen hailed this work as “an unrepentant blast from the past.” It juggles timelines and narrators, asserts that Kerouac was bigger than Beat, and celebrates his French Canadian roots. This long-awaited, revised digital edition is the definitive version of a favourite novel.

Reviews:
“An unrepentant blast from the past, a politically incorrect celebration of men as libidinous explorers of the physical and spiritual unknown.”
Matt Cohen

“Larger than life and crackling with energy . . . an exuberant celebration of the King Beat himself.”
Charles Mandel

“What I like best about Visions of Kerouac is the gentle voice of conscience underneath the adventure narrative, the writer who is not afraid to find his own heart and follow it amid a wilderness of souls who have lost their way . . . . McGoogan finds the trail to a new and saner life, both for himself and for those of us lucky enough to hear his words.”
Gerald Nicosia, author of Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac

From Ken McGoogan’s Blog

Where to purchase Ken’s book:
Smashwords
Amazon
KOBO

Gail Anderson Dargatz – a new novel

Gail Anderson-Dargatz has visited Reading Recommendations a few times, here, here and here. She’s back now to tell us about a new novel.

9780345810816

The long-awaited new novel by the two-time Giller-shortlisted author is full of the qualities Gail Anderson-Dargatz’s fans love: it’s an intimate family saga rooted in the Thompson-Shuswap region of British Columbia, and saturated with the history of the place. A bold new story that bridges Native and white cultures across a bend in a river where the salmon run.

On one side of the river is a ranch once owned by Eugene Robertson, who came in the gold rush around 1860, and stayed on as a homesteader. On the other side is a Shuswap community that has its own tangled history with the river–and the whites. At the heart of the novel are Hannah and Brandon Robertson, teenagers who have been raised by their grandfather after they lost their mother. As the novel opens, the river is dying, its flow reduced to a trickle, and Hannah is carrying salmon past the choke point to the spawning grounds while her childhood best friend, Alex, leads a Native protest against the development further threatening the river. When drowning nearly claims the lives of both Hannah’s grandfather and her little brother, their world is thrown into chaos. Hannah, Alex, and most especially Brandon come to doubt their own reality as they are pulled deep into Brandon’s numinous visions, which summon the myths of Shuswap culture and tragic family stories of the past.

The novel hovers beautifully in the fluid boundary between past and present, between the ordinary world and the world of the spirit, all disordered by the human and environmental crises that have knit the white and Native worlds together in love, and hate, and tragedy for 150 years. Can Hannah and her brother, and Alex, find a way forward that will neither destroy the river nor themselves?

Article about Gail in The Toronto Star.

Where to purchase copies:
Penguin Random House Canada

Ron Smith

I was a sales rep for Ron Smith’s publishing company back in the day, and was shocked to learn recently that Ron had suffered from a massive stroke a few years ago. The good news is that I discovered this news when reading an announcement for this book Ron wrote about the experience and his recovery. So I’m now very pleased to be able to bring attention to readers around the world about this very important book by Ron Smith.

rons-photo Ron Smith

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Defiant Mind: Living Inside a Stroke Non-fiction: Memoir

Quick description: “What is a stroke?” This is the question that plagues Ron Smith as he emerges from the carpet bombing of his brain. The Defiant Mind: Living Inside a Stroke is a first-person account of a massive ischemic stroke to the brain stem. Smith takes the reader inside the experience and shows how recuperation happens ― the challenges of communication, the barriers to treatment, the frustrations of being misunderstood and written-off, the role of memory in recovering identity, the power of continuing therapy, and the passionate will to live.

Full of arresting anecdote, enlivened by a vivid and vigorous style, the book tells of successes and failures and draws on the newest research in stroke treatment.

This is a necessary book for stroke survivors still dealing with the effects of their trauma and for care-givers, vital to the process of recuperation, who feel hampered and harried by concern and confusion. The book is a caring companion, offering support to people navigating the fear and bewilderment that accompanies a stroke. For medical professionals, the book offers insights into the workings of the brain, the power of the brain to heal, critiques of conventional limits imposed on therapy, and suggestions for ways to improve care.

More than an evocative memoir, more than a breathtaking journey out of stroke and back to a literary life, The Defiant Mind is a beautifully written love story; it is a glimpse inside the tender and fulfilling relationship between the author and his wife. Smith makes clear that defiance (with unconditional support) is the first step to making hope a reality.

defiantmind_fc-200x300

Brief biography:
Ron Smith the author and editor of several books. For close to forty years he taught at universities in Canada, Italy, the States and the UK. In 2002 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of British Columbia and in 2005 he was the inaugural Fulbright Chair in Creative Writing at Arizona State University. In 2011 he was awarded the Gray Campbell Award for distinguished service to the BC publishing industry where he has played an essential role in the growth of literary, historical and public policy publishing. He now lives with his wife, Patricia Jean Smith, also a writer, in Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island.

Links to buy Ron’s book:
At most bookstores, on Amazon, or directly through the publisher, Ronsdale Press

Ron’s promo links:
Website
The Defiant Mind Journal
Ronsdale Press
The World Stroke Organization
CBC News article: ‘They’re little steps, but they all add up’: Stroke survivor sends a message of hope in new book
CBC Radio North by Northwest interview
CBC Radio On the Island interview
Vancouver Sun review (appearing also online at Montreal Gazette, Edmonton Journal, and other Postmedia publications)
BC BookWorld review

What are you working on now?
A new children’s book and a novel

Ron’s reading recommendation:
Anything and everything by John Berger. I particularly like A Fortunate Man and here is where we meet.

Gail Anderson-Dargatz – update on a new literacy learner novel

Gail Anderson-Dargatz has visited Reading Recommendations previously to promote two other books she published in the Orca Rapid Reads series, here and here. She’s back now to tell us about a new addition to this important series.

8430

Race Against Time: a Claire Abbott Mystery
by Gail Anderson-Dargatz
Published by Orca Books
Genre: Crime, Mystery

Small-town reporter Claire Abbott wakes from a nightmare, convinced a bomb will go off in the local school. And then, strangely enough, there really is a bomb scare. After the school is cleared by police and their sniffer dog, Claire is certain the threat isn’t over. People are behaving strangely. Claire believes a bomber will attack the school. But when? And who is the bomber? Claire must track down the culprit and stop him before the bomb goes off.

Race Against Time is the third novel in a series of mysteries featuring journalist and sleuth Claire Abbott.

Gail Anderson-Dargatz has also contributed to Carin Makuz‘s The Litter I see Project.

Where to purchase copies:
Orca Books

About RAPID READS

In our increasingly fast-paced world we believe there is a need for well-written, well-told books that can be read in one sitting. Rapid Reads are short books for adult readers. They are intended for a diverse audience, including ESL students, reluctant readers, adults who struggle with literacy and anyone who wants a high-interest quick read.

Craig McLay – update on a new novel

Craig McLay was first featured on Reading Recommendations almost exactly two years ago to the day, in Jan. 2015. He’s back now to tell us about a recently published novel.

dtmhie-cover

Don’t Tell Me How It Ends
by Craig McLay
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary Novel, Humour

The author of the hilarious and award-winning international bestsellers Village Books and The International Cinema Society returns with an uproarious tale of freshman film school mayhem!

Aspiring director Andrew MacLennan has just been accepted into one of the most prestigious film schools in the country. Most of what he’s going to learn – like the finer points of shooting an action scene with a projectile vomiting stuntman, what to do when you find one of your instructors passed out in the bathroom holding a gun, or how to handle an audition with a former adult movie actress who takes method acting to wildly inappropriate new levels – isn’t in the curriculum.

His crew is just as crazy. Edgar Wells is a James Bond-obsessed Englishman who is distressed to discover that the woman he’s dating may also be his second (or possibly third) cousin. Esteban Hernandez is a football-mad Mexican who was officially dead for four minutes after his attempt to jack in to the city power grid went spectacularly wrong. And then there’s Satyajit Bharati, an Indian expatriate who has no problem being in an arranged marriage so long as the private investigator hired by his rich fiancée doesn’t catch him in the act with any of his current girlfriends.

Andrew’s life is further complicated by his developing relationship with up-and-coming comedian Nira Curtis, whose inability to distinguish between her life and her stage act could spell trouble. Andrew is still coming to terms with the death of his brother in a car accident five years ago and isn’t quite ready to premiere his personal demons in front of a blockbuster audience.

Struggling to keep his production from going off the rails, Andrew begins to realize that whether it’s real life or a movie, having final cut is not always a good thing.

For more information about Craig and his books click on:
Craig’s Website

Books available to purchase:
AMAZON US, UK, Canada
KOBO
BARNES & NOBLE
iBooks

Bill Engleson – update on a new collection of essays

Bill Engleson was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in Jan. 2014. He’s back now to tell us about a collection of essays he’s recently published.

33003097

Confessions of an Inadvertently Gentrifying Soul
by Bill Engleson
Published by Silver Bow Publishing
Genre: Non-fiction, essays

Confessions of an Inadvertently Gentrifying Soul is a series of rollicking tales from a “newbie” retiring to a small rural island.

Villified almost from day one as “the gentry”, Bill Engleson fights back, taking a good-natured swipe at everyone and everything he encounters as he plods along, learning the ins and outs of rural living, sometimes the hard way.

Most of the chapters were originally published in the local monthly journal, The Flagstone, to mixed reviews.

After a period of “soul” searching, the author decided not to bother modifying the original pithy content, regardless of who gets offended or confused.

“They got what’s coming to them,” he retorted.

smt: I wrote a review of this book that was published in the Island Tides newspaper of Denman Island, and I posted it to reading recommendations reviewed, as well.

Where to purchase copies:
Silver Bow Publishing

JP McLean – the release of the fifth novel in the series

J.P. McLean is back to tell us about a new novel in her series, The Gift Legacy. J.P. Has long been a friend and supporter of this blog. There are also reviews of her books posted over at reading recommendations reviewed.

betrayal250x400

The Gift: Betrayal
by J.P. McLean
Published by Windstorm Press
Genre: contemporary thriller with a touch of fantasy

The Gift: Betrayal is Awakening Redux. Jackson Delaney was Emelynn Taylor’s love interest in Awakening. His role was controversial, pivotal and demanded to be told. Love him or hate him, you won’t forget him. Betrayal is his story.

When his wife leaves him for his half-brother, Jackson Delaney flies into high gear to find them. He dives headlong into dangerous intrigue involving the feared Tribunal and unscrupulous thugs from his past, in a quest for justice at any cost. When that quest leads him to a mysterious young Flier with no knowledge of her arcane gift, Jackson’s vengeance gets the better of him and may cost him something worse than his life.

Where to purchase copies

For more information about all of J.P. McLean’s books, visit her blog.

15134753_1157379554317962_7280842708037703489_n