Roy MacGregor, Canoe Country: The Making of Canada, (Toronto: Random House, Canada), 2015.
I discovered this book through a review in the February, 2016 issue of Wooden Canoe, the journal of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA). Combining my interest in canoes with my interest in Canada made the book seem very appealing and I eagerly awaited the arrival of my copy and soon was into the book. MacGregor does an excellent job of telling the story of Canada by telling the stories of its people. Like me, he has a deep respect for the elegant indigenous craft that are truly one of the great contributions of North America to the world. The story of Canada is so caught up in the process of settlers learning to use the craft and of the Indigenous people's exquisite craftsmanship in developing and constructing the craft, that it is literally impossible to imagine Canada without the canoe.
I was taking great delight in reading a book about ideas and concepts that I thoroughly enjoy and was taken by surprise when on Page 225, I read a quote and saw my name as the writer of the quote. The quote has been taken from an entry into an essay contest that I had made a few years ago. My delight was complete! To find a book that was so thoroughly enjoyable written by someone who had enjoyed a quote from an essay I had written enough to pass it on. What an honor! To think that people will years from now continue to read MacGregor's book, it may well be that this quote will become the one bit of my writing that survives the longest. Who knows?
One short quote in a beautifully-crafted book is icing on the cake, but without that quote the book stands as a wonderful way of getting to know more about Canada and about Canoes. This is a book I will recommend to many people. But if you want to read it, you'll have to obtain your own copy. Mine is a treasure that I intend to keep for the rest of my life.