Friday, June 06, 2008

2 Books in 3 Days

A couple of weeks ago I was at my parent's house with the kids for a couple of days. Without any boats to distract me, I did some significant reading for the first time in a while and took advantage of my parent's book shelf. The first book, The Ketzer, was written by local author, David Carpenter. Carpenter is one of my favourite authors. His book, Courting Saskatchewan is an inspiring account of his love for his adopted home and I think everyone should read it. For those that have always lived here, it will remind you of why it's a good place to be and you will be able to relate to his stories. For those that have moved here, it will give insight into what aspects there are to love, especially beyond the city limits and their work (the reason most seem to move here). For those that have only heard of Saskatchewan and are aware of our highly inaccurate reputation as a dry, flat, and boring land, it will demonstrate with passion why that myth is so far off base. Another favourite book from Carpenter is Fishing in Western Canada, a Freshwater Guide. This guide has one important distinction from other books covering the topic of fishing: it doesn't assume that you have, or even want, a big fishing boat. Certainly, the book covers all the standard larger fishing waters in the region, but he also covers many smaller lakes and streams, waters that are accessible by canoe, waders, or belly boat. He also addresses the techniques relevant to these self-propelled activities. All of this is done with a good amount of humour making the book not only useful and informative, but also very enjoyable.

The Ketzer is a novella set largely in southeastern Saskatchewan. On the surface, it is about a group of family and their friends that hunts together. The book was easy to read and enjoyable enough, but I'm reserving judgment on this book. Perhaps I'll read it again to better understand the deeper meanings and what it says about relationships. You can listen to an excerpt from this book and others at David Carpenter's web site.

With The Ketzer finished in just a few hours, I turned to The Five People You Meet In Heaven, by Mitch Albom. This book was interesting and easy to read. It's unique in that it starts at the end of a man's life, who then goes to heaven and meets five people that influenced the direction of his life, starting as a young child and ending the journey as an elderly man. The book seems to be about the small actions that can, unknowingly, have profound effects on those around us.