A World to Win
edited by William K. Carroll and Kanchan Sarker (ARP Books)
My dad is a big reader and discuss-er of political and social theories and movements, so what kind of daughter would I be if I didn't gift him A World to Win (ARP Books)? The book looks at various political and social movements, including Indigenous resistance and resurgence, Occupy, feminist and queer movements, among others, and features work by political theorists and activists who've made important contributions to movement politics. I know he'll love it.
50 Greatest Red Wings
by Bob Duff (Biblioasis)
by Rabindranath Maharaj (Wolsak & Wynn)
My dad could never resist a hardcover dedicated to his favourite team, so I have to recommend 50 Greatest Red Wings (Biblioasis).
He also likes fantastical worlds and a good thriller, so to give him something to stretch the reading muscle a little further, I would pick Adjacentland (Wolsak & Wynn), a dystopian novel set in a Matrix-like institution where the narrator is the subject of recurring experiments.
Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems
by Randall Maggs (Brick Books)
by Michelle Butler Hallett (Goose Lane Editions)
Father’s day is a weird, tough time in the Kemp household because — well, because I don’t really have a dad. That is to say I have one but I have no clue what he’s like and even if he likes books. Growing up I was virtually raised by my grandparents; my grandma, a teacher, taught me how to read and write and my grandpa – with all of his incredible stories – taught me to love stories. I vividly remember playing hockey with my grandma (yes, my grandma) on the expansive driveway, then coming inside to watch Hockey Night in Canada with my grandpa as he’d narrate over the game stories about growing up; about moving to Canada, about how Canada was so different and the same and hockey was a curious thing. He also had such a way with words that all of his stories felt charged; electric, even if they were about just going to the corner store. He was also obsessed with the Royal Family and I was obsessed with Murder She Wrote.
So it only feels appropriate to recommend him two books, the first being Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems (Brick Books). I think my grandpa, if he were still around, would love the deep-dive story of one of his favourite players, Terry Sawchuk, told through the lens of something I love: poetry. The other book is This Marlowe by Michelle Butler Hallett (Goose Lane Editions). A story about a poet/playwright who is also a spy caught up in a big ol’ conspiracy surrounding Queen Elizabeth’s succession? That is extremely mine and my grandpa’s kind of story.
Sea Winter Salmon
by Mari Hill Harpur, with Eileen Regan McCormack (Linda Leith Publishing)
A huge reader, my dad is not. But his life outside of family revolves around fishing – he plans two trips annually up way north from the GTA – and I know the time spent away from much electricity and among the lake and wildlife is meditative and restorative for him (even though I'm sure he wouldn't use that language to describe it!).
A fervent believer in sticking to fishing license seasonal quotas, I know dad would appreciate the conservationist spirit of Mari Hill Harpur's Sea Winter Salmon (Linda Leith Publishing), as well as the tale of a family returning to the same fishing camp for generations. Our own family vacations always build in a little fishing time, and I hope this pick brings him back to shared time on the dock or out on the water, watching the line and not caring about much else at all.
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