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Happy Shark Week! To celebrate, we're giving away three sharktacular titles, as well as a special advanced copy of Sharks: Predators of the Sea! You can enter through Instagram. Follow us at @firefly.books! The deadline for entries is Monday, July 4. Good luck!




Encyclopedia of Sharks

Great White Shark


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Adam Elliott Segal, author of  Basketball Now! and MMA Now!, talks to us about the NBA, Steph Curry, and what it means that "Stephitis" is taking over. Let us know what you think by tweeting us @FireflyBooks.


Basketball Now


When I was young, I’d play ball hockey by myself on the front porch. I was always Wayne Gretzky, moving swiftly on the ice, searching for Edmonton Oilers linemate Jari Kurri, who would fire a wrister top corner. I was never Mario, God bless his talent, or any other great player from the era. It was always Gretzky, the superstar, who forever changed hockey by passing from his “office” behind the net to Anderson or Kurri, who amassed record after record en route to four Stanley Cups in five years. Jordan did the same thing for basketball with clutch shooting and six titles in under a decade in Chicago. Thanks to the advent of instant replay and an insane aptitude for last-second brilliance, Jordan became every kid’s go-to guy with a Nerf ball and a plastic hoop. You were Jordan versus Ehlo in ‘89, Jordan and the Bulls knocking off the Jazz in the 1998 Finals. You were Jordan, never Magic. Jordan, never Bird. You were Gretzky, never Mario. You were Ali, never Frazier. You are Curry, never LeBron.

Basketball’s enjoying a banner season, and owes its success to one man: Steph Curry. The other major sports have paled in comparison. Marred by the ongoing Deflategate and concussion lawsuits, the NFL spent 2015-16 skidding in the mud. Aside from Cam Newton’s emergence, the NFL superstar quarterback era is a dying breed (see Peyton Manning and Tom Brady). The defense-first Denver Broncos, led by Manning, won the Super Bowl in such defensive fashion that Coldplay’s halftime show was perhaps the most exciting thing that happened all night. Tennis is reeling from controversy. Maria Sharapova, the WTA’s most marketable star, was recently suspended for drug use. The CEO of Indian Wells just resigned following sexist comments made towards the women’s tour. Rafa’s knees are failing him. Federer is finally showing signs that old father time is catching up.


Footballs Greatest Stars


Baseball, America’s national pastime, is under fire for domestic violence. MLB recently suspended Aroldis Chapman for 30 games following domestic violence charges; Jose Reyes is currently under investigation for similar charges. While baseball’s popularity and bottom line appear healthy and the in-game product is both entertaining and affordable, small markets such as Kansas City and Toronto enjoying playoff success can’t be ideal for a league whose major markets depend on television revenue—Jeff Passan recently called the Dodgers 8.3 billion dollar deal an unmitigated disaster.” Baseball is also lacking a superstar, a transcendent, honest-to-God superstar who is changing the way we watch, interact and think about how to play. Curry is doing just this for the hardcourt. Neither Bryce Harper nor Mike Trout—the best young ballplayers in the game—have led their respective teams to a championship. While hockey’s second coming in Conor McDavid could still define a new era in the NHL, it might take some time—Edmonton is poised to finish in the bottom three once again, and the NHL playoffs, for the first time since 1970, will feature zero Canadian teams. Scoring is down, goalie pads are ginormous and the $5.2 billion dollars Rogers shelled out for the NHL rights is looking like an early albatross as ratings plummet and viewers alter their media diet.


The Soccer Book


Across the pond, the English Premier League has a fabulous underdog story in Leicester, as profiled recently in Sports Illustrated, but it’s a common trope we’ve seen before in sports—rag tag crew defies the odds to win the championship. From a basketball perspective, I’m pretty sure it’s called Hoosiers. Lionel Messi of Barcelona may be the closest comparative to Curry, a Pele-like superstar who is altering the way we view soccer and who some call the greatest player ever thanks to his fourth Ballon d’Or last season as best footie player on the planet. But here in North America, neither Newton, Trout nor Sidney Crosby has transformed their respective sports like Curry has for basketball, and his team, the Golden State Warriors, looks poised to become the next NBA dynasty. ESPN recently argued that Curry isrevolutionizing the game and dubbed a certain phenomenon afflicting youth basketball, ‘Stephitis.’” Kids of all ages, from elementary to college, are hucking threes from well beyond the arc to mimic the point guard, who is shooting, and making, shots from wherever he damn well pleases. At one point, his shooting percentage from 28 feet out was better than the average NBA player from three feet. A cultural shift is happening on the court. It may not be a stretch to think that in a decade, seeing a 40-footer hit nothing but net may be a common highlight. For Curry, it’s almost automatic and he is setting records at will. VICE argues he is having the best offensive season in the history of the game.

Curry’s impact in such a short amount of time is miraculous in its own right. In just under two seasons, the Golden State point guard’s become a hero to a younger generation, the guy you pretend to be alone on the court. The three-point line, introduced in 1979, during an era of predominantly big men, changed the game. No one back then was spotting up for a three in transition. Generations change. Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain gave way to Magic, Bird and Jordan, who gave way to Kobe and LeBron. Curry’s the latest iteration of a superstar blazing a new trail. We are witnessing firsthand the birth of a superstar, and it’s been damn fun to watch.

Are the 2015-16 Warriors as good as the 95-96 Chicago Bulls, who finished with 72 wins? Was Bird or Jordan as pure a shooter as Curry? The comparisons have been fodder all season, and Curry already has more three-pointers than Jordan made his entire career. He is barely 28 years old. Records aside, it’s the intangibles Curry brings to the table that’s making him the most exciting athlete on the planet. His pre-game dribbling skills are already legendary. Fans on the road line up early just to watch him practice. His ability to hit threes in transition is unstoppable, as evidenced by the 37-footer he hit one Saturday night in Oklahoma City to win the game, the most viral moment of the NBA season thus far. Fellow stars like LeBron, Dwyane Wade and DeMar Derozan all took to Twitter to express awe and admiration. Every night he plays, a Vine shows up in seconds. It seems like he hits a buzzer beater to end the quarter every single game. Dirk Nowitzki—who changed the game for seven-footers by adding an unstoppable step-back jumper—recently called Curry “a freak.” He is playing at such a high level that “video game” often follows a description of Curry and even the makers of the latest version of NBA 15 are baffled—they simply couldn’t conceive how good Curry could become. “It’s going to take some fundamental changes in our game code,” the Visual Concepts Gameplay Director of NBA 15 said. That same game Curry hit the 37-footer for the win, he eclipsed his own single-season mark for three-points shots, with 1/3 of the season still to go. The reigning MVP and NBA champion has been so good many are calling for the point guard to win Most Improved Player in the league.


Basketballs Greatest Stars


One New York Times article this season likened Curry to a ballet dancer. The Golden State Warriors guard was called “beautiful to watch” and “effortless” on the court, much like a dancer would be on stage. It’s an apt comparison, and one not often used when referring to sports. He is live theatre on the court, the lead actor delivering a soliloquy to an audience of hoops nerds, a perfect blend of size, speed and skill that’s captivates all of us for 48 minutes a night.

Curry is appealing cross-market and across gender and race lines. He is identifiable to kids because is small and slender (6-foot-3, 190 lbs, to be exact) and to much older fans in awe of something new. His off-court antics are a marketer’s dream: the family man with an all-worldly smile toting his daughter to post-game press conferences during the 2015 NBA Finals. His sponsor, Under Armour, is reporting a 350% increase in sales just this season alone thanks to wooing Curry away from Nike several years ago. Furthering the basketball as ballet metaphor, Under Armour, along with quarterback Tom Brady and golfer Jordan Spieth, employs pioneering African-American ballet dancer Misty Copeland.

There’s more: Curry’s instantly likeable shimmy-shake devoid of hubris when he hits big shots, or thumping his heart following an impossible three— another oft-mimicked meme occurring on basketball courts across the world—are now trademarks. He is operating as close to perfect as one could imagine. This is Gretzky territory, Jordan territory, Messi territory. He is reshaping the way we watch sport, and more importantly, how it’s played. There is poetry to the way he shoots, a rhythm to his movements. It’s about time we recognize this for what it is: an act of transcendence.


Adam Elliott Segal is a sports writer whose work has appeared in Sportsnet Magazine and enRoute. His first book was MMA NOW!

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Five years ago the Trans Canada Trail executives approached Hap Wilson about designing and mapping a canoe route from Lake Superior to Manitoba. Unable to build a land-based trail, the TCT had decided to earmark this National canoe route as an integral part of the Canadian cross-country trail system. The diverse route spans over 1,000 kilometers from Thunder Bay to Whiteshell Park in Manitoba. The book will also include many adjoining routes, kayak and paddleboard touring destinations, and local hikes up some spectacular vistas. Here he shares with us some of the handcrafted maps from this project. Read more at

Canoe Trails Map

Traditional map-making is a lost art. While most maps today are digitally produced using geospacial data, the maps in my upcoming book emulate hand-drawn detail from actual ground surveys, much the same style used by early explorers and surveyors like Thompson and Tyrrell. In all, there will be over 60 art-maps with intricate detail, designed for the canoe, kayak and SUP (stand-up paddleboard) adventurer. The core route, aptly named Path of the Paddle in honour of  paddling icon Bill Mason, forms the Trans Canada Trail link from Lake Superior to Manitoba. 

Omimi Trail Map

There are seven distinctly different trail segments, over two dozen rivers and navigable creeks and hundreds of pristine lakes with details on campsites, portages, historical and aboriginal information. Not just another guidebook for the outdoor enthusiast – it’s designed as a beautiful armchair read with coffee-table quality.

White Otter Castle

For more information, check out Hap's article for Canadian Geographic here.

Aside from short stints with Hollywood (teaching Pierce Brosnan how to throw a knife and paddle a canoe), Wilson has been researching and writing canoeing guidebooks since 1977. With twelve published books under his belt, you’ll also find his work in major magazines like Canadian Geographic, Explore or Cottage LifeRecipient of the prestigious Bill Mason Award for lifetime achievement in River Conservation, and recognized as one of Canada’s leading environmentalists, Wilson was also recently indoctrinated into the Century-old New York based Explorer’s Club as an International Fellow. Check out his other books here:

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The Cottage Bible author Gerry Mackie has shared some of the issues facing freshwater mussles with us, which we will post on our blog in two parts. Let us know what you think by tweeting us @FireflyBooks.

Life-Cycle Woes

One reason for the gradual decline in mussel diversity is their life cycle. Female freshwater mussels are fertilized internally by sperm arriving in the water. The female releases hundreds to several million fertilized eggs called glochidia. These glochidia require a fish host in order to grow into a juvenile and adult, except for one species, the Salamander Mussel, which uses a Mudpuppy for its host. The mussels have lures that mimic fish, crayfish, worms, or other bottom animals. When the fish bites the lure, hundreds to thousands of glochidia are released and taken into the gills of the host where they metamorphose into juveniles. Where this process becomes difficult is that the freshwater mussel glochidia are very fussy in their host selection and only a few species of fish are a suitable host. If the fish is not a suitable host, all the released glochidia perish. It is estimated that survival for the entire glochidial stage ranges between 0.000001% and 0.00181%.


Propagation of mussels

The imminent local extinction of some freshwater mussel species is being combatted by artificially growing juveniles. This process requires the correct host fish, which can be identified by exposing glochidia to a variety of fish species that are known to co-occur with the mussel species. Each fish species is isolated into its own aquarium. A syringe is used to extract glochidia from a mature female. The glochidia are then introduced into each fish tank. The tanks are examined each day for juveniles or dead glochidia on the bottom of the fish tank. Large numbers of dead glochidia indicate an inappropriate host fish. Large numbers of juveniles on the bottom indicate an appropriate host fish, the larger the numbers, presumably the better the fish being a host fish.

Once juveniles are reared to an appropriate size, they are either used as test organisms in the lab or transplanted into rivers to maintain current stocks or recover lost populations. The University of Guelph has a facility, called Hagen Aqualab, for propagating freshwater mussels in Ontario. There are numerous propagating facilities in the USA, some being used to commercially raise mussels for the pearl industry.

Reasons for imperilment

While the life cycle of freshwater mussels is not conducive to recovery through rapid population growth, most mussel species had healthy, large populations in the 1800s and early 1900s. The advent of the button industry certainly contributed to the decline in freshwater mussels, both in abundance and diversity.

Changes in habitat and land use since the 1900s are probably the main reason for the demise of many species of mussels. For example, pre-settlement land cover in the Sydenham River watershed, which has the greatest diversity of mussels in Ontario, was 70% forest and 30% swamp in the 1800s, but is now predominantly agricultural (85%). Most of the wetlands have been lost and are dominated by row cropping. Poor drainage has resulted in the construction of extensive open drain and tile drainage networks. Tile drainage now accounts for over 60% of the total land area of the watershed, and wetlands have been reduced to < 1% of the total surface area. The grids of tiles drain either drain directly into streams or into ditches that ultimately empty into streams.


Other pollutants that enter receiving waters are pesticides associated with agricultural practices and urban area run off. Roads and urban areas also contribute significant contaminants to waterways including oil and grease, heavy metals, and chlorides. High chloride levels from road salts also cause significant biological impairment. Additionally, global climate change is expected (among other disruptions) to cause an increase in surface water temperatures in southern Ontario.

Exotic species also exert negative effects on the freshwater mussels. Common Carp are abundant throughout Southern Ontario and are the exotic species most likely to be adversely affecting sensitive species. They can potentially consume juvenile unionid mussels, they uproot plants and significantly increase turbidity, which is likely a far greater impact. The invasive Round Goby has decimated populations of Mottled Sculpins and possibly Logperch (both being host fish for many mussel species at risk).

Zebra Mussels have decimated native mussel (we’ll refer to them as clams here) populations in the Great Lakes waters including Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River. Zebra Mussels impact clams in numerous ways—they attach to the shells of clams in such high densities that they prevent the mussels from opening and they strip dissolved oxygen and nutrients from the water before the host clam can obtain them. Clams eventually die from nutrient starvation, suffocation, and weight of the burden of mussels that inhibit burrowing and movement, and Zebra Mussels adversely impact reproduction by preventing fertilization and release of glochidia.

Gerry Mackie is the author of The Cottage Bible and retired Professor Emeritus of the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph. He was a co-chair of the Mollusc Subcommittee of COSEWIC for 16 years. He continues to be a member of the Ontario Freshwater Mussel Recovery Team, formed in 2003, to gather information about, monitoring and creating a strategy for restoring the province’s threatened indigenous freshwater mussel species. 

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The Cottage Bible author Gerry Mackie has shared some of the issues facing freshwater mussles with us, which we will post on our blog in two parts. Let us know what you think by tweeting us @FireflyBooks.

The Nature Conservancy estimates about 70% of mussels in North America are extinct or imperiled, compared to about 17% of mammalian species and 15% of bird species. Some consider freshwater mussels as “conservation underdogs” compared to many cute and cuddly birds and mammals. It is time to raise their profile to something like “conservation jewels."

Jewels of the water

“Conservation jewels” is especially appropriate here because some marine bivalves are needed to create pearl jewelry. Both cultured pearls and natural pearls can be created from pearl oysters. Some freshwater mussels also produce pearls of commercial value. Pearls are produced by covering a minute invasive object with “mother-of-pearl”, or nacre, the often stunning-looking inner layer of the valves. The different types, colours, and shapes of pearls depend on the natural pigment of the oyster’s nacre, and the shape of the original seed.

Courtesy of

Why are freshwater mussels important?

To put it simply, freshwater mussels are very sensitive to stressors, such as siltation, pollution by contaminants, and increasing temperatures and are among the first to die. They are the early warning indicators of disasters that could impact humans.  

Water purifiers

Besides making pearls, mussels are vital for filtering and purifying the water column. Mussels feed by filtering water over two pair of gills. They are capable of filtering/purifying large volumes of water, which some scientists claim actually reduces the cost of treating water used for drinking, recreation, industry, agriculture, etc. The amount of water some species filter is reported to be between 5 and 10 million gallons of water per river kilometer per day.

Mussel Water Purification

Mussels also excrete nutrients, aiding the growth of micro-organisms that feed fish and larger invertebrates. Mussels take up many contaminants and remove them from the water and sediments. This is one reason why it is not recommended to eat freshwater mussels. In Ontario, it is illegal to harvest freshwater mussels without a permit from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests. They also taste terrible, like the mud they live in!

Buttons up

From the 1880s to early 1900s, buttons manufactured from freshwater mussel shells were a multimillion dollar industry in the USA and Canada. Commercial “clammers” literally raked the mussel beds with a crowfoot bar (an iron bar with a few dozen hooks attached). But the unregulated harvest of mussels quickly depleted the larger mussel beds and the button industry began to decline in 1916. The decline initiated the artificial propagation of more mussels. The commercial scale propagation of freshwater mussels began in 1912, concentrating on the Upper Mississippi. Soon over one billion juvenile mussel “seeds” were produced. Unfortunately, the farming itself killed the industry. The practices polluted the rivers with siltation and sewage from growing populations. The rivers gradually became unsuited for juvenile mussels. By 1930, the Bureau of Fisheries ceased its mussel propagation program.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, Hall—e---l---u---jah

Fortunately there are lot of people with a strong passion for mussels that are trying to save the remaining populations. Recovery activities are spear-headed by the Ontario Freshwater Mussel Recovery Team chaired by Dr. Todd Morris. The team consists of members from universities, provincial and federal governments, Aboriginal organizations, and conservation authorities, including the Saint Clair Conservation Authority, the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority, the Upper Thames Conservation Authority, and the Grand River Conservation Authority. Each has their own recovery teams that have developed action plans and strategies to recover every species at risk in their watershed. The long-term goals of these recovery teams are to: (i) protect existing populations to prevent further declines, (ii) restore degraded populations to healthy self-sustaining levels by improving the extent and quality of habitat and (iii) re-introduce species at risk into areas where it formerly existed where feasible. The re-introduction may include transplanting mussels from healthy populations to rehabilitated habitat where they once occurred, or artificially propagate mussels.

Gerry Mackie is the author of The Cottage Bible and retired Professor Emeritus of the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph. He was a co-chair of the Mollusc Subcommittee of COSEWIC for 16 years. He continues to be a member of the Ontario Freshwater Mussel Recovery Team, formed in 2003, to gather information about, monitoring and creating a strategy for restoring the province’s threatened indigenous freshwater mussel species. 

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Microgreens author Fionna Hill has shared some ideas for winter salad greens with us, including details on growing them. Let us know what you think by tweeting us @FireflyBooks.

Salads in winter aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but I like them to lighten heavy winter meat dishes. I recently prepared a leafy Winter Salad made entirely from my small vegetable patch in a community garden.

This large number of greens seems like a competition entry, but it’s just what was growing so I snipped bits and pieces of everything. I had only one stem of some things but they added variety.  No lettuce, but just about everything else! 

  • I’ve grown Watercress for the first time this year. I thought I needed a stream. Not so, it will grow in the garden. Mine is a softer texture than the watercress I buy commercially, but still has the peppery tangy flavour.  I harvest the tops and expect it to grow and bush out. I believe it will run to seed in the summer. According to recent medical research, watercress is an anti-cancer superfood. Gram for gram, it contains more iron than spinach, more vitamin C than oranges and more calcium than milk.
  • Blood vein sorrel (Rumex sanguineus) grows perennially in my garden. As a florist I love the red veined leaves in a posy of flowers. I like looking at it so avoid cutting it. The tender centre leaves give rich colour to my leaf salads and taste good too. I always throw a few torn green sorrel leaves in. I love the sour lemon flavour. It has been in my garden for years, has leaves all year round and is easy to grow – I’ve heard some gardeners curse it. Not me!  Take the centre vein of both sorrels out – it’s tough.
  • One little stray rogue of Red Coral Mizuna has turned up in my winter garden. I planted it in summer but its welcome at any time. The spiky red leaves add another leaf shape and the flavour is piquant, mild peppery ... slightly spicy.

  • Mustard is another interloper – green and sometimes the gorgeous giant red one. I grow them in summer from seed and they turn up as welcome little singles in the winter. For salads I cut tender centre leaves. Mustard lettuce is another uninvited guest. It has mild to hot mustard flavour and decorative frilly edges. It’s tenderer in winter -in summer, lack of water and heat make it bitter and tough.
  • Chervil popped up again from last year. That reminded me that I hadn’t planted it this year so I threw a few Chervil seeds in to come on later. Its flavour is anise and it looks fernlike – a bit like carrot tops – which is not surprising as it’s a carrot family member. Plants favour a cool growing season. It’s fragile so I add it to my leaf salad last. It’s one of the traditional French ‘fines herbes’ blend of tarragon, parsley, chives and chervil.
  • I escape to France when I eat rosette–shaped Corn Salad (Mache); apparently the French consume 50 million pounds a year. Plants are hardier than regular lettuce. It’s a great salad green over winter. It grows quickly too. I buy seedlings. I harvest outer leaves and keep cutting, but the whole plant can be harvested as an attractive rosette.
  • Another seedling I buy is Radicchio. It’s another good looking one – ground level blousy rose shaped clusters of rich burgundy leaves. It’s actually Italian Chicory, slightly bitter and a gorgeous colour. I tend to leave it to grow so I can admire it – not a smart move as the older it gets the tougher and bitterer it will be.
  • My Rainbow Chard and Beetroot both had tender centre leaves so I pinched a couple of those. I wouldn’t usually chop centre undeveloped leaves from any plants but my chard is unbridled so I’m hard-nosed and my beetroot is always unsuccessful below ground but the leaves when tender are edible and eye-catching.
  • New Zealand Spinach Tetragonia tetragonioides is a permanent prolific resident in my garden. I nipped out some tender top shoots – not such a sin as it has masses of side shoots. I find the mature fleshy side leaves better for cooking than raw.
  • I use Mint in salads all year round and guess it’s really my favourite herb so tore some of that in too.

A dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, lashings of ground pepper and a little rock salt make for a good looking, healthy leaf salad.

Fionna Hill is a journalist specializing in lifestyle and garden topics, floral design, crafts, and travel. Her website is Microgreens available on Amazon and through other retailers. Find out more here


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There's still time! We're not the only ones who think Firefly has the best gifts this holiday season. Check out the Holiday Gift Guides below for gifts for everyone on your list. Available at online and physical booksellers.

The Globe and Mail

Canada: Images of the Land


"You’ll want to cancel your trip to Cuba and explore Canada instead."

 The Wall Street Journal

Puzzle Universe


"This trove contains puzzles, brain teasers and games, some of which date back thousands of years."

The Chronicle Herald



"Highlights these 'flying flowers' from all over the world."

Seattle Times

History of PhotographyHistory of Architecture in 100 Buildings

On History of Photography in 50 Cameras:
“Tells the story of cameras from the Daguerreotype to the Nokia Lumina to — what else — the iPhone.”

On History of Architecture in 100 Buildings:
“An exceedingly well-written tour of 100 buildings all around the world.”

Calgary Herald

Canadian Geographic for Kids

“A Great Gift for the young trivia lover, and even better, it is all about Canada.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Astronomy Photographer of the Year

“Contains stunning imagery of planets, stars and formations familiar and unknown, along with background and technical information.”

Vancouver Sun

The Toughest I Ever Faced

“A thoroughly entertaining magazine-sized, 235-page read, complete with glossy photos.”

The Wall Street Journal

Anatomy of Exercise for Longevity

“Guides readers through exercise regimens designed to keep you strong, flexible and heart-healthy for the long haul.”

Movie Star Chronicles

“Nice book for film enthusiasts and those interested in celebrities.”

Chicago Tribune

ButterfliesAnimal Hospital

On Butterflies: 
“A magnificent book on some of the most interesting and beautiful creatures on Earth.”
On Animal Hospital:
“Takes readers into a wildlife rehabilitation center, where they'll learn how sick and injured animals are saved and returned to their habitats.”

Los Angeles Times

History of Photography

“A meta-gift for photography lovers, this modest photo book presents the history of photography as told through 50 cameras, from daguerrotypes to digital.”


The National Post

Vintage Home


"Offers hundreds of examples for every budget and taste to produce an effortlessly stylish look."

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For the Hockey Fan...

Who did Gordie Howe name as the best player he ever played against? Who did Bob Gainey think was the most underrated player in the NHL? Who always got the best of Johnny Bower?

The names and stories of each of these players--and of each of the participating Hockey Hall of Famers--can be found in the gloriously rich and detailed The Toughest I Ever Faced.

Toughest I Ever Faced Cover

For the Nature Lover...

In this exquisitely photographed record of the Canadian landscape, renowned photographer J.A. Kraulis captures the majesty and grandeur of a vast and staggeringly diverse country.

This magnificent collection of over 200 photographs and captions presents Canada at its most visceral-- scenes of unbridled beauty as captured by one of the country's most prolific photographers.

For the Puzzler...

The Puzzle Universe is about the latent beauty of mathematics, its history, and the puzzles that have advanced and emerged from the science of numbers. It is full of challenging historical facts, thinking puzzles, paradoxes, illusions, and problem solving.

There are 315 puzzles in this book. Extended captions explain in easy terms the value of the puzzles for mathematical and educational purposes, particularly in light of the findings of recent research.

The Puzzle Universe Cover

World Heritage Sites Cover

For the World Traveller...

Complete with gorgeous photographs and updated maps, World Heritage Sites is uniquely comprehensive. In June 2014, the World Heritage Committee added 26 sites to the list of World Heritage Sites. These inscriptions include the 1,000th site, Okavango Delta in Botswana and Myanmar's very first inscription, Pyu Ancient Cities.

For the Curious Kid...

In this patriotic celebration of Canada's superlatives, complete with 300 color photographs, kids are presented with thousands of unique facts, figures and feats that make the country unique.

Canadian Geographic Canada for Kids offers a truly different look at the country and features facts and figures for each province and territory within its borders.

Canadian Geographic Canada for Kids

Astronomy Photographer of the Year

For the Stargazer...

This stunning collection of images from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition assembles the very best astrophotography from around the world. Organized by the Royal Observatory, the photographs capture an astounding range of astronomical phenomena both within our solar system and far into deep space.

For the Organizer...

An organized, clutter-free home appeals to everyone. But where to begin? This useful guide provides fun, creative and painless ways to get started using the tips, techniques, quick fixes, and trade secrets used by professional organizers.

Decluttering Your Home shows how to save time, money, and energy. 

Decluttering Your Home
How to Amaze Your DaughterHow to Amaze Your Son

For the Crafty Parent...

How to Amaze Your Daughter & How to Amaze Your Son can help parents experience life with open eyes. It has more than 50 truly creative and inspiring projects that will enthuse and enrich kids. There are crafts, science experiments, creative experiences, recipes and easy magic tricks. Each is cheap and easy.

For the Photographer...

A History of Photography in Fifty Cameras explores the 180-year story of perhaps the most widely used device ever built. It covers cameras in all forms, revealing the origins and development of each model and tracing the stories of the photographers who used and popularized them. Illustrated throughout with studio shots of all fifty cameras and a selection of iconic photographs made using them, it is the perfect companion guide for camera and photography enthusiasts alike.

History of Photography
World Atlas of Coffee

For the Coffee Addict...

Taking the reader on a global tour of coffee-growing countries, The World Atlas of Coffee presents the bean in full-color photographs and concise, informative text. It shows the origins of coffee -- where it is grown, the people who grow it; and the cultures in which coffee is a way of life -- and the world of consumption -- processing, grades, the consumer and the modern culture of coffee.

For the Golfer...

The Story of Golf in Fifty Holes explores the 600-year history of the "game of honor." It reveals the excitement and despair, the challenges overcome and the sweet victories, the sportsmanship and the stars bursting onto the scene. It also describes the developments in course design, like the first manmade water hazard, and the first central fairways bunkers.

Story of Golf in Fifty Holes
Top 10 of Everything 2016

For the List Maker...

The most dynamic reference book around is back bigger and better than ever. Packed full of amazing new lists, facts and stats, the newest Top 10 of Everything continues to amaze and inform. As always, it takes a fresh look at the universe, discovering new wondrous and jaw-dropping facts about machines, animals, sports, music, space, epic structures and more.

For the Christmas Enthusiast...

Populated by a partridge, turtle doves, French hens, calling birds, golden rings, geese, swans, maids a-milking, ladies dancing, lords a-leaping, pipers piping and drummers drumming, My True Love Gave to Me is an illustrated version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," and makes a perfect gift for yourself and those you love.

My True Love Gave to Me
Movie Star Chronicles

For the Movie Lover...

Movie Star Chronicles promises to satisfy the curiosity of moviegoers, cinephiles, and the Hollywood-hungry fans that fuel today's entertainment news industry. For film students, it is a practical reference to the most important actors in cinematic history.



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If you are running short on craft ideas to do with the kids or are looking for a quick way to keep the kids busy for a while, we have two projects to share with you today from our fall books, the first from How to Amaze Your Son and the second from How to Amaze Your Daughter both by Raphaële Vidaling. 



A 3D Hand That's Easy to Draw 


  • A blank sheet of paper
  • A pencil
  • Markers of different colours
  • An eraser

How to Make It

Step 1: Place your hand on the sheet of paper and trace it with a pencil 

Step 2: With a marker, draw a horizontal line anywhere on the sheet of paper, starting at the edge of the page and continuing toward the middle until it reaches the edge of the traced hand outline. Next, extend the marker line through the tracing, but make a gentle arc from one traced edge to the other. When you reach the other edge of the tracing, continue the line--completely straight--to the other edge of the page. 

Step 3: Draw more lines parallel to the first one, including the arc, until you've filled your sheet with multicoloured stripes.

Step 4: Erase the pencil lines: now the hand appears without the traced outline and looked three-dimensional. 

(From How to Amaze Your Son by Raphaële Vidaling) 


Dolls Made of Popsicle Sticks


  • Popsticle Sticks (sold in craft stores)
  • Patterned adhesive tape 
  • Scissors 
  • Black fine point pen 

How to Make It

Step 1: Place pieces of adhesive tape on each popsicle stick to represent the clothes 

Step 2: Draw the heads and legs

(From How to Amaze Your Daughter by Raphaële Vidaling)





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It's that time of year again! Students will be off to university and college dorms for the school year fairly soon and they need nutritious food that's also easy to make. This is where The Ultimate Student Cookbook by Tiffany Goodall can be of some help. The book has more than 100 easy recipes for terrific food on a student's budget.

Vegetarian Pasta Heaven (serves 6)

You will need:
1 eggplant, chopped roughly
3 leeks, sliced
4 red onions, quartered
5-6 tbsp (75-90 mL) olive oil
3 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped roughly
6 tomatoes, quartered
2 sprigs of rosemary, thyme or sage
2 ¼ lb (1 kg) penne pasta
5 tbsp (75 mL) chopped parsley
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
Scant ½ cup (100 g) butter
18 oz (500 g) mascarpone

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C). Put the eggplant, leeks and red onions in a large roasting tray.
2. Drizzle with 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the olive oil. Mix well and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
3. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes and herbs to the part-cooked vegetables.
4. Mix well, season with salt and pepper, and add another tbsp. (15 mL) of olive oil if it looks a little dry. Return the roasting tray to the oven for another 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to a boil. Add the pasta and simmer for 10 minutes or according to the package directions.
6. Mix together the parsley, 3 tbsp (45 mL) of olive oil and the garlic to make a gorgeous pesto-type sauce.
7. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Stir in the butter.
8. Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and tip them onto the pasta.
9. Stir in the pesto-type sauce and mix well.
10. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the mascarpone. It should taste sensational—creamy, garlicky and yet full of goodness with the roasted vegetables. Serve immediately.

Optional extras:
If you want to add some meat, the author suggests some cooked chicken strips or even some chopped bacon.

Serving suggestions:
Delicious with a lovely green salad of lettuce, scallions and avocado.

The roasted vegetables will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 3 days and can be eaten cold in a salad or even as a topping for pizza. Reheat in the oven at 300° F (150° C) for 15 minutes. The actual pasta dish will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 days. To reheat it, place it in a saucepan over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes and stir in 1 tsp (5 mL) of olive oil. 

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Pets: Dogs, Cats & More, oh my!
Astronomy: Stargaze with Firefly
Gardening: Refresh Your Garden
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