Endeavour’s voyage of enlightenment added a hemisphere to the world

And, according to author Peter Moore, the endeavour attitude is characterized by dreaming of our better angels, not by acquiring more stuff

Endeavour’s voyage of enlightenment added a hemisphere to the worldMy daughter choreographs reading that plays to my whimsical non-fiction interests through Christmas gifts of books. This year, I carefully opened a beribboned volume by British author Peter Moore entitled Endeavour: The Ship and Attitude that Changed the World (2018). Right away, I recognized Endeavour as James Cook’s ship on his first epic voyage of discovery…

Building strong communities with education, innovation – and craft beer

James and Deborah Fallows hopscotched across America to understand what makes the best of Our Towns thrive

Building strong communities with education, innovation – and craft beerMy son, the thoughtful curator of my must-reads non-fiction list, has done it again. For Christmas, he gave me the American bestseller Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America. The book, published in 2018, was written by award-winning The Atlantic Monthly journalists James and Deborah Fallows. The Fallows have made significant public…

Holiday reading: Get lost in Lands of Lost Borders

Kate Harris’s book is a must for the travellers on your gift list; discovering Norway and Iceland; indulging in a wellness weekend

Holiday reading: Get lost in Lands of Lost BordersModern explorer Kate Harris’s story may not compel you to follow in the skinny tire tracks she left on an often-gruelling bicycle trip on the ancient Silk Road trading route. But one thing is for sure: She’ll leave you breathless with her beautiful writing about her 10,000-kilometre cycling odyssey through 10 countries in her book…

Parents have the power to release their child’s remarkable inner gifts

The talents of some children are like buried treasure. But you can trust a parent to see these precious gifts and help unearth them

Parents have the power to release their child’s remarkable inner giftsWhen asked how important family has been on his life journey, motivational speaker Nick Vujicic replied, “It was the most important factor. I’m very thankful that they loved me, challenged me to never give up, try new things, and often gave me godly advice.” What is unique about Vujicic is that he was born without…

How to get high-performance government

The private sector can help revolutionize government services by improving productivity, cutting costs and introducing new ideas

How to get high-performance governmentAmen to the ideas offered in It’s Time for High-Performance Government, written by Howard Risher and William Wilder and published in 2017. But how do we bring about high-performance government? The authors say it’s not about efficiency, it’s about engaging workers. And on that score, government is 30 years behind the curve. The 1990s began…

New book offers vision of a safer urban future

Cyber City Safe: Emergency Planning Beyond the Maginot Line explores cybersecurity, modern emergency planning and green city living

New book offers vision of a safer urban futureCyber City Safe: Emergency Planning Beyond the Maginot Line By Allan Bonner Brennen Schmidt Roy Damary and Natalia Pryadilina Reviewed by Anil Anand Retired police officer Cyber City Safe: Emergency Planning Beyond the Maginot Line presents a comprehensive vision of a safer urban future through big data, technology and greenery. The book has four authors and three…

Why authoritarian populists are destined to fail

A review of Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now: the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

Why authoritarian populists are destined to failMy son gave me Steven Pinker’s book Enlightenment Now: the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress after he had heard him speak on a podcast about his 10th bestseller in 53 years of life as a public intellectual and Harvard professor of cognitive psychology. The gift is part of an ongoing effort to expand…

The complexity, nuance and truth at the heart of residential schools

It’s instructive that no credible alternative to the residential schools has ever been put forward

The complexity, nuance and truth at the heart of residential schoolsWith a few idle hours, I sat down to watch director James Mangold’s 2007 film, 3:10 to Yuma, starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. I’d popped the DVD into the player because a good action film that pitted the good guys against villains with six shooters seemed like an entertaining way to divert my mind…

Looking through an unusual lens at Ronald Reagan

Movie Nights with the Reagans provides an intimate look at a presidency that continues to influence the political landscape

Looking through an unusual lens at Ronald ReaganLovers of both movies and politics will want to check out a new book Movie Nights with the Reagans by Mark Weinberg. Published by Simon and Schuster, it’s an intimate, heartfelt remembrance of what it was like to share regular weekend movie nights at Camp David in the 1980s with President Ronald Reagan and first lady…

Kate Harris’ Lands of Lost Borders a masterpiece

In Lands of Lost Borders, Kate Harris ruminates on 10 months aboard a bicycle along the Silk Road once conquered by Marco Polo

Kate Harris’ Lands of Lost Borders a masterpieceLands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Road By Kate Harris Knopf Canada, 2018 Kate Harris is a Canadian Rhodes Scholar who studied the history of science at Oxford, dropped out of her microbiology PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and instead has found her métier as a modern-day explorer. Channeling…

The Beatles just might have been right

Love may not be all we need, but it's a key ingredient to leading a well-lived, meaningful existence

The Beatles just might have been rightLife is filled with challenges and we’re always looking for answers. The Beatles told us, “All you need is love, love, love is all you need.” The difficulty with this credo is that love has many meanings and interpretations. It can be directed at one person or at all of humanity. Love can be selfless…

Kindersley native publishes first book

‘I am a faith-based adventurer who enjoys people, ideas and the mess of life,’ says the author

Kindersley native publishes first bookKevin McBain of The Clarion Kindersley’s Ron Baker recently self-published his first of what he hopes will be many books to come. The book, In the beginning: 2005-2006 – Random thoughts as life goes on, is a compilation of selected blog posts he wrote over that period. “I just love to write and I have…

Harry Truman completely unprepared for his accidental presidency

The inauspicious heir to the White House had planned to play poker the night Roosevelt died. Instead, he became president

Harry Truman completely unprepared for his accidental presidencyVice-President Harry Truman’s life changed on Thursday, April 12, 1945. That was the day Franklin D. Roosevelt died and Truman became the 33rd president of the United States. To virtually everyone, including himself, Truman was an inauspicious heir. Journalist A.J. Baime’s The Accidental President nicely captures the general bemusement. Born in small-town Missouri in 1884, there…

A New Year’s reading list for the 99.09 per cent

Four authors who lay bare a depressing world of plutocrats, oligarchs and the international kakistocracy

A New Year’s reading list for the 99.09 per centJanuary is book month in our house. It’s when we finally come to grips with reading all the titles that accumulated over Christmas and, in my case, a January birthday. I’ve read Ta-Nehisi Coates’s We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy, Chrystia Freeland’s Plutocrats: The Rise of the Rise of the New Global…

Luck plays a big part in creating a winning athlete

Fire the coach. Yell at the players to motivate them. Or accept that luck plays a significant role in the outcome, no matter how valiant your efforts

Luck plays a big part in creating a winning athleteNow is the winter of sports discontent. National Football League coaches are being primed for the chop. National Hockey League and National Basketball Association coaches, too, are trying to stay one step ahead of the grim reaper as their teams’ rosy prospects dim. In the NFL, we hear that longtime Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis…