On the Night Table of Deborah Morrison
Anyone looking at my night table of partially read books is going to have difficulty pinpointing a favourite genre or style of writing.
The present roster includes titles such as Aid and Ebb Tide: A History of CIDA and Canadian Development Assistance by David R. Morrison (no relation). Canada’s History magazine editor Mark Reid suggested I take a look at “the definitive history of Canada’s role in the international community,” which has a fantastic section on Maurice Strong and the early days of establishing the Canadian International Development Agency. This book will help me to understand the evolution of our development policy up to the new millennium.
Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams isn’t a history book, but I’m reading it because it sheds a lot of light on how traditional institutions and business structures (like museums, history societies, and magazine publishers) are undergoing a profound paradigm shift in the relationship they have with their visitors and readers. Today’s generation is one of mass collaboration, according to Tapscott, and the book explores how institutions will need to adapt and change within this new society. What that means regarding whose history we tell, how we tell those stories, and how we ensure it is good history is a big open question for me.
Bitter, Sweet by Laura Best was a finalist for the 2010 Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People. It’s an account of life in 1940s rural Nova Scotia, where a young girl struggles to keep her siblings together in the family home after their mother dies. Best’s book was originally purchased for my daughter, but it looks like I have until she finishes Mockingjay to read it for myself.
Lastly, there is a top secret movie script that I’ve now read over a few times. All I can say is that it’s about a certain iconic North West Mounted Police officer who, had he been American, would already have had several movies made about him. If all goes well, this script will be produced and aired on television sometime soon, and Canada’s History will have some role in helping with educational resources to support the production.
Deborah Morrison is the publisher, president, and CEO of Canada’s History Society.