Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: What to Read to Learn About Canadian History

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

To the best of my knowledge, I’m currently the only Canadian who participates in the Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge. (If I’m wrong about that, please do speak up!)  I thought it would be interesting to share some of my favourite books about our history with everyone else. Let’s begin with the serious titles and end with the lighthearted ones.

The Serious Titles

Check out these books if learning about history is a hobby of yours or if history was your favourite subject in school.

Canada: Canadian History: From Aboriginals to Modern Society – The People, Places and Events That Shaped The History of Canada and North America by William D. Willis.

The Blacks in Canada: A History, Second Edition by Robin W. Winks.

Your Country, My Country: A Unified History of the United States and Canada by Robert Bothwell.

Through Feminist Eyes: Essays On Canadian Women’s History by Joan Sangster.

On a Lighter Note

I regularly read nonfiction books about history, but they’re generally not about the sorts of topics you’d learn in a formal class on this topic. Instead, I tend to be drawn to descriptions of things like the food or social customs of people who weren’t wealthy or famous. There’s something incredibly interesting to me about learning about what the daily lives of ordinary people were like a few or many generations ago

The Donut: A Canadian History by Steve Penfold

What’s to Eat?: Entrées in Canadian Food History by Nathalie Cooke (Editor)

Snacks: A Canadian Food History by Janis Thiessen

Brew North: How Canadians Made Beer and Beer Made Canada by Ian Coutts.

Does anyone else here like to read about history? If so, what parts of it do you find most appealing?



Filed under Blog Hops

19 Responses to Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: What to Read to Learn About Canadian History

  1. I love to read about rock and roll history and old hollywood bios. I’m on a bit of a science kick, though. Just finished If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating by Alan Alda. That was fascinating. I never realized how hard, yet easy empathy can be and just listening. Craziness. I’m currently reading Radium Girls. I’m not far into it (50 or so pages), but it’s fascinating, too. Good post.

    • Thank you! Radium Girls was a very interesting read. Hopefully, someone will make a movie out of it someday.

      I’ll keep an eye out for If I Understood You.

  2. How funny. I knew you’d show up with something interesting. Had a tour today I thought I should give space to but sure didn’t intend checking out your blog. Good post.

  3. Okay, so I have to admit I know virtually nothing about Canada. You guys are just WAY to quiet up there… I know your hockey teams. Does that count? 😀

    I should learn more about my northern neighbor, so I appreciate the ideas.

    Re: history–pretty much all things American. It’s why I loved the show “Timeless” so much. It touched on big stuff, but also really obscure history that I knew nothing about. My kid could quote dates and data on the Civil War before she was five. We’re weird that way.

  4. I love history, especially when it’s presented in an interesting way. I second Marianne’s views on Timeless… great show. I also love the history of quirky things. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. History’s actually one of my favorite subjects. Currently, I’m obsessed with Romania under communism. There’s a book I’m working my way through that is about Eastern Europe through both World Wars. Great suggestions and, since I love to cook (and eat), I appreciate the books on food!

    • Oh, cool! What is the title of that book? I might like it.

      • In Europe’s Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond by Robert D. Kaplan. I’m not very far in but the author is a journalist, I believe, so it hasn’t been as dry as some other nonfiction I’ve read.

        • I’m jumping in on a thread that isn’t mine 🙂
          I read a 1000 page book on the Chinese Cultural Revolution several years ago (I thought the “cultural” revolution was about pop culture or something prior to reading it, I’m ashamed to admit). I loved the book. Can’t remember the title. But MAN stuff like that and the book you’re reading should be required reading for all teens/millennials right now.

          • Hah, I won’t bite, promise. But I absolutely agree. I was a kid during the Cold War, so communism was something very real to me at the time. But, because I was so young, I didn’t really have a grasp of WHAT it was, which is probably why I’m obsessed with Ceausescu at the moment.

            Hmm… I’m going to see if I can hunt down that book of yours and figure out what it was now because it sounds fascinating.

  6. I read a lot of history. I got a graduate degree in history, so I still read quite a bit. I used to read a lot about World War I. I also like biographies.

  7. laura

    I agree with your choices about history reading. Those are interesting topics.

  8. I love history and biographies, but know very little about Canada, so I’ll have to check these out.

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