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At FriesenPress we celebrate each and every book our authors publish. Below are a few that staff have nominated as their picks. Selections change frequently, so be sure to check back for new recommended books. And, of course, all the titles you see below are available here at the FriesenPress Bookstore. Happy reading!
Operational Stress Injuries and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are among the possible consequences facing members of the Canadian military. Unlike the potential physical consequences of dangerous deployments, psychological injuries are not always apparent. Military members are taught a mental skillset to help them manage their internal emotional worlds allowing them to do extraordinary things. Unfortunately, while ingrained military training prepares our men and women for action as capable soldiers, this same training may also require them to trade aspects of their humanness—sowing the seeds for lingering mental distress. As a result, those most affected are left in a limbo, disconnected from their military roles and yet unable to relate to their former civilian lives. They become ghosts of their former selves, haunting the ranks until, more often than not, they find themselves on the outside looking in, with unacknowledged scars, anger, and regret. We ask a great deal of our men and women in uniform; if a shift in culture can help members of our military with mental distress, we owe it to them to make that shift possible.
This book is both an educational tool and a fun way for children to learn about some of the wonderful animals on the Endangered Species list. By appreciating some of the unique characteristics of interesting creatures like the Asian elephant, the bighorn sheep, the blue whale, and the Siberian tiger – just to name a few – children can better understand the peril these animals face unless humans act on their behalf. By seeing the bright pink and cherry-colored feathers of the crimson wing flamingo, and learning about the long sticky tongue of the red eyed tree frog, a child can begin to imagine what this planet would be like without these fascinating creatures living upon it. While this book is directed toward children ages four and up, adults of all ages will enjoy it too, as they see their little ones begin to grasp the meaning of conservation. To that end, everyone who buys a copy of Endangered Animals can benefit in the knowledge that 5% of the purchase price of each book will be donated to the Canadian Wildlife Federation.
When Steve Smith set out to hitchhike from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to Canada’s west coast back in 1968, he was just an eighteen-year-old hippie with an appetite for adventure. But a short way into his journey, a reckless decision to steal a car landed him in police custody. Afraid of getting caught with the two tabs of acid in his pocket, Steve popped them into his mouth. It was one of the worst decisions of his life. Mistaking his drug trip for a mental breakdown, the authorities placed him in Ontario’s notorious Oak Ridge mental health facility. While there, not only did he find himself shoulder-to-shoulder with people like notorious child killer Peter Woodcock and mass murderers Matt Lamb and Victor Hoffman, he also fell into the hands of someone worse: Dr. Elliot T. Barker. Over the next eight months, Barker subjected Steve and the other patients to a battery of unorthodox experiments involving LSD, scopolamine, methamphetamines, and other drugs. Steven also experienced numerous other forms of abuse and torture. Following his release, Steve continued to suffer the aftereffects of his Oak Ridge experience. For several years, he found himself in and out of prison—and back to Oak Ridge—before he was finally able to establish himself as a successful entrepreneur. Once he began investigating what happened to him during his youth, not even Steve was prepared for what he would discover about Barker, Oak Ridge, and one of the darkest periods in Canada’s treatment of mental health patients. The question remains: Was Oak Ridge and Dr. Barker trying to cure psychopaths or trying to create and direct them?
“So far lawyers are the only ones getting any money.” “There’s no middle ground. We only talk through lawyers.” “I open my mouth and we end up screaming at each other.” Sound familiar? What if there was a way to divorce with a minimum of hostility, time, and expense? It is attainable, even if you are working towards these goals without the cooperation of your spouse. The Yoga of Divorce advocates that we shift our reactions and embrace the notion of cooperative opposition, the idea that the same non-adversarial process that works on the yoga mat can be used at the negotiation table. The key to The Yoga of Divorce’s strategy is to 'park ego at the door'. If we stop trying to 'win' but instead seek a solution that is fair to both sides, we make much smoother progress. The mindful practice of cooperative opposition can simultaneously resolve physical stress and social conflict by intentionally balancing opposite forces. It might seem simple, but it takes conscious effort. We urgently need to make calm decisions at those times when being calm is most difficult—such as in the midst of emotional crisis. When stakes are highest we feel most triggered to attack. For the sake of our children, our wealth, and our personal well-being, we need to work past negative emotions and put ego in its place. Only then will we find lasting peace and amicable resolutions.
Sixteen year old Beth was ignorantly happy. That changed over spring break of her grade eleven year. Her mother kills herself, her boyfriend of over a year becomes abusive and she finds herself falling in love with a boy she just met. Being a teenager is hard enough as it is; add a dead mom to the mix, plus a younger sister to take care of and it becomes a living hell.
Toronto, 1951 – Irishman Tom Corbert sits in his rented room and turns an unopened letter over in his hands. The envelope has stamps from all over the world on it, stamps that trace the journey he’s been on for the last decade. The letter has followed him all the way from his past, from Ireland. And it’s calling him home. But Tom is not the only one being summoned. Also in Toronto is Bob Ward, a soft hearted but hard fisted man with whom Tom is familiar mostly through barroom brawls. And someone in Ireland has business with him, too. The two men independently journey back home to Ireland to unravel a tragic mystery that stretches back almost twenty years—one that will change both their lives forever. A love letter to the pastoral Ireland and rugged Canada of an earlier generation that draws inspiration from the author’s own life, The Three Coins is a comic, heart-warming tale of coincidence and connection that explores the legacy of tragedy and the power of community.
Safety, Acceptance, Belonging. These words come to mind when we hear about families. Having a mother, father, and twelve siblings living in a strong Christian faith should mean plenty of love, laughter and companionship. But what if, inexplicably, one’s parents selectively manipulated and mistreated some of the children and not the others? How would you deal with being one of three children who constantly bore unprovoked wrath and abuse — while watching the others receive the love, affirmation and nurturing you so desperately needed and craved? Would you ask yourself if your life was worth anything to anyone at all? Would you feel that God had overlooked and abandoned you? Would you despair of God for being unresponsive when you cried out for relief? Ron Corcoran’s frank and honest memoir courageously proclaims that no matter how wretched, broken or angry we may be, we can indeed be delivered, redeemed and transformed by the love of the living, eternal God.
We’re all given gifts in life, it’s what we do with them that shows us what we’ve learned. Through hard work, creativity and an emerging vision, Lise-Lotte has incorporated the gift of her Mom’s greenhouse into her garden life where it is put into active service as: a cozy place to sit afterschool with her daughters and hear about their school day; a bar for drinks in the evening to enjoy a glass of prosecco with friends; a side board for homemade appetizers that Daisy, her golden retriever, can’t reach; a place to be silent and still in all weather conditions and times of the year; a place to enjoy a glass of wine with candle light under the stars on a city lot; a place to start seedlings and grow citrus and olive trees; and a serene oasis in which to meditate and re-charge. Through Lise-Lotte’s lovely images, you are invited to join in the garden celebration.