A&E » Arts

The 12 Books of Christmas


The snow shovels and boots have been unearthed from the garage, staff parties are being booked, and yes, those are Christmas decorations on display at each and every big box store. Believe it or not, the holiday season is already upon us (or at the very least, bearing down like a freight train). This year, rather than revert to the standard, safe go-to gift certificates for folks on your shopping list, we recommend buying a book. Yes that's right, remember those relics? They can make very thoughtful and relatively inexpensive gifts for just about anyone. This year, we've compiled a list of 12 recent literary releases from local writers that will entertain and intrigue kids, adventurers, aspiring chefs, sports enthusiasts and amateur historians. Happy reading!


The Crazy Canucks: Canada's Legendary Ski Team

By Janet Love Morrison, 224pp, Harbour Publishing


In just two months' time, the Dave Murray Downhill at Creekside will be ground zero for the best alpine skiers from around the world as they go for gold right here in Whistler. But lest we forget who that run is named for, pick up a copy of Janet Love Morrison's The Crazy Canucks: Canada's Legendary Ski Team.

Late last year, Morrison released this beautiful book, which details the journey that Canada's beloved Crazy Canucks - Dave Irwin, Dave Murray, Ken Read and Steve Podborski - took in Europe during the '70s, carving out a name and a niche for Canadian ski racers on the World Cup ski racing circuit.

Against all odds, the four determined racers took the world downhill scene by storm over 30 years ago, catching a ride with the Canadian Air Force, traveling in a beat-up VW van, and competing with inferior equipment to show the world that they, too, were capable of greatness.

And while their story is a very interesting and important part of Canada's sport history, Morrison's book also tells a universal story of the ability of the human spirit to conquer all and achieve even the most far-fetched dreams, which makes The Crazy Canucks a great read for even a non-skier.

"Two passengers sat huddled silently in winter coats, sweatshirts, sweat pants and running shoes on a hard bench seat bolted to the floor behind the driver. Packed suitcases and duffle bags provided some insulation against the cold; a passenger in the back rearranged a couple of bags and extended his legs. He knew that in a half an hour, he'd be shifting the bags back so his legs wouldn't fall asleep. The hours were torturous and painful, but this was a genesis. These men had a mission."