Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Ocean Ranger, Stuart Pierson and Ron Hynes

As Stuart Pierson put it,

"...mid-February, 1982, when it was borne in upon us that a "rig" called Ocean Ranger had succumbed to a savage Atlantic storm, had capsized and sunk on the Grand Banks. All "hands" lost, one hundred sixty-eight of them belonging to eighty-four men (there were no women on board), employees of Mobil Oil through its subsidiary ODECO."

So starts the last section of a long essay by Stuart Pierson entitled Medieval Survivals: Reflections on Ron Hynes's cryer's paradise - the final section, dealing with a song Hyne's wrote in respone to the sinking of the Ocean Ranger and the loss of those one hundred sixty-eight hands.

Memorial University of Newfoundland's Public Orator Shane O'Dea referred to the same song, Atlantic Blue when the University paid tribute to Ron Hynes with the degree of doctor of letters, (honoris causa),

"His most haunting song ... the song of the Ocean Ranger disaster. As subtle a song as ever came from this land, it moves through a series of unanswerable questions ... to convey the desolation of that eternally-Valentineless day."

To quote the ending of Stuart Pierson's essay:

"Hynes pared this song down to its starkest possible minimum. A time comes to tell the truth, to understate, to use short words.

Is that you Atlantic Blue?
My heart is as cold as you. "

Hard-Headed and Big-Hearted: Writing Newfoundland by Stuart Pierson, edited by Stan Dragland (2006) is published by Pennywell Books, St. John's, Newfoundland.

Atlantic Blue by Ron Hynes appears on his album cryer's paradise.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Hear Deidre Gillard-Rowlings read a love poem to Jiggs' Dinner by Michael Crummey

As we get closer to Valentine's Day let's not get too close to our own kind just yet.

Hear Deidre Gillard-Rowlings reading Jiggs' Dinner by Michael Crummey from his Rattling Books CD Hard Light: 32 Little Stories, narrated by Michael Crummey, Ron Hynes and Deidre Gillard-Rowlings.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Excerpt: Vikings of the Ice, being the log of a Tenderfoot on the Great Newfoundland Seal Hunt by George Allan England


St. John's, Nf.,
Feb. 9, 1922

Sealing trip arranged on Terra Nova with famous sealing captain. No passenger accommodations. You will be quartered with three junior officers. Be prepared to rough it.


This telegram of good hap put a spur to my preparations and set me packing my warmest kit. It arrived as the climax to long negotiations, for this matter of getting permission to go out with the sealers of the Newfoundland fleet had been rather a business.

Observers and writers are not wanted by the seal hunters. Nobody is wanted among those men of bood and iron, in those far and frozen vacancies - nobody who cannot actively take part in the Saga of Slaughter.

"Three junior officers" sounded encouraging. The words seemed to couple with brass buttons and a smart little stateroom.


And so begins George Allan England's tale of sailing to the ice with Captain Abram Kean on the Terra Nova in 1922. Vikings of the Ice, being the log of a Tenderfoot on the Great Newfoundland Seal Hunt was published in 1924 by Doubleday.
The unabridged audio edition of Vikings of the Ice narrated by Frank Holden is brought to you by Rattling Books.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

New Listening Clip posted to SoundCloud from EarLit Shorts 2

They are Married, a short story by Claire Wilkshire

Another Canadian audiobook short fiction single from Rattling Books

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

SoundCloud Listening Clip of Carm's dementia from The Grey Islands by John Steffler

The following listening clip from The Grey Islands by John Steffler is in the voice of Carm, narrated by Frank Holden.
Carm is an old man who lived on the Grey Islands into his presumed dementia and eventual removal to an institution. His stories haunt Steffler's main character, a mainlander seeking solitude.

The Grey Islands by John Steffler is published in print by Brick Books. The unabridged audio edition from Rattling Books, narrated by John Steffler, Frank Holden, Deidre Gillard-Rowlings, Janis Spence and Darryl Hopkins will be released in March, 2007.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Short Stories for Long Listening January Special at

Short Stories for Long Listening Special Sale

During the last week of January we invite you to save 30% on any of the following audiobook collections of short fiction from

Montreal Stories by Mavis Gallant (11 hours)

Open by Lisa Moore (6 hours)

In the Chambers of the Sea by Susan Rendell ( 9 hours)

on the beach in spanish room by Janis Spence (4 hours)

These Canadian audiobooks brought to you by Rattling Books of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Lure of the Labrador Wild: The classic story of Leonidas Hubbard by Dillon Wallace, excerpt: late January 1904

The following excerpt is from Dillon Wallace's classic story of the fateful canoe trip which Wallace, Leonidas Hubbard and George Elson made into the interior of Labrador in 1903 (The Lure of the Labrador Wild originally published in 1905 by Fleming H. Revell, New York) . In 2005 Rattling Books released an unabridged audiobook edition of The Lure of the Labrador Wild narrated by Jody Richardson.

During January and February the cold was terrific. The spirit thermometer at the camp was scaled down to 64 degrees below zero, and on several days the spirit disappeared below the scale mark before 8 o'clock in the evening. For a week the temperature never, even at midday, rose above 40 below. The old natives of the bay said there never had been such a winter before. Not a man in the camp escaped without a frozen nose and the cheeks and chins of all of them were black from being nipped by the frost. Bently declared that he froze his nose in bed, and Mrs. Bently bore witness to the truth of the statement. But Bently's nose was frosted on an average of once a day.

Nearly all of this time I lay at the lumber camp worrying about Hubbard's body. One day late in January, when I had been hoping that the body had been safely brought out , Mackenzie and George arrived from Northwest River with the news that the storms had been so continuous it had not been deemed wise to attempt the journey inland. I wished to be removed at once to the post, thinking that my presence there might hasten matters, but Dr. Hardy said there would be no use of having two dead men, and I was forced to be content with promises that the expedition would get under way as soon as possible.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Lure of the Labrador Wild by Dillon Wallace read by Jody Richardson audiobook SoundCloud Listening Clip Posted

Lure of the Labrador Wild by Dillon Wallace read by Jody Richardson audiobook SoundCloud Listening Clip Posted

Thursday, January 25, 2018

50 Words from Melody, a story from Open by Lisa Moore

50 Words from the story Melody by Lisa Moore

"I felt logy and grateful. Also sophisticated. I'd had an orgasm, though I didn't know it at the time. I didn't know that's what that was. I could count on one hand the number of times I'd said the word out loud, though I'd read about it. I believed myself ..."

The unabridged audiobook edition of Open by Lisa Moore, narrated by Lisa Moore, Holly Hogan and Mary Lewis is available from

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Mid January, 1904: The Lure of the Labrador Wild: The classic story of Leonidas Hubbard by Dillon Wallace

The following excerpt is from Dillon Wallace's classic story of the fateful canoe trip which Wallace, Leonidas Hubbard and George Elson made into the interior of Labrador in 1903 (The Lure of the Labrador Wild originally published in 1905 by Fleming H. Revell, New York) . In 2005 Rattling Books released an unabridged audio edition of The Lure of the Labrador Wild narrated by Jody Richardson.

The Photo above is of Dillon Wallace lunching while still on the trail with Hubbard and Elson. The image is from the original glass slide collection housed by the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, University of Newfoundland.

As we pick up the story the tragic canoe trip is behind Wallace and his struggle now is to survive to retrieve his beloved Hubbard's body from the interior and return with it to the US.

...The chill he had received during the trip from Northwest River so affected Dr. Hardy that he was unable to proceed to Muddy Lake. Two days after our arrival he had a severe haemorrhage, and the following day another. They forced him to take to his bed, and thereafter he rose only occasionally for half an hour's rest in a chair. He was a deeply religious nature, and, realising that he was doomed, he awaited the slow approach of death with calm resignation.

And my feet steadily grew worse. Three days after our arrival at Kenemish I could not touch them to the floor. The doctor and I lay on couches side by side. I could not even bear the weight of the bedclothes on my feet, and Dunbar built a rack from the hoops of an old flour barrel to protect them. Under the doctor's direction, Mrs. Dunbar every day removed the bandages from my feet, cleansed them with carbolic acid water and rebandaged them. Dunbar and the other men carried me in their arms when it was necessary for me to be taken from my couch. My temperature ran up until it reached 103 1/2. The doctor then said there was only one way to save my life - to cut off my legs.

"And, " he said, "I'm the only one here that knows how to do it, and I'm too weak to undertake it. So we're both going to die, Wallace. There's nothing to fear in that though, if you trust in God."

The doctor was an accomplished player of the violin, but he had left his own instrument at Muddy Lake, and the only one he could obtain at Kenemish was a miserable affair that gave him little satisfaction. So while he lay dying by the side of his patient who he thought was also dying, he, for the most part, gratified his love of music and sought to comfort us both by softly singing in his sympathetic tenor voice the grand old hymns of the church. "Lead Kindly Light" and "Nearer My God to Thee" were his favourites, and every syllable was enunciated clearly and distinctly.

But he was mistaken in thinking that I, too, was to die. Soon there was an improvement noticeable in the condition of both of my feet, and gradually they grew better.

"It's truly a miracle that the Lord is working," said the doctor. "You were beyond human aid. I've prayed from the bottom of my heart that you'd get well. I've prayed a dozen times a day, and now the prayer is answered. It's the only one of my prayers," he added sadly, "that has been answered since I have been in Labrador."

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Brick Books, Stan Dragland and Don McKay

On January 8 Brick Books announced that the 1975 co-founders of the press Stan Dragland and Don McKay are retiring from their regular duties but will remain with the press as advisors. Both these men have contributed to Rattling Books and we wish them all the best and congratulations on having co-founded such a vehicle for poetry that Brick Books is.

Rattling Books owes a long term debt of gratitude to Stan Dragland for advise and moral support to Rattling Books as well as for introducing us to Don McKay.  Stan is often in our thoughts and we wish him every extra ounce that retiring from one duty adds to the freedom to pursue others.

Don McKay became part of the Rattling Books catalogue when he selected and recorded the poems in Songs for the Songs of Birds. Like the poet, it is beautiful.

Kite, from Hard Light: 32 Little Stories by Michael Crummey


I was crooked as a rainbow when I was a boy, I'll admit it. Stabbed Hollis with a pocket knife down on the Labrador. Swung at him with a berry can and split his head open. He'd have beat the snot out of me on more than one occasion if I wasn't the faster runner.

He read something about Marconi's kites one summer and made one for himself out of brown paper and scrap wood; it had a tail ten feet long with bits of coloured rag tied every foot. He worked on it for a week in the old shed, and I chased him out into the meadow garden when he finished it. A perfect day for a kite, a brisk easterly and mostly clear. Helped him get it up and stood beside him as he let out yard after yard of string, the kite pulling taut like an anchored boat in a tide, the narrow wake of the tail snaking behind it. And I'm tugging at Hollis' sleeve, wanting to hold it myself; he's leaning back to keep it high in the wind and telling me no, no way, fuck off, it's my kite, no.

Crooked as a rainbow, like I said. I stomped off toward the house, wishing him dead. When I reached the edge of the garden the kite caught a downdraft, arcing to the ground like a hawk after a rabbit, as if my contrariness had sucked the very wind out of the sky behind me. It landed nose first ten feet in front of where I stood. Hollis was running in my direction, yelling something I couldn't hear over the sound of the wind and I wouldn't have listened anyway. So angry by then I wanted to do something unforgivable. Put both my feet through the kite where it lay and then I ran like hell.

Now he's gone I wish he'd caught up to me that day. Maybe he would have given me something to remember him by, the mark of his hand on my body somewhere. The thin line of a scar I could hold him with a while longer, before the sky carried him off for good.

Hard Light by Michael Crummey is published by Brick Books.

Hard Light: 32 Little Stories by Michael Crummey, narrated by Michael Crummey, Ron Hynes and Diedre Gillard-Rowlings is published by Rattling Books.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

In the Old Country of My Heart: Listening Clip posted on SoundCloud

In the Snapshot is a poem from the collection of poems by Agnes Walsh entitled In the Old Country of My Heart .  It is posted on SoundCloud. 

Curious about the poetry of Agnes Walsh? Listen to this sample on SoundCloud for free.

You can purchase a digital download of In the Old Country of My Heart by Agnes Walsh online from Rattling Books.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Letters from Uncle Val by Andy Jones: Listening clip posted on Soundcloud

Letters from Uncle Val

written and performed by Andy Jones
Listening Clip posted on SoundCloud

To purchase a digital download of Letters from Uncle Val visit Rattling Books.

Audiofile Magazine Review:

Adapted from the stage, and starring the author, this is a memorable one-man performance. Elderly Uncle Al has been forced to trade the city for the suburbs, moving in with his daughter, Margaret; her obnoxious husband, Bernard; three kids, and two poodles in Newfoundland. He confesses all his woes in 18 letters to his old buddy, Jack. As Jones wallows in his misery, his experiences go from bad to worse, building to a hilarious climax. Most rollicking are his letters about Bernard's new business, a tavern Val names Grapnel, which quickly fails. Second best are Andy's account of his bizarre method of babysitting his grandchildren and his thoughts on the plight of senior citizens. While lightweight, this is amusement par excellence. M.T.B.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Colouring Sheet: Letters from Uncle Val - #1

Ever wonder what the next "knitting" will be?

What the coolest people will haul out of their bags in the bars of 2017 and go at with the fervent reverence previously reserved for homespun?

Here at Rattling Books we believe the next Big Thing - BIGGER EVEN THAN POETRY - that's right, BIGGER EVEN THAN POETRY IS GOING TO BE RIGHT AFTER THIS NEXT BIG THING - we believe THE NEXT BIG THING is colouring. Not for kids though. We don't reccomend it for kids. Colouring is an adult activity.

So haul out the crayons and print out your Uncle Val Colouring Sheet.

Be Calm.

And if you want to listen to Letters from Uncle Val while colouring you can purchase a download online or get the CD from Fred's Records.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Review of Merrybegot by Mary Dalton, audiobook edition

"...Best has a lovely smooth reading voice, and does a little bit of singing on “The Water Man” (mp3 1.38 MB). After first reading the poem, she then sings it beautifully as a soft lullaby. Patrick Boyle fills the space between readings with improvised bits of what I can only describe as a combination of traditional east coast music and jazz. He really caught my attention on “Burn” (mp3 256 KB), the three-part story of a salter interspersed with Boyle’s mournful sea longing trumpet. The music is an inventive blend of styles that works well with the collection...

... sure to become a classic in Canadian poetry."

Read the rest of this review by Melanie Maddix of Mary Dalton's Merrybegot (performed by Anita Best and Patrick Boyle)

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Winter Coal, a poem from Merrybegot by Mary Dalton


They trotted right up to the foot of the lane,
Cart piled with coal for the light-keeper's shack.
But the cousins said no, no crossing their land
So they turned round the horse and headed on back
For the boat, loaded her up for the Point.
Jam-packed to the gunnels, she rode low in the water.
A stiff wind from the west and over she went -
Over she toppled, tossed them out in dark water.
One of them got fast to the boat,
Held six hours to the side of her,
His fingernails tore off of him;
His brother's luck broke -
She flipped him in first
And the coal down on top of him.

The unabridged audio edition of Merrybegot by Mary Dalton published by Rattling Books in 2005 is performed by Anita Best with Patrick Boyle on trumpet and flugelhorn. For more information or to buy it visit


Who narrates Rattling Books audiobooks?

Who are the voices on Rattling Books audiobooks?

Rattling Books narrators in alphabetical order:

Mary Barry, Anita Best, Chris Brookes, Mark Callanan, Michael Crummey, Margot Dionne (Earphones Award winning narrator), Antonia Francis (Earphones Award winning narrator), Jessica Grant, Deidre Gillard-Rowlings, Nichola Hawkins, Holly Hogan, Frank Holden (Audie short listed narrator), Ron Hynes, Joel Thomas Hynes, Andy Jones, Robert Joy, Mary Lewis, Carmelita McGrath, Don McKay,  Lisa Moore, Gerard Neil, Susan Rendell, Jody Richardson, Janet Russell, Catherine Hogan Safer, Janis Spence (Earphones Award winning narrator), Carmine Starnino, John Steffler, Charlie Tomlinson, Leslie Vryenhoek,, Agnes Walsh Russell Wangersky, Patrick Warner, Claire Wilkshire

Listen to sample clips Rattling Books audiobooks on SoundCloud

Friday, January 12, 2018

Who is Rattling Books?

Who/What is Rattling Books?

Rattling Books are downloadable award winning Canadian audiobooks by the "so small, we’re fine" Rattling Books of Newfoundland & Labrador. 

The antithesis of Audible in our business model. 

We respect our whole catalogue, not just the "Bestselling this" or the "Celebrity that". We aim to flourish, not through a frenzy of substandard new production, heavily capitalized marketing, and aggressively monopolistic strategies but through the slow and patient development of a listening audience for our "Literature to listen to".   

No BackList,. No Fall Line. No Spring Line. Our catalogue:  authentic human voices reading work we like. Fiction long and short, poetry, historical nonfiction, true outdoor adventure.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

New Rattling Books SoundCloud Post: Clip from Bishop's Road by Catherine Hogan Safer

New listening clip posted to SoundCloud.  Listen free to a short clip of Mary Lewis reading Catherine Hogan Safer's novel Bishop's Road.

The unabridged audiobook recording of Bishop's Road was produced for Rattling Books by Chris Brookes.

The unabridged audiobook Bishop's Road is available to purchase as a Digital Download.

Alphabetical List of Authors with audiobook recordings from Rattling Books

Alphabetical List of Authors with audiobook recordings from Rattling Books

Captain Robert Bartlett, Chris Benjamin, Chris Brookes, Cassie Brown, Mark Callanan, Michael Collins, Michael Crummey, Richard Cumyn, Mary Dalton, George Allan England, Mavis Gallant, Jessica Grant, Prudence Grieve, Sir Wilfred Grenfell,  Steven Heighton, Frank Holden, Mina Hubbard, Joel Thomas Hynes, Andy Jones, David Macfarlane, Robin McGrath, Carmelita McGrath, Don McKay, Lisa Moore, Helen Porter,  Susan Rendell, Rebecca Rosenblum, Catherine Hogan Safer, Janis Spence, Carmine Starnino, John Steffler, J.J. Steinfeld,  Leslie Vryenhoek, Agnes Walsh, Russell Wangersky, Patrick Warner,  David Weale, , Emily White, Claire Wilkshire, Kathleen Winter, Michael Winter

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Excerpt: The Last Voyage of the Karluk by Captain Robert Bartlett (Captain Bob), setting: January 10, 1914

The following excerpt is from The Last Voyage of the Karluk An Epic of Death and Survival in the Arctic, 1913-1916 as related by her captain, Robert A. Bartlett and here set down by Ralph T. Hale (published in 1916 by Small, Maynard and Company, Inc.; unabridged audiobook edition narrated by Frank Holden published by Rattling Books).

...At five o'clock on the morning of the tenth I was awakended by a loud report like a rifle-shot. Then there came a tremor all through the ship. I was soon on deck. The watchman, who for that night was Brady, had already been overboard on the ice and I met him coming up the ice gangway to tell me what he had found. There was a small crack right at the stem of the ship, he said. I went there with him at once and found that the crack ran irregularly but in general northwesterly for about two hundred yards. At first it was very slight, although it was a clean and unmistakable break; in the course of half an hour, however, it grew to a foot in width and as the day wore on widened still more until it was two feet wide on an average.

By 10 A.M. there was a narrow lane of water off both bow and stern. The ship was now entirely free on the starboard side but still frozen fast in her ice-cradle on the port side ... The ship felt no pressure, only slight shocks, and her hull was still untouched, for the open ends of the pocket fended off the moving ice especially at the stern. It was clear to me, however, that as soon as the moving ice should grind or break off the points of these natural fenders there was a strong probability that the moving ice-sheet would draw nearer to the starboard side of the ship and, not unlike the jaws of a nut-cracker, squeeze her against the sheet in which she was frozen on the port side, particularly as the wind was attaining a velocity of forty-five miles an hour.

Everything indicated, therefore, that the time was near at hand when we should have to leave the ship. We must have things ready. I gave orders to get the snow off the deck and the skylights and the other walls of the cabin to lighten her. ...

At about half past seven in the evening I chanced to be standing near the engine-room door. The lamps were lighted. The labors of the day were over and now, after dinner, the men were playing cards or reading or sewing, as usual. All at once I heard a splitting, crashing sound below. I went down into the engine-room and found the chief engineer there. We could hear water rushing into the hold and by lantern-light could see it puring in at different places for a distance of ten feet along the port side....

I went on deck again and gave the order, "All hands abandon ship."

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Excerpt: The Lure of the Labrador Wild: The classic story of Leonidas Hubbard by Dillon Wallace, setting: early January 1904

The following excerpt is from Dillon Wallace's classic story of the fateful canoe trip which Wallace, Leonidas Hubbard and George Elson made into the interior of Labrador in 1903 (The Lure of the Labrador Wild originally published in 1905 by Fleming H. Revell, New York) . In 2005 Rattling Books released an unabridged audiobook edition of The Lure of the Labrador Wild narrated by Jody Richardson.

As we pick up the story, Leonidas Hubbard lays dead in his tent in the Labrador wilderness and Wallace, slowly recovering from their ordeal, is planning to retrieve Hubbard's body and return with it to the US.

...Immediately upon my return to Northwest River, my feet began to trouble me again. Word was sent to Dr. Hardy, who, regarding it as a call of duty, arrived on December 31st. I very much regret to say, that in responding to the call, Dr. Hardy received a chill that hastened, if it did not cause, his death. After examining my feet upon his arrival, he advised me to return with him to Muddy Lake. So it was arranged that George, with Mackenzie's dogs and komatik, should drive Dr. Hardy and me to the Kenemish lumber camp twelve miles across Groswater Bay, where there was a patient that required attention, and that from there Hardy and I should go on to Muddy Lake with other dogs. Alas! the doctor never saw Muddy Lake again.

Before starting, I learned from Allen Goudie and Duncan MacLean, who came from the interior to spend New Year's Day that Grand Lake was frozen hard and an attempt might be made to bring out Hubbard's body. Accordingly, I engaged Duncan Maclean and Tom Blake, also a breed, to undertake the task with George, and to recover, so far as possible, the photographic films and other articles we had abandoned at Goose Camp and Lake Elson. Blake was the father of Mackenzie's housekeeper, and lived at the rapid at the eastern end of Grand Lake. As he had, at the request of friends, frequently prepared bodies for burial, it was arranged that he should head the expedition, while George acted as guide, and the agreement was that, weather permitting, the party should start inland on January 6th. A coffin, made by the carpenter at Kenemish, was all ready to receive the body when it should arrive at the post.

George was to have driven Dr. Hardy and me to Kenemish on January 3rd, but as there was a stiff wind blowing and the thermometer registered 40 degrees below zero, we postponed our departure untill the following day. The morning was clear, and the temperature was 34 below. The dogs, with a great howling and jumping, had hardly settled down to the slow trot which with only fair travelling is their habital gait, when we observed that the sky was clouding, and in an incredibly short time the first snowflakes of the gathering storm began to fall. Soon the snow was so thick that it shut us in as with a curtain, and eventually even old Aillik, our leader, was lost to view.

"Bear well t' th' east'ard, an' keep free o' th' bad ice; the's sure t' be bad ice handy t' th' Kenemish," had been Mark Blake's parting injunction. So George kept well to the eastward as, hour after hour, we forged our way on through the blinding, drifting snow. At length we came upon land, but what land we did not know. The storm had abated by this time, and a fresh komatik track was visible, which we proceeded to follow. On all sides of us ice was piled in heaps as high as a house. We had been travelling altogether about six hours, and the storm had ceased, when we came upon a tilt on the shore of a deep bay, and, close by it, a man making passes with a stick at a large wolf, which, apparently emboldened by hunger, was jumping and snarling about waiting for a chance to spring in upon him.

The noise of our approaching komatik caused the wolf to slink off, and then the man hurried to the tilt, reappeared with a rifle and shot the beast as it still prowled among the ice hills. He proved to be Uriah White, a trapper. Not at all excited by his adventure, he welcomed us to his tilt. In throwing off his mittens to fire his rifle at the wolf, he had exposed his naked hands to the bitter cold, and they had been frost bitten. While thawing out his hands at a safe distance from the stove, he informed us that he had been 'handy 'nuf to he (meaning the wolf) to see that he were a she."

... to be continued.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

On the Karluk with Captain Bob Jan 7 and 8, 1914

An excerpt from :  The Last Voyage of the Karluk by Captain Robert Bartlett

"...On the seventh and eighth the variable weather continued with occasional twilight of considerable intensity; the low barometer and high thermometer still prevailed. Our observations on the seventh, the last we were to take on shipboard, gave us our position as Lat. 72.11 N., Long. 174.36 W. ...."
(To be continued.)

This excerpt is from The Last Voyage of the Karluk An Epic of Death and Survival in the Arctic, 1913-1916 as related by her captain, Robert A. Bartlett and here set down by Ralph T. Hale (published in 1916 by Small, Maynard and Company, Inc.; unabridged audiobook edition narrated by Frank Holden published by Rattling Books).

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Newfoundland Literature Christmas Reference: Old Christmas Day a poem by Michael Crummey

Old Christmas Day

My father, yes.

Father died on Old Christmas Day, January 6th, 1946. We thought he was getting better, he'd managed a decent meal that Sunday for the first time in months, salt beef and cabbage, peas pudding, he ate the works. Mother used to make fruit puddings in the old Baking Soda cans, Hollis and myself carried one up to him for dessert. He took three or four mouthfuls from the can and then he slumped over in the bed, never made a sound. I ran across Riverhead to Uncle Wel's and burst in saying Father was dead, I don't know what I expected them to do.

Anyway we buried him. Had to take out the kitchen window to carry the coffin from the house and it was cold enough to skin you. Then we buried him.

I'm not saying this like I meant to.

He used to run a sawmill up the brook, it was something to do over the winters when there was no fishing. Mother made a fried egg sandwich and corked a bottle of tea for him every morning, we'd carry it up there together. It was warm inside from the heat of the machines running, and the scent of pine and spruce in the sawdust, I never smelled a place as clean as that mill. Father sat me up on the cutting table while he had his lunch and I usually ate more of the sandwich than he did. The first mill he had burnt down, the second one there weren't enough trees around to keep it running and he had to sell off the equipment or let it rust.

He worked hard is all I'm saying. The only summer that man didn't come to the Labrador he was having cataracts taken off his eyes. That was the year before he died, when he was sixty-two.

No, that's not it, nevermind, nevermind now.

Nevermind, I said.


This poem as read by Ron Hynes can be heard from the audiobook recording Hard Light: 32 Little Stories published by Rattling Books.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Don McKay on iTunes: Songs for the Songs of Birds

A suggested use for that iTunes card you got from Santa:

Songs for the Songs of Birds
poems written and read by Don Mckay

featuring field recordings of bird songs by Dave Fifield

available in the Spoken Word section of the iTunes store.

Also as per always, available to download from Rattling Books and as a CD Fred's Records in St. John's, Newfoundland.

Robin McGrath on iTunes : Coasting Trade

A suggested use for that iTunes card you got from Santa:

Coasting Trade  
by Robin McGrath
An audio book Performance for three voices, narrated (in order of appearance) by Robert Joy, Rick Boland and Anita Best,
produced with soundscape recordings by Chris Brookes.
available in the Spoken Word section of the iTunes store.

And of course always also available from Rattling Books.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

New Year's Resolution: a recap from 2008!

I resolve:

firstly: to shive all lewardly pishogues yaffled into this drung of a world by hangishores believing in boo darbies

secondly: to juggle four waddocks on the bawn and teach my merrybegot to do the same before

thirdly and lastly: I quit this droke peopled by nuzzle tripes, marl on out to the blue drop and hang with the bawks and guds.


I made this resolution before - back in 2008!!
I guess it's par for the course to have to re-resolve...

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Remember the Twelve Days of Christmas!

Remember the Twelve Days of Christmas!

Canadian audiobooks produced in Newfoundland and Labrador

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

January 2, 1914, from The Last Voyage of the Karluk by Captain Bob Bartlett

...During the night of New Year's Day we could hear, when we were below, a rumbling noise not unlike that which one often hears singing along the telegraph wires on a country road. The sound was inaudible from the deck. It was clear that there was tremendous pressure somewhere, though there were no visible indications of it in the vicinity of the ship. We were practically stationary. Apparently the great field of ice in which we had been zigzagging for so many months had finally brought up on the shore of Wrangell Island and was comparatively at rest, while the running ice outside this great field was still in active motion and tended to force the ice constantly in the direction of the island.

On Saturday, with a fresh north wind, in spite of which ship and ice still remained stationary, the rumbling noise could again be heard in the interior of the ship...."

(To be continued.)
This excerpt is from The Last Voyage of the Karluk An Epic of Death and Survival in the Arctic, 1913-1916 as related by her captain, Robert A. Bartlett and here set down by Ralph T. Hale (published in 1916 by Small, Maynard and Company, Inc.; unabridged audio edition narrated by Frank Holden published by Rattling Books).