NONFICTION

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Around England With A Dog

September 30| RMB | Rocky Mountain Books

Buy the Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo

The story of two seasoned and intrepid Canadian travellers, Lesley and Linda Choyce, who embark on a new adventure with their West Highland terrier, Kelty.

 

Lesley Choyce is a 70-year-old year-round North Atlantic surfer, the godfather of transcendental wood-splitting, and the award-winning author of over 100 books. His wife, Linda, a former high school principal who has fearlessly commandeered knives from teenage malcontents, usually guides her husband away from quixotic quests, but she is fully on board for this one. As for Kelty, the couple’s West Highland terrier, he’s always ready to give up on chewing shoes and chasing pheasants for something more exciting.

For years, Lesley has been fascinated and perplexed by the tumultuous history of England, the inexplicable customs of the English, and the many paradoxes of the people, but also their indomitable spirit. If he were to continue to grow intellectually and spiritually, he was certain that the answers to the meaning of life were to be found in England. As their itinerary expands, Lesley and Linda will cross borders into Wales and Scotland as well.

Join the Choyces as they hurtle around the U.K. in search of history (all kinds), good food (mostly Indian), quirky destinations (the smaller and weirder the better), and places for the dog to pee. All while waiting for the imminent arrival of new grandchildren back home in Canada. Ever wondered what a Nova Scotian surfer/wood-splitter/Renaissance man/Westie owner thinks of the U.K.? Now you can find out.

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Saltwater Chronicles

June 3, 2020 | Nimbus Publishing

Buy the Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo

If Lesley Choyce was not a surfer, he would not have dropped out of graduate school in Manhattan in 1978 and moved to Nova Scotia—a decision that made all the difference. 

Saltwater Chronicles follows the adventures of the ambitious, idealistic, and brash young man (still alive and kicking inside Choyce) while the older man ahead beckons him forward with a mischievous grin. In many ways, this book celebrates the ordinary: the everyday disasters and discoveries that shape a life. Along the way Choyce has adapted to the crisis of becoming a respectable citizen. He has experienced the death of his father and of his family dog. He has helped guide his wife through cancer as they rode the North Atlantic waves and recorded a most human range of sorrows and joys. 

In this, his one hundredth book, Lesley Choyce takes readers along as he writes about nearly everything under the sun from his home by the sea on the North Atlantic coast of Canada—all of it most ordinary and yet extraordinary at the same time.

Available in Paperback.

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How to Fix your Head

May 15, 2011 | Wolsak and Wynn Publishers

Buy the Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo

Whether he is yodelling into construction equipment, or driving his car over thin ice, Lesley Choyce believes that mistakes are what makes life interesting and offer us all a true learning experience. In this hilarious new work, Choyce freely shares his most entertaining misadventures along with some of his best advice on topics ranging from plumbing to bad jobs. With a lively, down-to-earth style and a wonderful talent for observation, How to Fix Your Head is sure to make the idea of self-help a lot more enjoyable.

Available in Paperback.

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Seven Ravens

September 1, 2009 | Wolsak and Wynn Publishers

Buy the Book: Amazon

This collection is a philosophical and perceptive memoir of a time in author Lesley Choyce's life when he'd been knocked down "several rungs on the wobbly ladder I was climbing." On this journey we meet orphaned raccoons and lost arctic birds, revisit some of the history of Nova Scotia, and are accompanied by the wisdom of ancient writers. This is a fascinating, meandering work, filled with gentle humour and unabashed joy at the beauties of the natural world.

Available in Paperback.

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Peggy's Cove

July 1, 2008 | Pottersfield Press

Buy the Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo

Here is the complete history of the famous cove and the unique village that hosts thousands of visitors each year. The story begins with the formation of the rocks along these shores and the impact of the glaciers. The Mi'kmaq were the first to live here in the summers, harvesting the riches of the sea. A land grant in 1811 brought the first hardy settlers, who built homes and wharves and discovered that the sea could provide bounty but was also a source of great danger. 

The story includes the origin of the name, Peggy's Cove, and details about the everyday life of nineteenth-century families living here. A history of the famous lighthouse is included and there are excerpts from many of the famous and not-so-famous visitors who have written about the Cove through two centuries.

The author explores the most damaging storms and the shipwrecks, the reports of sea monsters and other strange phenomena. Fishing was always a source of income, but it changed over the years. At times the fish prices were so low it was not worth the effort and, in recent years, dramatic changes to the ocean have seen the collapse of several important species of fish.

Available in Paperback and as an Ebook.

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Nova Scotia: Shaped by the Sea

October 11, 2007 | Pottersfield Press

Buy the Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo

The history of Nova Scotia is an amazing story of a land and people shaped by the waves, the tides, the wind and the wonder of the North Atlantic. Lesley Choyce weaves the legacy of this unique coastal province, piecing together the stories written in the rocks, the wrecks and the record books of human glory and error. In this true-life adventure, he provides a down-to-earth journey through the natural and man-made history that is both refreshing and revealing. 

Available in Hardcover, Paperback, and as an Ebook.

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Driving Minnie's Piano

September 15, 2006 | Pottersfield Press

Buy the Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo

Novelist Lesley Choyce weaves together his real-life adventures living by the sea at Lawrencetown Beach on Nova Scotia's Eastern Shore. He writes of his love for the rugged coast and tells tales of the ordinary and the extraordinary. His story includes accounts of what it's like surfing in the Canadian North Atlantic through all four seasons including the frigid depths of winter.

Also threading its way through this narrative is the story of Minnie's piano. There is music here in word and spirit along with the lessons learned from the old and the young. Driving Minnie's Piano is an eloquent personal memoir about the precious and fateful moments that change our lives. It is an exploration of what makes us tick and prompts us to be both heroes and fools in the daily enterprise of living.

Available in Paperback and as an Ebook.

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The Coasts of Canada

November 27, 2002 | Goose Lane Editions

Buy the Book: Amazon

From the days before the arrival of the Europeans in North America, when the original inhabitants of our country made their way across a small land bridge, to today’s arrival in supersonic jets, there is one sight that is shared by all new Canadians — the country’s dramatic coastline. In this eclectic history of the sea’s elemental power over Canada’s coastal peoples, Lesley Choyce brings to life the heroes and villains, the Aboriginals and the Europeans, the great and the humble, and the intrepid but ill-prepared explorers, who “discovered,” travelled through, and inhabited Canada’s east, west, and north coasts. Brimming with shipwrecks and rescues, roguery and virtue, and stories of overcoming unimaginable odds, The Coasts of Canada is both idiosyncratic and iconoclastic.

Available in Hardcover.

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An Avalanche of Ocean

December 1, 1987 | Goose Lane Editions

Buy the Book: Amazon

A book about a love affair with Nova Scotia, about the search for a sane and magnificent asylum away from the industrial world. It explores life and death on Cape Breton, New York City street life with John Milton as a guide, how Marshall McLuhan caused mayhem and revolution in a New Jersey high school, an eclectic approach to winter, Labrador, Saskatoon, smuggling tomatoes into Canada, a strip search at the hands of the Mounties in a Labrador airport, an attempt to hike on foot the entire coastline of Nova Scotia, cigarettes, skateboards, winter surfing in Canada, the decline and fall of outhouses, a curious Nova Scotian rligious cult based on the splitting of firewood, eggplant poetry, hitchhiking in Alabama, learning to live with Davey Crockett, ravens, the Alaskan Highway, Iceland, divine intervention in Pictou County and even the death of Lesley Choyce.

Available in Paperback.