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The Prairies

Explore and learn more about the Prairies without even leaving home. These books are full of photography, history, and facts about Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and give an insightful look at the fascinating world just outside your door.

Order these books online or by phone and we can arrange for curbside pickup, shipping to anywhere in the world, or delivery (in Winnipeg). For store hours and contact information, see this this page.


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Manitoba Walks & Scenic Drives

- by PRAIRIE PATHFINDERS

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Winnipeg Cycling

- by Margaret Larson

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Discover Winnipeg and beyond with 30 unique routes designed for all cyclists of all skill levels. With routes ranging from 26 to 50 kilometres, with shortcuts as short as 5 kilometres, anyone can hop on their bike and explore what this city has to offer Winnipeg Cycling includes:
- 20 routes in and around Winnipeg and 10 routes just a short drive away
- options to shorten routes, suggestions for coffee stops and points of interest, and locations of bathroom stops to make the route perfect for you
- detailed directions, maps, and fun information for each route Visit the Manitoba Legislative Building, explore the Trappist Monastery, and take a selfie with the world's largest Coca-Cola can Cycle along river beds, over bridges, through parks, and past sculptures and tourist sites. Winnipeg Cycling is a game-changer for getting more enjoyment out of cycling in this city.

Manitoba Birds

- by Andy Bezener

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Manitoba's 145 most commonly seen birds are profiled in this beautifully illustrated book. Each account includes a description of the bird's key features for quick identification in the field, as well as the bird's song, habitat, nesting and feeding habits and best locations for viewing. Ken De Smet, of the Manitoba Wildlife branch, is a biologist specializing in endangered species.

A Celebration of Prairie Birds

- by Wayne Lynch

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I became enchanted by the prairie grasslands more than 40 years ago, and have been bewitched by birds even longer. This book combines both of these personal passions. But it is more than just a book about the birds of the prairies; it is a celebration of the beauty and biology of the natural world. Originally, native prairie grasslands occupied the entire central core of North America, roughly 138 million hectares (340 million acres). This vast expanse of grass and sky stretched for over 2000 kilometres (1200 mi) from the aspen parklands of western Canada south to Texas, and from the jagged summits of the Rocky Mountains to the eastern hardwood forests. Today, more than 80 percent of the continent's grasslands are no more than a memory, and native prairie continues to disappear at a rate of 40,000 hectares (100,000 acres) a year -- victims of urban sprawl and humanity's insatiable appetite for cropland. It is no surprise that grassland birds are declining more rapidly than any other avian community in North America. The best way to preserve these last remnants of prairie grasslands and their wildlife is to understand what we will lose if we do nothing to protect them. The habitat that most people associate with the prairies is the rolling grassy plains. Yet the prairie grasslands is a wonderful and surprising mosaic of many habitats. It includes wetlands, such as sloughs and marshes, rimmed with waving stands of cattails, as well as lazy, winding rivers, and large alkaline lakes. It also contains rolling dunescapes, sculpted badlands of multi-colored sandstone, and inviting wooded river valleys and coulees where you can retreat from the light and glare of the open skies. Together, these different wild habitats combine to make the prairie grasslands, and the birds that fill its skies, a natural sanctuary to soothe the psyche, challenge the mind, and rekindle the spirit. Grassland birds live complex and intriguing lives and in A Celebration of Prairie Birds I share with you the many fascinating details that make these creatures so interesting and satisfying to watch.

Treasures of Winnipeg's Historic Exchange

- by George J. Mitchell

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A breathtaking full-colour photography book celebrating the architectural splendour and cultural heritage of Winnipeg's famed Exchange District, a National Historic Site and one of the city's most vibrant artistic, commercial, and tourist hubs. The Exchange District is the architectural jewel of Winnipeg's downtown core, a thirty-block area featuring 150 remarkably preserved heritage buildings dating back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These iconic buildings are among the best examples in North America of several turn-of-the-century architectural styles, including Romanesque, Italianate, Beaux-Arts, and Chicago School. From its origins in the 1880s as a commercial and industrial gateway to the Canadian West to its current revitalization, the Exchange exemplifies the spirit of a modern city embracing its past while creating a bright and dynamic future.

Treasures of Winnipeg's Historical Exchange is a sumptuous visual feast for residents and visitors. With stunning photography highlighting the impressive scale and intricate detail of the Exchange's imposing banks, sprawling warehouses, and commercial towers, this book will amaze and delight anyone interested in Winnipeg's history and architecture. In addition, the book captures the renewed energy, creativity, hospitality, and entrepreneurial spirit that have invigorated the Exchange in recent years, making it one of Canada's most vibrant up-and-coming neighbourhoods.

The Lesser Known

- by Darren Bernhardt

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Manitoba's history is one of being carved. Ice sculpted the land before nomadic first people pressed trails across it. Southern First Nations dug into the earth to grow corn and potatoes while those in the north mined it for quartz used in arrowheads. Fur traders arrived, expanding on Indigenous trading networks and shaping new ones. Then came settlers who chiselled the terrain with villages, towns and cities. But there is failure and suffering etched into the history, too. In Winnipeg, slums emerged as the city's population boomed. There were more workers than jobs and the pay was paltry. Immigrants and First Nations were treated as second-class, shunted to the fringes. Rebellions and strikes, political scandals and natural disasters occured as the people molded Manitoba. That past has been thoroughly chronicled, yet within it are lesser-known stories of people, places and events. In The Lesser Known, Darren Bernhardt shares odd tales lost in time, such as The Tin Can Cathedral, the first independent Ukrainian church in North America; the jail cell hidden beneath a Winnipeg theatre; the bear pit of Confusion Corner; gardening competitions between fur trading forts and more. Once deemed important enough to be documented, these stories are now buried. It's time to carve away at them once again.

Extraordinary Canadians

- by Peter Mansbridge

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From Peter Mansbridge, the beloved former anchor of CBC's The National, and Mark Bulgutch, former CBC producer, comes a collection of first-person stories about remarkable Canadians who embody the values of our great nation--kindness, compassion, courage, and freedom--and inspire us to do the same.

In this timely and heartwarming volume of personal stories, Peter Mansbridge and former CBC producer Mark Bulgutch bring together inspiring Canadians from across the country, who in their own way, are making Canada a better place for all.

Hear Gitxsan activist Cindy Blackstock describe her childhood in northern British Columbia where she straddled two communities--Indigenous and non-Indigenous--and her subsequent fight for equitable health care for all children as the executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. Meet Matt Devlin, the US broadcaster who found a new home in Canada when he got a job with the Toronto Raptors, and read how he helped calm the crowd when a gunman began shooting in Nathan Phillips Square after the team's NBA championship win. From the young woman living with Crohn's disease--and proudly modeling her ostomy bag--to the rabbi whose family fled Nazi Germany--and who now gives the benediction on Parliament Hill each Remembrance Day--Extraordinary Canadians celebrates the people who have overcome adversity and broken down barriers to champion the rights and freedoms of everyone who calls Canada home.

Featuring voices from all walks of life--advocates, politicians, doctors, veterans, immigrants, business leaders, and more--this collection gets to the heart of what it means to be Canadian. These stories will change the way you see your country and make you fall in love with Canada all over again.

Historic Photographs of Portage la Prairie 1870-1939

- by James Kostuchuk

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Text by James Kostuchuk
Edited by Matthew Lacroix
Foreword by Gordon Goldsborough

Driven by their passion for local history, James Kostuchuk and Matthew D. Lacroix sought out old and never-before-published photographs of Portage la Prairie to offer this visual glimpse of the city's people, places, and events from the 1870s to the 1930s.

James Kostuchuk is a literacy coach for the Portage la Prairie School Division. He is chair of the Portage la Prairie Heritage Advisory Committee and the Portage la Prairie Community Revitalization Corporation. James is a recipient of the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence and a former president of the Manitoba Historical Society.

Matthew D. Lacroix is a communications professional. He graduated from the University with a degree in Arts (Communications) and has earned diplomas in photography, communications, and multimedia design. Matthew has organized holdings at the Portage Collegiate Institute Archive and consulted for the Portage la Prairie Heritage Advisory Committee.

The Prairie Garden

- by PRAIRIE GARDEN

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The 2021 edition of The Prairie Garden focuses on flowering shrubs and the queen of flowering shrubs, roses. Always popular topics in the past, they are definitely worth revisiting! The last time we focused on shrubs was in our 2009 edition, “Deciduous Shrubs” (still available in limited quantities). Since then, hundreds of exciting new flowering shrub cultivars have emerged, many of them well suited to prairie gardens. Our “Roses” edition of 2008 is now sold out, but readers keep asking us for information on that topic. And rightly so: since 2008, important new hardy roses such as the Canadian Artists and 49th Parallel series have come on the market. ​Plant developers in our region have played a major role in breeding, selecting, and trialling all kinds of hardy flowering shrubs for the prairie landscape, including roses. With Dr. Philip Ronald of Jeffries Nurseries as our guest editor, we take a fresh look at these useful and beautiful plants in our 2021 edition. As always, The Prairie Garden aims to be a guide for gardeners of all skill levels in the short-season gardening zones of Canada and the US. You’ll find over thirty articles on the theme and another dozen or so on general gardening topics, all contributed by experienced gardeners and experts. Guest editor Dr. Philip Ronald was raised in the Canadian prairies and educated in plant breeding and horticulture at the University of Manitoba and the University of Saskatchewan. He currently divides his time between teaching ornamental horticulture at the University of Manitoba, managing Riverbend Orchards, a 20-acre fruit farm, and providing support to the research and marketing programs at Jeffries Nurseries. He resides near Portage la Prairie with his wife Karen and their children.

Broken Ribs and Popcorn

- by Geoff Kirbyson

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How the Winnipeg Jets became the best team in the NHL's most offensive era to not win the Stanley Cup Foreword by Tom McVie The Winnipeg Jets were decimated when the WHA merged with the NHL in the spring of 1979, losing most of the players who led them to the team's third AVCO Cup victory that spring -- Kent Nilsson, Terry Ruskowski, Rich Preston, Kim Clackson and Barry Long. They were only able to protect two skaters -- Morris Lukowich and Scott Campbell -- and a single goalie, Markus Mattsson. General manager John Ferguson used a patchwork of players for the first couple of years but after drafting Dave Babych No. 2 overall in 1980 and Dale Hawerchuk first overall the year after, he had the core around which he would build his team for the rest of the decade.

Praise for The Hot Line: How the Legendary Trio of Hull, Hedberg and Nilsson Transformed Hockey and Led the Winnipeg Jets to Greatness: "A book about (The Hot Line) was long overdue and Winnipeg journalist Geoff Kirbyson has risen to the challenge." -- Winnipeg Free Press "Winnipeg produces great lines. In literature Miriam Toews-David Bergen-Gabrielle Roy. In journalism: Carol Off-Jim Coleman-Marshall McLuhan. In music: Bif Naked-John K. Samson-Daniel Greaves. But the line of lines in Winnipeg belongs to hockey. Thank you Geoff Kirbyson for The Hot Line." -- Ron MacLean, Hockey Night in Canada

Popular Wildflowers of the Canadian Prairies

- by Neil L. Jennings

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A full-colour field guide for the curious amateur naturalist, traveller, or hiker who wishes to learn to identify the flowering plants that may be encountered while in the outdoors on the Canadian Prairies during the usual blooming season. Neil Jennings's new series of colourful and easy-to-use wildflower guides introduces amateur naturalists to some of the more commonly found wildflowers in the Canadian Prairies. Along with hundreds of colour photos and informative descriptions containing both common and scientific flower names, the blossoms profiled are arranged by their predominant colour, and the books themselves are designed to be small and lightweight enough to encourage the user to take them into the field.

Whether for hiking, walking, camping, or adventuring in the great outdoors, these charming books are packed with useful information for anyone interested in enhancing their enjoyment of the natural world by learning about the flora encountered. Indeed, the ability to make an accurate identification of various wild plants is satisfying in and of itself, and the user will also be better equipped to avoid certain plants that should not be tampered with owing to their toxicity, scarcity, or sharp spines or edges.

Saskatchewan Book

- by George Webber

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An evocative collection of contemporary photography that shines a light on the charm and disintegration of small towns in Saskatchewan. Captured over 30 years, the 200 images in this finely wrought exhibition document prairie landscapes and rural structures like no other in recent memory. With skill, sensitivity, and a renowned eye for detail, documentary photographer George Webber once again transports the viewer with his lens across time, geography, and history. Bright colours, sun-baked facades, endless horizons, and straight edges are all beautifully haunted by the shadow of time's inevitable decay and nature's slow embrace of abandoned human settlements. The varying shades of prairie-blue skies can hum with optimistic vibrancy, while fists of cloud can march toward an unknowable front. Saskatchewan Book shows us that small prairie towns remain beacons of affection and bastions of memory, all the while succumbing to the enigmatic fate that eventually enfolds all living things.

The Unpleasantness at the Battle of Thornford

- by C.c. Benison

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When a costumed, pike-spiked body turns up after a traditional historic reenactment of the 1645 Battle of Thornford, the Reverend Tom "Father" Christmas and the villagers of Thornford Regis find themselves in a battle of their own as they deal with events from the murky, more recent past. C.C. Benison's latest intriguing and delightful Father Christmas mystery will leave cozy mystery readers puzzling over the outcome and, like a refreshing English cream tea, wishing there were more.

The Truth About The Barn

- by David Elias

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The Truth About The Barn offers answers to important questions about how barns came into being, why they look the way they do, why they're worth reflecting on, and what possible future they may have. Chapters investigate the barn's place in culture and religion, art and literature. Psychological and philosophical implications are explored. Readers are treated to an occasional recollection of the author's own experiences with barns.

Thelma

- by Amy Jo Ehman

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In photography, Thelma Pepper found a capacity to peer into other lives and to find in them a celebraiton of the human spirit. Thelma Stevens Pepper was born in 1920. A century later--from her adoptive home in Saskatoon--she reflects on a hundred years of life, love, and pictures. At 60, it was creativity and passion that rescued Thelma Pepper from the depths of depression. With her kids grown and gone, she was floundering, wondering who she was, and what she was meant to do. In photography, she found what her father and grandfather before her had found and that was a capacity to peer into other lives and to find in them a celebration of the human spirit. It was that commitment to capturing the human condition that led to her work not only being celebrated here in Canada but around the world. In these noble lives, she found herself.

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