Book cover of The Cougar: Beautiful

Books to read anytime

Books and reading are a favourite pastime for many people over the holidays. Here are a couple of new books which may be of interest.

Books and reading are a favourite pastime for many people over the holidays. Here are a couple of new books which may be of interest.

Canada Crosswords Book 14

Author: Gwen Sjogren

232 Pages, softcover

Nightwood Editions, Harbour Publishing

Ever since Arthur Wynne published the first crossword puzzle in 1913, they have become, for some, a daily activity. One hundred years and thousands upon thousands of puzzles have been printed to tease brains and test wits.

Can you identify the town in Ontario that hosts the largest maple syrup festival? Name a famed Canadian pianist or name a Gemini award-winning journalist. It’s all about the things we know as Canadians.

Gwen Sjogren has created crosswords with a distinct Canadian flair. She is the mastermind behind O Canada Crossword Books 12, 13 and 14 as well as the Cross-Canada series.

Book 14 contains 100 puzzles with answers in the back. A great gift for the crossword fan who wants to work out their mental muscles.

The Cougar

Beautiful Wild and Dangerous

Author: Paula Wild

288 pages, Hardcover

Douglas & McIntyre

They are called by many names, cougars, mountain lions, pumas and they are elusive, graceful and powerful.

Paula Wild has written a well-researched book on these mysterious, misunderstood and amazing animals.

She doesn’t sugar coat their behaviour and thankfully doesn’t place them in a category of cute Disney characters.

Cougars are efficient killers who can jump 5.5 metres straight up, and they are among us more than we realize. Wild says cougars are compelling icons of everything humans fear and admire. Seeing a cougar is rare and being attacked by one is even rarer, but the stories are out there and Wild includes many of them in her book. As cougars become more habituated to humans, it is likely attacks will increase, if not on humans, certainly on domestic pets.

Wild tells stories of cougars who became pets and cougars who became prey. Cougar Annie is renown for her hunting skills and is known for killing a cougar on her 73rd birthday. For her it was a matter of survival. Most hold cougars in high regard as they seem to represent and signal a wilderness which is quickly disappearing.

Cougars are worthy of protection as they are an integral part of our ecosystem. Wild offers up-to-date information on cougar awareness and defense tactics. The Cougar is a fascinating read and will grace book shelves for many years offering insights into the secret life of cougars.