Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Can you tell a book by its cover?

The cover of a book is very important. When I go book shopping, the first thing I see is the spine. I prefer books that have a prominent title. The next thing I do is look at the picture. Does it portray the contents of the book? Lastly, I read the synopsis on the back. If a book's cover makes it through my scrutiny, then, and only then, will I open it to explore the inside.

Recently, I went to Cozy Corner Books and Coffee in Bellingham and a book caught my eye. It was The North Runner by R.D. Lawrence. First, the word "north" sparked my interest. I'm always looking for books about Canadian adventures. The cover pictured a man and his dog hiking through the snow covered forest and with a description that said "set in the majestic wilderness of British Columbia." I was hooked even before I made it to the back cover.

RD (Ronald Douglas) Lawrence lived The North Runner in the late 1950's and put it into print in 1979 (reprinted in 2004). RD immigrated to Canada to experience a more natural lifestyle. I can relate to that! He purchased a homestead in Ontario and that is where the story begins. He purchases an abused half dog, half wolf from an Indian to become the lead for his sled team. He names him Yukon after the wild, rugged, exciting northland of the Yukon Territory. The story follows man and dog as they build trust in each other, become partners in life, and have adventures in the Ontario woods and the British Columbia wilderness. It's one of the best books I've read in a long time.

RD Lawrence was a renowned naturalist. He learned by observing plants and animals in their natural habitat. His extensive knowledge and research are woven throughout his books and stories in such a way that you feel you are following in his footsteps. RD passed away in 2003, but his writing focusing on Canadian natural history will live on forever. You can read more about RD at the website Cry Wild. His wife, Sharon, has a guest book there and will answer any questions you may have. I hope you enjoy his books as much as I do. -- Margy


  1. That sounds like my kind of book. I will look for it the next time I am in Fairhaven.

  2. These books look COLD. But I am always eager to have new books to put on my list - and you know from my blog. Thanks for the tips.

  3. This sounds like a super book. I will add it to the list of my must reads..


  4. I read this book years ago as I sucked everything I could find on the Canadian Wilderness. It is one of those books that you don't give away. I will have to read it again this winter. Thanks for the tweek.

  5. Thanks for all the comments. I am in the process of looking for additional books he wrote. As I find and read them I'll post reviews here as well. You can also find out more information at the blog RD Lawrence's wife Sharon maintains at www.crywild.com


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy