© 2024 FriesenPress, Inc. All rights reserved.

At FriesenPress, we celebrate each and every book we help our authors publish. Here are some of our team’s recent favourites – happy reading!

Journeys to the Bandstand
Thirty Jazz Lives in Vancouver by

What I didn’t know [when starting to research and write this book]: I would become full-on, hopelessly obsessed with finding out every arcane detail about the artists gathered in these pages, whether they are living or long gone. Those myriad facts are puzzle pieces that—even though some pieces are missing—form portraits of extraordinary people with a hunger for jazz and other creative artforms, a determination to overcome struggles, and a deep joy for creating profound expression. —Chris Wong, from the Preface and Introduction to Journeys to the Bandstand. Journeys to the Bandstand: Thirty Jazz Lives in Vancouver chronicles the creative lives and musical journeys of thirty extraordinary artists who have helped shape the jazz scene in the west coast Canadian city, and further afield. Each chapter focuses on one remarkable artist, or a small group of impactful musicians, mostly based in Vancouver (Al Neil, Dave Quarin, Brad Turner, Cory Weeds, Jodi Proznick, Natasha D’Agostino, and others). The book also highlights some American musicians (Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, Dr. Lonnie Smith, George Coleman, and others) who have made an indelible impression on the city’s jazz community. Weaving a first-person perspective—through the author’s experiences hearing the musicians perform and documenting oral history from in-depth interviews—with extensive written and audio-visual history gathered from articles, letters, recordings, films, and more, Journeys to the Bandstand is a compelling collection of long-form portraits. The unique life stories of each subject include challenges—addictions, anxiety and self-doubt, racism, abuse, and other hard realities—and triumphs when they succeeded in making expressive and memorable music. Each individual path forms a complex and fascinating passage—the journey to the bandstand.

The Wolves of Orkerion

In the mystical realm of Orkerion, a young troll princess named Lunaria Druutha embarks on a daring quest to prove her worth. Born of the union between a god-king and a troll queen, Lunaria is determined to carve her own destiny amidst the chaos of the nine realms. When her mother, the esteemed High Queen Ithagmir Druutha, faces a perilous rebellion, Lunaria's mettle is put to the ultimate test. Battling her fellow trolls as well as Wolf-Ones, she plunges into the heart of conflict, which challenges her beliefs and redefines her identity as a warrior. With the fate of House Druutha hanging in the balance, alliances crumble, and betrayal lurks in the shadows as the entire continent is plunged into civil war. Amidst the chaos, hard choices must be made, testing the bonds of family and honor. Will Lunaria rise above the challenges and prove her worth, or will House Druutha fall, lost forever to the annals of history?

Practical Regeneration
Realistic Strategies for Climate Smart Agriculture by

“To begin evaluating an agricultural system, you’ll need to get to the core ideas and features that actually drive the system to ensure that you have a grounding for best methods and practices.” In his consulting career as an agronomist, and as a lifelong gardener, Scott Gillespie has learned to critically evaluate information before jumping into something new. Particularly in these days of climate-change anxiety, he has seen people choose agricultural systems that seem right on the surface but aren’t actually making a difference. Many times, a new idea is simply a good hypothesis. Early success can mean things get picked up quickly and are applied before they are fully tested. Practical Regeneration starts out broadly talking about what Scott has learned in his garden and from researching and thinking through the claims of regenerative agriculture advocates. It then gets practical in how farmers can think about implementing the main healthy-soil practices such as cover crops and intercropping. The next section covers how they can advance their practice above the basics. The book culminates by looking into the future and examining how farmers can look at profitability in the long term. While based on Scott’s experiences in the prairies of western Canada, the principles can be applied to many areas of the world. Erudite, but entertaining too, Practical Regeneration sifts through the hype to critically evaluate the soil regeneration movement so that its principles can be practically applied helping both the farmer and the climate.

Nana's Green Thumbs

Nana adores gardening. It’s not just one green thumb she has; she’s got two! Gardening fills Nana’s heart with joy and peace. That’s why she loves to share her gardening magic with her sweet granddaughter, Leah. On their walks through Nana’s beautiful garden, Leah discovers all sorts of amazing flowers. Her absolute favorite for fall is the mums, and she thinks it’s such a cool name for a flower. But, what Leah learns most from Nana is about love, kindness and the incredible beauty of nature.

A Portrait of Astonishing Nature

In A Portrait of Astonishing Nature, 53 works of original poetry and watercolour paintings come together to celebrate the animals and plant life that surround us in our everyday lives. From the elusive Alces alces (moose) to the colour-changing Mustela erminea (shorttailed weasel), each species we encounter deserves the right to survive and thrive. The flora and and fauna profiled in this book have all been found in the Creek 53 watershed, which is in the western part of Hudson, Quebec. Thiis area is home to over a dozen different kinds of amphibians and reptiles, over 60 tree species, 150 or more plant species, and over 180 bird species, and hundreds of insects and spider species. The Creek 53 Conservancy Trust will be the beneficiary of profits from the sale of this book, preserving the land for future generations. You will be amazed at the diversity and stunning beauty of life right on your doorstep. A Portrait of Astonishing Nature is a must-read for any nature lover or budding conservationist.

choosing to be nomads in retirement by

Through her engaging memoir, author Margaret Herle shares a pioneering tale of life on the road. After deciding to retire in a home on wheels, Herle and her husband satisfied their cravings for travels (and being warm in winters!) on their own terms, exploring every province in Canada, most of the US, and the entire length of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. From tourist destinations to unexpected offbeat spots, they found more adventure than they imagined in their converted bus, the Dragonfly. Readers can come along for the ride with one of the original “vanlifers” who dared to give up a fixed address for an undetermined time and fulfill a love of travel in retirement—meeting locals, discovering different cultures, finding and immersing in new communities, and overcoming some epic challenges. For anyone interested in the #vanlife trend, Herle’s journey throughout North America in the 1990s—told through her reflections and personal letters to family—is an inspiration to choose the unordinary lifestyle and live your dream.

A Scrappy Little Nobody
Life Lessons in Faith, Business and Politics by

Within days of his birth in 1949, Martin Harder was in hospital, unable to get nutrition into his frail body and fighting for his life. A desperate search for answers brought him under the care of Dr. Cornelius W. Wiebe, who performed exploratory surgery never done before on a two-week-old baby. This rough beginning shaped the person Martin would become: someone who looked for solutions to the challenges of life. The youngest child born to a large, loving Mennonite farming family, Martin learned early to work hard and be self-sufficient or get left behind. Life would be an adventure, but it would not be easy. Teased and bullied in school, a high school dropout, marrying as a teen to his childhood sweetheart and experiencing the hard knocks of a failed farm, Martin kept his faith in God’s grace and endless provision. Being open to God’s leading in life opened up opportunities he could not have imagined. A Scrappy Little Nobody is a memoir of faith, business and politics. From humble beginnings, Martin developed from a “scrappy little nobody” into a business leader, entrepreneur and politician, founding Delmar Commodities and serving as the mayor of Winkler for sixteen years. Through sharing his story, Martin teaches us that when you stand up to impossible odds and keep moving forward despite life’s setbacks, you can become more than you’ve ever imagined.

The Great Annual Canoe Race

Each summer, the May family comes together in the town of Meota at Jackfish Lake, where every day holds its own adventure. Whether she’s picking Saskatoon berries in the bushes or singing campfire songs with the whole family, young Ronna spends the summer in her own little paradise. One summer, when the extended family has arrived to celebrate her great grandma's birthday, a challenge is laid down: will a dinghy or a canoe be the faster contestant in a race? On the day of the race the entire family comes together to cheer on their chosen teams. Who will win? And what memories will they make on the lake that year? The Great Annual Canoe Race is a charming storybook memoir about summers at the lake. Full of beautiful, engaging art, it tells a story about family, love, and special connections that build between one young person and the community where she spends her cherished summer months.