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WATCH LIST: January 2017

By Observer Staff

20th Century Women

Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening) is a middle-aged single mother in 1979 Santa Barbara, Calif., raising her adolescent son in an era filled with cultural change and tension. This multi-layered dramedy, complete with a cast of well-meaning quirky neighbours and friends, celebrates the often-awkward yet rewarding task of parenting a boy through his teens. Jan. 6

Arthur & Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes
(Bloomsbury Publishing)

Acclaimed writer Michael Sims traces Arthur Conan Doyle’s steps from his early days of poverty and violence in Edinburgh, Scotland, through to his years in university where he studied under diagnostic genius Dr. Joseph Bell. As Doyle gains firsthand knowledge of poisons, his training leads to his own medical practice along with the creation of fiction’s most celebrated detective: Sherlock Holmes. Jan. 24

The Men in My Life: A Memoir of Love and Art in 1950s Manhattan

Patricia Bosworth — praised biographer of Marlon Brando and Jane Fonda — recounts her coming of age in 1950s New York City. Divorced from an abusive husband before she turns 20, she joins the Actors Studio and begins a career in show business where she encounters cinematic legends. Bosworth’s memoir reveals the deeply personal story of a woman who defied the repressive conventions of her time. Jan. 31

Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin
(Spiegel & Grau)

How did one black child’s death in a small Florida town lead to a national civil rights movement? Rest in Power tries to answer this compelling question through the intimate account of Trayvon Martin’s short life and senseless death. His parents take us through the grief of loss and the injustice of an unresponsive police force. Jan. 31

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The author is baptized at Central United in Calgary. (Photo courtesy of Al Coe)

Why I got baptized in a United Church at the age of 42

by Jacqueline Mercer-Livesey

"I told myself that I didn’t need to go to church to believe in God. I found peace and the Holy Spirit in the things that surrounded me. But still, there was a nagging sense of something missing."

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Editor/Publisher of The Observer, Jocelyn Bell.

Observations: The rewards of letting go

by Jocelyn Bell

Editor Jocelyn Bell reflects on the upcoming changes for The United Church of Canada, the magazine and in her own life.

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ObserverDocs: Two nurses tackle Vancouver's opioid crisis

Richard Moore is a resident of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. In this poignant interview, he explains the important work of nurses Evanna Brennan and Susan Giles.

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July 2018

250 United Church leaders have a message for Doug Ford

by Emma Prestwich

They're urging the new Ontario premier to remember those in need as he carries out promised economic reform.


July 2018

Tracing Nelson Mandela’s path a century after his birth

by Tim Johnson

A travel writer visits some of the places that shaped the anti-apartheid icon’s life.


July 2018

Jamil Jivani sheds light on why young men radicalize

by Suzanne Bowness

In his book 'Why Young Men,' Jamil Jivani talks about his own experience as a troubled youth.

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