Note to Yann Martel


Last night, to better illustrate the Prime Minister’s phone-calling prowess, an official photograph was distributed with a short synopsis of Mr. Harper’s call to the Trinidad and Tobago prime minister.

Visible over his right shoulder is the Prime Ministerial bookshelf and it is possible there to identify at least a couple of books, namely The Secret Mulroney Tapes (by Peter C. Newman) and French Kiss (by Chantal Hebert). Also, possibly a book about Africa.

Feel free download, peruse and try to spot any familiar book spines here.

As noted below, our well-read commenters have identified Duty: Life of a Cop, The Fate of Africa and Heart Matters.

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Note to Yann Martel

  1. Now, was he talking to the T&T President or the Prime Minister? Because, even though T&T has been a republic for many years it still retains the Westminster model of government and the President is the ceremonial Head of State (but NOT the representative of the Queen) and the Prime Minister is the Head of Government just like Steve-O is here.

    • Sorry. Prime Minister. Mistake at this end.

  2. Is that ‘Right Side Up’ I see?

  3. Nope. It does’t match the spine on my many, many personal copies. During the campaign he told me he hadn’t read it, and I doubt I’ve given him much reason to read it since.

    • Betcha Muttart has it on his shelf, Flanagan too. Btw, Paul, why is Muttart still at PMO? Wasn’t he leaving – – bleak job market for super-duper strategists too? And why is there a picture of Lucien Bouchard where your face should be? Thanks.

  4. Bookshelves aren’t real unless there’s at least one spine artfully placed to be read upside down.

    • I believe the purple volume on the left might be a directory or reference work for CARICOM, an association of Caribbean countries.

      • I think that’s the “Call of Duty” video game.

  5. What does Yann Martel have to do with Harper talking to T&T PM or his bookshelf?

      • Thanks, Jack M. Assumed it was going to be something insufferable but decided to ask anyway. There are a few good books in the list but most are about what I would expect. Martel should send some biographies, history books or murder mysteries if he hopes to have an affect. I have hard time imagining Harper delving into books about Jane Austen or reading Toni Morrison novels.

        • which is a shame, the man could learn a thing or two from Pride & Prejudice

  6. The Africa book is, I believe, called The Fate of Africa, by Martin Meredith. A good read, wildly informative, but a bit too much for my little brain to absorb all at once. I’m sure the PM had no trouble, with his plump cranium primed by endless chess matches.

    • Can a cranium be plump? That doesn’t seem to make much sense.

      • I like that, “plump cranium.”

        Nice catch on the Africa book.

      • Is that politespeak for fathead?

  7. The book on Africa is definitely “The Fate of Africa” by Martin Meredith. I’m looking a similar spine on my own bookshelf.

  8. Third from the left is “Heart Matters” – Adrienne Clarkson’s memoirs. That Stephen would read that, is actually quite surprising to me. Who would have thought he would be a fan.

    • Their opinions of Harper’s predecessor may overlap a little.

  9. We should be able to get the next visible one to the left after “Heart Matters,” the one with a gold script on a greenish background.

    I read “Bish—” or maybe “Beh—” and something like “–ics” at the end. Can anyone recognise the publisher’s logo at the base of the spine? Looks like two wings outstretched — a butterfly?

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