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150 Years of Stats Canada!: A Guide to Canada's Greatest Country    by @stats_canada order for
150 Years of Stats Canada!
by @stats_canada
Order:  USA  Can
Penguin, 2017 (2017)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In 150 Years of Stats Canada!: A Guide to Canada's Greatest Country, the folk at @stats_canada (with the disclaimer that they're 'still 100.6% not affiliated with Statistics Canada') offer amusing and eclectic tidbits of Canadian culture, just in time for our 150th anniversary of Confederation.

I especially enjoyed the intro, loomed over by a moose (Canadian icons are scattered throughout) which tells us that 'The maple leaf is recognized abroad as a symbol of tolerance, progressive ideas, and designer winter coats' (our frigid winters are alluded to often here). We learn that occupations have evolved too - 'since 1867, the number of fur trappers has plummeted while the number of YouTube celebrities has increased significantly.'

Chapter topics include: Pass the Citizenship Test; Cure a Canadian Hangover; Visit Paris, Ontario; Dodge the Draft; Fix Climate Change; Eat a Donair; Discover Canadian Wildlife; Visit the Newfoundland Iceberg Museum; Smoke Some Weed; and Feel Superior to America. There's something for everyone in here. And though, the humor doesn't always hit the mark (seems to me that sometimes you just had to have been there, or it's simply trying too hard), it did often enough to keep me reading.

Having come from Ireland and married a Quebecois, I chuckled over: 'the story of Quebec's history is told in every plate of poutine: take some people from France (cheese), add a bunch of the Irish (potatoes) and then overpower them with a generous dollop of the English (gravy).' And I appreciated the cottage commentary, including 'There are few activities more Canadian than loading up on carbs while sitting on a dock.' Too true.

While you don't have to be Canadian to enjoy the self-deprecating humor in 150 Years of Stats Canada!, you probably should have been here at least once - or have a visit planned. Don't worry - after reading this, you'll fit right in.

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