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Image by Ed Robertson

Rural Authors and Rural Books

Author: Ann Douglas
Book: Navigating the Messy Middle:
A Fiercely Honest and Wildly Encouraging Guide for Midlife Women


Ann is an award-winning writer and bestselling author. She is the creator of The Mother of All Books®  series, which has sold over half a million copies in North America to date. For decades, Ann was Canada’s most trusted writer on all things parenting, and often heard across Canada speaking about just that, on CBC Radio. 


She is the author of 26 non-fiction books and a passionate and inspiring speaker who delivers keynote addresses and leads small-group workshops at conferences and online events. I actually had the good fortune of attending one of Ann’s workshops at a conference several years ago.


Ann and her husband Neil live in rural Ontario, where she is hard at work on her first novel.


For this book, Ann interviewed over 100 midlife women for this book, from diverse backgrounds and identities,  including me! Some of the topics include career pivots, health concerns, building community, child-rearing, marriage and divorce.  She also interviewed several subject matter experts and reviewed over 1000 articles about women in mid-life.


Millions of women grapple with midlife challenges faced with a popular culture that tells us our best before date has long expired. Ann brings us in this book, together in hope and encouragement.

Author: Catharine A. Wilson
Book: Being Neighbours: Cooperative Life and Rural Culture, 1830-1960

Being Neighbours.jpg

Catharine's interest in history began while growing up in Grenville County in a rural area. To celebrate 1967, her parents built a log cabin in their basement. Inspired by the family heirlooms displayed there, she's been fascinated with the history of daily life ever since. Much of her scholarship has included genealogical research and is recognized for employing under-utilized sources such as diaries and innovative methods that revise historical interpretations. Her early work focused on Irish immigration, early settlement, and farm tenancy.


Her new book examines cooperative work bees (barn raising, quilting, and threshing bees, etc.) using old Ontario farm diaries. She explores the creation, maintenance, and definition of neighbourhood and its practical workings.


She teaches Canadian History, Social History, and Rural History to undergraduates and graduates at the University of Guelph. She is also the Redelmeier Professor in Rural History, Coordinator of the speakers’ series The Rural History Roundtable, Founder and Director of the Rural Diary Archive website, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.  Her research has been funded by the Social Science and Humanities Council of Canada and the Francis and Ruth Redelmeier Professorship in Rural History. 

Author: Belinda Clemmensen
Book: Women, Leadership & Saving the WorldWhy Everything Gets Better When Women Lead


Belinda is the Founder of the Women's Leadership Intensive. A changemaker herself, she believes that women are not only capable of changing the world, we will be a driving force in making it happen. After more than 20 years in leadership development she had a crisis of consciousness that her work was upholding systems that she didn't think were working for many people, and values that did not align with her own. From that realization she set out to create the Women's Leadership Intensive or WLI, their mission to inspire, empower, support and equip women to lead the change the world needs.

Belinda lives just outside of Huntsville, Ontario.


Women in leadership find their self-confidence challenged even when their performance is strong. Fitting into the workplace can be personally costly, leaving women feeling exhausted, thwarted, and frustrated. These challenges start to make sense when you understand that the world, particularly the business world, was designed by and for men, from the criteria for success to the office temperature and chair size.

Women’s leadership advocate Belinda Clemmensen wants to change that. She wrote Women, Leadership, and Saving the World as a bold, urgent call to action for gender equality and equity in leadership and decision-making. But this guide also points to inclusion and equality as the way to impact emergent world problems, like the global pandemic and climate change, and make better decisions for all.

Author: Autumn Ongaro
Book: FEAD: A Taste of Home in Norfolk County


Autumn Ongaro is a photographer, recipe developer, educator, gardener and gal behind Evolving Autumn food blog. What began as a creative outlet is now a business focused on atmospheric photography, seasonal recipes and food education. She lives in Norfolk County and uses the local bounty of seasonal, quality ingredients as her inspiration. Her freshly published book FEAD carries you through the four seasons as she shares the histories of local farms and transforms their beautiful crops into approachable dishes. Follow along with her farm-to-table adventures @evolvingautumn


FEAD is a delightful reference on seasonal cooking that celebrates the bounty of fresh foods in Norfolk County. It will carry you through the four seasons as Autumn shares the stories and histories of many farms, and crafts their treasured ingredients into seasonal and approachable recipes. Each page is adorned with Ongaro's atmospheric photography showcasing the abundance of quality, vibrant foods through the hands of the farmers and through her creative recipes. 


Inside FEAD, you'll find sensational seasonal recipes including:

- Roasted Asparagus Soup with Crispy Bacon

- Green Onion and Cheddar Dinner Rolls

- Blueberry Pop Tarts

- Grass-Fed Meatballs with Feta

- Red Wine Brownies

And lots more

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