I was born in Calgary and raised partly here and in Bragg Creek, Alberta. In Bragg Creek our family had horses and our land stared straight into the Rocky Mountains. Through my mother I became a voracious reader of literature at a young age. These things – the land, horses, the city of Calgary and books – informed and continue to inform my understanding of “The West.” From small-town rodeos to downtown music clubs, from Michael Ondaatje to Wallace Stegner, all these things melded into one personal geography. I have chosen these books, loosely based on the theme of the West, not exclusively because of where they take place but just because of what great books they are and how much I love them. I think you’ll love them too.
Tom Phillips is a Calgary-based singer/songwriter and band leader. He also worked for many years as a bookseller. With 10 albums to his credit and hundreds of original songs, his writing has been influenced as much by literature as it has been by country, folk and roots music. First with his band The Men of Constant Sorrow and now with Tom Phillips & the D.T.s, Tom performs regularly in music clubs locally and across the land.