It is a responsibility of every newcomer to learn about the history of their new place. It is only by knowing the local history that we understand why a street was named like that, why a building was built at that location, what inspired a restaurant to adopt such an unusual name, and why some people adopt a different dressing code.

Life becomes tedious when we poorly understand the meaning of the things around us. That’s why I took some time in my porch during this summer to learn a bit about my new place - Waterloo Region, in Ontario, Canada. I picked a marginal history book, written by Joanna Rickert-Hall, that tells barely known stories of people that lived in the region more than a century ago. This book gives a summary of the origins of Waterloo, but concentrates on peculiar stories that illuminate the local culture and costumes.

All the stories are fascinating. However, I felt like reading a research paper, not a book for the general public. It gives the impression that the work came out of an essay to complete a master degree. Despite that, I couldn’t leave it aside.

I don’t see a reason for you to read this book unless you live in the region. But if you live here then I don’t see a reason for not reading it.