History (B.C.)

1539 When False Creek was mudflats

The Dead of False Creek: A Journal Through Time Mystery by Sarah M. Stephen Vancouver: WZE Press, 2021 $14.99  /  9781777833015 Reviewed by Dennis Wilkinson * This is not my genre! I’m into history, not time-bending fictional murder mysteries. Why then am I going to the trouble of reading and reviewing this book? The answer…
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1537 syilx and Okanagan women

Okanagan Women’s Voices: Syilx and settler writing and relations, 1870s to 1960s by Jeannette Armstrong, Lally Grauer, and Janet MacArthur (editors) Penticton: Theytus Books, 2021 $34.95 / 9781926886527 Reviewed by Ken Favrholdt * Three women authors have compiled and written about seven other female writers, creating a unique and important tribute to the early voices…
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1536 Setting the record straight

Fight or Submit: Standing Tall in Two Worlds by Ronald M. Derrickson Toronto: ECW Press, 2020 $34.95 / 9781770415669 Reviewed by David Milward * Sometimes there is just no winning for Indigenous peoples. If Indigenous peoples remain in poverty with no meaningful economy to sustain themselves, it becomes easy for non-Indigenous peoples to label them…
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1529 Enter the Native Daughters

Hastings Mill: The Historic Times of a Vancouver Community by Lisa Anne Smith Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9781553806417 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * The history of Vancouver differs from that of Canada’s other major cities. It’s as though she jumped a couple of centuries to land at last on this side of the…
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1528 The cords that bind

Cordage from the Ozette Village Archaeological Site: A Technological, Functional and Comparative Study by Dale R. Croes with Darby C. Stapp (editor) and Victoria Boozer (publications assistant) Richland, WA: Journal of Northwest Anthropology (JONA) Memoir Number 21, May 2021 $24.99 (U.S.) / 9798504397573 Reviewed by Andrea Laforet * Ozette, a village on Cape Alava on…
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1527 Turbulence and eruption

Emily Carr, Unvarnished: Autobiographical Sketches by Emily Carr by Kathryn Bridge (editor) Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9780772679642 Reviewed by Colin Browne * Turbulence and Eruption: Emily Carr, Unvarnished There’s a scene in Kathryn Bridge’s wonderful collection, Unvarnished: Autobiographical Sketches by Emily Carr, that sticks in my mind. It’s June 1936….
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1524 LSD & Hollywood North

The Acid Room: The Psychedelic Trials and Tribulations of Hollywood Hospital by Jesse Donaldson and Erika Dyck Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2022 $18.00 / 9781772141863 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh  * Acid Test in New West: LSD entered the world through the doors of a BC Hospital Before LSD guru Timothy Leary (“tune in, turn on and…
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1518 Brazen timber theft

Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in North America’s Woods by Lyndsie Bourgon Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2022 $34.95 / 9781771647199 Reviewed by Brett Josef Grubisic * For many readers, Tree Thieves will surprise, inform, disturb, alarm, and enlighten. This impressive, absorbing, and often riveting debut work of non-fiction introduces a serious issue, as well as cause…
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1515 Jock, the unreliable narrator

Haunting British Columbia: Ghostly Tales from the Past by Mike McCardell Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021 $34.95 / 9781550179552 Reviewed by Caileigh Broatch * A browse through the history section at a local bookstore often turns up its fair amount of dust. There are archives of articles, biographies of BC’s most famous, tales of extraordinary…
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1514 Sternwheeler majesty

Connecting the Kootenays: The Kootenay Lake Ferries. A Hundred Years of Service, 1921-2020 by Michael A. Cone Nelson: Maa Press, 2022 $45.00 /  9781778350511 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Sternwheeler Majesty: A century of sailing the Kootenays on the “boats” that plied the region’s waterways My childhood memory of the bygone era of sternwheelers on…
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1513 History matters: Meares Island

Possessing Meares Island: A Historian’s Journey into the Past of Clayoquot Sound by Barry Gough Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021 $26.95 / 9781550179576 Reviewed by Jason M. Colby * Barry Gough opens his newest book with a phone call that he received in early 1986. On the other end of the line was Jack Woodward,…
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1512 Aircrew of Bomber Command

Failed to Return: Canada’s Bomber Command Sacrifice in the Second World War by Keith C. Ogilvie Victoria: Heritage House, 2021 $26.95 / 9781772033816 Reviewed by Rod Szasz * RCAF Halifax bomber LL178 ploughed into the high Yorkshire moor disintegrating with its nine crew on a cold December night in 1944. Off course and in poor visibility…
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1511 Haida Gwaii halibut & argillite

Learning to Carve Argillite by Sara Florence Davidson & Robert Davidson, illustrated by Janine Gibbons Winnipeg: HighWater Press, 2021 (Sk’ada Stories Series, ages 6-8) $21.95 / 9781553799849 * Jigging for Halibut with Tsinii by Sara Florence Davidson & Robert Davidson, illustrated by Janine Gibbons Winnipeg: HighWater Press, 2021 (Sk’ada Stories Series, ages 6-8) $21.95 /…
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1507 A decolonization manifesto

Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-up Call, Second Edition by Arthur Manuel and Ronald M. Derrickson, with a foreword by Naomi Klein Toronto: Between the Lines, 2021 (first published 2016) $29.95 / 9781771135566 Reviewed by Ken Favrholdt * Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-up Call has been called a roadmap to action for Indigenous peoples in Canada…
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1505 Vancouver’s neighbourhood hubs

Neighbourhood Houses: Building Community in Vancouver by Miu Chung Yan and Sean Lauer (editors), with a foreword by David Hulchanski Vancouver, UBC Press, 2021 $32.95 / 9780774865821 Reviewed by Jennifer Chutter * The text opens with a compelling question: “What would it be like to live in a welcoming community?” It is a provocative start…
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1501 Tales of a rural ethos

One Inch from Disaster: True Tales from the Wilds of British Columbia by Kelly Randall Ricketts Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2022 $22.95 / 9781550179262 Reviewed by Dave Flawse * Flip over a copy of One Inch from Disaster and you’ll see a picture of a shirtless Kelly Randall (Zeus) Ricketts glancing back at the camera,…
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1500 Plant journey in Haida Gwaii

Plants of Haida Gwaii: Third Edition by Nancy J. Turner Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021 $29.95 / 9781550179149 Reviewed by Jasḵwaan Bedard * Plants of Haida Gwaii: Third Edition by Nancy Turner is a celebrated study of the Haida people’s relationship with the plants of Haida Gwaii. Dr. Turner, a renowned ethnobotanist, chronicles her extensive…
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1498 A politician for all seasons

Using Power Well: Bob Williams and the Making of British Columbia by Bob Williams with Benjamin Isitt and Thomas Bevan Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2022 $22.95  /   9780889714243 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * A Man for All Political Seasons: meet the creator of ICBC, the land reserve and an improved Downtown Eastside If B.C. ever had…
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1497 Tribute to Julian Wake

A tribute to Julian Wake by Richard Mackie and others * It’s a pleasure to provide this tribute to Julian Wake, a friend to me and many others between his arrival in BC in 1966 and his death on January 16, 2022. In recent years Julian embarked on a late career as a book reviewer…
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