Book Reviews

1686 Options at the end of life

This is Assisted Dying: A Doctor’s Story of Empowering Patients at the End of Life by Stefanie Green Toronto: Simon and Schuster Canada (Scribner), 2022 $24.99 / 9781668004784 Reviewed by Lee Reid * MAiD. Medical Assistance in Dying. I don’t see assisted dying as ending someone’s life; the underlying illness and suffering are doing that….
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1685 Vexation and reconciliation

Two books reviewed by Harper Campbell: Standoff: Why Reconciliation Fails Indigenous People and How to Fix It by Bruce McIvor Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2021 $21.95 / 9780889714205 * Reconciliation and Indigenous Justice: A Search for Ways Forward by David Milward Black Point, NS, and Winnipeg, MB: Fernwood Publishing, 2022 $32.00 / 9781773635194 * This is…
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1684 Gore-Tex and infidelity

Water Proof by Aaron Bushkowsky Toronto: Cormorant Books, 2021 $24.95 / 9781770866362 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * When Shakespeare created a pair of hapless sidekicks called Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, he little knew how similar pairs would proliferate through the following centuries. Samuel Beckett’s Gogo and Didi, like Hollywood’s Laurel and Hardy are amongst the best…
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1683 The Cariboo sisters

From Denmark to the Cariboo: The Epic Journey of the Lindhard Sisters by Linda Peterat Victoria: Heritage House Publishing, 2022 $26.95 / 9781772033939 Reviewed by Richard Thomas Wright * If one visits today’s centre of the Cariboo gold fields in Barkerville it would be easy to come away with the understanding that Williams creek and…
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1682 Show me the money

Nobody from Somewhere by Dietrich Kalteis Toronto: ECW Press, 2022 $24.95 / 9781770416116 Reviewed by Bill Paul * The plot of this entertaining crime novel begins at a bar in a casino near the Vancouver airport. Park Won-Soon, a Korean businessman fluent in three languages and working out of Hong Kong, is having a drink…
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1681 Sojourns, gigs, debacles

Guilty of Everything: 21st Anniversary Edition by John Armstrong Vancouver: New Star Books, 2022 $18.00 / 9781554201914 Reviewed by Catherine Owen * I used to own the original printing of this book. It had to be tossed away, perhaps appropriately enough, after it became one of my many books infested with silver fish and mould…
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1680 Northwest Coast artist archive

The Transforming Image: Painted Arts of Northwest Coast First Nations. Second Edition by Bill McLennan and Karen Duffek Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2022 in collaboration with the Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia (first published by UBC Press, 2000; reprinted by Douglas & McIntyre and University of Washington Press, 2007) $65.00 / 9781773271989 Reviewed…
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1679 Mary Welsh’s inheritance

Hemingway’s Widow: The Life and Legacy of Mary Welsh Hemingway by Timothy Christian Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2022 $42.95  /  9781459750548 Reviewed by Peter Hay * Few books survive to become classics; their fame is most oft interred with the authors’ bones. Even fewer writers lead interesting enough lives to create a whole industry of biographies,…
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1678 Keeping cold cases warm

Cold Case BC: The Stories Behind the Province’s Most Intriguing Murder and Missing Person Cases by Eve Lazarus Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2022 $22.95 /  9781551529073 Reviewed by Zoe McKenna * One need only to briefly browse through the most popular shows and documentaries on Netflix to begin to understand our culture’s obsession with true…
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1677 The rough side of cycling

A Bicycle Story by Dave Steen Thetis Island: Thetis Island Publishing, 2022 $12.99  /  9798409188085   A Bicycle Story is available on Amazon.ca Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart * Dave Steen’s mystery novel about old crimes and old age might well have been entitled A Tale of Many Bicycles or A Tale of Many Cyclists. All…
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1675 A catalogue for the ages

The Bob Dylan Albums 2nd Edition by Anthony Varesi Montreal: Guernica Editions, 2022 $34.95 / 9781771837590 Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * In the autumn of 1964, a precocious Bob Dylan — who had just released his fourth studio album at age twenty-three — told a writer from The New Yorker that he was moving on…
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1674 A literary kingdom

Try Not to Be Strange: The Curious History of the Kingdom of Redonda by Michael Hingston Windsor, ON: Biblioasis, 2022 $24.95  /  9781771964159 Reviewed by Michael Hayward * 1100 km beyond Haiti in the western Caribbean, west of the British Virgin Islands and just visible from the tiny island of Monserrat, lies an even smaller, uninhabited…
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1673 Hazel Wilson’s Haida robes

Glory and Exile: Haida History Robes of Jut-ke-Nay Hazel Wilson by Robert Kardosh, Robin Laurence, Kūn Jaad Dana Simeon Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2022 $50.00 / 9781773271170 Reviewed by Liz Hammond-Kaarremaa * It is always fruitful to go on a journey with a quest and a good book about the destination. The book should tell…
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1672 A noir novel for teens

Sulfur Heart by Brooke Carter Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2022 $10.95 / 9781459831605 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * Sulfur Heart is a wonderfully dark and gritty story with all the elements readers crave in a noir novel: crime, murder, tragedy, whodunnit, revenge. It took me less than ninety minutes to read, and it will no…
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1671 The Grass Man Cometh

The Sky and the Patio: An Ecology of Home by Don Gayton Vancouver: New Star Books, 2022 $18.00 / 9781554201945 Reviewed by Harold Rhenisch * Two hundred years ago, the Earth was one-fifth prairie, including much of the Okanagan Valley. Now most of earth’s temperate grasslands are gone. In the Okanagan, there are only tiny…
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1670 An Italian childhood

Mea Culpa: A Plea of Innocence. A Memoir by Bruno Cocorocchio Victoria: FriesenPress, 2022 $24.49 / 9781039137462 Reviewed by Jane Frankish * The title of Bruno Cocorocchio’s memoir, Mea Culpa: A Plea of Innocence, has an immediate and jarring effect. It sets up a seemingly impossible concurrence of two states of being – “I am…
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1669 An essential need

Wired for Music: A Search for Health and Joy Through the Science of Sound by Adriana Barton Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2022 $32.95 / 9781771645546 Reviewed by Derek von Essen * The afternoon Wired for Music arrived in the post was the same day I tested positive for Covid-19. I wasn’t surprised by the result. While…
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1668 Long-distance romance, 1891

Until We Meet Again: Scouting for the CPR’s Crowsnest Line, 1891 by Jan Krijff (translator) and Karen Green (research) Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2023 $24.95  /  9781989467466 Reviewed by Walter Volovsek * I was quite delighted to receive this book to review, as it connects by various tangents to my previous work in constructing walking…
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1667 The mixture we all need

Fortune Knox Once: More Musings from the Edge by Jack Knox Victoria: Heritage House, 2022 $22.95 / 9781772034172 Reviewed by Valerie Green * We all need a little Knox humour in our lives these days and Jack Knox has delivered just that once again in his latest book Fortune Knox Once: More Musings from The…
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