Book Reviews

1665 Reckoning with Robert Davidson

Echoes of the Supernatural: The Graphic Art of Robert Davidson by Gary Wyatt with Robert Davidson. Foreword by Karen Duffek Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2022, in collaboration with the Vancouver Art Gallery $60.00 / 9781773271903 Reviewed by Mark Turin * This singularly gorgeous book showcases the extraordinary work of Guud San Glans Robert Davidson, one…
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1664 The seaweed book

The Science and Spirit of Seaweed: Discovering Food, Medicine and Purpose in the Kelp Forests of the Pacific Northwest by Amanda Swinimer Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2022 $28.95 / 9781550179613 Reviewed by Howard Stewart * I feel guilty for having sat so long on Amanda Swinimer’s book about seaweed. Sure, our island has suffered a…
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1663 BC Review 2022 fundraiser

A note from Richard Mackie: Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Readers of The British Columbia Review, In February 2022 we changed our name from The Ormsby Review to The British Columbia Review — we are one and the same, though our registered name under the BC Societies Act continues to be The Ormsby Literary Society. The change…
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1662 Missed opportunities

Her Courage Rises: 50 Trailblazing Women of British Columbia & the Yukon by Haley Healey (text) and Kimiko Fraser (illustrations) Victoria: Heritage House, 2022 $22.95 / 9781772034257 Reviewed by Veronica Strong-Boag * In the last half century, women’s history has been a success story in Canada, as in other lands. Whether judged in terms of…
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1661 Poets for the planet

Worth More Growing: Youth Poets Pay Homage to Trees by Christine Lowther (editor) Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2022 $22.00 /  9781773860978 Reviewed by Heidi Greco * In the spring of 2022 Caitlin Press released their amazing themed anthology, Worth More Standing: Poets and Activists Pay Homage to Trees. Edited by Christine Lowther, that book was…
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1659 Into the hoard of life

We Have Never Lived On Earth by Kasia Van Schaik Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2022 (Robert Kroetsch Series) $24.99 / 9781772126280 Reviewed by Carol Matthews * In response to a CBC question about the inspiration for her short story “An Ounce of Care,” which was shortlisted for the CBC Short Story Prize in 2017,…
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1658 Wheel out the big guns

Cannon in Canada, Province by Province. Volume 5: British Columbia by Harold Skaarup Fredericton: Global Summit House/ Silverhawk, 2021 $29.99  /  9781956515657 Reviewed by David Morgan * The number and variety of vintage cannon preserved in British Columbia is surprising. Harold Skaarup of Fredericton has documented some 58 in his recent book, Cannon in Canada,…
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1657 Unresolved in Weyburn

Darkness at the Edge of Town by Stan Rogal Montreal: Guernica Editions, 2022 $20.00 / 9781771836975 Reviewed by Bill Paul * Taking place in the town of Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Stan Rogal’s Darkness at the Edge of Town follows the psycho-sexual odyssey of young man in his late twenties, a misfit and hell-raiser named Ray. The…
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1656 On the road with Liz Bryan

Two books reviewed by Ken Favrholdt: Adventure Roads of BC’s Northwest Heartland by Liz Bryan Victoria: Heritage House, 2022 $24.95 / 9781772034035 * Pioneer Churches along the Gold Rush Trail: An Explorer’s Guide by Liz Bryan Victoria: Heritage House, 2022 $24.95 / 9781772034011 * Liz Bryan, photographer and popular writer, has published two books this…
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1655 Assignment on the Pacific

Keepers of the Garden by A.S. (Lana) Rodlie Independently published, 2018 Price on Amazon, $22.93  / 9781730700200 To obtain a copy of the book, contact lana_rodlie@telus.net or write to 367 McAnally Street, Trail, BC V1R 3R3 (phone 250 368-9227) Reviewed by Vanessa Winn * Viewing the past from the perspective of lesser-known historical figures is…
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1654 Chilcotin master chronicler

Talking to the Storykeepers: Tales from the Chilcotin Plateau by Sage Birchwater Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2022 $26.00 / 9781773860800 Reviewed by Richard T. Wright * The Cariboo-Chilcotin-Coast region in the central-west portion of the province of BC is a land renowned for broad grasslands, magnificent mountains, fast glacial rivers, salmon, caribou, vast cattle ranches,…
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1653 Minding a vital musician

The Longest Suicide: The Authorized Biography of Art Bergmann by Jason Schneider, with a foreword by Michael Turner Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2022 $24.95 / 9781772141962 Reviewed by Catherine Owen * As I turn the shiny pages of this necessary biography of Canada’s enfant terrible, or “punk poet laureate” as he’s more often billed, songwriter and…
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1652 The language of song

Questions to the Moon: Songs & Stories by Earle Peach by Earle Peach Vancouver: Lazara Press, 2021 $20.00 / 9780920999158 Reviewed by Jeff Stychin * Earle Peach is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and songwriter from Vancouver who directs choirs and plays in musical groups, volunteers at and hosts music events, pursues social activism, and is still…
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1651 A family divided

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A Dutch Policeman Fighting the Nazi Occupation by Johanna Van Zanten Las Vegas: Histria Books (Addison & Highsmith Publishers), 2021 $29.99 / 9781592111022 Reviewed by Valerie Green * I always enjoy books set in World War Two, especially those that tell stories of lesser known aspects of the…
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1650 Doukhobor affirmations

The Descendants by Robert Chursinoff Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2022 $24.95 / 9780889714403 Reviewed by W.H. New * I very much enjoyed reading Robert Chursinoff’s first novel, The Descendants. I think it’s a remarkable achievement, one that deserves a wide range of readers, both for the appeal of the story it tells and for the importance…
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1649 BC’s undersea adventurers

Deep, Dark & Dangerous: The Story of British Columbia’s World-class Undersea Technology Industry by Vickie Jensen Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021 $36.95 / 9781550179200 Reviewed by Dave Flawse * In 1967, when a few cash-strapped Canadians towed their newly built manned-submersible from Vancouver to Washington State, biologists at the University of Washington got the chance…
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1648 In safe hands with Tamar

Chasing Rivers: A Whitewater Life by Tamar Glouberman Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2022 $26.95 / 9781771623414 Reviewed by Ryan Mitchell * Montreal film student turned rafting guide adventurer, Tamar Glouberman’s journey weaves like a winding river. Floating from eastern to western Canada and then beyond, she recounts her beginnings in the rafting world after…
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1647 Hugh Greer’s career

11,000 Days at School: From Class Clown to High School Vice-Principal by Hugh Greer Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2022 $22.95 / 9781989467541 Reviewed by Bill Engleson * There are moments that just seem well-timed. This was one of them. It was a Sunday morning. I had several issues on the go and was avoiding most…
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1646 Every day has its gold

Dancing in Small Spaces: One Couple’s Journey with Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia by Leslie A. Davidson Victoria: TouchWood Editions (Brindle & Glass), 2022 $22.00 / 9781990071089 Reviewed by Lee Reid * When married retired teachers are double diagnosed, he with dementia and she with Parkinson’s disease, there is not much space to dance….
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1645 Ferlinghetti of the Shuswap

Facing the Sweating Horse by Calvin White Surrey: Now or Never Publishing, 2022 $19.95 / 9781989689424 Reviewed by Harold Rhenisch * Houses have views. They face them. Some face the street outside, or a garden, a fence, a city, a lake, a river or mountains. Some face fields and grasslands. Some face the sea. The…
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