Book Reviews

#303 Removing antagonism to win

First published May 15, 2018. Pulling Together: A Coach’s Journey to Uncover the Mindset of True Potential by Jason Dorland, foreword by David Meggyesy Victoria: Heritage House, 2017. $19.95  /  9781772031737 Reviewed by Brian Fraser * Jason Dorland is on a mission. He’s well prepared. He has spent his life training, performing, and coaching as…
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#302 Middle class artist on relief

Alan Caswell Collier, Relief Stiff: An Artist’s Letters from Depression-era British Columbia by Peter Neary (editor) Vancouver: UBC Press, 2018 $45.00  /  9780774834988 Reviewed by Daniel Francis First published May 8, 2018 * Most British Columbians live within an easy drive of one of the unemployment relief camps established by the federal government during the…
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#301 Glory days of Park Wardens

The Green Horse: My Early Years in the Canadian Rockies — A Park Warden’s Story by Dale Portman Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2017 $25.00  / 9781771602266 Reviewed by Michelle Murphy First published May 7, 2018 * Like many, I am captivated by the beauty and vastness of the Canadian Rockies – and curious about the…
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#300 By horse to the Muskwa-Kechika

Summer of the Horse: A Memoir by Donna Kane Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2017 $19.95. 9781550178197 Reviewed by Heather Longworth Sjoblom First published May 7, 2018 * “Wilderness… is a place that retains its beauty because it escapes us.” — Donna Kane In her literary memoir, Summer of the Horse, Donna Kane explores the wilderness…
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#298 Three tributes to Al Neil

First published May 4, 2018. An obituary on this site has already recorded the life and times — and books — of Al Neil. But there’s nothing like a personal reminiscence–or three–to reveal how extraordinary and perplexing and difficult and odd he could be.                   1. In…
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#297 From Gallant to Kafka

First published May 4, 2018. The Two of Us by Kathy Page Windsor, Ontario: Biblioasis, 2016. $19.95  /  9781771960991 Reviewed by Paul Headrick   Kathy Page’s fiction has often been the bridesmaid, not the bride. After she was longlisted for the Giller Prize in 2014 for her story collection, Paradise & Elsewhere, Page was longlisted…
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#296 Margaret’s Ormsby’s milieu

Memoir: Margaret’s Ormsby’s milieu by Daniel Marshall * The influence of Quesnel-born B.C. historian Margaret Anchoretta Ormsby (1909-1996) on younger generations of scholars and readers continues more than two decades after her death. Not only has The Ormsby Review perpetuated her name — and we hope her commitment to the culture and literature of British…
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#295 Cinderella Campaign revisited

The Cinderella Campaign: First Canadian Army and the Battles for the Channel Ports by Mark Zuehlke Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2017 $37.95  /  9781771620895 Reviewed by Norm Fennema First published April 30, 2018 * Prolific historian Mark Zuehlke describes how battle-hardened but “woefully understrength” Canadian soldiers chased retreating Germans north towards the Seine River in…
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#294 From A (Ansel) to Z (Zizka)

First published April 28, 2018. The Canadian Rockies: Rediscovered by Paul Zizka Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2017. $50  /  9781771602310 Reviewed by Mary Sanseverino * Revelstoke native and retired computer scientist Mary Sanseverino of the Canadian Mountain Legacy Project compares the work of Banff-based photographer Paul Zizka to American wilderness lensmen Ansell Adams and Galen…
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#293 Emotional time bombs

First published April 25, 2018. The Promise of Water by Judy LeBlanc (Oolichan: 2017) 978-0-88982-320-4 $19.95 tp Review by Caroline Woodward * Judy LeBlanc’s debut collection evokes a tangible sense of place—Vancouver Island—where the sweet fragrance of cedar mingles with the murky odours of damp mould and stale cigarette smoke can be washed away by…
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#292 Hidden gems in Kelowna

A Legacy of Canadian Art, from Kelowna Collections by Roger H. Boulet Kelowna: The Kelowna Art Gallery, 2017 $15.00 / 9781896749860 Reviewed by Maria Tippett First posted April 23, 2018 * Drawn from eight private collections in Kelowna as well as from the permanent collection of the Kelowna Art Gallery, A Legacy of Canadian Art, from…
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#291 Disturbing: the Peace

Breaching the Peace: The Site C Dam and a Valley’s Stand against Big Hydro by Sarah Cox, foreword by Alex Neve Vancouver: UBC Press (On Point Press), 2018 $24.95  /  9780774890267 Review by John Gellard First published April 21, 2018 * From UBC Press’s new On Point Press, which aims to “introduce a broad audience…
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#290 Grieving with Google

Sitting Shiva on Minto Avenue, by Toots by Erín Moure Vancouver: New Star Books, 2017 $21.00  /  9781554201419 Reviewed by Claire Sicherman First published April 19, 2018 * It is three weeks after the death of her former lover, Paul Émile Savard, when author Erín Moure learns he is dead, and that he died alone…
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#289 Coming of Age on Salt Spring

First published April 18, 2018. Mod ‘n Lavender: Salt Spring Island in the ‘60s by John Grain Kelowna: Tadpole Publishing, 2017. $18.95  /  9780973863413 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * For some of us, remembering the 1960s is increasingly hindered by old age and failing memories. A few of us might prefer to forget parts of…
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#288 Mabel Lake-Shuswap memories

Flowing through Time: Stories of Kingfisher and Mabel Lake by Joan Cowan (editor) and Kingfisher History Committee (Jean Clark, Judy Fischer, Diane Hatt, and Sue Saloka) Kelowna: Kettle Valley Graphics, 2017 $25  /  9780995303607 Reviewed by Ken Mather First published April 17, 2018 * Probably the majority of British Columbians have never heard of Mabel…
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#287 Enjoying the rat race

A Peakbagger’s Guide to the Canadian Rockies: North by Ben Nearingburg and Eric Coulthard Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2017 $35.00  /  9781771601986 Reviewed by Rod Szasz First published April 15, 2018 * From Rocky Mountain Books comes A Peakbagger’s Guide to the Canadian Rockies: North by research scientist Ben Nearingburg and computer scientist Eric Coulthard,…
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#286 New Orphic Review bookend

MEMOIR: Endpiece: Recalling New Orphic by Margrith Schraner First published April 13, 2018 * Here Margrith Schraner recalls her twenty years as Associate Editor of The New Orphic Review of Vancouver and Nelson.  “I now conceive of ‘Endpiece’ as a caboose—a railway wagon attached to the end of a train. The lights at the back…
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#285 Mapping first contacts

Explorers of the Maritime Pacific Northwest: Mapping the World through Primary Documents by William L. Lang and James V. Walker Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2016 $108.00 (U.S.)  /  9781610699259 Reviewed by David Brownstein First published April 12, 2018 * Unless you are an aspiring armchair sea captain, Explorers of the Maritime Pacific Northwest is a…
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#284 Field Guide to Insects

First published April 7, 2018. A Field Guide to Insects of the Pacific Northwest by Robert Cannings Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2018. $7.95  /  9781550178340 Reviewed by Norma Kerby * One of the major gaps for the enthusiastic amateur naturalist has been an approachable guide to insects. Robert Cannings’ new field guide goes some distance…
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