Book Reviews

#198 Inspector Vance, I presume?

Blood, Sweat, and Fear: The Story of Inspector Vance, Vancouver’s First Forensic Investigator by Eve Lazarus Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2017 $21.95  /  9781551526850 Reviewed by Bonnie Reilly Schmidt First published Nov. 8, 2017 *   In Blood, Sweat, and Fear: The Story of Inspector Vance, Vancouver’s First Forensic Investigator Eve Lazarus rescues one of…
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#197 Power to the people

Powering Up Canada A History of Power, Fuel, and Energy from 1600 by Ruth Sandwell (editor) Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016. $37.95  /  9780773547865 Reviewed by Dan Gallacher First published Nov. 7, 2017 Years ago I likened history to a diamond. Each time it is turned in the light, another facet is revealed….
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#196 Batten down the anthology

Spindrift: A Canadian Book of the Sea by Michael L. Hadley and Anita Hadley (editors), with illustrations by Matthew Wolferstan Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2017 $36.95  /  9781771621731 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski First published Nov. 6, 2017 * This is an anthology with something like a mission. In “Waypoints,” his foreword to this anthology, historian…
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#195 Remembrance Day, 2017

First published Nov. 5, 2017 A century since Vimy and Passchendaele: Two wars, two families, one message By Howard Macdonald Stewart * For Remembrance Day 2017 we offer a moving reflection by Howard Stewart on war’s impact on his family in the twentieth century. Howard touches on the personal and emotional repercussions on the families…
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#194 Lill Emerson: Raincoast educator

MEMOIR: Lill’s Story: Reminiscences of a Country Schoolteacher by Lillian Emerson Edited by Mary Novik and Ned Young First published Nov. 4, 2017 * We are delighted to present these memoirs of Lillian Emerson (1913-2003), a Vancouver Island teacher in the 1930s who became the mother of award-winning novelist Mary Novik. Born in Victoria to…
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#193 Nanaimo mayor rivals Dunsmuir

First published November 3, 2017 Mark Bate: Nanaimo’s First Mayor by Jan Peterson Victoria: Heritage House, 2017. $19.95.  /  9781772031829 Reviewed by John R. Hinde While industrialist Robert Dunsmuir has long been recognized as the most important figure in nineteenth century Nanaimo, thanks in part to Terry Reksten’s The Dunsmuir Saga (Douglas & McIntyre, 1991),…
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#192 New Westminster at work

First published Nov. 1, 2017 REVIEW: Longshoring on the Fraser: Stories and History of ILWU Local 502 by Chris M.V. Madsen, Liam O’Flaherty, and Michelle La Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2016. $29.95  /  9781926991832 Reviewed by Sean Cadigan * Longshoring on the Fraser tells “the story of ILWU [International Longshore and Warehouse Union] Local 502”…
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#191 Biodiversity in the boardroom

First published October 30, 2017 REVIEW: Enterprising Nature: Economics, Markets, and Finance in Global Biodiversity Politics by Jessica Dempsey Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016. £19.99 (U.K.).  /   978-1-118-64060-9 Reviewed by Juliane Collard * In Enterprising Nature: Economics, Markets, and Finance in Global Biodiversity Politics, UBC geographer Jessica Dempsey considers the problem of biodiversity loss in the modern…
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#190 Multiculturalism beyond rhetoric

The Minor Intimacies of Race: Asian Publics in North America by Christine Kim Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2016 $30.00 (U.S.)  /  9780252081620 Reviewed by Helen Hok-Sze Leung First published oct. 29, 2017   Christine Kim examines the limitations of Canada’s official policy of multiculturalism by considering Maclean’s Magazine’s 2010 story about “too many”…
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#189 Skimming is for milk, not reading

Garage Criticism: Cultural Missives in an Age of Distraction by Peter Babiak Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2016 $20.00 /  9781772140507 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy First published October 24, 2017 * Fortunate is the reviewer who, confronting the blank page after finishing reading, finds her most pressing concern is how to do such a fine book justice….
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#188 Spooked horses in a storm

Auguries by Clea Roberts London, Ontario: Brick Books, 2017 $20.00  /  9781771314510 Reviewed by David Stouck First published October 24, 2017 *   Two-time Governor General’s Award winner Don McKay described Clea Roberts’ debut collection of poems, Here Is Where We Disembark (Freehand Books, 2010), as “exquisite frost-bitten brevities,” a phrase that aptly characterizes this Yukon-based…
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#187 Brother, where art thou?

First published October 23, 2017 Brother Toronto: Penguin Random House (McClelland & Stewart), 2017 by David Chariandy $25 hc ISBN 978-0-7710-2290-6 reviewed by Cherie Thiessen * The only author nominated for both the Giller and Rogers Writers Trust Fiction awards in 2017 is David Chariandy, whose second novel, Brother, concerns two siblings growing up in…
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#186 Northern industrial follies

Unbuilt Environments: Tracing Postwar Development in Northwest British Columbia by Jonathan Peyton Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017 $32.95  /  9780774833059 Reviewed by Wade Davis First published October 23, 2017 * My father came of age in the 1930s, son of a doctor in the lead zinc mining town of Kimberly in the East Kootenays. To reach…
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#185 Diversity of immigrant women

First published October 21, 2017 REVIEW: Wherever I Find Myself: Stories by Canadian Immigrant Women By Miriam Matejova (editor) Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2017. $24.95  /  978-1-987915-34-1 Reviewed by Gillian Der   * The third anthology in a series on Canadian women published by Caitlin Press, Wherever I Find Myself, edited by Miriam Matejova, is…
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#184 Margaret Ormsby remembered

First published October 18, 2017 Just over a year ago, in “Welcome to the Ormsby Review” (September 16, 2016), Richard Mackie provided his memories of Margaret Ormsby, the B.C. historian after whom The Ormsby Review is named. Mostly these referenced his conversations in two fine, old living rooms in the Coldstream Valley, near Vernon, where…
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#183 Modernist poet Blaise Cendrars

Blaise Cendrars Speaks… by Blaise Cendrars. Edited and with an introduction by Jim Christy, translated by David J. MacKinnon Victoria: Ekstasis Editions, 2016 $24.95  /  9781771711906 First published in Paris by Denoël, 1952 and 2016 Reviewed by Serge Alternês Review first published Oct. 16, 2017 * This upcoming Remembrance Day we might recall and commemorate…
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#182 Reckoning the beckoned

First published October 16, 2017 REVIEW: Beckoned by the Sea: Women at Work on the Cascadian Coast by Sylvia Taylor Victoria: Heritage House, 2017. $19.95  /  9781772031799 Reviewed by Molly Clarkson   * Sylvia Taylor’s Beckoned by the Sea: Women at Work on the Cascadian Coast brings together the stories of twenty-four women whose career…
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#181 Mousewoman meets Spandex

The Seriousness Of Play: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas by Nicola Levell London: Black Dog Publishing, 2016 £19.95 (U.K.)  /  9781910433119 Reviewed by Eldon Yellowhorn First published October 14, 2017 * Play, playful, and playfulness best describe the visual jazz that Nicola Levell presents in her portrait of Michael Nicoll and the Yahgulanaas experience. After a short preface…
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#180 The first major B.C. internments

Essay: Refuge of a Scoundrel: Patriotism and William Bowser by Wayne Norton First published Oct. 13, 2017 * In this Ormsby Review exclusive, Wayne Norton reveals that in his brief term in office (1915-16), the Conservative Premier William Bowser fanned the flames of patriotism stoked by mounting Canadian war casualties and the German sinking of…
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#179 Nanaimo & Johnny Cash

First published October 12,2017 Nanaimo journalist Julie Chadwick has helped The Man In Black’s manager in the 1960s and ‘70s, Saul Holiff, to posthumously present his recollections for The Man Who Carried Cash (Dundurn $19.95). The long-winded subtitle for this tale of a tempestuous but affectionate relationship is ‘Saul Holiff, Johnny Cash, and the Making…
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