Book Reviews

#240 Go get Emily!!

First published Jan. 26, 2018. Emily Patterson, The Heroic Life of a Milltown Nurse provides a rare portrait of a female life on the West Coast of Canada during the 1800s. It recounts the laudable life of a woman who served as a midwife, nurse and doctor despite her lack of formal medical training. “The…
Read more #240 Go get Emily!!

#239 And here’s to you, Mr. Robinson

Red Robinson: The Last Deejay by Robin Brunet Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2016 $29.95  /  9781550177695 Reviewed by Lani Russwurm First published Jan, 25, 2018 From vaudeville to punk rock, entertainment looms larger than it probably should in Vancouver’s history, considering the city’s dinky stature for most of its existence. One reason for this is…
Read more #239 And here’s to you, Mr. Robinson

#238 Unforgettable Major Matthews

The unforgettable Major Matthews: A memoir of 1969 by John  Pass First published Jan. 23, 2018 * We are pleased to unveil a memoir by the award-winning poet John Pass (born 1947) from the summer of 1969 when he crossed paths with Vancouver’s first archivist, the one and only Major J.S. Matthews, an Imperial bulldog…
Read more #238 Unforgettable Major Matthews

#236 Fernie at War

Fernie At War: 1914-1919 by Wayne Norton Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2017 $24.95  /  9781987915495 Reviewed by W. Keith Regular First published January 21, 2018 * Works of history are matters of scale, a broad perspective over extended time (macro), or narrowly focused investigation (micro). In this age of globalism and its repudiation, as the…
Read more #236 Fernie at War

#235 Dancing on paper

First published Jan. 19, 2018. A Queer Love Story: The Letters of Jane Rule and Rick Bébout by Marilyn R. Schuster (editor) Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017. $39.95  / 9780774835459 Reviewed by Patricia Demers * Reading a collection of letters can be something of a guilty pleasure. Marilyn Schuster’s edition of the letters of Jane Rule…
Read more #235 Dancing on paper

#234 Ted Hughes, Titan of Fairness

First published Jan. 18, 2018. The Mighty Hughes: From Prairie Lawyer to Western Canada’s Moral Compass by Craig McInnes Victoria: Heritage House, 2017. $32.95  /  9781772032055 Reviewed by John McLaren * In Canada, biographies of appointed public servants are few and far between, compared with those of politicians. These days even judges are the focus…
Read more #234 Ted Hughes, Titan of Fairness

#233 The malleable truth

First published Jan. 17, 2018. In the Trump era, George Orwell’s insights resonate profoundly. Stephen Wadhams’ The Orwell Tapes is a collection of memories from those who crossed paths with the complex character who first described Big Brother, thoughtcrime, Newspeak and doublethink. The Orwell Tapes Vancouver: Locarno Press by Stephen Wadhams $18.50 / 9780995994614 *…
Read more #233 The malleable truth

#232 All aboard for sea changes

First published Jan.16, 2018. Refuge in the Black Deck: The Story of Ordinary Seaman Nicola Peffers by Nicola Peffers Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press. $24.95.  /  978-1-987915-43-3 Reviewed by Bonnie Reilly Schmidt *   Readers are immediately immersed in life aboard an armed forces navy vessel in Refuge in the Black Deck: The Story of Ordinary…
Read more #232 All aboard for sea changes

#231 The bane of the British Admiralty

Finding John Rae by Alice Jane Hamilton Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2017 $21.95  /  9781553804819 Reviewed by Dylan Burrows First published Jan. 11, 2018 * In Finding John Rae, Alice Jane Hamilton upends the standard narrative of mid-nineteenth century Arctic exploration, focussing not on the vainglorious search for the doomed Franklin Expedition but those left in…
Read more #231 The bane of the British Admiralty

#230 A good year and a good man

Green Mackinaw in Europe, 1954-55 by Alfred H. Siemens Victoria: FriesenPress Publishers, 2017 $25.99  /  9781460295342 Reviewed by Graeme Wynn * Green Mackinaw recalls the “brief shining time” that its author spent in Europe in the 1950s. Alfred Siemens, a UBC student in his early twenties, crossed the Atlantic in the fall of 1954 to…
Read more #230 A good year and a good man

#229 Youbou logger to S&R king

First published Jan. 8, 2018. It Can Be Done: An Ordinary Man’s Extraordinary Success by Chick Stewart and Michele Carter Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2017. $32.95  /  9781550178005 Reviewed by Michel Vallée   Donald “Chick” Stewart moved to B.C. from a chicken farm in Manitoba in 1942 when he was fifteen years old. His first…
Read more #229 Youbou logger to S&R king

#228 Reconciliation dances & divides

Residential Schools and Reconciliation: Canada Confronts its History by J.R. (Jim) Miller Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017. $39.95  /  9781487502188 Reviewed by Andrew Woolford First published Dec. 23, 2017 * Projects of justice and reconciliation in a national context are never straightforward affairs. Governments do not wake up one day and decide to deal…
Read more #228 Reconciliation dances & divides

#227 Specific to the Pacific

Refugium: Poems for the Pacific by Yvonne Blomer (editor), with a foreword by Adam Olsen Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2017 $22.95  /  9781987915532 Review by Phyllis Reeve First published Dec. 21, 2017 * What is a Refugium? Yvonne Blomer, editor and guiding spirit of this anthology, borrows her definition from the Canadian Oxford Dictionary as…
Read more #227 Specific to the Pacific

#226 Rescuing Riel, revising history

First published Dec. 20, 2017. Louis Riel: Let Justice Be Done by David Doyle Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2017. $24.95  /  978-1-55380-496-3 Reviewed by Max Hamon * Few Canadians have been more misunderstood and controversial than Louis Riel. Now that Canadians are even re-assessing the reputation of our first prime minister, David Doyle’s Louis Riel: Let…
Read more #226 Rescuing Riel, revising history

#225 Food & community in Vancouver

Sustenance: Writers from BC and Beyond on the Subject of Food by Rachel Rose (editor) Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2017 $25.00  /  9781772141016 Review by Caroline Woodward First published Dec. 20, 2017 * As Poet Laureate for the City of Vancouver from 2014-2017, Rachel Rose wanted a community project which offered another world view than the muttering…
Read more #225 Food & community in Vancouver

#224 Opportunity Knox twice

Opportunity Knox: Twenty Years of Award Losing Humour Writing by Jack Knox Victoria: Heritage House, 2017 $19.95  /  9781772032086 Reviewed by Bill Engleson First published Dec. 19, 2017 * Jack Knox, columnist of the Victoria Times-Colonist, is known for his incisive humour. His proposed names for new B.C. Ferries: the Spirit of Jobs Sent to…
Read more #224 Opportunity Knox twice

#223 Starvation Cove & Terror Bay

Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition by Owen Beattie and John Geiger, with a foreword by Wade Davis and an introduction by Margaret Atwood Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2017 (first published by Western Producer Prairie Books, 1988; subsequent editions by Douglas & McIntyre, 1998, and Greystone, 2004 and 2014) $24.95  /  9781771641739 Reviewed…
Read more #223 Starvation Cove & Terror Bay

#222 Tsimshian Day Schools revisited

First published Dec. 16, 2017. REVIEW: What We Learned: Two Generations Reflect on Tsimshian Education and the Day Schools by Helen Raptis with members of the Tsimshian Nation: Mildred Roberts, Wally Miller, Sam Lockerby, Verna Inkster, Clifford Bolton, Harvey Wing, Charlotte Guno, Don Roberts Junior, Steve Roberts, Richard Roberts, Carol Sam, and Jim Roberts. Vancouver:…
Read more #222 Tsimshian Day Schools revisited

#221 The sacred sandbar of Squamish

The sacred sandbar of Squamish by Alan Twigg First published Dec. 15, 2017 * Should the B.C. publishing industry ever require validation—which it shouldn’t, given the bang for the buck it renders in return for minimal subsidization—its foremost calling card is most certainly the hundreds of superb books produced for, about and by the First…
Read more #221 The sacred sandbar of Squamish

#220 From s7istkn to dude ranches

First published Dec. 14, 2017. The Land on Which We Live: Life on the Cariboo Plateau, 70 Mile House to Bridge Lake by Barbara MacPherson Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2017. $24.95  /  9781987915365 Reviewed by Harold Rhenisch * Barbara MacPherson has provided a popular oral history of the South Cariboo and North Bonaparte regions, stretching…
Read more #220 From s7istkn to dude ranches

Pin It on Pinterest