Book Reviews

#80 The photography of Wade Davis

Wade Davis: Photographs by Wade Davis Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2016 $14.99  /  9781771621243 Reviewed by David Mattison First published Feb. 4, 2017 * To say that Wade Davis has had an extraordinary, brilliant, and in the end very lucky career would be a great understatement. Originally from West Vancouver, he returned to his…
Read more #80 The photography of Wade Davis

#79 Emptying the grasslands

Crossing Home Ground: A Grassland Odyssey through Southern Interior British Columbia by David Pitt-Brooke Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2016 $32.95  /  9781550177749 Reviewed by Harold Rhenisch First published Jan. 25, 2017 * David Pitt-Brooke — naturalist, veterinarian, and writer — walked a thousand kilometres through the grasslands of the southern interior of British Columbia, from…
Read more #79 Emptying the grasslands

#78 Godiva, Zulu, and Nanaimo bars

Hard Knox: Musings from the Edge of Canada by Jack Knox, foreword by Ian Ferguson Victoria: Heritage House, 2016 $19.95  /  9781772031508 Reviewed by Bill Engleson First published Jan. 25th, 2017 * I cracked open Jack Knox’s Hard Knox: Musings from the Edge of Canada on the coldest day of 2016 on Denman Island, alarmed…
Read more #78 Godiva, Zulu, and Nanaimo bars

#77 Rubber chicken & pot shops

Surviving City Hall by Donna Macdonald Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2016 $22.95  /  9780889713208 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy First published in Jan. 22, 2017 * In 2010, the small city of Nelson, B.C., attracted the attention of The Guardian for weathering the most recent economic downturn — a feat the esteemed newspaper attributed partly to dollars…
Read more #77 Rubber chicken & pot shops

#76 Happy new year, 2047

The Mercy Journals by Claudia Casper Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2017 $17.99  /  9781551526331 Reviewed by Joan Givner First published Jan. 20, 2017 * Claudia Casper’s new novel adds to a growing body of work designated as “cli-fi,” a genre distinct from sci-fi and fantasy, because the horrors described are not futuristic fantasies but predictions of…
Read more #76 Happy new year, 2047

#75 Nechako before the flood

Ootsa Lake Odyssey: George and Else Seel — A Pioneer Life on the Headwaters of the Nechako Watershed by Jay Sherwood Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2016 $24.95 /  9781987915211 Reviewed by Sage Birchwater First published Jan. 18, 2017 * Ootsa Lake Odyssey follows the lives of George and Else Seel, who worked in the Nechako…
Read more #75 Nechako before the flood

#74 Street views before Google

Glorious Victorian Homes: 150 Years of Architectural History in British Columbia’s Capital by Nick Russell Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2016 $29.95 /  9781771511865 Reviewed by Larry McCann First published Jan. 16, 2017 * Glorious Victorian Homes is vintage Nick Russell, written with verve, wit, and deep insights about Victoria’s architectural heritage. Well-known and highly regarded for…
Read more #74 Street views before Google

#73 North West Company on the Pacific

The Fur Trade Gamble: North West Company on the Pacific Slope, 1800-1820 by Lloyd Keith and John C. Jackson Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 2016 US $27.95 / 9780874223408 Reviewed by Jamie Morton First published Jan. 15, 2017 * Although often addressed over the last two centuries, the story of the early expansion of…
Read more #73 North West Company on the Pacific

#72 Squamish matriarch and firebrand

The Amazing Mazie Baker: the Squamish Nation’s Warrior Elder by Kay Johnston Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2016 $24.95 / 9781987915068 Reviewed by Dorothy Kennedy First published Jan. 14, 2017 * In The Amazing Mazie Baker, Kay Johnston exposes the life and work of Mazie Baker (born 1931), the Squamish gadfly and firebrand who exposed irregularities…
Read more #72 Squamish matriarch and firebrand

#71 Around the world with Jon Turk

Crocodiles and Ice by Jon Turk Fernie: Oolichan Books, 2016 $23.95  / 9780889823235 Reviewed by Jeremy Twigg First published Jan. 12, 2017 * If you’ve ever wondered how to survive a crocodile attack, Jon Turk’s Crocodiles and Ice (Oolichan $23.95) is for you. As described in the recounting of his solo kayak trip in the Solomon…
Read more #71 Around the world with Jon Turk

#70 Getting tipsy in Victoria

Aqua Vitae: A History of the Saloons and Hotel Bars of Victoria, 1851-1917 Glen A. Mofford Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2016 $19.95  /  9781771511896 Reviewed by Martin Segger First published Jan. 10, 2017 * For a community that has been known to present its history as a Edenesque garden-city on the fringes of the British Empire,…
Read more #70 Getting tipsy in Victoria

#69 BC forestry politics and policy

The Sustainability Dilemma: Essays on British Columbia Forest and Environmental History by Robert Griffin and Richard A. Rajala Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum Press, 2016 $34.95  /  9780772669742 Reviewed by Graeme Wynn First published Dec. 28, 2016 * In The Sustainability Dilemma, Robert Griffin and Richard Rajala explore contested issues, policies, and campaigns concerning the…
Read more #69 BC forestry politics and policy

#68 Won Alexander Cumyow

ESSAY: Canadian First:  The Life of Won Alexander Cumyow (1861-1955) by Janet Mary Nicol First published Dec. 28, 2016 * Canada’s west coast accommodated “two solitudes”—people of the dominant English-speaking community and those of Asian heritage.  One man who tried to bridge these separate, often hostile worlds was Vancouver pioneer, Won Alexander Cumyow.  He was…
Read more #68 Won Alexander Cumyow

#67 Denman Island porch song

ESSAY: A Denman Island Porch Song by Bill Engleson First published Dec. 27, 2016 * Once a week, every Wednesday from 1-4 in the afternoon, I volunteer in the Dora Drinkwater Library on Denman Island. Such a reputedly literate island spawns more sluggish times than one might hanker for. If the season is clement and…
Read more #67 Denman Island porch song

#66 No country for old media

No News is Bad News: Canada’s Media Collapse — and What Comes Next by Ian Gill, foreword by Margo Goodhand Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2016 $18.95 / 9781771642682 Reviewed by David N. Wright First published Dec. 21, 2016 * Ian Gill’s No News is Bad News. Canada’s Media Collapse — And What Comes Next is a…
Read more #66 No country for old media

#65 The Christy Clark Liberal era

Christy Clark: Behind the Smile by Judi Tyabji Victoria: Heritage House, 2016 $32.95  /  9781772031065 Reviewed by John Douglas Belshaw First published Dec. 17, 2016 * This book is neither fish nor fowl. Judi Tyabji, a former MLA who broke with the Liberal Party in an acrimonious split, states at the outset that this is…
Read more #65 The Christy Clark Liberal era

#64 From Jalna to timber baron

ESSAY: From Jalna to timber baron: reflections  on the life of H.R. MacMillan by Ron Dart First published Dec. 16, 2016 * For good or ill, Harvey Reginald (H.R.) MacMillan (1885-1976) is a name synonymous with the forestry business in British Columbia. Those with a flagging or limited memory will have some minimal sense of…
Read more #64 From Jalna to timber baron

#63 An Imperial crackpot in BC

Guilty But Insane. J.C. Bowen-Colthurst: Villain or Victim? by James W. Taylor Cork, Ireland: Mercier Press, 2016 €14.99 / 9781781174210 Reviewed by Joe Simpson First published Dec. 14, 2016 * In Guilty But Insane, James W. Taylor traces the life of British Army officer Captain John Bowen-Colthurst of the Royal Irish Rifles. A veteran of campaigns in India, Tibet,…
Read more #63 An Imperial crackpot in BC

#62 Coming out as Métis

I Am a Métis: The Story of Gerry St. Germain by Peter O’Neil Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2016 $32.95  /  9781550177848 First published Dec. 10, 2016 * Jean Barman reviews Peter O’Neil’s I Am a Métis: The Story of Gerry St. Germain, a noteworthy account of Senator Gerry St. Germain’s journey from Grantown, Manitoba, to…
Read more #62 Coming out as Métis

#61 Street fighting men

The Last Gang in Town: The Epic Story of the Vancouver Police vs. the Clark Park Gang by Aaron Chapman Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016 $24.95 / 9781551526713 Reviewed by Lanni Russwurm First published Dec. 8, 2016 * In The Last Gang in Town, Aaron Chapman tells the story of the Clark Park Gang, named…
Read more #61 Street fighting men

Pin It on Pinterest