Economy & industry

Remembering the working west coast

He presents his book as “a story of events I witnessed in a lifetime of living and working in the logging camps and workboats on the BC Coast.” Phyllis Reeve reviews From Camp to Camp, from Dock to Dock: The Work of Doug Harrison, The BC Coast in My Eyes
by Doug Harrison (Gabriola Island: Doug Harrison, 2023) $39.95

Flying Binky Home

“In [Duthie Books’] paperback cellar Binky Marks was both a lovable eccentric and the possessor of the most prodigious knowledge of books accumulated over the last quarter century…” * Flying Binky Home, an essay by Mark Stanton

What should we extract?

Pitfall: The Race to Mine the World’s Most Vulnerable Places by Christopher Pollon Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2023 $39.95  /  9781771649124 Reviewed by Alexandra Pedersen, PhD * The term “sacrifice zones” conjures images of a toxic landscape left permanently barren by rapacious capitalism; consumed until there is nothing left with no possibilities, no hope for the…
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No. 2000 for the BC Review!

When we launched The British Columbia Review — then The Ormsby Review — in September 2016, little did we expect that seven years later we’d post our 2000th review. I’m grateful to everyone — reviewers, publishers, authors, booksellers, and readers — for making it such a success and promoting BC writers, writing, and culture. It…
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What is the role of art?

The Compassionate Imagination: How the arts are central to a functioning democracy by Max Wyman Toronto: Cormorant Books, 2023 $19.95  /  9781770866997 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * What is the point–honestly–of putting a lot of energy into discussing the connection between “art” on the one hand and society on the other?  Well, Plato seemed to…
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BC Review Annual Fundraiser

BC Review Annual Fundraiser A note from Richard Mackie *  Dear friends, supporters, and readers of The British Columbia Review: On behalf of the Board of Directors and Advisory Board of The British Columbia Review, I must remind readers of our continuing need for financial support. This request for private donations is done annually to keep…
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1961 Illustrating logging camp life

The Rangitangs: Life on the Edge – A Humorous Look at Coastal Loggers Float-camp Life from the 1920s to 1950s by Mike Whalen Self-published by Mike Whalen, 2023 $40.00 (soft cover)  /  978173885723 Reviewed by Matthew Downey * Inspired by the cartoon collection from which it draws its name, The Rangitangs: Life on the Edge is…
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1956 The fire dragon

Fire Weather: The Making of a Beast by John Vaillant Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2023 $38.00  /  9780735273160 Reviewed by Trevor Marc Hughes * John Vaillant opens his book with a quote from the fire chief of Fort McMurray, Alberta: “No one’s ever seen anything like this…this is rewriting the book.” We are soon…
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1954 Survival of the fittest Scots

Unsettled: Lord Selkirk’s Scottish Colonists and the Battle for Canada’s West, 1813-1816 by Robert Lower Toronto: ECW Press, 2023 $29.95 /  9781770417182 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Many of us learned about Lord Selkirk’s Red River Settlement in high school or college, but we’ve never read it so up close and personal as Robert Lower…
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1928 DIY cocktails

The Five-Bottle Bar: A Simple Guide to Stylish Cocktails by Jessica Schacht Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2022 $28.00  /  9781771513760 Reviewed by Rebecca Coleman * Have you been out for drinks lately? At some of my favorite cocktail bars, drinks are now in the $20 to $25 range, and even at chains, you’re looking at between…
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1927 Impossiblist Maverick

Class Warrior: The Selected Works of E.T. Kingsley by Benjamin Isitt and Ravi Malhotra (eds.) Athabasca: Athabasca University Press, 2022 $34.95  /  9781778290046 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Chances are you’ve never heard of Eugene Thornton (E.T.) Kingsley. Chances are also good that if you had heard of him you might not like him or…
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1921 Treasures from the past

Time to Wonder – Volume 2. A Kid’s Guide to BC’s Regional Museums: Vancouver Island, Salt Spring, Alert Bay, and Haida Gwaii by S. Lesley Buxton and Sue Harper Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2022 $22.00  /  9781771605069 Reviewed by Valerie Green * In view of the recent closure of Point Ellice House and Gardens in…
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1915 Money laundering and melodrama

Laundering the Dragon–Black Renminbi By John D’Eathe Vancouver: Adagio Media, 2021 $17.99 / 9781999433918 Reviewed by Valerie Green   *   John D’Eathe has written what is described as “a contemporary melodramatic novel” set in recent times about a current day problem in the powerful, international financial business world. D’Eathe begins his book with an…
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1907 The legacy of a shipwright

Called by the North: Extraordinary Adventures of the Fur Trade, Shipbuilders, Navigators and Traders in Northwestern Canada and Alaska by George H.S. Duddy Maryland: Heritage Books, 2022 $44.95  /  97807884240097 Reviewed by Ken Favrholdt * This book is an extraordinary feat of research and writing. It is especially significant as the Arctic has become the…
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1903 Corporate media bad guys

The Postmedia Effect: How Vulture Capitalism is Wrecking Our News by Marc Edge Vancouver: New Star Books, 2023 $25.00  /  9781554201976 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Notice how your local newspaper isn’t quite what it used to be? Maybe there are fewer local news stories reported. Maybe it’s no longer serving as a watchdog at…
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1902 Knowing the forest

Strong Winds and Widow Makers: Workers, Nature, and Environmental Conflict in Pacific Northwest Timber Country by Steven C. Beda Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2023 $24.95 (USD)  /  ISBN 9780252086823 Reviewed by Gordon Hak * The book title might suggest that there is little of interest here for British Columbia readers, who often do not…
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1891 ‘Standing in the river’

Instructions for a Flood: Reflections on Story, Geography and Connection by Adrienne Fitzpatrick Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2023 $24.00  /  9781773861128 Reviewed by Catherine Owen * Gentle memories. That’s the descriptor that first flowed over me at the close of reading this short, pared set of reflections on land, water, Indigeneity, history, time, people and…
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