Economy & industry

Dispossessed and exploited

“[Henaway] cites many cases where workers have been exploited and then deported using the laws of the land, including Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program.” Ron Verzuh reviews Essential Work, Disposable Workers: Migration, Capitalism and Class by Mostafa Henaway (Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2023) $27 / 9781773632254

Travel, history on the rails

“In Train Beyond the Mountains: Journeys on the Rocky Mountaineer, Rick Antonson takes us on a trip through time as he recounts a multi-day excursion on historic train, the Rocky Mountaineer.” Natalie Virginia Lang reviews Train Beyond the Mountains: Journeys on the Rocky Mountaineer (Vancouver: Greystone Books, April 2023) $34.95 / 9781771644860

Soul nourishing, anyone?

“Lisa would deliver fresh food to Ella and her brother Barkley at Wickaninnish Community School. Among the lunch time treats were fish tacos and warm polenta fries.” Mary Ann Moore reviews Together at SoBo: More Recipes and Stories from Tofino’s Beloved Restaurant by Lisa Ahier with Susan Musgrave (Toronto: Appetite by Random House, 2023)
$37.50 / 9780525610632

Revisiting the ‘Last Spike’

“The building of the CPR has been one of the core myths of the country, one of the stories that explain how Canada came about.” Daniel Francis reviews Dominion: The Railway and the Rise of Canada by Stephen R. Bown (Toronto: Penguin Random House, 2023) $39.95 / 9780385698726

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 Placesby 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 future. Billionaires,…
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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 democracyby 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 think it…
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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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