Healing, health, self-help

1285 From anonymity to spotlight

Pandemic Spotlight: Canadian Doctors at the Front of the Covid-19 Fight by Ian Hanomansing Madeira Park: Douglas and McIntyre, 2021 $22.95 / 9781771622929 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * For nearly two years we have existed in a time warp. When I see a reference to something which happened in April, and now it is October,…
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1253 Running away in old age

Shadow Life by Hiromi Goto, illustrated by Ann Xu New York: First Second Books (Macmillan), 2021. Distributed by Raincoast Books. Please order from your local independent bookstore $24.99 (U.S.) / 9781626723566 Reviewed by Carol Matthews * Vancouver poet and novelist Hiromi-Goto’s graphic novel Shadow Life, brilliantly illustrated by Ann Xu, is a vollendungsroman, a story…
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1214 Loving and losing Louisa

The Last Goldfish: A True Tale of Friendship by Anita Lahey Windsor, ON: Biblioasis, 2020 $22.95 / 9781771963435 Reviewed by Carol Matthews * Part bildungsroman and part meta-memoir, Anita Lacey’s The Last Goldfish; A True Tale of Friendship is an account of a young girl watching a beloved friend struggle with and ultimately succumb to…
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1207 Coyote’s Covid correspondence

Care Of: Letters, Connections, and Cures by Ivan Coyote Toronto: Penguin Random House (McClelland & Stewart), 2021 $25.00 / 9780771051722 Reviewed by Carol Matthews * One day in March, 2020, Ivan Coyote received an email telling them that the next day’s roadshows had been cancelled. A few days later, they learned that most of their…
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1188 Facing the fentanyl crisis

The Age of Fentanyl: Ending the Opioid Epidemic by Brodie Ramin Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2020 $22.99 / 9781459746701 Reviewed by Jeffrey Stychin * This book is not for the faint of heart, despite its clinical examination of the devastating world of opiate addiction. Brodie Ramin’s heartfelt compassion extends through every chapter. The Age of Fentanyl…
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1177 Paint those final portraits

obittersweet: Life Lessons from Obituaries by Tamara Macpherson Vukusic Oakville, ON: Mosaic Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9781771615280 Reviewed by Carol Matthews * As a long-time reader of obituaries, I was delighted to receive a copy of Tamara Macpherson Vukusic’s collection of essays which is aptly titled obittersweet. Describing her Sunday morning ritual “with coffee in…
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1165 Cariboo truth and invention

Always Pack a Candle: A Nurse in the Cariboo-Chilcotin by Marion McKinnon Crook Victoria: Heritage House, 2021 $22.95 / 9781772033625 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve  * Delivering healthcare throughout the geographical vastness of B.C. would seem impossible — and yet health professionals and, yes, governments, have been doing just that for generations, since 1869 with the…
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1164 Waiting for life to begin

Barely Functional Adult: It’ll All Make Sense Eventually by Meichi Ng Toronto, HarperCollins Canada (Harper Perennial), 2020 $21.99 / 9780062945594 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * Barely Functional Adult by Meichi Ng is a humorous, insightful salve most millennials will gleefully devour. Rest assured, its entertainment value is by no means restricted by age demographic. As…
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1152 A career in postwar medicine

Improbable Journeys: From Crossing the Himalayas on Horseback to a Career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology by Dr. Bernard A.O. Binns and Ron Smith Oakville, ON: Rock’s Mills Press, 2020 $29.95 / 9781772441932 Reviewed by John Kenwright * Editor’s note: Occasionally we run two reviews of the same book at The British Columbia Review. May Q….
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1121 A testament to resilience

Four Umbrellas: A Couple’s Journey Into Young-Onset Alzheimer’s by June Hutton and Tony Wanless Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2020 $21.99 / 9781459747791 Reviewed by Lee Reid * “Ah yes, I remember it well,” is the comical reminiscing of mismatched memories from the iconic film Gigi (1958). In the nostalgic film, two aging lovers sing about their…
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1119 Mother’s Day on Salt Spring

Home on the Strange: Chronicles of Motherhood, Mayhem, and Matters of the Heart by Susan Lundy Victoria: Heritage House, 2021 $22.95 / 9781772033649 Reviewed by Margot Fedoruk * “Sometimes moms just need a little escape, even if it’s just a fantasy,” says Susan Lundy in one of the many entertaining stories in her book, Home…
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1103 A graphic memoir of endurance

Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression by Teresa Wong Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 $19.95 / 9781551527659 Reviewed by Claire Sicherman * When I first held a copy of Teresa Wong’s Dear Scarlet: The Story of my Postpartum Depression, I fell in love with the cover. On it, an image of a woman’s…
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1089 A lifetime of care and medicine

Improbable Journeys: From Crossing the Himalayas on Horseback to a Career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology by Dr. Bernard A.O. Binns and Ron Smith Oakville, ON: Rock’s Mills Press, 2020 $29.95 / 9781772441932 Reviewed by May Q. Wong * Editor’s note: for a subsequent review of Improbable Journeys by John Kenwright, see The Ormsby Review, June…
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1072 Healing through creativity

 A Whisper Across Time: My Family’s Story of the Holocaust told through Art & Poetry by Olga Campbell Vancouver: Jubaji Press, 2018, distributed by Red Toque Books. To purchase see here $31.95 / 9780981291123 Reviewed by Claire Sicherman * I first met visual artist and author Olga Campbell in 2019 at Vancouver’s Jewish Community Centre,…
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1065 Don’t take it all for granted

How To Lose Everything: A Memoir by Christa Couture Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2020 $26.95 / 9781771622622 Reviewed by David Milward * Not making quite as much on a stock investment as you’d like; a rising interest rate puts a dent into your revenue; a repair becomes necessary with respect to your million-dollar home;…
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1054 Foiling the fertility clock

Catalogue Baby: A Memoir of (In)fertility by Myriam Steinberg, illustrations by Christache Vancouver: Page Two Books, 2021 $23.95 / 9781989603642 Reviewed by Margot Fedoruk * Warning: you’re going to need to set aside some uninterrupted time to savour Myriam Steinberg’s new graphic novel, Catalogue Baby: A Memoir of (In)fertility because it is hard to put…
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1047 Vignettes from the front line

A Paramedic’s Tales: Hilarious, Horrible and Heartwarming True Stories by Graeme Taylor Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2020 $24.95 / 9781550179026 Reviewed by May Q Wong * I can almost hear him say “Have I told you about the time…?” These are the kind of adventure stories one might hear around a campfire, a family dinner…
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