Healing, health, self-help

#487 Welcome to the new Cann lit

The Little Book of Cannabis: How Marijuana Can Improve Your Life by Amanda Siebert, foreword by Rav Ivker Vancouver: Greystone Books: 2018 $14.95 / 9781771644044 Reviewed by Derek von Essen First published Feb. 14, 2019 * The dialogue surrounding cannabis cultivation and usage in Canada has changed recently with the legalization and the impending corporatization…
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#418 Boswell’s woman of words

A Bright and Steady Flame: The Story of an Enduring Friendship by Luanne Armstrong Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Books, 2018 $22.95 / 9781987915822 Reviewed by Lee Reid First published Nov. 9, 2018 * I first came across the Buddhist term Kalyana-mitra in the 1980s when, as a struggling single parent, I was desperate for creative stimulation….
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#407 Celebrating age and wisdom

The Aging of Aquarius: Igniting Passion and Purpose as an Elder by Helen Wilkes Gabriola Island: New Society, 2018 $17.99 / 9780865718944 Reviewed by Alan Belk First published October 26th, 2018 * “Elderhood is not conferred by virtue of age; there is no greeting card, no welcoming party,” muses Ormsby reviewer Alan Belk after reading Helen…
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#403 Health before healthcare

First published October 19th, 2018. All Together Healthy: A Canadian Wellness Revolution by Andrew MacLeod Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2018 $22.95 / 9781771621885 Reviewed by Trevor Hancock * Governments in Canada, argues Andrew MacLeod, choose to prioritize spending on medical care, which is akin to treating the symptom and not the disease. Ormsby reviewer…
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#402 Roma and other Gypsies

Gypsy Fugue: An Archetypal Memoir by Marlene Schiwy Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2018 $24.95 / 9781987915594 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve First published October 18, 2018 * Readers might recall The Manticore (1972), the second in Robertson Davies’ Deptford Trilogy, in which David Staunton dreams of a gypsy the night before starting Jungian therapy in Zurich….
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#386 All my generations

Imprint: A Memoir of Trauma in the Third Generation by Claire Sicherman Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2017 $22.95 / 9781987915570 Reviewed by Mark Dwor First published Sept. 28, 2018 * Claire Sicherman opens Imprint: A Memoir of Trauma in the Third Generation with this dedication: My maternal grandparents were survivors of the Holocaust and I…
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#383 Sea change on Gabriola

First published Sept. 24, 2018. Changemakers: Embracing Hope, Taking Action, and Transforming the World by Fay Weller and Mary Wilson Gabriola Island: New Society, 2018 $17.99 / 9780865718753 Reviewed by Sandi Ratch * Fay Weller and Mary Wilson of Gabriola Island have teamed up to present Changemakers: Embracing Hope, Taking Action, and Transforming the World, a…
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#380 Road trip with Gilgamesh

Provoked by Gilgamesh: The Search for a Way Around Death by Gilmour Walker Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2018 $18.95 / 9781553805205 Reviewed by Peter Babiak First published Sept. 21, 2018 * Inspired by the Epic of Gilgamesh, Victoria’s Gilmour Walker (a pseudonym) tells how, in his forties, he left his seaside home in Nova Scotia on…
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#372 Scattering Rachel’s ashes

The Suitcase and the Jar: Travels with a Daughter’s Ashes by Becky Livingston Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2018 $22.95 / 9781987915747 Reviewed by Carys Cragg First published September 12th, 2018 * After Becky Livingston lost her 23-year old daughter Rachel to a brain tumour, she set off on a global walkabout for 798 days, scattering…
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#369 West Kootenay lives and land

Growing Home: the Legacy of Kootenay Elders by Lee Reid Nelson: Growing Home Elders Press, 2017 $26.95 / 9780995816404 Reviewed by Duff Sutherland First published September 08th, 2018 * In Growing Home: the Legacy of Kootenay Elders, Lee Reid profiles seventeen men and women, born between the 1920s and 1950s, who made their lives in the…
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#341 Cultivating desire

Better Sex Through Mindfulness: How Women Can Cultivate Desire by Lori A. Brotto Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2018 $22.95  /  9781771642354 Reviewed by Becki L. Ross First published August 13, 2018 * New from Greystone Books comes Better Sex Through Mindfulness: How Women Can Cultivate Desire by Lori A. Brotto, a psychologist, sex researcher, and Canada…
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#330 Rachel’s food for thought

Sustenance: Writers from BC and Beyond on the Subject of Food by Rachel Rose (editor) Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2017 $25.00  /  9781772141016 Reviewed by Alan Belk First published June 26, 2018 * It would be easy to review Sustenance as a representative of the literary genre Coffee Table: a beautifully illustrated collection of short pieces…
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#312 A sesquicentennial smorgasbord

The Language of Family: Stories of Bonds and Belonging by Michelle van der Merwe (editor) Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum Press, 2017 $27.95  /  9780772670526 Reviewed by Claire Sicherman First published May 30, 2018 * When I first held The Language of Family in my hands, I could feel the faint stirring of emotion, the…
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#303 Removing antagonism to win

First published May 15, 2018. Pulling Together: A Coach’s Journey to Uncover the Mindset of True Potential by Jason Dorland, foreword by David Meggyesy Victoria: Heritage House, 2017. $19.95  /  9781772031737 Reviewed by Brian Fraser * Jason Dorland is on a mission. He’s well prepared. He has spent his life training, performing, and coaching as…
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#260 Travis’s travail wins Ryga

Ryga Award announcement, 2018 This year’s Ryga Award winner for Social Awareness goes to Georgia Straight journalist Travis Lupick for Fighting for Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction. First published March 6, 2018 * “I hope that Fighting for Space receiving this award encourages discussion of Canada’s overdose…
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#251 The stupid man’s smart person?

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Random House Canada), 2018 $34.95  /  9780345816023 Reviewed by Ron Dart First published Feb. 23, 2018 * Controversial University of Toronto psychologist and cultural critic Jordan Peterson, condemned by Maclean’s as “the stupid man’s smart person,” has spoken to…
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#244 Downtown Eastside influencers

Fighting for Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction by Travis Lupick Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2017 $24.95  /  9781551527123 Reviewed by Danya Fast First published Feb. 4, 2018 * Locally and globally, Vancouver is celebrated for its world-class harm reduction and social housing programs, and regarded as a…
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#104 Literary greenhorn dads

The Dad Dialogues: A Correspondence on Fatherhood (and the Universe) by George Bowering and Charles Demers Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016 $17.95  /  9781551526621 Reviewed by Christian Fink-Jensen First published March 15, 2017 * Vancouver writers George Bowering, born in 1935, and Charles Demers, born in 1980, had daughters – Thea and Josephine – more…
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#87 Peruvian sojourn

Inge Bolin Thirst in the Andes: Climate Change and Solutions for Survival First published Feb. 14, 2017 * Inge Bolin’s first novel, When Condors Call (Nanaimo: Chaska Publications, 2010) follows a young physician from the Peruvian Andes in search of a cure for Leishmaniasis, a disfiguring disease. Her 2016 stay in Peru enabled her to…
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