History (world)

1535 An English chambermaid

Queasy: a wannabe writer’s bumpy journey through England in the ’70s by Madeline Sonik Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2022 $20.00 / 9781772141894 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * “There be dragons,” warn words in the corners of some old maps. The warning is really, of course, an invitation both to the intrepid to investigate remote lands and…
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1533 On the edge of memoir

Blue Portugal and Other Essays by Theresa Kishkan Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2022 $24.99 / 9781772125993 Reviewed by Michael Hayward * For forty-some-odd years, Theresa Kishkan and her husband, poet John Pass, have been living in a home that they built themselves early in their marriage, on a piece of land half-way up BC’s…
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1518 Brazen timber theft

Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in North America’s Woods by Lyndsie Bourgon Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2022 $34.95 / 9781771647199 Reviewed by Brett Josef Grubisic * For many readers, Tree Thieves will surprise, inform, disturb, alarm, and enlighten. This impressive, absorbing, and often riveting debut work of non-fiction introduces a serious issue, as well as cause…
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1512 Aircrew of Bomber Command

Failed to Return: Canada’s Bomber Command Sacrifice in the Second World War by Keith C. Ogilvie Victoria: Heritage House, 2021 $26.95 / 9781772033816 Reviewed by Rod Szasz * RCAF Halifax bomber LL178 ploughed into the high Yorkshire moor disintegrating with its nine crew on a cold December night in 1944. Off course and in poor visibility…
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1504 Lisa: a ray of hope

Close to the Bone: A Memoir by Lisa Ray Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Doubleday Canada), 2020 $24.95 / 9780385695725 Reviewed by Gurpreet Singh * A powerful memoir by a multifaceted personality, a supermodel, an actor, a cancer survivor, a traveller and a born writer restores faith in life and humanity in these difficult times….
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1487 The uncomfortable in-between

Afterlight: In Search of Poetry, History, and Home by Isa Milman Victoria: Heritage House, 2021 $24.95 / 9781772033830 Reviewed by Christopher Levenson * What do we expect of a memoir? Henry James famously referred to the novel as “a great baggy monster,” but the memoir, unconstrained by the exigencies of plot and character development, can…
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1482 The black cat lives on

For Freedom We Will Fight: The Industrial Workers of the World in British Columbia, 1905-1990 by Larry Gambone Edmonton: Black Cat Press, 2021 $16.00  /   9781926878263 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * B.C.’s Wobblies: A radical union that will not die The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), known everywhere as the Wobblies, were once the…
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1477 A book was the least I could do

From Nazneen to Naina: 20 years of Kareena Kapoor Khan in Bollywood by Gurpreet Singh Ludhiana, India: Chetna Parkashan, 2021 $14.99 (US) / 9789391530433 Reviewed by Harpreet Singh Sekha * A unique book on Bollywood Diva that showcases what India is going through under a right wing regime BC-based author and journalist Gurpreet Singh has…
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1473 Hearts across hemispheres

Under the Nakba Tree: fragments of a Palestinian family in Canada by Mowafa Said Househ Edmonton: Athabasca University Press, 2021 $24.99 / 9781771992039 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * “A nation now deemed to be imaginary, a nation blamed for its stubborn refusal to acquiesce in its own destruction.” Wasn’t that Vladimir Putin’s excuse for invading…
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1467 Background to Bella Coola

Writing the Empire: The McIlwraiths, 1853-1948 by Eva-Marie Kröller Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2021 $110.00 / 9781487507572 Reviewed by Robert Hogg * In her story of the McIlwraith family, Scottish immigrants to Australia and Canada, Eva-Marie Kröller illuminates the lives of the members of a nineteenth century middle-class family, albeit one with its peculiarities…
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1466 A dozen kinds of hiding

Sounds from Silence: Reflections of a Child Holocaust Survivor, Psychiatrist and Teacher by Robert Krell Amsterdam: Amsterdam Publishers, 2021 $21.95 (U.S.) / 9493231488 Reviewed by Peter Hay * From the outside, Robert Krell’s memoirs present us with a man of great humanity who, after a long and distinguished career in medicine and psychiatry, has been…
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1436 The northern precedent

Lewis & Clark Reframed: Examining Ties to Cook, Vancouver and Mackenzie by David L. Nicandri, with a foreword by Clay S. Jenkinson Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 2020 $32.95 (US) / 9780874223804 Reviewed by Barry M. Gough * Long before the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, with all its patronizing by Steven…
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1425 Greta, Cassandra, Athena

ESSAY: Greta, Cassandra, Athena: Visions of Justice by Jennifer Moss * Davos, Switzerland. January 25th, 2019: A small, serious, 16-year-old girl in bright purple pants perches on the edge of her chair at the widely televised World Economic Forum. She shuffles her papers for a moment, looks briefly at the camera, and begins with the…
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1416 Fascism now and then

Spectres of Fascism: Historical, Theoretical, and International Perspectives by Samir Gandesha (editor) Toronto: Between the Lines Books, 2020 $34.95 / 9781771135016 Reviewed by Stan Markotich * Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini … and Steve Bannon? When I was starting my undergraduate career at Simon Fraser University some 40 years ago, I often heard a joke that…
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1408 Under Russian occupation

My Long List of Impossible Things by Michelle Barker Toronto: Annick Press, 2020 $12.95 / 9781773213644 Reviewed by Valerie Green * This book is possibly one of the best Second World War books out there right now for Young Adults and is especially pertinent in view of current world events. My Long List of Impossible…
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