History (world)

1939 Remarkable journey of courage

Antarctic Pioneer: The Trailblazing Life of Jackie Ronne by Joanna Kafarowski Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2022 $25.99  /  9781459749535 Reviewed by Amy Tucker * Prepare to embark on an awe-inspiring adventure as author Joanna Kafarowski takes us on a captivating exploration of one of the most remarkable women in the history of polar exploration in her…
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1930 From one generation to another

The Matryoshka Memoirs: A Story of Ukrainian Forced Labour, the Leica Camera Factory, and Nazi Resistance by Sasha Colby Toronto: ECW Press, 2023 $24.95  /  9781770417359 Reviewed by Theresa Kishkan * More than 3 decades ago, on a family camping trip, I bought a set of matryoshka dolls in an art gallery in Wells, BC….
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1923 A complex path to justice

The Fierce: The Untold Story of the Teenager Who Took on the Worst War Criminal Living in America by Judy Piercey Cheltenham, UK: The History Press, 2023 £20.05  /  9781803991153 Reviewed by Peter Hay * The Holocaust was not a single event, confined to a singular city or country, nor was it caused by one…
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1917 Teenage wasteland, Y2K bromance

New Millennium Boyz By Alex Kazemi New York: Permuted Press, 2023 $37 / 9781637583913 Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * In some ways, Brad Seela is a typical seventeen-year-old white boy coasting through an apathetic life in the suburban North America of 1999: bored with school, indifferent about the future, disillusioned with his yuppie parents, susceptible…
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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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1912 Fire, ash, and regrowth

Before Combustion By Nicholas Bradley Kentville: Gaspereau Press, 2023 $23.95 / 9871554472543 Reviewed by Marguerite Pigeon * The title of Nicholas Bradley’s new book, Before Combustion, is drawn from a line in his poem, “Self-portrait in Lycra Skinsuit,” where the poet considers a schism in his cyclist persona. There’s the familiar self who, enveloped in…
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1894 Notes on grief

The All + Flesh By Brandi Bird  Toronto: House of Anansi, 2023 $16.99 / 9781487011826 Reviewed by Linda Rogers * We are all changed. Plague and pestilence have left many of us in a state of grief, our innocence lost, experience teaching us the perils of hubris. As usual, prayer translates to poetry as our…
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1886 Artfully, maddeningly told fiction

Landscapes By Christine Lai Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2023 $29.95 / 9780385684248 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * Landscapes by Vancouver’s Christine Lai is an ambitious, atmospheric debut novel, told artfully and often through art. The protagonist, Penelope, is dreading a reunion with Julian, her former love interest and rapist from twenty-two years ago, who is also…
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1884 Dog and Boy

Boy in the Blue Hammock By Darren Groth Gibsons, BC: Nightwood Editions, 2022 $22.95 / 9780889714267 Reviewed by Jeff Stychin * If you’ve ever walked alone at sunset to a summit view of the place you reside and reminisced about your travels and experiences, imagine adding an ethereal mist with shimmering silvers and golds to…
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1868 An inconvenient tale of Ukraine

Ukrainian Scorpions: A Tale of Larceny and Greed by Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson Toronto: ECW Press, 2023 $28.95  /  9781770415676 Reviewed by Larry Hannant * Their proxy war in Ukraine against Russia floundering, the Western War Heads have been able to retain their mastery only on one crucial front line – propaganda. At least…
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1866 Magic, curses, and prophecies

Tides of the Sovereign By Kate Gateley Altona, MB: Friesen Press, 2022 $37.99 / 9781039126572 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * Kate Gateley’s debut novel Tides of the Sovereign is a tale a millennium in the making. Julia and Domhnall are fated lovers kept apart lifetime after lifetime when they’re cursed by the infamous Child of…
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1863 Quick plot, too many twists

Scandal at the Savoy: A Priscilla Tempest Mystery (Book 2) by Ron Base & Prudence Emery Madeira Park, BC: Douglas & McIntyre, 2023 $19.95 / 1771623452 Reviewed by Amy Whitmore * “Our Savoy… is populated by made-up characters who exist only in the world that we shaped for them. The royal, rich and famous who…
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1860 A Cold War thriller

Our American Friend by Anna Pitoniak Toronto: Simon and Schuster Canada, 2022 $32.00 / 9781982158804 Reviewed by Valerie Green * In Our American Friend, Whistler, BC-born author Anna Pitoniak (Necessary People) has produced a political thriller second to none. This fast-paced, page-turner tells the story of White House Correspondent, Sofie Morse, who has become jaded…
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