Memoir

1654 Chilcotin master chronicler

Talking to the Storykeepers: Tales from the Chilcotin Plateau by Sage Birchwater Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2022 $26.00 / 9781773860800 Reviewed by Richard T. Wright * The Cariboo-Chilcotin-Coast region in the central-west portion of the province of BC is a land renowned for broad grasslands, magnificent mountains, fast glacial rivers, salmon, caribou, vast cattle ranches,…
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1652 The language of song

Questions to the Moon: Songs & Stories by Earle Peach by Earle Peach Vancouver: Lazara Press, 2021 $20.00 / 9780920999158 Reviewed by Jeff Stychin * Earle Peach is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and songwriter from Vancouver who directs choirs and plays in musical groups, volunteers at and hosts music events, pursues social activism, and is still…
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1648 In safe hands with Tamar

Chasing Rivers: A Whitewater Life by Tamar Glouberman Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2022 $26.95 / 9781771623414 Reviewed by Ryan Mitchell * Montreal film student turned rafting guide adventurer, Tamar Glouberman’s journey weaves like a winding river. Floating from eastern to western Canada and then beyond, she recounts her beginnings in the rafting world after…
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1647 Hugh Greer’s career

11,000 Days at School: From Class Clown to High School Vice-Principal by Hugh Greer Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2022 $22.95 / 9781989467541 Reviewed by Bill Engleson * There are moments that just seem well-timed. This was one of them. It was a Sunday morning. I had several issues on the go and was avoiding most…
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1646 Every day has its gold

Dancing in Small Spaces: One Couple’s Journey with Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia by Leslie A. Davidson Victoria: TouchWood Editions (Brindle & Glass), 2022 $22.00 / 9781990071089 Reviewed by Lee Reid * When married retired teachers are double diagnosed, he with dementia and she with Parkinson’s disease, there is not much space to dance….
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1641 The wisdom of trees

The Tree Whisperer: Writing Poetry by Living in the World by Harold Rhenisch Kentville, NS: Gaspereau Press, 2021 $29.95 / 9781554472314 Reviewed by Adrienne Fitzpatrick * I have spent the last few weeks in the company of a tree whisperer going from tree to tree on Sylix lands, absorbing the fruits revealed by light and…
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1635 Depending on memory

The Knot Wound Round Your Finger: An Anthology of Memory, History, & Inheritance by Devon Field (editor) Vancouver: Bell Press Books, 2021 $20.00 / 9780994812728 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * In a short story called “Lethe’s Share,” author Carsten Schmitt writes, “It’s our memories who make us who we are. “ Most of us would…
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1627 Enterprise on Malcolm Island

We Work Together for the Benefit of All: The Story of Malcolm Island’s Socialist Collective, 1901-1905, A Translation of Matti Halminen’s Sointula by Matti Halminen, edited by Heather Graham and Merja Tammi Sointula: Sointula Museum and Historical Society, 2021 $35.00 /  9780994926913 Please note: this book can be obtained from Sointula Museum by visiting in…
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1625 Fraser River waterways

The Call of the Red-Winged Blackbird: Essays on the Common and Extraordinary by Tim Bowling Hamilton, ON: Wolsak & Wynn, 2022 $22.00 / 9781989496428 Reviewed by Valerie Green * It is always a delightful surprise to discover a book you would not normally read, only to find it extremely enjoyable. Such was the case for…
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1621 Noise, heat, smoke, & smell

Out of the Fire: Metalworkers along the Salish Sea by Pirjo Raits. Photographs by Dale Roth and Michele Ramberg Victoria: Heritage House, 2022 $39.95 / 9781772033434 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * The cover image of a book entitled Out of the Fire might be expected to be aflame with oranges and red. Not this one: even…
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1619 The thing about snow

You Might Be Sorry You Read This by Michelle Poirier Brown Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2022 $19.99 / 9781772126037 Reviewed by Mary Ann Moore * In many cases, the titles for books of poetry come from the poems themselves, whether a title of one or a line from within one. In Michelle Poirier Brown’s…
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1618 Goaltender, heal thyself

The Save of My Life: My Journey Out of the Dark by Corey Hirsch, with Sean Patrick Conboy Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2022 $32.99 / 9781443461092 Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * It must be hard to write a good topical hockey book these days. The goalposts, as it were, keep shifting on the zeitgeist as Canada’s…
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1617 Love in vile places

Love in Vile Places: Military Hospitals as the Site of Care and Nurture by Jo-Anne Fiske * For Remembrance Day 2022 we present a memoir by Jo-Anne Fiske of Fraser Lake, in BC’s north-central interior, of her father Humphrey William Fiske (1886-1959). At the time of his enlistment in Kelowna in 1916, the Norfolk-born Fiske…
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1616 Nurse on the front line

A Time of Light and Shadow: To Asia, Africa, and the Long Way Home by Ella Harvey Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2022 $28.00  /  9781771605694 Reviewed by Margot Fedoruk * Come come, whoever you are Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. — Rumi Ella Harvey’s life…
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1612 An age bigger than adolescence

When We Are Broken: The Lake Elegy by Luanne Armstrong New Denver: Maa Press, 2020 $30.00 / 9780987838414 Reviewed by Diana Hayes * Luanne Armstrong, a prolific writer who has published twenty-five books of fiction, memoir, and poetry, has crafted a soulful and meditative narrative in her book, When We Are Broken – The Lake…
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1611 A life with crime

Thirty-Three Years: The Unfiltered Memoir of a Cop by Rob G. Rothwell Victoria: FriesenPress, 2021 $24.49  /  9781039123427 Reviewed by Jaime Smith * There is no crime without laws. An inborn human drive to compete against others promotes individual greed, usually suppressed or diverted by shared ethical standards. Some always will ignore the law, resulting…
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1610 A star map to higher ground

Spíləx̣m: A Weaving of Recovery, Resilience, and Resurgence by Nicola I. Campbell Winnipeg: HighWater Press, 2021 $32.00 / 9781553799351 Reviewed by Linda Rogers * When my friend, author, singer and educator Karen Lee White went north to celebrate the life of a beloved elder, the family women braided her long silver hair. “That is your…
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1609 Nuu-chah-nulth high bow canoes

Making a Chaputs: The Teachings and Responsibilities of a Canoe Maker by Joe Martin and Alan Hoover Victoria: Royal BC Museum Press, 2022 $24.95 / 9780772680273 Reviewed by Isabel Nanton * With a Pacific coastline that stretches 25,725 km (15,985 miles), British Columbia has for eons relied on water transport and for centuries First Nations’…
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1603 Writing to shape one’s future

Standing in a River of Time by Jónína Kirton Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2022 $19.95 / 9781772013795 Reviewed by Cathy Ford * If, when you begin reading, and then rereading, a book by this author, soon after the second anniversary of National Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada, perhaps you should know already your life will change….
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