Memoir

1519 Reading the Covid landscape

Words from the Dead: Relevant Readings in the Covid Age by Sean Arthur (Art) Joyce Victoria: Ekstasis Editions, 2022 $25.95 / 9781771714587 Reviewed by Christopher A. Shaw * Capturing the “Landscape of the Imagination” in the Age of Covid No matter where one stands on the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccines, and who’s responsible, the events of…
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1517 A lover’s grimoire

A Lover’s Grimoire by Linda Quibell Grimoire: a book of magic devised to invoke supernatural entities such as angels, deities or demons * The Plague The first year of the plague we knew nothing being neither doctors nor priests nor midwives we did not know that eyes were infectious that mouths were a vector and…
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1513 History matters: Meares Island

Possessing Meares Island: A Historian’s Journey into the Past of Clayoquot Sound by Barry Gough Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021 $26.95 / 9781550179576 Reviewed by Jason M. Colby * Barry Gough opens his newest book with a phone call that he received in early 1986. On the other end of the line was Jack Woodward,…
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1510 Truths from Tahltan & Tuscany

Dempsey Bob: In His Own Voice by Dempsey Bob, with a foreword by Sarah Milroy Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2022, in collaboration with the McMichael Canadian Art Collection & the Audain Art Gallery $40.00  /  9781773271613 Reviewed by Liz Hammond-Kaarremaa * I flip open the Dempsey Bob in his own voice book and I am…
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1507 A decolonization manifesto

Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-up Call, Second Edition by Arthur Manuel and Ronald M. Derrickson, with a foreword by Naomi Klein Toronto: Between the Lines, 2021 (first published 2016) $29.95 / 9781771135566 Reviewed by Ken Favrholdt * Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-up Call has been called a roadmap to action for Indigenous peoples in Canada…
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User experience & Sophocles

User experience & Sophocles by Thomas Girard * i. Ideas trapped within us We have ideas within us. They swim through our minds and sometimes move faster than we know what to do with them. A young guy approached me after the event last night and asked me what to do, with all of these…
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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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1502 Rapist, your time is up

Victim: A feminist manifesto from a fierce survivor by Karen Moe Lantzville, BC: Vigilance Press, 2022 $24.99 / 9781647044701  Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * For any new author seeking a large audience for a polemical work, the self-declared “manifesto” is a risky undertaking. Driven by the urgency of singular purpose, a manifesto in the wrong…
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1501 Tales of a rural ethos

One Inch from Disaster: True Tales from the Wilds of British Columbia by Kelly Randall Ricketts Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2022 $22.95 / 9781550179262 Reviewed by Dave Flawse * Flip over a copy of One Inch from Disaster and you’ll see a picture of a shirtless Kelly Randall (Zeus) Ricketts glancing back at the camera,…
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1499 Not done yet

Going to Ground: Essays on Aging, Chronic Pain and the Healing Power of Nature by Luanne Armstrong Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2022 $24.95 / 9781773860756 Reviewed by Claire Sicherman * I was really looking forward to reading Luanne Armstrong’s new book, Going to Ground: Essays on Aging, Chronic Pain and the Healing Power of Nature,…
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1498 A politician for all seasons

Using Power Well: Bob Williams and the Making of British Columbia by Bob Williams with Benjamin Isitt and Thomas Bevan Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2022 $22.95  /   9780889714243 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * A Man for All Political Seasons: meet the creator of ICBC, the land reserve and an improved Downtown Eastside If B.C. ever had…
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1497 Tribute to Julian Wake

A tribute to Julian Wake by Richard Mackie and others * It’s a pleasure to provide this tribute to Julian Wake, a friend to me and many others between his arrival in BC in 1966 and his death on January 16, 2022. In recent years Julian embarked on a late career as a book reviewer…
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1494 A Cree hero’s journey

Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age by Darrel J. McLeod Madeira Park: Douglas and McIntyre, 2018 $29.95 / 9781771622004 Reviewed by Heather Simeney MacLeod * Editor’s note: From time to time we get our wires crossed at The BC Review, or — very rarely — a publisher sends the reviewer the wrong book or kindly…
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1491 Be brave in giving

The Caregiver’s Companion by Patricia Jean Smith Oakville, ON: Rock’s Mills Press, 2022 $25.00 / 9781772442441 Reviewed by Betty Jane Hegerat * The cover of The Caregiver’s Companion by Patricia Smith is graced with an image by Chinese print maker, Hao Boyi, of two Manchurian red-crowned cranes. These birds are rare and endangered. To imagine…
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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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1486 Canadian Pacific calling

Canadian Pacific Trackside 1977 to 2012 with Conductor John Cowan by John Cowan Avon-By-The-Sea, New Jersey: Morning Sun Books, 2022 $69.95 (US) / 9781582487854 This book is available from Kelly’s Kaboose, The Railway Store, in Savona, and Central Hobbies in Vancouver —  or order a copy from your local independent bookstore or directly from the…
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1478 Coastal flux and depth

A Killing at Easter Hill: A Season of Fragments by Alex Rose Vancouver: Walhachin Press, 2021 $16.00 / 9781777582319 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski  A Killing at Easter Hill is available for sale at People’s Co-Op Bookstore on Commercial Drive, Vancouver * One of the advantages of a novel over a book of poems and other…
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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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1472 Girl interrupted … or imagined

The Bridge: Writing Across the Binary by Keith Maillard Calgary: Freehand Books, 2021 $22.95 / 9781988298788 Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * In the imaginative universe that inspired this book, the metaphor of “the bridge” offered Keith Maillard two related themes worth exploring: the socially-constructed divide between the sexes that his younger self struggled for years…
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1470 Piecework and peace work

Mother, the Verb, Swan Sister Treasure Book by Linda Rogers and friends Victoria: FriesenPress, 2022 $25.00 / 9781039124530 Reviewed Cathy Ford * Upon a time (note dear reader, not “once”), there arrived a beautifully dense green book on my desk. For me, it arrived just in time. As said more often than anyone ever wanted…
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