Visceral recollection of an artist

“We get the whole sensory shebang with beer and farts, ‘bad feet and stinky pits’; the real feel of being on the road in a hardcore era when everyone was young.” Catherine Owen reviews Around the World with Mr. Chi Pig: a memorial by Chris Walter (New Westminster: GFY Press, 2023) $31.00 / 9781927053393

Connecting passions with music

“Andrea Warner has written a provocative, lucid, and fierce book of deep connection.” Catherine Owen reviews Rise up and Sing! Power, Protest and Activism in Music by Andrea Warner with illustrations by Louise Reimer (Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2023) $26.95 / 9781771648981

Exploring a postwar childhood tradition

“People who attended summer camp, or who wish they had, or who, like myself, sent their children to camp, will enjoy the shared memories.” Phyllis Reeve reviews My Paddle’s Keen and Bright: Summer Camp Stories by Rika Ruebsaat (Vancouver: New Star Books, 2023) $24 / 9781554201884

A composer of great influence

“The book traces Silverman’s two-year (Covid) adventure, when he took 15 months to learn all 48 pieces … in the process conveying the emotion and harmony of the ultimate composer.” Isabel Nanton reviews Bach’s Sonic Tapestry: The Well-Tempered Clavier of 1722, Book I by Robert Silverman (Victoria: FriesenPress, 2023) $24.49 / 9781039165229

Magic from a movie

“The topics covered in this book cover many issues: portraying girls as full individuals and the theory that anything is possible, sexual awakenings, political activism, and advocating for safe abortions.” Valerie Green reviews The Time of my Life: Dirty Dancing by Andrea Warner (Toronto: ECW Press, April 2024) $19.95 / 9781770417410

Singing ‘bout revolution

A “lively musical and political education” for readers young and old. —Ron Verzuh reviews Rise Up and Sing!: Power, Protest and Activism in Music, by Andrea Warner (illustrated by Louise Reimer) (Vancouver: Greystone Kids, 2023) $26.95 / 9781771648981

We needed a bigger ballroom

“…if you didn’t catch it the first time around, there’s no reason not to own this sweet slice of BC music history now.” Catherine Owen reviews Live at the Commodore: The Story of Vancouver’s Historic Commodore Ballroom (New Updated Edition) by Aaron Chapman (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2023) $32.95 / 9781551529370

No. 2000 for the BC Review!

When we launched The British Columbia Review — then The Ormsby Review — in September 2016, little did we expect that seven years later we’d post our 2000th review. I’m grateful to everyone — reviewers, publishers, authors, booksellers, and readers — for making it such a success and promoting BC writers, writing, and culture. It…
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What is the role of art?

The Compassionate Imagination: How the arts are central to a functioning democracyby Max Wyman Toronto: Cormorant Books, 2023$19.95  /  9781770866997 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * What is the point–honestly–of putting a lot of energy into discussing the connection between “art” on the one hand and society on the other?  Well, Plato seemed to think it…
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1970 Calling Graduate Liberal Studies

Attention students in Graduate Liberal Studies at Simon Fraser University! * Since 2018, students in the Graduate Liberal Studies programme at Simon Fraser University have contributed numerous essays, memoirs, poems, and book reviews to The British Columbia Review. We at the BC Review are delighted to maintain a productive collaboration with the GLS community, as…
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1980s East Van nostalgia

East Side Story: Growing Up at the PNE by Nick Marino Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2023 $21.95 / 9781551529332 (paperback) Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * When I moved to Vancouver in August 1985, Nick Marino, aged 17, was working his last summer at the PNE. To me the PNE (the Pacific National Exhibition) was some distant…
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1935 United through art

Bloom Where You Are Planted: 50 Conversations with Inspiring British Columbians by Beka Shane Denter Victoria: Heritage House Publishing, 2022 $39.95  /  9781772034295 Reviewed by Valerie Green * This book by Beka Shane Denter is an inspirational collection of interviews in the form of Q&As with photographs, of a group of fifty (forty-nine women and…
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1920 A word for the wise

Story Lines: How Words Shape Our World by J. Edward Chamberlin Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2023 $26.95  /  9781771623513 Reviewed by Gary Geddes * Stories not only keep us alive, but also help us make sense of the world and our place in it. From creation stories and cave drawings to the epic poems…
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1853 Trust the tale not the teller?

Storylines: How Words Shape Our World by J. Edward Chamberlin Madeira Park, BC: Douglas & McIntyre, 2023 $26.95  /  9781771623513 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * British novelist D.H. Lawrence once quipped that readers should trust the tale and not the teller. What did he mean? Prof emeritus J. Edward Chamberlin offers some possible answers in…
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1823 Triumphant and melancholic

RUBYMUSIC: A popular history of women’s music and culture by Connie Kuhns Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, March 2023 $26.00 / 9781773861012 Reviewed by Catherine Owen As a “female bassist” myself at one time in my history and as a woman raised in a climate of continual music, whether from good ol’ CBC piped out of…
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1813 Welcome Trevor and Brett

Welcome Trevor and Brett by Richard Mackie * On behalf of the Board of the Ormsby Literary Society and our Advisory Board I’d like to welcome Trevor Marc Hughes and Brett Josef Grubisic as interim editors of The British Columbia Review for the year May 1, 2023 to May 1, 2024. The position was made possible…
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1796 Rock ’n’ roll trans recall

Any Other City by Hazel Jane Plante Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2023 $22.95 / 9781551529110 Reviewed by Brett Josef Grubisic * Whenever film critics gripe about pop music biopics, “cliché-ridden” is standard fare. Considering a pop star’s ready-made chapters — juvenile precocity, discovery, rise and fall, triumphs and tragedies, and so on — over-reliance on…
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