Natural history & science

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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1493 Holding fast

Bog Treasure by Eileen Casey and Jeanne Cannizzo Dublin: Arlen House, 2022, distributed by Syracuse University Press $19.95 / 9781851322695 Reviewed by Jane Frankish * Editor’s note: readers might also like to hear Eileen Casey read a selection of her bog poems in Treasure, a short film commissioned by Offaly Arts for Culture Night, 2021,…
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1430 A mushroom forager’s bible

Mushrooms of British Columbia: Royal BC Museum Handbook by Andy MacKinnon and Kem Luther Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum Press, 2021 $34.95 / 9780772679550 Reviewed by Jocie Brooks * With over ten mushroom books already on my shelf, I hesitated as to whether I needed yet another guide book for fungi, but as soon as…
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1413 Teaching watershed warriors

Upstream, Downstream: Exploring Watershed Connections by Rowena Rae Victoria: Orca Books, 2021 $19.95 / 9781459823921 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * A children’s book that is also a call to arms? Without so much as a single sabre rattle, a new book by biologist and writer Rowena Rae, titled, disarmingly, Upstream, Downstream, and subtitled Exploring Watershed…
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1395 Return of the sea otter

Sea Otters: A Survival Story by Isabelle Groc with forewords by Dame Judi Dench & David F. Mills Victoria: Orca Books, 2020 $24.95 / 9781459817371 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Sea Otters: A Survival story by Isabelle Groc is a delightful wildlife book for all ages. Author Isabelle Groc has written an exemplary survival story…
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1372 A riotous mix of species

The Flora and Fauna of Coastal British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, Expanded Edition by Collin Varner Victoria: Heritage House, 2021 $39.95 / 9781772033564 Reviewed by Jocie Brooks * Glossy colour photos of stone sheep, chinook salmon, salal berries and a black-capped chickadee grace the cover of Collin Varner’s The Flora and Fauna of Coastal…
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1350 Making & taking Strathcona Park

A Journey Back to Nature: A History of Strathcona Provincial Park by Catherine Marie Gilbert Victoria: Heritage House, 2021 $26.95  /  9781772033588 Reviewed by Matthew Downey * The past year in British Columbia has seen activism and protests centred on the forest industry and controversies over the logging of old growth rainforest. In such a…
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1343 Mystery at 41st and Dunbar

In Sight: My Life in Science and Biotech by Julia Levy, with a foreword by Molly Shoichet Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020 $34.95 / 9781487508319 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * The reviewer is reading Julia Levy’s book on the bus to UBC and has just arrived at 41st and Dunbar when he gets to…
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1323 Eavesdropping in the bush

Caught on the Trail: Nature’s Wildlife Selfies by Dale Bakken and Sandra Lynch-Bakken Surrey: Hancock House, 2020 $24.95 / 9780888390585 Reviewed by Jocie Brooks * A curious black bear nuzzles the camera on the cover of Caught on the Trail: Nature’s Wildlife Selfies. This book offers “up close and personal” views of BC’s wildlife that…
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1314 Shear, rattle, and roll

On Borrowed Time: North America’s Next Big Earthquake by Gregor Craigie Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions, 2021 $22.95 / 9781773102061 Reviewed by Brian Harvey * What does it mean to be unsettled? Roget’s Thesaurus offers some synonyms — unstable, displaced, even deranged — and to me the word sits somewhere between “uneasy” and “totally freaked out.”…
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1305 McGillivray’s essential geography

Geography of British Columbia: People and Landscapes in Transition (fourth edition) by Brett McGillivray Vancouver: UBC Press, 2020 $55.00 / 9780774864329 Reviewed by Ken Favrholdt * Brett McGillivray’s Geography of British Columbia: People and Landscapes in Transition has withstood the test of time since its first edition in 2000, which I reviewed for BC Studies…
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1303 Bonnie Henry: writer

Ron Verzuh reviews two books: Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe: Four Weeks that Shaped a Pandemic by Bonnie Henry and Lynn Henry Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Allen Lane), 2021 $26.95 / 9780735241855 * Soap and Water and Common Sense: The Definitive Guide to Viruses, Bacteria, Parasites, and Disease by Bonnie Henry Toronto: House…
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1288 Burrs and bullet trains

Design Like Nature: Biomimicry for a Healthy Planet by Megan Clendenan and Kim Ryall Woolcock Victoria: Orca Books, 2021 $19.95 / 9781459824645 Reviewed by Jocie Brooks * I opened this book while sitting at the kitchen table beside the head of a giant sunflower cut from my garden, full of seeds ready for harvest. The…
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1285 From anonymity to spotlight

Pandemic Spotlight: Canadian Doctors at the Front of the Covid-19 Fight by Ian Hanomansing Madeira Park: Douglas and McIntyre, 2021 $22.95 / 9781771622929 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * For nearly two years we have existed in a time warp. When I see a reference to something which happened in April, and now it is October,…
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1279 Many little acts of rebellion

The Environmentalist’s Dilemma: Promise and Peril in an Age of Climate Crisis by Arno Kopecky Toronto: ECW Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9781770416093 Reviewed by Mike Starr * The Environmentalist’s Dilemma is not a typical environmental call to action. This book is more difficult to categorize; it is non-fiction, intensely personal, and autobiographical in parts, including…
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1202 Hothouse Earth: The future is now

Graeme Wynn reviews four books: The Imperilled Ocean: Human Stories From a Changing Sea by Laura Trethewey Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions, 2020 $22.95 / 9781773101156 * Passion and Persistence: Fifty Years of the Sierra Club in British Columbia by Diane Pinch Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2019 $12.99 / 9781550178814 * Hope Matters: Why Changing the…
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1199 Settler viruses & wild salmon

Not on My Watch: How a Renegade Whale Biologist Took on Governments and Industry to Save Wild Salmon by Alexandra Morton Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Vintage Canada), 2021 $35.00 / 9780735279667 Reviewed by Stephen Bocking * In the late 1980s Alexandra Morton encountered the first signs that salmon farms, newcomers to the Broughton Archipelago, were…
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1179 History galleries & robber barons

The Object’s the Thing: The Writings of Yorke Edwards, A Pioneer of Heritage Interpretation in Canada by Richard Kool and Robert A. Cannings (editors) Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9780772678515 * Craigdarroch Castle in 21 Treasures by Moira Dann, with an afterword by Bruce Davies  Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2021 $20.00 /…
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1168 Islands are for overcoming

Fishing for Birds by Linda Quennec Toronto: Inanna Publications, 2019 $22.95 / 9781771336130 Reviewed by Paul Headrick  * Fishing for Birds tells the stories of three women who live on islands: Kate, a widow in her thirties, has settled in a small cabin on the fictional BC Gulf Island of Britannia; Kate’s mother, Nora, is…
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