Coastal, nautical, & maritime

1440 SS Valencia remembered

The Final Voyage of the Valencia by Michael C. Neitzel Victoria: Heritage House, 2020 (first published 1995) $9.95 / 9781772033151 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * SS Valencia Remembered: More than 100 women and children died needlessly in this tragic event off Vancouver Island in 1906 It wasn’t as world stopping as the sinking of the…
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1431 A naval labour of love

Dutchy’s Diaries: Life as a Canadian Naval Officer in His Own Words, 1916-1929 by John Crispo Inglis “Dutchy” Edwards, edited by Helen Edwards [Victoria]: Helen Edwards, 2020 $29.50  /  9780969728252 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Helen Edwards, a well-known heritage professional researcher in Victoria, has achieved a work of immense importance to naval history in…
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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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1370 A game of monopoly

“Opposition on the Coast”: The Hudson’s Bay Company, American Coasters, the Russian-American Company, and Native Traders on the Northwest Coast, 1825-1846 Edited and introduced by James R. Gibson Toronto: The Champlain Society, 2019 $99.00 / 9780772764416 Reviewed by Peter Grant * A game of monopoly: The Bay, of department store fame, was once the terror…
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1334 In praise of the miniature

So Much More Than Art: Indigenous Miniatures of the Pacific Northwest by Jack Davy Vancouver: UBC Press, 2021 $89.95 / 9780774866552 Reviewed by Alan L. Hoover * In this book Jack Davy discusses the making of miniature objects: model canoes, houses, totem poles, masks, by First Nations artists on the Northwest Coast of BC, Alaska,…
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1314 Shake, 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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1301 Goosebumps and unbroken ice

Erebus: One Ship, Two Epic Voyages, and the Greatest Naval Mystery of All Time by Michael Palin Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Viking; US edition), 2019 $23.00 / 9780735274297 Reviewed by Walter Volovsek * Editor’s note. A vigilant reader of The Ormsby Review might be startled to see Michael Palin’s Erebus: One Ship, Two Epic…
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1202 Hothouse Earth: The future is now

Four books reviewed by Graeme Wynn: 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…
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1199 Settler viruses and 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, 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 affecting…
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1193 From Scapa Flow to Lord Byng

In Action with Destroyers 1939-1945: the Wartime Memoirs of Commander J.A.J. Dennis, DSC, RN by J.A.J. Dennis (author) and Anthony Cumming (editor) Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Pen and Sword Maritime, 2017 £19.99 (U.K.) / 9781526718495 Reviewed by Michael L. Hadley * BC books and authors offer a rich palette of local and international perspectives. They…
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1192 The histories of Tod Inlet

Deep and Sheltered Waters: The History of Tod Inlet by David R. Gray, with a foreword by Nancy J. Turner and Robert D. Turner Victoria: Royal BC Museum, 2020 $29.95 / 9780772672568 Reviewed by Matthew Downey * With Deep and Sheltered Waters: The History of Tod Inlet, David Gray provides an account, both expansive and…
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1163 Eleven poets from a plague year

Ten steps back to the garden: a poetic guide to recovery by Linda Rogers * On October 14, 2021, Stephen Collis’s A History of the Theories of Rain (Talonbooks, 2021), reviewed below by Linda Rogers, was announced as one of five books shortlisted in the Fiction category of the Governor General’s Literary Awards. Winners will be…
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1160 Canadian arctic guardians

Sisters of the Ice: The True Story of How St. Roch and North Star of Herschel Island Protected Canadian Arctic Sovereignty by R. Bruce Macdonald Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021 $19.95 / 9781550179286 Reviewed by Hector Williams * Nearly six decades ago I worked in Canada’s North with various government agencies like the CBC Northern…
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1145 Great Bear diversity & antiquity

Heart of the Coast: Biodiversity and Resilience on the Pacific Edge by Tyee Bridge, with a foreword by Nancy Knowlton Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2020 $37.99 / 9781773271156 Reviewed by John Gellard * Tyee Bridge’s Heart of the Coast, Biodiversity and Resilience on the Pacific Edge is a magnificent book — robust hard cover, excellent…
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