Coastal, nautical, & maritime

Love letters to locally sourced

“Those of us lucky enough to live on the west coast have access to ingredients, both wild and prepared, that are expressions of weather, geography, ancient and modern farming techniques, and something else: genius loci, or spirit of place.” Theresa Kishkan reviews The Coastal Forager’s Cookbook (Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2023) $40 ISBN 9781771514088 & The Coastal Forager’s Pocket Guide by Chef Robin Kort (Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2023) $10 ISBN 9781771514170

Fish, flesh, or good red herring?

“…there’s a spirited new voice at play here, with writing that flips from lyrical portraits of place to colloquial phrasing and pet names for everything from his kayak to his food.” Jeanette Taylor reviews A Complex Coast: A Kayak Journey from Vancouver Island to Alaska by David Norwell (Victoria: Heritage House, 2023) $29.95 ISBN 9781772034493

Afloat – an essay

“Yet there are very few communities like mine, where people choose to drop anchor or tie up rather than mow the lawn.” Meg Stainsby’s essay Afloat will take you into the liminal world of the water dweller.

Thank you, donors!

Happy new year! I’m pleased to report that, so far, 113 donors have responded to the annual fundraiser we kicked off in November 2023.

On the ragged edge

“If British Columbia is the edge of Canada, then Tofino and its surrounding waters and islands are the outer limits.” Robin Fisher reviews Tofino and Clayoquot Sound: A History by Margaret Horsfield and Ian Kennedy (Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2023) $34.95 / 9781990776601

Stepping aboard the Maquinna

“It is this step back in time, and illustrating of differences in how things were carried out, that makes for such fascinating reading.” Trevor Marc Hughes reviews The Best Loved Boat: The Princess Maquinna by Ian Kennedy (Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2023) $34.95 / 9781990776403

Only the polar bear knows

“Writer Pierre Berton called him a ‘quite ordinary naval officer.’ Novelist Margaret Atwood called him ‘a dope.’ McGoogan argues that he was ‘a well-meaning plodder.'” Ron Verzuh reviews Searching for Franklin: New Answers to the Great Arctic Mystery by Ken McGoogan (Madeira Park, BC, Douglas and McIntyre, 2023) $38.95 / 9781771623681

Soul nourishing, anyone?

“Lisa would deliver fresh food to Ella and her brother Barkley at Wickaninnish Community School. Among the lunch time treats were fish tacos and warm polenta fries.” Mary Ann Moore reviews Together at SoBo: More Recipes and Stories from Tofino’s Beloved Restaurant by Lisa Ahier with Susan Musgrave (Toronto: Appetite by Random House, 2023)
$37.50 / 9780525610632

Remembering the working west coast

He presents his book as “a story of events I witnessed in a lifetime of living and working in the logging camps and workboats on the BC Coast.” Phyllis Reeve reviews From Camp to Camp, from Dock to Dock: The Work of Doug Harrison, The BC Coast in My Eyes by Doug Harrison (Gabriola Island: Doug Harrison, 2023) $39.95

Addressing rising sea levels

“Soderstrom prefaces each chapter with a poem, song, or memory that personalize the warnings of the book…” Ryan Mitchell reviews Against the Seas: Saving Civilizations from Rising Waters, by Mary Soderstrom (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2023) $26.99 / 9781459750487

Familial matters

Buoyant debut novel ponders manhood and Indigeneity…
Brett Josef Grubisic reviews Beautiful Beautiful, by Brandon Reid
(Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2023) $24.95 / 9780889714540

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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BC Review Annual Fundraiser

BC Review Annual Fundraiser A note from Richard Mackie *  Dear friends, supporters, and readers of The British Columbia Review: On behalf of the Board of Directors and Advisory Board of The British Columbia Review, I must remind readers of our continuing need for financial support. This request for private donations is done annually to keep…
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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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1961 Illustrating logging camp life

The Rangitangs: Life on the Edge – A Humorous Look at Coastal Loggers Float-camp Life from the 1920s to 1950s by Mike Whalen Self-published by Mike Whalen, 2023 $40.00 (soft cover)  /  978173885723 Reviewed by Matthew Downey * Inspired by the cartoon collection from which it draws its name, The Rangitangs: Life on the Edge is…
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1953 ‘Observations and discoveries’

Four Seasons by the Salish Sea: Discovering the Natural Wonders of Coastal Living by Carolyn Redl, photography by Nancy Randall Victoria: Heritage House Publishing, 2023 $32.95   /  9781772034479 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Author Carolyn Redl has been fascinated with life along the Salish Sea ever since she moved to Vancouver Island from the prairies…
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1939 Remarkable journey of courage

Antarctic Pioneer: The Trailblazing Life of Jackie Ronne by Joanna Kafarowski Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2022 $25.99  /  9781459749535 Reviewed by Amy Tucker * Prepare to embark on an awe-inspiring adventure as author Joanna Kafarowski takes us on a captivating exploration of one of the most remarkable women in the history of polar exploration in her…
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1934 Isolation, grief, poetics, birdsong

Wrack Line by M.W. Jaeggle Regina: University of Regina Press, 2023 $19.95 /9780889779532 Reviewed by Joe Enns * Wrack Line, M.W. Jaeggle’s debut book of poetry, examines life in consideration of transitions and liminal distances “as crucial as the space / between prayer beads.” Jaeggle uses the wrack line—the area of seashore where organic material and…
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