Coastal, nautical, & maritime

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 & unbroken ice

Erebus: One Ship, Two Epic Voyages, and the Greatest Naval Mystery of All Time by Michael Palin Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Vintage Canada), 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 Voyages,…
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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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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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1139 The late Wa’xaid: Cecil Paul

Stories from the Magic Canoe of Wa’xaid by Cecil Paul as told to Briony Penn Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2019 $30.00 / 9781771602952 * Following the Good River: The Life and Times of Wa’xaid by Briony Penn with Cecil Paul Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2020 $38.00 / 9781771603218 Both books reviewed by hagwil hayetsk Charles…
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1128 Stanley Park reflections

ESSAY: Stanley Park: The Mirror and the Mask by Jordan Johnston * Stanley Park is a mirror that reflects the desires of those who look in it. On a map, this bright green peninsula stands apart from the city centre, as if held at arm’s length. Vancouver, like any other city, has poverty, and crime,…
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1095 Iniquity on the Gulf Islands

As if They Were the Enemy: The Dispossession of Japanese Canadians on Saltspring Island by Brian Smallshaw Victoria: University of Victoria, 2020 $24.95  /  9781550586671 (available at UVic bookstore for $24.95 plus shipping costs, or direct from b@pixelmap.ca for $26.00 including postage) Reviewed by Marie Elliott * Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December…
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1076 Reflections on an Arctic voyage

Watermelon Snow: Science, Art, and a Lone Polar Bear by Lynne Quarmby Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9780228003595 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Books about climate change are prolific—and for all the alarming reasons that most of us accept. Watermelon Snow, by Lynne Quarmby, is essentially a book about climate change,…
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1074 Elizabeth May & Gwaii Haanas

Paradise Won: The Struggle to Create Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve by Elizabeth May Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2020 (second edition; first published by McClelland & Stewart, 1990) $25.00 / 9781771604581 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Anyone who has visited Haida Gwaii will instantly relate to Elizabeth May’s remembrance of one of the most significant…
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1021 Canadian science on Easter Island

Stanley’s Dream: The Medical Expedition to Easter Island by Jacalyn Duffin Montréal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019 $39.95 / 9780773557109 Reviewed by Colin Levings * Stanley’s Dream, Jacalyn Duffin’s book on the 1964-65 Medical Expedition to Easter Island (METEI) is an intriguing detailed compendium, retrospective analysis, and overall fascinating story of one of Canada’s…
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1012 Behold the Broughton Archipelago

Converging Waters: The Beauty and Challenges of the Broughton Archipelago by Daniel Hillert (photos) and Gwen Curry (text) Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2020 $40.00 / 9781771601658 Reviewed by Alex Zimmerman * There’s something attractive about archipelagos. They are, by definition, surrounded by water and therefore have no hard boundaries. Nonetheless, islands grouped into an archipelago…
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1005 Ready, steady, halibut

Lure: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the West Coast by Ned Bell with Valerie Howes Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2017 $29.99 / 9781773270876 Reviewed by Gillian Crowther * What is the bait for cooks? Ingredients? Recipes? What makes us cast our eyes over a cookbook? The cover? The title? The author? The search for inspiration? The…
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#988 Making lives at Oona River

Once Upon an Island: Hope and Hardship, Building a Log House and a Life on the North Coast of British Columbia by Suellen Guenther Victoria: Vargas Publishing, 2020 $29.95 / 9781771368421 Reviewed by Kate Braid * Once Upon An Island is the story of a young woman, Suellen Guenther, who in 1970 after a stint…
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