Coastal, nautical, & maritime

#982 Notable Viking networks

Gone Viking: A Travel Saga by Bill Arnott Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2020 $25.00 / 9781771604475 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart * Most of the stories in Bill Arnott’s Gone Viking describe travel around Britain and the North Atlantic world. A unifying theme is the imprint left on many of these places by those Scandinavian…
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#981 Voyage to Vancouver Island

The Brideship Wife by Leslie Howard Toronto: Simon & Schuster, 2020 $24.99 / 9781508259350 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Leslie Howard’s fictional interpretation of an 1860s journey to the new world on board of one of the famous bride ships is one of the best of many I have read on this subject. The Brideship…
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#972 Sea wolf of Discovery Island

Takaya: Lone Wolf by Cheryl Alexander, with a foreword by Carl Safina Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2020 $30.00 / 9781771603737 Reviewed by Luanne Armstrong * When I was a child, I lived far more intensely with animals than I did with people. As the somewhat feral daughter of homesteading farmers, I found animals were far…
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#966 A torrent of collective memory

The E.J. Hughes Book of Boats by Robert Amos Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2020 $22.00 / 9781771513364 Reviewed by Brian Harvey * Editor’s note: The West Coast Book Prize Society announced on April 8, 2021, that The E.J. Hughes Book of Boats, by Robert Amos, has been shortlisted for the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award in…
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#935 Haida cosmology transformed

Carpe Fin: A Haida Manga by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2019 $29.95 / 9781771622240 Reviewed by Molly Clarkson * I can’t help but chuckle as I read through the reader reviews on goodreads of Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas’ Carpe Fin: A Haida Manga, two of which read: Exuberant art and a non-linear…
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#934 Murder on Texada Island

A Garden of Thieves by Dean Unger Duncan: Village Lane Press, 2018 $24.00 / 9780981306421 * Blessed Be the Bones: A Garden of Thieves, Book II by Dean Unger Duncan: Village Lane Press, 2019 $24.00 / 9780981306452 Both books reviewed by Valerie Green To purchase copies of these books see here or call Dean Unger…
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#912 Now that the coast is clear

Sailing with Vancouver: A Modern Sea Dog, Antique Charts and a Voyage Through Time by Sam McKinney Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2018 (first published 2010) $20.00 / 9781771512640 Reviewed by Brian Harvey * I once got the urge to see all the apartments and houses where the British writer Malcolm Lowry had lived during his years…
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#908 Hooktenders & wildcat strikes

Disappearing Minglewood Blues by M.C. Warrior Salt Spring Island: Mother Tongue Publishing, 2020 $19.95 / 9781896949796 Reviewed by Colin Sanders * In Disappearing Minglewood Blues, a collection of poems written over several decades, M.C. Warrior gives voice to the mostly voiceless, often nameless, persons who toiled and laboured, navigating and negotiating, or falling victim to,…
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#898 Back to the brideships

The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund Grand Rapids, Michigan: Bethany House Publishers, 2020 $15.99 (U.S.) / 9780764232961 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Jody Hedlund’s book The Runaway Bride tells the story of Arabella Lawrence who arrives in Victoria in September 1862 aboard the S.S. Tynemouth. Over the years, I have conducted a great deal of…
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#897 On the road with Rosemary

Down the Road: Journeys Through Small-town British Columbia by Rosemary Neering Vancouver: Whitecap Books, 2019 (first published 1992, reprinted 2003) $22.95 / 9781770503243 Reviewed by Diana E. French * Rosemary Neering is an accomplished author who began her writing career as a travel magazine contributor. Her visits to many rural areas of British Columbia were…
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#894 Varner’s wild foods & cures

Edible and Medicinal Flora of the West Coast: British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest by Collin Varner Victoria: Heritage House, 2020 $22.95 / 9781772033236 Reviewed by Rose Morrison * A book authored by British Columbia horticulturist Collin Varner is always worthwhile. Varner’s latest publication, Edible and Medicinal Flora of the West Coast: British Columbia and…
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#888 Roughing it on Vargas Island

Close to the Bone by Dorothy Kirk Victoria: Vargas Publishing, 2020 $14.00 / 9781777011802 Reviewed by Rose Morrison * “I have only felt regret and longing,” writes Dorothy Kirk, “for things I never tried, or words I never spoke.” Kirk’s Close to the Bone is an account of her first year of wilderness living on…
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#880 In celebration of the orca

Spirits of the Coast: Orcas in Science, Art and History by Martha Black, Lorne Hammond, and Gavin Hanke (editors), with Nikki Sanchez Victoria: Royal BC Museum, 2020 $29.95 / 9780772677686 Reviewed by Daniel Francis * During the summer of 2018 an orca named Tahlequah, a member of J pod of the southern resident orcas which…
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#857 Oceans as sustainable commons

Vanishing Fish: Shifting Baselines and the Future of Global Fisheries by Daniel Pauly, with a foreword by Jennifer Jacquet Vancouver: Greystone, 2019 $34.95 / 9781771643986 Reviewed by Loys Maingon * …fish are in dire peril, and, if they are, then so are we. — Daniel Pauly (p. 24) In a remarkable collection of essays drawn…
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#849 The BC coast by wooden boat

Becoming Coastal: 25 Years of Exploration and Discovery of the British Columbia Coast by Paddle, Oar and Sail by Alex Zimmerman Cocoa Beach, Florida: Seaworthy Publications, 2020 $34.95  / 9781948494274 Distributed by Red Toque Books and available at independent bookstores Reviewed by Brian Harvey * Coastlines are elemental. They offer both access and exit, entry…
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#833 A fresh water poetry anthology

Sweet Water: Poems for the Watersheds by Yvonne Blomer (editor) Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2020 $22.95 / 9781773860220 Reviewed by John Swanson * Sweet Water is an important and timely book, about fresh water in all its many forms — lakes, ponds, rivers, creeks and streams, wetlands, marshes, and ground water, the water under the…
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#794 Sternwheelers of the Yukon

The Klondike Gold Rush Steamers: A History of Yukon River Steam Navigation by Robert D. Turner Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2019 (first published by Sono Nis Press, 2015) $49.95 / 9781550178876 Reviewed by Ken Coates * The last 50 years have not been good for the preservation of the river boat heritage of the Upper…
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#790 Enter Douglas, Garry & Menzies

In Nature’s Realm: Early Naturalists Explore Vancouver Island by Michael Layland Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2019 $40.00 / 9781771513067 * On March 2, 2020, it was announced that Michael Layland’s book, In Nature’s Realm: Early Naturalists Explore Vancouver Island (Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2019) had won the 2020 Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for outstanding scholarly book on British…
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#786 From Wiltshire to Teslin Lake

Kings of the Yukon: A River Journey in Search of the Chinook by Adam Weymouth, with a foreword by Harold R. Johnson Toronto: Penguin Random House (Knopf Canada), 2019 $21.00 / 9780345811806 Reviewed by Ken Madsen * Why would a young Brit set off on a 3,100 kilometre river trip through the Yukon Territory and…
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