Coastal, nautical, & maritime

#641 Big Bay fishing stories

The Codfish Dream: Chronicles of a West Coast Fishing Guide by David Giblin Victoria: Heritage House, 2018 $19.95 / 9781772032420 Reviewed by Kenneth Campbell * In The Codfish Dream: Chronicles of a West Coast Fishing Guide, David Giblin compresses fifteen years of experience as a sports fishing guide into one remarkable summer, resulting in an…
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#639 The characters of English Bay

I Saw Three Ships: West End Stories by Bill Richardson Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2019 $16.95 / 9781772012330 Reviewed by Harvey De Roo * In his introduction to this delightful book, Bill Richardson assures us in a Wildean mot that “The past is far too precious to waste on something as cheap as nostalgia.” But I Saw…
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#637 Coastal ranges & riddles

In the Valleys of the Noble Beyond: In Search of the Sasquatch by John Zada Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2019 $32.95 / 9781771645188 Reviewed by John Gellard * John Zada’s “Noble Beyond” is the Great Bear Rainforest, “the largest tract of intact coastal temperate rain forest in the world — one so rich and prolific that…
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#636 Stopover at Nootka Sound

Captain Cook’s Final Voyage: The Untold Story from the Journals of James Burney and Henry Roberts by James K. Barnett (editor), with a foreword by Richard Neville and an introduction by Glyn Williams Pullman, WA: Washington University Press, 2017 $34.95 (U.S.) / 9780874223576 Reviewed by Robin Inglis * This handsome volume is a welcome addition…
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#631 Vassilopoulos goes west

Adventures on the West Coast of Vancouver Island by Peter Vassilopoulos Delta: Pacific Marine Publishing, 2018 $39.95 / 9780919317512 Reviewed by John Hutchings * In this new book by Peter Vassilopoulos — the well-known, prolific, South African-born author of numerous books on boating in the coastal waters of British Columbia – we are taken to…
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#614 Waterfront industry & memory

Photo essay: Revolving W and Flying Pigs: A Neon Journal by Keith McKellar (Laughing Hand), with an introduction by Robert Amos Victoria: BoneYard Ink Books, 2018 $50.00 / 9781775357704 Orders: direct from  www.laughinghand.com A photo essay by Keith McKellar and Robert Amos * In December 2018 we published a review (Ormsby Review #449) by Grahame…
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#607 Anny’s island meanderings

Island Home: Out and About on Vancouver Island by Anny Scoones Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2019 $20.00 / 9781771512589 Reviewed by Heather Graham * With five titles already to her credit before the publication of Island Home: Out and About on Vancouver Island, Anny Scoones has established herself as a certain kind of writer with a…
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#593 Wilderness campaigns & cultures

At the Wilderness Edge: The Rise of the Antidevelopment Movement on Canada’s West Coast by J.I. (Jack) Little Montréal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019 $29.95 / 9780773556409 Reviewed by John Douglas Belshaw * Bear with me, please. Shouldn’t “Wilderness” be in the possessive? At the Wilderness’s Edge maybe? If so, this is a shocking…
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#587 Islands and ingenuity

Complicated Simplicity: Island Life in the Pacific Northwest by Joy Davis Victoria: Heritage House, 2019 $22.95 / 9781772032703 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart * Joy Davis’s book, she writes, “…focuses on the perspectives and experiences of people who live on Pacific Northwest islands, particularly those not served by ferries…” Life on these islands, she tells…
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#585 Shallow draft on Arrow Lakes

SS Minto: The Arrow Lakes’ Longest Serving Sternwheeler by Bruce Rohn Nakusp: Arrow Lakes Historical Society, 2018 $30.00 / 9780969423676 Reviewed by David R. Conn * Bruce Rohn’s book on the SS Minto – named after Gilbert John Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 4th Earl of Minto, Canada’s Governor General from 1898-1904 — won the BC Historical Federation’s Community…
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#578 Roughing it at the Cove

Boom & Bust: The Resilient Women of Historic Telegraph Cove by Jennifer Butler Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2019 $26.00 / 9781771512985 Reviewed by Heather Graham * In 1911 or so, Alfred Marmaduke Wastell, known to all as Duke, informed his wife, Mame, that he had “bought out a bad loan on some land across the Johnstone…
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#564 Going sweet on Salt Spring Island

Little Island Bake Shop: The Heirloom Recipes Made for Sharing by Jana Roerick Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2019 $34.99 / 9781773270630 Reviewed by Harvey De Roo * A wonderful thing about human beings is the variety of their passions. There’s a place for all interests, with hundreds of occupations out there, all filled, because someone…
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#560 Arbutus, sandstone, & Salish Sea

Love of the Salish Sea Islands: New Essays, Memoirs and Poems by 40 Island Writers by Mona Fertig (editor) and Gail Sjuberg (introduction) Salt Spring Island: Mother Tongue Publishing, 2019 $23.95 / 9781896949734 Reviewed by Theresa Kishkan * I first encountered the term “islomania” in Lawrence Durrell’s sublime Reflections on a Marine Venus, a memoir…
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#557 Sea otter slaughter and survival

Sea Otters: A History by Richard Ravalli Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press $45.00 (U.S.) / 9780803284401 Reviewed by Robin Inglis * This slim volume — about 140 pages of narrative excluding an appendix of data tables involving the California fur trade, endnotes and a full bibliography — provides readers with a fascinating overview of…
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#556 Gangs, pirates, smugglers

Stowaway by Pam Withers Toronto: Dundurn, 2018 $12.99 / 9781459741911 Reviewed by Irene Watts * Pam Withers has a staunch following for her many adventure novels. Fans will not be disappointed in Stowaway from Dundurn Press. Two sixteen-year-old boys of diverse backgrounds, both mourn a lack of friends, and are burdened with secrets they have…
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#552 The three sisters of Bute Inlet

Cougar Companions: Bute Inlet Country and the Legendary Schnarrs Raincoast Chronicles no. 24 by Judith Williams Madeira Park: Harbour Pubishing, 2019 $26.95 / 9781550178623 Reviewed by Valerie Green * In her introduction to Cougar Companions, Judith Williams states that, “Of the settlers, prospectors, trappers, mountaineers and loggers who came to British Columbia’s remote Bute Inlet between…
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#536 A bird man named Adrian

The Birds of Vancouver Island’s West Coast by Adrian Dorst Vancouver: UBC Press, 2018 $39.95 / 9780774890106 Reviewed by Caroline Fox First published April 24, 2019 * With a cover adorned by a stunning Short-tailed Albatross — a deep-sea wanderer and visitor to British Columbia’s rich coastal waters — The Birds of Vancouver Island’s West…
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#525 Ron Holland makes a splash

All the Oceans: Designing by the Seat of My Pants by Ron Holland, with a foreword by Rupert Murdoch Vancouver: Ron Holland Design 2018, distributed in Canada by Georgetown Publications $45.00 / 9781775096801 Reviewed by Marianne Scott First published Apr. 6, 2019 * Eminent yacht designer Ron Holland, born in Aukland, New Zealand, in 1947,…
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#524 Just another Cook book?

James Cook: The Voyages by William Frame with Laura Walker Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018 $49.95 / 9780773552869 Reviewed by Robin Fisher First published April 5, 2019 * Every time I receive a new “cook book” to review I open it up in the hope that the author(s) will have something new to…
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#517 Sunshine on the Rain People

Ocean Falls: After the Whistle. Recollections and Reflections of Life in a Coastal Company Town by R. Brian McDaniel Victoria: Printorium Print Works, 2018 $40.00 / 9781999420703 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart * The story of a town that no longer exists is destined to be poignant, at least in places. The fact that it’s…
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