1935 United through art

Bloom Where You Are Planted: 50 Conversations with Inspiring British Columbians by Beka Shane Denter Victoria: Heritage House Publishing, 2022 $39.95  /  9781772034295 Reviewed by Valerie Green * This book by Beka Shane Denter is an inspirational collection of interviews in the form of Q&As with photographs, of a group of fifty (forty-nine women and…
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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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1933 Calling a spade a spade

Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls by Jessica McDiarmid Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada [Doubleday Canada], 2020 $21.00 /  9780385687577 Reviewed by David Milward * Missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) remains a grave crisis in Canada….
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1931 Take your own country with you

The Geography of Belonging: A Love Story of Horses & Africa by Oriane Lee Johnston Cortes Island: Salmonberrry Arts and Publishing, 2023 $25.00  /  9781777149222 Reviewed by Isabel Nanton * A wise person once posited that one of the many pleasures of reading memoir is identifying parallels with our own lives. If that holds true,…
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1930 From one generation to another

The Matryoshka Memoirs: A Story of Ukrainian Forced Labour, the Leica Camera Factory, and Nazi Resistance by Sasha Colby Toronto: ECW Press, 2023 $24.95  /  9781770417359 Reviewed by Theresa Kishkan * More than 3 decades ago, on a family camping trip, I bought a set of matryoshka dolls in an art gallery in Wells, BC….
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1929 Perseverance in a closed community

Stillwater by Darcy Friesen Hossack  New Westminster: Tidewater Press, 2023 $22.95 / 9781990160202 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * Darcy Friesen Hossack’s debut novel, Stillwater, plays on her own Mennonite and Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) background. The main character, Lizzy, a teenage girl with aspirations of a medical career, is forced to move with her family to…
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1928 DIY cocktails

The Five-Bottle Bar: A Simple Guide to Stylish Cocktails by Jessica Schacht Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2022 $28.00  /  9781771513760 Reviewed by Rebecca Coleman * Have you been out for drinks lately? At some of my favorite cocktail bars, drinks are now in the $20 to $25 range, and even at chains, you’re looking at between…
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1927 Impossiblist Maverick

Class Warrior: The Selected Works of E.T. Kingsley by Benjamin Isitt and Ravi Malhotra (eds.) Athabasca: Athabasca University Press, 2022 $34.95  /  9781778290046 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Chances are you’ve never heard of Eugene Thornton (E.T.) Kingsley. Chances are also good that if you had heard of him you might not like him or…
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1923 A complex path to justice

The Fierce: The Untold Story of the Teenager Who Took on the Worst War Criminal Living in America by Judy Piercey Cheltenham, UK: The History Press, 2023 £20.05  /  9781803991153 Reviewed by Peter Hay * The Holocaust was not a single event, confined to a singular city or country, nor was it caused by one…
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1922 Irresistible Stikine

Stikine Odyssey: From Adventure to Activism with The Great River by Peter Rowlands Altona: Friesen Press, 2023 $24.49  /  9781775238348 Reviewed by Trevor Marc Hughes * What is it that draws adventurers to the Stikine River? For me, in 2012, it was a desire to see this beautiful, and integral, landscape in northern British Columbia…
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1921 Treasures from the past

Time to Wonder – Volume 2. A Kid’s Guide to BC’s Regional Museums: Vancouver Island, Salt Spring, Alert Bay, and Haida Gwaii by S. Lesley Buxton and Sue Harper Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2022 $22.00  /  9781771605069 Reviewed by Valerie Green * In view of the recent closure of Point Ellice House and Gardens in…
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1920 A word for the wise

Story Lines: How Words Shape Our World by J. Edward Chamberlin Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2023 $26.95  /  9781771623513 Reviewed by Gary Geddes * Stories not only keep us alive, but also help us make sense of the world and our place in it. From creation stories and cave drawings to the epic poems…
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1919 Mars, mirth, metadata

Girlfriend on Mars By Deborah Willis Toronto: Hamish Hamilton, 2023 $34.00 / 9780670069583 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * With a nod and wink, Vancouver’s Deborah Willis titles her story about a preposterously engineered mission to terraform Mars Girlfriend on Mars. The wonderfully lightweight word “Girlfriend” plays with the discrepancy between the gravity of a real…
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1918 Seeing lives behind the art

Artists and Their Autobiographies from Today to the Renaissance and Back: Symptoms of Sincerity by Charles Reeve New York: Routledge, 2023 $128.00 (USD)  /  9780367221324 Reviewed by John O’Brian * In 1968, Andy Warhol was shot in his New York studio. Valerie Solanas fired twice from close range at his chest with a handgun, and…
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1917 Teenage wasteland, Y2K bromance

New Millennium Boyz By Alex Kazemi New York: Permuted Press, 2023 $37 / 9781637583913 Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * In some ways, Brad Seela is a typical seventeen-year-old white boy coasting through an apathetic life in the suburban North America of 1999: bored with school, indifferent about the future, disillusioned with his yuppie parents, susceptible…
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1916 Migratory Filipinos scraping by in Osoyoos, Sarnia, and Iqaluit

Reuniting with Strangers By Jennilee Austria-Bonifacio Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2023 $22.95 / 9781771623582 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Jennilee Austria-Bonifacio has written an engaging novel that tells the stories of the reunification of Filipino caregiver families over one Canadian winter. She has done this in an engaging and most unique way; not simply…
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