1940 For YA readers: Halifax in WWI

Out of the Dark by Julie Lawson Halifax: Nimbus Publishing, 2023 $14.95 / 9781774712344 Reviewed by Alison Acheson * “… just don’t get anything fancy. We are who we are”: words spoken by the main character’s mother in Julie Lawson’s middle grade/young adult novel Out of the Dark. The words reflect a theme to the…
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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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1937 Against invisibility

This Is How You Start to Disappear by Astrid Blodgett Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2023 $24.99 / 9781772127133   Reviewed by W.H. New *   The twelve stories that comprise This Is How You Start to Disappear are emotionally connected with each other. They don’t feature the same characters; they don’t ever quite resolve the…
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1936 Thriller with monstrous, ‘unequivocally irredeemable’ men

The Drowning Woman by Robyn Harding Toronto: Grand Central Publishing, 2023 $28.00 / 9781538726761 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * The Drowning Woman by Robyn Harding is disturbing, juicy, riveting, and true to Harding’s previous work—the perfect nocturnal accompaniment to guarantee sleeplessness, but the fun kind. In terms of scandalizing secrets, think Big Little Lies, only…
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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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